What I know to be true

Frith fiercely loved me. He saw things in me that I had trouble seeing in myself, but he always showed his love to me and I always felt completely safe with him by my side. He was besotted with and adored his children like crazy. He taught them new things every day and just wanted to make them happy.

Frith cherished his family, and even though he sometimes gave his siblings a hard time, he had nothing but admiration for them. He was the best uncle to his nieces and nephew and a wonderful, cheeky son to his amazing parents.

Frith admired his colleagues and spoke of his mentors with such praise. He made friends easily, and held a select few close to his heart. Those select few have turned into a few more over that last 10 years.

Frith was such a unique person with so many different hobbies and interests. He could have conversations with anyone from anywhere, and they would immediately warm to him. It’s one of the many things that made him a great doctor, as well as just a great person.

Once you met Frith, you would always remember him; something about him. Maybe his dreads, maybe his smile, maybe his sharp dressing or shiny boots, maybe his ability to engage with your kid with a high-five and snap of the fingers.

I know he loved to live life. But I also know he often felt like there was more. He wanted more, but he didn’t know what it was or how to get it. It might surprise you to know that behind his charismatic flair, happiness often eluded him, and that would make him feel sad. He seemed to have it all, but his deep thinking mind often drove him into existential woe, especially after a big night.

I know many of you are wondering about the circumstances surrounding his death, and I don’t want it to be taboo. I don’t know all the details; no one does, and we never will.

What I know to be true is that Frith took his own life. Something got the better of him and in a moment of drunken madness, he made a decision.

It’s hard not to speculate about this and that. It’s hard not to ask the “why” and “how did this happen” questions. It’s hard for us not to wonder if we could have done something. Even though he was never diagnosed, I believe Frith suffered from some depression but I thought that since we talked so often and openly about everything, that was enough.

What I know to be true is that he loved with great passion. He genuinely cared for people and was always there for a beer and a chat. This is how we will remember him.

Happy 10 years

10 years ago, I married this man.

I could not have known then, that he would take me on such a unique and extraordinary journey. Our life is like no one else’s I know.

He makes me laugh, and has certainly made me cry. But he gets me. He’s not afraid to have the hard conversations. He’s not afraid to be completely honest with me, even if it’s hard in the short term. He knows that, no matter what, we will always find our way back.

We both know that we are in this together; for the long run, and that it may take time, but we always work things out. We are stronger for those hard times. We have been tested and we have come through.

We drive each other crazy with our quirks, but we accept the other just as they are. We know we are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we don’t need to be. He is my soy cappuccino and I am his Rum and Rooibos.

Here are 11 things after 11 years together, 10 of them married, that you may not know.

11 years together
Officially got together 26th November 2006.

10 years of marriage
Married 1st December 2007 (engaged June 2007)

9 houses
Mission House (Toowong), Newman College (Melbourne), Wangaratta (unit), Mount Beauty, Wangaratta (house), Townsville, Ingham, Mount Isa, Rockhampton.

8 car seats
In each car!

7 years as parents
The journey began with Chance on the 27th November, 2010, right before our three year wedding anniversary.

6 hospital jobs
Wangaratta (as a student), Mount Beauty (student), Townsville, Ingham, Mount Isa, Rockhampton.

5 Days of Day Camp 1999
It took for Hubs to know I was the one. It took my slightly longer but when I knew, I knew.

4 kids
Chance (27/11/10), Quinn (1/2/13), Darby (7/12/14), Julius (18/5/17)

3 different cars
Kombi, Falcon station wagon, Land cruiser. And we still have the Kombi and Cruiser!

(I’m 4 days overdue with Darby in the below photo. We went out for our anniversary dinner. He was born 6 days later!)

2 people 
Just me and him.

1 marriage
Happily Ever After.

Road trippin’

We are here. We arrived in Cairns last night at 8pm. We left Rocky at 2pm Friday and after stopping in Mackay for dinner (and a pee stop somewhere before that) we arrived in Bowen around 10pm. 565km in 8 hours. Not bad going with four kids and a couple of stops.

The kids set up

Ocean View Motel just outside of Bowen

We pretty much just got up and left on Saturday morning and started heading for Townsville around 8am. It took close to three hours to do the 200km drive thanks to roadworks but the kids did so well! We got there and let them loose in the water park while we caught up with friends and family there. It was 2.5 hours very well spent.

After buying sushi and iced coffees we left close to 2pm and were half an hour out of town when we realised we needed fuel. So annoying! So we stopped and of course the kids needed to pee and Darby woke up from his deep sleep he was in. After some stuffing around we finally made it to Innisfail around 5pm and stopped for dinner.

We were all getting pretty much over it by this stage but still had 120km to go!

We had to keep going! We got back on the road around 6 and I ended up sitting in the back seat with the kids. Jules was inconsolable but happy with me there.

Frith and Jules having a quick break in Innisfail.

That last leg was a doozie bit we made it! So day two was 523km in 12 hours. Yes 12. It was pretty crazy towards the end but we made it and it is glorious to be on holidays with our people. Our incredible friends who we adore and wish we saw more of. So we are just soaking it all in. And enjoying the amazing Air BnB house. Seriously. The main bedroom and cot are nicer than our own bedroom at home!

It’s going to be an amazing 10 days. I’ll keep you posted!

Tall and proud

I went to a Hiit Out (High Intensity Interval Training) session tonight at the gym and it was taken by one of the lovely female trainers who’s positivity and enthusiasm is just what I needed.

Her catch phrase tonight (and maybe other nights) was “tall and proud people, tall and proud”. She was referring to our posture during some of the exercises, but I like to think she was also referring to the exercises in our heads.

I’ve been going to the gym 4-5 times a week and while I’m proud of that, I’m ashamed of the negative self-talk in my head. If I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I get sad and disappointed and tell myself that I’m not good enough. I compare myself constantly to the other fit mums which is counter-productive and such a waste of energy.

We are all there to better ourselves, not to be better than anyone else. So tonight, with each slam ball and kettle bell swing, with each squat and press, I stood tall and proud, as I know I have a lot to be proud of.

And I’m tall. ?

2 months old

So yeah it’s been a bit quiet around here on the old blog, and now two posts in one day! I even missed a 10 things on the 10th post which made me rather sad! You could say I’ve been a little busy around here staring into these eyes.

Can you blame me? I just get lost in that face of his. Especially because I’m trying my very hardest to make booby-time strictly phone-free. Most days I’m pretty good at it.

Mum is coming up for a week on Thursday and we are all excited about this. I’m planning on heading out to a party with Hubs on Saturday night after I’ve put all four kids to bed, and leaving Mum with a bottle of expressed milk for Jules if he wakes up. I’ve started trying it on him so hopefully all will be fine by then!

And if not I’ll only be 10 minutes away. Good old Rocky.

So I’ll leave it there. 2 months old. Just like that.

Not just “getting through it”

It’s taken me four babies to finally realise something.

No one is to blame, but the words people use have a powerful and lasting effect on a first-time mum.

When I was pregnant with Chance, and shortly after he was born, I was warned about the first six weeks. And then the following six weeks.

I was pretty much told the first 12 weeks, or the “4th trimester” as it’s sometimes referred to, are really hard work, and I just had to “get through” that time and things will get easier after that.

I’m here to tell you that this time around, I’m not just getting through those first 12 weeks. Because my goodness they are 12 of the most precious weeks to experience and savour in a baby’s life.

There were so many times with Chance and Quinn in particular that I just knuckled down and pushed through without stopping and realising how much I adore the newborn infant baby phase. Like seriously, I can’t get enough of this.

Look at that face. My beautiful Julius Becker is one week old today. It’s nothing and it’s everything. He is already such a huge part of our lives and has taken over our hearts.

So yes, the nights are interrupted by feeds, but also full of cuddles and snuggles. This is just a season of his life and I intend to savour every moment of it.

I know I’ll be made to eat my words

But kids get easier the older they get, right? I mean my Mum and her dear friend always say “the challenges don’t ever go away, they just change” or words to that effect. And yeah I get that. Maybe I’ve just been eyeball deep in the same challenges on repeat for the last 5 years that I’m looking forward to different challenges?

Like I’m really looking forward to not having to run interference with 2-year-olds every 30 seconds all day; I’m kind of looking forward to not having to wipe tiny bums anymore; I’ll be glad when my children are all old enough for school drop off and pick up to not involve me tearing after a toddler while trying to hold in my pelvic floor; I’m looking forward to engaging in more in depth conversations with the kids and reading chapter books with them.

I’m not wishing this time away and as I said, I know parents of older kids are reading this and laughing at me while shaking their heads. It’s all a challenge I suppose. The trick is to enjoy the ride!


Parenting is…

…when you have hung out three loads of washing and the kids are upstairs playing with Hubs and you realise you could get away with sneaking a chocolate Paddlepop ice cream from the fridge downstairs and take 5 minutes to sit down and enjoy it, only to hear your daughter calling you when you’re halfway through it and she comes downstairs to find you so you have to gulp down the second half of said ice cream and give yourself a brain freeze in the process.

It’s also giggly cuddles with this guy

It’s learning how to braid hair and finally starting to get the hang of it

It’s feeling your heart burst when you watch your oldest looking out for his sister and brother

There’s absolutely nothing that can prepare you for parenting. No books, no warnings, no friendly advice. It’s not until you’ve experienced the utmost highs and the deathly lows that you really get what is it all about. Some days I just want to hide away and not deal with the kids at all. But honestly every single day I can look back at at least one joyful thing that happened. Even if it only lasted a moment.

Today’s thing was reading to the kids at the end of a huge day/weekend. Quinn took herself off to bed after the first book. Then Darby fell asleep in my arms while Chance and I read a book together. That moment with just the two of us (and a snoring Darby) was quite lovely and definitely something I soaked up.

That and the chocolate Paddlepop.

It’s the little things.