#665 Sunday family day and realigning

I could be grateful that we spent a good portion of the day shopping, and got a bit more of our Christmas list ticked off… but with all that has been happening with life lately, the busyness, the reality and the true meaning of it, I just ain’t feeling the grateful shopping vibe.

Another day, maybe. Today, it feels too materialistic for the realisations that the day brought us. And maybe, I’m sick of spending so much $$$ in the festive lead-up.

Instead, I had the best time after we got home. We had driven home in the sunny sunshine, and then spent the afternoon not doing so much. In line with this relaxed vibe we got some charcoal chicken, but maybe also (ahem, HUGELY) due to the fact that our kitchen is still a W.I.P.

I had so much on my mind, and laid it all out to Hubbie.

We decided in a change of plans. We have been discussing a simpler, easier, more stress-free, carefree and happier life for about week now, but it was decided for sure tonight, that that WAS going to happen.

Life is short. We are only here once. We plan so much for the future, and often, things change so much. We need to be willing to adapt, roll with the punches, and attune ourselves to our environment in order to survive.

What we were sure of years ago, we are now not so. So we are changing. I am grateful for the relaxed Sunday vibes that allowed us to get to that place, and I am happy that my husband is also in the same ‘place,’ as I am.

Super-duper important in ANY relationship.

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Photo by Jordan Ladikos on Unsplash

 

 

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#662 Kinder days no. 5

When you have 5 hours to spare after dropping off your child at kinder, Christmas shopping becomes a WHOLE lot easier.

That’s where I headed today after giving baby girl a hug and a kiss before doing the excited stroll out the kindergarten door. To be able to shop alone, is bliss. To be able to do Christmas shopping alone, is well…

even better.

It was great in that I was able to tick more items off my list, have good and long hard thinking processes about others without a certain 4 year-old taking up all my time and attention… oh, and then there was Kmart.

I had a few things to look at in there, and thought to myself casually when I first walked in ‘I shouldn’t need a basket.’

I shouldn’t need a basket. Like geez. The question should’ve rather been ‘do I need a trolley?’

Luckily for me common-sense and past experience prevailed, and I got a basket, which half an hour later looked like this:

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I headed to the registers QUICKLY before I found something else I had to have, and have to convert to one of those pull-along baskets, when I saw something very, very important.

Only the day before was I talking about the Christmas Wishing Tree appeal with a group of women. As we spoke about how great of an idea it was, and how the presents went to less fortunate children and people, I realised that this year I would definitely do it. Each year I genuinely have wanted to, but opportunity and remembering to actually do it, as well as being near a Kmart about December-time, meant I never did.

I didn’t realise how soon the opportunity would present itself.

I bought a dress-up kit for a fellow 4 year old girl, and wrote that it was from my baby girl. I was actually teary as I headed over to the tree and placed the gift down, thinking

how fortunate are we to be able to buy presents for one another and give?

AND

how sad is it that there are people out there that do not celebrate Christmas like we do?

It was a sobering and humbling thought. There are those who cannot afford gifts. They are in life situations, dire ones, that are out of their control, and that they have little power over, and all they can do is watch those around them celebrate the most joyous time of the year.

I always figure: if I can buy presents for those I love, and things for myself, surely I can spare $20 here or there to give to someone in need?

I do this throughout the year when I can, extending a charitable hand to various organisations. But the thread becomes prevalent at Christmas-time, where we pointedly send off letters to organisations that have struck a chord with us, or who are doing work in a field that we feel needs more help and support.

Some people think Christmas is about getting presents. The real meaning of Christmas is to give, and to give with your heart and soul, thankfully and humbly and with gratitude.

So today I am grateful. I am grateful that I was able to get some personal Christmas shopping done for my friends and family. But I am most grateful that someone I don’t know, whose face I won’t see on Christmas morning, will open up a dress-up set and smile gleefully, giving a silent thanks that somehow, through some way, despite all of life’s hardships, the true spirit of Christmas is still alive in their hearts.

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#647 Chaddy shopping day no.5 AND Kitchen W.I.P…

I am so excited about many things that happened today, so like the inability to pick your favourite child, I must be grateful for them ALL.

We had a brilliant day shopping at Chadstone. I am on leave from work, so it was Hubbie, baby girl and I all together, all day.

Our visit was punctuated by several coffee breaks

and then surprisingly successful shopping, with an overall fantastic mood from all of us topping it off.

Not only did we get more Christmas presents to tick off the list (it is still November so this is brilliant), but we bought Christmas presents that we didn’t plan to or expect to get, because of the difficulty of getting the right one for the receiver…

Winning!

And a successful shopping day just isn’t complete without presents for yourself:

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I was ecstatic to get the advent candle from kikki.K that I somehow missed out on last year as it sold out way too early, and along with that got our family calendar for next year, the one I can never live without, which I have written about multiple times, and here.

Secondly, I gave Hubbie a generous heads up and ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card when I told him he could buy me almost anything from kikki.K for Christmas and I would love it.

5 minutes later and he was asking me to kindly leave the store because he had seen some things he could get me…

Be with a guy for 17 years and he still needs prompts on what to buy you. Sigh.

But still…

Winning :):):)

And then of course we got the SIA Christmas CD, because I would play Christmas songs in October if Hubbie didn’t hang crap on me for it, and also, it’s further prep for her concert next week…

Lastly the book I found for myself, which I think is fabulous, as even though I don’t have instagram, I plan on creating an account for my writing profile, and there are beneficial tips in the book that are relevant for ALL social media users trying to get heard.

As if all that wasn’t enough joy and happiness (let’s not forget the Hokkaidos I took home with me!), then we came home at the end of our long day, after handing over the keys to the kitchen guys at the beginning of the day in what was kitchen demolition/removal day, and we found this:

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!!! It is only a W.I.P pic and so may not look like much to many, BUT LET ME TELL YOU, this blank white empty shell of a kitchen canvas looks better than the brown 80s outdated kitchen we had before it! When I eventually post before and afters, you will see what I mean.

The excitement Hubbie and I had in discovering our kitchen like this, being re-born…

I can’t deal. Too much gratitude for one day.

No not really. Give me more 🙂

#634 I love Main street, and let me count the ways… no.2

Oh. Hello there little fella.

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What did you do today? Oh, shopping? What a coin-chi-den-che (go and watch Only You starring the beautifully talented Marisa Tomei and oh-so-cheeky Robert Downey Jr, laugh at some Billy Zane hilarity and then come back to me).

I picked up this guy while out and about getting bits of this and bits of that for the festive season… I got some presents for others (yes some for Christmas, KK surprises 🙂 ) others just because, presents, and then some presents were for ME! Sorry that was meant to say Hubbie, my bad.

But this guy came along not as a present for me (though he is so damn cute) but as a little something for another little fella. Aww shucks. Maybe I will keep him.

And this little guy wanted to suss out some of my other finds…

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Pineapple lollies? Redskins? Are you even serious right now?

YES. Yes I am.

You know what was annoying about buying the pineapple lollies for Hubbie, who used to love them 15 or so years ago? He couldn’t remember loving them 15 or so years ago! Sooooo disappointing. You surprise someone and they don’t even remember these things, like are you even my Hubbie???

Sigh.

And the redskins… they taste the same. I was 15 again.

I am loving Main Street shopping and all the weird and wonderful things I’m finding there. ♥

#567 Father’s Day Wine-ing time

I did good today.

Hubbie was rapt with his Father’s Day pressie.

It came on the back of him telling me a while back that he was seriously over the accumulation of things. I had to agree. We still have unopened boxes from our move, and I just want to go through them and cull what I can… and even then I will still have stuff that I have no proper home for.

Following on from a Facebook question from a member in a group I’m in, about kid-friendly wineries on the Peninsula, my ears immediately perked up and I formed a plan. I have been hanging to go to a winery in these parts since our move, and now with Spring upon us, and then the addition of ‘what to do for Father’s Day,’ I went through the list to see where we could go as an experience, rather than just get Hubbie a present for the day.

It was meant to be Hickinbotham. It was the first number I called from the list of kid-friendly wineries listed, and they were able to book us in for a set lunch.

Well, the weather was not Spring-like, not one bit. It was very windy, there was sudden rain at times, and it was cold.

But the winery, was wine-like. Authentic and vintage, relaxed and unpretentious. It was perfect.

And Hubbie LOVED it. Absolutely loved it.

And we kind of decided that experiences are the way to go. Yeah, sometimes you don’t mind a gift, and sometimes you even really want something really bad…

and then other times, you just want to splurge. And we did.

Hubbie is one fussy man, so to get points off him…

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was present enough.

#565 The look of adoration no. 2

All it takes is a look.

I had a splendid day out shopping with my girl today. And yes I am grateful that it went well. We got stuff done, ticked things off our list, she was in a fine mood, and she had even more reason to smile, as we exchanged a birthday present duplicate she had received, for yet another toy (as if she doesn’t have enough) so she was pretty pleased about it all.

She was dressed as Wonder Woman too. More reason.

We walked hand in hand through the shopping centre, feeling great. I looked down at her, and like I do so many times throughout the day, every day, I said “I love you sweetheart.”

She simply looked up at me, smiling. It was enough that she acknowledged my devotion to her. I never want her to forget, or not feel the warmth of love we feel for her every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

I looked away, and then noticed her looking up at me again. I looked down, smiling at this brown-eyed girl, all doe-y eyed at me.

And her eyes said it all.

The look of love. We smiled at each other like a Mother and Daughter in a freaking television commercial, but this was better.

Because this IS real.

 

#386 The age of Innocence

Tonight, baby girl hugged and kissed a star lamp. How much more delightful can she possibly get, at age 3?

When she gets presents for an occasion, usually in bulk, like at Christmas, or her Birthday, it’s not too hard amongst the frenzy of new ‘things,’ to pop a gift or 7 away, for a later date.

I like to draw things out. I can see the insane joy in her face when I later take out her presents, all fresh and brand new and exciting, as it’s suddenly something interesting to play with. She has no idea it’s been sitting out of reach on the top drawer of her cupboard the whole time. The only thing she knows is “Oh! New toy!”

I can get away with it at this age.

She received this star lamp for Christmas. And because she had a little fairy lamp that we were using in the meantime, I popped the star one, you guessed it…

Her fairy lamp was going dim. I mean, I could have just changed the batteries, as I’ve done so many times before. But I needed an excuse to take out the star lamp, albeit another battery-operated one, but what the hell.

It looks a lot like this:

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Only in red.

Hubbie and I put in some batteries and set it up in her room, and then as bedtime approached I asked “do you want a surprise?”

Of course a 3 year old wants a surprise at bed time. Stalling is what they excel at.

So we took her into her pitch-black room, I fumbled with the switch on the lamp, and

Ta-da! The room was alight with a warm glow from her new lamp.

She was rapt. She looked at it in admiration. She held it, carried it about. She hugged it, even doing her “awww” bit as if she were hugging a baby. She then kissed it.

She hugged and kissed her lamp.

And you know what? It was freaking adorable. It was beautiful. She is at such an innocent stage, so naïve to so many of life’s treasures, experiences, and discoveries, and it is precious. She is amazed and takes great joy in the smallest of things, and I find it inspirational.

She sees Nutella on the table during breakfast and exclaims “Oh!” before clapping excitedly.

She jumps up and down when we tell her we’re going to walk  to the park.

She hugs a friggin’ lamp because it’s red, it glows, and it’s a star.

How much more simple can you get? How beautiful life is, when things like this make you happy? When you appreciate them to the degree that they bring you irrepressible joy?

I hope to nurture those innocent qualities in her for as long as I can, for as long as she will let me.

In fact, I hope to keep it alive in me while I am at the task. I actually think this gratitude blog, is helping me to do that too…