#463 The calm after the Partay no. 2

It was so nice, just to be.

No rushing. No pressure to get things done by a certain time. No anxiety. No stress. No intense planning and strategy to cram as much into one day as possible.

No. Just a casual grocery shopping trip with baby girl. Some lunch. Cleaning. Washing. Putting away stuff that has been piling up. Sorting her old clothes away. Sweeping some leaves. Sitting out in the yard, on a glorious day where Autumn was trying her damn hardest to remind us of impending Spring, watching baby girl simultaneously manoeuvre both her scooter and Dora the Explorer bike, while I sat and looked towards the beach end, the huge tree we have prominently in my vision with its pretty pink flowers.

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Nothing to remind me of what has passed, of all the stresses and intensity gone… except for the cakes in my kitchen.

Today was a great day. So calm, so peaceful, and right now, I can’t get enough.

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#457 Sweeping Autumn leaves

I’m loving Autumn more and more each year.

Not only because the season reminds me of when Hubbie and I wed. But it’s often been an under-rated season for me – I’m always too busy dreaming about Summer, dreading Winter, and getting excited at any ray of sunlight that decides to peak through the clouds in Spring.

Although we are less than half a month away (yikes!) from the coldest time of the year, I’ve come to realise, as years go by, that there is something so magical and beautiful about Autumn.

Autumn brings us the boldest and brightest of colours, shining and then fading as they roll majestically to the ground. Even the way the leaves fall, there is no hope lost in their descending action, only pristine beauty, with the promise of even brighter leaves and trees, in the far-off future.

Days may be slightly colder, but the sun is still warm, and the days are calm and peaceful, allowing for silent reflection and contemplation about what the future holds, and what actions we can take now to make our dreams come true.

That’s how Autumn feels for me.

Baby girl and I have been doing something for a few days now, which is, sweeping leaves by the side of the house. I noticed how peaceful this activity was on a crisp yet sunny Autumn’s morning last week, and was amazed that I actually enjoyed it: being outside, sweeping leaves that had fallen from our neighbours fig tree, and not even minding that they weren’t even OUR leaves. Not even OUR trees.

There is a reason why baby girl is so fascinated with the sweeping leaves process – in doing so I am literally paving the way so she can ride her scooter, leaf-free. So today, amidst baking like mad for my parents’ upcoming anniversary party, I took some slight refuge amidst the busy-ness of it all, and while bringing in provisions from the garage, I stopped to ask baby girl, who was already turning the scooter around “do you want me to sweep the leaves?”

I was so busy, but a part of me wanted to do it. A part of me has found real solace in the gentle, cleansing action, the scraping of the broom against concrete, bristles against crackling leaves. In fact, I adore it.

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Finding gratitude, everyday, in places I’d never expect…

 

#434 A new weekend ‘drop’

This was me an hour or so ago, walking back to work with a coffee from a place I’ve been recently going to.

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I don’t go there when I work weekdays. This is my Sunday café go-to for caffeine fix, since my usual destination is closed on the weekends. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and find this café is far superior to another rival weekend café, that is both closer yet more expensive than this current one.

So, I’m walking 5 more minutes, for 15 cents cheaper coffee. Also, I don’t have to worry about that initial bitter taste, or arrogance upon ordering at the old place. That all adds up fellow coffee snobs, doesn’t it?

And then there were the people. So many people were out and about on yet another spectacularly still and sunny Autumn’s day. Footy jerseys were out, boys sitting atop their Dad’s shoulders on the way to the stadium, and groups of people getting off buses in order to enjoy the weekend celebrations in whichever fine way they wished to.

And I thought to myself, ‘when will Hubbie and baby girl and I be able to enjoy the entire weekend off, on a regular basis?’

When will weekend (the WHOLE weekend) family time be a given, a normal thing?

I think when that happens, I will know, I’ve had made it 🙂 I’m looking forward to that day…

But until then, I will work when I have to, and take pleasure in seeing the smiles on other happy families as they venture about, as I walk back to work, sipping on my hot coffee…

#423 Playing alongside plaques

Today was a gorgeous day. After visiting Hubbie at work for lunch, I promised baby girl a park visit. She made sure I stayed on track, that I didn’t detour anywhere else, and that our path led straight to one of our favourite parks in Mornington, aptly named Mornington Park.

The park is vast, there is a huge pirate ship contraption which ideally looks out at the sea beyond it, true to its theme; there are rides and playground activities aplenty; a huge field to play sport and kick ball on; public toilets; many barbeque facilities; and just as many places to feast and relax upon. It is a truly playful, yet serene place to be.

And as we got onto the grounds, walking in the brilliant Autumn sunshine, baby girl happened across a circular brick setting holding a kind of flagpole, and in true toddler style just had to jump up onto it. Placed around the circular bricks were various plaques showcasing some of the town’s prominent people, dates and events, and as baby girl ran around the flagpole, mucking about, I read.

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I just love the fact of being in such an idyllic and historic town where so much has happened before us, so many momentous occasions and historic events, and now we, were also going to be part of its long-standing history.

I also hope, in an idyllic and wonderfully momentous and historic way.

And then, playing on the grounds we went…

 

#404 Shopping with my girl no.2

Today’s successful shopping buys at Bayside were:

  • a pair of charcoal Mossimo trakkies
  • a pair of hot pink Milky trakkies
  • thick Winter stockings
  • a 3 packet of singlets

and a collectible Disney princess in an egg that I just couldn’t live without when I saw it at the counter.

Wait. No, the above was baby girl. ALL of the above was for baby girl.

Did I buy anything for myself? Was the shopping day successful in anyway, for me???

Well I did happen across a display of Harry Potter books, and bought myself The Philosopher’s Stone… I’ve always been into the story, and have watched the first few movies, stopping after I didn’t really have anyone in my life to get excited about them with.

Also, I love the J.K. Rowling story and am as much fascinated with her rags to riches tale as I am the actual book, so thought it was time I gave it a whirl.

After some lunch of sushi rolls and rice, we grabbed some groceries, including a takeaway kinder surprise that I just HAD TO HAVE – wait, no, that was baby girl again – and also a packet of choc-chip cookies that I this time, couldn’t walk past.

We then headed towards Lincraft where we bought some shimmery blue organza for a cape to match my dress…

Nope, again. That was for baby girl, so she can fling it off her, Elsa-style, during her billion future renditions of “Let It Go.”

We ended out trip by heading out into the still Autumn sun with all our buys, and I was honestly, as happy and chuffed as baby girl was. Seriously 🙂

 

#383 Somerville Family Day

We hadn’t yet been to Somerville, a 15-20 minute drive from our house back into bushland, so the Family Day being advertised during the Long Weekend there, seemed the perfect excuse to check it out.

There was something for ALL, which made it a great few hours spent. Cars were on show for Hubbie, the first point of call. Live music came from musicians playing up on the big stage in the centre of the grounds, with rides of all sorts scattered around it, for both the little and big kids. Food stalls were on the outskirts on one side, while craft and a whole other range of stalls bordered the other side.

There were a good number of jumping castles, pony rides took kids around for a walk, and again, FACE PAINTING.

Today she chose to be a “Roar!” Lion.

We grabbed some food – the twisty potatoes that I can’t deny myself, ever

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and wandered around ’til the brilliant sun made us oh-so-tired and ready for some cool surroundings, and home.

All in all, a great Autumn’s day. Definitely a Family Day winner 🙂

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#97 May 31st

This is a weird one for me, very unusual being that here in Australia, May 31st is the last day of Autumn. This in itself is not particularly unusual, but the fact I am happy for the fact of it being the end of Autumn, means that I may just be consequently happy for the start of Winter…

Right?

Right?

Right???

???

Let’s take things one step at a time folks. I’m not entirely sure I will ever be happy, or feel overly joyous at the thought of 3 plus months (because Melbourne Weather, that’s why) of freezing cold, windy and just stupid hell-bent crap weather. But since I’ve been doing this gratitude thing, it’s as if I’m seeing things in a newer, different light. Suddenly, parts of Winter don’t seem so bad. Suddenly, parts of Winter I’m becoming appreciative of, and even, maybe, grateful for.

Woah. Hold on there. Appreciating, Winter? I know I know. No, no one has slipped anything into my drink. I only had one glass of red for dinner, it’s alright. My little ideas of Winter not being so bad will follow in due course. Maybe it’s only because of this challenge, and being aware of thoughts of gratitude, that I’m even feeling this way inclined towards this most miserable of months. But even if so… isn’t that the point? Doesn’t it then mean, that this whole thing is actually working?

And that, excites me 🙂

But, I am happy, and yes, relieved, even slightly grateful, that today is May 31st… only because the damn waiting and dread leading up to June 1st will soon be over. That’s one of the worst bits you know. Knowing something dark and cold is looming around the corner, and just waiting for it to hit. That’s what I’ve been doing these last few weeks… on edge… just waiting… bracing myself.

But, in approximately 1 hour 14 minutes, Winter will be here. The wait will be over. And then we can just put on our coats, turn up our heaters to full-ball, and get on with it.

I have my sleep socks on, my flannel pyjamas, and my cuddly sleeping gown as I write this on the couch… yep Winter, I’m ready for you.

1 hour 13. Who’s counting?