#758 Her encouraging nature


See that light? You can see the setting sun creating a circle, a halo, far on the water of Port Phillip Bay.

There is a reason why I say that.

Today I did the usual at kinder drop off. I hung around while baby girl settled in, watching her paint, observing the kids around her, looking around while parents came, kissed their little ones goodbye, and then left.

Still, I stayed behind.

A boy saw baby girl painting, and decided he too would paint at the easel next to her. On the smock went, and he reached over to grab a paintbrush sticking out of a cup of blue paint.

He painted somewhat haphazardly, not really sure of what he was doing, glancing over at baby girl, while also distractedly looking around the classroom to see what else was happening. A few minutes passed, and while baby girl was carefully painting with her fourth colour, he took off his smock, and walked off, leaving his painting hanging there.

Baby girl, suddenly noticing his absence, leant over to his easel. (It was a plain piece of paper, with a few streaks of blue. I know kinder art is very preliminary, but this didn’t resemble much of anything).

And viewing his artwork, she said happily “oh, he did a great job!”

My heart SOARED. No, my daughter was not misguided. She was not ignorant in her paintings. She was not daft, and didn’t know the difference between what was good, and what was not.

She had compassion. She held encouragement in her soul.

It was something that lacked in others. It was something that lacked in a similar girl her age, who had seen baby girl drawing a picture at a party, and said to her out loud, in front of me, after I had complimented baby girl on her “great work!” –

“I don’t like it, that doesn’t look nice.”

You see, it’s not about the artwork. Rather it is about the character. For me, it is not whether baby girl turns out to be a Picasso or not. For me, it is about whether she has a heart or not.

I was initially worried when baby girl received that negative comment from that girl. I was worried that the girl’s negativity, rudeness, and mean manners, would rub off on baby girl, and turn her usual bright happy and smiley soul, into a cranky, angry, and negative one.

But then when she said about that boys picture, with the same encouragement as those she looks up to “great job!” I knew we had done something right.

Like a light, encouraging Hope, amidst the darkness.

And here, for arts sake, baby girl against the sunset. Hubbie reckons the power lines kill the photo. But I know what makes it 🙂



#744 Mills beach no. 2

Things happened today that required the space to think. Contemplate. Ponder the future and the possibilities that lay there.

How did this happen? Was it a cyclical thing? Is this the position of the planets, year in, year out? What else was tied to this number… sometimes happy, sometimes sad.

Today, surprising.

I promise all will make sense in due time. I need to make sense of the confusion, unanswered questions and insecurity that this day has brought, before sharing it for all to hear.

In this need of spirituality and light, of course the beach beckoned.


It was still. 28 degrees at 6pm. Tuesday evening, and we all had the day off from work/kinder tomorrow. Locals ONLY. Trying to get in as many Summer-y days before the weather changes.

Let’s face it – none of these things even mattered. Because when you see the blue waters stretching out to the horizon, they are reason enough.



The water gave me peace, provided me with calm and purpose, and when looking out towards the seas, I was assured that everything was happening as it should be.



#734 Sorrento/Queenscliff Ferry

Our 2-night quick getaway came to an end today, and brought with it a small amount of sadness…

But also happiness, in the new leisure activity we discovered.



We took the Sorrento/Queenscliff Ferry back home today, travelling the same 40 minute route it took us two days ago, but just in the opposite direction. You can travel by foot or by car, choose a one-way or return trip, and there is even a café in the ferry that can cater to all your drink and snack needs on the short trip.


(View leaving Queenscliff Harbour)

It really is a short trip. By the time one side of the mainland becomes distant in the horizon, soon the other side comes into view, growing stronger and clearer, a greater contrast against the magnificent blue of the water.

OH. That water.




Just brilliant. The Ferry makes small getaways like this much more convenient and possible, it is a relaxing and truly inspiring way to travel, and it is an all round exciting thing to do, even without stepping foot off the boat.

I can say with certainty, that the Ferry ride will become part of our travel itinerary, for many years to come…




#732 Holi-days

Ain’t being on holidays grand? I mean, it’s the best isn’t it???

I had this thought at the beginning of the holidays when I was all pathetic and sickly, and it’s a thought I commonly hold whenever life turns particularly shit.

I thought “I’m getting the crap over and done with early so that I can have an awesome holiday.”

And although this thought DID go through my mind then, I was so afraid of staying sick and being unable to do anything the entire time we were on leave together, because Murphy’s Law and all, that I was unable to entertain the awesome possibility, even for a second.

But, I was right. The holidays have been truly awesome now.

So much so, I can’t really pinpoint a stand-alone gratitude thought for today, hence my “holi-days” title.

So here it goes: so much gratitude in a variety of avenues.

  • Hubbie and I leaving kinder after dropping off baby girl this morning. Another girl gets out of her car with her Mum, sees us and yells excitedly “baby girl is here!”

Awww. Hearts BURSTING. Hubbie and I turned to each other with broad smiles, happy in the knowledge that there was someone whose day was immediately made better when our girl was around, and also, with the realisation that those two girls were going to have a really great day.

  • The MYER CLEARANCE FLOOR at Frankston. OMG. Hubbie and I have never paid (get it, LOL) much attention to level 3 of Myer at Bayside, maybe because all the yellow tickets seemed so tacky, and the racks shoved together made it difficult to shop, and let’s not add the ‘reject clothes’ mentality. If it was discounted that much, surely it was crappy, or there was something wrong.


Because we actually had time to devote to ourselves while baby girl was at kinder, we wandered over to Bayside with no real plans, and after a ‘normal’ Myer purchase, the sales assistant there told us that the Level 3 clearance floor had an additional 50% of all their red-ticketed items. A bit curious, we headed up.


We purchased a total of 7 clothing items combined for $100. Un-bloody-believable. For example, a skirt I bought which had been reduced to $15 already, from like, I don’t know above $50 or something, was $7.50.

$7.50! I had a cake at Chadstone the other week which was $7.95, that cheesecake cost more than the skirt I bought today.

The most expensive dress I bought was $32.50, with the original price being well over $150 – I’m wearing it to a wedding in 2 weeks. Yep. I am talking brands, good quality, at BARGAIN prices.

Friends do yourselves a favour and get over there. Sure the half-price off red ticket items isn’t a year-round event (ends Monday) but you will still always grab a bargain there compared to any other store. Incredible.

  • Sorrento to Queenscliff Ferry ride. We’ve been wanting to do this for a LONG time. And so the holidays helped us make it happen.


(approaching Queenscliff)


It was such a quick ferry ride, I feel like I need to do it multiple times! 40 minutes and a latte away (as their promo says…)


  • Finally, where we had dinner in Barwon Heads tonight. 3 years and 1 month ago we dined at Beach House, on what was our first little getaway with baby girl when she was a year and a half. Accidentally, we headed out tonight and found ourselves parked in front of the same restaurant.

Why the hell not? We’d had a great time last time which had ended in my fairly glowing review of the place then.


It was actually, perfect. And I sat at the table, sipping on a fine Cab/Sav/Shiraz/Merlot (yes it exists), thinking how I didn’t have just one thing to be grateful for today…

In fact, I didn’t know which thing was the stand-out to write about for my post here.

That’s when I gave a silent thanks, and took in the moment of happiness.

Here’s to more holidays. Cheers!




#730 Mornington Pier

I have the fortunate problem of having too much to be grateful for today.

Nah. NEVER too much gratitude to be had.

It was a truly blissful and relaxing day. It really did feel like we were on holiday. Aside from the quiet reading I did at the park while Hubbie played some b-ball


And the great time we had at my Uncle and Aunty’s place taking in mother nature, her finest and most organic produce, and the surrounds of heavenly greenery


(My Uncle’s bees drinking water around the large bowl)



It was what we did at 10:30am that had us in absolute awe.

We started off once again with no real plans after the kinder drop off was done… Hubbie mentioned coffee, it was to be guaranteed to follow on Main street, and when we appeared to be reading each other’s minds with the same café – Store Fifteen – I had to add, due to proximity’s sake –

“Why don’t we walk down to the pier?”

This man of mine loves sitting down to drink his coffee – not many takeaway cups there. But, the water called.


We took our large latte and regular cappuccino, and wandered down the path in between the curving coastline and huge park that baby girl loves to frequent, until we reached closer water.



From here on out, I think I’ll let the photos do the talking.





It was so incredibly peaceful. There were people about, yes. But it was still. It was quiet. We stayed at the tip of the pier the longest, looking out at the world beyond.


A nearby fisherman spoke to us, telling us he had waited for this perfect Summer’s Day for weeks. Mid 20s, 6km winds… it was the perfect day for fishing.

And we had stumbled upon it.


We listened to the fishermens banter about bait, took in some more sunshine and pristine water views, I made small talk with a seagull… and off we went, making thanks for such a tremendously glorious sight, and vowing that the Mornington Pier walk would become a part of our wanders and visits, a bit more often.



#718 The beginning of 4 year-old kinder and freedom

Today was baby girl’s first day at 4 year-old kinder, good and proper. We got out of the car 10 minutes before drop-off time, I plopped on her backpack, and then prepared myself for 5 hours of ‘me’ time.

But then, I saw another car. People were coming out of this car too, getting ready for kinder, too. The Mum. The Dad. The little girl kinder-goer, and her little brother, still too young to attend. And then the clincher, the grandparents.

I hadn’t expected it. The wave of emotion. I was happy to see such a beautiful family, all-encompassing supportive sight. But it made me immediately think of my own parents, and how far they were from us, and how dropping in to see off their grand-daughter as she attended her first 4 year-old kinder session, was a difficult endeavour to see through.

I blinked past the emotion, and charged on through, following her inside.


I mean, this was the same kindergarten she had attended last year. One of the teachers was the same. As it was, there was no difference to her in this year and last – okay sure, there were new kids, and a new teacher… but that was much of a muchness. Nothing was really different.

Except for the beginning of 3 kinder sessions a week. She was starting a proper routine.

I had to turn away from the picture of happy families inside. Sooo many Mums and Dads abound. I kept thinking of Hubbie, and how he was at work, and not there. ‘It’s ok,’ I told myself. ‘He was here last year when she started 3 year-old, and she didn’t give a shit when we walked off, and then I bawled my eyes out in the carpark while he went back to work.’

He had been there, sure. I just wasn’t expecting all those parents. It gave me wobbly feelings.

I followed her around the yard. Watched her slide down. Swing. Jump. Played shop with her, exchanging bark food, for bark money. Paint.


She drew the water from the beach. I felt myself choke up as I asked the teacher to take a shot of us together, and soon after that I asked baby girl “is it okay if Mummy leaves now?”

“No!” she said. I told her I would then let her decide, and sure enough not even a minute passed and she said “you can go now Mama.” That’s the truck with her you see. She has to be in charge of everything… her terms, even if you mentioned it a moment ago.

We engulfed each other in a flurry of hugs and kisses. And as I walked out the door, I looked back and gave her a little wave. She waved back… and then I watched as she turned away.

See, the ‘freedom’ in the above post title? It’s not mine I’m referring to. It’s all HERS.

I walked back to the car, trying to suppress the sob rising in my throat, not understanding why I was acting this way. My face screwed up in protest.

It was simply, the act of growing up. She was becoming a big girl. I was grateful that she had walked into the classroom easily, as too often last year she played the ‘reluctance’ game, hanging back while other parents and kids walked on by, while I played good cop/bad cop, trying a variety of tactics to force, beg, reason with her to go inside.

Is that why I was so up and down? My nervous emotions at her entry going into today? Everything was the same, right?

No. She was older. And only a year away from prep. I can say now with certainty, I won’t be able to cope when that day comes.

I have all this extra ‘me’ time on my hands now. I should be ecstatic. I was initially. But now all I can do is think how I have even more time to think, about my girl, still so dependant on me, becoming more independent as the year goes on.

I took her straight to the bathroom as we entered the house in the afternoon. Stood her in the bathtub, shoes and socks off. Explanation? Sand pit. Say no more.

She stood there, one hand against the tiled wall, the other hand washing her foot of debris, and then alternating feet, the other in the air to be washed. I went to hold her steady, to help her.

“Noooo Mama. Leave me alone.”

I stood back. “Awww. Honey you can’t say that to me, not today of all days.” Still I let her do her thing, and as she finished her foot slid a little in the bathtub – not dangerously so, but enough to make her jolt a bit.

“See?” I said matter-of-factly, my eyes welling up again. “You do still need me! You’ll still need me for another 15 years at least.”

And then I smiled, as I again tried not to cry. “You’ll always need me,” I whispered.

That afternoon, I called my Mum.


#716 Fading light of Port Phillip Bay

I showered. I took my time. It’s the one time I demand being alone – even in the toilet I am often in the company of baby girl – so shower time, is ‘me’ time.

Thoughts flow. Suddenly you remember EVERYTHING. You reflect on the day. That funny time in high school where you couldn’t stop laughing. You argue with someone in your head, someone you’re too scared to confront.

You plan the next day. You think of the upcoming holidays, baby girl starting kinder, and then suddenly you are imagining your child at primary school, high school… what kind of person will they become? What will they like? Who will be their friends?

And suddenly, you are driving your child and their friends to the movies, the way your Mum used to do when you were a teen.

I stepped out of the shower, and felt like I had travelled 20 years in the past and future. But I still felt refreshed.

And then, I walked on over to the balcony window. Whenever I see a startling beautiful view out of it, I can’t help but reflect how in our last house, I used to look out our then bedroom window, wondering if our next house, would bring us views other than suburban homes and brick walls and tall gum trees. House after house after house.

Tonight, I thought of that AGAIN.


Because I could see the light fading across the Port Phillip Bay. There was a ship far off in the distance, beacons of light flickered in the water, and there were some other dark shadows, possibly small boats, scattered here and there.

The horizon showcased how the endless sky, and endless sea, married together as one.

Houses went dark as their insides turned on, creating a splattering of fireflies all around, and the cars moving beneath it all shone the way forward as their headlights illuminated the way.

It was all very picturesque. The world was going to sleep, and yet in its fading light, it was beautiful. The bay looked mysterious, and unknown… but still beautiful.