#879 Wiggly World Cup

The Wiggly tradition continued today.

Us BIG kids (sis and I), took the little kids along the beachside for yet another mid-year intimate (1500 kind of ‘intimate’) Wiggles Show. It was amazing as usual, and every time I see this group I just love them more and more.

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The karma they are getting from making so many children and their parents happy… that power will be able to bring peace on earth in the near future.

It is, truly something special.

And although there were new memories made, like baby girl handing her bouquet of flowers to Lachy, and my nephew getting his own special signed card from all of the Wiggles themselves… something else is at the forefront of my mind, a small moment, that is actually a pretty BIG moment, that nonetheless has me feeling super grateful and happy.

It also, like the Wiggles shows we attend so reliably, has to do with tradition, family, and love… but this moment can perhaps only happen every 4 years, and even then it is not guaranteed.

This lack of opportunity and the fact of pure chance, is what trumps the other moments of the day.

I am of course, talking about the World Cup 🙂

I was awake early this morning for yet another nail biter, though I didn’t anticipate it was going to turn out that way. Croatia were playing against England, and they were down 1-0.

From the way they were playing, I honestly didn’t have high hopes. I was feeling under the weather, super tired, and was questioning if I should have a TV in the bedroom rather than only the lounge room, just so I could fall asleep easier after the fact… when Croatia suddenly levelled when they scored a goal.

Immediately, things changed. Fast forward to extra time, and they scored yet another goal, bringing them in front of England.

I lost my mind.

Goals are hard to come by in soccer. I jumped up on the couch, throwing the cushion around, whispering “yes yes yes!” in a high-pitched tone. Hubbie had just joined me for his breakfast before heading off to work, and looked incredulously between my out-of-control display, to the TV, his luck at having walked in on exactly the right moment to see the winning goal.

There were 11 minutes to go. It wasn’t over. But like I said, goals are hard to come by in soccer.

As we sat there, Hubbie and I, staring at the screen in stupefied shock and all of my World Cup dreams realising before me, we heard some movement behind a door.

We stared at the closed door off towards the bedroom side of the house, and then saw as the handle slowly turned, and baby girl stick her head out from behind it.

She had found us. My celebration as quiet as I had tried to be, had woken her. It was super-early for her to be up, but there was no chance in hell I was going to put her back to bed when there was history-making soccer to be watched.

So in true responsible parenting-style… she stayed up with me.

I rugged her up with throws and blankets, she stared at Hubbie at I in a kind of shock at us sitting on the couch and reacting to TV as strongly as we were, so early in the morning… and then as I explained to her that Croatia were winning, and what was going on, and that Mummy didn’t always get up at crazy hours to jump on the couch over a ball on the TV… she relaxed a little, started mucking about a bit more, and took it all in.

And it was then, that I realised.

She is almost 5. This will surely be her first World Cup Soccer memory. Walking in to find Mum and Dad excited and Mum losing her shit on the couch, over one of the countries she resides from.

And that there. What a beautiful memory. And it means so much to me now, as I know what it will mean to her in the future. Because I’ve had those same memories, and I continue to.

As I’ve said it before… the outcome really doesn’t matter… because it’s the memories that WIN over everything ♥♥♥

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Photo by Davor Denkovski on Unsplash

#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.

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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.

#855 Singing on the way to family day

Monday morning. Cold, but still. I had dropped off baby girl at kinder, and was now driving along towards the freeway, the music blaring through my car…

I was heading to the city, with George. George being of ‘Michael’ fame. 😉 And ‘the city’ being 40 minutes out of the Peninsula, which let’s face it is more city than anything in the south beachside where we are.

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Not only did I have THE BEST TIME EVER singing out loud to music from my ipod as the sun streamed on down through the windows (think Bruno, old school Christina, and the best reggaetón from Daddy Yankee) but I was heading towards a much looked forward to destination.

I was having lunch with my parents and sister today. It was a month late, the occasion being us girls taking our folks out for a belated anniversary date… but better late than never, and to be honest I’m pleasantly surprised it didn’t take us ’til Spring time to organise.

We have busy schedules. All of us live on opposite sides to one another. But we pushed all of life to the side for a couple of hours today, where we celebrated my parents marriage by talking about their 50 years plus together, from all of those years ago when they first made the move to Australia, all the way to today, where we made plans for more fun and parties that will surely follow.

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We always say that we should do these catch-ups more often… let’s hope that we do, as I am all for the awesome foursome getting into some more food, some more family memories and laughs, and lastly, some more singing in the car.

#847 Adaptable Sis

There are many things I love about my sister. One of them being, that she is quick on her feet. She is fast in thinking up a new plan in light of things going wrong.

She doesn’t react – she responds. There is a difference. Responding is a positive action, on top of her already can-do attitude and the general optimism that she exudes. She doesn’t freak out when things don’t go to plan – she keeps a level head, thinks quickly and calmly, and with effortless action – BOOM! Problem solved.

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This was made apparent tonight. The fact that she didn’t have a ‘9’ candle for her birthday didn’t stop her. The wheels kept turning in her head, yet her happiness remained, and within some short time this makeshift ‘9’ was sitting on top of the birthday cheesecake.

Just like that. People thought it was great. People thought it was super-inventive. People were impressed.

Just think about that for a second. If we just trusted in ourselves a bit more, allowed ourselves to take risks, and also, to stuff up… if we still charged on ahead, knowing things hadn’t gone to plan…

We wouldn’t be ridiculed! No. We would be congratulated. We would be appraised for our adaptability. We would realise that the only important rules were

To keep on going

To turn up, and

To not be swayed by things that affect us along the way.

There is a lot of things I have learnt from my sister during the years, since she was my first role model, and continues to be throughout the years…

She is a perfect example of what a human being should be. Compassionate. Giving. Supportive. Loving. Selfless. And a hell of a lot of FUN.

It is easy to say that you want to be like that, but it is another thing entirely to live it, and breathe it. She is THIS. She continues to inspire me with her ways, but it wasn’t until tonight’s little incident, that I appreciated a completely different part of her.

Respond. Don’t react.

Happy Birthday Sis. Don’t worry – no one will let you forget the candles for next years one 😉

#846 Finding myself, Mind Body and Spirit

It seemed like we wouldn’t make it.

We were meant to go to the festival yesterday, but then, shit happened. I got sick. I’d mentioned to my sister that I may stop by the Mind, Body and Spirit Expo on my way home from work today, but even then as I struggled with my sinuses this morning, the sense of weakness overcoming me, that reality seemed far from probable.

Even so, when she said she was eager to come and meet me there…

Suddenly my symptoms eased. Funny how that happens when something interesting is around the corner.

I truly think this festival is going to become our thing. We attended together years ago on her actual birthday, and we shopped ’til we dropped. Man, we have a photo we coaxed someone into taking of the two of us, and our hands were full of bags. Bags bags bags.

It’s almost hilarious when you put two women together who are on similar but yet very differing missions. We started off together, supporting each other at each stall:

“Just ask him – get him to spray that turmeric on your hair.”

“I don’t like his tone of voice.”

“Yeah sure, I’ll drink that shot of beetroot juice with you.”

But, overwhelmed with the colourful stalls, lights, crystals and energy-healing spiritual folk all around us, we soon amicably parted ways to discover the secrets of the soul, solo.

Bags weren’t so much on my agenda this time. Sure I got a few things, but something else was calling me.

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I’d been toying with the idea of getting a psychic reading since I knew we were going. I walked past the large psychic reading area, and decided on a whim, I must do it.

I’ve never done it before. Had any part of my future or otherwise told to me..  if you’re not counting my late aunty reading my coffee and beans. That’s another story for another day.

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But I sat there, awaiting my turn, before going to meet the chap himself. His name was Peter, he looked like a regular outback Aussie, and with his relaxed and friendly nature he put me immediately at ease.

As he said from the outset… there were no straight yes’ or nos. He laid out cards for me, whereas really I would have liked for him to tap into the spiritual universe… but that would be for another time. I concentrated on two specific things in my life, and shuffled the decks twice accordingly, before he presented it all out to me in the drawing of them.

I’m still working it all out in my head. Life is complicated – the cards match that. I’ve even drawn myself a little diagram so I can study it further. But still, what did I take away from it all?

We have the ultimate final say in all that we do. The cards may present to us one thing presently, but our actions can change that at any time. We are in charge.

The power lies within me.

He accurately pinpointed that I think too much – I’m always as he put it, “in my head.”

And he posed a rhetorical question to me, that was so unbelievably spot on, that I couldn’t help but grin. He asked:

“Are you the author of your own life?”

Oh dude. You have no idea.

My prized possessions, equal to the positive reinforcement Peter gave me, came in the form of the crystals I got. The two small ones I bought myself, and the orange one was gifted to me by sis – she said when she saw it and read the meaning, she thought of me 🙂

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Time to become Master, Author and Creator of my world..  and start creating some magic me thinks 😉

#829 Follow the yellow brick road…

There’s nothing better than sharing a special evening with the people you love the most.

Tonight was something magical.

I don’t go to musicals all that often, and the last one I went to was to The Lion King a few years ago.

I guess when you go, you go to something big and great and monumental, right?

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But with musicals, they are ALL like that. Night after night, with sometimes day performances too, these amazing professionals get up in front of a full theatre, and they perform – singing, dancing, creating – a fantasy and imaginative world in front of our very eyes.

And each time they do it, it is done with such enthusiasm, energy and gusto, that you would be forgiven in thinking it was the first time they were doing it, for YOU.

Well tonight, we got to witness just that. We headed on over to the Regent theatre, both sister, nephew and I, and along with witnessing some amazing performers acting out a classic movie on stage, we walked around the city streets, grabbed some fine dinner, and in doing so created some wonderful memories to cherish together forever.

That mojito in the middle there that we had during dinner was the BOMB. It was the BEST MOJITO EVER, that I have EVER tried. There was a special sugary syrup which masked any alcohol that was in the drink…. dangerous.

The Wizard of Oz was superb. Very true to the original movie with a few little differences here and there, just to keep it modern and fresh and inventive. And the contribution of the special effects ramped up the production and key components of the story in a whole other way, positively so.

I didn’t realise how much I loved the following song…

“The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch

It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,

Which was not a healthy situation, for the Wicked Witch!”

… until it was in front of me, LIVE! Oh, how that catchy tune I had heard so many times in my childhood, grew on me as the performance by Dorothy, the munchkins and Glinda the good witch was performed.

There are too many amazing parts to mention, so really, you should just go and watch it yourself if it is playing in a city near you.

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And then as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and Lion got to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz, with the sheets of green background, green dancers, green sequins, green lights, and green set just emanating out to the audience, all I could think of was –

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Mint…

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Lime…

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The mojito. That bloody brilliant mojito had gone to my head. Damn.

I was a sook as is typical and teared up at the end, even though I know the ending and have seen it before… but not like this. A sign of a great show. Or just a super softie, you decide. But the Universal message and underlying thread of the story is something that is so true, so real to all of us – there is no place like home.

Sure we often think the grass is greener on the other side. We look at the world through rose-coloured glasses, with our Instagram filters on when observing outside things, but looking through the microscope when dissecting the little annoyances of our own lives.

When something upsetting happens, it is a reminder that the support and comfort of home, is all you really need.

At the end of the show Glinda is telling Dorothy how to get home. She tells her to tap her shoes three times and say

Glinda: “There is no place –

Dorothy: ” – like home.”

Dorothy finishes the statement for her. It is not a question either. She knew it in her heart all along. ♥

And at the end of the night, after the pivotal after-the-show discussion, catch-up, and coffee, I headed home too…

Because as we all know, there is no other place like it ♥♥♥

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#825 A Royal Party

We had a few things to celebrate tonight.

It was my Dad’s birthday this week.

So too was it my parents wedding anniversary.

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And then there was the little matter of… crowns.

My family and I gathered excitedly around the TV in my parents’ lounge room as the royal proceedings commenced after dinner.

Or should I say, I gathered excitedly. I wasn’t the only one surprised by my sudden outburst at seeing Megan’s ex-workmates from Suits donning their finest scrubs as they rocked up to the wedding of the future Duchess of Sussex.

My family, more so Hubbie, was quite baffled at my sudden revert back to my 16 year-old self as I yelled excitedly “it’s Harvey! Harvey’s here! And Mike! And that one who was in Angel too!”

You know how when you watch a show for a while and grow to love its characters, you start to feel like you know them? Even more, they are like your friends?

Well Rachel Megan and her Suits pals were my buddies… and then she met Prince Harry.

Awww. ♥♥♥

Needless to say I have loved this story and their budding romance EVER SINCE.

And yet still, when I went teenage hormonal tonight like I was at a rock concert, I even surprised myself.

‘Huh. So I am excited then aren’t I?!’

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Let’s face it, when are we going to see another Royal wedding like this? Maybe in 20 years time, when William and Kate’s kids walk down the aisle… so put that into perspective. These things don’t come around often, and it’s pretty cool that we were able to watch it tonight.

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Ahh, princesses. Princes. Weddings. Dashing lads and beautiful brides. And watching someone you admire from afar, get married… it was almost as good as a Suits eps.

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And our family affair of celebrations was ramped up a notch with some opportune headwear…

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And cake too 😉