How Skateboarding Saved My Life Sparkle

I am scared to share this. Not because I am embarassed, not because I think it is something that should be hidden away. Yet, I still do it. I hide it away.

I hide that I am struggling with mental health issues. Or, at least I never really bring it up anywhere. It feels safer not to. But I also feel like a coward sometimes.

I am scared, because I fear people’s judgement of me. I fear that friends will back away from us. I fear that potential future employers will exclude my applications. I even fear that friends and acquaintainces will treat me with pity. I don’t need pity.

I have an illness that will never go away. But I have learned to deal with it. Just like a person with diabetes deals with her illness.

I have learned to manage my ups and downs to a degree where I am totally able to live a good life – and one day I might even be a good wife. For now I just concentrate on being a loving mum, a caring girlfriend, a good student, a decent friend – and I am trying to have as much fun along the way as I can. And I can do this. I am doing this.

With a little help from my old faithful.

Skateboarding has a special place in my heart and here is why…

You see, almost eight years ago I was in a dark, dark place in my mind. It was so dark that I had to go to hospital for several months to see the light again.

The doctors prescribed me different drugs, I got therapy sessions, did yoga and mindfullness, came on a healthy diet and was allowed to rest and heal. It was all a combination that slowly, slowly brought me back to life. But one thing that really made a difference to me, and still does, was my skateboard.

I will never forget when my doctor ordered me to go skating each and every day. I thought she was kidding. She was not. She had seen what skating did to me. She had witnessed how getting out there in the streets made me happier. How I had a tiny bit more sparkle in my eyes when I returned.

I needed fresh air and I needed exercise. And I needed to feel free. Skateboarding gave me all these things – and more. It also provided me with a social setting where there was no judgement. Some of the friends I have made through skating has proven to be the most genuine ones out there. In fact, it was one of these friends who picked me up from the hospital when I got released back then. On his skateboard, but of course. To this day, he is still one of my most loyal friends/supporters. Even if we haven’t really seen each other for almost a decade.

It matters.

Skateboarding helped me through my darkest of darkest times. Yet, it also showed me the way to a happy place. A place where I regained my confidence and hope for the future. A place where I learned to focus on myself in a positive perspective.

A place where I keep returning to and it never fails me.

So when I take Abby skateboarding it is not only for her sake. Then again, indirectly it is – because it helps me to be a better parent.

And hey, all that deep sh*t being said, what it often really comes down to – it’s fun! We have fun together – pretty much the best medicine you can get.

I would choose a skatepark over a playground any day. Or even over being a gymnastics-, swimming- and soccer-mom.

Sitting on the sideline for footy or cricket can give me serious anxiety. It is stressful with the little sisters around and I get so socially awkward when hanging out around the other parents there.

Skateparks are different. I feel at home and relaxed. Even with three little ratbags in tow the skateparks around Brisbane are truly helping me feel more at home in Australia.

Oh, just for the record – no, I am not a very good skater. I started way too late. But I love it and it still heals me on dark days and makes me even happier on the good ones.

Just like writing makes me happy. I have actually missed writing in here, but I have been stuck on something to write about.

Once again, skateboarding got me going.

If you are following my Instagram (if not, go do it, ay!) you have probably noticed that Abby has fallen head over heals in love with skateboarding lately. So if my writing urge keeps up I will try and do a little something about her skating journey and generally how kids’ skateboarding is done (right) here in The Sunshine State.

Until then…

Skate or die!

Or do whatever gives you positive energy. Do it! Seriously❤️

What Made You Happy Today?

Seriously, think about it for a while. It is so easy to get caught up in all the negative stuff that happens around us. Especially when the everyday is rolling away and chores and errends and jobs and tasks and demands and what-not fills up our days. We get stressed. We get tired. We get grumpy. Sometimes we get bored. I get bored a lot. Then the negativity spiral takes off. Damn it.

Negativity breeds negativity

I read this article explaining how emotions are contagious, the negative once even more so:

“Many experts believe that negative emotions are a lot easier to catch than positive ones. Some believe this is reflective of our evolutionary past wherein being highly attuned to other people’s negative emotions (pain, fear, and disgust) was directly linked to survival. Those who could pick up on someone else’s pain, fear, and disgust were more likely to survive than those who could not.

But – positivity also breeds positivity. Phew!

It most definitely does. Take it from the experts and take it from me, the self-acclaimed negative/positive expert that I am.

Saying positive things. Doing positive things. It spreads positive vibes.

So, am I positve all day everyday? Hell no. I am often the opposite. I am prone to dwelving in my own missery, but that is exactly why I need to do something active and conscious to force the positivity into my life – otherwise it all gets too dark and dull to handle. Worst of all, I can give my negative vibe onto my kiddos.

My bag of little tricks to boost my own and my family’s positive spirit is pretty jam packed. I think I need to use it even more, ay?

Well, this particular trick is a family one, because our family needs to calm the fuck down and be postive every night – we can be such a bunch of whingers otherwise.

What is it we do?

It is pretty simple and something everyone can do every day. We eat dinner together every night and while eating we take turns in telling the other which three things that made us happy during the day. Simple.

Does it really work?

Yes! Focusing on some positive things that we experienced during the day help us to:

1. Start good conversations about the day around the table.

3. Give everyone a chance to get a word in and be heard.

2. Focus on the positives and go to bed with that in mind – or at least we can remind us self that life isn’t that bad afterall.

It might sound basic, but, as you know, back to basic is the new black. Some days it is really easy. Some days it can actually be pretty hard. On all days it is a good idea.

Here are some examples from our dinner table:

Today it made me happy (kids edition)…

…to play with my friends.

…to eat pizza here with you right now.

…to play in the sandpit.

…that I love my whole family.

…to get lollies.

…to swim in the pool.

…to play games together.

And the adult edition…

to paint the bathroom.

…to have a nap.

…to see Lulu take her first steps.

…when you girls played nicely together.

…to finish my assignment.

…to hear back from that job.

…to get the shopping done.

And one that very often goes again around the table:

Right now, eating dinner together.

As you can see, it does not have to be huge magnificent things. It can be, but it can also be tiny little things that made your day better in some way or another.

Have a go yourselves tonight and let me know how you go. Also, be a bit patient. It somehow gets better over time. At least that is my experience.

What has made you happy today?

❤️

Friday Mood

Friday is probably our favorite day of the week. Dooh! I mean, who doesn’t love Fridays? It’s a given, right?! Even if you – like us – aren’t working, Friday is still special. I don’t know, it’s something about the general mood of the town. That, and the fact that it’s socially acceptable to have an afternoon beer, because…it was such a long and hard week and…finally the weekend is here! You’ve deserved it. The beer, that is.

Today has been no different. The mood has been great and for the first time in a long time we have just been home doing home-stuff all day. Abby has been in school and Billie has been living the life with iPad and snacks galore. No complaints. Lulu is just her chiller self. She’s a pretty chilled baby in general. She’s happy as long as she can explore and do whatever she wants, really.

Anyways, I almost finished my mission of the day – my rearranging of our patio-project.

Before photos:

I still need to do a bit of painting and we need to get some lighting for the dinner area – potentially some pendants?

After photos:

Ohh, and we most definitely need more plants. It has been so hot lately that the plants have been struggling to survive on the patio, so we relocated them to our carport. Now some of them are back in action, but we need to get more, for sure.

I love this space now. It feels so much more like an extension of the house instead of just a patio. We’ve got ourselves an extra lounge room. Yay!

Tonight we will have our first BBQ here and very soon I will open a beer and drink it in my new, favorite coffee/beer spot.

Cheers!

Have a great weekend❤️

Missing Mis

Our cat is missing. Our eldest cat, that is. We have two of them. Her name is Mis, Danish for cat, because that’s how creative we are.

We got her when Abby was one year old, and she really is part of our family now.

She’s a bit of a weirdo in the cat world. She goes into other people’s houses – also the people who definitely doesn’t feed her. The ones who are allergic to cats and find it a tiny bit annoying that this random cat always tries to sneak in their door. Mis is very curious and trusting, I guess.

Unfortunately, she gets herself into Mischief(!) in some people’s eyes.

While we were in Denmark over Christmas I got a Facebook message from an animal shelter telling me that they had our cat in custody. At first I thought it was spam, but nope – Mis had taken a Christmas holiday at the shelter.

Our neighbour went to pick her up and got told that someone had found Mis tied to a tree next to Main Street, a couple of blocks from our house. Luckily they reacted and brought her to the shelter. Tied to a tree! Who would do that? Why? I mean, even if you don’t like cats that’s a pretty fucked up thing to do. Also, this cat would most definitely put up a serious fight. No-one ties her to a tree without feeling her “love” and sharp claws, that’s for sure.

Now, we have checked all trees in the neighbourhood and she’s not currently tied to any of them.

To do something, we have been out putting flyers in people’s letter boxes and hanging posters on poles.

Last night a lady actually texted us, saying she saw our cat in her yard on Sunday afternoon – I’m surprised anyone even remembers exactly which cat was in a garden at a given time. Anyways, that means she was seen two days after she went MIA from our house. Good. Hopefully she’s just gone walkabout and will return soon. She has done that before.

Fingers crossed. Abby and Billie will be devestated if she doesn’t come back. So will Josh and I – and when(!) she comes back, Josh is ordering GPS-trackers for her and Max, our other cat. No escaping then – Big Brother will be watching, kittens!

❤️

Weekend Vibes

I love our weekends here in Brisbane. The everyday is up and down – but the weekends are special to us.

When we lived in Wollongong Josh worked shift-work and he very rarely had the weekends off and, anyway, we never knew if he did until Friday afternoon at 4 pm. so we didn’t have much time to plan anything. So yeah, back then weekends were pretty random. If Josh was working I was just hanging out with the kids like on every other day. If Josh had the weekend off we mostly went to Sydney so he could play soccer with his friends. It was actually pretty hyggeligt. I sometimes miss the continuety of knowing that I would hang out with some friends and have a beer or three on the weekend. If we had a “real” weekend, that is.

However, even if we often opt for the same activities the weekends up here are ours completely – and I really, really appreciate them!

Our weekends start out Friday afternoon, I guess.

Like, this Friday we took a ferry (free city ferry, I love it) went to the Gallery of Moderne Art Brisbane for a couple of hours, listened to some LIVE music in a park and went to the beach pool aka. South Bank with some friends before we went home to have a sneaky Maccas meal followed by our Friday movie and Friday lollies – that’s a tradition, don’t mess with it!

Saturday was pretty chilled. No big plans. The mood was good all around all day – not a given with three kids, I tell ya.

Today the weekend peaked at the beach. Being a bit homesick for Denmark I had to be reminded of why it’s so amazing to live here. Why we are so lucky to live in this little gem of a spot. And I was. Reminded.

People travel so far to experience this. We have it in our backyard. Well, a backyard an hour from our house, but still. Going here with friends on a normal Sunday in January is not too bad at all.

And ohhh my, the feeling of freedom when I’m out there on my board. Then I almost forget how annoying the girls were in the car on the way there…

…and now, as I write this in the car on the way home, all three girls are sleeping/relaxing with no complaints about life whatsoever.

The beach is always a good idea!

Josh got into uni and I painted a door

Boom! Reality hits big time next week – and it’s quite okay. Josh got accepted into The University of Queensland today and starts his studies there next week. That is huge news for us, since we haven’t really known up until today if he would get into uni this semester or if he’d have to wait for the next semester start in July. Thankfully he can start now and I think it will be really good for both him and us that he will be able to concentrate 100% on his studies (and on family duties, but of course) and not worry about a job on the side for now, since that is the constellation we have opted for atm. Hopefully it will get him through his studies faster and with an even better outcome than if he worked nearly fulltime on the side.

I know I am excited for him (actually a bit jaloux, so am planning on applying for the July or February 2019 start myself) and I am pretty sure that he is excited to get back into his studies and even start at a completely new uni. Hey, he even got a new bike today so he can use it for his daily commute. He’s so Copenhagen, these days.

So yeah, those are probably the biggest news from our little family these days. Otherwise I can mention that I have finally found out where I am going to give birth to our third baby and I am even in ‘the baby factory system’ up here now. A bit of stress off my shoulders there, really.

Ohh, and the girls’ room is done, or nearly done. We still need to add some new furniture and some lamps and posters and stuff, but they can now use their room and they love it. It’s very obvious that they have missed having a base in the house that is theirs – with no clutter or moving boxes. We have a tiny bit less conflicts and more selfmotivated playtime now. Bliss!

Now we’ve moved our painting gear into the spareroom and will, hopefully, have that done by tomorrow night. I still have this utopian plan that we will be done with the entire internal part of the house come uni start for Josh – as in, on Monday. Yup.

Speaking of, I better get my painting outfit on and paint some doors or some windows or some skirting or some walls or…

We’ve got this!

Love M.

Sponsored by Wheat

If you are following my instagram account you might have noticed that lately I have published some photos and stories of the girls wearing clothes from the Danish brand Wheat.

The reason for this – besides that I sincerely love that brand – is that we recently started a collaboration with them where we receive some of their amazing clothes and shoes (from Bundgaard shoes) for the girls and in return I send them some photos of the girls wearing those before mentioned outfits. Photos they then use (or don’t) on their instagram and webpages.

It is the first collaboration we have done and to be honest I have been a little bit cautious about doing something like this. My instagram account is not a major one in the game so the brands I have been approcahed by so far have been something I didn’t really want to be associated with or simple wasn’t interested in testing/using/wearing (for me or the kids). So, I’ve turned all offers down so far.

Then Wheat contacted me a while ago and asked if I would help them promote their new Australian branch Wheat Down Under by being a so-called storyteller for them.

For the Aussies than don’t know, Wheat is a Danish kids clothes brand – which happens to be one of my absolute favourite kids clothes brands, actually. They make beatiful clothes of a really high quality, mostly organic and sustainable and they have a great mix of basics and more uniqe designs.

Hey, Billie even got christened in a Wheat dress. So yeah, we have been fans for a while and that definitely has made it easier to agree on the terms we have gone into this co-lab on. Terms that I actually find very fair.

So far it has only been fun for the girls. They haven’t been forced to pose anymore than usual(!) and they have been over the moon about the new clothes they have received. I control 100% which photos I send to Wheat Down Under so in that way I control which photos they potentially publish of my children.

If, for some reason, we wish to stop the collaboration we will do so – for now the girls are still having fun being little models and we can’t wait to get the new autumn and winter clothes soon. So much goodness is coming our way and the girls will be warm, dry and stylish all through autumn and winter, that’s for sure.

And if you, like us, love the suttle but beautiful scandi design and is a sucker for good quality go check their sites out – Wheat Down Under and for shoes and sandals Bundgaard shoes – you won’t be disappointed and might spot a Dalsgaard McMahon girl or two in there if you’re lucky 🙂

Love M.❤️