Gympie trip

A good friend of mine and his lovely wife and two gorgeous kids live in Gympie. On our trips up and down the east coast for the three years we were living in Rocky, Gympie would be a regular stop for us, and we would either meet our friends at a playground, or go to their house. It would always take the kids a little while to settle in, and as soon as they would, it was always time to go, so I felt a sleepover these school holidays was in order!! We got our mutual friend and her two-year-old to come along as well, and had a fabulous time!

My friend Andy and her daughter came with us in Spacey

It was a rainy old day on Wednesday, so there was a lot of indoor play. And with seven kids, including three very boisterous boys, it was a challenge at times! 5 o’clock cocktail hour was much appreciated! Chance and Henry played some fish together 🙂

We watched the State of Origin together and had a bunch of camping mattresses and sleeping bags set up for the night. I honestly had very low expectations around how the night was going to go, as Quinn had been having fevers all day, I was still in the process of weaning Julius and patting him back to sleep during the night, Chance had an awful cough, and Darby, well Darby is generally unpredictable.

But oh my gosh it was actually amazing. Well, it was as good as it possibly could have been. Chance coughed A LOT but it didn’t actually wake him up, Quinn had fevers through the night, but again didn’t wake up, Darby called out to me once, but by the time I got up to him he had gone back to sleep, and Julius…. SLEPT THROUGH!!! And has done so a few more nights since!

We hit up a playground the next morning as the sun had come out and it was a glorious day. These two just doted over Jules. It was so cute!

Near impossible to take a photo of all seven kids, especially since Chance is in a no-photo phase…

And meals were quite eventful! But gosh the kids all did really well.

We all had the best time, and if our friends will have us, we might make this a regular school holidays event! Thanks guys!

Flashback Friday

It’s a funny thing.

This ad came on around the time we knew we were moving to Melbourne.

Do you remember it?

Frith bought me the album for my birthday and we fell in love with the song.

It fuelled my love affair with Melbourne and has stuck with me ever since. Still gives me goosebumps when I hear the opening melody.

Memories can be a bitch.

10 things on the 10th

Random edition – somewhat of an answer to last month

1.  I’m looking at houses for sale in Deagon and Brighton

2. The cortisone injection I got in my shoulder a week ago has not been the cure-all I was hoping for, though not nearly as painful as a month ago

3. Still haven’t done a weights session, but have gone on a couple of (short) walks. Baby steps…

4. The kids and I are heading to Gympie for the night on Wednesday to stay with friends and I can’t WAIT!!

5. I finally got around to seeing Thor: Ragnarok last night (the kids were all asleep by 8:30pm so I thought “why not!!”) and I loved it! Such fun.

6. Weaning Jules is going well, though the sleep interruptions are still pretty brutal

7. We are off to see Incredibles 2 at the movies tomorrow

8. Chance has had tonsillitis (viral) for a week and it sucks

9. I want to put some more photo books together for the kids but just don’t have the emotional energy to go through the photos

10. The numbness and shock are really wearing off, and our new life is definitely getting real

That is all.

Look Who’s Talking

Watching Kirstie Alley in labour and remember how amazing it was for me, all four times.

Feeling very nostalgic watching this movie. Also feeling very in love with my four children right now. It might be worth noting they are asleep…

Finding it slightly amusing that this is what my Saturday night is looking like these days. It could be worse. I could be watching Love Bachelor Island Chef. (Note: I don’t know much about reality TV).

Another wine? Don’t mind if I do 😉

Melbourne

I’ve had the best 24 hours in Melbourne. Literally. My plane landed at 10:40am yesterday and I boarded my plane home at 10:40am today.

Apart from spilling a whole cup of tea on my lap on the plane, it was a pretty uneventful flight down. 🙄 And apart from being horribly engorged from not feeding Julius for 30 hours, it was a pretty uneventful flight home!

I didn’t plan much for the trip as I didn’t want to stretch myself too far, spend the whole time on trams, or exhaust myself even further. The last week has been full of sleepless nights and I really needed to recharge in every way.

The lunch at Newman College yesterday was so great. As my brother dropped me off around the corner, I started panicking a little, wondering what on earth I was doing there. But I took some deep breaths and headed through the gates.

And was greeted with open arms. I really did love our time there, and there were heaps of familiar faces and smiles. The lunch spread was top notch and the glass of bubbles eased some of my nerves.

When Frith and I left seven years ago, we gifted the college with a framed set of photos that Frith had taken. Newman by day and night. It warmed my heart to find them still hanging where they were placed all these years ago.

I was really touched.

I then went for a drink with some of the Staff on Lygon St before meeting my good friend Dr Luke. Luke is Chance’s godfather among many other things, and it was so good to chat to him for a few hours over mulled wine and pizza.

It was only 7:30pm but I was definitely starting to get sleepy so I headed back to my brother’s place for some home brew, (more) pizza and ice cream before I crashed on a single mattress on the floor at 10:30. I originally thought I would prefer a hotel room with a big bed but I was so tired it wouldn’t have mattered where I slept. My alarm woke me up at 8am and I felt more rested than I had in weeks.

I decided to have a Melbourne brekky on the way to the airport and went to Friends of Ours. Frith and I had brekky here years ago and it was as good as I remembered. (I didn’t really take a lot of photos this trip as I just wanted to enjoy the scenery first-hand.)

So now it’s back to my munchkins. I’m so so grateful for my mini break and do feel somewhat re-energised for week two of school holidays. Bring it on.

Thanks Melbourne. It was good to see you again xx

Fine. I’ll pay.

I paid my infringement notices today.

My appeal got knocked back.

My second appeal got knocked back.

I could go to court, but I don’t have the time or the energy. I guess that’s what they count on. As I was getting the tickets, I honestly believed that if I appealed it would be an obvious decision for them to withdraw the infringement notices. I guess my question is, if not in my circumstances, when on earth would an appeal ever be successful. Like. Ever.

Anyway, they are paid and that is done with.

And I’m not giving it another thought. Because I’m going to Melbourne in the morning!! ON MY OWN!!! For 30 hours!!! Newman College, where Frith and I lived in Melbourne, and I worked at, are celebrating their centennial year, and are having a number of lunches and events. One of which was a staff get together, past and present, and I was invited. I wasn’t going to go, but a number of things made me consider it, and once my mind was made up, it was all systems go!

I’m also hoping this will help with the weaning process! I’ve put a few things in place to help mum and dad with all four kids for the two days and night, and I know they will do an amazing job!! (Thanks guys!!!)

I don’t have many firm plans, but I also don’t have a lot of time there, so I’m just going to wing it. So excited!!

10 years today

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I’ve already written my thousand words, so here’s a picture.

This is me.
A 10 year marriage, four children, nine house moves, countless wrinkles, many laughs and tears along the way. Trying not to take myself too seriously. A little bit fierce, a little bit bad-ass, but mostly soft and squishy in all the right places. Wearing my two favourite necklaces; one that Quinn made for me last year, and one that Frith bought from an antique shop in England a few years ago.

Some days ready to take on the world. Other days not so much.

This is my blog.
10 years of blogging, 1362 published posts, 77 drafts, countless photos and stories shared, all documented here forever.

Life has not turned out as I had planned, but I guess many people can say the same of their own lives. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe that’s the lesson I need to learn; things won’t always go to plan, but I have plenty of life left to live, and I plan to find my own meaning, to leave my own legacy of love and joy to our kids.

Who knows where I will be in 10 years time. More wrinkles (probably), four teenagers (nearly), hopefully settled in a house of my own… Who knows what the future holds for us. For any of us.

For now, I thank you for joining me on this journey. Whether you’ve been here from the start, (you know who you are!) have come and gone over the years, or have just joined me in the last 6-12 months. I thank you for reading, for sharing your own stories with me, and for encouraging me in my journey.

Here’s to the next 10 years 🙂

Flashback Friday

 I took the kids to the Redcliffe Show today. Well, I took Chance and Quinn. Good grief what an exercise in negotiation and teaching gratitude. Except that apparently gratitude can’t be taught. You just have to lead by example.

Three years ago, Frith’s Dad and I took Chance and Quinn and baby Darby to the Rocky show.

This is how that day ended. And it was pretty much the same today.

That’s why we did Family Lego Day the following year on show day. It was cheaper and heaps better.

Anyway, we are focusing on the positives!! I took Chance on the dodgems as requested! And this time I didn’t put my back out!

And Quinny and I hit up the Tea Cup ride! And this time I didn’t get sick!
The kids won crappy prizes in sideshow alley that disappointed them!
They drank red cordial slushies!!!

Just like three years ago!!

And Grumpy took them to look at the gemstones which was totally cute
Look. It was great. There were meltdowns and disappointments but the kids overall had a marvelous time and they are already talking about next year’s show. And so am I! I want to enter a few things into the show next year. If I remember… 🙂

Looking for the words

I’ve been sitting here in my cafe for almost an hour, and not much to show for it. I came here to write my blog post to celebrate 10 years of blogging, which will fall this Sunday. But I just can’t seem to find the words. I was going to do 10 days of sharing my favourite posts over the last decade, but I remember as a teenager, watching those flashback episodes of Seinfeld and Friends and I would always feel ripped-off.

I will tell you that my favourite blog post I’ve ever written was the 1000 words post, celebrating my 1000th blog post. It was in February 2016. Frith and I were in Melbourne for a week without the kids – we only had three then, and Darby was just over one year old. I read that post again just now and I’ve been floored by it. It is filled with such hope for our future; it tells me not to worry, and to trust Frith; it tells me I probably won’t have any more babies; it tells me that life for us together is just beginning.

If I’m to believe in signs, this is the third time I’ve been in my cafe where one of “our songs” has come on. The first time was this one, yesterday was this one, and today, Sam Smith is singing Latch. Every song, every reminder, every promise left hanging is such a kick in my guts at the moment.

The first of January was the worst day of my life, but for the first few months I was functioning fine; I had to for the kids. I had no choice, and I didn’t allow myself to fall apart. I’m starting to wonder if I have a choice in keeping it together anymore. Cracks are forming, my temper is shortening, patience is wavering, frustration is growing. I’m starting to say “it’s not fair” and “I can’t believe this is my life now” among other words.

I think one of the things I struggle with the most is being okay with people helping me. Frith and I were always the ones offering help to others, and accepting help was always hard for me. I don’t know why. It’s so crazy. I just feel enormous guilt over how much my parents do for me now (I haven’t done a load of washing in 6 months). Maybe I just have to keep in mind that this is a temporary situation; one day I will get back on my feet and be a bit more independent; I must remember that this is what families do for each other. I’ve never lived near family since having kids, so I don’t really know how it works.

Gosh what a dreary post on a dreary day. I might need to perk the hell up before school holidays start, otherwise it will be a long two weeks. Maybe another coffee will help….. 🙂

Remember the time

There have been many stages to my grief this year. First there was shock, followed by a long period of numbness, overlapped by sadness, with some frustration, pity and bewilderment thrown in. If I’m honest, I’ve allowed myself a lot of sadness for my kids, and not a lot for myself. It’s been too hard.

There has been a lot of anger in my heart lately. A lot. It has definitely taken over the sadness; perhaps as a coping strategy. Self preservation of you will.

But tonight I allowed myself to remember some things about Frith, that I only I ever got to experience. I allowed myself to remember times when he was running late for work, all dressed up in his vest and tie and boots, me in my daggy pjs and dressing gown, hair all over the place. He would say goodbye to me, and I’d give him the biggest, longest, lingering kiss. It would stop  him in his tracks; he would be in a trance (yes, I was that good) and say “hmmmm can I stay here with you all day?”

I allowed myself to remember the quiet moments with the kids, when he didn’t know I was listening; his soft words, his cuddles, the endless number of stories he would read, or the countless times he would read Fox in Sox. He knew it by heart.

It was his birthday on Saturday. He would have turned 37. We had a family day filled with potjie, Lego, music, wine, a fire pit, movies, pjs, a skateboard, lemonade, lollies, Savanna Cider, and cheesecake. In case you don’t know, Frith hated cheesecake. But we all love it, and we all have our own memories of trying to make him like cheesecake over the years 🙂

Here was our day. Lego before…

Ice cold Savannas
Cousin cuddles around the fire
The skateboard
Brotherly love
The Lego, finished, hours later
Amazing beef cheek potjie!! Served with polenta. Thanks Ma!
The cheesecake (there was also home-made sticky date pudding and orange polenta cake that were, quite frankly, outstanding!!)
I know I’m allowed to be angry, and sad, and everything in between. But I also know it’s nice to remember some good times for myself, and not just remind the kids of all the wonderful things he used to do for them, and with them. He did a lot for me. We did a lot together. He loved me. And I need to remind myself of that every day, to keep his memory alive. And perhaps to help soften the anger that is sitting in my heart.