#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…

#282 Getting into the grit at the work Christmas party

So that night is over. For a moment there, I wasn’t sure if I should attend this year. Half of the team weren’t going to be there due to various reasons, and most of the ones that were going to be there, I didn’t feel as close to them as I did with the others.

However, that ended up being ok.

I feel like with the removal of my ‘go-to’ work colleagues, I was able to actually spend some quality time** with these other fantastic colleagues of mine, and in doing so feel like I’ve connected with them in a way that I probably wouldn’t have had the rest of the team been there.

It was actually a pretty good night!

If you’re tossing up whether to go to your own work Christmas party, I say DO IT. I’m all about showing up. Show up for the job, show up for the party, show up for life, show up for the Universe and tell it God damn you’re serious about being a writer. Just show up. I don’t like to say no to any kind of ‘thing’ I’m invited to, so I guess in line with one of my internal ways of being (have I just discovered another True Rule?) I showed up.

And it was great.

And in addition, you learn and are privy to some fantastic content.

I.E:

“She has a long-term boyfriend but is sooo desperate here.”

“Did you hear how he cheated weeks after?”

“His Instagram is all blow-jobs and XXX…”

“He’s gay. Susan gay.”

“I love my girlfriend. She is hotter than my last one.”

A bit X-rated I know, but if you’re Christmas party is tamer than that.. well you need to get yourself a new job. That’s what the work Christmas party is after all.

I’m grateful I went, the new connections I made, and for the entertainment of the grit 😉

 

**Quality time meaning drinking, daggy-dancing when Mmm Bop comes on, gossiping, drinking, gasping in horror at regular intervals, drinking, “she said what?”/”he did what?” moments, laughing out loud often, MORE drinking, and just generally learning about all the weird and wacky of work life and beyond…**

 

 

#280 Setting up the Tree – 3 year old Baby Girl edition

Tonight, we put up the Christmas tree base, on its own. I’m doing it in stages, you see.

Or should I say, we’re doing it in stages.

Like everyone at this time of year, there is just so much to do. Everyone is in a mad rush, trying to get everything possible accomplished by year’s end. Yes, it is a generally busy period, what with close of business, Christmas parties and festivities and fun abounding, and then of course, sweet sweet Summer makes everyone that much more crazy for going out, getting insane and making the most of life.

However, if you break down your end of year jobs, you’ll find that they may just be achievable, despite mad insanity. Yes you’ll need to plan, yes you’ll need to stay focused, and yes you’ll need to just keep going no matter what. But, broken up into stages, it is very achievable to go into Christmas Day a very happy Larry/Sally.

Which is why I do my Christmas decorating in stages.

Also, I have a 3 year old daughter. That is explanation in itself I think.

If I were to attempt to put up the tree base, decorate the tree with lights, and baubles, and then go on to decorate the house with various Christmas paraphernalia, I would lose my marbles, or in this case, quite literally my baubles. Also, that huge and long task, accompanied by baby girl, would seem so hard that I would put it off for too long, even though I love Christmas and want to decorate the house as soon as is allowable/acceptable.

Breaking up the festive job is best enjoyed in stages. Like sipping on a hot coffee. It needs to be savoured – not thrown back to scald your throat in one huge lug.

Hubbie had set the heavy tree box in our lounge area for me. I positioned it against where the tree would go, before starting to open it. Baby girl gasped in recognition at the photo on the box, and came over to help me.

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She handed me branch by branch, until the tree was sitting tall in our living area. She clapped and yelled “YAY!” before leaning in to give the Christmas tree a hug, almost knocking it over in the process.

She takes after her Mum. She too LOVES Christmas.

And then if that weren’t enough, she leant in to kiss it.

Awww. Shucks.

Christmas alone is a wondrous thing, a beautiful experience, a memorable yearly event to be cherished with your loved ones. But when you have a child, you can start to compare your Christmas’ against how much your child has grown, and evolved, and developed, and learnt, year by year… and I watched with satisfaction as this girl of mine, took clear delight in a big green tree taking residence in our home, for a semi-permanent period anyway.

I love this time of year. Christmas makes you take heed of what you have, how far you’ve come, and what you are grateful for in your life… and for this appreciative gal writing this blog, it kind of makes sense I love it so much, doesn’t it?