We were at my sister’s last night, and as usual baby girl brought her backpack, ipad, books, her teddies and the kitchen sink. 🙄😁
It became apparent late last night when we got home, that one of her toys was missing and a quick look in the car today confirmed to us that she had most likely left it over there.
So I sent sis a message, asking her to keep an eye out for the cat plush toy with the whiskers. 😊
The response I got, is the thing all aunty’s should aspire to do.
We should ALL take a page out of her book!
These are ‘some’ of the photos I got!
She had me pass on messages to baby girl too…
“Thanks for letting me sleep over!”
“I’m having fun with Caramel.” (Their cat!)
“I’m about to have a snack and can’t decide.”
We all absolutely loved it! It was so fun and inspiring, and it brought that light-heartedness when baby girl was already missing one of her favourite stuffed toys.
It was Hubbie who said what a cool aunty sis is, and I couldn’t agree more! We should all do these beautiful things for the little ones in our lives, whether they are our own kids, our nieces or nephews, or just precious kids we know…
Baby girl had the biggest smile on her face, and later wrote back:
“I miss her have a wonderful week at someone else’s house.”
I haven’t gone to visit my parents just for no reason, in a long time… but I did it today.
There is always a reason. Whether it’s an occasion, to help, or take them to a medical ‘something,’ there is always something.
But it’s really nice too, when there is nothing.
So today was a nothing day, that ended up kinda being something… but that was OK. 😆 I helped my mum out with some shopping, and later on we all sat together and ate, and even my sister came over and we all had some good ol’ family bonding and time together.
But probably the best and funniest moment for me, came when we were doing grocery shopping. I was pushing the trolley, following Mum from aisle to aisle, when she went into the pet food aisle.
Disclaimer: Mum and Dad don’t have pets.
HOWEVER, she does have my sister’s cat, and dog next door, and they visit her REGULARLY, as well as a wild bird that flies down every day because she feeds it. 😆
And I was standing there behind her, giggling to myself, as she stood in the pet food aisle trying to work out what to buy for the pets she doesn’t own.
Once I do something that appeals to Mister F, he very quickly catches on, and the next day you will find him seeking or waiting for the same thing.
When I work from home I sit at my desk by the window and he knows now (creature of habit he is) that he will find me there if he goes to the back door. And sure enough, come around 11am, after he’s dug his hole and gone on his adventure, he will come back, look at me through the back door and –
He’s not that loud, it’s more of a teeny meow. But he will sit there, lick himself, send me messages via his green eyes through the door, all for me to let him in so he can have his late morning nap inside. 😆
I usually take him straight to the laundry because I’m working. If we had a door in the room I work, I would close it and let him sleep next to me, but alas no door, and I can’t let him wander around while I sit there… who knows what he would get up to. 🤔
So he naps in the laundry, a good 4 hour nap. 😏
But the last few days I’ve been letting him take his time, and wander, supervised. 😆 I let him in, and he rubs against my legs…
And I’ve decided to relax a bit too, enjoy the work-at-home perks, and I’ve been having cat-pat breaks.
I pat him. It’s like 3 minutes out of my day, but I follow him around the room, or he follows me, I’m not quite sure… it’s a bit of a chicken-egg scenario, but nonetheless there is wandering and walking, and then I pat him.
When I stop patting him, he looks up at me, pressed firmly against my leg, like “why?”
So I pat him again. 💖
He is happy. I am happy. I have a bit of a break away from the desk.
I like this working from home business, and I think he much prefers it too. 😻
This toy is a Christmas miracle because she got lost last week… at school.
Any parent whose had a child lose something at school knows that chances of getting it back can be very slim.
The thing about Daisy though, was it was baby girl’s absolute favourite toy when she lost it. She came up tearfully to me at the school gate the day it happened, and proceeded to cry as she said she couldn’t find her.
Lost the usual way, in the playground of course. What shit me though was that baby girl had left Daisy on a bench when a teacher asked her to help pack up some toys during lunchtime… so baby girl had obliged, going off to help, only to come back and find that Daisy was gone.
She had been helping, and had in turn being shafted.
On the way home, with quivering lips, she told me that a friend had told her if she crossed both fingers and closed her eyes and wished with all her heart that Daisy would come back, then she would.
She almost broke down again, and with it went my heart.
I emailed her teacher as soon as we got home.
“Look, I know she shouldn’t have brought her to school, and she has certainly learnt her lesson… but could you point her in the right direction as to where she could look, as she’s very upset.”
Each day though brought with it a lost and property search resulting in a no-show. Baby girl had listed today actually as Daisy’s birthday on our calendar, and as the day approached she slashed the date with a cross and started to bawl that they weren’t going to spend the day together. 😭😭
Meanwhile I started concocting a plan. I would go to the place where we bought it, hope against hope they still sold the same toy, then get Elf to present it to her one morning with the note: ‘here is Daisy’s cousin!’
No, I couldn’t lie to her and tell her it was Daisy. But I could ease her pain and make her feel better with the next best thing.
I was chatting to another Mum at the fence today when baby girl ran up with a cheeky look, bag over her shoulder, holding something behind her back. She does it often, and it’s usually a pencil she won in a raffle, some new art work or a colourful drawing.
When she drew out Daisy, I WAS IN SHOCK!
She had been found!
Baby girl was so happy! I was so happy! Hubbie was so happy!
I can’t believe it! It is truly our little Christmas miracle. Her happiness is ours, after all. 💖💖😻😻
I stepped outside this morning onto the sunny deck.
I sat on the edge, the warm wood pressing into my hands as I leant forward.
He saw me. He immediately prowled over.
He wove underneath my legs, making sure his fur left patches everywhere he pressed. I gave him a good pat, moving my hands down his body like a comb, and he agreed by standing very still and taking it all in.
I paused, letting my hands hang in front of me. He too paused, then turned around towards my hand and gave it a strong nudge with his nose, his action saying “pat me!”
I really enjoy these moments with Mister F. I am in the presence of someone who loves and depends on me… someone who I too, love and depend on, and yet there are no words.
We are in silence, just taking in the environment. I breathe in and out and I watch him.
I remember the day we brought him home, how even after the decision to take him was made, I was still unsure. This cat lover, not sure about having a cat?
It wasn’t about having a cat. It was about loving a cat, and then going through all of the highs, and all of the lows.
I had really felt the lows in the past.
But you can’t live life fearing love, fearing connection, fearing anything that may come out of bringing something special into your life.
Because it’s not a life if you avoid it. Life is everything… the good, the bad. The highs, the lows. And the very many in-betweens.
Like Mister F, me and the deck. Just sitting and being in this very present space.
A part of me feels like I’m not allowed to write about my uncle, because I had only spent two periods of my life with him.
But today, having learned of his passing, I feel a tremendous amount of sadness for my Mum’s family, while also realising that I am more than qualified to speak about him, because he inhabited some of the most meaningful and memorable parts of my life.
When I was 13 I travelled with my parents overseas. Being a fresh teenager, the thought of meeting family that I hadn’t met before was not exactly thrilling stuff.
And yet those 3 months ended up being the best of my life.
Our home base was at my uncle and aunty’s house, and so we would return there often for days at a time, sometimes weeks, in between our travels around Croatia and the neighbouring countries where our relatives lived.
I remember how much he and my Dad seemed to click. Both fond of drinking the hard stuff at 40%, they loved their grapes, their gardens, and their gadgets. Both natural handymen. It was never too early to ‘cheers,’ and they were often caught having a good ol’ chat.
I remember the garden, the vines above providing ample cover as good as a ceiling. I remember the swing there too, and the kittens that crawled along the roof of these vines, and how I looked up at them.
I remember the ‘bunker’ at the bottom of the house, and I remember the random spa-type apparatus that sat on top of the garage! Me and one of my cousins sat in the empty pool as it were, on a hot Summer’s day.
I remember them taking us out to ice cream in the main centre. I remember us walking the streets, and them telling us where the bombs had fallen, showing us the concrete scars they had left on the road. They showed us where their son had gone to high school and proudly pointed out the court he played basketball in.
I remember more vividly the second time I visited my uncle and aunty, because it was more recent… it was when Hubbie and I were on our honeymoon.
Although it wasn’t yesterday, the memories are far fresher. I had the opportunity to spend time with them, now as an adult, out of the wings of my parents, 12 years on. Hubbie and I sat with them. There was still the bunker, the 40% alcohol, and the cherished garden. And of course, the cats.
I think he had a soft spot for cats.
On the few days we were in town, he kindly played tourist guide, driving us around to see other family members. We saw his favourite fishing hole, and he spoke fondly of his own family, and of his memories with them.
I often found myself staring at him and being amazed at the likeness between him and his son.
But what I remember most, is the day he took us to the train station, as we set to depart from Croatia.
We waved goodbye, and I said we would see him again one day. I watched as he turned, his head bobbing down in a sign of resignation as he walked away.
But that day never came.
I think of all of this, and I send so much love out to my family tonight.
I hope they too hold their own special memories of him that they’re replaying in their minds.
It’s just another sombre reminder that we must grasp each and every day with all our might and all our love.
Today was the day that we said goodbye to our family home.
The home that my parents have lived in for 40 years.
The home that my sister spent growing up as a teenager, all the way until she got married.
The home that’s the only childhood, family home I’ve ever known… that I lived in for 25 years until I got married.
Goodbye, number 14.
It was an emotionally bittersweet day. Emotional because oh God, all of the above! So many memories are in every inch, every corner, every crevice of that house.
Through the rush to get everything out of the house this morning, I tried to pause every so often, look around, take a breath, and say a personal thanks to the house that made my years growing up, the best in the world.
Here is the emotional part.
I was reflecting on my life spent there as I walked around the empty rooms, a bit taken aback by the hollowness of it all. The furniture, furnishings, and all the photos and trinkets that made it such a loved home, were all gone.
But oh, those walls. If those walls could talk.
Those walls would speak of happiness, of laughter. Of sadness and shock, family coming together, and family celebrating to make the most out of life.
And love. SO much love.
Memories hit me as I walked into rooms, turned corners. Looked this way, that. People from the past resurfaced, along with people from the present.
In the lounge room, I saw myself sitting on the floor while my parents watched footy on the TV.
In the kitchen I saw my Mum cooking up a feast, our family sitting down to eat at the small round table, perfect for us in size, so perfect, to keep us tight and close together, as always.
In the garden I saw happiness. Friends, cousins, brimming around, enjoying a drink on a hot Summer’s day, folk music from the garage wafting over and adding to the festive atmosphere of it all.
The garage, ohhhh, the garage. Where so, so, so many parties and events were had. Birthdays. Milestones. Weddings. Day after weddings! New Years. And all of the Christmases that Mum cooked up a storm, catering for over 30 people like it was an absolute breeze, even though it wasn’t.
She made it look effortless.
Those were the days. Those were the BEST days.
The park next door. Hearing the squeals of happiness from our younger cousins as they took advantage of the play proximity.
At the front door, I saw my sister being led out in her wedding dress by my parents… then I saw myself, doing the same.
The dining room showed me all of us, our big family, as we are now. The original foursome, us, being my parents, sister and I, but now with our Hubbies and our kids, filling up the table, eating heaps, drinking more, and playing music off of youtube on the mobile until the late hours of the night.
In my bedroom. The bedroom that I spent 15 years of my life sleeping, dreaming and hoping in. I had another room for the first 10 years of my life, but I claimed this one, sister’s one, after she got married and moved out.
It’s always been the better room.
I sat in my old room. Took some photos around me. And then here, I began to cry.
I remember watching Video Hits for hours on weekend mornings.
My childhood cat scratching at my window, wanting to be let in, and then me opening the window to shoo her, upset she had woken me… but when she jumped down from the window sill outside, I thought stuff it, you’ve woken me now… and so I would call her back in (she must have thought I was a crazy bipolar cat owner) and she’d snuggle up next to me as I slept a little more.
I’d open up that window, and talk to friends through it.
I talked to SO MANY people, through it.
I listened to music for hours on my bed.
I had sleepovers in that room.
I had sleepovers in that house! On the lounge room floor, covered in blankets and sleeping bags.
When Croatia played Australia in the 2006 World Cup, Hubbie-then-boyfriend and I watched it, me running around the house with a Cro flag when Croatia scored a goal, and Hubbie running around the house with an Aussie flag when they scored a goal.
I don’t remember who won that game. All I remember is the memories.
All the people who came, and went from that house. It would be in the hundreds. Friends, family, people who I grew up with, grew apart from, so many people have touched base in that house, shared a laugh, a dance, a drink, and made a memory.
Even baby girl. It was the first place that she ever visited, after her own home.
Speaking of baby girl… My waters broke in that house! And my own Mum’s waters broke in there, when she was pregnant with me!
Both sister’s Hubbie, and my Hubbie, met my parents for the first time in THAT lounge room…
News broke. Secrets shared. Heavy discussions were had. Tears shed.
People were welcomed. People were greeted.
People came in, and immediately knew that there was love. They were safe. They were in a memorable place.
And so today, the time came. We walked through the house. We took our final photos.
And we drove off, for good.
That was seriously bitter, right?
Where is the sweet?
Well, it comes with the choice. How blessed are we that this was born of my parents decision to move closer to me and sis, and not because of a bad circumstance.
How lucky are we that we get to say goodbye, together, in the best way possible… and how lucky that we still get to take ALL the memories with us?
Including most importantly, the people.
I am so looking forward to making just as many happy memories in their new abode. 🏡🏡
But my heart will always hold a very special and dear place, for number 14.
I don’t really know how it started (much like everything lately) but tonight, Hubbie, baby girl and I ended up doing impromptu meditations on each other.
I think baby girl was laying across us, and I started with a few light instructions.
“Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in… and out.”
The fun really began when she took the reigns. Here are some snippets of what she said when she was instructing US:
“Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath in… and out.
Take 3 more deep breaths.
Imagine the sun rising up.
And there’s a rainbow next to the sun.
And in the rainbow are unicorns… and kittens… and cats…
And any other animal you like.
Imagine lovely nature.
And when you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.”
OMG. How is my daughter a meditation guru with her soft instructions like that? Maybe something to do with the fact that she does yoga and meditation at her school, and during lockdown, with so much time to fill, she listened to and watched a lot of meditation and yoga videos online…
She totally has the knack. She will relax you and put you to sleep any day… in the BEST way possible. 💖
Not that I’m usually dishonest. But doing this gratitude blog, means I focus in on some positive moment, event, thing, person, expression, and amplify it.
So often in our lives, we focus on that which doesn’t work. That which doesn’t go to plan, or that which makes our hearts sad.
That’s why I do this blog. To prove, that no matter what, you can find something good in every day.
I have had so many bad days. More than you will care to realise. And each time, I chug on, write another gratitude post, think of that one thing amidst many shit things that is worth focusing in on.
But I am really truly struggling as of late.
My health has been hit with some setbacks. When you fall ill, without any understanding of why it’s happening, and it comes back again, and again, and again…
You really start to doubt things in your life. You start to fear. Anxiety grows, slowly at first, but then like a garden you tend to, if you neglect it for only a few days, the weeds spread out and cover your every thought.
This has been my life. This has been me. Health issues, as well as other serious thoughts, and isolation, are all colliding together spectacularly.
I clutch onto good things in my day, like a cat with its claws dug into a piece of driftboard, as it sails further and further away into murky and stormy seas.
It is hard to avoid the deep, dark seas.
I am becoming devoid of passion. I have no motivation for things that used to bring me happiness. I am not looking forward, to anything… even my appetite has taken a hit.
I used to look forward to baking new things, finding new recipes… I can’t be bothered anymore.
I used to count all the opportunities during the week in which I could write in all my side projects… I can’t. I feel fake.
I would love sitting on the couch at the end of the night, doing whatever I liked, for me, while the rest of the house slept.
Now it just makes me feel more alone and scared than ever.
Fear and anxiety is the main presence in my life. I can’t trust anything… I am scared of what’s around the corner.
I just want my life to go back to how it used to be. But it feels so far away. Isolation, the absence of seeing my family, my friends, is making it so hard.
Being stuck in the square box we called home, the anxious thoughts circling around my head, following me from room to room, are not helping.
I’m honestly going mad.
And although on a good day, I would be overjoyed and proud to share something like this…
All three of the tulips blooming.
Today? Nothing. A mere distraction, that I’m trying so desperately to clutch onto.
I try to snap other things, other flowers, trying to remember how they will look like this season, based off previous years growth…
But not even curiosity can save me.
So I turn to you, anyone reading, to ask for help.
Having poured my heart out to you, I ask, I beg…
If you were ever in a moment, or a spate of days/weeks/months, of intense and extreme fear and anxiety, where the emotions took over all your senses and clouded all movements you made throughout your day, what did you do to help yourself?
Is there anything you did to help yourself? What helped? What could you have done better, looking back?