All 3 major things in my life have changed since then.
I now have 2 gorgeous kids who are one and three years old respectively, my mum isn’t here anymore and most recently my husband and I have separated. They are some pretty substantial and ground-breaking changes. And I am now at a complete point in my life where I am wondering what does my future look like, and where is my life is going to go….???
It’s so scary, it makes me nervous, it feels incredibly hard and lonely and it makes me so sad….but I also know deep down that I need to work through these feelings. I need to process all of the loss, and somehow carve out a new future. And in many ways there is great excitement with that. How blessed I am to have the opportunity to recalibrate my life with so much love and friendship holding me up.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted properly or with any regularity here…the past 3 years have seen me lose my mum, become a mum twice over, and adjust to all that in between raising two kids and supporting my husband and finishing off my Institute of Integrative Nutrition Course. I must confess there hasn’t been a lot of time to ‘Nurture’ this Mother in between the chaos and fun that is life! I first started writing this blog as I became fascinated with health and wellness and wanted to understand what really made us feel truly ‘well’. And what I could do to support my mum as she was facing a tough cancer battle.
It helped plant the seed for so much of my own personal discovery into health and wellness, and what I could do to really thrive and feel great, not just survive. It seems everyone is busy, everyone is ‘time-poor’ and although we are working harder than ever we are sicker than ever and more exhausted than ever. Dr Libby (drlibby.com) has been a long time mentor for me and it doesn’t surprise me that her game-changing book “Rushing Women’s Syndrome” still dominates shelf space. I’m proud in hind-sight of how relevant the title of this blog was as Mother Nurture. Like most busy Mum’s I don’t have a lot of spare time but I hope to be able to share some interesting thoughts and article links with you here.
I’ve recently become a mum for the second time, and I can honestly say with all my heart I have never been happier in my life. Sure there are some things that I wish were different in my world, the main one being that I wish my mum was here to hold my beautiful new baby girl, and to see my gorgeous little boy and how wonderful these children are, but another part of me knows that she IS with me every moment, and that the reason they are so wonderful is because of her influence. Over me as child and teaching me how to mother, and now as her spirit guides me on how to nurture my gorgeous babies. As I look at my two sleeping children, my 20 month toddler on the monitor as he has his day time nap, and my new baby girl asleep in her bassinet I have to pinch myself at how lucky I am. Some say you make your own luck, maybe you do, but I feel so grateful for this gift that is motherhood. There is so much written about how hard it is, and motherhood itself has become such a competitive sport that there is always a new ‘way’ to parent. But I wanted to take the time to remind myself how incredibly wonderful it is and how incredibly happy my children make me. I realise it is not everyone that feels this and it is not everyone who finds it so ‘easy’ so to speak…but I find incredible comfort in being a Mum, and when I follow my instincts it seems so natural and unforced. The happiest of things are the simplest of things. The little kiss my son gives his baby sister, the little look of recognition from my 2 week old when I talk to her, the feeling of content as the four of us sit in bed in the morning, me feeding my daughter and my son watching on, my husband beside me, and the feeling inside me that we made these little people is so incredible and rewarding. It’s a lovely sunny day here, before his nap toddler has been playing happily on his own outside in the garden for what feels the first time ever and as they rest I wanted to take a moment to celebrate this happy feeling, and enjoy it. We are often too quick to feel a moment and move on to the next one and not enjoy it for all that it is. These incredibly simple little people in our lives can teach us so much and offer so much wisdom. As I said in the title, today I am jut feeling ridiculous amounts of happy and I wanted to share this lovely feeling and remind myself of this when other days don’t feel so bright.
One of the things my mum is remembered for and which was very special for our family is her cooking. Her cooking and understanding of flavours was amazing, and always brought us together. Whether it was a special occasion like a birthday or just a regular mid-week meal, the food was always restaurant quality. One of the lovely things that has happened to me since her passing, is discovering a recipe book she made for me with some of her favourite recipes and personalised handwritten notes about when to best serve these dishes, what I liked as a little girl and other special cooking tips.
One recipe I’d like to share with you is her lovely Chicken Marbella. Just the smell of it in the house makes me think of her and my siblings too all find great comfort in this meal. I’ve adjusted it to make it ‘sugar free’ but I’ve kept in the prunes which I think are a key part of the dish. A lovely moist chicken piece with freshly steamed greens and sweet potato mash – food for the soul.
This one is for you Mum. x
8- 10 organic chicken thighs
1 whole head of garlic
1/4 cup dried oregano
Course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 Spanish green olives
1/2 capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1/2 cup of rice malt syrup
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup Italian parsley finely chopped
In a large bowl combine chicken, garlic, oregano, pepper an salt, vinegar, Olive Oil, Prunes, Olives, capers, lime juice and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Arrange chicken in pan and pour white wine around the pieces, then bake 45mins – 1hr, basting with the juice over the top regularly.
Serve with mashed sweet potato, steamed broccolini and sprinkle with parsley. Use organic ingredients where you can, most importantly the chicken!
It’s been nearly a year since I last wrote. In that time I’ve had a little baby boy (who is now 9 months!) and as I have become a mother myself – creating my own version of ‘mother nurture’. I first started this blog when my mum was sick with lymphoma and I wanted to understand more about why that may be and – noticing many similarities between us – what I could do to ensure it didn’t happen to me too. Since her passing and the ever evolving circle of life with me becoming a mother just 9 months later, I seem to understand more and more everyday about how self care is so important but how the priority is not yourself when you first have a baby! It’s really hard to nurture yourself, it’s so primal to want to care for the baby you nurture. Everything becomes about that new child. I recently flew to America with my little man and was reminded on the plane about in the event of something happening that we are to put our own oxygen masks on first! Only then can we be of the utmost assistance to our loved ones. It seemed like a perfect reminder that I needed to get written down on here!
I’ve taken some time out from writing of late, to do the title of this blog, some nurturing of my own dear Mum.
Since her diagnosis last year, she has undergone six months of chemotherapy and then three months ago has had the courage to undergo a revolutionary bone marrow transplant. It’s not an easy transplant, with many risks associated with it. Unfortunately, there were some complications and it did not go as well as we’d like to expect, however our dear Mum put up the most incredible fight and showed more courage and depth of spirit than I could have ever expected of anyone. I have such a huge admiration and the utmost respect for her. Sadly, she lost her battle last month. But, we know that if anyone could have beat it, it would have been my mum.
It’s been a massive journey for us all, and as a daughter and not a doctor there is only so much I can do. But I do believe that it’s the bits we have done as a family are the reason she has made it this far. From the years of support with chemotherapy, love, friendship and above all supporting her and her wishes for treatment, we’ve been there. As much as we’d like a different result, it is what it is. And in this last month, the incredible ties that have bound our amazing family together have been monumental. What a legacy she has left behind. How in awe I am of her. And how blessed I am that we have been there with her for this journey. Apart from the obvious of visiting her everyday, we have given her comfort, we have become knowledgeable in the entire BMT subject area, we’ve arranged masseuses so she too can have a little bit of her own nurturing, friends have come by, we’ve sat with her and most of all, shared time together while loving one another and nurturing her.
There will not be a day that goes by that I won’t think of my dear Mum. And I already miss her dreadfully. But, I’m aware that she was such a special lady, I believe she has done all she can for this lifetime, no doubt already she is busy in the next lifetime, doing amazing things elsewhere, making other people smile and feel special. And I can’t wait to see her again one day.
Thanks for your support on this blog. I plan to get back into it, and discover a bit more and share here about my own health journey as time marches on.
About a month ago I was lucky enough to spend one glorious week at Gwinganna resort in the Gold Coast Hinterland with my amazing Mum. It’s called a ‘Lifestyle’ retreat, but known lovingly as a health retreat by friends and converts alike. Gwinganna is a special special place. If you find yourself ever able to, I would advise you to go there at least once in your lifetime. It changes something in you!
All that I have written, thought and executed in my ‘healthy’ life, was realised and actualised in the week at Gwinganna. So many of the questions for why my body responded in a certain way were answered. The science and education was such an interesting and enlightening experience for me. (So much so that I want to take this study further.) I do not have any qualifications in the health or wellness industry, just a passion and a keen interest. However, I have discovered an amazing course called the Institute of Integrative Nutrition based out of New York, but that is studied online. And…I am thrilled to say I will be starting this course in 2 weeks time! Will look forward to sharing much of my knowledge with you here!
As guests of Gwinganna we started the day at 5.30am with a gentle knock on the door, before we get ready and head off to do Qi Gong at 6am as the sun comes up. Then a huge walk through nature to get the blood pumping. Returning to camp for a delicious gluten free, dairy free home cooked breakfast. Then the morning is spent doing a mix of some yin (slow) and yang (hard/ fast) activity as and then at 11.30am we meet up for the education seminars. We had some truly amazing people lecture us and help us to put the pieces of the ‘wellness’ puzzle together. Lunch is at 1pm and then from 2pm until 6pm there is ‘dream-time‘ where one spends time getting massaged, pummeled and scrubbed in the absolute world class day spa. Life has never felt so good!
After an early dinner, you retire to your gorgeous room, with no tv’s or screens as distraction to help you drift into a blissful sleep ready to do it all again tomorrow.
I came home from the week away with some incredible clarity about health and wellness, some lovely new friends and a feeling of calm that I have never before experienced. I can’t wait to go back one day, and I hope you get the opportunity to also!