Celebration. That's the mode we like to operate in at Casa Coggins.
Yes, there are definitely non-celebration moments. Moments when we cry, get angry, feel frustrated, be sad, get lonely...
But, for the most part: We like finding reasons to celebrate.
Maybe that's why as a whole, we're very much goal oriented as a family. We like ideas and projects.
It's just that Goals = Achievement. And, Achievement = Celebrations.
Granted, not all of our goals and achievements are massive. But, who says you need BIG THINGS to celebrate?
In fact, what we find is that having these celebrations just make our days more memorable, more positive. We learn to focus on the good stuff, even when we're addressing the not-so-good ones.
Like celebrating when the boy gets a perfect score at his weekly spelling test. Even when we're having to address other tricky challenges pertaining to behaviour and motivation. Or, when the girl learns to read or to write a new word. Even when we're trying to address certain situations like social adjustment challenges at the new school. Or maybe, even when they just learn to play nicely together for a couple of hours on their own. Even though they do argue like most other siblings.
The last few weeks, however, we have been experiencing a handful of Big Celebration Moments.
The biggest one, perhaps, is celebrating my husband's graduation. Yes, The Hubby, apparently, is now to be addressed from hereon as Dr Hubby*. He has officially finished his PhD studies from the Law School of the University of Adelaide. They even wrote about his new graduation at the Uni.
He officially started his PhD almost five years ago. However, the first university he enrolled in didn't really work out well because of the distance and a couple of other things. So, he ended up transferring to the University of Adelaide around 2.5 years ago. So yeah, effectively, he completed his doctoral thesis within 2.5 years. While managing a full time job as a lecturer and being a supportive hubby and a very involved dad to our two young kids. Yes, he was actively involved as our son's soccer team coach for two years, he volunteers some of his time at the boy's school, and chauffeurs the kids to and from extra-curricular activities. Not to mention, play single dad when I had to travel for work.
Considering how demanding work and life has been for us, the hubby did really well to finish his PhD studies in the time that he did. And, yes, he didn't just finish a PhD. He even completed his thesis with distinction - and a lot of glowing reports.
It was great watching him march in to the auditorium in his full doctorate gown and hat. All beaming and pleased. It was also wonderful watching the kids celebrate their dad's achievement very excitedly and proudly.
As you can see, I am undoubtedly a proud and happy wifey of a former PhD student. 🙂
And, as some of you already know, I am also the proud mum of two young Oliphant Science Award 2012 winners.
Although we knew the kids both won awards this year, we didn't know their respective prizes until the awards ceremony last week. And, coincidentally, they both won 2nd Prize with their multimedia entries. They also both won high commendations (we thought at first that only the girl had a high commendation).
The girl has also celebrated her completion of her first term in school. And, going into Term 4 in a couple of weeks with a reading level of 16-18. With brand new friends at school. And, really loving it all.
The boy's celebrations also include the results of his first ever NAPLAN exams.
For those of you who might not be familiar with this, the NAPLAN is the national assessment for students in Australia who are in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9. This is to gauge where students are at in their learning, using standardized tests in literacy and numeracy. There are 5 areas tested (four in literacy-related areas like spelling, reading, and writing + 1 in numeracy). Students are given ratings between Bands 1 to 6, with schools and national performance receiving an average, and Band 6 is the highest rating.
Out of the 5 areas tested, the boy received four (4) Band 6 ratings, three of which are top level Band 6, and one mid-level. All in literacy. He received a top level Band 5 rating in numeracy.
So yes, needless to say, we were very very pleased.
Of course, his Term 3 school report is another matter altogether. But, that's probably fodder for another blog post. 🙂
And, even though I came in to the whole City to Bay 2012 with a bit of kicking and screaming (again), I am glad that I managed to do it with my family for the first time this year.
When I did my very first City to Bay in 2010 with former colleagues (or more accurately, a former colleague), I knew that it was one of those "good experiences" that you don't ever want to do again.
As in, yes, it's good to have done it. But, no, I don't want to do it again.
That's why last year, even when the same former colleagues tried to get me back on the 12k route - and my own family wanted me to join them in the 3k route - I hesitated big time. Thankfully, I was feeling ill (er, not such a good thing, really), so I didn't have to come up with another excuse not to go. 😉
This year, however, my kids were both really hoping for me to join them. So, I relented. Barely. I whinged a bit, but I did it anyway.
We finished the 6k run (I mostly walked). The kids were happy.
I ached (and whinged some more) - for most of the last few days. I am still in recovery from the pain. 🙂
But, I guess, the most important thing is the fact that, yes, we celebrated.
And yes, I am - and will always be - grateful to all of you who join our celebrations. Both in person and online, through your wonderful comments, likes, and more.
As a family who's on our own here in Adelaide, it's great to have you all here with us in some way.
* No, he didn't really say that I should refer to him as a doctor. It's just a joke I told him once that has somehow got stuck. 🙂
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.