Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Aaron King Oval

Back in May Harri, Kobe and I went along to Kings Meadows High School when they reopened their oval which had been redeveloped.   We were blown away that the school had wanted to rename the oval after Aaron and felt very honored to be there at the official opening with the mayor. 

On Friday I saw the teacher from Kings Meadows High who had asked me what I thought about naming it after Aaron and he told me that the sign had been put up last week.  Yesterday Kobe and I went up to the school to check it out.   I love the wording that they put on it.

I couldn't stop thinking all day about how stoked Aaron would be about it.  He loved the school so much and was loved by his colleagues and students.  He was obsessed with so many sports so it really is the perfect way to remember him.  Today all of us went up to the oval so that Jay and Harri could also see it. 

Harri and Kobe were keen to have a kick of the footy. 

Jay was happy to sit in the sun :)

Kobe was excited to find a cricket ball but we left it on the oval, hoping that the students will find it tomorrow.
We feel so honored that the school would do such a beautiful gesture and are so happy that his name will continue to live on at the school for many years to come.  I'm sure we will be back a lot for a kick on the weekend or after school. 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Glamping at Sandridge

While we were away on the East Coast for Noah's anniversary, I got an excited message from our friend Alison.  She had taken wedding photos at Sandridge Estate at Boat Harbour earlier in the year.  The owners of Sandridge Estate have since set up some beautiful tents on the property and have had it all landscaped and have built a toilet and shower block and a camp kitchen and fire pit, and were just about ready to start bookings at 'Glamp Sandridge' .  They asked Alison to come and take promotional photos for them to use, and in exchange she was able to take 8 families there for a night of 'glamping'.

We aren't campers at all and have only been camping once as a family last Easter, but I knew that this type of camping was something that I could handle (even though we ended up loving camping last year, except for the thousands of wasps!).

When Alison told me about it, I thought it sounded fun but then as it got closer and I thought about it more, I wasn't sure if my mental health was up to spending a weekend with people that I didn't know very well.  Alison has lots of lovely friends and we know some of them a little bit, but no one really very well. 

I'm a very outgoing person, but since Aaron passed away I find that I go between wanting to be very social and I love being around people, to wanting to just hide away and be alone.  As the date got closer I started to stress as I wasn't really feeling on top of things mentally at the time.  But I knew it was a great opportunity and I knew that everyone that would be going would be really lovely, so I decided to just go and enjoy it.

Harri and Kobe were so excited about it, but Jalen wasn't at all keen to come (he also finds it hard being around people he doesn't know well, especially when he's not feeling great emotionally).  I convinced him that it would be okay and told him he could just hide out in the tent if he wanted/needed to.  According to him, he didn't have a choice (he did...but it was either we all go or we all stay home or he could stay with my Mum) but I was so glad that he came, as I knew I just wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if we had gone without him.

We were so excited when we saw the tents in the distance.

This was our tent for the night.
Each tent had a lovely queen sized bed all set up with beautiful linen.  They also had carpet and lovely rugs, bean bags, cutlery and crockery and towels.  I had the bed to myself and we took along blow up mattresses for the boys to use.   Each tent had power which was run by a generator.  It was lovely to have a light in each tent and the boys were happy that they could charge their phone and iPads!
We know Alison's friends Katie and Adam and their kids a little bit, and because they were the largest family there, they got to have the 'penthouse' of the tents. Theirs had a deck out the back with a little table and chairs, and had a wood heater inside!
There is a very cool fire pit up near the toilet and shower block and camp kitchen, and we spent lots of time there toasting marshmallows and chatting.  Thanks Jess and Kyle for sharing the most amazing marshmallows ever!
The boys have never been to Boat Harbour, but I have great memories of going there a lot as a kid with Mum and Dad.  I always remember the beach because the water is so aqua and the sand is so white. 
Even though the weather wasn't great, a few of us decided to go down to the beach for a little bit, and it was just a five minute drive away.   Jay and Harri went exploring on the rocks and Harri cracked us up when he started squealing because he stood on a dead rat!
Kobe doesn't feel the cold and decided he was going for a swim! The water was freezing, but that didn't stop him!

Kobe and Addison used to play together a little bit when they were a lot younger and got along really well, so it was lovely to see them get along together again.  They had a lovely time playing together the whole time we were there.
This is Kobe acting too cool to get a proper photo with Addison!

One of the owners of Sandridge spent lots of time with us and told us about how they decided to set up the glamping as people were wanting a place to stay after weddings, and it was a lot of work to set up a few tents each time.  She was lovely and let us use their wedding shed at night to hang out in. It was SO beautiful with all the lights! It was nice to sit around the fire inside as well.
I knew that Jay would appreciate how lovely the shed was, and he came over and took lots of cool shots which he has posted on his Instagram.
Kobe and Addison had lots of fun creating games together.
The kids had lots of fun with sparklers before bedtime.
It wasn't cold at all at night, and it was so nice having such a beautiful bed to sleep in and having power.  It was very windy and rainy all night, but we were very comfy in our tent.
It rained all morning, so we packed up pretty early and headed home, but we had a lovely night away and were glad that we went along. Thanks so much Alison for inviting us! The only photo I took of you had your eyes closed, and I didn't think you would appreciate me posting it!   Thanks Sandridge Estate for the lovely night! We loved it and felt very spoilt. I don't know if we can go back to regular camping now!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Running for Wishes

Run for a Wish kind of snuck up on me this year.  I registered for it months ago and then forgot about it for a while, until I realised that it was suddenly a week away.   

I don't know if there is anything significant about it being five years since Noah passed away but I'm finding that grief is hitting hard right now.   This time of year is always hard with the lead up to Christmas and holidays without Aaron and Noah, and then the anniversary of Aaron's death, and I find myself just kind of wishing I could hide away for the next four months or so.  I could've quite happily had not done the run this year, but I know we could never miss it as it's for such a great cause (to raise funds for Make a Wish) and we did the first one just a couple of weeks after Noah passed away.

It was a very small group who ran with us this year which made me sad.   It just reminds me that 'five years' for other people is a LOT different to how five years feels to us.   It was nice to have Simone and Simon and their kids join us again this year, as they were away on a holiday when it was on last year.  My cousin Tim and his wife Helene and the kids also joined us.  They look for any chance to go in a fun run as they love it and are all awesome runners.
Kobe was excited when  I picked up the balloons that there were brown and gold ones, so of course he had to grab those (Hawthorn colours!).
We released the balloons at the beginning of the run.

This year was the first year that there was an option to do either 6.4 km or 3.2 km.  Harri did the 6.4 km and came something like 18th overall! Jay, Kobe and I happily did the 3.2 km and Jay and Kobe ran the entire way, while I was happy to walk with Simone (who is pregnant) and Helene (who has an injury). It was a good excuse to take it easy.

We all got a medal at the end.

I haven't heard how much was raised this year, but I know it'll go to some very special local kids who are waiting on wishes right now.

Friday, 21 October 2016

School Holidays

It's been two weeks already since we've been back at school after our school holidays, and it's ridiculous how I can feel so relaxed one minute, and so tired already!  Of course it already feels like we didn't even have a break.

I absolutely love my job which is lucky as I am now working full time for the first time since before the boys were born.  We've had a lot of new arrivals at school so I was asked if I would like to go full time.  I agreed because I love my job, and I'm grateful for the work and money especially as it's our only income.   I'm hoping that going full time is going to be nothing but positive, and it doesn't affect my mental health too much as I did love my day off to get housework done and have some 'me time'. 

Since Aaron's death I've found that the busier I am the more organised I've become, and I'll just have to be even more organised now.   I do often think about the days when I was at home full time, going to the gym every day with my friends and having so much time to do housework, while waiting for Aaron and the boys to get home from work. 

I miss those days terribly but I also can't believe that I used to have so much time to get things done and now I realise how much time I 'wasted'.  But I'm glad that I was able to stay home for so long and could be home while the boys were really young. 

It was so nice to have a couple of weeks off together and not have to worry about school and work. The best thing about holidays are that my boys sleep in and I don't have to jump out of bed early to get lunches ready and get everyone off to school.  I love the lazy mornings and knowing that we don't have to be anywhere unless we want to.

At the beginning of the holidays we had a lovely surprise visit from my brother Eden and his wife Steph and their kids.  We live close to the boy's school so we went over for a play.  Harri always loves playing basketball with Eden so it was nice for him to have some boy time with him. If Aaron was alive I know that he would love the ages of the boys right now as Jay and Harri both love things that he used to, like playing 'horse' like Harri does with Eden.
Eden and Steph's kids are so cute and crack me up with the funny things they say.
 Noah's memorial garden at school is looking so pretty now that it's spring.
I love seeing the boys spend more time together on the holiday, even if it is just all playing Minecraft together on their i Pads.

Before the holidays Kobe reminded me that during other school holidays I would take the boys out on a date each.  He asked me if we could do it again during the last holidays and said he wanted to go first.  How could I say no to this cute face!?  He got to choose what he wanted to do and he decided on Sushi for lunch and then we went to see 'Pete's Dragon' at the movies.
Our garden was VERY neglected over winter.  I think I kind of go into hibernation over winter - I hate getting outside for anything when it's cold, rainy and dark.  The weather during the holidays was pretty  miserable most of the time, but it was nice enough for me to feel motivated to get out and have a big clean up.   For the first two days of holidays we (actually I should say I!) worked flat out in the garden to just get it done, so we could have fun the rest of the holidays. I did make the boys come out for a couple of hours to help and they thought their holidays were ruined, but I actually found it therapeutic to get out there and get everything done.
 Jay was the brave one who was happy to get on the roof to clean out the gutters.
 After two days of gardening I took 24 bags of weeds to the tip!
 Zambreros opened up their Launcston store during the holidays, so we decided to brave the crowds on the first day and lined up for an hour to get four of the 1000 burritos they were giving away on opening day.  I'm not sure if it was worth the wait, but it was a bit of fun and they were delicious.
Milly didn't know what hit her on the holidays as she got to go for lots of long walks with me, as I had no excuse to not get out and about every day.
We loved catching up with our friends Dan and Lou who came up from Hobart and also spent time with my cousin Tim and his wife Helene and their kids.
We had so much rain during the holidays that there were floods at the Gorge again. Luckily they weren't as bad as the last flood in Launceston and the kids had a great time playing in all the streams that were created.

My good friend Pip is also an awesome hairdresser and it was nice to catch up with her and also have haircuts during the holidays. I usually cut the boy's hair, but they would much prefer Pip to do it :)
Afterwards we went to the 50s Diner in Deloraine for a special treat.
Jay caught up with 'squad' during the holidays and I was happy to be the squad taxi. I actually love that he wants to spend so much time with them, as there was a time when he didn't want to get out at all.  It's great that he's so happy after going through such a hard time after Noah and Aaron passed away.  He loves taking photos with the girls and it's fun to see all the things that they come up with.
We spent a couple of nights out at my Mum's when the AFL grand final was on.  We hadn't seen her puppy Josie for ages and couldn't believe how much she had grown.  Milly and Josie were so excited to be together and were just wrestling and playing the whole time.
Chip sandwich at Grandma's after a walk at the beach.
While we were there we went to visit my brother Eden at work.  At the moment he is building a house for himself, so we were keen to go and check it out.  If anyone is looking for an awesome builder on the North West coast he is your man!

The weather wasn't great, but you can't stay or live close to the beach and not go to the beach, so we took the dogs out for a walk one morning. It was lovely to run into my cousin's Toni and Fil and also Rachael and their kids at the park.

Harri was loving the big puddles after all the rain. Boys will be boys!

I love that Jalen now loves photography as much as me. 

Kobe wanted to take some photos as well, so I let him use my camera for a little while.  He was so excited about these photos he took and said 'will you really put these on your blog Mum!?'.
Jay is usually my babysitter, so we made the most of having someone to look after Harri and Kobe and went on our 'date' together while we were staying at Mum's. We went to the movies to see 'Sully' and both loved it. 
We joined lots of family and friends to watch the AFL grand final and it was a lot different this year as Hawthorn wasn't in the final, so we could actually enjoy the game without the stress of wondering what the result would be.
My cousin Ty hires out the local community centre to watch the final so that there's lots of room for everyoneIt was fun having a shoot and kick in the courts at half time.
Grand final day was always one of Aaron's favourite days, and this year it was 5 years to the day that Noah ended up being flown to the PICU in Hobart.   That was on my mind all day and as we started driving home a rainbow appeared!  I wasn't surprised at all, as it happens so often now.
Harri was the lucky last one to have his 'date' with me. Going out with each of the boys on their own was actually one of my favourite things to do on the holidays. 
The last thing we did before school went back was go to the Penny Royal on the Dark Ride.  I have great memories as a kid of going there with Mum and Dad and wanted to see what it was like since they have done it all up again.  
When we went to buy tickets the lady told us that it can be scary for little kids, and I looked at Kobe and asked him if he was worried. He said he wasn't but once we went to get in the boat, he started crying and said 'I just want to go,  I'm too tired to go on the boat!' and was obviously feeling very nervous about it.  Once we got into the dark section and he could see how cool it was inside he quickly cheered up.  It was quite expensive to do, but we loved it and Kobe is already asking when we can go back again.
Going to the East Coast for a couple of days on the anniversary of Noah's death was a nice way to finish off the holidays.   The holidays seem like a distant memory now that we are back into the swing of work and school, and we are so looking forward to summer holidays already! 
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