#1917 A special birthday

Check out the numbers on those cakes:

8-0. 80.

Yes. We celebrated my Dad’s birthday today, a day earlier from his actual birthday.

Wow. What a milestone. It’s what I wrote in the card too. Just think about it… all the things you must go through, pass through, live through, to get to that grand age…

I was feeling grateful and fulfilled that we were together today, able to celebrate as family should.

And though life can be hard, and IS hard, and there are moments where you can see more hardship than good, these are the moments you ultimately live for.

The togetherness. The laughter. The love. The food, the drink, the memories, and the D&Ms through all crazy hours…

These are the moments where you thank God/your lucky stars/Karma/yourself, for where you are in life, and who you are with.

And to celebrate my Dad’s birthday today, was the ultimate icing on the cake. LITERALLY.

Happy birthday Dad. We love you. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1903 Double the Easter fun

When you get married to someone, you inherit a lot.

You inherit them. Their family. Their values, interests, ambitions.

You also inherit, their traditions.

And when it comes to the holy days of the year, you inherit those too.

And if they happen to fall on a different day, well…

DOUBLE THE FUN.

Easter. Christmas.

We have Catholic Christmas. Orthodox Christmas.

Catholic Easter. And then Orthodox Easter.

Double the fun! Double the food! Double the chocolate, and presents, and memories, and good times…

And it suits me just fine that we have these different, but oh-so-similar backgrounds. That we can blend them together in our family, baby girl gets a cultural taste of both, and we can make all of this work, FOR ALL.

And on that note… Happy Orthodox Easter to anyone celebrating today. I am about to pop, and yet I am going to walk back to the kitchen now for more sweet bread, otherwise known as kozinjak…

Cultural differences are beautiful. πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1875 The Easter love grows

She has grown so much.

Look at our girl, so big, so happy, searching for those Easter eggs with basket and bunny in arms.

And then Easter at a different place this year. Making memories at my parents new house, and this photo here…

This dessert photo doesn’t begin to translate the love felt, the happiness shared, the d&ms had, the music celebrated around the table as we swayed and sang in unison “It’s Amore.” 🎡

Amore. It sure is. ❀

Happy Easter. πŸ‡β€πŸŽ΅πŸ˜

#1839 A celebration of art

Today was a beautiful day, as we got to support and celebrate a dear friend’s artistic accomplishments.

We were there for the opening day of the exhibition ‘Hanging by a Thread.’ Three artists have brought their pieces together in the collaborative theme of climate change, taking inspiration from life, what they have lived, seen, and felt, and pouring it out into some thought-provoking and exceptional pieces of art.

We were there to cheer on our very talented friend, who painted some incredible pieces in the underwater theme. As her personal response to all the debris found in the oceans, she used things like plastic foils, straws and balloons to create the vivid and detailed imagery that we saw today.

To be there, baring witness to our friend’s great achievement, clapping for and admiring all her hard work, and seeing how she has taken a global issue such as ocean pollution and used it to create artwork… well, it’s something else.

And besides the incredible art we saw today, it was just lovely being out amongst friends and family. Every time we are together, I realise how much I miss them all, and how much we all missed out on last year.

If you can, check out the exhibition showing at Alternating Current ArtSpace in Windsor. It runs until the 20th of March.

You won’t regret it. πŸ’–

#1824 Goodbye number 14

Phwoar. What a day.

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.

Deep breath.

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.

πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1757 Capping off a great weekend

After so long of seeing no one, it feels like this weekend we have seen everyone.

Well, almost everyone.

Actually I lie, there are still loads of people to see… see, I’m so used to not being social that I’m forgetting about who we actually used to interact with.

So many people.

Today was a great day to finish off a really full, exciting, loving and happy weekend. It was my nephew’s 15th birthday, and can I just say, I think all Sundays should include…

Cake

Drinks

Family

Love

Celebrations.

That is ALL. That’s not a hard list, right?

Yep. All you really need is LOVE.

#1756 Moving and growing

OMG, today was really important.

For a number of reasons. Firstly, this happened.

My childhood home was SOLD. Yep, the place where I was brought home as an infant, lived all through my childhood, to teenage years, adulthood, and was even led out of the house, parents side by side as they escorted me to the wedding cars for my nuptials with Hubbie…

That house, went under the hammer.

It’s momentous for all of us, but mostly, our parents. Mum and Dad have lived there for 40 years, so this is a huge change, but also one that was imminent, and something that is great to have happened now, when it did.

Being with my parents, my sister, and baby girl, all of us sharing in that special moment… it was mixed emotions, but it was EXCITING.

The excitement continued when I headed over to help celebrate a dear friend’s baby shower.

Oh wow. Can I just say, other than my immediate family, I have not seen people for like, ALL YEAR! Ok, so maybe not all year, but most of the people in that room I haven’t actually seen in 2020. Like, things have been cancelled, postponed, practically all birthdays were thrown out the window this year, so those we would have seen even a handful of times, we’ve seen NO ONE, at all.

But it was special. It was wonderful. It was exhilarating while also being oddly relaxing. Eating, drinking, sharing conversation, and enjoying each other’s company…

My God, I miss being social. It’s great to be back. And when it’s for great things, like

Moving… or

Growing…

I will happily oblige to help all the people celebrate.

πŸΎπŸΎπŸ’–πŸ’–

#1604 Day 106 of getting there: Funny how we celebrate music

Every couple of weeks our ‘celebration’ song changes.

Even though for the longest time, the song has been from the same band.

We might put on our celebration song whenever we just want to celebrate. So like, today, after I finished work, and baby girl and I had our coffee break…

It was celebration song time.

The celebration song can come on as I’m prepping dinner. It can come on as I’m washing dishes. Hell, it’s been known to come on after breakfast on a Saturday morning, and I put it on extra loud just because, you know, make sure the neighbours are properly awake and all.

The most recent celebration song comes from the Queen II album. And what an album it is. The music as a whole is unapologetically loud.

It is in your face, rock, heavy, the lyrics are full, and it takes over all your senses.

And I love it.

By the time track 10 comes around, it reaches its pinnacle of loud. If you were struggling until now, well just go away, this music is too much for you. You can’t escape the music. You just can’t. Even the lyrics don’t have a break. There are no pauses.

It keeps going and going and going.

Funny How Love Is. Baby girl and I danced to this today, and all that was missing was the expansive field of daises with hippies skipping freely across the green grass.

It is so folksy. It is just something else. It speaks of love, love in its truest form, examples of love, and where you can see it in the everyday. I find it a curiously optimistic Queen song, and that’s not to say that they don’t do happy love songs. Think “You’re My Best Friend,” but that was written by bass guitarist John Deacon.

This song is all Freddie. There are no bittersweet tones, like in “Somebody to Love” where he is literally asking for someone, to love. This song is so brash in it’s joy-fest, so in your face…

It really is the best celebration song.

I said it was the second last track, right? The song that follows is just as good.

Seven Seas of Rhye.

That is a WHOLE other blog post (which I’ve actually written about before…!)

#1598 Day 100 of getting there: One month down

On my centenary of getting there (let’s face it, our whole life we are trying to ‘get there’) we are celebrating one very important thing.

Total cause for celebration.

One month of winter is DOWN.

WOO HOO! I know times ahead are still tough, particularly for us Victorians at the moment, but it gives me much joy to know that we’ve survived one month of winter amidst all the other crap that’s been thrown at us.

Yes. πŸ’ͺ

Photo by Kristin Vogt on Pexels.com