#1162 Pictures of a Happy Easter

I’ve learnt that a crappy start to the day, week or season does not necessarily mean the entire thing is a write-off.

And given the frustrated moments, running around and sick feelings we’ve all had, the day turned out absolutely…

Eggcelent. πŸ˜ƒπŸ°πŸ₯š

From the Eggceptional home made choc-chip hot cross buns we had for breakfast this morning…

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To the Eggciting Easter hunt around the home…

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And finally, love, laughter and memory-making, (and ALL the brews baking!) at my parents’ house…

This Easter felt like something truly Eggstra.

πŸ˜‚

Ok I stop!

Hope your Easter had you hopping about in happiness too. 😜

#1152 Play date at a new Play centre

School holiday time, means catch-up with the regulars time.

And by no means did we go to a ‘new’ play centre… but it was still novel to us.

And this time, there were 3. Bab girl had as much fun playing with her cousin her age, as they chased each other up and down the indoor play area, as she did doting over her little cousin and letting her help prepare in the play-pretend kitchen.

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It was a great day. Plenty to see and do for the kids, many structured activities to literally move through…

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And we stayed over 3 hours! Evidence of the fun had by ALL.

I love, that these girls will grow up continuing to make these beautiful memories… and so ’til next time… β™₯β™₯β™₯

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#1127 Vino memories

Today, our family gathered at my parents’ house to make WINE.

It was a magical day. The sun shone as we carried buckets of sun-warmed grapes over to be squashed through a barrel… we all jumped into the challenge and in perfect teamwork and harmony we worked together to do the whole lot in just under an hour… and we revelled in the fact of getting our hands right into the sticky grit of it, and feel our day’s work.

It was a wonderful family bonding experience, and something I do hope can become a bit of a tradition as the years go on… but most happily, is the fact that it is not over yet…

Soon, coming to a shed near you… the taste test!

:):):)

#1072 Maznik coin

I’ve never been so grateful to find $2.

But it’s all in how it came about. And the tradition that comes with it.

My MIL makes a dish called Maznik, true to the Macedonian culture. It is a pastry with fetta cheese and it is oily, and that is all you really need to know other than it is DEE-LICIOUS.

Oh, and it pairs well with some home-grown fresh garden tomatoes, simply cut up.

The seasonal tradition is that with the coming of the ‘old’ New Year (that of the Orthodox New Year) she makes this Maznik, and somewhere within its circular shape places a $2 coin wrapped in foil.

The coin is meant to represent good luck for the coming year, and if you are the lucky recipient of it, well then a good 2019 year to you.

Tonight after much ado (it’s been in our fridge for a few days, tsk tsk tsk) we took the huge pan out, set it in the middle of the table during dinner, and cut it into 4 pieces. One for each of us, and the 4th for ‘the house.’

Hubbie and I went mad. We were going through our allocated pieces something shocking, from first peering down the ends of the tubular pastry to then not holding back and ripping it apart, pushing down hard to feel something, anything other than fetta cheese. Baby girl sat there patiently, chatting away about how it is so delicious (thinking surely that is why we were tearing it apart) while we went through all 4 pieces in order.

But we couldn’t find the coin.

“Tell your Mum she forgot to put the coin in.”

My hands were greasy, almost dripping from the oil and cheese. I was trying to keep some kind of order within the pan and keep each piece away from each other as we finely dissected it.

“Tato, your Mum didn’t give us the chocolate coin,” baby girl chimed in. She was convinced it was chocolate, and not gold. Ahh, kid life.

I had gone through 3 of the pieces, perhaps 3 times over already. Mine, baby girl’s and the ‘house’s one. I pressed repeatedly on hers again, looking and feeling and pulling apart. I was starting to feel sorry for the pastry… it had looked so beautiful, and now it was reduced to pulled parts.

It would still end up in our bellies though.

I moved on to my piece again. “There is no money in here.” I pushed down hard on the pointy soft end of the Maznik, filled to the brim with cheese. I looked down the tubular crust end. “Honestly where the hell is this?” I kept simultaneously pushing down and pulling the pastry away, until –

“It’s here.” It was a flat tone, but I pulled out the little piece of foil with satisfaction.

Hubbie said a traditional congrats to me, while baby girl went “Ohhhh.”

“It’s okay honey, you’ll still have a good year…” I grinned.

I had gotten lucky. πŸ™‚

I know it was only $2, but that little gold coin represented so much more, and I hoped it would bring abundance, more than any monetary value it held…

We then proceeded to eat the Maznik we had torn to shreds. Nom nom nom.

 

#1045 Christmas at a different place

As far as I can remember, I’ve celebrated every single Christmas in the same place.

My parents’ house.

There was that Christmas my Dad caught a stray canary, which ended up being Hubbie, then ‘boyfriend’s pet bird aptly named β€˜Chrissy.’

The Christmas it hailed golf balls and our cars and the backyard pergola got a beating.

Or the Christmas we went mad throwing water balloons at each other all over the yard, and got told off by my Dad… (oh that was in recent years 😬 )

All those warm Christmases, dancing in the garage, walking to the park, eating, drinking, memory making…

The Christmas I snuck off to see Hubbie-then-boyfriend for a bit. 🀫

The Christmas we drank too much vodka in the first hour. πŸ₯ƒ

The Christmas I drank nothing – with a precious new 4 month old. 😍🀱

The Christmas some of my friends came, and some of my family could not handle the extra crazy. 😜πŸ€ͺ🀩

34 Christmases.

Today was Christmas number 35.

But… it was spent at my sister’s house.

I thought I would feel more nostalgia going into the day. All of these years of tradition, of memories, retreating to the same backyard post-lunch… and it was all changing.

But very quickly, something became apparent to me.

It wasn’t the location. It was all about the people.

Sure the house was different. The decorations would be different. The food and drink would be a bit different, and sure, the location was completely different.

But different didn’t mean bad. It was different, but it was still beautiful. And of course, there was a lot of love.

All of this was present, the beauty, the love… because the people were the same.

As long as I am with my loved ones, I am happy.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope yours was spent with loved ones, no matter where you were. β€οΈπŸŽ„πŸ™πŸŽ…

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#958 Family comfort in team loss

Well, THAT didn’t go as expected.

It is terribly, horribly hard to watch your team lose.

The lead up, the anxiety, the anticipation and nerves and hoping and wishing and praying… it ALL comes to a head when the siren goes off.

To then watch a game where your team is winning for almost the entire time, and then lose by a measly 5 points in the end… IT IS HARD.

We went from screaming in happiness from the first 10 minutes in the game, to walking out of the room and the atmosphere going silent, bar some choice expletives aimed at the biased umpires, in the final 90 seconds.

It is HARD. Soooo hard. But what makes it somewhat easier, is the unity.

The strength in numbers. Because family gives you strength through bad times, and knowing that your pain is also their shared pain, makes it somewhat easier to bare.

We are black and white through and through. We will barrack for them when they are winning, AND when they are losing… and for us and all the other fans, it just didn’t happen today.

It is shit. But we will still take our doughnut, and eat it. Because we are the Magpie Army, and we will rise again.

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#951 The Rosemary Tradition

See a couple of rosemary bushes out the front of a house? Don’t be surprised if there are Croats living there.

It comes with the territory. Having rosemary in your garden is synonymous with being Croatian, just as making their own tomato sauce is common amongst Italians, and the Spanish are known for their post-lunch siestas.

So the fact that the fellow elderly couple two doors down who reign from Balkan Adriatic seas have half a dozen LARGE rosemary bushes adorning their front yard, and I DON’T, doesn’t sit right with me.

It was perfect then, that my parents gifted me with some sprigs of rosemary while at their house yesterday, all ready to go. Perfect for 2 reasons:

  1. It comes at the perfect time of year. I am getting into gardening more and turning my attention there as Spring makes things all pretty and bright again, and let’s face it, it’s a much cheaper hobby than renovating your kitchen (thank God that is pretty much over with).
  2. I can be a proper Croatian Euro now God-damn it, with my own pot of rosemary. That hails from my parents garden no less… what can be better than that?

I planted them today, and I have to say… they have the best roots πŸ˜‰

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