#856 Lotsa everything day

Today I was fortunate to have many things to be grateful for.

I was grateful for… lotsa.

I was grateful that we visited one of the last schools on our primary tour for baby girl… and we think it is the one. Sure, the school we last visited we also felt ‘good’ about. But this one gave me a certain vibe on the info night I attended weeks ago. And Hubbie and I agreed today, that it felt like our own primary schools that we attended, growing up.

It had a real community vibe, and that’s what appealed to us. The clincher was the realisation that the trees out the front of the school are my trees, and if you don’t know what they are, go and look at the background pic on my smikg.com page…

It was a gorgeous sunny day. Absolutely sublime.

I happily took baby girl to kinder late because of this tour, and discovered a coffee truck in the outside car park.

I wasn’t planning on having coffee… but when one is presented with such, one MUST HAVE.

I’ve never seen it there before, because I’ve never been 1 hour late to kinder. I must hang around and ‘help’ them on some other occasions me thinks…

I headed off to do some furniture and flooring window shopping/research on my own, and we all know as a parent, anything you do ‘on your own’ is gratitude enough, especially since such simple tasks such as wiping your butt and having a shower are often accompanied by a little person.

Our kitchen progressed that little bit more today… we have an extra cupboard for storage, hooray!

And speaking of the kitchen… perhaps the best part of the day was dancing around it in the evening before dinner, with Hubbie and baby girl, to her favourite song Go Bang by Pnau.

IMAG1425

Our socks may be mismatched, but let me assure you, we are family folks.

It’s a happy day when you don’t quite know what you are most grateful for…

So let’s just be grateful for it ALL 🙂

 

 

 

#829 Follow the yellow brick road…

There’s nothing better than sharing a special evening with the people you love the most.

Tonight was something magical.

I don’t go to musicals all that often, and the last one I went to was to The Lion King a few years ago.

I guess when you go, you go to something big and great and monumental, right?

IMAG1062

But with musicals, they are ALL like that. Night after night, with sometimes day performances too, these amazing professionals get up in front of a full theatre, and they perform – singing, dancing, creating – a fantasy and imaginative world in front of our very eyes.

And each time they do it, it is done with such enthusiasm, energy and gusto, that you would be forgiven in thinking it was the first time they were doing it, for YOU.

Well tonight, we got to witness just that. We headed on over to the Regent theatre, both sister, nephew and I, and along with witnessing some amazing performers acting out a classic movie on stage, we walked around the city streets, grabbed some fine dinner, and in doing so created some wonderful memories to cherish together forever.

That mojito in the middle there that we had during dinner was the BOMB. It was the BEST MOJITO EVER, that I have EVER tried. There was a special sugary syrup which masked any alcohol that was in the drink…. dangerous.

The Wizard of Oz was superb. Very true to the original movie with a few little differences here and there, just to keep it modern and fresh and inventive. And the contribution of the special effects ramped up the production and key components of the story in a whole other way, positively so.

I didn’t realise how much I loved the following song…

“The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch

It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,

Which was not a healthy situation, for the Wicked Witch!”

… until it was in front of me, LIVE! Oh, how that catchy tune I had heard so many times in my childhood, grew on me as the performance by Dorothy, the munchkins and Glinda the good witch was performed.

There are too many amazing parts to mention, so really, you should just go and watch it yourself if it is playing in a city near you.

IMAG1057

And then as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and Lion got to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz, with the sheets of green background, green dancers, green sequins, green lights, and green set just emanating out to the audience, all I could think of was –

IMAG1047

Mint…

IMAG1047

Lime…

IMAG1047

The mojito. That bloody brilliant mojito had gone to my head. Damn.

I was a sook as is typical and teared up at the end, even though I know the ending and have seen it before… but not like this. A sign of a great show. Or just a super softie, you decide. But the Universal message and underlying thread of the story is something that is so true, so real to all of us – there is no place like home.

Sure we often think the grass is greener on the other side. We look at the world through rose-coloured glasses, with our Instagram filters on when observing outside things, but looking through the microscope when dissecting the little annoyances of our own lives.

When something upsetting happens, it is a reminder that the support and comfort of home, is all you really need.

At the end of the show Glinda is telling Dorothy how to get home. She tells her to tap her shoes three times and say

Glinda: “There is no place –

Dorothy: ” – like home.”

Dorothy finishes the statement for her. It is not a question either. She knew it in her heart all along. ♥

And at the end of the night, after the pivotal after-the-show discussion, catch-up, and coffee, I headed home too…

Because as we all know, there is no other place like it ♥♥♥

IMAG1037

 

#811 His shoes were made for dancing

He didn’t dance for a LONG time.

This was a big deal. Dancing was Hubbie’s forte. The way he effortlessly and magically glided to the folk music, his feet seemingly floating in the air, arms waving about in focused movement as if conducting the people and arena around him…

The love and passion were so evident on his face when he danced like this. It was pure joy and happiness for the music manifested, and the expression came forth as his body responded to the music, from the beam stretching from cheek to cheek, all the way to his tip-toes.

It’s all about moving on your tip-toes. There is NO OTHER way to do it, he would say.

So I knew then when his Dad died, that he would stay off the dancing for a while.

Because, not doing the things you love, as passionate as you might be about them, is one of the natural processes of grieving. Hell, you don’t want to do barely anything, let alone something that makes you happy, or used to make you happy, when you are so sad.

It was harder in his case to even contemplate dancing… because it had been a great love he and his Dad shared.

Father and Son. The image epitome. Side by side, arms outstretched, touching shoulders, as they moved in perfect unison, in big grand movements, sweeping their arms wide as they turned around, and kicked and jumped and paraded for all to see.

It was the perfect image of familial bliss. And it was.

But after a year of grieving, Hubbie still couldn’t do it. He forced himself here and there, but there was just no love for the act of dancing…

He stopped dancing. Cold turkey. Just, GONE.

It made me so sad. Here was a part of Hubbie that brought him so much joy, and yet he wasn’t doing it anymore, so strong was the loss and unhappiness in his heart.

“Do it for your Dad,” I would suggest gently. “He would be so proud to see you dancing on in his name.”

But my words were empty. The intention was meaningless, because the person behind the meaning, was not here anymore.

This year will mark 5 years from his Dad’s passing. And though there were some small moments over the past year where he danced here, he danced there, with some substance of meaning, a breadth of the passion he used to hold, signifying a subtle change to the Hubbie of old maybe occurring… tonight something happened.

He had the music on before we headed out, and was dancing around the house, “warming up.”

He made sure to have his dancing shoes on.

IMAG0569

And when a suitable song sang out over the dance floor, he took me… and he also took the arm of his Dad’s peer – a close relative and friend of his father’s, a fellow music lover and dancing companion – and he said “you’re coming with me. In place of my Dad.”

WOW.

I was on one side of Hubbie, looking over as the two of them made light of their feet. They danced and jumped around, hopping and skipping, and turning around with grins from ear to ear.

His late father’s peer stood proudly beside Hubbie, honoured he had been chosen to dance in place of such an important and influential person from Hubbie’s life.

And in that moment as I glanced over at the two of them making a scene, causing a dancefloor stir, and galloping around jovially, something in my heart tugged, and I teared up.

There was that smile.

There was the skip in his step.

The lightness of movement had returned.

He was dancing again, full gusto.

My Hubbie, was back ♥♥♥

 

 

#793 Home cooked cheat food

Tuesday nights usually find us not reaching into the pantry or the fridge. It’s our almost mid-week break, where we find reason, any reason to go out for dinner (“it’s a nice day,” “I’m craving that pasta,” “I need or break,” or the good ol’ “it’s Tuesday” simply makes the cut).

When the weather is crap, we need time out from running around, or we are just feeling uninspired, we get takeaway and chill.

So as tonight approached, it was initially option 1 of the above. In fact, we were planning on going out tonight since last Friday, and this decision was probably made more so by my unfortunate late night Saturday shift – we needed something to look forward to.

But then came yesterday, and we both went “it’ll be dark by the time we head out to dinner… why don’t we just take away?”

And so suddenly, option 2. This was great. We would stay home, we could lounge in our trakkies, it was night 3 out of the 4 weekly Bachelor in Paradise eps (only slightly obsessed), and still, we weren’t going to any effort.

But then, between last night and today lunchtime, something happened.

My temperamental husband happened.

“I think I just wanna make a home burger, and some of our home made chips.”

What? This would require cooking? And prep? Cooking every day is something I’m long accustomed to, but when someone tells me I’m not cooking, and then SURPRISE! I’m cooking!” I get a little bit crabby.

However, as the evening arrived, things just flowed. There was actually minimal prep. We shared the kitchen, something we often struggle with as we both need our space in there. He seasoned the chicken, pan-fried it, and cut up the salad fillings, while I did the chips… seasoned with VEGETA, mmmmmm.

IMAG0244

We weren’t rushing. In fact, we were early. We had the music going, baby girl was painting, and then as the volume went up, we got to some good ol’ dancing in the kitchen. Artists today included Amy Winehouse, Justin Timberlake, and The Doors, along with baby girls favourite song “Go Bang” by Pnau, which had ALL of us jumping.

We were really happy, and relaxed. And then as we sat down to eat, things got even better.

Our meal was delicious. Amazing. We had created a version of a cheat’s meals – a junk food meal if you will – and it was more tasty, healthy and clearly, WAY cheaper than anything we would have gotten if we had gone out or ordered take away.

It was just win-win-win all around. We were together in the comfort and warmth of our home, enjoying quality family togetherness. We were chilled. We had saved $$$. We had eaten a dinner that was healthy, which was tasty and as close to being junk food as possible, without actually being junk food… and it was all done by the time Keira and Jarrod arrived on screen.

Score.

 

#770 Making memories and finding comfort in a topsy-turvy day

I’m not going to lie.

I’m not going to sit here, and tell you my day was great, my day was fantastic, when there were many parts of it, that weren’t.

I can’t just pretend all went well, when all didn’t.

I can’t just focus on the good, because I feel like that would be lying, and I think you would appreciate me telling you the frustrating, shitty parts too. The ‘Life’ parts. The pros, as well as, the cons.

Even with this being a gratitude blog and all.

So in short, let me tell you this:

Today we got to catch up with some of our closest friends for a birthday. It was well overdue (pro).

We drove over 3 hours there and back, and after this weekend, we are OVER driving (con).

We had fun (pro), and we made memories (pro). We danced (pro), the kids played (pro), and baby girl got her leg stuck in the hole of a portable basketball base (con, but a funny one).

I got this cappuccino made for me by our friend (pro)… he is a former café owner and works for a coffee company…

IMAG9672

PRO PRO PRO.

And this day would have truly been perfect, even with all the little cons up to this point, if the highlight of the day were just this: good coffee amidst polaroids of my girl dressed as a cowboy.

But it went on, as days do.

Driving home, Hubbie developed some kind of gastrointestinal infection (CON).

We stopped twice. (CON).

When we got home eventually, the windy weather appeared and started lashing us as we ran for the front door… but we got inside quickly, and I reckon somehow the Universe held it off slightly until we were indoors, only because we had such a sucky ride home (pro).

I ordered pizza because (insert Hubbie incapacitated on couch), and I was so grateful for the convenience of it all… pro – but it took an hour to arrive (maybe because of the wild weather – con).

Before and after said pizza, I sat on the couch with baby girl, me actually watching Bachelor in Paradise in peace, and she watching YouTube videos of dolls playing with toys, as the Wicked Witch of the West flew around on her broomstick outside in this cyclonic wind (pro).

Everyone is in bed now, and Hubbie is feeling better (massive PRO).

I know I am a glass half-full gal, but I wanted to show you both sides of the coin, to prove a point.

We can be aware of both good and bad, happy and sad, positive and negative, pros and cons… because it is all in the greater picture. Seeing the greater picture balances us out, makes us humble, and helps us to appreciate the pros more.

Because if all we had were pros, well the above would have been a very boring (albeit hugely satisfying for me) story.

And every story needs a villain, doesn’t it?

Today’s villain? Driving time, stomach viruses and wind from hell.

Today’s hero? Friends, couch time, and…

COFFEE 🙂

 

 

#743 2 years and 2 days

I totally missed the celebration boat. Because, you know, LIFE. I actually thought the day was today, or tomorrow, but alas, I wrote “#1” 2 years and 2 days ago.

That is because on February 24th 2016, I wrote my first ever gratitude post.

YAY! For 2 years I’ve been doing this gratitude game. A game where I as recipient, always win. Because if you can find something to be grateful for, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it to be, as long as it does something for you and lifts you up, that is all that matters.

It need not matter if your neighbour doesn’t appreciate it. Your work colleague. The green grocer, taxi driver, hell even your kids or partner don’t have to agree – if there is something in your life you are happy for, pay attention to that, and then watch it GROW.

I’ve been constantly amazed at the amount of material I still manage to find to write about and be grateful for. Sure, I have a decent portion of posts with infinite ‘parts’… like my shopping posts, my dancing in the kitchen posts, even ones about coffee…

It was always a question, and a challenge for me to see if I could write every day about something novel that I was consequently grateful for. I have managed to do that for all of these days, despite also having hard days, trying days, boring days, uninspiring days, sad days, and depressing days. Despite all of life’s crap, I have tried as my own personal challenge, to find something.

I sometimes wonder if I should stop here and now – ‘thank you very much’ – and give this whole gratitude game a rest. Not for lack of gratitude or tiring of writing. I have done this for 2 years now and I know I can find gratitude, I know I can find something different to write about every day.

For now, I am happy to stay in this gratitude game and keep practicing it via this online forum. I am enjoying this process, and I think, as is the nature of Life, I still have a lot to learn.

And, if I ever do decide to finish up on this blog (insert shameless self-promotional plug here) there will still always be my parent blog smikg.com – where I talk everything and anything Life, gratitude or not-inspired (things that shit me, anyone?)

Ta for sticking around folks, and let’s see how far we can get.

Further more, why don’t you see how far YOU can get?

🙂

pineapple-supply-co-285389-unsplash

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

 

#741 Wedding Family Fun

In the car driving today – Question: When was the last time we went to a wedding?

The reason for the query was that we were on our way to a wedding.

Answer: A good 2 and a half years ago.

It is a LONG time between those delightful happy union-filled events for us, and because of that, also my first blog post on the subject.

We attended one today, and isn’t it just rad, awesome-nest of awesome things, and just freaking un-bloody-believable when you go to one, and a lot of your family is there?

Isn’t that just, like, ideal?

IMAG9092

Well, it happened. We had a beautiful time with all involved, and right now, my feet are resting in bed, but really, really sore.

Too much dancing? Ouch shoes? How about BOTH.

Goodnight world from this Gratitude Girl 🙂