Saturday, 23 July 2016

Some Would Ask Why I Stand

A little while ago I got a private message on Instagram from a lady named Ashlee. She asked me if I was interested in writing a guest post on her blog which is called 'The Moments We Stand'. 
I hadn't heard of her or her blog before so I checked it out and saw that she had an amazing story.  She became a widow when she was 28 when her husband was murdered.   She only found out after he was murdered that he had been having an affair.  She was left behind with 5 children and had to learn to stand again (hence the name of her blog). 

She has since remarried and has written two books (which I just ordered and am looking forward to reading).  I have so many people tell me that I should write a book and go between thinking it would be a good thing to do, to wondering if I could ever find the emotional and physical energy to do it, to thinking it's a crazy idea and wondering how and if I could ever get it published or if anyone would even be interested in it.   Maybe one day.

In the meantime I'm happy to share our story on here and to do guest posts on other blogs.   My post on Ashlee's blog is up on her blog here.  Thank you for asking me to share my story.  It's always good therapy to share it.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Winter Holidays Are Over

We were all really looking forward to having a couple of weeks off school, and it's hard to believe that we only have one more day of holidays before we all go back.  Winter holidays can be hard because of the weather, but I wanted to make sure we kept busy so that we didn't get too bored and go crazy at home, but also wanted to make sure we also did spend enough time just catching up on things at home as well as getting lots of rest so we felt refreshed when we went back to school. 

On our first day of holidays it was lovely to catch up with Aaron's sister Trudy and her husband Ashley and their son Charlie. They were over from Melbourne for five days, and we met up with them at Airtime which is an indoor trampolining place.
Because the boys have quite a big gap between their ages it's hard to find things which they all like to do, so I love hearing Jay and Kobe playing video games together during the holidays.
Going to Hobart for a few days in the middle of holidays was a great way to break things up and we were lucky that Mum was able to look after Milly for us.  We took her out to her house and Mum offered to cook us tea.  It's always nice to have a break from cooking and even better when Mum asks what we would like.  I requested roast lamb and we had a great time rubbing it into my sister Nicki who is now living in the USA as it's not something they will have a lot over there.
Jay is always good at helping Mum with her technology issues when we see her. He's got Aaron's mind with things like that which is also helpful for me.
While we were in Hobart it was fun to see Mum's Instagram photos of what she was up to Milly.   She was taking her for lots of walks at the beach and around Devonport.  

I don't think Milly really wanted to come with all that attention!

Even though it's winter we did have a few sunny days that were actually quite mild (for Tassie anyway!).  We made the most of it to go out walking.   Everything is pretty much back to normal now after all the flooding
Jay downloaded the Pokemon Go app (like the rest of the world) and had a great time looking for Pokemon when we were out and about.
The boys were very keen to go climbing along these rocks. 
I couldn't stop laughing at Jay as he tried to avoid getting his new shoes dirty as we had to walk through a puddle of mud.  He bought them with his work money while we were in Hobart and was not at all keen on getting them dirty.  In the end he decided to just walk through.

Both Jay and Harri kept busy catching up with friends during the holidays.  Harri went to a couple of sleep overs, played in a 3x3 basketball tournament and went to the movies with a group of his mates from school.  Jay is very independent now and would often go into town to meet up with friends and caught up with his 'squad' as well.  I saw the squad taxi one day and I just had to take a selfie with them doing the usual teenager pose.

Kobe found it hard to see the boys going off to do things with their friends a lot and kept complaining that he didn't get to have any fun.  I kept reminding him that we had done a lot in the holidays already, but he didn't think that made up for it.  He did think that getting 123 Yo while Harri and Jay were with their friends was great though.
Yesterday we met up with my good friends Bec and Pip and their kids to go roller skating.  Bec, Pip and I went to Kindergarten together and still see each other all the time.
We used to go skating with the school holiday program that was put on by Family Based Care for families who have children with disabilities, but the boys were all really young then and they never skated, but just went on scooters, while one of us would push Noah around in his wheelchair.

The boys didn't really remember much about going skating with Aaron and Noah and hadn't been on skates or blades before so we were all very anxious about how it was going to go.  Harri gave up very quickly and stuck to just using his scooter (which is surprising since he's the sporty one in the family), Jay was wobbly for a little while but quickly caught on and did pretty well and Kobe surprised me as he just kept wanting to keep going on roller blades even though he kept falling over. I helped him a lot and he held onto the wall for a long time, but by the end of it he was letting go and balancing on his own. He was so excited and kept asking when we could go again.

I used to go skating a lot when I was a kid (must've been an 80s thing) and loved it so it didn't take me long to pick it up again. Harri was so surprised that I could do it and kept saying 'you're actually sick at this Mum!' and was giving me high fives. 
When we weren't out and about I spent a lot of time at home getting things done around the house, and catching up on shows on Netflix and having way too many treats! It was a nice way to just relax though.
Earlier this week we had some wild weather with lots and lots of wind and rain, and then snow on the mountains and highlands.  We don't get snow where we live, but decided to go for a drive to see it which takes about an hour.  We were lucky that our car is 4wd as the road was closed to other cars, and we could keep going until we reached the snow.

Harri wasn't with us which was sad as it would've been fun to all go together. Jay wasn't keen to come, but I told him he had no choice (as I wanted to make sure we all got out of the house each day) and the thought of finding some Pokemon on the way made it not such a bad trip. Kobe on the other hand was so excited to go and ran to the kitchen to get a carrot for a snowman's nose before we left. It was the smallest snowman ever, but he didn't care at all. It made his day to be able to build a snowman and have a snowball fight!

Jay took off his gloves so he could use his phone to see if he could find some Pokemon, but didn't have any luck.  He didn't think it was worth freezing off his hands for it in the end.
This is our 'excited faces because we are in the snow' pose.

Kobe would've stayed for hours if we let him. He was loving having snowball fights and didn't care at all when he would get hit in the face.
Searching for Pokemon!
It was such a beautiful day to go as the sun was shining the whole time. 
I wish we had another week off so we could really be ready to go back to school.   I have a heap of things I want to get done around the house still, but they'll have to get done another time. I'm feeling anxious about starting at a new school again next week and feel really sad that I'm not going back to my old school with the kids, families and staff that I love, but I hope I settle in quickly and grow to love it.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Few Days in Hobart

A few weeks ago my cousin Tim asked me if we were keen to go to Hobart at the same time as his family, for a few days during the school holidays. We always love going to Hobart and love staying with our friends Sarah and Joe, so we booked it in.

We headed down last Thursday and went shopping and swimming before heading to tea. We don't have Boost Juice in Launceston, so we always love getting it when we are in Hobart for a special treat.

Sarah and her boys introduced us to Burger Haus last time we went down, so we were keen to go there for tea with Tim and Helene. 
They loved it just as much as we did - the shakes are amazing!

Because it's the middle of winter we were waiting to see what the weather was going to be like before deciding what we would do on Friday.  I was keen to go to Bruny Island if the weather was okay and Tim and Helene had never been before and were wanting to go on one of the walks to a lookout.   The weather turned out so nice - it was cool but sunny with not very much wind, so it was the perfect winter's day.

Harri was actually feeling quite sick so there was no way that he was up to going for a walk, so we left Tim and Helene to the walking and decided to just take it easy.  Last time we went to Bruny Island we went on the cruise and didn't have time to stop at the lookout on the way past, so we made sure we walked to the top this time. 

Crazy Kobe started doing pushups half way up!
Adventure Bay is so beautiful and it was such a lovely sunny day, so we went back to the car and grabbed a blanket, some food and a footy.

Poor Harri felt really sick. He was dosing up on Panadol all day and trying to keep his temp down because as soon as it went up he would feel rotten again. He kept saying 'sorry for ruining the day' as he knew we would've been walking with Tim and Helene if he felt okay. I told him it was okay as I was actually loving just relaxing on the beach.  I find it so therapeutic just sitting, listening to the waves.

 I went for a walk along the beach and wished that I could afford a house by the beach.
 The view of the stairs to the lookout, from the beach.
Kobe kept begging me to let him go in the water, but I knew once he went in he would be freezing and would be miserable the rest of the day.
 Kobe was sure that this was the biggest seaweed in the world!
Once the Panadol kicked in again Harri felt okay for a while, and had a great time playing footy with Kobe on the beach.
 They used seaweed as goals.
We caught the ferry back mid afternoon and couldn't believe that the weather was so hazy back in Hobart. By the time we got back it was drizzling quite heavily.
That night a bonfire was on at Salamanca for the Festival of Voices with lots of different groups singing, so Jay and I joined Tim and Helene there.  Harri was more than happy to stay with Sarah and Joe and their kids, and so was Kobe as they love hanging out with their boys.  It was cool to have the whole crowd joining in with the singing. 
Our friends Dan and Lou were hoping to meet us there but weren't able to make it, but Dan suggested that we go to a place called Honey Badger for dessert.  We went to check it out and decided it was definitely worth trying.  The menu looked amazing!

 It was so busy but they didn't mind us coming in and wanting a big table and found space for us. The food was amazing! 
Tim, Helene and I had something called 'Chocolate Heaven' which was brioche with whipped cream, chocolate ice cream, caramelised banana, warm chocolate sauce, sea salt caramel sauce, shaved chocolate, toasted walnuts and Oreo crumbs!   While we were there we were oohing and aahing over the breakfast menu and I knew I wanted to come back before we headed home.
Saturday was another beautiful sunny day.  We walked down to the Wharf to meet Dan and Lou for brunch.
 They hadn't been to Honey Badger before but had heard lots about it.

I have never had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup before, and it was on the menu so both Dan and I had that.  It was so yummy!   Everyone loved what they got and Harri said it was 'the best food he's ever had!'. 
 Tim and Helene didn't have brunch with us, but came and met up with us afterwards.
The kids had a great time running around Salamanca Place together while we all sat in the sun chatting.
 It's always so lovely to catch up with good friends.
We had a quick look around Salamanca Market before we went back into the city for a bit of shopping.  It was lovely to run into people we knew at the market. 
On the way to the car I couldn't resist calling into Daci and Daci to buy a treat to take home.  It's lucky we didn't have to pay for accommodation in Hobart as we spent so much on food, but it was worth it for such amazing food.
After helping out at the Tasmanian Mother of the Year ceremony this year, I went there with my friend Chelsea and have gone on about the beautiful dessert that I had ever since.  I had to make sure I took a raspberry caramel crunch home with me.
We had a lovely few days away even though Harri wasn't feeling very well. It's a pity as we didn't get to do what we really wanted to, but he was happy to just hang out with the boys and do a few fun things in Hobart.  Thanks for having us again Sarah and Joe. We always love catching up with you guys and are already looking forward to  our next trip down, if you'll have us again :)

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