A not-so-Rocky visit

It had been 18 months since I’d been to Rockhampton. I had planned to drive up with the kids mid last year for the school holidays, but realised about a month before I was due to go, that it wasn’t a great idea, and that even though I had said I would do it, I was allowed to change my mind. So again, this year for the mid-year holidays, I’d planned to drive the kids up for a visit. But it just didn’t sit well. Every time I thought about taking the kids back, and the emotions it might stir up, I just felt ill.

So again, I canned the trip. For them, anyway. Instead, I got some cheap (ish) mid-week flights and headed up one Tuesday morning, and home Wednesday night.

I was still dreading it. I had no idea how I would feel, seeing the house again; seeing other people in our house; seeing friends again who I hadn’t seen in ages. But thankfully, the house looked amazing and the tenants who had just moved in a few months ago really love living there. How could you not love a house with a huge deck and this view…

Our view for three amazing years. I really do miss it some days.

I caught up with some friends and got a great night sleep, which really is what it’s all about when I go away. I feel like I got a good mix of catch ups and rest, and didn’t cram too much in. It actually wasn’t as emotional as I thought it might have been, and now that I’ve been back on my own, I’m much more confident to take the kids with me next time.

Until next time Rocky.

Blood, sweat and tears

And boxes. And bags. And random stuff thrown into piles and dumped into the back of my car.

The sweat was me, the blood and tears were poor Julius. Yes, our first night in the house and we had a mouthful of blood. I think he did a big old face plant (which may have be accidentally instigated by Darby rushing past him) and put his tooth through the side of his cheek. Poor little guy.

Though they looked pretty happy once they were fed and bathed and ready to play again! Julius paused just long enough on his way up to Quinn’s top bunk to give me a big cheeeeeeese!

And I’m pretty pleased with myself now, with all of them asleep and the sound of my keyboard tapping away. Because the Wifi is working and the NBN over this side of the bridge is so much better! Winning!

I still have heaps to do, but we’re in and everything else will come in time. Happy School Holidays, one and all! 🙂

Good Grief

Another book title I’ve contemplated along the way. It also comes from one of my favourite come strips of all time. The kids have been watching The  Peanuts Movie lately and I love that they are picking up lines from it. For instance, they frequently call each other “my sweet babboo” which I freaking love!  

So back to it. I know I’ve been a bit absent on the old blog lately. Where has this year gone! Ha ha. I know it’s only 27 days old, but there goes January, just like that. I gotta say, it started well, and if I’m honest, has been pretty up and down since. All to be expected, and my new normal it seems, but it still leaves me exhausted quite a bit. 

I wanted to catch you up on a few things! Like Christmas!!

What a wonderful day! I really wanted the focus to be on a few special gifts that were unwrapped and appreciated rather than just tossed aside for the next one and the next one etc etc. And we succeeded! And to be honest, as long as my cousins and my kid’s cousins are around, it’s always going to be a great day.

A few fun days away with Julius’ Fairy Godmother 🙂

And New Years!! SO much fun 🙂 (There were more celebrations after this, but I didn’t get many photos!! Ugh!)

And then I went away for a week with some incredibly gorgeous friends. It was just amazing. These people!!! And can you believe this photo?? All looking at the camera and all looking fabulous. I can’t even! What an achievement in itself!!

My birthday was wonderfully awesome and low-key and special. I used to be all about the big parties with heaps of people all at once, and it maybe just because I’m getting older (sheesh) or I just don’t need the big fuss anymore, but I really prefer to enjoy quality time with small groups of people these days. And yes, I’m already planning for my 40th next year 🙂

So many things coming up in the next week or two, including Chance and Quinn starting at their new school tomorrow, and Quinn turning six on Friday. After that, I’m hoping it will all be about getting the house ready to move into, hopefully by Easter. To be honest, part of me is super super keen to get in there and have our own space, but I am also really keen to have everything done and completed before that happens, so I’m in no great rush. When it’s done it’s done. 

So here we are in 2019. Who would have thought we would be where we are, but life just keeps on keeping on, and either we let it take us along, or we get left behind. The choice is ours, and more subconsciously I suppose, I’m choosing to keep on keeping on.

I refuse to be left behind.

Just another manic Monday

Julius woke up at 4am, but thankfully went back to sleep. Everyone was awake by 6:15am, so no complaints there.

I got to tell the kids that I bought a house!

I know right!!?? It’s in Brighton, where I’ve been concentrating my search. I bid over the phone at the Auction on Saturday morning from Melbourne and now we have a house! It settles mid-December, and we will move in January some time. Absolutely thrilled! Bought some bubbles to celebrate!

Not long after I told them, Quinny got her nose out of joint about something, and was up and down for the rest of the morning, saying she didn’t want to go to Prep. Also insisting she hated blueberries and only wanted strawberries. She didn’t want a banana or a peach either. I know it wasn’t about the fruit; she was tired and I’d been away all weekend, so I did try my best to be patient.

After stuffing around with school lunches, we were only slightly late for school. Quinn turned it around thankfully, and was happy to go into her classroom. As I was leaving the school, I was reminded that today was “Chappy Lunch Subway day” that I had already paid for weeks ago, which meant I didn’t actually have to make lunch for them. Sheesh!!!!!

I had committed myself to a series of cooking classes on Monday mornings at the church I go to playgroup at, and on my way I was feeling less than enthused. I’m pretty tired and have a lot to do with regards to the house, but I thought “I’ve committed, and it’s popular and I’ve taken a spot” so I wanted to honour that commitment. Plus I read we all received a “free slow cooker and Jamie Oliver cookbook!” Which I thought meant two cookbooks but no! I actually got a slow cooker! So I was pretty excited about that, since I don’t have one anymore.

I’ve now paid my deposit for the house, and have started scouring Gumtree for furniture. I plan to get everything second hand, as much as possible.

So yeah, just your typical Monday morning around here!

The perfect house

I remember when Frith and I were looking at buying a house in Wangaratta, one of the catch-phrases that and agent used was “Let’s find you a house so you can get your Saturdays back!” I feel like I need to find a house so I can get my life back! I live on realestate.com.au at the moment. I feel like I’m constantly hitting the refresh button to see if new houses have been listed; to see if “the one” has come up for sale.

I’ve looked at 21 houses in person in the last 6 months or so, and countless online. I’ve put in one offer (that was rejected for being “offensive”… don’t get me started…) and have tried to talk myself into a few houses that weren’t quite right, but possibly might have had some potential. I was contemplating all this house stuff when I had a quiet moment to myself the other day (it didn’t last long).

I’ve never had to look for a house under these circumstances. And I’m not just talking about being alone. I’m talking about knowing the kids and I will be there for many years to come, and not just another year here or a year there.

The thing is, over the last 11 years, I have always found us the right place to live. Sometimes my options were very limited, by budget and location, but often that was also a blessing. Sometimes we decided we wanted to buy a house, but it didn’t come through for us for various reasons. Sometimes, the stars aligned, we found a house we loved, and we moved into it. And sometimes we have been plonked into a house or townhouse with not much say in it (due to Frith’s work). But no matter what, I have always made it into a home.

The house we bought in Rocky* was the only house we looked at. Yes, we literally made an impulse purchase on a house. And even though I never ever intended on buying a  fixer-upper, even though we cursed it regularly, and spent way too much money on it, we loved it so much, and it really felt like home. The memories we made there as a family, are the only ones the kids will remember with Frith. It’s the only home we had as a family of six.

My point to all this is that, no matter what house I buy, I know I will make it our home. I’ve never been in a position to buy a “forever home”, or at least a 20 year home, and it’s daunting as hell. I guess I just have to have faith that no matter what, we will be at home wherever we are.

*I love this link because if you click on the photos in reverse order, it shows the before AND after!!

Day 1

Today was huge.

It started with a bit of a hangover, but more from sleep depravation than anything else. The fridge iced over last night so I had to defrost it (good as new!) Thankfully mum had already emptied it out into various eskis and the downstairs fridge.

The I had to take Jules for his 6 month needles. He wasn’t too fussed thankfully.

In fairness that photo was taken before the jabs but whatever.

Mum and Dad and kids are sticking around for a couple more days which is great for me! More uninterrupted packing time! Woooooohooooooo. I’m so lucky.

Anyway, I came home, had a coffee, and it was time to pack the first box. That one is often the hardest. A day and probably 20 boxes later, I’ve made an unnoticeable dent. But most is the stuff I packed did come out of cupboards.

I’ve (perhaps foolishly) decided to have a garage sale this Saturday to at least try and get a bit of cash for our worldly possessions.

I have a to do list a mile long, including “find house in Toowoomba to live in” but we will get there.

One cute photo at a time.

What a view

When we started talking about how to renovate this house two years ago, this is EXACTLY what I had in mind. Beautiful deck with our beautiful view that I can enjoy while preparing food for family and friends.

This is potato salad prepared in “Nanny’s potato salad bowl” and Nanny’s serving spoon with Quinn Maria pretending not to notice I was taking a photo.

I’m going to miss our beautiful house and neighbours more than you know. Pancakes on the deck with my world.

It just occurred to me

Darby was around the age Julius is now, when we moved to Rocky.

This post was written around that time.

It’s so crazy to think we moved towns with a 6 week old but if you know us, you know it’s just what we do.

I was just having a read through some of my posts from back when we moved here. The cyclone, the house, the renovations we planned to do and how it didn’t faze me at the time.

I wish I could say the same for now. It’s kind of fazing me. A lot.  We have until the end of the year to get as much done as we can. The list is long and the money is tight. And I’m tired.

But things will get done – they always do. I just have to have a little faith ?

It owes me nothing

This is my dishwasher

I’d say we bought it two years ago but we actually acquired it through a Gumtree ad. For nothing. In fact I think the “seller” may have even dropped it off to us. We were advised that it should work once the control panel was fixed. Challenge accepted by Hubs and we had a working dishwasher.

It also needed a thorough clean out that thankfully I was not involved in. Apparently it was a little gross but it did the trick!

Guys this dishwasher is awesome. If you’ve ever come to stay, you will have been treated to my raving about its awesomeness. The heat that this thing produces means everything comes up sparkling clean. Either that or melted – some things just aren’t meant to go in the bottom rack.

It does have its quirks. You have to use a toothpick to turn it on and choose the cycle. There were screws in place as buttons but they have since fallen out, and to be honest the toothpick gives it a child-proof function that I like. Because Darby likes buttons.

Unfortunately it is is starting to play up a little. The latch is broken so now I have to use sticky tape to close it for each wash.

And it sometimes comes up with an F4 error which, after a Google search is something to do with the temperature. The troubleshooting for it? Switch it off and on again and it should work. It does.

I’ll be so sad when it does eventually die. If it lasts the rest of the year it will be a miracle! Maybe I should start keeping an eye out on Gumtree for our next bargain…

It’s not over yet

I believe we are feeling the after effects of cyclone Debbie and boy is it crazy. I mean it’s not Marcia crazy, but being in our own house makes it a bit more nerve wracking. I’m just grateful for our new roof and windows! This is what we are currently experiencing.

Again, I’m very grateful that we didn’t cop the brunt of it (poor Airlie Beach!) but this rain is relentless! It’s been pretty much pouring on and off since Monday with more on the way tomorrow.

And don’t even get me started on the mozzies. Ugh. When it clears up on Friday we’ll know about it! In the mean time I promise I will try to enjoy the sound of the rain on our roof as I go to sleep, be thankful for the lush green grass, and try not to curse too much when it pours at school pick up time.