#1429 Sharing the beach love

Okay, so it’s not MY beach. But when your friends visit you from across town and ask for a beach-playdate-destination-recommendation, you kinda feel like a part of you is being exposed, on show for all to see.

I was pleased, because it was a pretty perfect beach day.

Still, sunny, but with some cloud cover at times. The water was mild. The kids had shallow waters.

Us Mums were (mostly) happy. Kids make that sentence ‘mostly.’ 🤣

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But it wasn’t just the fun and frivolity of being on sand, or wading on water that made today fun and totally chillax-worthy.

I felt there was a lot of meaning attached to the day. Sure we were on the beach and all, but I couldn’t help thinking of how we had come to the beach that day.

I was thinking of friends, and friendship, A LOT. It was two of my oldest friends that I was with today. They with their brood, me with mine. And it had nothing to do with watching the kids play, fight, argue over who had the body board next or lie in the water and float, things we used to imagine way back when in high school when we’d say to one another that our kids would be friends just as we were.

It was more about the ‘time.’ That all-too-important commodity that everyone argues they have little to none of. I was thinking of how we were all there on the beach, dedicated to the task of spending time together, our kids having fun together, while there were so many other things in our life distracting us, so many other things we could do, and so many other places we could be.

But we chose to be there.

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It was humbling. It was heart-warming. When someone chooses you to be the place they spend their time with, it is something special. In a world where the word ‘busy’ flies out of our mouths all too often, it was a day where we chose each other, and in doing so made one of the best sacrifices of time and best decisions possible:

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Because we made memories for not only us, but THEM. ❤🏖

#1386 KK by the river, 2019 edition

When the day started off by walking on a wall, we just knew it was going to be amazing.

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Special. Different even. And it sure was.

ALL of us getting together around a table, girls and partners and kids, and there was not one person missing? Not one that didn’t pull out due to injury/sickness/over-commitment/boredom?

Why I never.

NOT ONE.

These things only happen like once a decade peeps. Hence the special. 😉

It was our annual KK catch-up pre-Christmas festivities, and it came nice and early on the first day of December, and the first day of summer (though summer was nowhere to be seen…)

Did we care? Nooo.

We were nice and snug and sheltered.

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And then there was the item of presents.

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GOODY!

The kids chased ducks outside and threw sticks and leaves into the Yarra outside to ‘help’ them float, and us adults chilled and bonded and watched our guys bond too.

Awww. Don’t you just love it when your guys make friends. They don’t admit it but they enjoy it too 😉

And so, a pretty perfect day was had. I love being with my gals but it’s even more amazing when we come together as couples and family units and spend our Sunday lunch together, our common tie and reason for uniting being the pubescent group who went to high school together and promised that one day our kids would play with each other while our guys would make friends too, all those years ago.  ♥

And now I have new writing implements so there… (make sure you do KK with people that ‘know’ you, then they won’t get your presents wrong EVER).

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The only downfall with doing KK soooo early?

The debate I’ll be having with my 6 year-old until Christmas day… because baby girl got presents too. Times 4 today.

“I wanna open my presents!”

“No, you have to wait until Christmas! It’s called patience.”

“But I can’t wait!”

“You have to wait!”

“How long until Christmas?”

“24 more days…”

Help me, please. 

 

#1250 The different ways to appreciate my friends

A recurrent theme for me in this gratitude blog is in finding different ways and discovering various angles in which to appreciate the same thing, place, event, food… or people.

And in life, it is common that you find yourself repeatedly thankful for the same thing, many times.

Consider it something truly special, if you find it. It’s not repetitive or mundane.

It’s magic. Blissful. Electric. Beautiful.

To find yourself anew with wonder, happiness and a heart full of love, at the same thing again and again… it’s a blessing.

And so again tonight. Dinner out with friends. Maybe not the number of us that there were meant to be, so hearts were missing… but the hearts there were full of love regardless. ❤️

And how do I pinpoint, and make notice of the different ways in which the night made me smile, filled my soul with joy, and truly made me appreciative of the night?

Well, straight off, Thursday night out. It’s practically still mid-week, and us mums were rocking it, school routines and all waiting for us the next day.

Stuff it.

Nothing says ‘stuff it’ better than a mid-week cocktail.

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Stuff it.

And then there were the moments. The constant talking, how silence DIDN’T fill the air…

The coriander.

My name in their drinks.

The spiciness.

How nothing else was open after we ate, and yet we idled about walking from one place to the next, biding time, while we talked to our hearts content.

Or how we stood talking for half a length of a movie outside the cinemas… just chatting, laughing and sharing stories.

Or how we talked a further 20 minutes in the middle of a vacated shopping centre as we said our goodbyes.

And then said some more…

And so you see, it’s all these things that made this night with old friends so unique. And actually, it isn’t at all common, no matter how many times we catch up, where we eat, who is there, or what we do.

It’s in the memories shared with those you love, and that is always special.

Look after your friends. Good ones are hard to find.

 

 

#1139 Let’s hear it for the girls

I had the best girl sessions this afternoon and evening.

And I mean that in the most loving, nurturing, funny, compassionate and fulfilling way… not in a girl-sesh lesbian way. 😆

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The girls who made the second half of my day great did it naturally, casually, without great parade or gusto… it just came so easily to them.

It came so easily, because they were just being, them. And by being them, their presence immediately made me feel at home.

The first girl I had the pleasure of spending quality time with was my own one…

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After school finished, baby girl and I took our coffee break to the balcony upstairs. When she decided to forego the chairs, I followed suit, and we sat on the panelled floor together. The entire afternoon we just chilled… looked at photos together… she drew and I read… we talked… and when I was getting ready for the second part of my evening, I put pink lipstick on her. 💄👄

Our afternoon together filled my soul. 🥰

But that wasn’t the end of it, not by a long shot. I caught up with my high school besties for dinner at a European restaurant, and I went from coffee at home with my girl…

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… to Turkish coffee with my girls, at a Turkish restaurant, of course.

(Can anyone read this coffee for me? 😉)

A day that had started with me going all Mama-bear and “grrr!” at the perceived threat to my baby girl at school that morning from another not very nice girl, and then dealing with the subsequent rage and physical emotions of not knowing how to help her and driving myself MAD over it, well, it ended with a total 180 shift.

Fun. Frivolity. Laughter. D&Ms. Serious words. Thought-provoking statements. Gasps! It happened with all my girls today, and it made me so much more appreciative of the women in my life, and what they bring to me, all the time.

We need women in our life. We need them in the form of our Mothers and Sisters, Daughters and Grandmas, Cousins and…

Friends. Let’s never forget friends.

Gather as many of these women as you can, and keep them in your tribe for moments when you need help, inspiration, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to laugh yourself silly with when the token belly dancer decides to shake her finely toned booty near your face.

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Yes. Let’s hear it for ALL the girls. 👭👭

 

#1109 MMM-bopping along

Today, my 13 year-old self would have been really happy with me.

She would have been rapt. Delighted. Screaming “yes yes yes!” and punching her fists into the sky in frenzied delight.

It would have been far from the typical teenage scene of sulking, crying and whinging to no end. Which is what I did, when I found out I couldn’t see Hanson when they were scheduled to come to a shopping centre appearance back in 1997.

Granted I couldn’t go because I was heading overseas. It kinda didn’t occur to my parents when they booked the European tickets, that a short time later I would be completely obsessed and enthralled with all things HANSON.

But nonetheless, I locked myself up in the toilet and b-a-w-l-e-d.

Ahhh, 13 year-olds. I never did get the opportunity to see them elsewhere during my Hanson-phase, and after several years, I moved onto obsessing over other artists.

But I thought of that girl as I arrived at the Palais Theatre tonight.

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Here we finally were.

22 years after the fact. 22! I observed 30 and 40-somethings arriving in pairs and groups, older now, with more responsibilities, more life experience. Many pregnant. Occasional males accompanied their once manic partners, and I had to think of how committed they were to be joining them tonight… I also thought back to how I would have been if I were seeing them in the height of their fame… the height of my obsession!

“I LOVE YOU TAYLOR!”

Surely I would have screamed out those words, only to be drowned by other fanatical girls clawing and reaching for the front stage eager to get them a piece of the trio of brothers from Tulsa Oklahoma.

And yet tonight, in the crowd of girls who had lived through the last two decades, I still heard it.

“I love you Zac!”

Oh man. Some women were still pining. 

Tonight was therefore an amazing experience. I bopped along and listened at the back of the stalls, taking in the orchestra and instrumental notes, the voices that had matured well since then, grown into their own… and I reminisced.

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It is a lovely thing to reminisce.

It brought me an appreciation of them, beyond the teenage fan phase, beyond the blonde hair, beyond the high notes, beyond the posters…

I felt the authenticity, the music, and their passion. It was a truly great night, and you know what? I might just have to see them again next time they come.

I clapped. I watched intently. I listened to the instruments and observed carefully how one song blended into the next. The drums, piano, guitar. I tried to take it all in.

I think I’m coming full circle. I think I’m becoming a real fan. ♥

#1035 The KK Christmas carol

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but… why don’t we do this more often?

EVERY TIME I leave from a catch-up with my high school girls, it’s this recurring thought. It’s worthy of a looney tunes-style mallet to beat myself over the head with.

But alas, it’s not just me. It’s life that keeps me busy, as well as the lives of the 4 other girls from that table tonight.

Yes, events, people, partners, kids, work, families keep us ALL so, so busy…

But when we catch up…

WHEN we catch up…

It’s laughter. It’s light.

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It’s meaningful and sincere.

It’s hilarious and witty.

It’s tales about food intolerances interspersed with OCD husbands telling us to park next to poles.

It’s slap-the-table-down with laughter in amongst solemn nodding and deliberation.

It’s making plans for the future, and then reminiscing about that time in the year 2000, when… ❤️😊😂

So tell me again, why we wait so long for nights like these?

 

I feel a rhyme coming on… BRACE YOURSELVES.

The 12 Days of Christmas KK Countdown

On the 12 days of Christmas, my true friends gave to me

12 types of gyoza 

11 sneaky selfies

10 different entrees

9 “OMG”s

8 random flashbacks

7 lots of wrapping

6 potato croquettes

5 CRAZY CHICKS!

4 sweet plum wines,

3 Japanese waiters

2 types of ice cream

And the best KK of 2018!

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😆😂🎄

Damn it I’m tacky.

 

#831 Friday night friend fun

You don’t need cocktails.

You don’t need food.

You don’t need a happening hotspot.

Nor do you need lights, crowds, people and ambience to fill the scene.

All you need are your friends…

And now I’m going to eat my words (along with tonight’s not-so-mild curry) and say that I had ALL of these tonight!

But seriously, I might as well have been eating fish and chips from a dodgy booth somewhere for all I cared. Sure the surroundings were cool, and I love heading out to different and new places… but when you are in certain company, and you realise that where you are doesn’t really matter, just THEY do…

That’s a good sign. 🙂

 

 

#697 Mindful colouring at Mechanic’s

As a busy Mum/Wife/Woman/PERSON, finding time in your day for things that you want to explore, things outside of your ‘box,’ and for things that you just want to indulge in, well they are minute, if actually, NON EXISTENT.

So when I see that I will have a future moment to myself, I try to prolong and make the most of it the best I can.

If I am at the doctor’s office or the hairdresser’s, I bring a book.

And when I am at the mechanic… I bring a colouring book.

I honestly haven’t coloured in for fun, for ME, probably since sometime in high school. I do it on occasion now with baby girl, as she asks me to draw something for her and then we go on colouring Beauty and the Beast, or something like that, together… but nothing just for ME.

Back when it was my birthday, I received a mindfulness colouring book with good ol’ fashioned Derwents – that I was sooo excited about – but that nonetheless remained untouched for months.

Until today.

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Sitting in the mechanics kitchen, I got to work. Leaning on the old European 80s-styled tablecloth, as my car got its much-needed service in the huge garage outside of the room I was in, I found a drawing in the ‘good health’ section, and started small. What started off as just colouring, became something more. The TV was on in the background, ‘ABC news’ so it was pretty serious going with heavy issues and all, but I found myself getting deep in my thoughts as stroke by stroke I filled in the patterns and shapes and lines, still completely aware of my surroundings, but in a deeper, calmer, more meditative place.

The mechanic came to me too soon, as I was nowhere near completing my page. But for now, it was enough. You’ve got to take what you can as a busy individual. It had provided comfort and a different avenue of expression that I am not normally used to, and in turn that gave me creative insight of a different kind.

I’m looking forward to more stolen moments with my Derwents 😉

 

#635 KK 2017 edition

Why is it that we wait for an occasion to catch up with those we love?

…with those we can’t get a word in with because the conversation is flowing?

…with those that when ones laughs, so do the rest?

…and when one tears, the others follow suit?

…with those who have been there for far too long?

…with those who know us, inside and out?

Tonight, a tad early in November, me and my high school friends caught up for our annual KK catch up. I wish I remembered the year we started doing this, and who suggested it, and what I got that year and what I bought for someone else… but it has been happening for a WHILE.

Life is busy. We have partners. Kids. Jobs. Responsibilities. Being able to match our schedules with each others is a feat in itself, but with old friends, it shouldn’t be a job… it should be a necessity.

Because it is calming. It releases happy chemicals. You purge. You let out your frustrations. You share funny anecdotes. Like tonight, the top stories were:

Silly husbands

Gorged breasts of breastmilk

“Kids say the darndest things!”

12 year old huskies

Roses

Insane concert tickets prices, and finally –

Meat on steroids

All perfectly NORMAL things to discuss with your besties.

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It was a terrific night, and I love my PA pjs, because you can never have too much Peter Alexander.

“I have too much Peter Alexander!”

SAID NO GIRL EVER.

And a pat on the back for me, as I totally rocked the KK I got for my friend.

Score!

It made me realise a lot of life truths, and the biggest one being, the longer you are friends with someone, the harder it is to separate yourself from them.

And I don’t want to separate myself from these girls, EVER.

And we sure as hell don’t need a reason, like Christmas (though it is a bloody good one!) to make an effort to catch up.

Catching up to see each other is an event in itself.

Happy early Christmas, peeps :):):)

 

 

#473 A Mini Me

Having your own kid is super cool. Apart from the loving them until the depths of the earth, reaches of the galaxy, and ends of time thing… it is also awesome, just knowing that they are a version of you.

They have your DNA. They may look like you. Their hands may be slender like yours. Their eyes the same brown, face the same heart shape, and laugh the same adorable cackle you yourself used to have at 3.

These things are kind of out of your control, just as much as they are out of control for your child. They can’t choose their looks or their predisposition to certain things.

But what they CAN control is themselves. And when they choose to do and be like you…

It’s pretty damn cool.

It’s all in the little things. As it always is. But she will want to wear a dress, when I wear a dress. She sees owls on my pyjamas – she wants owls on her pyjamas.

I’m brushing my teeth, and suddenly, because I didn’t hound her this time, she is reaching out and grabbing for her toothbrush, and we stand there side by side, looking at ourselves in the mirror as foam spills from our mouths, grinning.

She finds me putting on make up before going out, and she is then asking me for make up too. I give her some glittery not-obvious stuff, and she applies it to her skin with such careful precision, yet at the end I can’t even see anything there. I smile broadly and tell her she was beautiful to begin with, but “good job!”

I sing to Ricky Martin and Prince – she bops and hums along.

I drink coffee – she drinks babycino.

🙂

Today, she did the cutest thing. During our daily coffee break after lunch, we were seated at the table and enjoying our little time together. She’ll have her babycino and some other sweet, usually some chocolate, while some cake or chocolate too will accompany my cappuccino. As we sat there, I brought the coffee mug to my lips, my left hand naturally going to rest on my hip, and the action made me aware of the hilarity of it, because in our high school years bestie would often be sitting at a desk with one hand on it, the other on her hip. It was funny, because she was sitting – there was no need to put a hand, or any hand on her hips. It was such a standing pose, and here, one hand always found its way there.

Baby girl must have realised my action as I did, because as she drank her babycino, her eyes skimmed over my arm on hip, and she immediately dropped one hand from her cup, and placed it on her hip.

Just like me.

It was a little gesture, but it was also the grandest one.

Just like Mum. She wanted to be just like Mum, whether Mum’s action made sense or not.

Of course, I then dropped it, telling baby girl to hold her cup with two hands (never-ending Mum worry of spilt food/drink taking over) but of course, she wasn’t going to listen to me now, was she?

The hand stayed on her hip, and I let it be. I love my girl 🙂