#1051 A grateful start to 2019

What more can I ask for?

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Photo by Oskars Sylwan on Unsplash

Seeing in the New Year with family, friends.

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Love, happiness, fun, laughter.

Dancing and d&m’s.

Roasted marshmallows.

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Splashing by the pool.

Selfies by the tree.

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All the good things, are all the simple things.

Happy New Year to all. May 2019 bring you all your greatest desires.

Every year with my loved ones, I am supremely grateful.

Here’s looking to a 2019 filled with more gratitude, or ways to find it, than the last.

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

#1050 Where I’ve come – 35.4 stage

On this day, the 30th of December, I can’t help but reflecting on the year that has passed…

I have grown. I have changed.

I have felt extreme lows that have physically rocked me.

I have felt dizzying highs that have surrounded my head in iridescent clouds.

Combined this has led me to a balance of in-between. Of remaining hopelessly optimistic as I travel through life, yet also being anxiously cautious of any shocks that may spring up unannounced.

With the cyclical nature of life, I am still happy. I am grateful for what I have, today. Every time that I observe something good, I am so happy for it, because I know that like everything, nothing lasts forever.

This stark truth keeps me paranoid, but the glass half-full gal in me ignores it until the very last moment.

I have what I need. Sure there are things that I want… but I remind myself of the important things. Of Hubbie and Baby Girl. Their love, their health. There are challenging days, and sometimes even tears, but I think the laughter we share as a family trumps that all.

Next year has a lot in store. So many changes. So much uncertainty and confusion, yet there is excitement in the unknown.

All the possibilities… what will eventuate? What will proceed? I am not alone in my life upheavals, with Baby Girl and Hubbie going through changes of their own… growing up, moving on, and discovering life.

We never stop discovering life.

So I am content. I am content in this not-knowing. It keeps me on edge and primed for action.

I am grateful with what I have now. Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes not having the things that you want is because there is a greater plan for you.

We aren’t meant to know it all. Just, let it go.

In this moment, life is good. And for that, on this second last day of 2018, I am supremely grateful.

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Unsplash credit: Paola Chaaya

#1049 The Prince doesn’t fall far from the tree

We are driving home tonight, on a Saturday, after having visited family friends.

We are switching radio stations… switching cd tracks… trying to find a song that will make at least 1, if not ALL of us happy.

I remember the ipod I brought into my car this morning.

I reach out, change the function. It immediately goes to my random shuffle of approximately 800 songs.

See if we can’t find a song now.

As I drive, I press the button on my wheel that allows me to skip forward tracks. I pause for a few seconds at the start of each one to see if it is something we like.

To be honest I like almost ALL the songs… it is MY ipod after all.

Suddenly, about 8 skips later, and with the all-too-familiar organ solo filling the silence in the car, baby girl yellsΒ  –

“STOP!”

I laugh out loud and turn to her, outstretching my hand. “Put it there!”

The song is of course…

In this moment, I am proud as punch. I turn to Hubbie. “She is 5, and she recognises Prince in the first 2 seconds? She is my daughter!”

And I couldn’t be happier.

We then proceed to jump out of our seats in tune to the song… even Hubbie can’t escape it. :):):)

#1048 Summer days

Melbourne has unseasonally (even for summer) had a spate of very warm days. Like several in a rowfor days on end.

What the?!

For this reason, and because I need to keep a certain baby girl busy or else she will climb on my head…

We painted this summer town RED today.

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I bloody love summer πŸ’—πŸŒ…πŸ’—πŸŒ…

#1047 Reasons why I love living near the beach no. 1

Ok, so humour me. Obviously for a water-loving dweller like me, this will be a fairly extensive and LONG list.

But that is the whole reason for this gratitude blog (duh).

The first reason being… you can go there at almost ANY time.

There is never an inopportune time to go to the beach.

Today I changed my mind 3 times:

First I was going to go about 2ish.

Then I changed my mind, and said nah, about 4-4:30.

I changed it yet again, and we ended up at our favourite local about 7pm.

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It is never inconvenient. Being a short drive away means that even if you are there for a total of 45 minutes, that is fine… 45 minutes in the outdoors, wading in water and cooling down from an exceptionally humid day, is far better than 45 minutes in front of the TV.

I just love it β™₯β™₯β™₯

 

 

#1045 Christmas at a different place

As far as I can remember, I’ve celebrated every single Christmas in the same place.

My parents’ house.

There was that Christmas my Dad caught a stray canary, which ended up being Hubbie, then ‘boyfriend’s pet bird aptly named β€˜Chrissy.’

The Christmas it hailed golf balls and our cars and the backyard pergola got a beating.

Or the Christmas we went mad throwing water balloons at each other all over the yard, and got told off by my Dad… (oh that was in recent years 😬 )

All those warm Christmases, dancing in the garage, walking to the park, eating, drinking, memory making…

The Christmas I snuck off to see Hubbie-then-boyfriend for a bit. 🀫

The Christmas we drank too much vodka in the first hour. πŸ₯ƒ

The Christmas I drank nothing – with a precious new 4 month old. 😍🀱

The Christmas some of my friends came, and some of my family could not handle the extra crazy. 😜πŸ€ͺ🀩

34 Christmases.

Today was Christmas number 35.

But… it was spent at my sister’s house.

I thought I would feel more nostalgia going into the day. All of these years of tradition, of memories, retreating to the same backyard post-lunch… and it was all changing.

But very quickly, something became apparent to me.

It wasn’t the location. It was all about the people.

Sure the house was different. The decorations would be different. The food and drink would be a bit different, and sure, the location was completely different.

But different didn’t mean bad. It was different, but it was still beautiful. And of course, there was a lot of love.

All of this was present, the beauty, the love… because the people were the same.

As long as I am with my loved ones, I am happy.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope yours was spent with loved ones, no matter where you were. β€οΈπŸŽ„πŸ™πŸŽ…

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#1044 Christmas Eve at the Beach

Well. What an iconic way to spend Christmas Eve in Australia.

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Even so, it wouldn’t have happened in our old house. Back then we would have had to plan and organise a time and day where we were all free, packed up about 7 bags, a fridge, a heap of beach toys and tents and chairs, because you know, pack the kitchen sink and all when you’re already making such a drive… and that would have happened, oh, maybe 3 times in one Summer, if we were lucky to manoeuvre our schedules that way.

But today.

Today, on the eve of the busiest and fullest of family days of the year, I headed on down to one of our fave local beaches with baby girl.

I was applying sunscreen on me and her as I heard my phone notify me of a message.

It was after 2:30pm.

It was Hubbie. He was home early from work!

Damn it! We had just missed each other, I mean, he could have come with…

Wait a second.

I called him.

“Come on down!”

His easy response – “I will.”

:):):)

I left it as a surprise, preferring to see baby girl’s startled face at the sight of him, than to ruin it earlier and tell her he was coming.

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It was beautiful. β™₯

Everything was beautiful. There weren’t too many people around, and yet already my radar is fine-tuned to spot tourists! The water was sublime, that perfect stroll-right-in temperature.

There was a slight breeze taking the edge off of the beating sun.

And it was Christmas Eve!

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(That’s me waving from the water in the distance over there)

It still amazes me that two years on from our move, only now we are getting more of a chance to do the things we so wanted to do frequently, when we first Sea Changed.

It was the best way to head into the holiday season, and head into Christmas.

Merry Christmas Eve all πŸ™‚

 

 

#1043 Balcony break

Not having a set of table and chairs didn’t stop us.

After lunch today, baby girl and I carried up a picnic blanket, some treats and drinks… and set ourselves up for a little coffee break.

From the balcony.

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It was hot with the sun beating down mercilessly on us.

I just breathed in deep and took in my surroundings.

I thought of how long I had wanted to have this balcony re-done, so that we could enjoy it in all of it’s view-tastic glory.

Those thoughts led to other moments in my life, where I had been wanting something wholeheartedly – whether it was something materialistic, or something from deep within my heart’s wishes, and each time, no matter how long it took, it happened.

It didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen in 5 days. But nonetheless, this persistent wanting, and never-give-up attitude got me there.

Got me to what I wanted.

This interesting thought stayed with me as I viewed my surroundings…

 

#1042 Christmas feels

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

It has looked like it for a while now. In our house, just before the onset of December. In some shops, it was as early as September.

But for me? A combination of wondrous things had me with all the Christmas-time feels this evening.

Firstly, finishing work. I am on no looonnnggg stretch of holidays, but being away from it for a week, and my last day being today, puts me in a right ‘ol festive mood.

Next, the lights. I had put off hanging them outside of the house with our impending balcony project slotted in for sometime this month, and with all of that tended to at last, once I was home from work this afternoon, baby girl, Hubbie and I set about making the front of house as pretty as possible with Christmas cheer.

Inside we sat on the couch, had some dinner… and what do you know, Christmas carols were on TV!

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And it was The Wiggles!

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Seeing baby girl dance along so happily to them, and then sing along to other classics like “Jingle Bells,” just made my heart all merry.

And then lastly… we headed out in the fading aftermath of the sunset, wondering whether the last hours of the day had been enough to power up all of our outdoor solar lights (from Kmart, so cheap and awesome).

I was sure they needed more hours and we would only catch our first glimpse of Christmas lighting tomorrow night, but then… there was flashing!

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Most of our lights were working and lighting up the yard. We ran around, and played hide and seek amongst the lights, and I had a real sense of –

Ahhh.

Holiday time.

Christmas time.

Family time.

Joyful time.

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Hope your Saturday night was also happy and bright πŸ™‚