#934 Love from afar

You want to hear what one definition of love is?

Being happy for someone else’s happiness, when you aren’t in it.

That was today, as I headed off back to work after what seems like a lot of leave, maybe because we travelled, maybe because there were parties, maybe because we too changed in the process…

Maybe because we have a new-look kitchen? ;-D

But I went to work, leaving my beautiful family behind on a gorgeously sunny Spring day, wishing I was with them all the time, and trying my damn hardest to look for something to be grateful for, on what is typically a very un-grateful day…


But Hubbie sent me this pic, and my heart soared. The caption?

“You missed a spot Tato :-D”


I know I am not there, and I know I am not spending my night with them, but they are not far from my mind, they are always in my heart, and as long as they are happy – which that photo shows me – that is all that matters.

I miss them.

True love, is selfless.

I want them to be happy, even when I am not there.





#930 Father’s Day Eve partying

Tonight was double the fun, double the love, double the happiness.

We were celebrating not only my bro-in-law’s birthday, but an early Father’s day with the fam.

Any excuse to get together, right? My current one involves a plan to have family over to christen our new flooring… I call it the ‘floor party.’ LOL.

But the night was made especially sweet by watching baby girl do some very lovely things. When my sister wished all the Dad’s a Happy Father’s Day for tomorrow following the singing and cake bit, baby girl turned to her Dad and said (again) sweetly

“Happy Father’s Day Tato.”


I love how she says these things when no one has told her to – it is of her own accord. I mean, there are still PLENTY times I tell her to do and say things, sure… I mean, she IS 5. But when she comes out with lines that I haven’t whispered into her ear, I feel super proud, and I know her Dad feels especially touched.

And then later on, she had a little dance with her Dad…


-(I don’t know where Hubbie’s leg has gone either)-

… And the moment was timely, given the soon-to-be Father’s Day, of this special Daddy-Daughter bonding, where a girl was shown how to have fun and laugh and be respected, by her first Prince Charming.

Just simply, ♥♥♥


#916 Best pre-party planning day

As I stood there in the kitchen icing cupcakes, just over an hour ago before midnight, I felt content.

Sure the day had been rushed. Manic. Full on, and the only times I sat was when I ate quickly, or was on the toilet… and let’s face it, even that wasn’t long.

But it was definitely one of the easiest pre-party days I’ve had thus far. Not that I didn’t have stuff to do. Not that I didn’t have a massive list of items to tick off my to-do list (that is continuing tomorrow). Not that I haven’t had any chance to chill, bar now.

It was easy because of my attitude. I woke saying “I am going to smash the day!”

And somehow, I did. Baby girl was an amazing assistance through it all, helping me pour flour into the cupcake batter, organising the lolly bags, and helping me wrap presents.

It was crazy, busy, but fun. And I like to remember, that the pre-birthday party stage, is some of the fun-est of them all… because baby girl can experience the anticipation of it all, and sometimes, that really is where the memories are made.

#915 A forced break

I had a sudden realisation today.

In amongst the growing to-do list in my mind, starting to madly tackle as many jobs as I could while also keeping baby girl entertained, there was, a shock.

A worry.

Baby girl’s birthday party was in 2 days… and I honestly wasn’t sure if we had enough coffee beans.

HOLD THE HORSES! There can be NO PARTY without coffee beans!

I tentatively showed Hubbie the bag which was about a fifth full, when he was home for lunch. “Do you think this will be enough?”

He shook his head gravely. “NO.”

Damn it. I had planned on spending most of the day at home, because let’s face it, doing any kind of job with a child in tow, ends up being 4 times as long than if you were alone doing it.

And the place I was going to get the beans, was a nearby café… with a playground beside it.

Crap crap crap. There was no chance in hell I would get out of there unscathed.

Damn it then. I may as well freaking sit down and drink a coffee too.

Fine. If I have to.


And so my arm was twisted with not too much difficulty. Sure I was thinking of all the things I had yet to do, counting the hours, and trying to breathe. But I made myself sit. I made myself slurp. I looked out the window at baby girl climbing the grounds and going down the slide, and I was suddenly very grateful, for this forced break.

I’ll take it while I can.

#910 Birthday party timing

I am tired. I have had a big weekend.

But you know what was great about arriving late, like, 90 minutes late, to the second party of the weekend today, after we went to bed at 4am this morning, the after-remnants of LAST night’s party where we partied so hard?

We were in time for the food. Yep. Nothing more satisfying than arriving to a party, LATE, and discovering you are still right on time.

I like hand painting too. This one is very pretty.


Over and out. Inspiration and creativity at a nil due to little sleep. Be back tomorrow…. zzzz.

#909 The 16th Birthday

It was his 16th birthday tonight. But it’s not the usual ‘he’ that I am talking about. I am talking about another man in my life.

A young man.

A growing man.

A man who has made me, and who has made US proud to be able to call him family.

A man who we have watched since day 1, placed so sweet and cuddly into his parents arms… and then ours.

A man who when young, I used to carry.

A man I used to do sing-song with.

A man who used to tell me the names of all 40 + of his trains.

A man who has been growing up with a beautiful heart, genuine spirit, and kind-hearted soul.

A man who I can say, I have great D&Ms with.

A man who I share interests with.

A man who I have a lot of fun with.

A man who we continue to make memories with, because he is part of our family, our circle of closest, and always will be.

My nephew.

It was a wonderful night and party for this very special young man. Happy 16th Bro (as your uncle would say 😉 )


#869 Late night soccer

Just as well I brought the hat home last Friday.

It had been in my old room, at my parents house. Just as I have been purging and sorting through my own stuff, so too have my parents been trying to purge – themselves of my stuff. LOL.

I always said I would tend to the big pile of childhood and teenage accumulation and mementos that I had left at their place when I first moved out. That promise turned into a faraway and not very concrete date, and so my parents took it upon themselves to take everything out of hiding and line it up accessible and for me to see in my old room.

Every time I am there, I go through a little more. I came across some carnival hats that baby girl was enamoured with… I thought ‘fine.’ There’s many things I am bringing home, simply because I am not sure of what to do with it, but I feel that I should really be throwing it away.

The hat, is not the case.

Because the hat, is from the homeland. It holds my parents roots, and is an emblem of where I hail from.

The discovery of the hat was so timely, because I was able to hold it near and dear to me, during the viewing of the Soccer, very very late (or very very early, whichever way you roll) last night/this morning.


Croatia has progressed into the second round of finals in the FIFA world cup. I always said if they did get this far, then I would stay up/get up early, and watch. I knew baby girl having school holidays would make it easier – no early start and subsequent running around after a 3-hour sleep due to Soccer match… so very very early this morning, that’s what I did.

I had a preorganised massive blanket on the couch to wrap myself in. Little did I know it was the coldest night of the year, but I was all tucked up and cosy, the only light coming from the guys on the green field and the soft glow of our hallway.

In those 2 and a half hours, I learnt a bit. I didn’t think I would. I picked up strategies and things about the game which I had never noticed before. I got emotional, my head lifting from the pillow in anticipation when a goal was near; I whispered “damn!” at missed opportunities; and I also nearly fell asleep several times.

I am more sleep ambassador than a soccer one.

But it was the memories and the times I had spent watching the World Cup before, that led me to this night. I remember my Dad staying up late, and me sitting with him, trying to work out the game. Asking him questions. Things about the goalie, and how hard his job was. All of this came flooding back to me, the time I spent with my Dad watching this sport, excited about the rare late nights, and the bonding that I didn’t realise I was partaking in, ’til just last night.

And there was more. I remembered World Cup soccer parties at my sister’s place. The excitement of driving across town at midnight to watch the tournament take place. I remember sleeping in my bed at 3am, and the phone ring because Croatia had just progressed into another round, and my sister across town was calling to talk to my Dad, who was watching on our side of town.

“Sorry SmikG,” she said. “I’m calling for Dad.”

So casual, yet so novel. It was fascinating, how this event turned all our lives upside down.

And then when Croatia did make 3rd place in that same year, the happiness the people experienced and devoted themselves to, awoke something in me.

A deep curiosity for World Cup Soccer. Now, it was going to become a ritual.

Years later when Australia made the World Cup, remarkably it was Croatia they faced in one-play off. Although I couldn’t really lose in this scenario – ‘homeland’ team, playing ‘home’ team – I nonetheless went for the regional underdog, while Hubbie, then BF, was happily cheering for the land down under.

Our rules were: take a shot when your team makes goal. And run around the house with the national flag wrapped around you.

We did it.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, my parents were in Croatia, their native home, watching the very same game. They would wince when Australia faltered, silently cheering and smiling with glee when they moved ahead, noticed by my uncle who said to them

“Why, you’re cheering for Australia, not Croatia!”

That’s because Australia was their real home now.

Or maybe it had to do with going for the underdog in their current location, just as I was doing, cheering for Croatia to win as I sat in my Australian house.

I never remember who won. I don’t even care. All I remember are the memories.

I am not a soccer devotee. I will not claim I know all the players’ names. I will not pretend to watch soccer at any other time for the next 4 years after this event.

But I am a fan of where I come from. And as long as Croatia will feature in this 4-yearly event, so too will I haul my ass out of bed in freezing cold Winter temperatures, and remember, the memories from before.

For those keeping score… my ass-hauling last night DID pay off. Croatia won. In an epic extra-time plus penalty shoot-out setting. They won on the last kick!

Incredible. And if all I remember from this World Cup is…

coldest night

reminiscing on the past

cuddled up on the couch

Hubbie joining me post 6am before heading off to work

and then cheering happily because they had won (and I was going back to bed!)

then that would be enough.