Flashback Friday (on a Saturday!!)

Don’t judge. I’ve been busy. Also I generally don’t know what day of the week it is anyway…

Whilst in Melbourne (blog post to come. Also Orange trip blog post to come…) we headed down to Sorrento for a night to catch up with the splendid Aunty Alida and Uncle Wayne and family. I met these gorgeous rellies of Frith’s in Melbourne, back when we were only dating, and considering moving to Melbourne for Frith to study medicine. I knew I’d hit the family jackpot with them, and it made the decision to commit to the Melbourne move much easier for sure.

The family house at Sorrento was a place Frith and I frequented in our time in Melbourne, and this trip brought back so many memories.

Me and the fire pit circa April 2009. Pre kids.
Me with the same fire pit a decade later. With booze. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love how, in this post, I’m all “oh I’m so glad I’ve had this holiday from my exhausting life of zero children and a reception job with very little responsibility and my nights of 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep blah blah blah.” Ha ha. At the time I’m sure I thought I was tired and needed a break. So adorable…

I also love that our nephew Nathan was there with us back in 2009, and again in 2019. Back then, as a 14-year-old, Frith was giving him wheelbarrow rides and teaching him how to light the fire. It was fun to reminisce ๐Ÿ™‚

It was so great to be surrounded by family, with the kids playing together and being looked after by our little crew. One of Frith’s cousins’ husbands was taking the kids on trailer rides on the back of their ride-on mower. Unbeknownst to me, Chance asked if he could have a go at driving the mower. Jez so kindly gave him the guidance he needed, and taught him about a wide turn to avoid colliding with the tree. It was such a small thing to do, and Jez probably didn’t think twice about it, but for me, what I saw was my son who no longer has his Dad around, having yet another wonderful male role model in his life.

It meant so much to us both, in such different ways and I’m so grateful for extended family playing their part in our lives.

Thanks guys. You are all kind and amazing and generous and loving and wonderful, and we will visit again soon. I promise xx

Melbourne Trip

Nearly a month has passed (flown by) since I took Chance and Quinn to Melbourne for a few days to stay with my brother and sister-in-law. It was so much fun and completely exhausting all at once! I honestly thought it would be such an easy trip, just with the two older kids, and that it would actually feel like a holiday.

Logistically, it was definitely easier. No nappies or toddler paraphernalia to pack, no stroller or nap times to consider, no bag of tricks for the plane ride to entertain kids for 5 minute intervals etc etc.

But emotionally? Woah. The kids were in this constant state of excitement/tired and overwhelmed I think, which was the perfect combination for meltdowns at 10pm, just around the time when I wanted to be hanging out with Kris and Kate, drinking delicious home brew. Not consoling a 6-year-old the first night and an 8-year-old the next night.

I really tried not to pack too much in to the trip, but I hadn’t really factored in all the walking we did, and all the time spent in the car getting from A to B. It really did take a lot out of them!

Anyway, I am already planning our next trip in October for PAX, and I’ve learned some lessons from this trip for sure! On with the photos!

Easiest plane trip EVER!!!! I got to read my book!
I took them to Frith St, Brunswick ๐Ÿ™‚
And of course, Savers on Sydney Rd!
There were lots of walks with Brews the Dog – the weather was STUNNING!
And a lovely catch-up with my gorgeous niece
Quinn got to know Brews and by the second day of our trip, was patting him and not as scared!! This was HUGE as Quinn is pretty much terrified of dogs, generally…
Melbourne really turned on the most gorgeous weather for us, but that meant I just carried jumpers around wherever we went! Trust issues much??
We spent the morning at the Melbourne Aquarium which was great and included a 4D Ice Age show which was hilarious!
Fluffy baby penguin!!!!
Ice cream every day! Of course!
We headed to St Kilda to see the penguins that night as well. It’s a thing!!
The Melbourne sky line from St Kilda pier, with all the boats. Just gorgeous.

I really loved taking the kids to Melbourne. For me, it was where Frith and I really established ourselves as a married couple, and we have so so many memories that I fall back on.

On the Friday morning we hit up ScienceWorks which was heaps of fun, then while Kris and Kate went their own way for some important business we headed over to our good friends place for a huge med school catch up. Almost all of our close friends from Melbourne Uni days were able to make it which was completely fabulous! There were 8 kids there and 9 adults for most of the evening and it felt wonderful being with my Melbourne crew again. These people are some of the best I know, and I love that we have all stayed close over the last 10 years.

Saturday was more catch-ups and then the flight home in the evening which was delayed for nearly two hours all up, but the kids and I kept ourselves entertained with eye-spy and guessing games.

Darby and Julius went really well with Mum and Dad (thank you!!!!) and we even found a gorgeous penguin onesie for Darby at one of the op shops we visited!!

I was honestly so exhausted by the time we got home, but with a little more planning next time, I know we can have another great trip.

Going Solo and Melbourne

Mum and Dad went to Melbourne last Wednesday, and they return home today. I decided to “go it alone” with the kids at home, as a bit of a test run for when we find a house of our own. I did have some help (and lots of fun!) over the weekend with sleepovers and activities, and help with washing during the week, but for the most part, the last nine days has seen me single-parenting the kids.

And you know what? It’s gone rather well.

It’s one of those situations where, if you know you have to do it, you just do it. Having Mum and Dad around is an absolute God-send, and I really do appreciate how much they do for me every single day, especially when they’re not around. But I guess for me it’s nice to know that when it comes to it, I will be able to manage “on my own.”

Having something to look forward to has certainly helped! I head to Melbourne tomorrow morning for a friend’s 50th on Saturday night, and I get home Sunday night. I’m SO excited about this trip. You guysย knowย how much Iย love Melbourne, and being able to see a bunch of people all at once will be such a treat. So this has definitely helped me plough through the night time routines and seemingly endless mornings.

I also feel like I have a bit of my writing mojo back which is nice. I have a lot going on in my head, a lot going down on paper, and not much going on the screen, but it’s nice to be writing again.

The title of this post was originally “Going Solo and Being Blindsided by Grief” but the grief thing is a post all in itself. I did want to say thank you for all the love after I shared that article on fb yesterday. It hit me rather hard and rather unexpectedly.

But right now I’m concentrating on my parenting victories, and my upcoming trip to my happy town. I might even squeeze in a spot of op-shopping ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™„ย 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

A real Melbourne day out

Nowย this is what I’m talking about. It’s been a bit of a pain getting around with the stroller to be honest. I was planning on hitting up a couple of op shops today but the thought of getting on and off trains and trams just didn’t get me excited at all. So after an awesome morning with Hubs at PAX I decided to head on over to the Stomping Ground where my brother works, to sit back and chill out for a bit.

The best thing? It was ONE 14 minute train ride away with no changes. Winner winner! I got there, ordered my beer from my Bro and just enjoyed this beautiful brew pub.

It is suuuuuch a great place. So Melbourne. So I texted our good friends Nathan and Cal who live nearby to see if they wanted to come on down. And they did! And Hubs dragged himself away from PAX and came too! Brilliant!

Soooo much history with these beautiful people. They were the first couple I ever married once I became a celebrant!

(Yes, I did just dig that photo up!)

And Chance and April are only a year apart! (April and Chance May 2012)

And this happened today. Just too cute. (April and Julius Oct 2017)

I really just needed a relaxing afternoon with good friends to re-energise for the weekend. So good for the soul. โคโคโค

PAX Aus 2017

Today got off to a great start with Jules sleeping all night until 6am! Then we co-slept until 8.30 and had a cruisey morning. I then bought my coffee off an Eastern European lady who reminded me of Nanny and said I couldn’t possibly have four children because I don’t look a day over 25. Lies, all lies but I’ll take it! Ha ha. The drugs for my sore back kicked in and now we are in the main arena of PAX checking out the latest and greatest in video games.

It doesn’t overly interest me but Hubs loves having me here and Hubs interests me so it’s worth it.

There are SO many kids here this year and I’ve never noticed that before. Maybe next year will be the year we bring Chance! In the mean time, so far Jules is unimpressed ๐Ÿ˜‰

A rough start

But it will get better!

Hubs and Jules and I arrived in Melbourne last night after two non-eventful and easy flights. But we’re not feeling great. I went to bed at 9 last night (8pm Qld time) feeling completely exhausted and a bit unwell. I was absolutely freezing and had the shakes and just couldn’t get warm. And Jules was unsettled so after getting up three times in two hours to feed and settle him I brought him in to bed with us. Then I woke up hot so I’m guessing I had a fever for some reason.

And today I somehow put my neck out and I have a nerve that feels like it’s pinching. Ouch! Hubs isn’t fairing much better with a headache and sore throat. We have been looking forward to this trip for weeks and here we are in a bit of bother. Hubs is currently having a nap before we go out to meet our friend for dinner.

It’s been cold and windy today which has made Julius a bit snuffly, and the high pollen count in the air has kept us sneezing all day! Sheesh! We’ve just dosed up on anti-histamine and nurofen to pep us up a bit.

So yeah we haven’t had a great start but with warmer weather coming our way tomorrow, surely it can only get better!

Jules meets uncle Kristian!

1000 words

Back to where it all began.

We’ve been in Melbourne for less than 48 hours and it feels like we never left. How is that possible? Since leaving the city almost six years ago, we have moved house seven times and had three kids. That’s a lot of life changes by anyone’s standards.

Maybe I just want to feel like I never left. This is a week of freedom for Hubs and I; to live it up and do whatever we please. We’ve been reminiscing like crazy and going to all our favourite places. Just like old times.

Moving to Melbourne was a real turning point in my life, and so much has happened because of that decision to move. Hubs broached the subject of him wanting to study down here when we first got together and I’m pretty sure my thoughts were “noooooooo! I don’t want to leave Brisbane! Nanny will be devastated!” Outwardly I would have been much cooler I’m sure.

Five months later, in May 2007, we took a trip down here “just to check it out”. Oh and Frith had his interview with Melbourne uni. After spending some time in the city, and meeting his gorgeous family down here, I was sold. I was also thinking a certain question might be popped during our visit, but he had other plans for that the following month.

A bit over a year later, at the end of a long, cold, amazingly fun trip down in the kombi, we arrived as husband and wife. And a few days later I started this blog. All of our highs and lows and in-betweens have been documented here. I never thought I would keep it up for so long but blogging is just a part of my life now. I had talked about starting a blog for months, but it wasn’t until we moved that I actually felt the urge to begin.

Melbourne changed me, and for the better I believe. It was time for me to get out on my own, with my new husband; my new family, by my side. We were a unit the two if us; in love, invincible; and in Melbourne.

The first six months were hard. I went from having social engagements every night in Brisbane, to no friends and nothing to do in Melbourne. Frith made friends easily through medicine, and while they knocked off at midday on a Friday and headed to the pub, I was working full time to support us. Resentment crept in. Jealousy tapped me on the shoulder. Feelings I never thought possible towards my shiny new, perfect husband surfaced.

For the most part I ignored those feelings; pushed them deep down and put on a smiling face. But a few too many wines would bring it all bubbling to the surface and everything would come pouring out. Once the booze wore off, and we were able to communicate like adults, Hubs would make me spill my guts. Everything. All my insecurities, my suspicions were all heard out and all reassured. We were still new at this thing called marriage. We had to work out our own path and figure out what worked for us.

Reality had set in and not all was perfect. But that’s what marriage is all about. Being perfect for each other, and doing the very best you can. Being your own person and not trying to be someone you’re not, just to please your spouse. I was trying to be everything Hubs wanted me to be, when all I had to do was to be myself. That’s who he fell in love with. The cat was well and truly out of the bag before we got married – he knew I wasn’t perfect and he loved me for it.

I just had to learn to love myself a little more. I had to figure out who I was without my family and friends around to define me. This took some time, and it turns out I’m still a work in progress. But I’ve learnt to love the process and the journey, and not just try and skip to the end result.

So as I walk around Melbourne now, dropping in on familiar places that feel like old friends, I remember Renae from 2008 and I reassure her that things are working out pretty well. I tell her that she and Hubs will never stop disagreeing on things, but that we always sort things out and get stronger. I tell her that even though she has to move around a lot, the adventures that follow make it worthwhile. I tell her to enjoy her sleep-ins and hot coffees, because once the kids come, they are the first things to go.

I tell her about the friends she will meet and the people who she will stay in touch with; it will surprise her who makes the effort to keep in contact. I tell her that she might want to stop at three children and not have four or five like they always talk about, but I know she’ll never believe me. I tell her how Hubs is a wonderful father but she already knows that.

I tell her that Nanny will never get to meet her great-granddaughter and that will upset her. A lot. Especially when her middle name is Maria, and she reminds her of Nanny everyday.

I tell her not to worry so much about what is to come; to trust Hubs more, as he always comes through with the goods. I remind her to tell Hubs everyday how much he is loved. He puts on a tough exterior, but, just like her, he needs to know.

So as I sit here staring at the bottom of another cup of coffee, waiting for Hubs to finish his GSSE, and wondering where life will take us next, I am grateful that we started our journey here in this beautiful city, full of incredible people and memories.

We’ll always have Melbourne.

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10 things I’ve missed about Melbourne

Hubs and I arrived in Melbourne yesterday for a week. Child free. He has exams today and tomorrow morning and then the city is ours to enjoy. So for today’s 10 things in the 10th, I give you Melbourne and all its awesomeness.

1. Cheap food. Particularly cheap sushi. The sushi we bought yesterday was $2.20-$2.50 per roll, and delicious.

2. Good coffee. Everywhere.

3. The public transport. Particularly the trams.

4. The shopping.

5. Good friends to stay with (thanks Jason and Susan) and to visit.

6. Everyone just minds their own business and kind of does their own thing when you’re out and about. I never feel judged down here.

7. It’s easy to walk everywhere when we stay in Carlton.

8. “The sprout and the bean”. This song was used in a “Visit Victoria” song before we moved to Melbourne and it became our Melbourne song. I played it on my phone yesterday as we were sitting in a lane way having a drink and it brought back so much for me.

9. Dinner with family. Our Melbourne rellies have a family dinner in Tuesdays and we went last night for a great catch up, amazing food and some of the best company in town. Love you guys.

10. The feeling I get when I come to Melbourne. This last one is a bit of a lead-in to my next post. And strap yourselves in guys, cos it’s going to be post #1000 on the blog ๐Ÿ™‚

14 days 14 photos

Seeing as how it’s been two weeks since I blogged, here’s what we’ve been up to.

The kids falling asleep in the car on our way from the Sorrento holiday house to the airport.

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Too cute ๐Ÿ™‚

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And just another baby photo of Darbs

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The disastrous first batch of cookies

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The second batch was better

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I’ve been walking the hills of Kelvin Grove and really enjoying the views from the top.

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We celebrated a birthday with family

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And we had very sleepy kids on the way home

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Quinn is finally letting me plait her hair!

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Ooooooh yeah. Look at that face.

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There has been so much of this going on And it has been so gosh darn delightful.

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And aaaaaah… another wedding

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“That word. Say it clear now. L-O-V-E Love.”

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Love these girls so so much.

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That’s about it for now. We have another wedding coming up this weekend, and due to a clerical error (ie me forgetting to book a flight), Hubs won’t be joining us. This also means that I’ll be flying back to Rocky with the three kids on my own. But I’ve done it once so I can do it again.

Just FYI I’m loving life. I can’t wait to get back to Rocky and back to Hubs and back to our beautiful house and back to a bit of a routine.

Loving. Life.