365 Grateful blog

Introducing Sarah Davies - new guest blogger!

Hailey Bartholomew - Friday, October 07, 2011

I have known Sarah's husband Dan for a few years and I have just started enjoying getting to know Sarah.  What a world changer!   Sarah's boys are also some of the loveliest little people you will meet.  Enjoy this introduction - it is inspiring. Hopefully we will hear from Sarah now and then.    Toni

Introducing Sarah

I’m pleased to share with you this entry of gratitude. I am Sarah Davies, Mum to three little boys and wife to an absolute legend

I’d like to tell you my grateful story. Therefore I have to start by telling you how I first came to be so ungrateful.  I was always positive once. I grew up living in “Fairy land” as mum would say, in love with the simple beauty of life and nature. I loved grass and flowers and the smell of clover and was always deep inside my head lost in a world I can only describe as “happily humming.” I loved to laugh and talk to people and see others laugh. I loved being spontaneous and free and float against the current of what the world decided was normal.  I loved to paint and write and sing and when I think of that person I think of a girl who was never knocked by life’s blows, for she never gave them enough attention to even feel them hit. That was me, that was the young woman my husband met, the woman he married and for a good while that was who everyone around us knew me to be.

In 2008, 3 days after our firstborn’s first birthday and 5 days after our 5th wedding anniversary I lost our second baby at only 10 weeks pregnant. When it happened I was partly not surprised, that motherly intuition told me something was not right all along. However I was surprised by the sting of death and the realization that I was not immune to pain or heartache as I thought I was. With the loss of our baby, I lost my passion for romance, my enthusiasm for spontaneity and my belief in the power of beauty. I lost a baby and somehow I also lost me.

We had our second son a year later yet I was living a little numb. It was like the very ground in which I walked on my entire life had fallen away and instead I was floating through, never really touching anything. Part of me was hateful. I’ll confess that I found my ability to yell in situations where once I’d laugh, I found my ability to use cuss words…. frequently and I found an ability to complain a lot where once I would have said “ It doesn’t matter”. Instead of being a girl who used to unknowingly deflect negativity, I became the breeder of it in my own home. I was like a festering piece of fruit that just got stinkier with every day. We still lived and made plans and had hopes for the future. Only it was like I held everything and everyone at arms length in order not to let anything fully touch me, in case it broke and broke me with it.

Then one day not too long ago, my husband came home after chatting with Toni. He told me about Haley and her Grateful story and I thought to myself “I should try that, it couldn’t hurt me!”

So I picked up a journal and I began my first entry of gratitude and it was like a Lilly bulb that lay dormant inside of me began to stretch a thin green stem toward sunlight. With each day I began looking forward to my entry of gratitude. I began to smile more. I began to laugh again and strangest of all, people starting saying I had a bright face! Only a few weeks into my grateful journey I had four people in one week say what a bright face I had, or “you just seems so bright”. And with that I knew I was on my way to that girl I once was.  It was like I was on drugs! J Grateful drugs.

Like any vitamin supplement…. the longer you take it the better it benefits your body. My first entry was on the 19th of May 2011. That’s 134 journal entries to date, although I haven’t written my entry today.

We now have three beautiful boys and we are about to pack up our house and head off on a crazy adventure to Tasmania, fighting for others against modern day slavery. I’m sitting here and in reflection and today I am grateful for Haley. I am grateful, someone whispered in her ear to be GRATEFUL. I Grateful she listened and began whispering in the ears of others. I am grateful that message reached me and help me shed my skin.

In sorrow and Fear I tucked myself inside a shell, thinking it would save me, only to realise that I was withering beneath it. I am grateful, to be grateful, to realise that this world has so much beauty in it. It just longs to be named and honored. I am so glad to be here. Shedding my skin and starting again.

I realised in the writing of this blog that I have not painted since we lost our baby. Three and a half years and I haven’t picked up a paintbrush. That’s nuts considering I used to sit at my easel whenever I had a moment. I know I’m not quite there yet. I’m still healing. I’m so glad though for the chance to start again and the realisation that healing is within my own hands and easy, if only I let the world be, and simply be grateful within it. Maybe I need to find my paints….

This is me, 

Glad to be Grateful!

365 Grateful - a documentary about the extraordinary power of gratitude.

Guest Post from a Crazed Mother

Hailey Bartholomew - Thursday, July 28, 2011

This post is by  Sara van Bentum

Sarah a mother who was inspired by the 365 Project and shares about being a mum.

From a crazed mother… who is grateful.

Being a mummy is wonderful work. But it is also challenging and exhausting. Especially when one of the kids you are mum to is a high-spirited, energetic and creative 3 year old who gets up before the sun. Always. And yes, by high-spirited I do mean slightly crazy.

Amongst the nappies, tantrums and sleep deprivation, a battle with postnatal depression and the general madness that is life with two little people, I felt like I had lost myself. Life was going on in the strange way that it does. And I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to really enjoy it.

So when a wonderful friend mentioned a 365 Grateful project that she had read about in her fave magazine, I was encouraged, inspired and challenged. But could I really find one thing per day to be grateful for? For a whole year?

More than 100 days later I have found that indeed I could.  Surprisingly enough, I began to see all the little, crazy parts of my day in a new light. And I was actually grateful for them! I guess it is true. If you seek, you will find.

Sure there are days that are hard. And all I am grateful for is that my loves are (finally!) asleep. Or for any few moments I can grab for myself.

But most of the time there is an array of “grateful moments” throughout any given day...

Moments of hilarity or joy created by my little ones. All of a sudden, I wasn’t frustrated at my son turning his cheesy toast into a guitar. And a boat. AND a number 6! I was instead reminded of the awesome gift of creativity and imagination.

Moments when I’m reminded of the many people whom I cherish. And those who make my world brighter by simply being in it. Like my husband bringing home flowers. Or easing my Mondayitis by getting both kids up and dressed. And cooking me breakfast!

Moments when the littlest things seem to happen at just the right time. Like a red light. While mostly annoying, every now and then you get one just when you need it. To relocate a dummy for a restless baby. Or pick up a toy for a hyper toddler. Or take a much needed sip of coffee.

Moments that bring me back to earth and remind me of what is good and true in my life. Freedom, faith, family and love.

Yes, it is hard work raising my minis. And yes, sometimes I get lost along the way. But in my journey of gratefulness I am realising that despite the many challenges faced daily, I actually wouldn’t change my hectic, wonderful life with my little loves for anything. And for that realisation, I am truly grateful.

But while being a mum is a huge part of who I am, and everything I do revolves around it, I’m beginning to remember that it’s not all that I am. Somehow, through all these wonderful moments, I am finding myself again. I’m remembering what it is I love. To write and create. I love words and stories. And I want to make the world better because I was here. Even if that is simply by impacting and encouraging those I’m blessed to have in my world.

Strangely enough, this little project is doing that in the most unexpected way. I could never have expected how many friends would be encouraged by my simple daily stories. And now people in my world, both near and far, have embarked on their own journey of gratefulness. Each day, I look forward to seeing all the different and creative things they have to be grateful for. It almost feels like a revolution of gratefulness. And I love it!

“Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” (Melody Beattie)


To see my 365 Grateful project, visit  here

365 Grateful - a documentary about the extraordinary power of gratitude.

365 grateful - Hailey - travels and perspective

Hailey Bartholomew - Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I have been mighty quiet on this blog lately. All the travels, adventures and work have been keeping me running to keep up...  not really keeping up it seems.

So lovely to see the inspiring and beautiful posts by Mum (Toni Powell), Lori and Amy. I love reading their thoughts and grateful moments.

I just got back from a trip to Palm Island. A very small island off the coast of north QLD here in Australia. To get there you have to take one those tiny little airplanes that only hold 8 people. Traveling in these planes reminds me how crazy-mind-boggling it is that we can fly!

I read a little about Palm Island on wiki before I left and was feeling a tad nervous about the impending trip. I have never been to an Aboriginal community. The history of the Island is rather depressing to be honest.

However I had a wonderful time! I was hired to photograph local children and the wonderful literacy program that is going on there.

Fell in love with the most incredible children whose eyes sparkle with cheeky-ness and spunk!
I also spent time contemplating the history of my country and the way we have treated our indigenous people. Challenging and inspiring. I felt so honoured to be able to visit this place! To be able to spend time with these precious little people who one day will inherit our world.

This is why I LOVE love to travel. It forces me to look at life from another perspective.
When I fly up high and look down on the earth I see how small my little problems are. When I land in a new place everything is NEW so I can't just assume or label.
I have to take things as they come and see what is present. It makes me feel alive, inspired and present! I am so grateful for these opportunities and the perspective they give me. I love learning and seeing things in a new light. I am honoured to be here.


Tell me, other than travel what else changes your perspective?? I also find gardening does this for me... love to hear your thoughts too!

365 grateful - Hailey - late nights dying doilies

Hailey Bartholomew - Monday, March 21, 2011
I am so grateful for the life I have with my magic-making kids!

After dinner a few nights back Poppy and I impulsively decided to do some dyeing doilies. It was delightful fun. Nothing quite so wonderful as taking a plain white thing and making it a rich beautiful colour of your choice!!
Poppy had never done dyeing before and was fascinated, she loved every minute of it. We started with doilies and then raided her closet for anything white (there were only 2 things and they are now purple and blue!!)

The sweetest thing about having kids the age my girls are now is sharing the things you love and them loving it  too. ;)

365 grateful - Hailey - food and friends

Hailey Bartholomew - Saturday, March 19, 2011
Oh sooo soo grateful for good chats with friends.

Great, deep, real, true, whole, chats that feed my soul and make me come alive!
I love when a chat can make me re-look at old thoughts, keep me on my toes, make me smile, remind me to not take things too seriously and look at life with healthy glasses on. To have lunch with a friend that feeds my brain, soul and tummy is an extremely wonderful gift! I am so grateful!