Category: Kez Recommends

Why I Write Blog-hop (better late than never)!

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About a month ago, I was approached by Seamus of Dadinating the Country Side to take part in a blog-hop with the theme of ‘Why I Write’. He was so kind and patient as we emailed back and forth, with me wondering if I’d already exhausted that topic in a post I’d written a little while back…on the topic of Why I Write! He reassured me that it was a little different and with that, my arm was twisted (wasn’t going to take much convincing to be honest).

I love reading his blog because it is filled with honesty and humour, it gives a dad’s (and a good one at that) perspective on life with kids and it is pretty cool how he’s made a tree change with his family and he gets to do weird and wonderful stuff like making salami and growing an orchard!

I was so flattered to read Seamus’ glowing review of my own blog and finally after a month of shamelessly reliving my holiday in Korea and Japan through blogging (I really need to let it go haha), I am ready to do my part and complete my contribution to the blog-hop! To be honest, I don’t even know if anyone cares about this anymore and I fear that most of my favourite bloggers have already participated, but I shall do my best! By the way, I would have totally nominated Seamus first if I’d had the chance!

Here we go!

What am I working on?

Right now I’ve just finished documenting my huge family journey overseas to Singapore, Korea and Japan. Now, I’m just trying to get back to real life and finding inspiration in the ‘every day’. I am trying to up my game a little bit and blog more often than my previous once-a-week on average – writing is just a great ritual each day (when I can fit it in).

How does my writing differ from those in my genre?

I suppose my genre is mostly ‘parenting’, but I think my blog encompasses all parts of my life. I don’t know that I’m anything really revolutionary or completely refreshingly unique, but I suppose I am me and no-one else is me or has my exact life or writing style. I talk about being adopted and what it means for me as a grown person and now a parent. I write about life with my toddler the Little Mister. I share how we bumble through life and I try to be really honest about it – for better or…not so better. I don’t believe in stupid ‘mummy wars’ – there’s enough of that out there.

Why do I write?

I write because writing is such a massive part of who I am, that if I couldn’t I would be a certifiable mess (and I’m not even joking). I love sorting my thoughts out by writing. I express myself the best when it’s in written form. I might not be amazing at drawing, painting, or using my hands to create things, but writing? Writing is my way of being creative. It’s an amazing outlet for me, especially in my role as a SAHM or as a mum in general, and I love blogging because I get to not only share my writing with others (and have an excuse to do it regularly) but I get to be a part of a really cool blogging community!

See more of why I write here.

How does my process work?

I don’t know that I have a set process. I’m always looking for inspiration. Sometimes something funny will happen that I want to record, or there will be some kind of event in my life that I want to talk about. The Little Mister might go through a milestone and I might want to share that. I might just have a thought on a certain ‘hot’ topic that I need to vent about. I sometimes write a note on my phone or simply make a mental note. If I don’t have time to blog right then or the mood hasn’t really taken me, I will open a new post and draft a couple of words so I remember to come back to it.

It might take me days to finish one post, because I’m busy catering to the needs of the Little Mister and trying to keep things afloat on the home front, but that’s OK with me! It can sometimes improve the quality of my bloggings because I can look at a draft with fresh eyes the next day.

I just write to my heart’s content! I spend a while proof reading and trying to make sure it’s not too hard to read. Sometimes I’ll edit it a few times before clicking ‘publish’ because I can be a perfectionist. Other times, I will say, “NOW OR NEVER” and click it with my eyes closed because if I don’t I might chicken out!

Who do I want you to meet?

Here are the three bloggers I want to introduce you to. There is no pressure for you to participate in the blog-hop if you do not wish to (or already have), but I just wanted to pass on the love. Let me know if you do, so I can promote the crap out of it 🙂

Sweet Mama M

This lovely woman is someone I’d definitely consider a friend, even though we’ve never met! She is definitely as sweet as her blog name suggests. Her blog is fantastic as it chronicles her life as a wife and new mama to the gorgeous baby CJ. She writes really useful reviews of great local NZ parenting products and places to shop/eat (and how child/baby friendly they are) too! If only someone would do that for where I live (I’m too lazy for now haha). She sadly lost her mother to cancer two years ago and the courage she shows in writing about her journey through the grief is inspiring. I have no doubt it will help others out there who have been through something similar.

Bec from Seeing the Lighter Side of Parenting 

Bec has been a great inspiration. While she had me at her blog title (who doesn’t want to see the lighter side of parenting in this crazy world?), I have loved watching her blog grow. I love her humour, her honesty and her blogging community spirit (I am so honoured that she takes the time to read my blog too). I was so excited and cheering her on when she popped up as a guest blogger on Woogsworld and iVillage Australia recently. She’s definitely one to watch!

I know she has already participated in the blog-hop but I really wanted to mention her x

Lisa from Two Point Five Kids 

I know it’s a bit of a theme with me but I really really love blogs that include both honesty and humour. Lisa’s blog has both. I love reading about her life as a police wife and mum. She really doesn’t hold back much and I love it. She’s the blogger I wish I was brave enough to be! She has even been known to make me laugh, get misty eyed and say, “OH NO SHE DIDN’T!” (in a good way) all in one sitting! I love her sense of integrity as a blogger too.

A special mention also goes to Bruce of Big Family, little income  who wanted to nominate me, but I was too busy ignoring his email (accidentally of course) while I was travelling – guess what…his blog contains honesty and humour just like all the others I have nominated – what do you know??

R U OK?

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Have you ever been in Struggletown (like really really trying to hold onto sanity) and not had the words to tell someone about it? Have you ever felt like talking to those close to you might make them feel burdened with your problems, so you hold onto them tight? Have you ever been scared that you might be considered to be whingey and mopey if you tell people what you’re really going through? Scared you’ll bring everyone down? Annoy them? Or have you held secrets about your well being close to your chest and not known how to express them or feel safe doing so? Have you ever felt that crushing fear of being vulnerable? Putting your heart out on your sleeve?

I have. Many a time. Let’s face it. I’m Kez and I am sh*t at asking for help. I am sh*t at telling people the deep, dark stuff. Truly. You wouldn’t think it. I’m such a bloody chatterbox and I am generally quite in touch with my feelings. I can talk about feelings quite well (mostly in writing or in counselling) but there’s only so far I can go when I am truly having a rough time. It’s not that I don’t trust anyone, far from it. I get scared that I’m going to be that high maintenance friend. That drama llama. Oh, yes. That Kez. She’s got *whispers* issues. All the time. Or sometimes I’m scared that if I say it out loud, I’ll be judged or worse, hurt even more.

I’ve often been known to use my smile to cover my vulnerabilities. Lots of positive talk. A bounce in my step. I wonder if anyone would even think I don’t have an awesome life? I mean, I do. It’s just that when it’s less than awesome, I wonder if anyone can see past my facade. Ironically, sometimes I even cover up my own feelings/struggles by helping others with theirs and neglecting my own…yeah, I know. I promise that’s not what I’m doing while writing this post. PROMISE 🙂

Sometimes in life, you just hope that someone will reach out and ask, “Are you OK?”

Just check in with you and take the fear away.

Well, they asked me if I’m OK so they must want the answer. Maybe it’s OK to tell them the truth. Maybe they don’t see my feelings as a burden after all.

It can feel like such a relief – like you’re able to breathe out again. It can be the start of a rewarding journey back to yourself (or the rest of the world) or it can resolve the horrible feeling of a problem eating away at you. Perhaps when the burden is shared, it lessens.

September 12 (that’s tomorrow) is R U OK Day. It’s something I really believe in and I am so glad it exists. Here’s the little blurb directly from the website:

What is the R U OK? Foundation?

The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support those struggling with life.

R U OK?Day is our national day of action on the second Thursday of September (12 September 2013), and dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family and friends. We also have Resources for You to use throughout the year to help you ask ‘are you ok?’ regularly of family, friends and colleagues.

You can visit the website here – you can find advice on how to ask someone if they’re OK as well as inspirational stories about people who dared to ask the question – and those who had the courage to answer them.

You just don’t know if you might be saving a life, by asking such a simple, compassionate question.

While R U OK Day might only be one day, it can inspire you to think about how to ask those you care about how they are throughout the year. I know that this campaign has given me the courage to ask the question many a time where in the past I might have chickened out. What if it’s none of my business? What if I’m intruding? What if I’ve imagined this person’s struggle in my head and I’m going to make a fool of myself? What if asking the question makes the other person run away from me? What if…I get a truly honest, heartbreaking answer and I don’t know what to do about it?

The R U OK Foundation says we just need to listen without judgement – we don’t need to fix everything or have all the answers. Starting the conversation in the first place can be very valuable.

I promise that the times I’ve had to dig deep to take the step of asking someone if they were OK, I have never regretted it. Just listen to your gut – if it’s telling you to ask because you truly care – and don’t ignore it. That person might have needed you to ask that very day. So, you get knocked back? That person still knows you care, even if they’re in too much pain (or even denial) to realise right away.

I have not been asked to promote R U OK Day (although would be very open to it in the future) and have nothing to gain by posting about it. It truly is something that I believe will make the world of difference to someone who is struggling. I’m sure we can all relate on some level as either the ‘asker’ or the ‘answerer’. While I have quoted the R U OK Day Foundation on this post (as clearly as possible), the opinions in it are mine only and I speak from personal experience.

I want my readers (regular or first time visitors) to know that I really do care about your well being.

So I’ll ask the question, which I mean from the bottom of my heart and truly care for the answer.

Are you OK? What’s happening for you right now? How are you feeling?

You can privately message me on Facebook, email me, DM me on Twitter or leave a comment on this post (you may use an anonymous username if you prefer – your email address is never published). Anything you tell me privately will not be shared and will not be judged. I just want you to know that I’m listening.

I hope that you will ask the question tomorrow too. It could be the start of a very important conversation.

x

Nostalgia…or a 1/3 life crisis.

Ever since my little music festival jaunt, I’ve rediscovered my love for live music. For that, I am very grateful. It’s like a spark in me has been re-ignited and I’m seizing what’s left of my youth (if anything haha). I’ve decided that I need to see more live acts and feel that electric atmosphere when a band begins to play, the crowd goes off and even the music that can seem lacklustre on your radio, suddenly becomes the BEST SOUND YOU’VE EVER HEARD.

I’ve also been having my 1/3 life crisis (let’s face it, I’m too old for a quarter life crisis and too young for a middle aged crisis), while enjoying national radio station Triple J’s awesome flashbacks to the last 20 years of Hottest 100 songs recently.

This got me thinking about the bands I’ve seen live. I’ve never made a big list. I’m sure it’s a lot more extensive than I think it is. Here are some of the acts I could see over and over. Some highlights.

Silverchair

I was never into Hanson, the Backstreet Boys or whoever the young, fresh faced boy bands of the era were. I was into Nirvana and Silverchair. Grunge, baby. To this day, I am quite proud of ‘past’ me. I had THE biggest crush on Daniel Johns (lead singer/guitarist). I knew everything there was to know about the band. It was ridiculous.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZD982yrmx4]

Ben Harper

My husband and I walked down the aisle to this song at our wedding. Mr Harper is seriously talented. It’s ridiculous.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHzAVDg4m1Q]

Jack Johnson

My husband and I took our first dance as husband and wife to this song. Now, the Little Mister likes Jack Johnson’s music. I’ve played it to him since he was in my belly 🙂

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u57d4_b_YgI]

Mat McHugh (The Beautiful Girls)

I could sit on a beach and listen to Mr McHugh’s tunes (in all his incarnations) forever. This music is infused into my soul, I swear.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ss9XSirBWI]

Veruca Salt

Look, there’s a girl rocker in me from way back. It was Veruca Salt and Hole. I would screech along like a mad, angsty teen (I was one) until my mum would quite frankly tell me I’d need a day job. I got to see Veruca Salt at a music festival and I was in girl crush heaven. I was also probably one of very few punters there who knew all the lyrics to all the songs. I felt old even then (maybe 10 years ago?).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyVSKydUxKk]

 

Who are your favourite bands to see live? 

This post is a part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. 



Blog love.

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When I’m not working on my blog, I’m most certainly p*ssing about on Twitter or Facebook. No wait, that’s not right. I mean, it’s mostly true, but it’s not what I am trying to say today…

I really really enjoy reading other people’s blogs. I find them inspiring and I just love the privilege of having a sneak peek into somebody else’s life. I love to see how another person writes, what their world looks like to them, and if I can get a laugh or a cry out of something then I’m hooked. Bonus points if I can relate and feel like I’m sharing someone’s experience.

I thought about writing a love note to one blogger that I really enjoy reading about, but to be honest I cannot narrow it down to one. If you’d love to sit down for a bit and check out some fantastic reads, then here is my list (I only ever mention bloggers that I believe are so awesome that their awesomeness deserves to be shared). Please note that I have some favourites that will not be shared in this post, due to previous honourable mentions in my post about ‘daddy bloggers’ last year (click the link to check them out because they’re totally worth it).

Don’t Quit Your Day Job – A Chronicle of Mommy Mishaps

I have only just discovered this blogger and I am in bloggy love. Vicki is a SAHM (a former marketing executive – which sounds very exciting and important to me) and because of her professional background, I just know that I cannot sell her to you as well as she does in her ‘about me’ blurb…

“I have searched the blogosphere for other people who share my same appreciation for all things wacky. If for no other reason than to make myself feel like I’m not alone. But most of the ladies out there are way too Martha Stewart for me. I can’t relate to them. They are either really creepy Pinterest-perfect, skinny Supermoms or maybe they are just completely fabricated and they secretly go in their closet at the end of the day and get in the fetal position. (No offense to perfect people). Either way, I’m hoping if you find yourself here you can read a story that you can relate to. No BS, no sugar-coating. Just real life stuff. And maybe my daily life stories can help you get through a situation or maybe just smile a little.”

Now I don’t know about you, but she is totally my kind of person. Her blog is really easy to read and has a massive likeability factor. She’s funny and clever. I’ve not read a single post of hers that I haven’t enjoyed. I’m not just saying that either.

Twinkle in the Eye

This blog by Bree is great. It’s an attractive site and one of the blogs where I never skip over her posts. I literally read every single one. Bree shares her life as a mum, wife and a great individual. I am inspired by how well she has set up her blog and turned it not just into a hobby, but a little business. She’s a smart cookie 🙂

Make-Up and Mirtazapine

This blog blows me away every time I read it. This is basically the ongoing story of someone striving to make their life better, despite having battled some pretty cruel mental illness. Each post documents her ups and downs, along with her amazingly insightful observations on life. No joke, every time I read a new post, I come away inspired by her strength and her journey. She is an honest blogger and she is brave. I don’t know if I could be that brave, but I am grateful she shares her life the way that she does.

Mommy Man: Adventures of a Gay Super Dad

As you know, I really do enjoy a great ‘daddy blog’. This one makes me laugh, moves me and makes me even more passionate that gay people all over the world deserve to have their own families (something I’ve always believed in but this guy should be the poster boy – along with NPH haha). This guy (Jerry) is fantastic. He blogs about his family life with his two gorgeous twin toddlers and he is honest, candid and funny!

I believe that it’s blogs like this that will slowly help to change society’s ignorant views on what a family looks like. Jerry is a parent. Not just a gay parent. All of his struggles, triumphs and funny anecdotes are those of any parent trying their best to wrangle a couple of kids and get out alive 🙂 Truly a great read.

Jill of All Trades

When I first started reading this blog, I thought the blogger’s name was Jill. This was very confusing to me because she kept referring to herself as Samantha. Silly Kez. Once I figured that out, I realised just how funny this chick is. Her blog is made even funnier with her stick figure self portraits and funny illustrations. Samantha/Jill is not afraid of the TMI and I just love that. She’s just so charming about it!

I hope that you will enjoy these blogs as much as I do 🙂

This post is a part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge.