Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 - I am done

Last night. Christmas night. I was chatting to Myl in the car.

"I want to go home." I said.
"But we don't have a home."

For all they say about home being where the heart is I just don't feel it.

We've felt the extreme blessing of great family and friends to stay with. I will forever be grateful for the love poured out to us these past weeks but I'm so done. I'm just ready to have a home.
I don't want to be a wandering gypsie anymore. It's no longer cute.

It's been a long year. I'm not going to lie. It's been a long hard year.

I can't help but feel disappointed in myself. I've dropped so many balls and let so many time. I have spent most of the time feeling guilty and the rest way over my head.

I haven't been the woman I wanted to be in so many ways.

So I'm cutting myself free of this blog. I've lost the joy in doing it. Nobody reads it but my parents and I can just pick the phone up and call them.

It's not fun anymore I just feel guilty about it.
It makes me feel like a big failure.

I love reading back over the posts and reading my thoughts and seeing the pictures and it makes me sad I can't document smalls in the way I did the little one but I need to stop.

Maybe one day I'll get back into it. Reclaim the joy.

But for now, it's goodbye.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas crafting - gift tags

After being faced with a whole lot of brown paper shopping bags destined for the bin I decided to put them to a better purpose. Gift tags.

It's easy. Just draw a cute design and cut it out. Take care to leave room for a to and from or just pop it on the back. 

A bit of sticky tape, some sweet wrapping paper and voila! Some super lovely gifts.

 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

today today

Image from She Reads Truth.

Yesterday we found out that our gypsy wanderings are far from over.
We had been told we could move in at the end of the month but by nobody's fault really that date has been strung out to the 20th of Jan. Twenty extra days. Forty days from today.

Forty days in the wilderness I thought.
I was sad and pretty angry. I have children who need a home. Heck I need a home! I miss my craft supplies and my stuff. I miss having a wardrobe.

I spent a lot of yesterday being grumpy. I would have to wait wait wait for the 20th.
And then it dawned on me.
These 40 days are no small amout of time. 40 todays to be used and enjoyed not resented and endured.

I can choose to grumble and pity myself or embrace the adventure. 

My mum told me that one day I will look back on this time and it will seem short and insignificant. A mere memory. 
I have the choice to shape that memory into something I regret or something I think of fondly.

God says to trust him and lean not on your own understanding. I know that through the bible when people wandered for 40 years or 40 days it was for great purpose and great good. So I can rejoice in trusting him these next few weeks and find joy in the adventure he has in store.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Jack of Hearts and Jude

We sneaked out of the house on Wednesday leaving our gals with fairy godmother Sal.
Off we drove to Engadine to have brunch at The Jack of Hearts and Jude.




It's a lovely little place tucked in the Waratah arcade. The service was slow but sweet. They were very apologetic so I don't think it's always like that but hey, who is rushing at 11am for brunch? 

The food was yummy. We ordered the smoked salmon and poached eggs and the leek and cheese scrambled eggs. We shared.
I had a chai which was freshly made from spices when it was ordered. (YES)
Myl had a coffee which was nice but not strong. 

It all felt really sweet and homey and made me want to open my own cafe and love my dream of being Anna Pascall from Stranger Than Fiction. But that's just me...


We're new to the south! Do you live round here? Where do you like to do brunch?

week two - the recovering sick ones

The last part of our wandering story left us out in the country, sick and wounded being cared for by ma and pa.

It must have been something about the fresh country air but I was feeling much better the very next day. Myl had a few sleep in sick days and the girls perked up to see granny and waa waa.

Despite the more than usual toddler tantrums and the baby who decided not to eat solids most of the week we had a pretty great time. 

Lucy just adores her grandparents. Each night we pray with her and I ask what she is thankful for. Each night it was granny and waa waa. She would then explain in great detail what it was they did that day and what they would do tomorrow.

"We will do some chasing, and playing piggy in the middle, and stomping our feet."



We went on a little day trip to Orange and milthorpe. We had sushi and stopped for afternoon tea at the mill cafe. We then looked through this shop and I caught Myl buying me a few sneaky presents. 

I took my big girl on a much needed mama date. We went to Annie's ice cream a Bathurst institution. I can never go past the bridle track ice cream with chunks of Turkish delight and marshmallows. Lucy requested "pink".



I went on a trip down memory lane back to my old school for carols. You can read about that whole experience here. 

Myl and I left the kids with G and WW and headed to town for some dessert and Catching Fire at the movies. After a drive round town we discovered that NOTHING is open on a Tuesday night in B town so we made do with choc tops at the movies. (Dad later suggested maccas...) You really know you're a parent when the last time you went to the movies together it was to see the first hunger games movie. 



christmas crafting - advent

I made our little family an advent calendar.
you could make one too. It's not too late!

We're filling it up with sweet bible verses and sweet treats.

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The hessian was super hard to sew on so it gave the whole think a rustic jaunty look... lets say it was intentional.

I hope this humble calendar of ours helps to focus on the little baby sent by God to earth and that each gift of a sweet treat reminds us of the sweetness we enjoy in knowing him.



Here is some more Christmas pinspiration.

Friday, December 6, 2013

go back where you came from

There's a Nelson Mandela quote that goes something like

It is interesting to go back to somewhere that hasn't changed to find the ways you have changed yourself.

yesterday I went back to my little old school for a carol service that was run by the school and my parents church. 

There I was in the place I had spent so much of my teenage tears. 
Five (and sometimes more) days a week. Six long years.
There were the buildings more or less the same, there were the students wearing the same uniform. There were the teachers. My old music teacher led the ban I used to play in on the stage I'd played on before. Other teachers scattered round the hall the way they used to do at weekly assembly. Our eccentric English teacher swaying and crooning along with the carols, another taking endless photographs from the upstairs viewing platform. 

Just as the had always done.

The memories flooded back. 

Performances, practices, lessons, friendships. Adventures in the secret tunnels and under the stage. The times we went to sports practice and the times we didn't. Sitting in the freezing cold day house and being allowed to take our ties off when it was hot. Swimming carnivals, modern history, meat pies, videos. Hopeless food tech classes, going to the bathroom when maths was on, climbing through windows to fetch my violin, passing notes to boys. Cadets, reading group, Jim Morrison, camp, substitute teachers.

But I don't belong in that place anymore. A few photos and a name in gold letters on the captains board is all that remains.

And I have changed. While the school plodded on I have left. I have learned many things, I have grown up, become a wife and a mother twice over. I think of the way the world looked back then an realise I have grown. My cares are deeper but my knowledge is greater. My responsibility is larger but my opportunities are too. 

It was nice to sit and think about the times we had at school. But I don't belong there anymore. It has stayed the same but I have changed. I have grown up.

And that's ok.



Monday, December 2, 2013

the gypsies - week one

We packed up our house just over a week ago. It feels like an age.

Our last day in Newtown was a rainy one. We had camped on our bedroom floor after packing up all our things into a storage container.
We had breakfast at our go-to cafe for the very last time. I had the pancakes. With ice-cream.
Time to celebrate eh?

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Then it was a long day of cleaning.
We had booked a steam cleaner to come at 3pm.
When he turned up at one I freaked out. I had to move everything off the carpets.
I was home alone.
When the guy I imagined to be a short middle eastern man turned out to be a tall blonde stereotypical Scandinavian man I left the front door open. It all felt a little too much like a bad taste film.

After pack pack packing and clean clean cleaning we headed to the country. I had a cramp in my scrubbing arm and as we drove off after dropping off our keys I began to feel so sad.
It was the end of an era.
Four long joyful hard blessed years.
And just like that, it was gone.



We drove west for my nieces first birthday, spent the weekend there and then drove down the inland route to Ulladulla. It was so great to drive a different way. It was mostly the same way we drove to our honeymoon and brought back some lovely memories.



We holidayed by the beach with college friends. It was a GREAT week.
I'm going to miss seeing those people regularly. We had seven adults and six kids in a little shack by the sea. We swam and ate and drank port. We chatted and laughed and told very immature jokes.

By Friday we were feeling well rested and happy.



Our youth group camping plans had been cancelled because of rain and the youth camp was happening at church so we headed up the coast to Sydney.

I should have known something was wrong when the little one had an accident en route. A messy accident. And then I got tired. Real tired.

My throat was sore, my head pounding. I ached. I could barely get out of the car to fetch doughnuts from Berry. In fact I didn't. I attempted it then Myl had to come to the rescue. 



The little ones were grizzly. I can only imagine they felt it too but had no words to tell me.
We got to the church hall, set up, and slept.

The next day was a bit of a blur. I slept and got up, slept and attempted food. The girls slept and played. Myl was an angel. And then he got it too.

We stayed the night with friends but our plans to go camping all the next week we feared would need to be put on hold. We needed somewhere to rest and recuperate. Somewhere to lick our wounds. So I write this sitting on the lounge at good ole Mum and Dads. We're here for the next little while till we feel all better and then...who knows!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The wandering gypsies.



On Monday we decided to move out of our house.

It's been a long time coming. We knew it was happening. Myl has finished college forever and we're on to the next stage of life.

With only one catch. The house we have to move into isn't empty yet. The tenants have till the end of the year to move out and they don't seem to be budging anytime soon.

So that makes us homeless. Wandering gypsies, nomads.

It's not as bad as all that. We've got a few weeks of holidays, some camping, trips to the country to see the fam bam. 

Our car is packed with clothes and tent. We have one fox box full of books and a few toys. The girls have matching fold out lounges to sleep on. Eeek!

It's going to be pretty exciting but I'm sure by the end I'll be yearning for a place to rest my head and set my bags down. It's all making me think of a country and western song.

So it might be even quieter than usual over here on the ole blog but I'm sure to be instagramming up a storm so follow along. 

And if you see a four piece family trekking along the road with a pile of laundry and sun kissed faces, be sure to say hello.

Monday, November 11, 2013

when growing up hurts

My littlest one. Smalls.
She's a chilled out kiddo. Smiley and fun.

Lately she's been growing up and it hurts.
She's mastered sitting and crawling and is now pulling herself up on all the things.

She likes to practice these skills at night and because of her new independence she's developed a new clinginess. She likes to practice this clinginess at night.

I remember it was the same with her sister and it really knocked me out and made me doubt my ability as a mother.

This time it's knocked me about again but I feel more like I know where it's coming from and can see that like most things to do with childhood, it won't last.

So even though I'm typing this lying next to a sleeping babe in scared to put in her cot for fear she will wake up in ten minutes. Even though our bed has had three people in it more than it has two. Even though bedtime is a long drawn out process at the moment I'm going to remember that this little girl is growing and changing and learning and it must hurt a little for her too.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Almost done.





On Wednesday Myl will finish studying.

It's going to be so. good.

Each time the holidays almost roll at round our family hits survival mode. Assignments are due, exams are looming but life goes on. Babies still wake at night, toddlers still have accidents and meltdowns. It's a tough time. 

And then (oh sweet joy) come the holidays. 

Even though Wednesday is going to be darn near the best day all year I've been so amazingly proud of my Mylo these past four years. 

I'm proud of the way he's knuckled down and learnt to study. He's learnt to love to learn.

He's become a dad twice over and sacrificed his love for study for his greater love for us time and time again.

He's become a better man. The man I married was pretty darn good but he just keeps getting lovelier, wiser, more patient, more close.

I am so proud of the way he loves unreservedly, unconditionally and unceasingly. The way he loves caused us to have great work to do next year.

My partner in life, my dearest best friend, the father of my children. I'm so proud of him. 

And I'm so looking forward to holidaying together when the cares of exams are gone from his mind.

Till Wednesday. Almost there.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

seven months old

smalls is seven months old


She is our joy baby.

She loves to smile and play.

This week she has started crawling. It started out as a backwards wriggle and then on to a clumsy forward shuffle but now she is much more purposed. She is most often found crawling towards mama at sleepy times. 

Lucy is so pleased to have a crawling playmate. To her, crawling is the best trick ever but Norah does not crawl nearly fast enough an Lucy tries to pick up her sister or drag her across the floor. It hasn't affected their relationship too much so far...

There are still no sign of teeth but sweet gurgles and monosybalic words can be heard coming out of Norah's mouth. Da da ba ba and most notably ma ma when she is sad.

She can roll, but like her sister prefers not to except at bed time when she rolls straight onto her tummy and falls asleep. It's funny that Lucy did the same thing. (Except it took me much longer to realise this was the cure to her sleeping woes.)

My favourite thing that Norah does is called the flappy bird. When she sees a face she likes her eyes light up and she waves both her arms and legs about like a sweet baby bird. THAT is worth coming home for. 

She's now having food at every meal time and is taking to it well. Finger food is a favourite but she'll eat almost anything.

She is learning and growing so fast. It is a great joy to watch my two girls play and laugh and hold hands in the car. 
Norah is such a sweet sweet treat.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin and kale lasagne

I'm getting a bit foody on the blog lately aren't I?

Here's my latest




bunch of kale
quarter small pumpkin
onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
zucchini 
jar of passata
3 large Swiss brown mushrooms
packet of fresh lasagne sheets 
500g tub of cottage cheese
200g tasty cheese

Peel and chop pumpkin into slices and roast in the oven at 180* along with half the garlic, olive oil and some pepper.

While it's roasting heat a pan with some olive oil. Chop the mushrooms and grate the zucchini and carrot. Fry in the pan till soft. Add the passata and cook till bubbling.

Rinse the kale and cut off the stalks.

Layer half the lasagne sheets on the bottom of a large ovenproof dish.
Top with a layer of kale.

Add half the passata vege mix and smooth out over the kale. Then add a layer of pumpkin.

Dollop half the cottage cheese on the next layer and sprinkle half the cheese. Then repeat.
Sheets. Kale. Vege. Pumpkin. Cottage. Cheese. 

Bake in the oven for around 40 mins or until the tip is melts and brown.



Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

bread


Lu is especially fond of what is known in our house as a bacon roll. It's a bacon and cheese roll but that doesn't slip off the tongue quite as easily.

They're a shopping treat or a college bread box treat. But the other day we had no bacon rolls.
So we made some with the help of our friend Jamie Oliver.

I've made bread a few times before but enjoyed it so much more when I could watch little hands kneeling the dough. It was lovely to teach my little girl the magical properties of yeast and watch her eyes widen as we opened the oven to find seven freshly baked rolls.

We had no bacon so just made cheese rolls but I feel like bread baking may just have to become a weekly activity. I think it's good for the soul.






The green ones have dollops of pesto in the middle. Delicious.

Monday, September 30, 2013

six months old

smalls is six months old









She's sitting up and trying like caraaazy to crawl. She'll lean, pop her hands down, rise up on all fours and then...face plant. I'm not sure how long it will take her but she's keen to be moving round with her big sister.

She continues to be a happy little fella but much more in a routine than Lucy ever has been. When it's sleep time she really has to sleep and won't be strung on by social interaction. We may have ourselves an introvert.
She adores her big sister and Lucy really loves trying to pick Norah up from aforementioned face plants. She's not quite strong enough yet. Lucy's been teaching Norah to talk,
"Ask nicely baby."
"You have to talk baby."
"Say hello Lucy."
"Say thank you."

Norah's been chugging away at solids. She's still struggling with the whole tongue thrust concept but we endure. I'm taking it as less of a nutrition thing an more of a learning how to eat thing. There's time.
She's loving milk at the moment. It's so strange for her but I'm glad. She was doing some almost whole day stretches refusing to feed and that was less than ideal.

I look at this kid and I just see Myl all the time. The smaller, cuter, girlier version but Myl just the same. 

My precious little blue eyed babe.





The capsule

I'm not sure if I'm alone here but since baby number two my body is different.
Things just ain't fitting the way they used to. I didn't notice it as much after having Lu but now I can spend some very angry time in front of my wardrobe.

A few weeks ago I did a huge vinnies cull but now I think I need to do more. In fact in thinking of getting rid of the lot (or most of it) and starting fresh.

I really like the idea of the capsule wardrobe. 
Own 10-15 items that all work together and just wear them. Forget the impossible to breastfeed in dresses, forget the tops that look weird. Forget the clothes that make me look like a teenager. ( cos I was when I got them. )


I put together one for spring and have been pretty good at keeping it but there are these clothes in my wardrobe I keep wanting to give another chance to. Each time I try, I regret it.
Let's just keep it simple.

I pretty much don't want to / can't spend more than about five minutes getting dressed in the morning if I want to avoid baby meltdown / toddler meltdown / no breakfast / running completely late / all of the above.
I like to feel comfortable but not look like I spend all day wiping bums and playing with duplo. ( even if I do )

How do you decide what to wear each day. Do you have oodles of clothes or just a capsule? Send me to your pin boards!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tirimisu cake 2.0



For Myls birthday a few years ago I made him a tirimisu cake. You might have seen it, I posted a picture. It tasted delicious but was a little...unstable. Let's just say CREAM AVALANCHE. 

So when the college decided to have a cake making competition I decided to give it another go. I thought for weeks about cake structural integrity and here's what I  came up with. I didn't win any prizes but the cake all got eaten. That's a win in my book.

I started by baking two cakes. I used the fool proof women's weekly quick mix chocolate cake.


I baked a double batch in two tins. Then left them to cool.

I cut each cake in half except my top halves were more like domes. Not exactly what I had in mind but not a disaster.


I doused the cakes in about half a cup of coffee. I think it needed more. I would have used a bit of booze too if it had been for a different crowd.

Then it was time to prop it all up. I used tirimisu biscuits for structural integrity and cream for the glue. It worked well to keep the domey bits of cake up.



I layered up the four cakes with chocolate sauce in between the cake and the cream.

When I got to the top I put another layer of cream and grated chocolate...because obviously.