The first 40th

I attended my dear friend Luke’s 40th over the weekend, which has kicked off 40th season for me! I’m a 1980 baby, so many of my friends will be turning 40 next year, but of course some are a little younger and a little older, so it’s nice to space them out.

Luke and I have known each other since we were 15 years old. He’s one of those forever friends and we have so much history. I just adore him. He is one of those good humans I spoke of on the 10th. He has a beautiful wife and three gorgeous kids, and is just one of those people I will always make the effort to spend time with.

When he told me about the party a couple of months ago, I just said “yep I’m there.” No matter what, I was going. And it turned out that a friend of mine was driving through Brisbane on his way home to Mackay, so I got to catch up with him at the same time. It’s all in the timing!!

The party was up in Luke’s home town of Gympie. We started at the Bonsai Brewhouse at Cooran, and then headed back to his parents’ property for bonfires, wine, and great conversation. Okay, by then it was mostly talking shit and belly laughing over German sausage innuendos but whatever. My belly was honestly sore yesterday from all the laughing.

Luke, you’re a bloody legend. Happy birthday 🙂

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!

The post about Pizzeys that never got written…

… until now!

Gosh I still cannot believe I didn’t write this post two years ago! I do recall at the time not having a lot of blogging mojo, so that might be what happened. It just occurred to me that I may have shared a few pics on fb but nothing on my blog! Anyway, here we are.

In April 2016 I met my dear friend Kate and her two gorgeous boys at Hervey Bay for the weekend, while Frith headed down to Rainbow Beach for our nephew’s 21st birthday camping weekend. Mum and Dad came up from Brizzie as well and stayed at Pizzeys, and we took a trip out there on one of the days. It was so nostalgic for me! We spent so many holidays here while I was growing up. For example, I think I would have been 11 or so (??) in this photo. The early 90s served me well as you can see!

The river is just so beautiful and while it has changed so much in 40 years, it has also remained the same.

I just love that we can come back here time and time again and pick up where we left off, with whomever happens to be around at the same time.

Dad is teaching Chance the importance of only keeping fish that we will eat, and how,  if you catch it, you have to clean it yourself. He’s slowly learning, and I’m so grateful to have Dad around to teach him these lessons.

Darby (18 months) and Quinny (3 years) checking out the catch of the day. And of course unable to both look up at the same time!!

Quinn getting her adventure on!

Darby and I enjoying the view together
And Darby getting up to mischief!
And I just noticed Darby is wearing the same shoes here as Jules was wearing on our visit to Pizzeys last weekend! Funny stuff!

Once the kids get a little older, I know it will be easier to take them for more than a few hours at a time, and I know they will treasure these times, and as they get older I hope they can appreciate such a simple, quiet, peaceful place that holds so many memories for so many of us.

Solo week away

I’ve been trying to blog about my week away for over a week now, but I’ve been having some photo uploading issues. That and I’m addicted to The Crown. Moving on…

When the school holidays were fast approaching, I decided I really wanted to get away with the kids for a week, preferably with someone else on hand to help out. I then realised that Nanna’s 100th birthday fell on the middle Sunday of the school holidays, so if I was going to go away, it would have to be the Gold Coast. I jumped on line and found something fairly reasonably twice (reasonable after 2 glasses of wine on a Friday night if I’m being honest!) and just booked it.

So on the Friday in the middle of the school holidays, armed with my niece and brother-in-law (who drove the kombi), we set off down the coast.

I had rented a 3 bedroom townhouse on a canal in Elanora called Isle of Palms, and honestly, apart from being a bit on the small side, it was perfect. There was a lot of this:

Josie and Jacques only stayed until after the party on Sunday, and after that, it was just me and the kids, and my father-in-law 10 minutes away.

Even though I was a little apprehensive, part of me definitely wanted to know that I could do this whole “solo parenting” thing, so I went in armed with patience, loose plans, a positive attitude, and plenty of snacks, and gave it my best shot.

And you know what? We did all right. Better than all right. The place was just fantastic for the kids, and we got to spend a lot of time with “Poppy” (Frith’s Dad.) This was at our back door.

I did every evening on my own, and thanks to allowing them to watch TV every night while I put Jules to sleep, everything went really well and they were all out to it by 8:30pm each night. Which meant it was time for Commonwealth games watching with a glass of wine for me! Winning!

I was definitely exhausted by the time we were heading home, but I had booked in a sleep in for the Sunday morning, so I had that to look forward to. All in all an amazing week, and I would definitely go back to this place!

Made it!

Only a nine hour drive today!

We made it to Woody pt just in time for tacos for dinner.

I’m ready to fall into a heap but my to do list needs some attention.

Actually I just saw the time. It can wait until the morning. Darby is still awake downstairs with me and Chance and Quinn are still awake upstairs. The only clever one is Jules, sound asleep.

Tomorrow is when the real fun begins!

Homeward bound

We are having the best last day of our holiday. Yesterday was a long hard slog of driving with the first 450km done between 9am and 4.30pm then we visited friends in Ayr before hitting the road again at 7.30pm to do the last 300km to Mackay. Somehow we did that in 3 straight hours and arrived at our lovely motel at 10.30pm. The kids had been asleep for hours so we were all awake until midnight but that’s fine. Everyone slept well until nearly 7 and I put ABC for kids on while Hubs and I dozed until 8. Then it was into the pool for a while before walking a block down to the Mackay water park.

A friend had told me how great it was so I always had this planned for our last day. You guys, it was so awesome. And huge! This is only one part of it!

There was a cafe on site which I was a little skeptical about but Mama needed a coffee.

After drinking Shane’s lovely brew for the last week I wasn’t expecting much from this one but this was so fantastic! Strong and hot. Just how I like my coffee. And my man.

Sorry. Got a bit side tracked there… ❤❤❤

We planned to have brekky somewhere and the menu looked pretty good – they specialised in pancakes and had eggs Benny and even a burger for Frith so I thought why not!

Why not indeed.

Darby’s reaction when this came out was “is it my birthday!!???”

You could order 2 pancakes for $5.90 and then add whatever you want. Chance got strawberry jam and bacon. This load of bacon was $1.50.

My eggs Benny was absolutely perfect in every way. Mmmmmmm crispy bacon.

And the burger? Hubs couldn’t finish it! And it was only $12! I think he would have been able to eat it at dinner with a beer or two perhaps ☺

We got all that delicious food and two (more) coffees for under $50. Such an amazing brunch and no need for more food for the day. Coffee, yes.

If you are ever near Mackay it is well worth the visit. And it’s just off the highway so a very easy detour.

Now we’re on the final leg of our trip home and I’m feeling very content and full of goodness. There is a long to do list waiting for me at home, but for now, I have my world in the kombi, the clouds are keeping the drive cool, and the tunes are good. It’s a sweet life.

Happy birthday Chance

My big boy turned 7 today. What a champ. Then and now. Aw my baby! ❤❤❤

I made him this fairly dodgy monster truck cake that I was almost embarrassed of, until Hubs asked me “Does Chance like it?”

He. Loved it.

We had a little party for him Friday night  over at the K-mans with his favourite dinner (hot dogs) and a piñata and pass the parcel.

(Super dodgy dark photos dammit)

Today, his actual birthday, has been spent in the kombi as we make our way back south.

How gorgeous is this kid!? He has really stepped up into big boy status since Julius came along. I really need to just let him do his thing more and try to step back because he’s got it covered. He’s learning so many new things and I’m learning so much from him at the moment and it’s hard letting go and watching from the sidelines. But he’s doing just great and it’s wonderful seeing the person he is (fast!) becoming.

His dinner request was Maccas (easily pleased!) and they are all drifting off to sleep as we do the last leg to Mackay for the night.

Good night my darling boy. You are such a gift to us all and we love you so much.

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!

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!