#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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#637 Hubbie’s kindness

Today was a real Sunday.

It was the Sunday dreams are made of. No plans, aimlessly going here, and then there.

Gloriously sunny skies stretching out ahead.

Bustling roads and people out and about, making the most of the day – and us with them.

And overall, relaxing.

I had many things to be grateful for as I made my way through the day, and photo evidence was created along the way.

Relaxing with a coffee on the front porch in the mid-afternoon sun:

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Having a bite out – burritos:

Then some berry dessert to follow:

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And lastly, park play, with long admiring glances at hundred-year-old trees:

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It wasn’t until this last stop that my real gratitude came forward. Baby girl had gotten wind of the suddenly available swing, and was going absolutely mental on it. She has learned how to swing on her own, her legs going under and then out in front, as she takes herself to the sky, in her sweet words.

Beside her on the swing was another boy, trying to do the same thing. Hubbie and I watched from a few metres away, me still polishing off my melting ice-cream in the mild evening air, as baby girl squealed with joy, confidently, with strength, and pure happiness, while the boy, at least a couple years older than her, sat fairly still on the swing, trying to move about, but not getting much wind behind his swing.

We heard him call out to his Mum a couple of times. She was just behind us, her back to him, chatting to another Mum.

We glanced at each other. Hubbie made a few comments alongside the vein of “she can’t even hear him.” We were not Mum-shaming, and nor am I doing it now – I am just repeating the stone cold facts of the day.

We watched as this boy looked on at baby girl wishfully, at the same time calling out to his Mum with no hope in his voice – she had already said something dismissive as she had continued her chat with the other woman.

Hubbie said some more ‘interesting’ words… and then stood up. I urged him on with “I feel sorry for him,” but reminded him to be cautious too: you never know how a fellow parent will act when you start to parent their child.

Hubbie moved behind baby girl, pushing her (even though she didn’t need it!) while asking the boy if he needed help. The boy was alright on the seat, and I could hear Hubbie telling him “put your legs under… and then out. Now under… and then out. Great job.”

I smiled as I watched in amazement at the boy immediately responding to Hubbie’s instruction. He started to gain some speed in his swinging, and as he got up higher and higher, Hubbie gave him a swift and strong PUSH.

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The sun was setting behind them as I watched, and so I could only see their outlines – but I swear that boy’s face lit up with the biggest smile as Hubbie gave him that huge push, helping him get to baby girl’s height. She yelled in delight to be swinging so high alongside a fellow ‘friend,’ and Hubbie made a few more pushes behind the boy’s swing, urging him to keep going “legs under… then out.”

At the boy’s beaming face, my heart surged with pride at Hubbie’s selfless act. Hubbie couldn’t see his face. He was looking towards the boy’s Mum, with some amount of disappointment on his face, as she obliviously kept chatting.

The boy soon came to a stop, and as he shuffled his feet onto the ground below to stand up straight, his Mum now looked behind her. She laughed and said to her friend:

“Oh Alistair’s just sitting there, he’s fine.”

Oh, lady. You have no idea.

The boy soon got out of the swing and hurried off to another part of the park, while I went over to Hubbie and told him about the expression on the boy’s face.

And baby girl continued to fly up into the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#636 Extra music time in the car

Sometimes you need to try really, really hard to find something to be grateful for.

Like today. The sun was AMAY-ZING. The weather was perfect, it was a beautiful Saturday morning… and then I had to pop into my car to drive off to work.

But no! I consoled myself. I would have my music:

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There is nothing better than being alone in your car, blasting YOUR songs as loud as they can possibly go, with this joy becoming even more appreciated, ever since I had baby girl. Me time, me music, me anything, is NOT as abundant as it used to be.

So when it is just me, and my car, you can be assured MY music comes on.

My gratitude went to next-level-difficulty though, when I jumped on the freeway still close to home, and soon after came to an abrupt stop… What? We are doing 100kms/h peeps, why then are we not moving and there is a traffic jam as long as the Nile stretching out in front of me?

I already have an hour-long trip to get to work, as it is. This was then extended by a further 30 minutes, as I c-r-a-w-l-e-d slowly down the freeway. Something had clearly happened. It was an accident, for sure. I saw tow trucks, crane trucks, SES trucks, fire trucks, police cars, and all manner of emergency vehicles drive on by me in the emergency lane, so they could jump to the front of the pack and sort out what had happened to cause such a delay.

Sure, something had happened. Something big. I consoled myself. Sure, I would be late to work. But quite possibly, someone else at the front of the pack was in trouble, seriously injured, or worse.

I kept on listening to my music, thankful that I was stuck in traffic, and here, not there.

But then, as we inched ever so closer to the incident site, every driver of every car taking their sweet-ass time to check out the scene in front of them, I realised, with a heavy sense of betrayal, that NOT ALL WAS WHAT IT SEEMED.

There was a vehicle flat on its side, and with it, a theme park amusement ride/game/something, spread out across the left lane.

A freaking clown was grinning.

So the dude didn’t secure his load? And now we were all going to be late to EVREYWHERE because theme park equipment fell onto the freeway?

Not funny.

I amped up the music, and with it amped up my gratitude game too, saying to myself –

“at least I got to listen to more of my music.”

And that’s how gratitude works my friends. In all of the smallest of ways.

 

#623 Ice-Cream Truck joy

It was the perfect thing to do on a sunny Sunday. Especially after the late night that was, which is why we ended up at the Community Kinders Fair just before 1pm.

It was a gathering of a whole bunch of kinders from the area, with many of them holding stalls where the respective teachers sat beneath the shade of their tents, activities out for littlies of all ages to enjoy, while a few major attractions were positioned here, and there. Like the animal cage where the kiddies mingled with goats and chickens; or the massive tent in centre-field that housed magical performances and tricks and games for both young and old; there was a small stage set up for local up-and-coming singers to put their vocals to the test amidst the family-friendly crowd; and then there was the long, LONG line leading to…

The Face Painting.

After a quick stop over at the animal cage

and then a hello to baby girl’s teachers in their tent stall, we headed over to the stage area where we knew a friend of hers was nearby.

Upon them meeting it was immediately agreed that both wanted face painting. NOW.

So, I stood in line with baby girl, her friend, and her friend’s Mum, for a good hour. In the strong sunshine-y wind.

Thank God we had company. We talked kinders, life, jobs, kids, and all the in-betweens. We even made friends with a lady in front of us, all the while silently and loudly willing the line to go faster.

The thing that puzzled us though, was the fair ended at 2pm, with stallholders packing up and the crowds dissipating quickly from that mammoth scenic park we were in. But at no stage approaching 2pm, at 2pm, or even just after 2pm, did the two ladies, slowly and meticulously and precisely doing the face painting, look up at us to indicate they were done.

For sure they would call out at some stage, and tell us ‘beyond this line, no more!’ We waited and waited. But also, surely they wouldn’t tell us they were done, and we all had to go home, after we had waited so very long to fulfil our kids desire?

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They didn’t. The two ladies worked brilliantly, not taking face painting shortcuts just because it was now 2:20, and they were still there, while 4/5 of the grounds had up and gone. Baby girl and her friend made their way to the star seats soon enough, and we were all VERY happy that we had waited, for something.

After my profuse thank yous to the woman who had painted baby girl, we said our goodbyes to her friend and her Mum, and started to make our way to the car. I looked longingly at the seemingly empty ice cream truck still on the ground, next to a hot food truck. I had been in line and watching people all about me eating ice creams for the past hot, windy hour, and wishing that I too was indulging in some cold and sweet goodness.

Occasionally a man passed the interior window of the truck, but there were no other signs or activity to support the fact that it was still operational. For all we knew the dude was going to rev the engine and drive off the park grounds at any moment.

“Man, I would love an ice cream,” I wished out loud.

“Let’s see if he’s still open,” Hubbie responded. We followed, myself not too confident of the sweet-treat outcome.

He called out as we approached, the man now visible again behind the open window. “Can we still get ice creams?”

The man smiled, and responded in a way that made me think both yes, and no: “what did you want?”

We quickly placed our 3 orders: Hubbie’s gelato, baby girl’s soft serve with sprinkles, and my soft serve dipped in chocolate.

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It was heaven. Never has an ice cream tasted so damn good.

I’m putting it out there. You don’t need no fancy-schmanc ice cream café to have me flocking to their doors. Just give me an old-school truck, and I’m as happy as a lassie.

The consensus amongst us, was we were definitely in agreeance. Hubbie’s comments of his gelato being “insanely good,” and baby girl’s slurps and “mmmm’s” told the rest of the story.

Oh, and just so you know… baby girl is currently more a hand painter, than a face painter type of girl.

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Butterfly and bee. The bee is a bit shonky, but the waiting in line was worth it, if only for the ice cream at the end…

 

#609 1st year celebrations

It is the loveliest thing, when the town that you move to decides to throw you a welcoming party in honour of your presence, and then at each anniversary they throw more parties, just to remember how amazing it is that you decided to regal them with your being to reside in their locality.

Yep. That, or it happened to be the Main Street Mornington Festival, which falls on the third Sunday of October and has been happening for 22 years now, and it just so happily coincides with the time of year you decided to move.

Same same. A lucky coincidence either way.

And so the gratitude and happiness at our 1 year long Sea change continued today at the Main Street Fest. It was a stunning day, with a very fresh, strong sea breeze, and yet still, the people were out in force, packed like sardines in the middle of the street as they squeezed their way through amongst the countless and endless food stalls on either end.

After moving very slowly for what seemed like too long, we ended up deciding to just sit down and watch everyone else idle on by, and so we happened across the best spot at one of our most favourite-st of places to eat, drink, do anything really: The Winey Cow.

(I had the best Laksa!)

A spot of ice cream was required from Vespa’s afterwards

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And then once some more fun and drinks were had, we headed off back to the car a good few blocks away…

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Oh, to be a kid and be able to hitch a ride like that. She is so damn lucky. I had to walk.

And then, poor Hubbie’s shoulders.

But all in all, the day was splendid, and we had spent it as intended – us, our family, just doing what we came here to do a year ago…

Enjoy life 🙂

 

 

#597 A well-read break in the afternoon sun

I had many options.

1, I could wash those growing stacks of dishes that had accumulated in the sink throughout the day.

B.  I could write, in any of my writing projects – just pick an avenue: book review, journaling, updating my SmikG page… I would not be bored.

c) I had emails to send, and phone calls to make, regarding our upcoming kitchen reno project.

8: There were also messages to be sent out, to various professionals and also close friends.

Z – I could even dedicate some learning time to baby girl, or break out the sports bra and Zumba away.

But I chose to do NONE of those things.

I looked out at the GLORIOUS day, as Macklemore sings it, and also, baby girl’s new favourite song to sing…

…and I thought, how could I possibly stay inside on a day like today? I had to shirk all my responsibilities and to-dos, and do something else…

I don’t just love coffee. And aside from baby girl, my family, and shopping, and heading outdoors, and looking at sunsets and dancing in the kitchen, there is something else I love, that I don’t get to do as much as I wish to, but it will always and forever remain an intense, deep, reliable, faithful LOVE of mine.

Reading.

I took a new book from the bookshelf that I hadn’t yet opened, and sat outside on our bench, the afternoon sun warming me right up as I turned a couple of dozen pages.

Baby girl found me and brought out a sticker book, sitting on the concrete before me and getting to work.

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Sure, she interrupted my reading every 30 seconds. Sure, at the beginning I got up more than I was sitting down and enjoying the moment, either to help her or get ourselves some sunnies and hats for protection.

Sure, it wasn’t ALL peace and quiet.

But sitting there with my girl at my side, the sparkling water before us, and with Spring putting on a quite stunning show, I felt so relaxed. So at ease. And so ‘me’ again.

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#594 10 Minutes to spare

I had about 10 minutes to spare.

I was at the post office a bit too early, the result of being too damn organised, and so I looked around me at the area in which my work resides, wondering how I would fill the time amidst endless cafes, despite being already-caffeinated (but first, coffee, ALWAYS) and yet not being hungry enough to call in somewhere for an early lunch.

There was no point in walking all the way to work, and then coming back…

Then I spotted sun, and glistening water, through the alleyway up ahead of me, and suddenly I knew how to while away the time…

And so minutes later, I was grateful. Generally speaking, we don’t often have the time to just sit and be in the moment, amidst the busy-ness of life, and so to be so organised as to be so early for work as to be so early for the post office, well, I was going to enjoy this moment of peace and extreme organisation as much as I could.

This was my peripheral vision… from my left

To the centre

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And finally the right

A glorious landscape of water, and boats. I sat there in the chilly air, cold, but with my bomber jacket keeping me somewhat warm as I sat close to the water’s edge on a wooden bench, just taking it all in.

The strong ripple of water.

The rowers competing against one another amidst the endless water up ahead.

The sky-scrapers.

Boats of every shape and size.

The freeway far away, with seemingly few cars, for what was a weekend day.

And then to my right I heard some noise, and coming from afar I saw a young boy with what I assumed was his little sister. I felt a pang of longing as I immediately thought of my baby girl at home, but then as this girl scooted around here and there, the boy keeping a close eye on her, I realised if baby girl was here she would launch herself into the water, and so the longing quickly passed replaced by immediate relief.

Phew.

Yet still, I kept a close eye on them as they passed me by. The boy put his younger sister up on the raised garden bed, and she ran off while he kept close to her side.

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I wasn’t with my baby girl, but I could appreciate the sweet sight of another on the last Saturday of this sunshine-y cold September morning.

And just like that, my time was up. It was 10am. I stood up, and with an invigorated swing in my step, I headed off to do my jobs.