#499 Baking: cappuccino cupcakes

Still on the theme of baking for Winter warmth: baking, more so, baking sweets.

There’s nothing like the scent of freshly baked sugary foods wafting out of your oven, filling the house with comforting joy. Today was such the case, as I baked one of my ol’ faithfuls, my cappuccino cupcakes.

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It certainly was a while since my last endeavour, and in a new kitchen with last-century appliances, it took some oven tweeking until they were ready… but when they were pulled out, were just as deliciously sweet as always.

And there’s nothing quite like the warmth of a freshly baked cupcake, to remove any previous winter chill that was lingering in your home 🙂

#410 Sunday Solitude

I’m actually surprised at how happy I was to stay at home today. Our quick stop by the shops was really, too much, as we would have gladly holed up in our home all day while the wild weather unleashed itself around us.

What was particularly great about staying home? Well, apart from the early Winter spell we were subject to, that made it especially fantastic stay-home weather, it was just the fact that it was long, LONG overdue. We haven’t just stayed home to not do much in a while, and I think our souls longed for the downtime.

Apart from ironing, washing, Hubbie preparing us a healthy lunch, while I prepared us a healthy dinner, and then him removing bug marks from our blinds, alongside some other random house odds and ends… I think the best part was when we woke up in the morning and then baby girl joined us in bed, all 3 of us cuddling together and snuggling under the covers.

We caught sight of our reflection in the opposite mirror, and it was the best sight ever. My family.

Sunday, solitude Sunday.

#401 Wiggles Band-Aids

I should really be grateful for my parents and my sister coming to visit us today. It has been way too long since my parents were over, and I was so excited to show the fam around, and head out by the bay into the still and fresh air, and say “here’s home.”

But no. Instead I am grateful for freaking Wiggles Band-Aids.

Because not even 15 minutes after their arrival, baby girl decided to bolt, Usain style, around the corner of the house, for no other reason other than she is a toddler and running is as normal to her as is refusing bedtime, wanting to eat chocolate, and deciding that Mum must not shop in peace. (For any non-parents that are confused, that means all of the above are NORMAL).

She tripped and fell on the uneven path out the back (one of our 1 billion to-dos on our no-existing to-do list) and scraped both her palms, so much so that skin was now missing. It didn’t look too bad – sure there was blood – but still, knowing that the skin had ripped off, even if ever so slightly, I knew it would be stinging.

And then there was the crying. Sure, she is a dramatic one, but she is also a trooper. She is tougher than some boys, and will normally get up after a fall, dusting herself off. That is how we raised her – ‘no fuss, up you go.’

But she would NOT stop.

I don’t think she was use to the constant stinging pain. Nothing would help, yet eventually after screaming the house down, we tried washing her hands, and also, applying Band-Aids.

She has never to this day, allowed Band-Aids on her. Which has made my life hard at times, because when I want to help cover a wound she’s gotten, she will scream “no!” ’til red in the face, and continue to wail. And cry. And moan. And scream.

While I rip my hair out trying to figure out how to help a girl that doesn’t want help.

But, after the application and removal of 8 Wiggles Band-Aids (this was due to the fact that as soon as they were on, they had to come off), we succeeded. Her last pair went on about midday, and thank God they’re still on. She’s napping with them.

Thank F&^% for themed Band-Aids. I don’t know what I would have done without them today.

#341 Hubbie’s home/work proximity

After our holidays in early Jan, Hubbie started a new job, right in town.

It’s fantastic. Rather than spending 2 and a half hours driving to and fro to work, every day as he used to, he now spends a total of 20 minutes.

Return trip. That is awesome.

And as he has an hour break for lunch, he surprised us today by coming home for it.

Even though it was constant as we quickly ate, had a coffee, and shared some words over the kitchen table… it was so nice to see his face mid-day, and know that it was only a matter of hours ’til we would see it again.

Ahhh 🙂

#294 The ‘we’ve done good’ moment

I have these revelations while driving in my car. Maybe because it’s usually quiet and I’m alone with nothing but my thoughts. And when you’re driving home and the path is familiar, you tend to focus less on your surroundings, and more with what is occupying your mind.

‘And when you’re driving home…’ yep, we’re home alright.

That was where my thoughts led me today. I was trying to rush home from work, and was close by, thinking of how Hubbie and Baby girl were waiting for me, ready to jump into the car and off we would go to do some very late, very brief afternoon shopping. Better something than nothing before Christmas.

I noticed around me the bushy landscape, the golden fields stretching out beyond them, and the hilly road I was on… and despite the rushed state I was in, I thought ‘yep. We did good.’

We’ve done good. I don’t care that it takes me longer to drive to and from work. I don’t care that I spend more money on petrol. I don’t care that I need to leave earlier to get to places on time.

I don’t even care that we still haven’t started properly renovating. I don’t care that it’ll probably take another 5-10 years ’til everything we want is complete to our standards. I don’t even care, that this house, is older than our last.

I don’t care about any of these things. Sure, I want them, and I would like to improve on them… but they’re not that important.

They’re not important, because we are where we wanna be. We’re home.

Everything else will get looked after in due time.

And that was my happy realisation today.

#248 Our family over

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I was tired. Run down. Overwhelmed with the tower of boxes occupying one side of our kitchen. Where are all our cappuccino glasses? And those rectangle platters? My work pass is still missing.

But. I was still happy to have our fam over tonight at our Sea change house for the first time, for hubbie’s birthday. Because until the house was filled with their voices, their laughter, their unmistakable energy, it just wasn’t home.

I realised that today. I’m grateful for them, and for tonight 🙂

#230 Bittersweet Northern memories

How wanting to move away from the North has made me feel more bittersweet than relieved, nostalgic rather than happy to put it all behind me, and wanting to hold onto the memories made here, rather than turning my back on them forever…

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Everything I do lately is the last time. Yesterday was the last time I dropped baby girl off at my MILs to get ahead on some much needed packing at home. 15 minutes and I was home again.

Today the same deal, but this time she was at my parents’ house for a couple of hours.

Drive 10ish minutes.

Drop baby girl off.

Drive 10ish minutes home.

Spend 4ish hours packing and setting up new services.

Drive 10ish minutes to pick her up.

Soon, home!

This will NOT be possible anymore. That was also the last time.

Baby girl pointed to our local shopping centre as we drove past it today. I said “sorry honey, I don’t think we’ll be going there anytime soon.”

I don’t think she fully comprehended my words, but she sighed despondently, matching my tone.

Even I’M going to miss that centre.

She cried when I didn’t let her go to the park near my parents’ house today. She was trying to run off and I grabbed her: she was over-tired, and in the usual toddler way, she didn’t wanna admit it. She screamed and cried as I put her in the car, and I realised, her park visit was not going to happen again. It last happened a few weeks ago.

I hadn’t realised then, THAT was the last time.

I’ve been hoping to take her to our local park before we head off. But sadly, with all the craziness of this week and the insane impending craziness still to come, I think that won’t happen.

When she befriended the local boy at the park a few weeks back, kicking the ball with him back and forth and then following his Dad around the ground as he talked on his mobile, the kids running around in the Spring sun, I hadn’t known then, that THAT was the last time.

And when I walked around the block with her, sometime in August, thinking of our future and where we might be at the end of the year, not knowing what was waiting for us around the corner… I didn’t realise THAT was also the last time.

The last time is EVERYWHERE. When I drove to and from work last week, I thought to myself ‘this is the last time I get there from this side of town.’

When we had baby girl’s birthday a while back… that was our last big party here. The last time here.

When the local fire station had their annual raise money campaign at the beginning of the Christmas season, with their ‘Santa’ walking through the streets beside a Fire Truck singing ‘Jingle Bells,’ I didn’t know then as I held a terrified yet oddly curious baby girl, that that would be the last time we would see them.

I’m thinking of the neighbours around here who are nice. The ones that don’t mind when baby girl and I walk over to their front yard and let her pat their dog/cat. It’s been done countless times, and yet was such a common occurrence, that I never bothered to think ‘could this be the last time?’

I know very well that this may not be the last time, FOREVER. We will still frequent the area, visit my parents and their park, go past the old house, maybe even visit our old shopping centre… but not having the convenience of having it easily accessible, just makes it different. And plus, we’re moving, moving on… which makes it feel all very final. It just won’t be the same.

I’ve been looking into it all, A LOT. You see, I’ve always wanted to move. But it never meant I hated where I lived. Being in a townhouse for 7 years, meant that eventually, very quickly, things got cramped. With the arrival of baby girl, we were finding areas to store things in places that I didn’t realise could store things. And now on her last birthday, as I shoved away all of her presents in the spare room, I realised that we had purchased a new home just in time: we were literally walking around piles of stuff in there.

So, I’ve always known this wasn’t our forever home. We always wanted something more. We wanted something more for so long, that I started to wonder if we would ever get it.

And yet now, amazingly, as we go through this process feeling unbelievably happy and blessed that our plan is underway, I am feeling a profound sense of bittersweet nostalgia.

Because even though I’ve always wanted to move away from here, we have still made memories. We moved in here after we got married. We brought baby girl home from the hospital in this house. We’ve hosted a good number of big parties, dinner parties, stayed up ‘til all hours with each other and guests, talking and having D&Ms and dancing in the kitchen and singing our lungs out.

If these walls could talk… they would tell you a lovely story. A really interesting and sometimes insane one, yet one with an underlying positive message.

I hope these walls continue to convey that message and send that energy to the next lot of people about to come in here.

I love all the memories we’ve made in our Northern suburbs home, and I love the area… even though we’re moving away, and even though we’ve always wanted to move away.

Because, it has a piece of my heart. Previously, presently, and always. When you make beautiful, life-changing memories like we have, it’s hard not to leave your heart with something.

So, what am I grateful for? I am grateful, that although we are moving away, and we have always wanted to, the feeling I hold is not of ‘good riddance’… it is of happiness, and fond memories, and beautiful stories, things that we can look back on, and smile in contentment. Always.