Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Place I Go To When I 'Run Away'

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Everyone has that special place they go to when they are 'running away from home'... don't they?

When I was a wee youngen, in my pre-child days, it was this beach that I would go to when I wanted to hang out with my friends or when I just needed some space to think.

This place has an uncanny way of soothing me. It's like some hippy trippy anaesthetic balm for a noisy mind.

I feel so significant here, but in a good way though - you know?

When I stand and watch the waves pound and the clouds rumble along the horizon, I can't help but feel fabulously insignificant compared to all of it. It is that feeling that holds the power to make all the nonsense and noise in my head go quiet... at least for a little while, which is the whole point of running away really.

This beach also happens to be the exact place that I first met my hubby. I was seventeen and I rocked up to the beach with a friend in her little Barina. He was standing shirtless on the roof of a panel van looking at the surf and I turned to my girlfriend and said "There's my future husband right there. I'm going to marry him".

No really!

Alright I know it's mildly perverted that I picked my future soul mate based on his hunky shirtless torso, but it is a freakishly true story.

We hung here when we were going out, and lived here when we first moved in together and got married.

We moved a suburb away for a little while before returning to an apartment in the beachside village when we had our first child.

There are so many precious memories ingrained in the sand here that it's no wonder really that I have such a connection with it.

Once the kids came along, I had to fine somewhere a little closer to home to escape to when I needed to breathe... closer as in like IN our home. And so I used to hide in the bathroom or the walk in robe.

No matter how well I hid, they always managed to find me. They were like little sniffer dogs that went from room to room hunting me down and then when they found me I'd get the "Whatcha doing Mum? Mum? MUM? Whatcha doing in here?" fired at me like boom boom boom, with no break for air in between.

Once the kids reached the age where they weren't hanging on to my legs anymore as I tried to go out the front door, I managed to reconnect with my special place again.

I love that whilst we no longer live right here, we still live close enough that I can continue to use it as my 'running away' place when I need to think... or not think. I can come here whenever I need the surf's hum to wash over me and drown out any noise in my head. .

Everyone needs a special place they can escape to.

Where do you run away to when you need a time out?

Monday, 15 September 2014

More Than Just A Jumble of Words

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You know what I love, like really really love about kids? 

I love the way they run like they are so desperately excited about where they need to get to that they couldn't possibly walk there, even if it is only the next room. 

Last night Flynn came running into the room with a page full of words he had written all by himself, for no other reason that he just wanted to write down all the words he knew and show them to me. 

It was just a jumble of words, some misspelled and others totally on the mark. Collectively the words made no sense whatsoever, but in his mind, they weren't written with the intent of making any sense. 

It was his way of showing me how hard he is trying with his school work and just how far he has come. It was his way of making me proud of him.

Like he even needed an excuse for me to be proud of him.

Learning hasn't been all that easy for this free spirited seven year old. He finds all this school stuff much harder to get his head around than his brothers did. In fact he kinda of finds it all a little boring given that there are worms to dig up and mud to slide in and life to explore.

God knows there has been times when I have been so frustrated when after 10 or more times of me explaining something he still doesn't get it, nor does he really want to. 

And so this page of jumbled words may not look like much to anyone else, but to Carl and I - they are everything. 

Last night when he proudly showed me his work I squeezed him really really hard and told him just how proud I am and how clever I think he is. 

Stuff these experts who tell us we praise our children too much. Too much praise? Pfft! Bite me! 

The pure look of pride on his round little face, the way he puffed his chest up like a pigeon and the big happy gappy grin confirmed to me that no expensive degree qualifies anyone to tell a parent how much they should or shouldn't show their child how special we think they are. 

He threw his arms around me and hugged me back twice as hard and gave me a big wet sloppy kiss before grabbing his scrapbook and running back to his bedroom. 

His enthusiasm could be felt in every noisy thump of his feet as he ran and he left me equally enthused to thump excitedly between the day to day wins in my own life.

Made the beds before we left for school? Thump thump fist pump "Yessssss!"

Nailed that deadline and had dinner served on time? Thump thump fist pump "Whoooooo hooo!"

Got us all through the day in one piece and sanity intact? Thump thump fist pump "Yeeeeeeeww nailed it!"

Sometimes I think our kids know way more than we do about how to really suck the most out of life and that somewhere along the way to being adults we let the enthusiasm ebb away from us.

I want to find that balance where I place less emphasis on the structured boring bits in every day and give more attention to the worms and mud pies in life

I want to run with the same enthusiasm as kids do through every single day of my life. I want to feel that much joy in every step that I can't possibly walk from one thing to the next. 

Flynn may have just written a page full of words that made no sense to anyone else,  but to me they made more sense than any literary masterpiece ever could hope to convey. 

There was a valuable life lesson in between the wonky lines of jumbled words.

And we adults think we know best? 


Friday, 12 September 2014

Weekend Rewind - 12 Projects To Inspire You

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Well pickle me polka dots we have arrived at the weekend and I for one am STOKED. This is the first weekend since February we do not have any kid's sports on and all I can think about is sleeping in tomorrow morning.

I know I'm very spoiled rotten having a hubby who simply cannot sleep in no matter how hard he tries, and so we figured early on in our marriage that since I am not a morning person, we won't let that sleep in go to waste - I'll take it!

Alright so maybe I decided and he agreed.

Semantics really.

Our Mambo man Sam finished up the rugby season with a grand final win under his belt last weekend so we have gone out on a high. Now touch football, basketball and summer soccer starts but it's all weekday stuff - that's totally doable cause it means our weekends our ours again... at least until Feb.

I don't know about you but Friday nights in Spring and Summer are hands down my most fave time of the week.

The work week is done, the whole weekend lies ahead of us and there is no arguing over bed times with kids for two whole nights. Bottle that feeling and we would be squillionaires.

This weekend I intend on getting stuck into some gardening and some crafty projects as well as making some diabetic inducing food before the diet starts on Monday.

Nothing like the final supper before a diet? Diet *shudder* the word makes me itchy but it has to be done as I have totally overindulged this winter - BIG time.

To get my creative juices flowing I have rounded up 12 of the projects that include craft, cooking and cocktails from some of my fave creative blogs this past week. Man there are a whole bunch of clever clogs out there in blogland aren't there!

A clear weekend full of cooking, craft and cocktails. I'm feeling giddy already. I tell you... SQUILLIONAIRES we would be if we could bottle this Friday night joy.

Speaking of joy - a certain spunky pocket rocket happens to be turning 30 today. My gorgeous pal and namesake Sonia (Sonia Styling) is celebrating the big 30 so please be sure to pop on over and join me in wishing her the HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY like ever EVER!

Happy Weekend Lovelies, I hope you have a fabulous one whatever you are doing!

Have you finished weekend sports or do you go year round?
What do you plan on getting up to this weekend?

Link up your favourite post from the past week and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella)Sonia's blog (Sonia Styling) or Kelly's at A Life Less Frantic
It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 4 places.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

How To Raise Obedient Children... Or Get Them To Disown You

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Thirteen years it may have taken me but cue the choir for I am Obi-freaking-Wan Konobi of practical parenting for beginners.

Alright so technically speaking I am not really a parenting beginner given I have thirteen years under my belt but sweet baby cheeses I wish I had figured this out sooner.

I have discovered the way to ensure your success rate for raising obedient children goes up into the green end of the parenting scale that confirms you are indeed WINNING ... or it could lead them to disown you.

Theoretically it could go either way.

Given the small risk of them actually going through with the disowning part, I say just go with it. Even better I am not going to make you wait to discover this info for yourself, nor am I going to charge you $59.99 over three easy payments because Obi Wan does not charge for this wealth of knowledge.

Nope, for today only I'm going to give this info to you for free of charge and then I am going to run for cover before any psychologists or child activists start howling for my blood.

So on the way to school this morning I was in a particularly chirpy mood. Partly to do with the fact my stomach muscles were pleasantly sore from over use yesterday, but mostly it was to do with the gorgeous sunshine evaporating the last of my winter fog.

We were in the car and as is standard practice when I am in the car and in a good mood - I had the radio blaring and was doing my infamous rockstar performance. You know the one where you do the hair flip thing as you pump your arms in the air and make the car shake at the traffic lights as you sing along?

Yep that one.

The very same one that makes your kids beg to be enrolled in boarding school as they sink into their seats and die of embarrassment.

"Mum, stop it, MUM" they each take a turn at groaning.

"I'm all about that bass no treble bass bassssss basssssss cause I got all the right junk in all the right places" *insert double hair flick and the arms out boobie shake*

"MUUUUUUUUUUUM!" they shout as my oldest leans over and turns down the radio.

"WHAT?" I innocently enquire (OK maybe not so innocently)

"YOU are sooooo embarrassing" croaks the teenager as he hides his face from the kids in the car next to us.

"Me... embarrassing? Noooooo" I feign surprise

"Embarrassing would be me winding down the window and telling that cute little girl standing with her mum that you want to marry her. Embarrassing would be me stopping the car next to that nice bunch of cool looking dudes over there and asking if you can be their new bestie. Embarrassing would be....."


I was so on to something.

I could feel it in my bones.

As we waited for the stop/go dude to let us through at the bottom of the street near my teenager's school, Kermie and a couple of radio DJs were singing Rainbow Connection.

"I LOVE THIS SONG" I squealed as I wound down the windows, turned the radio up and joined in with my best Kermie voice and a couple of enthusiastic honks of the horn as we arrive at school drop off.

"Byyyyyyye darling, give Mummy a big smooch cause I'll miss you" I said as I leaned over to the teenager with my lips pursed and ready.

"Oh for gdgbnbd bjbsdjb bjsbdjb" came his muttered response as he practically fell out of the car in haste to get away.

"Please don't do anything to embarrass me when you drive out Mum" he begged as he slammed the door shut. "Puhleeeease"

"So I don't s'pose donuts in the driveway are cool?" I called out as he did the bolt.

We continue on to the next school. Just me and the two younger ones and my extra son from another family that I drive to school in the mornings.

I could tell they were nervous.... like really nervous.

"Soooo you find Mum a bit embarrassing do you?" I ask all squinty eyed into the rear vision mirror.

"YES" shouts the small one before copping an elbow from his older brother and a hissing "Shut up or she'll get worse"

"So I embarrass you THAT much huh? hmmmm well how bout I'll make you a deal. I won't rock up to kiss and drop in my PJs and get out of the car and dance and sing to radio as I kiss you Goodbye and wipe your face with some spit and a tissue if you promise to pick up the dog poop and empty the dishwasher every morning for a whole year"

"DONE" they chorused without hesitation.

And THAT folks is how it is done. Parenting at it's finest I tell you.

Sometimes I am in awe of myself.

Have you ever ridiculously embarrassed your kids? Oh please do tell!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Very Wordy Wordless Wednesday - Lunch With The Girls

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Is there anything quite like lunch with some girlfriends to fill your bucket?

I think not.

In fact, I kinda think it ought to be compulsory to give yourself a leave pass at least once a month if you can at all wangle it. Grab some girls together and go and roll a bottle of champagne or two over lunch.

Talk about everything and anything, remove all boundaries and make nothing off limits. It is hilarious where your conversations will lead you.


Yep, just laugh yourself stupid with that foot stomping, thigh slapping, wipe your tears kind of laughing as it is literally THE best tonic in the world and can cure everything... well almost everything.

My gut aches from doing just that today. I was at the most beautiful spot at Palm Beach - The Palm Beach Boathouse with an even more beautiful group of gals and the five of us sat there in the sun and discussed everything and anything - life, men, kids, sex, parents, fashion and everything in between.

We laughed ourselves silly at our own jokes and didn't care one single iota that people were looking at us strangely. Meh they either thought we were a bunch of nut jobs let out for the day OR they wanted to join us in the laughter.

It's good for the soul to say "stuff it" to the dirty washing, work and responsibilities and let yourself off the hook from everything for just a wee couple of hours.

Doctors orders alright! Consider yourself told.

OK so this was supposed to be wordless wasn't it? Dang it. The combination of champagne and I do not make for a very wordless anything.


When was the last time you gave yourself a belly ache from laughing so much?
Do you take a regular time out for yourself or is it something you talk about but yet to do?