10 things on the 10th

The decade that was

1. Officiated at 19 weddings and attended even more

2. Had 4 children (this one, this one, this one and this one!)

3. Lived in 11 houses (Newman College Melbourne, Wangaratta unit, Mount Beauty, Wangaratta House, Townsville, Ingham, Mount Isa, Rockhampton temp house, Rockhampton house, Woody Point Mum and Dad’s, Brighton.)

4. Broke 4 bones in my foot (including the stress fracture I’m currently sporting!)

5. Celebrated 40 birthdays as a family of 2 then 3 then 4 then 5 then 6 and made at least 50 cakes!

6. Bought 2 houses

7. Lost 1 husband

8. Went to 5 funerals

9. Owned 4 cars

10. Wrote 1339 blog posts

What will the 20s hold for us all?

10 things on the 10th

10 things I’m grateful for

1. This blog. I started writing 11 and a half years ago, and it’s documented most of my marriage and all of my kids lives. What a gift to have it all in one place to look over whenever I want.

The first photo ever on my blog

2. My community, both online and in person. The comments and encouragement and love I receive are always so heart-warming and sometimes exactly what I need to keep me going.

3. School Mums and Dads. Part of my community, for sure, but a special mention needs to be made. I have so many people happy to help at the drop of a hat, and the same people ask me to help with their kids as well, which I absolutely love.

3. My kids. They get me out of bed, metaphorically and literally, every single day. They need so much from me, but give back in spades.

The boys birthdays this year

4. My immediate family of Mum, Dad, Kris and Kate. They are the world around the kids and I, and I couldn’t survive without them.

The kids love when they visit!

5. My health. Even though I’ve been unkind to my body this last year, it is still doing a great job. I’m gradually working towards getting it back in better working order.

6. My cousins and extended family. I grew up with them and they are some of the best people I know. I’m just lucky that I get to be related to them too. Can’t wait for Christmas Day!!

7. My friends. Oh how blessed I am in this department. I have the absolute best people in my life and I appreciate each and every one of you.

8. My house. Even though I didn’t absolutely love this house when I first bought it, I’m loving it more and more as the months go by. Yes I wish it was a little bigger, and that there was a huge tree or three in the back yard, but you can’t have everything. It’s great for us and will be amazing as the kids get older as well.

9. Medication. The new meds I am on are making me feel normal and nice and optimistic and hopeful again. It’s as though I’ve woken up after a year in a foggy cloud. It’s good to be back.

10. A good bedtime routine with the kids. Frith and I worked very hard on this over the years, and I’m pleased to say I have continued with it on my own. All the kids are in bed by 8:15pm and mostly asleep not long after that. That makes me pretty damn happy 🙂

I know there are so many more things in my life to be thankful for which is a blessing in itself xxxx

10 things on the 10th

“Stuff’s been happening” edition

1. I’m in full Christmas card making mode and it’s delightful! Instead of drinking wine and watching old 90s movies, I’ve been drinking tea and listening to podcasts as I craft away. Last night was the best – Dax Shepard interviewing Zach Braff. Could I be crushing any harder??? I think not 🙂

2. Julius got a very big boy hair cut. We are all still getting used to it. Not to mention the big boy confidence (read: attitude) that has come with it!!

3. My three boys all around the same age, side-by-side 🙂

4. My photo wall is being added to and I’ve been hanging things all over the house! My house is really feeling like a home.

5. Darby has had some pre-prep mornings and is really really ready to get stuck into it!

6. I really try and buy things second hand as much as possible, but it just didn’t work out, so I bought these flat packs and spent my Friday night putting these bad boys together. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty damn proud of myself!

7. I’ve really been drinking a lot more tea in the evening, but sometimes if it doesn’t cut it, I’ll pop a bit of this in as well. It’s my absolute favourite and still to this day, reminds me of Nanny.

8. I’m learning to Embrace. Embrace everything about myself, right here, right now. I haven’t quite decided if it’s out of laziness/lack of time, but my greys are seriously coming through right now, and I’m not minding at all. My vanity will no doubt get the better of me sooner or later, but right now, I’m all “grey hair, don’t care.”

9. These two went Trick or Treating for the first time ever this year. We have enough lollies to last a year! So crazy! But they had fun with the neighbourhood kids so it’s hard not to get behind it.

10. Yesterday and the day before were good days. I felt as though I had returned a little bit. Not back to my old self, (that’s not my aim) but back to some semblance of normal. I was happy for no particular reason. I was productive and optimistic about the days ahead. For the first time in nearly two years, I had some hope. And gee it felt nice. I’m trying not to over-analyse it. Maybe it’s the new meds, maybe it’s just the new me. Either way, it was nice to just be me.

10 things on the 10th

Guys. Stuff’s been happening. Lots of stuff. Let’s do this.

1. Frith’s Nanna, who was 101 in April this year, passed away 2 weeks ago. What a life! Mum and I took the kids down the coast for the funeral last Friday and it was a lovely service. I think I went to my first funeral when I was 13, and it was for a grandfather I barely knew. My kids have been to three funerals in their short lives, two of which were for men in their 30s, one of which was for the most important man in their lives. I want them to know that that’s not normal. I want them to know that going to a funeral for an old person is. It was wonderful catching up with the Melbourne Foottits (Hi AA!!) as they never get to see my kids so it was lovely to hang out for a bit afterwards.

Nanna, you were an inspirational, strong woman. What a legend.

Quinn, Nanna, Darby and Chance 2016

2. Julius got his first hair cut!! Before and After. Can you even???

3. These two boys crack me up one minute, and nearly break my spirit the next. They just don’t stop, and I really think they are going to be best mates when they get older. Julius wants to be just like his big bro, and Darby absolutely loves him back.

4. I have an awesome little study set up at home, complete with hand-made desk by a local Brighton chippie who was getting rid of a few things. I absolutely love that it’s one of a kind, like many things in my life.

5. My Sydney trip two weeks ago was EPIC. And extra. So much fun, so many good conversations, several bottles of champagne, insanely good weather…. The trip left a permanent mark on me and I will treasure those 36 hours for years to come.

6. Quinn started ballet!!! I swore I’d never do it, but she asked me and in a moment of weakness, I said yes. She absolutely loves it! Then (2015) and now.

7. We said farewell to Beth and Adam a few weeks ago, as they headed to Cananda for a year on a job-swap. Obviously I’m incredibly happy for them and super excited for their adventure, but they will be so very missed. Beth has been coming over every week since we moved to Brisbane, and the kids just adore her. I know they will be back before we know it, and I’m certainly not wishing the time away. In the mean time, we will get to know the family who are living in their house for the year!

8. Chance is still having sessions with a psychologist. The guy we see is really awesome and Chance loves chatting with him. I’m hoping he will be particularly helpful in the future, when Chance needs to nut a few things out with a trusted adult who isn’t necessarily family. This is Chance drinking an $8 thickshake from the cafe across the road before his appointment. First and last one I buy!!!

9. I’ve been having truly great conversations with people lately. In fact, last Sunday, I had three different conversations with three different people about three very different, but ultimately related things. All three conversations left me both drained and hopeful. I know I have some incredible people in my life, and some who have just come in to my life whom I’m getting to know and admire. There will be many great conversations to come, I’m sure.

10. My scooter bandits. This is what my mornings look like. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes to get to school, sometimes 25, but we always get there in the end.

10 things on the 11th

I received a text message the other night from my friend Kate, of a list for my 10 things on the 10th. Kate and I have known each other our whole lives. It made me cry a little, but mostly made me grateful for good people in my life who love me and are there for me always. So here it is.

Guest post by Kate White

10 things you may or may not know about Wifey.

1. Before mobile phones she wrote reminders all over hand.

2. She did Ballet as a child. (I was jealous)

3. She was mean bass player, both the guitar version and double bass.

4. She can enter a kitchen with nothing in it and like MacGyver come out with a yummy meal.

5. She made me vomit during the delivery of my first child when she entered with some sort of curry smelling meal.

6. She has a big crush on Bradley Cooper.

7. She lived in Edinburgh in her early 20s.

8. Her heart is absolutely broken but that never stops her being a fabulous mama.

9. Despite her extremely busy complicated life she will always help a friend in need

10. Her family mean the world to her. She was happy Nanny got to meet Chance but would love to have seen Nanny and Quinn together, facing off with their stubbornness.

I love you Kate xx

10 things on the 10th

10 characteristics of a good human, according to Wifey.

Good humans might be a part of your every day life, you may only get to see them occasionally, or you may only meet them once in your life. But when you come across a good human, you know you are in the presence of something special, and we would all do well to remember to be grateful for these people, and for the roles, big or small, they play in our lives.

1. Good humans make you feel welcome and at ease in their presence, with seemingly little effort on their part. This is truly a gift, especially when you have four children in tow.

2. Good humans will turn up, physically or otherwise, with what you need, even if you didn’t know you needed it; a meal, a bottle of wine, a small soy cappuccino, some fresh baking, (home made or store-bought, matters not) some kind words, babysitting, flowers, a hug, a box of tissues….. the list is only limited by the good human’s imagination.

3. Good humans will play with your kids, or walk your dog, or offer to keep you company on a walk. They will know which of these things to offer, that’s what makes them good humans.

4. Good humans listen; without judgement, without interrupting, without trying to fix your heartache. They will offer advice or wisdom if asked, but may indeed look you in the eye, and say “I don’t know what to say. But I’m here, and I’m so glad you are talking to me about this.”

5. One of my favourite characteristics of a good human, is how they respond to a request for help. If you are ever in the (privileged) position of being asked for assistance, and you can’t help out, please may I offer this as a response: “I’m sorry I can’t do it this time, but please ask me again.” As someone who finds it extremely difficult to ask for, or accept help, and now no longer having a choice, this response can mean the world, and I will always remember when people say this to me, to ask again next time.

6. Good humans will let you cry on their shoulder until you are a blubbering mess of snot and tears, and not move a muscle until you are ready to pull away and reach for the tissue they are holding for you.

7. They will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time, by allowing you to be exactly how you need to be at that time, and they are not afraid to show their own vulnerability in those times.

8. Good humans participate in healthy debate, and aren’t threatened by other people’s views, when they disagree.

9. Good humans broaden your horizons; they introduce you to new music, their favourite place to get the best lunches, an awesome TV show you’ve never heard of, or a great brand of Prosecco.

10. And finally, good humans invest time in your life, and your kids’ lives (where applicable) to help you be the best versions of yourselves you can possibly be. They get to know you, and what makes you tick, and they build you up, knowing there is enough in this world that can tear us down in an instant.

I am so fortunate to be surrounded by good humans in my life. I know this is no coincidence, as Frith and I were always meeting new people, every time we moved, and it would have been easy to stay in our little bubble, and not get out there and meet all these good humans. But now, with my life taking such an unexpected turn, I am a thousand times thankful for the incredible people, near and far, who support me ever day.

This is my thanks to you.

10 things on the 10th

January 2019 random edition

1. The Rocky Bulletin are doing a follow-up story on Frith. It’ll be in the paper tomorrow.

2. I’m getting the main bathroom in my new house completely re-done before we move in. Will probably be in the house late Feb/early March at a guess.

3. School holidays are going well. Having a mix of going out days and staying at home days. Yesterday was ridiculously busy, so today we are just chilling out.

4. I’m going to the Sunshine Coast with these great people again next Tuesday for a week and can’t wait!

5. I’ve cut way down on booze this year and am feeling much more clear-headed. It hasn’t been as hard as I had thought it might be, for which I am thankful.

6. I categorically need to get back into walking. 

7. I am so tired of getting snacks for the kids every 4 minutes. Give me strength!!

8. I really need to, and am going to, take a break from facebook. If you need to contact me, I think I’ll be joining whatsapp. Or you know, just call me or email me. 

9. I think I’m catching up on a lot of lost sleep this year. Mum has been giving me a lot of sleep-ins these school holidays, and I’m starting to feel slightly better for it.

10. It’s my birthday in a week. That is so weird for me; the last in my 30s. 

It’s going to be a big year.

10 things in the 10th

10 things I’m grateful for

1. My kids have been sleeping like absolute Champions about 5 nights out of 7 each week, meaning they sleep in their own beds all night long ???

2. They have been crashing at night before 8 very easily. This has meant I’ve been able to write my Christmas cards with few interruptions!

3. They are able to sometimes play really nicely together. It’s the best 10 minutes of my week! 

4. Different combinations of the kids together give different dynamics, a variety of games and ideas, and even another 10 minutes of peace for me ?

5. I find their little personalities fascinating to watch. I see so much of myself in them at various stages, and then I see Frith. So interesting!

6. They all sometimes like the same food on a particular day in a particular way I have cooked it when Jupiter is in line with Venus.

7. They all love cuddles. I know it won’t always be like this, with three boys, but Chance and Darby are particularly cuddly and I’m hanging on to that for now.

8. They develop independence without me even realising. The older three all get themselves ready in the morning, and Julius feeds himself. It’s funny how you work so hard every day to teach them life skills and all of a sudden they are doing stuff on their own. Like Quinn brushes her own hair and puts it in a pony tail for school each day. Crazy!

9. I’m grateful for their health. 

10. I’m grateful for each phase of their childhood. Even though I’m finding it difficult to find activities that suit them all at the same time, I know that in a few years they will all be at school and I’ll wonder where the kiddy phase went. 

10 things on the 10th

10 Baby names we didn’t use

1. Silver – for a girl. Or boy. You can guess who chose that one, and who chose not to use it!

2. Gabe – short for Gabriel. Chance was going to be Gabe up until I was seven months pregnant and we heard the name Chance and liked it. It was always on the backburner but never got used.

3. Hector – cute or what!!?

4. Scout – I gave that a big old veto. Scout is a dog’s name, am I right??

5. Zeke – I really love this name, but Frith vetoed it for Julius.

6. Dash – Dash Foottit? I don’t think so….

7. Wesley – or Wes Lee. Ha ha. Didn’t quite stick.

8. Alby – how stinkin’ cute is that??? Frith vetoed 🙁

9. Louie or Linus – both adorable.

As you can see, these are pretty much all boy’s names, as we had a girl’s name picked out for a long time:

10. Lacey-Cate. The girl’s name we had picked out for Darby and Julius that we never got to use. We loved this name. I loved that it saluted the Cathy and Kates in our lives. Such a perfect name 🙁

There are actually HEAPS more like Victor, Hogarth, Bryce, Jesse, Leon, Sinclair, Jarvis, Archer, Lex, Howard, Bernie, Perry, Kiel, Luca and Aramis. Need a boy’s name? Feel free to steal one 🙂

10 things on the 10th

10 more things Frith never got to do

1. Make his own boots – he found a course in Melbourne that taught you how to make your own shoes. The cost of the course girls buy a lot of boots…

2. Get a tattoo – he had chosen the artist; a tattooist down in Melbourne (he loved Melbourne) but hadn’t chosen the design.

3. Watch Lost and How I met your Mother.

4. Run for local office. That was something he had started toying with in Rocky

5. Do a guest post on my blog. Apart from announcing Chance’s arrival, which doesn’t really count.

6. Get the Lego Knights Castle. It was on my list to get him…

7. See the new model Delica. I think he would have wanted it!!

8. Teach Chance how to solve a Rubix Cube.

9. Read The Watchmen graphic Novel I bought him, or watch the movie.

10. Try 99% Lindt chocolate.