#482 My sister’s birthday

There are some days, lo and behold, that I get as excited by as I do my own birthday – and apart from Christmas and Easter, these other days are the birthdays of my immediate family.

I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate one of the most important people in their life, to commemorate the day they were brought onto this earth, and immediately made all things better with their presence?

The day I was so excited to commemorate today was that of my sister’s birthday.

The day was cold and crisp, but the sun was glorious in its strict denial of taking on any Winter gloom. Perfect for her. The rays shone bright on her special day, just as her vibrant and uplifting presence fills those around her with constant joy and happiness.

There were select family and friends. A medium group, but one that knew each other well. Casual combo, sometimes serious, sometimes light, sometimes banter, most times shit-stirring. Food, plenty of cake, drinks and then the few ‘shots,’ a throwback to all the parties we used to down years before we had kids, when we’d go one, after one, after one, after one…

We’ll get to that stage again, I’m sure. This is my family after all.

And then the night ended happily, as is the norm, with baby girl and sister sharing a ride on the egg chair…

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Weee! they went! Round and round, ’til the movements grew slow, the hand went past midnight, and baby girl’s head leant against her aunty’s, eyes drooping as she still tried to watch her fave Explorer on Netflix.

And it was another great night, to celebrate an amazing woman in my life.

Happy Birthday big sis :*

#475 Saturday Night In no.2

Last weekend, I was absolutely HANGING to get to this weekend.

Birthday bash? Big par-tay? Night out with girls? Wait, no – night out with Hubbie?

No, no, no, and NO.

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend, all week, because all I’ve really wanted to do was nothing.

Absolutely, positively, NOTHING.

I have embraced Winter in its entirety and officially started hibernating, you may think. And this is part true. In fact, a post about how great Winter is will follow in due course (true story).

But all I wanted this weekend, was to have no plans. Nothing to do. Nothing to rush and be busy about. I’m actually feeling quite anti-social, in that I’ve been looking forward to nothing else but hanging out and spending some quality time with Hubbie and baby girl. The madness of May, with all of its big celebrations and festivities, and just as many stresses and headaches, although all for a good cause, has just left me tired. Just needing me time. Just needing, ME, to do NOTHING.

Just for a little while. I know that in a week or so, or a few if this cold perseveres, I’ll be up and at it again, and partying just as hard as any 21 year old, as hyped up as any kid that’s just eaten a bag full of smarties, and buzzing just as hard as a beekeeper’s pants. I assume they buzz sometimes, you know.

But tonight, was bliss. It was so much nothing, that it really was the perfect remedy for any previous party sores and shenanigans.

I made a herbal tea when I got home from work, and sat with baby girl on my lap, watching Paw Patrol. She leant her head back against me as we sat watching animated dogs on TV. I breathed.

Later we got takeaway – where along with my Pad Thai I snuck in some cheeky Nutella Puffs (basically deep-fried pastry filled with a slab of yours truly), and along with a delicious glass (or two, or more) of 2014 cab sav, I inhaled. Again.

Later again, baby girl sat on the couch with me after I had taken a hot shower, and now while watching Dora, leant her head on my shoulder. Awww 🙂

A picture perfect night. Just what the doctor ordered. And still, the night ain’t over yet…

 

#461 Celebrating their 50th

I can’t tell you how grateful I am now that it is ALL OVER.

There was sooo much work. And besides that, sure, there are even regrets for the night. I wish I had taken more photos. I wish I’d have spoken to my parents that bit more. Mingled more. Danced more (no, my feet don’t think they could take any more…) drank more.

But what we gained tonight is a true blessing compared to all that.

Because finally, after months of planning and organising, and then a final rat race to the finish line in the last week, we celebrated our parents 50th wedding anniversary tonight.

It felt like a WEDDING in the lead up. That was the pressure and intensity we felt to succeed and get everything just right.

And I think, we did. But not without a lot of work.

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See that? Those cakes are made by European woman. Hours upon hours goes into making them.

Anytime a wog European woman offers you cake, do not waste it, do not reject it, and by all means please, saviour it, because it’s a freaking task and a half to make.

We don’t want our creations half-eaten and sitting on a paper plate getting old somewhere. Not after all the work that has gone into it.

Those cakes are representative of the effort that went into tonight. All that hard work. Hours upon hours.

But you know what? The hard work and effort and planning that went into tonight, well, that’s not even the tip of the iceberg for all that our parents have gone through, and done, for us.

And so, we are bloody blessed, to have been there tonight, celebrating with them, yelling the house down in glee, and sharing in such a special moment on their 2nd Wedding Day/50th wedding anniversary.

For that, I am truly, truly, deeply, grateful.

#453 Photos

My sister always says, that it is so worth taking heaps of photos, for the memories that will come to you later as you look back on them.

She speaks with a lot of experience. She takes, HEAPS of photos.

She doesn’t have many photos of when she was a baby, and so I think she has spent the majority of her life, kind of making up for that fact, and making sure that her kids, will have tonnes of them.

I think I’ve kind of taken that from her. I too, love photos. Currently there are approximately, no exaggeration, 2000 of them waiting to be filed into photo albums at my less than likely leisure. I fell behind before baby girl was born, and thinking like the stupid parentless ‘know-it-all’ I was, that I would catch up while on maternity leave with her…

Yeah, right. Like that ever happened. 3 and a half years later and they’re still PILING UP.

But anyway. I love them, and in the most old school way – hard copy in a PHOTO ALBUM.

I’ve been doing heaps with photos lately, and it’s just reminded me how amazing and beautiful these snapshots into time can be.

In just over a week we’ll be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We’re doing a few special things on the night, and one of them, to highlight their 5 decades together, is the photo collage I’m putting together, of one decade each per large cardboard sheet of paper, with as many photos as I can possibly muster crammed into all 5 sheets.

When I took my usb stick of anniversary photos over the years to the photo centre, there were 647 files.

647 photos.

I knew I had to scale that back, BIG TIME.

I told myself I’d only select 150…

then I got to 150 and said I’d select up to 200…

then I got to 200 and said 250 MAX.

Which is how I ended up at 255. Close enough.

Today when I took the developed photos to my sister’s place, for our little debrief over the anniversary party (who would sit where, what we would say, what would go where, what time that would occur, etc, etc), she flipped through the photos quickly, grinning and letting out “oh wow!”s, complimenting the broad selection, and happily going back in time to as far back as the late 60s, as she saw my parents journey again from start to current day.

Seeing the reaction on her face was great, and later at home as I trimmed the photos back, removing blank spaces and tightening it up so I could surely fit 50 photos per large page, I couldn’t help but pause and smile several times, observing my parents youthful looks, almost laughing out loud when my parents were too laughing in the photos, grinning with fondness at family photos through the decades, and just generally reminiscing with warmth in my heart.

I know, I sound like a hallmark card. But really, I loved it. I love photos. And I think the guests at the party, my parents’ family and friends, and my parents especially, will really enjoy the snapshot through the ages.

50 Golden Ages. 🙂

#395 Her Rock Star exit

We had been saying we were going to go home for over an hour. Of course, something would happen to prolong the stay.

A great song.

Cake.

Deep conversation.

Even dancing.

It kept getting put off, ’til finally, there was no more avoiding it.

“Baby girl, we’re going home.”

“No!” was her definitive reply, time and time again. First she cuddled up under a throw on the couch, watching TV. Then she asked for cake. Then she ran outside and into the makeshift dancefloor, to rip out some moves on what was the night of my cousin’s birthday get-together. A small gathering, but full of big vibes, nonetheless.

We knew we had to bite the bullet. We had to go home, and the longer we left it, the harder it would become to get her to comply.

Hubbie headed out into the yard amongst the throng of people, and grabbed a hold of baby girl, holding her high above his shoulders.

“Bye!” I prompted. “Say bye baby girl!”

And just like that, all the hands at the party flew up in the air waving to her, a chorus of byes echoing out, amidst the laughter and music of the party, and baby girl happily laughed and waved back. She could have been carried by the sea of hands back into the house, rather than up on Daddy’s arms, it was that scenic.

It was the only way for an attention-seeker such as herself to leave the party -with ALL eyes on her. However, because she was the only one of her generation there tonight, it really was all about her.

And I realised, that with my amazing and loving circle of extended family, they ALWAYS do so much to make baby girl happy, and make it about her. Their own kids are older now, but they treat baby girl with the love and light and fun that they did with their own.

They treat her like a rock star, not just when it comes to goodbyes, but ALL the time.

And that’s pretty spesh. That’s pretty awesome for our party girl 🙂

#367 The calm after the Partays

Thursday was a full on day. Kinder for baby girl. My 5 hours ‘off,’ were actually crammed in with everything and anything I could think of.

We had visitors over that night, my cousins.

Friday night (yesterday) we had an engagement. I slept 4 hours. Got up to work today. Groggily.

We had a birthday on tonight. Drove to the other side of town. Drove back. I don’t know how many hours of sleep I’ll get tonight. I’m working tomorrow, again.

And although there is one more ‘task,’ to tick of my to-do list, that of work for the weekend, I sure am glad that the festivity part is over, at least for now.

Don’t get me wrong. I love heading out, getting dressed up, having fun, socialising, and watching baby girl thrive amidst it all.

But I haven’t stopped. I’m tired. I still need to work. We’re all getting under the weather.

We just need to stop and take a moment to breathe. In peace.

And so, I am hopeful, that finally the calm has come. And I’m so grateful for it.

#366 Baby girl slow-dancing with my parents

It’s a sight for sore eyes. It made me smile and my heart almost burst with emotion. The fact of dancing with my parents is even something I wrote about a long time ago, but back then it was my memory of ‘me’ dancing with my parents, when I was only a young girl of about 8.

Tonight it was baby girl’s turn.

She took their hands, standing between them as they swayed back and forth in unison, she looking up at them, crumbs at the sides of her lips turning up as she smiled.

“Do you want to dance with Mum and Dad, or Baka and Deda?” I ask as Hubbie and I sway together nearby.

I wonder what my parents think. Do they naturally think of me, of my sister, of raising us and our childhoods.. do they remember parties, events, social gatherings, happy times, and beautiful moments? Do they think this more so because of the striking resemblance of baby girl to us?

“No,” baby girl shakes her head. She is staying put with them.

I smile. That’s the way it ought to be. Hubbie and I keep swirling around, and each time I turn towards them, my heart thuds a bit more…