Her First Job

Yesterday was a big day in our home. Our lovely daughter, Sophia, who is soon to turn 15 headed out for an afternoon at her first job. I can hardly believe that we have arrived here. How did it come so quickly? Where have the days, weeks and months gone? I still remember the days when she used to snuggle up on my lap and when those big brown eyes would look up at me telling me that she needed me – I still see that sometimes and know that, in her life, she will always need me.

I remember the first day I took her to preschool (and yes, it only feels like yesterday). She was ever so confident, all dressed up in her green ‘prep uniform’. Perched in the back seat, sitting high in her booster, gripping her barbie backpack, she beamed with excitement. She felt so grown up, with her little brother coo-ing in his carseat beside her. It was a big day. As we drove through the streets of our Suburb I could feel the tightness in my chest increase. I could sense my nerves tingling as I prepared myself to walk her into her class and more importantly, leave her there. I was encouraged by her confidence and that gorgeous smile.

We arrived at Pre-School/Prep, along with many other ‘newbies’ and the anticipation of what lay ahead propelled this lovely little girl forward. Together, we walked down the path towards check in. As we walked, hand-in-hand, I could feel her grip on my hand tighten. I glanced down at her and as I gazed into her big brown eyes, I could read the signs. I knew instantly that her confidence was waning and her need for me by her side increased. I squeezed her hand, smiled at her and whispered, “I’m so proud of you. You are such an amazing girl’.

Once in the classroom, we tended to the ‘necessary details’ of that first day, all the while, she stayed very close to me. As the time grew closer to my departure, I could tell her level of confidence and security was being challenged. I sensed we were heading towards a very confronting good-bye or rather, see you later. The time finally came and I needed to leave. Those big brown eyes looked up at me and this time, they were filled with tears. My heart ached, her heart ached. All I wanted to do was gather her up in my arms and run for the car. I wanted to take her home and keep her safe and secure in my care. I didn’t want to let her go.

It became very obvious that she didn’t want to let me go either. As I composed myself and comforted her I listened to the instructions of the teachers on how to say good-bye. I cuddled her, consoled her and told her I would (indeed) return. I began my journey out of the room. A journey that was definitely challenging since my little girl had wrapped herself around my left leg. I limped forward, dragging her along, all the while encouraging her to let go. I wondered, would she be okay? Will either of us be okay and would come out of this unscathed? Eventually, I made it out of the room and onto the pathway to the car as I walked, all I could hear was the deep sobs of my little girl. I maintained my own composure until I got into the car and it was then that I too began to sob. Was I doing the right thing? Would she be okay? Would the teachers be gentle and kind with her? Would they speak words of life into her? Would they tell her she was amazing and how proud they were of her? What had I done?

I wiped my tears, blew my nose and began to make my way home. Upon arrival, I was quickly jolted into reality by the piles of laundry that required my attention. I kept myself busy around the house and engaging with my sweet baby boy, Gabriel. I called my Mum (I cried again). I did all I could to pass the time away and found myself first in the pick up line at the end of the school day. I needed to see her and wanted to hear all about the adventures of the day. I wanted to know that the sobbing stopped and that she was okay. Needless to say our greeting was one of excitement and sheer joy.

(Note…. If you’re wondering if that leg clinging, mother limping, situation was a one of… For all the young mum’s out there I wish I could say it was but, for this beautiful child, it took her until year/grade 2 until she stopped crying when I left).

All of this brings me to yesterday. As I drove her to her first job I again felt my chest tighten and that familiar knot in my throat return. I glanced over at this beautiful girl, now perched ever so confidently in the front seat performing all the necessary duties of the car DJ whilst holding onto her Bo-Ho handbag which has replaced that pink Barbie backpack she loved so much. As we arrived at the Japanese Restaurant she is working at I placed my hand on her knee and said, ‘I’m so proud of you. You are such an amazing girl.’ To which she replied with a wink, a click of her tongue, a beautiful smile and a ‘Thanks Mum’.

I dropped her off and told her I would wait in the car park across the road until she was settled. I parked the car, watched her engage with her new boss and sat in awe of how she carried herself. She exuded confidence, she was sure of herself and very secure. My mind drifted to that day back in Preschool and as the tears streamed down my face I smiled to myself and thought ‘We have done something right, look what is infront of me’. With confidence she looked across the street and waved me on saying, “I’m okay Mum, you can go now.’ I couldn’t move. My chest was so tight, my throat was restricted from the pressure, there was an ache in my heart. Time was standing still and I didn’t want another second to go by.

I knew she knew how I was feeling and with that, she gave me her signature Sophia head tilt, a smile and a knowing look through those big brown eyes and yes, a little wave. My sweet darling girl is growing up and once again I find myself not wanting to let her go.

As I drove away in the rain I was caught by the song that was playing on the radio. It’s a song called ‘Let Her Go’ by Passenger. Have a listen and imagine the tears that flowed as I made my way home. I love our girl!

What Scares You

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Lately, this Eleanor Roosevelt quote has been rolling around in my mind. I am in the midst of change and someone, somewhere said ‘that change is as good as a holiday’. I’m beginning to wonder if that’s correct and may very well research that statement, post the writing of this article… maybe it should be the other way around but not today.

So, as I have been thinking about this season of Change and all things New I decided that I would embrace Eleanor’s words of wisdom and do exactly what she said.

Thus far, I’m happy to report that I have taken risks in business and moved out of my comfort zone. I have done something as simple as tackled a new recipe that kind of scared me – I really wasn’t sure what all the ingredients were. I have embraced the ocean and through the help of my lovely girlfriend, Darlene, I have conquered my fear of ‘what’s below’. That was a big one for me and I can’t tell you how much fun I have had, frolicking freely in the open sea…. well, maybe not totally open since I am typically within 100 meters of the shore. For me, that’s freedom and that was conquering a big fear. Through study and the wise teaching of Beth Moore, I have faced some of the deeper issues in my life that I have tended to ‘sweep under the carpet’. I won’t say it’s been easy but it’s been releasing and a new sense of freedom is worth facing the things I’ve faced.

Today, I did another thing that scared me and I now find myself sitting, almost giddy, thinking about what I’ve done. It’s like a little high with endorphins flying around my body. These may be baby steps but as we all know, baby steps lead us to big steps and big steps coupled with the wisdom learned along the way, give us the strength to climb mountains and believe for even greater things.

Thank You Mrs. Roosevelt for encouraging me to ‘Do It Scared’ and to ‘Repeat’. What will I do tomorrow?

And, as a side note for those who know me well or who have listened to GetRealLive Radio…. I even asked my youngest if she would like to get a kitten. To understand what this means tune in and listen, you’ll soon learn 🙂

Susan xx


Changing the life of a Girl through Underwear!

Today on Get Real Live, we had the honour of talking to, Rachel Starkey, the founder of Transformation Textiles.

Did you know that if you educate a girl, you can change a family, a village/community and ultimately Nations? Did you also know that many girls across the world don’t get their education simply because they don’t have proper underwear? That’s right, girls in some countries miss out on going to school simply because they don’t have underwear or proper protection during their monthly cycle. How sad is that and how simple it is to change.

Below is some information from Global Concerns Classroom about why it’s important to educate girls.

Top 5 Reasons to Educate a Girl:
Reducing Fertility Rates
The World Bank cites that when girls receive an education, they’ll have “fewer and healthier” babies. In fact, one year of formal education can result in a 10% decrease in fertility. Why is this? Women who receive an education are better informed about family planning, and are more likely to marry later.
Lower Maternal and Child Mortality Rates
Girls who receive an education are less likely to contract HIV & AIDS, and thus, less likely to pass it onto their children. The Comparative & International Education Society writes that their children are more likely to be vaccinated, and educated mothers will be better informed about proper nutrition and health practices. The Girls Global Education Fund reports that when a child is born to a woman in Africa who hasn’t received an education, he or she has a 1 in 5 chance of dying before 5.
Future Educated Generations
An African proverb says, “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family – and a whole nation.” By sending a girl to school, she is far more likely to ensure that her children also receive an education. As many claim, investing in a girl’s education is investing in a nation.
Higher Wages
The Girl Effect states that if a girl attends an additional year of primary school, she’ll see her wages increase up to 20%. Furthermore, if she attends an additional year of secondary school, her wages could increase by 25%!
Investing in the Family
With these additional wages, research shows that women are more likely to invest in their family. In fact, the Basic Education Coalition claims that women will reserve 90% of their income to better their families. This economic savings will result in the betterment of not only individual families, but entire communities.

Transformation Textiles is a not-for-profit organization that assist in providing young girls, in developing nations, menstrual supplies, enabling them to go to school. This inspiring, Alberta-born visionary started all of this simply through walking down the streets of Egypt when her eye was caught by some cut off fabric laying ruined in the street. Tune in and listen to her story and how you can get involved in changing the lives of girls across the globe.

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GetRealLive Talks to Personal Trainer, Estelle Wood

‘I love Carbs and White Wine’ – Direct Quote from Estelle Wood

Today, Nicole and I had the privilege of speaking to sought after Personal Trainer, Estelle Wood, who owns and operates Sore Winners Personal Training on the beautiful Central Coast of NSW. Estelle trains clients and groups throughout the Coast and is keeping #ChangetheAge happening.

Estelle is a busy Mum of 3 who is passionate about seeing individuals reach their personal fitness goals. Her no excuse approach challenges her clients and causes them to push beyond what they thought possible.

Our convo today covered: Summer Beach Body // Winter Kilos //  Post Baby Weight  // 40 +  Metabolism

Tune into GetRealLive Radio and listen in as we hear from this young mum about how we can keep our physical selves strong and healthy…

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Finding Joy After the Grief – One Woman’s Story about Loss

Today, we had the honour of hosting Lauren Chapman-Black on GetRealLive Radio. Lauren shared her story about walking her husband, Chad, through the pain of bowel cancer. Not only did she walk her husband through his battle but on the journey as well, her two young sons. 

After celebrating their 10th Anniversary, Lauren and her husband were dealt a card they didn’t expect. This lovely little family (2 boys then aged 2 & 4) faced the reality of a life without a husband and father. What would that look like? Would he be healed? Could they have the ‘Happy Ever After’ Story?

Listen on Demand as Lauren shares openly and very honestly about how she was able to Find Joy After the Grief.

You can listen to Lauren on GetRealLive Radio here:


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Just Another Midol Monday!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just think you can’t take another sound? When time feels like it’s standing still and every person on the planet have been placed here simply to annoy you? These are the days when nothing works, your hair doesn’t do the right thing, your jeans did up tighter than yesterday, your internal body temperature is higher than the steam cleaner you forgot to turn off yesterday, your tea or coffee spill in the cup holder on the way to work or to drop off the kids at school and it’s the day that no one in the house can find a matching sock.

Call it what you will, PMS, crazy mum syndrome, nutzo mum of the year. I don’t know what to call it, I just call it REAL. Whilst yelling at kids, husband, co-worker, fellow taxi mum, I find myself quietly (or sometimes not so quietly) chanting to myself, ‘it will be okay, this is normal, this too shall pass’, Between every high speed chant comes another blow out of my steam engine, hormone revved up body.

This morning was classic. After walking through the hair, the jeans (oh yeah, and the war paint was not happening as per the usual effect and how I manage to slap on for the day), as we are about to walk out the door to head to school, one of my children decides to say, ‘Mum you were supposed to wash my gym uniform last night and I can’t find my gym bag so I don’t have any shoes for gym, everything was in my bag.’ So, with that I find myself digging through the dirty laundry pile for the uniform, sniffing whilst I go making sure the uniform is at an acceptable level for wear.

I conquer the gym wear with ease, or so I think. However through my cloud of frustration and hormonal rage I know I haven’t solved anything, rather I’ve diffused a situation for a moment and everyone stays still, just because they know I’m in a bad way. This is followed by my husband who decides he should give me tips on how to get into the car, that he parked ever so tightly in the garage. Why (you may be asking) would your husband give you tips on how to enter a car? Yes, at 43 the mind boggles. Even though my memory is challenged at times due to what ‘they’ call peri-menopause, I’m pretty sure I’ve been getting in and out of cars successfully since I was, let’s say around 3! Okay, maybe during my early 20’s I could have had one or two mishaps but for the most part I’m a pretty competent car person. Oh, and I must mention again (just to get my point across) that the reason he was giving me tips was because when parking the car (in the garage) last night, HE parked it way to close to the other car…. My thinking, why wouldn’t you back it up and re park? Isn’t that what anyone would do?

My hubby quickly realised that giving me tips on entering a motor vehicle was probably not the smartest thing to do on this particular morning. I was curious to know when he picked that up cue up. Was it when I gave him a look that could take down any army that dare stand in my way? Perhaps it was when I managed to bark out, ‘I don’t think I need to be told how to get into a car, I can make my way around this garage any way I dam well please. But, thanks for your wise input. Oh, and by the way, who parks like this, where did you get your licence?’ I’m wondering if that was the moment the lights went on for him?

I say all of this admitting loud and proud that once I dropped my kids off at school I headed straight for the pharmacy/chemist and bought myself some Midol… Mum’s if you don’t know what Midol is, it’s the Modern Day Tic Tac for those of us walking through PMS, Peri-Menopause or full on Menopause. It is a life support system in a bottle.

May I say, to the makers of Bayer my family, those around me and of course, myself, thank you for providing me with the opportunity to return to my sane, normal self even in the midst of the storm.

I am reminded today of these two quotes, ‘That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and ‘tomorrow is another day.’ Now it’s time to breathe and pour myself a glass of red! Anyone with me?

Note: Here’s a link to the famous song ‘Manic Monday’ by the Bangles. If you want to join me, you can substitute the words and sing ‘Just Another Midol Monday’. Go for it girls, turn up the volume, find your hairbrush and sing at the top of your lungs.. This is called Therapy!

Margarita Chicken

A few months ago (whilst still living in Canada) my mum and I were having a nice, relaxing evening, we were enjoying a glass of wine with some yummy food. It was one of those nights where we decided to eat ‘tapas’ style. One of our dishes was another of Chef Andre’s scrumptious creations ‘Margarita Prawns‘. Needless to say, as with anything Chef Andre makes, the prawns were absolutely divine.

The next night, we were having people over and with the ingredients we used for the prawns still in my fridge and bursting with flavor, we decided to play around with this tasty recipe and change it up a bit for a bit of variety. This resulted in ‘Margarita Chicken’ and it was equally as good as the prawns and enjoyed by everyone. So, as with anything great we manage to prepare, we wanted to share. These recipes are great for summer or those cool, crisp fall nights I am now enjoying in Australia. So, Northern Hemisphere friends take this recipe and dine Al fresco whilst we in the Southern Hemisphere will enjoy under our deck heathers.

Enjoy friends (picture beside is the actual pic of the prawns we made)

Margarita Chicken

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp tequila

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lime (for zest and juice)

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined

Method: In a large bowl, combine cilantro, garlic, tequila, oil, lime zest, lime juice, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Add the shrimp, tossing to coat. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or for up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat grill. Grill the shrimp 6 inches from the heat, turning once, for 3 minutes, or until just opaque.

Serves 4


Writer’s Block

Well, I’m finally here. I’m out of the house, I’m sitting in one of my favourite cafe’s ‘Glee‘ and I’m working. More to the point I’m WRITING! Yes, I have been battling the worst case of writer’s block and I feel like I’ve finally found my way out. To those of you who have been poking & pushing me to get back to writing, thank you. It’s been a journey and I’m not sure where or when it happened. Actually, I’ve always thought writer’s block was a bit of a crock but guess what, as with everything and every attitude we have or gain, my thoughts have been put to the test and I can now testify to the truth of writer’s block and how soul destroying it can be.

For someone who is moved by the written word, to not be able to write is torture. Think of what it is you love to do and imagine not being able to do it. The runner unable to run, the singer unable to utter a sound, the musician unable to play. For me, not being able to write, even as much as words on a birthday card was almost unbelievable. So, to those who have (indeed) received cards, emails or even Facebook messages from me over the last 10mths, I apologise. I apologise for the short updates, the direct tone or whatever your experience was when reading. I was stuck.

I feel like I’ve come out of a coma. I feel like the bird that was grounded is able to fly again. I feel like I want to run to the highest peak and open my arms wide and tell the world that my words have returned. Now, here’s hoping someone cares :).

Anyway, all of this to let you know that not only have my words returned but so much has changed. GetRealLive is changing and growing. Our format both through the website and the radio show are improving and the quality of what you have been used to is returning. Yes, we are going to be talking about THINGS THAT MATTER and we are beyond excited.

The show goes live next week and we have some amazing guests lined up for you. We are going to be ‘telling the stories’. Telling stories that impact lives and create change within because we know that lasting change (for all of us) happens from the inside out.

Get ready friends….

Social Fusion Live Event with Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton & Kari Jobe

It’s HAPPENED FRIENDS…. Revealing Jesus has been released WORLD-WIDE just in time for Easter and GetRealLive has the opportunity to talk to the artists involved in this amazing project. We want to invite you to our Social Fusion LIVE Event with the talented Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton and Kari Jobe! All this is happening on the following:

North America: March 19th 6:30pm MST/5:30pm PST

Australia: March 20th 11:30am 

How You Can Engage:

1) TWEET:  Go for it and tweet away using #RevealingJesus and join the fun conversation. To be part of a private room (which allows you to totally focus on just this convo!) you can go to http://tweetchat.com/room/RevealingJesus

2) LISTEN: Tune in to hear Darlene, Israel & Kari live on GetRealLive Radio. It’s super simple and it’s super fun…. Click HERE!!!!! Also, feel free to share this link with friends getreallive/2013/03/20/getreallive-with-susan-and-scott-1

3) STATUS UPDATE: Use Facebook and let your friends know that you are listening to Darlene, Israel & Kari in an ‘Up Close and Personal’. Share this page with them and tell them to join the fun!

Rules of Engagement:

1) Questions: All of your questions can be tweeted and we will try and answer as many as possible. If you have some you would like to send us then jump on GetRealLive Facebook Page and LIKE us and throw your question in…

2) Make sure you remember to use our hashtag #RevealingJesus so we see you.

3) LIKE us on Facebook for a chance to win one a signed copy of the Album.

4) INVITE YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY… Everyone is invited :)

For more information, videos and music go to Revealing-Jesus.com

Social Fusion Live Event With Peter Walsh March 13th


It’s HAPPENING FRIENDS and we’re so excited. This is our 2ND Social Fusion LIVE Event with the amazing Peter Walsh and we want you to be totally engaged.

How to Engage:

1) TWEET:  Go for it and tweet away using #CalgarySpringClean and join the fun conversation. To be part of a private room (which allows you to totally focus on just this convo!) you can go to http://tweetchat.com/room/CalgarySpringClean

2) LISTEN: Tune in to hear Peter Walsh live on GetRealLive Radio. It’s super simple and it’s super fun…. Click HERE!!!!!

3) STATUS UPDATE: Use Facebook and let your friends know that you are listening to Peter help us get UNCLUTTERED and ORGANISED. Share this page with them and tell them to join the fun!

Rules of Engagement:

1) Questions: All of your questions can be tweeted and we will try and answer as many as possible. If you have some you would like to send us then jump on GetRealLive Facebook Page and LIKE us and throw your question in…

2) Make sure you remember to use our hashtag #CalgarySpringClean so we see you.

3) LIKE us on Facebook for a chance to win one a signed copy of Peter’s latest book.

4) INVITE YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY… Everyone is invited 🙂