“This is Where I Leave You”

Have you seen this movie?

When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

It’s the read deal. I saw it with my bestie Kate, when it first came out in 2014 and it seriously stuck with me over the years. When I saw today it was on Netflix, I knew it was what I was going to be watching tonight. And here I am. At the bottom of my second glass of red, fourth piece of 70% dark chocolate, needing to write.

I haven’t blogged in a little while. Not properly anyway. What do I say? My husband died on new years day, and his brother, my dear, sweet, brother-in-law, died last week. What does it all mean? Why is all this happening to such a beautiful family?

I was in a bad place this afternoon. Yesterday was Etienne’s funeral, and it really hit me hard. Today was challenging. Parenting, combined with not enough sleep and too much grief, left me in a yelling, impatient mood with the kids. Not my finest hour(s).

I reached out to a few people, my support crew, and I was reassured, I was loved, and I was understood; I was encouraged, I was forgiven, and I was shown grace. All the things I needed, there and then.

And then I watched the movie. It’s one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s so real and makes me wonder if my kids are going to be this close when they get older. Three boys and a girl. Though, their father died when they were all adults, not kids and babies. Makes me so sad. Life can be so unfair.

There are so many stand-out lines in the movie.

Anything can happen. Anything happens all the time.

In the movie, the context was good stuff. But in my life right now, I just believe anything happens all the time, good and bad. And one day, a good “anything” will happen. I do believe that.

Another one:

There you go. Deflecting emotion with logistics.

Oh my gosh this is me!! Ha ha. When I heard this line, It just resonated with me. It’s so much easier for me to focus on logistics, than it is to focus on emotions. When people ask me how I’m doing, I always reply “I’m okay. As long as the kids are okay, I’m okay.” It’s almost turned into a mantra. Do people want to hear how I’m really going?  My Uber driver last night asked me how my day was, and I answered honestly. But it’s hard, because it changes daily, sometimes by the hour.

At 5pm today I couldn’t see a way I could possibly put one foot in front of the other. By 6:30pm I was a little better, because my kids were laughing hysterically at the movie they were watching, which made me smile; and by 7:00pm I was ever better, when Mum and Dad told me that Julius’ reaction to hearing a bubbly wine cork popping was to say “Mama!” It made me laugh. Then around 7:30pm, mum and dad and I were watching the movie “Twins” and laughing at the same dumb gags we were laughing at when we watched it together 20 years ago.

That shit is real.

Is this life? Is this grief? Is this just how my life is going to be from now on? I said to my counselor the other day that I just want to feel normal again, but that will never happen, as my normal will never be the same. This is my new normal. I have to feel this, and quite frankly, it scares the shit out of me. Much easier to focus on the logistics. Where will we live? What school will the kids go to? What sports will they play?

Did I mention I love Jason Bateman? Yeah. It’s been going on for a while. I’m okay with it. Though in this movie, I would not say no to smoking weed with Philip. I only ever dabbled in a joint or two in my (very) late teens, but right now, I feel like I need something to chill out just a little 🙂 Just saying. (Hello tangent.)

There is seriously so much about this movie that I love. In the end, Jason’s character (yes, we are on a first-name basis. Deal with it) takes the Porsche. I love that. I like to think I would have the stones to do that also. Maybe one day I will be presented with an opportunity to take the Porsche, and I think I could do it. There’s not much that scares me these days.

I love writing. I need writing in my life. Maybe I am a writer. People keep telling me I’m good at it, and I keep saying it’s a hobby, but I do love it. And during the whole movie tonight, I was formulating this blog post. And here I am.

The last song of the movie is “are you ready to fly On Your Own“. Seriously. Could this movie possibly talk to me more?? Ugh. It’s almost too much.

Almost.

Or maybe just enough.

This is where I leave you. And fly on my own.

Together again

It’s hard to believe neither of them are with us anymore. This year has been so cruel.

I’m sure they have found each other in the afterlife and have so much to talk about. Two brilliant minds with full knowledge of the universe. Can you even imagine?

It doesn’t make it easier for us left behind though.

Gentlemen, you are so loved and so missed. We promise to take care of each other, until we meet again.

Etienne Foottit ~ October 1986 – July 2018

The fog

I don’t know if it’s the fact that all four kids slept in their own beds all night long last night, until 7am this morning, but I woke up feeling pretty okay.

I don’t know know if it’s because my anger is starting to soften, but I spent my morning with a warmer heart.

I don’t know if it was the baby cuddles I had with my cousin’s seven week old this morning, but my day felt lighter.

I don’t know if it was the gratitude I feel towards my family helping me out every single day that made my afternoon feel easier.

I don’t know if it was the endorphins from the Hiit workout I did this afternoon, but my muscles definitely felt sore. But stronger than yesterday.

I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow. I don’t know how the kids will sleep tonight. But I do feel like the fog has lifted, if ever so slightly, and I’m starting to see and feel things again that I haven’t been open to since the start of the year.

And it feels pretty okay.

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!!