Archive for the ‘What are Special Moments?’ Category

Simple Pleasures are the Best

July 2, 2008

The summer holidays have begun, and in true Irish style, it is raining!!!

Anyway, the weather isn’t bothering us.  We had a lovely walk in the rain yesterday.  Niamh couldn’t wait to get togged out in wellies and raincoat and umbrella.  Today we had a picnic in the television room, and we read some of Harry Potter. 

For me, I have had so many Special Moments over the past few days.  We are all much more relaxed because there is nowhere we have to be this week, and I am noticing countless Special Moments throughout the day.  One was watching the two boys messing together in the kitchen trying to perfect a new funny walk they had created.  Another was watching them dancing on the deck in their pyjamas in the rain.

For me personally, I have been much more relaxed this week and I have been taking time out in between work times.  I have been enjoying some brilliant novels and pottering in the garden.

I love summertime!

Wishing you countless Special Moments every day.  I hope the sun shines, wherever you are.



Didn’t Feel ‘Special’ Enough for Special Moments

June 21, 2008

Hi all,

I haven’t posted for a little while.  It has been an up and down time.  But today, I’m back on track!!!  Its lashing outside.  The weather is miserable, and its Midsummers Day, which is making everyone here in Ireland feel very sorry for themselves.  But I’ve had the best day I’ve had for a long time.

What is the difference?  Today I feel great.  I feel good about myself, and that means that I can easily notice the Special Moments throughout the day.  The very same moments have been there every other day, but for the past little while, I haven’t been feeling good enough to be aware of them.  Today, they were magical moments.

What is the key then?  Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel special.  Honestly, that’s it!!!  When you feel special, when you feel good, you are in a space to notice the magical moments, and immediately the world is a magical place – its the same world – you simply notice the magic in the ordinary!

So what turned it around for me?  Well – and this might turn many of you right off – I have been doing a course on Angel Card Reading and I am loving it.  Basically, it opens you up to receiving direction from the angels.  At the class yesterday I had a beautiful reading from one of the other students, Noreen, and from Ann O’Connor, who runs the classes (a beautiful soul who touches so many!).  It just turned me around – took the negative glasses off and returned the magical ones. 

Today could have been a really crap day.  I had wanted to get some gardening done – the beds are all planted now, but the weeds in the existing beds in the front garden are getting to scary sizes!  Also, we had planned to head off to a Medieval Festival close-by, by the rain put paid to all that.  Instead, I took my eldest son into town for lunch, and while in town I bought myself a wonderful new book about gardening.  Then we just had a lazy afternoon.  I rang a friend I hadn’t spoken to for ages, and we had a great chat.  I cooked a lovely dinner and set the table with a table cloth and candles, and we all watched Dr. Who, our current family favourite, together.

Here’s to countless magical days for us all!!!

Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel special – it will change your world!!!



The Countdown to Summer Holidays is On!

May 26, 2008

Well, its not really in keeping with the whole Special Moments philosophy, which is to celebrate the ordinary every day, enjoying the now rather than wishing your life away, but the kids got in the holiday spirit today by making out a countdown to summer holidays poster.

It gave me a few Special Moments because I love when they work together on something that I feel is good for them.  They were using their initiative, designing something, and they were working together.  Okay – there were a few blips, a few tears, a few rows (sometimes their negotiation skills would be classed as – dare I say it – bullying!!!), but in the end, Ciaran and Niamh produced a poster that is pinned up in our hall, and they can mark down all the school days til the summer holidays.

Tomorrow we are going to start our annual tradition of making our list of things we want to do over the summer holidays.  The list will take a few weeks to evolve.  It will include things like a trip to Fota – a zoo in Cork, a trip to Tintern Abbey in Wexford (a magical place), a day at the beach.  You get the picture!  Every year we make a list like this and put it up on the wall, and over the 8 or 9 weeks the kids are off school, we do them all. 

Its a brilliant way to make sure we make the most of the summer holidays, and everybody gets to say what they want to do.

Today, however, it is lashing rain and the wind is absolutely howling.  My new plants are taking a battering.  I had a VERY sad moment today when I saw that my new Peony has been hammered by the wind.  I haven’t investigated full yet, but it may be fatal!!!  Oh well, maybe there’s a Special Moment in store for me tomorrow when I find out that I have been wrong, and it might actually flower this year after all.

Wishing you countless Special Moments every day.




Free Plant Retail Therapy – Concentrated Special Moments!

May 20, 2008

Today was the day!!!  I have been thinking about and getting ready for this day since my birthday, 4 weeks ago.

For my 40th birthday, some of my friends got together and got me a voucher they knew I would love – a voucher for the local garden centre.  I have been digging two new large beds for a herbaceous border, and I have started planting them – moving plants from other parts of the garden to their new home.

Today was the day I got an hour to myself to head into the Garden Centre for some wonderful retail therapy.  I used to work there, so it was doubly nice to get a trolley and mosey around as a customer while the people working there were haring around answering queries and serving customers. 

I had a voucher for €100 and the total came to – wait for it – €100.15!!!  Didn’t I do well? 

What was in my shopping basket?

2 Peony roses – my new passion
2 Astilbes
1 Phlox
1 Dierama
3 hanging red geraniums for pots I have
A selection of Alpines for the front of the bed.
A drum of Poultry Manure – I find it a brilliant plant food

This was only half the stash.  Yesterday I went to the nursery that I used to work at and there I picked up:

3 Lavender
3 Nepeta Six Hills Giant
3 Alchemilla Mollis
1 Fuschia
3 Hostas
1 Artemesia
1 Agapanthus
1 Perovskia
1 Viola Columbine
1 Anemone
1 Rosemary
1 Convulvulus

The feeling of driving home with my car full of plants is fantastic.  My new plant babies are positioned on the bed, and are ready for planting.  Hopefully I can get to that this evening.  I hope I manage to leave enough room for all the annual cosmos, lavatera, larkspur cornflowers and hollyhock I have coming on nicely!

Gardening provides so many of my Special Moments.  For me, there is nothing quite like the thrill of planting and watching a bed develop, deadheading and minding and cutting flowers through the summer.

Watch out – you might just catch the bug! 

Wishing you countless Special Moments every day.




The Perfect Sunday!

May 20, 2008

I had the perfect Sunday this week.  Wait for it:

A lie on in the morning.  Then out to sing with the choir at the First Communion Mass, which was beautiful, and off to the parish hall to help with the teas – that was the sociable bit, and it was lovely to see everyone and catch up.

Then home where we cooked up a lovely big brunch.  After that I headed down to change into my gardening gear.  I was feeling a little discontent at this time.  You know the way – noticing all the things that weren’t done, and not even seeing all the things that were – have you been there?  I wanted to get lots done, but in truth I was exhausted and getting cranky.  When I started to change, the bed was beckoning.  Everyone was busy doing their own thing, so I climbed in – just for 5 minutes, you understand!  Now this is not something I normally do of an afternoon, but it might just become part of the routine!  It was fantastic.  I fell fast asleep for an hour or so, and woke up rejuvenated. 

Out into the garden I went.  While I was asleep – the others had been working!!!  Without me nagging them!!!  The henhouse had been moved into the newly built hen run.  Yahoo!!  At last!!  The hens had to be rounded up to be introduced to their new home – that meant a half hour running around the garden after them, which was brilliant fun.  Then off to move some of my plants to a new bed I am working on, and potting up some annuals that are ready for a bigger home.  Heaven!

Then, to top it all off, there was an Indiana Jones film on at 8, so the kids all showered and got ready for bed, and we all snuggled up to watch Harrison Ford for a couple of hours.  It was brilliant.  The kids are at the perfect age to follow it all.  It was hilarious actually!  Then the kids went off to bed, and we watched another film and drank too much wine – again!

Like I said – the perfect day for me!

Wishing you countless Special Moments every day.



Slow down, you move too fast…

May 12, 2008

Remember the Simon & Garfunkel song:

“Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobble stones,
Looking for fun and Feelin’ Groovy.”

Yesterday I noticed a pattern – I am a “Doer” – by that I mean that I am constantly “doing” something.  I measure the day by how much I can achieve. 

So keeping busy and doing things and moving things forward is all very well, but I think it only hides the simple fact that I find it impossible to sit and “shoot the breeze”. 

Yesterday, Sunday, was a beautiful sunny day here.  We have had about 10 days of fantastic weather and that is so unusual for Ireland!  Well, of course, I was in my usual mode of making the most of the sunshine.  Does that mean relaxing and soaking up the rays?  Not at all – it means digging the garden, moving plants around, weeding vegetable beds and… and …. and…  The kids were playing around, but every time they asked me to come and do something I told them I was busy.  Is this stuff of Special Moments?  Not really.  This is the stuff of being like a robot – constantly moving forward and not allowing anything to take you off course.

Anyway, we had a barbeque in the late afternoon and I had a beer.  I was sitting enjoying the last of my beer.  I wasn’t “doing” anything.  Niamh was swinging on the swings, and she called to me to look at her show me how she could make herself go higher all by herself.  She was just delighted with herself.  Now THERE was a Special Moment!!!  I realised with a start that I have been forgetting to stop, pause, and see what there is about any moment that makes it special.

So am I doing any better today?  A little bit – and thats all it takes.  I need to re-train myself to slow down, and to spend some time just doing nothing – maybe its one of the paths to happiness!!!

Wishing you countless Special Moments.

With love,


Sporty Saturday Mornings

May 3, 2008

We protected our Saturday morning lie-on vehemently for so long, and this year we gave it up completely.

The kids are all into different sports – one into soccer, one into rugby, and one has just started camogie.  That means that they all train in different places at different times, but mainly on Saturday mornings.

I don’t admit it very often, but I actually love Saturday mornings.  I love to go and stand on the side-lines, chat with the other parents and see the kids getting some fresh air and exercise and most of all – have fun!  This morning I took Niamh to her camogie training – only her third – and she is really enjoying it.  She’s still learning to hit the ball with the hurley, but the coach is really encouraging and she is thrilled with herself. 

Afterwards, she asked could we go to the shop and buy ice-creams to take home for the others – my initial reaction was No – we can’t get into a habit of doing this – but very quickly that was overridden by a much more fun voice that said “Great idea” – and it was!!!  The lads were delighted with their ice-creams.  They had no training today so they were still in pyjamas watching a brilliant Disney film, so Niamh and I sat down and joined them – a very special hour!

Happy Saturday.

With love,


Birthday Celebrations – Countless Special Moments

April 16, 2008

I haven’t posted for a week or so – because I’ve been celebrating!!! 

I celebrated the wonderful milestone of my 40th birthday this week – actually, I celebrated all week!  I had a great party with my girlfriends.  A friend was celebrating the milestone of 50 years the same week, so we had a 90th birthday party.   Only problem?  She kept telling everyone we were both 45!!!  I had a fantastic family celebration, and a brilliant day out with my husband on the actual day of my birthday.

I couldn’t count the Special Moments
– texts and telephone calls with birthday wishes
– hearing my mother sing Happy Birthday to me on the phone (and knowing that she was in the middle of a busy office at the time!)
– reading lovely messages on cards
– getting beautiful pressies
– getting a fantastic parcel in the post
– getting tipsy with friends
– getting tipsy with my husband
– watching cine films of my childhood with my family
– three generations of my family singing Happy Birthday to me with a chocolate caterpillar cake with smarties on top – they know me so well!
– the most beautiful walk in the world around the Hook Peninsula in the South of Ireland on a beautiful day with clear blue skies – a little bit of heaven! 

And that was only the highlights!!! 

Special Moments is about celebrating the ordinary everyday moments in our lives, but celebrating the occasions is a huge part of it too. 

I mean, turning 40 doesn’t actually mean anything.  You’re still the same person on the day before and the day after.  But the way we organise this chaotic world of ours, we have set milestones along the journey through life, and I chose to really mark the milestone of 40 years walking this earth (well, 39 – I didn’t walk til I was a year old!).

For me, 40 is about new beginnings.  I was celebrating finally feeling grown up!  Also, I have always felt that my forties were going to be just fantastic.  My kids are doing great and are more and more independent.  My forties are when I get to concentrate on myself and my career again.

Here’s to milestones, to 40 years, and to new beginnings!


Holidays on the Shannon River – Concentrated Special Moments

April 11, 2007

Today is the day… we’re off on holidays for a few days cruising on the Shannon River in Ireland.

We’ve done it a few times before, and it promises to be a few days of concentrated Special Moments.  Why?  Its the slowest holiday I know.  You just cruise slowly along this beautiful in the middle of magnificent countryside.  No television, no internet.  The mobile phones get consigned to the bottom of a drawer somewhere so that we hopefully won’t hear them if they ring.

We’re bringing a couple of board games, a deck of cards, warm clothes and more books than I could read in a month!!

Basically, I won’t be trying to do several things at once, keep several balls in the air.  All I’m trying to do is be with my family, keep us all safe on this cruiser, and get very slowly from point A to point B along the river.  The biggest challenge for me is jumping from the boat to the jetty with the rope when we are berthing! 

Back in a few days to let you know how it went.



A Mother’s Day filled with Special Moments

March 19, 2007

Yesterday was Mother’s Day in this part of the world, and I had a ball!

I got breaskfast in bed.  My kids gave me cards they had made, and my hubby gave me a fantastic cd – the new re-worked Beatles Love cd – I highly recommend it.

The best bit, though, is that I asked for free time to do some gardening.  I went to the garden centre and spent much more than I intended on seeds, came home and spent a fabulous 2 hours potting seeds for Lavatera, Oriental Poppies, Cosmea, Sweet Pea, Rudbeckia, Nasturtiums, Delphiniums and Lupins.  I don’t have a glasshouse yet so my house is full of seed trays, and I absolutely love it.

Because I spent time doing something I loved so much – I FELT GOOD.  Gardening qualified for sure as a Special Moment.  I was feeling fantastic about getting the seeds sown, so I was in great form for an evening with my kids.  We watched the finals of You’re A Star – the Irish version of the X Factor.  Our favourite band didn’t win, but we really enjoyed the evening.  A day made up of Special Moments!