#1901 3 beach day

I stood on the sand after 4pm, telling baby girl’s friend’s mum, that it was in fact my third visit to the sea and sand that day.

“Oh, you poor thing,” she teased.

I did in fact, feel bad to say it out loud. 3 beach visits in a day? Gee, sounds stressful!

But it happened rather randomly and unexpectedly, and the way it happened felt like it was MEANT to happen.

Maybe because things have been so shit for some time, the Universe aligned to give me a great, sunshine-y day. 🌞

I had important errands this morning after school drop-off, and after they were done I grabbed an egg and bacon toastie from Banjo’s, a cappuccino from Store Fifteen, and walked on down to the beach.

I’d had an egg and bacon toastie from Banjo’s YONKS ago, and back then it had blown my mind. Well it was pretty delish today, not really any mind-blowing, but that’s because I think I had cheese then, and not today.

Having not had any food since waking up, that brekkie on the beach was the best thing ever. I made friends with the seagulls, squinted into the sun, and watched a sea plane land in the water! It was incredible.

Then my sister and parents visited after lunch, with the sole purpose being, ‘a beach visit.’

So, again. First it had been Mothers.

This time, Mills.

I really loved that my parents seemed to enjoy it. Sis enjoyed it of course, for sure, she loves the water as I do. She dipped her feet into the mild waters, and Dad even did a light jog alongside the water, which we were rapt to see.

I went to pick up baby girl from school hours later, looking forward to a chill afternoon. The last few days had been pretty busy.

But she and her friend had another plan in mind.

They wanted a beach playdate!

And so we found ourselves at Mills again, 30 minutes later. 🤦‍♀️

The water was colder, and the tide had come in so much, it actually blew my mind how short the span of sand now was. But us Mums sat and talked, the girls wade through the waters looking for so-called pearls, they made sandcastles, and we saw what we were pretty sure were dolphins, far off in the waters, spraying up water! Unbelievable.

3 beach visits. I know I’ve had 2 in a day before, but this is taking the cake, AND for the last day of April, in Autumn… just wow.

And it may seem overly boastful, or excessive… but trust me, with the way things have gone since last year, I need about 54 beach visits in a day to make up for all the hard times that have transpired.

But 3 is good for now. I’ll raincheck the rest. 😉

But now, I AM BUGGERED. Think I’ll stay home and do lots of washing tomorrow… 😂

#1873 April sun in Melbourne

Well would you look at that?

An April beach day!

WHAT? And on the Easter long weekend. Sure we live near the beach, so heading there is often easier to manage than if we lived let’s say an hour away…

But still, you have to be free.

AVAILABLE. When Melbourne decides to turn it on.

And so to get a beautiful and warm summer’s day, in Autumn, in April, on a public holiday, Good Friday no less…

It sure was a Good Friday. We bathed in the sun, and I even read a book (for 5 minutes)…

But still! I read.

And I loved it. 💖📚🏖

#1535 Day 37 of getting there: Once upon a time…

[INSERT MORGAN FREEMAN VOICEOVER]

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved movies.

She loved all kinds of stories actually, the kind she could make up in her head…

The types she could escape to in a book…

And then the ones that would show her another world and reality through visual form.

That girl devoured stories when she could, but alas life took its hold on her and she soon found herself pushing the pursuit of other worlds to the side, to do, you know…

LIFE.

But then –

PLOT TWIST.

One day, this big virus took over the world, forcing everyone to stay at home. Isolation was the name of the game, and if you didn’t abide by the rules, you could die.

And then the most strangest thing happened.

One day she got a message from her cable TV provider, Foxtel. And they said that since they couldn’t provide her (well really her Hubbie) with the sports they so eagerly paid for month after month due to her aforementioned Hubbie’s NBA obsession, (like I said, the virus took over the world, including the sporting arena) they would instead provide them with –

UNLIMITED MOVIES.*

(Terms and Conditions apply, for 2 months only, *unlimited meaning the movie channels provided by us, the supplier Foxtel).

She jumped and leapt for joy, knowing these channels would save her arse on hard days and nights, and it also became an instant babysitter while she was balancing homeschooling with her sudden work from home duties.

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And the girl and her family lived happily ever after, taking in all the movies they could within the expiry date…

But that’s not all.

One night they sat down to watch one from the Premiere channel, called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The girl was soooo excited, because she had watched it the previous year and loved it, and had been hanging to watch it with her Hubbie because she was sure that he would love it too.

So they did. They started to watch it one night in April, and then on the 28th of that month they watched the second part of that movie (they could break it down into parts because it was recorded, you see).

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And even though they are still in the middle of it and haven’t reached the end, they are loving this story.

You see, the girl knows what will happen, and thinks her Hubbie will love it… meanwhile her Hubbie is concerned that fiction will imitate real-life events, and therefore thinks he might not like the end, even though he is thoroughly enjoying watching the character Cliff (Brad Pitt).

The movie hasn’t ended for them. Even when it does, it will be the beginning. Of discussion, thoughts, replaying scenes, online research…

And then the next movie will come along. And once again they will be at the start of another story…

“Once Upon a Time…”

THE END BEGINNING.

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#1171 Lovely in the sun

I found myself a bit overwhelmed by life this morning. So much so that when baby girl had a fairly decent ‘moment,’ that seemingly appeared out of nowhere and had me wiping away her tears in front of her class, before walking away when she was settled and then wiping away my own… well let’s just say that problematic thoughts kind of took over.

I had so much to do, things were upsetting me, I was trying to stay in control… it was too much. I looked out to sea as I drove along the Esplanade, thinking how much I wanted to get out and stare at the water.

“Do it,” a voice whispered.

But I have so much to do… I told myself. And now I’m sad.

Still, I faltered. I pondered my options, as if I were hopping from one foot to the next, and when I got to the familiar clearing amongst trees and saw there were no cars approaching, I spontaneously turned in.

Grabbed my phone and keys. Left my bag in the car. Walked with my not-appropriate for gravel/sand boots over to the table and bench that was free.

Waiting for me.

And I sat, and I stared.

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It was post 9am and sunny in April, so people were taking advantage. They were out and about. I dared not turn as I heard runners crunching on the gravel behind me. To and fro they moved, some silent, some making quiet conversation to their partner, when suddenly…

“Morning!” A voice clearly directed at me startled my Bay-stare, and I turned quickly, compelled to answer immediately.

“Morning!” I replied. He smiled, this short, yet fit 50-something man, charging happily on his lonesome past me. “Lovely in the sun?!”

“Yep it sure is lovely,” I replied. I smiled as he walked off, grateful that someone had snapped me out of my listless watching.

Lovely in the sun… had it been a fact, or a question? A friendly greeting, or a check in to see if I was ok?

Yes it was lovely in the sun… the sun allowed light to bathe us and take us out of darkness, but sometimes that light failed to penetrate deep to our thoughts…

Thank God for words. Thank God for people.

#801 Anzac Day gratitude

Each day is what you make of it. Even if you aren’t doing something you would like to be doing, you can still adjust your attitude, and look for ways to make things better for yourself.

I was working… on a public holiday… AGAIN. But the streets were quiet, I had no traffic both to and from work, and I revelled in this momentary ease of work commute, knowing I wouldn’t get another one like this mid-week anytime soon.

And because of the public holiday… we got free pizza for lunch.

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I know, I know, carb-fest. So sue me.

I then had a tiff with Hubbie, so spent some of the day feeling lowly, but we made up when I got home, as he had started a…

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BBQ! Baby girl photobombing AGAIN. Yes I only made up with him because of the BBQ. 😀

No, but really, I was happy to be home with my family.

I haven’t watched a proper game of AFL since before baby girl was born. But suddenly, I had the intense desire to see my team the Pies go against the Bombers in their classic April the 25th clash…

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And what a game to recommence viewing of this fine sport. THEY WON.

And as I listened to the team song echoing out across the MCG, the player’s interviews, clapping along myself to it all, I looked out towards the view beyond our window, and saw this.

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Yep, another sunset. But it was a sunset that meant so much more today, as today we were honouring the Anzacs, the fallen men and women who served our country in war, providing for us the freedom and democracy we have in the beautiful country we live in, today.

That sunset was for them.

Many things to be grateful for, on Anzac Day… least of all, the Anzacs.

 

#796 Vomit and timing

The story of the old shoes, April sunshine and plastic bag. Read on…

I was half-aware of it as I brought baby girl’s old shoes to the front door this morning. Usually in having to drive across town for an appointment, I would have fished out her new shoes. These, though highly functional, were the type that I only reserved for kinder and park days, where an endless amount of bark and sand would enter them off her own free will.

I was half-aware. Still, being a little late, I pushed on and ignored my thought.

Maybe it was that. Or maybe a voice on a different level of consciousness urged me on, knowing what lay ahead…

Half an hour into the car trip, she mentioned her tummy. It was sore. She said it once, twice, three times. I didn’t know what to think. Was she playing games with me? Is it because I was feeling ill last night, and she was somehow imitating me? I asked her specifically if she was unwell, and when I asked she said she wasn’t… but then she would lie on her side, close her eyes, and almost nod off. She managed to take off her shoes, and dropped them onto the mat below her.

I honestly thought she was just tired. But then, 10 minutes before we arrived at our destination, she started to cough. It was out of nowhere. She was covering her mouth, coughing incessantly, and I said “honey, don’t cover your mouth, let it out.”

And it CAME. She pretty much projectile vomited a large amount, and then another large amount. All down to the mat below her. I had just entered the freeway, was driving at 80 km/h, holding her hand at the same time to comfort her, while telling her to just “spit it out! Get it out!”

She did. ALL OVER HER OLD SHOES.

And suddenly, I remembered. Needless to say I care about her first and foremost, and had she thrown up on something expensive, I still would have told her to ‘go for it.’

  1. But in that moment, I was suddenly grateful.

And the timing. Sure we were nearly on our way to the appointment, but that would have to be a raincheck for now. I pulled over when I could, made the call, and then kept on driving in 10 minutes of stinky vomit smell (open windows DO NOT make a difference) and arrived at my parents house requiring a bucket, old sponges and the hose.

How lucky was I that this had happened close to our destination, and also, on old shoes? I could care less as I hosed them down. These were on their way out anyway. She walked around in her underwear ALL DAY at my parents house, as I had no other change of pants for her.

2. Thank God it was a warm day.

My parents gave me plastic bags before I headed home. “You never know when you’re going to need them.”

Sitting her on a towel on the way back, after we had spent 3 or so hours at my parents house, where she got her appetite back, ate pasta, drank some milk and had teddy bear biscuits, I thought all was fine.

I THOUGHT all was fine. She was laughing herself silly with my Mum in the backyard.

Something had just upset her tummy before, right? It was a once-off, right?

???

I wasn’t so lucky on the way back. Because about half way through my trip, 45 minutes from home, she woke from her nap. And was complaining. And was hot.

AND STARTED COUGHING.

Now, doing 100 km/h on the freeway during peak hour, I fished out one of those plastic bags given to me only hours earlier, and gave it to her, saying “if you’re going to vomit, do it in there!”

She vomited… to the side. In the car. AGAIN.

And then the next lot… went IN THE BAG. Phew.

The timing of when it happened, and the distance from home, sucked balls.

3. But the fact she got a fair amount in the bag, was AWESOME.

And that is my gratitude story of the day. Of the old shoes, sunshine and the plastic bag.

 

(#66) The A-Z April Challenge: Z – Zenith of this challenge!

We have reached the flag-bearing point of our journey… looking high into the sky, at the primary goal of our trek, after searching and climbing and often crawling clumsily through the earth, we are now finally at that peak – the zenith of the A-Z challenge.

And I’m grateful for it.

But not for the way you might think. I was already posting once a day for my gratitude blog, so it wasn’t much of an exertion to do it still for this challenge. I’m grateful for reaching the end of it all, sure, but I’m also grateful for what I learnt along the way.

I learnt that sometimes it was interesting to have the direction of a letter to keep you focused on what to be grateful for. Prior to that, I’d be going through my day asking myself ‘should I write about this?’ With the A-Z challenge, knowing I had a certain letter, such as ‘C’ coming up, I’d be running through things in my head as the day approached, to try and prepare myself for something ‘C’ popping up.

That was another thing too. I completely winged it, going day by day and seeing what interesting things would pop up in my life. There were probably only 2 days where I knew more than a day in advance what I’d be grateful for, that being W for Wind and ‘Z for Zenith,’ actually (it makes it easy there not being too many Z words!) Although this can be seen as particularly hard, and even somewhat limiting as I was fearful of, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t too bad overall, and felt promise that even though my goal was to be grateful for something of a certain letter on a particular day, something that may sound forced, all the things I wrote about were genuine and relevant to that day. It made me think that there is so much to be grateful for, only we are generally too oblivious to realise it. Overall, this provided me with hope. There is hope not only for me, but for everyone out there.

Having said that, it forced me to get creative. I went slightly abstract with A for Absence, and Y for Yonder… and also, with Prince’s passing, I was desperate to get my feelings out in a post, and searched for songs of his that I loved beginning with S – there were some I didn’t mind, but in honest gratitude blog fashion (and SmikG fashion) I just couldn’t fake it. So I got crafty with one of my favourite songs of his, and posted “Star, Baby I’m a.” You sure are you Purple genius.

I did get stuck, undeniably, and ran to Google and the good old dictionary for help, churning out my V and X – hey, I didn’t even know what Xylography was until I came across the definition, but I sure as hell am grateful for it! Coffee was mentioned a few times, as was food, and my V showcased my everyday appreciation of baby girl with her Vigour – these posts displayed part of what I generally think about, what I love and what inspires me. It represented a few facets of me, and all I was doing was presenting different aspects of appreciation for them.

I had to question whether I would have normally had Quiet time on my Q day, and whether it was just the letter of the day forcing me to sit down and take a photo with my feet up on my favourite chair. But, I didn’t mind. I mean, I needed it, 1. And 2, I was genuinely grateful for those moments. That was the point, right?

I’m grateful overall that I’ve reached this point. In fact, I think all A-Zers should be grateful and thankful for this process. I did write after midnight on some days, coming in a tad late, and I don’t know if that counts as a fail or not… personally I don’t think it does. Whether it was me doing it, or you doing it and you couldn’t get your post in on time, I think the point here is that you got your post done AT ALL. Life happens, shit. Sometimes we fall behind. Getting up and trying to get the job done is the hard part, so if you did it, but did it late, well good on you. You did awesomely.

And for those of you who stopped the challenge without reaching the end? I respect you. I know how hard it is to admit it’s too hard and stop a project half-way, or to realise it is not for you… but I will tell you something. That takes guts. It’s hard to even start something and give it a shot in the first place, to commit to a new goal or a plan or just something completely left-of-centre for you. That’s credit in itself. I’ve never done something like this before, so I’m pretty pleased with myself I won’t lie, but even having the balls to start it to begin with, is plenty in itself. And to stop something and realise it’s not working, is just as hard. Remember, you tried, which is more than a lot of people can say. That’s brilliant. You should be proud of yourself.

Would I do the challenge again? Life is ever-changing, fluid, in a constant state of shifting, so that answer is… I don’t know. Who knows where my life will lead me by next April. But in the meantime, I’ll keep on with my blogs. I’ll keep doing my writing. And I’ll keep looking for things to be grateful for. That I will try with all my might.

I hope you can stay on for my journey. If not, I wish you well in yours.

XOXO

 

(#38) The A-Z April Challenge: B – Barbeque

Saturday is always the hardest day for me to blog. I’ll get home at whatever hour, look at the time and realise “crap! Post not done!” But as of my writing this it is still 11:39pm on the 2nd of April, Melbourne Eastern Standard Time. So yeah, take that challenge.

And being in Melbourne, in the land down under, one of the greatest things this great wide and partly-dry country of ours has to offer, which starts with the letter B, and is a revered tradition as much as any holy day, even though it is performed much more than one, is the great Australian Barbie. Mate.

No, not barbie, as in the Mattel doll. I’m talking barbie, as in “throw a shrimp on one” kind, even though we don’t do shrimp, we do prawns. For any non-Australians taking notes. True story.

Today we actually went to my cousin’s place, as a belated birthday visit, and were very fortunate to be received with this custom. There is nothing more social, more satisfying, more serene, than to be standing around a barbeque on a late, slightly warm Saturday afternoon, watching the smoke rising from the slabs of gargantuan meat sizzling on the grill, filling the air with delicious aroma, and then having the luxury of ‘pecking’ at this meat as it comes off the grill, like as we would say in our native tongue “mezze,” or as the Spaniards would say “tapas.”

Aussie custom, common as the cold, never grows old.

11:46pm.

#36 The A-Z April challenge

I’ve seen many of these challenges since starting my blogging adventure. I guess it was a combination of none of them really speaking to me/it not being the right time to partake in one, due to life/time/whatever.

Last night, I saw a blog post on my Reader by Daily Write. It mentioned the A-Z April Challenge, and as I scoured over it quickly, something, I can’t even remember what, for some reason, caught my eye.

I did a bit of research, read into it, and because I was feeling low, decided to sleep on it. But still, as I lay in bed, I knew I had made up my mind.

Today I’m feeling crappy and tired and all crampy, so making this decision, even though it’s not far from the direction of this blog, has been hard. It’s hard to motivate yourself and get excited about something when you’re not in the right mindframe for it. Nevertheless I’m partaking in this challenge for the month of April, so beginning tomorrow, my posts’ direction will slightly change…

Being a gratitude blog, I will combine my everyday blog posts with the April Challenge, by posting a different item of gratitude for every alphabet letter… so tomorrow will be something of gratitude starting with the letter ‘A,’ then Saturday I will post something of gratitude starting with the letter ‘B’ and so on. Because Sunday is the only day in the week considered an ‘off’ day for the challenge where you do not post, it does not mean I’ll be doing the same! I’ll just continue on with my normal gratitude post on this day, and then resume with the challenge in my gratitude theme on Monday.

I’ve always tried to look for an item of gratitude in the day I am blogging about it. I don’t know if it will be hard to do this when it is wired alphabetically, so to speak… I mean, when I get to ‘W,’ how hard will it be to think of something I’m grateful for starting with that letter on that particular day? What if the Weather is shit that day? Whales? What is the likelihood I’ll end up at the Aquarium? I don’t do White water rafting. Hmmm.

But, that is why it’s called a challenge. I’m excited to jump on board, and look forward to the people and amazing blogs I KNOW I will come across.

Thank you challenge, for kicking me up the bum. As busy as I am, I think I need something like this.