We ran away to the beach

On Thursday evening, Grimace and I made a snap decision to run the family away to the beach for the weekend. I won’t say we were desperate for a weekend adventure, but come friday afternoon, we happily made our way to Manly. Despite battling the peak-hour roads, we arrived relaxed and ready to enjoy the weekend. Of course, things were helped with a glass of wine, watching the sun drop and the full moon rise.

We woke up to a lovely Saturday morning, and as a family we made a list of things to do:

– sleep in and relax (the irony was not lost on me that this request came from Giggles Magoo, who’d been awake since the crack of dawn)

– Beach time

– A visit to the zoo

– Picnic dinner by the water, watching the sun set for the day.

With our list in hand, we headed off for an adventurous day. You’ll see from the pics below, we were pretty good at ticking off the list:

What I forgot to mention about our choice of beach to watch the sunset; it just so happened to be a nude beach… certainly a new experience for us and the unfortunate souls that were there, just trying to have a relax… announced with naive delight: “yep, Dad, it’s a nudie beach… that old man over there has no underpants on. Why is he walking around with no clothes”. Oops, parent fail. Needless to say, as soon as dinner was finished and the sun was set, we made our way back to the car, leaving the poor unsuspecting nudist colony to their own, de-robed space.

Sunday morning I was up early with dreams of catching the sunrise over North Head. And wow, getting up early never fails to satisfy:

Sneaking in this little run made my heart super happy and unburdened. The beauty of the run is quite often what you discover about yourself. And on this beautiful Sunday morning, I realised how lovely it is to belong outdoors.

When I made it back to the family, we were all excited to hit the beach again, and there was a request to factor in a ferry ride. We opted to take the ferry from Manly to Watson’s Bay, for a swim at Camp Cove. Talk about a magnificent view! After some famous Doyle’s Fish, Chips and ice cream, we hopped the ferry from Watson’s Bay across to the Q station, for a 5km bush and beach back to Little Manly.

We returned to the Mountains Sunday evening, sun soaked and very happy we’d remembered it’s ok to run away sometimes.

A hurried post

I’m sitting here in the hospital waiting room, waiting for Little Mate to come out of his minor procedure. He’s absolutely fine, just a little op to help his body function a little better. I was fairly unprepared though, particularly in comparison to when Giggles Magoo underwent a similar procedure…second child you see, I knew what to expect and fell into “I got this” mode.

My complacency got the better of me however, and I didn’t really get into the swing of things until last night, when post-work blues were setting in and I started the scramble for all the supplies I knew we’d (potentially) need today. For me, that was laptop, book, coffee and snacks. For him, I packed his favourite toys, a few books and a few surprises to help him through the hospital waiting game.

I forgot though, there is sometimes no waiting game. The hospital system excels at the ‘move you from waiting space to waiting space’ game, and today has been one of those days the staff have excelled in their role. We arrived as instructed, at 7am, were up in the ward by 7:30am and into surgery at 8:35am. It turns out he’ll be ready in recovery in just a few moments.

While I wait, I wanted to hurriedly reflect on how I am incredibly grateful for the access Australians can have to this level of medical care and thankful to each of the staff that have worked to help us through this unscathed. I also wanted to reflect on my fellow (or soon-to-be) Australians, and the high probability that not every family will have access to this same healthcare, or indeed the same positive experience. Australia, in the general sense has much to do in terms of universal health care access, particularly for our First Nations people. I think after today, I will seek out an organisation that works to help regional and indigenous families navigate the medical world.

I best be off, I can see the kind face of our surgeon making her way toward me and I really need to share this glamorous look with someone.

Happy Wednesday x

That sunshine

Since I’ve semi-regularly become a runner, I’ve developed a real love of running early in the morning and I easily found my morning groove to get out the door: I’d get up, usually 75mins prior to my designated start time, get dressed in my set-out-the-night-before running gear, eat two pieces of honey toast (aiming to have finished the toast 1hr prior to the start of the run), drink a coffee and then finalise the gear I’d be taking on the run (depending on how long the run was). My little waters bottles, neatly on the counter, only required me to fill them up and I’d be out the door, ready to explore. It is really the best, most-disciplined version of me I can think of.  

Alas, I’ve not been able to run very much recently, due to an unfortunate run of injuries; but, this last week or so I’ve tentatively been getting back to things. I’ve noticed the early-morning wake up hasn’t been coming as easily, and then this morning, I completely threw my morning rituals. I hadn’t totally committed myself to the run before going to bed, instead, I’d committed myself wholly to the enjoyment of Gin & Tonics and fine wines. Luckily, my alarm hadn’t been switched off from the day prior, and at 5:30am when it ungraciously started hollering, I strangely got up out of bed and unexpectedly felt well-rested. I proceeded to scrounge for clothes (I hadn’t organised any the night before), and a glass of water. Upon gazing out our new back-room windows, whilst sipping on said-water, I was able to watch the start of the morning’s glow pop out over the bushland in the valley just down from us. And, I’m not gonna lie, it was beautiful. Stunning, actually. Fuck the routine, I suddenly thought: I desperately wanted to be out in the cool and fresh air, watching the sun touch everything for the first time in the new day. 

I laced up and left, sans breakfast, coffee or any run supplies, but with a greater sense of purpose: take in the new day. I wasn’t going to run anymore than 5km, and so the need to refuel my body wasn’t pressing. Pre-child me completely loved the carefree way in which I scrambled to leave the house, with nothing but the clothes I was wearing and my phone. 


It was cold out, and I’d not grabbed gloves (damn disorganised, booze-swigging me), but I loved drinking in the new sunshine, trotting up the street. And didn’t this run just completely reinforce to me that I love running – the sense of freedom, the connection to land, the peace felt within, the achievement. It’s all the best-type of me. 

This morning’s carefree jaunt has certainly re-ignited my commitment to running…I’ve even got my clothes (including gloves) out for the morning’s long-run.  

Taking in the a.m

It’s 5.30am on a Saturday morning, and I’m sitting in our living space, watching the sun slowly brighten the sky. The house is peaceful, my mind is still and all I have before me is my coffee and toast.

I have fallen out of the early morning waking habit (thank you injuries, thank you house extension, thank you life), but I’ve gently reminded myself that it is indeed my favourite time of the day and entirely worth the sleep-sacrifice to grab some quiet space.

Sure, doing it every morning isn’t possible, but on the days when I can manage it, my mental well-being is so much clearer. Plus, usually these are the mornings where I go out for a run, so there’s that too.

In fact, I should be getting ready for my run, rather than procrastinating with this post, but I felt compelled to capture my realisation that the early-morning moments are owned by those who choose to take them.

Happy Saturday x

Time for coffee

It’s Wednesday, I’ve just dropped the kids at school/preschool and so I find myself with a spare 15 minutes. Before I know it, my car has sped around the corner and parked, my legs have hiked me up the hill and without conscious effort, I’ve got coffee and the world’s prettiest granola bowl.

The last few weeks have been lovely as school was out for the winter. Grimace and the boys managed a lovely balance of adventures and home time, all the while I was resting up thanks to an awkward mishap. I’ll spare you the details, but one greenstick and an ambo ride meant I was destined for no where, but the couch. And I’m not going to lie to you, I enjoyed it immensely. Sure, the pain and sleepness nights weren’t great, but I revelled in the lack of responsibility. I helped my body to heal with rest, reading and physio exercises. Always looking for the positives in any experience, I found relaxation.

As the two weeks wore on, Grimace’s holidays wore out and before I knew it, I was back to family responsibility. Hello chores, shoelaces and snotty noses. But, also cuddles, lunchboxes and playing. So it’s not all bad.

But, eating my granola and drinking my coffee this morning has awoken that same carefree state I had on the couch, if only for a moment. You see, I’ve remembered the washing to hang out, the dishwasher to unstack and all those errands I have on the always-full To Do List.

Happy Wednesday x

My Feet Are Up

It is Saturday afternoon; Grimace has the boys on a trip south for a niece’s 18th, and I’m sitting on our lounge, with my feet up.

I had planned on being at the Swans home game this afternoon, but after a clumsy mishap during the week, I am resting my rather sore coccyx. Despite the feelings of missing out on both the family do and the Swans match, I am also relishing the time I can just sit, and be. You see, we moved back home some weeks ago, and I haven’t yet had the chance to lie back and just breathe in our new space. There is usually the pressure to parent, to tick chores off that never-ending list, or self-directed pressure to be doing a ‘finishing touch’ on the house.

So, with nowhere to be and no one to be responsible for, I have reclined into this view. Quite frankly, I don’t think I’m moving for quite some time. Well, maybe to create a Gin and Tonic or two. Happy Saturday to you x

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Just another public holiday

The Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend just passed us by, and I while I had no plans on doing much in the way of celebrating the Queen, I was in fact pretty keen on just doing as little as possible. Turns out, I need to work on the “go slow” concept – although not busy, busy, busy by any of my previous long-weekend standards, l kept busy enough to enjoy a few little adventures around home and the city, with my boys.

An impromptu Friday night saw my folks join us for dinner, followed by Saturday morning soccer for Giggles Magoo and then some serious play time around home. Saturday evening was an enjoyable evening of dinner, drinks and jokes at a friend’s place. Sunday morning was my first (trail) run in 3 weeks followed up with an afternoon at the footy with the kids (Go the Swannies), and finally, Monday was sleep-ins, big breakfasts, introducing trail runs with a certain younger sister and doing stuff around home…despite being rather settled into the finished parts of our new house, we still have heaps to unpack, so public holiday Monday was a delight in that I could get some of the clutter in its rightful place and clean some of the glorious windows we have.

While there wasn’t one great adventure to mark the Long Weekend, I am grateful for little adventures, and for toothy smiles from the boys, a re-connection with the outside through the trail runs and mostly, some downtime with Grimace. A glass of red together, on Monday evening was possibly the most delightful bit.

However you spent your weekend, whether it be long or short, I hope you had some re-connection time too. Connection is, after all, an asset of the modern life xx

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…and just like that

Despite my best intentions, I have been hi-jacked by life. I had a strong feeling of intent to write each week, just like I used to. I also had a strong feeling of intent to run 3-4 times a week, just like I used to. I also had a strong feeling of intent to start my social life again, see some bands and friends, just like I used to.

And then, bam … L.I.F.E. got in the way. Not that it was out of the realms of expectation, we have been renovating and extending our house since August 2018 and knew it would be coming to an end eventually, but, when the time came to move back into our family home, life seriously took over and gave me an unexpected case of the “I can’t do everything”s, and the intended goals I set for myself took the backseat, at three very end of a looooong bus. At the moment, I spend each moment of the day ticking off to-do lists, unpacking just the right box, putting it into just the right cupboard or space. Grimace spends his days trawling furniture places and those websites where community members can sell their wares, just looking for the piece to finish off our new space. When the end of the day comes and the children have finally nodded off, if I’m not back at a list, or cleaning up after the day’s occurrences, I’m in bed trying to catch up on some of the always-elusive sleep, or enjoying a glass of something, in the new space, marveling at the creation.

If I can take a moment to speak for the other members of Theverymoodyhousehold, all four of us are very grateful for the opportunity to be making our forever home, just as we want it to be, and super-thankful to the team working hard to get it finished. In fact, I am able to write this little entry just now, due to all the people on site, working to finish everything – At this very moment, I cannot use the kitchen, laundry or bathroom; nor can I sit and eat lunch with Little Mate and the builders…even at four, apparently mum is an embarrassment, as he asked me to go upstairs and eat lunch. I suddenly found myself with a spare moment or two where I couldn’t really do anything constructive (school days are all about being constructive), except write this to figure out that all the feelings of strong intent I had two weeks ago, will still be there when I can allow them the focus they need. Running, I’m coming. Writing, I’m coming. Friends, bands, I’m coming.

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I love to sing, la la la la la

I like to sing, by Justine Clarke (ABC Music) is stuck on a loop inside this brain of mine, going over and over and over and over and over.

You see, I do love to sing. Terribly as it may be, I do indeed love to sing LOUDLY. Much to the hilarity of my neighbours, or the builders who are at our place each day no doubt hear my poor-excuse for parenting with singing (instead of yelling “it’s time to brush your teeth”, I quite often bust out “you wake up in the morning and it’s time to go to school, you brush your teeth, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch, you brush your teeth”).

I can’t sing in key, a note or a tune and I always forget lyrics and then make up my own. You see, I find joy in the everyday chores by singing or humming or, much to everyone’s embarrasment, dancing. The sweet giggles and laughs that come from my boys as they join in, is truly a wondrous experience.

I like to sing, tra-lalala

One for my MAGS

It was Tuesday night. Running night. I haven’t been in the best form recently, due to an unfortunate calf injury. The injury not only made it hard to keep up the fitness goals, but unfortunately it also made it harder for me to prioritise me. You see, running is habitual thing for me – once I’m running, I’ll always get out and go running, providing me the space to think, reflect and just be. But, stop me from running and it gets harder to go running. Queue vicious circle. Alas, time does heal all and fast forward four months, and I’m back at training, doing the track sessions closer to my previous form.

Tonight I found it hard to mentally stay focused and found myself wanting to stop. In an effort top stay focused, I reached in to my thoughts and grabbed one I’d parked: I remembered reading the race report from one of my running crew, and this kept me interested in being out on track. Linda had written her reflections after completing a half marathon, where she was disciplined and had work really hard to be ready. In her race report, she outlined how she had allocated each segment of the race to something in her life she was grateful to, and used the gratitude she felt to keep her going.

Feeling inspired by this approach, and the afternoon I’d spent with Little Mate at his Preschool’s Mothers Day afternoon tea, I spent the next 9 laps of the track being grateful to all the MAGS in my life. Giggles Magoo’s school has coined the term MAGS – Mothers, Aunts, Grandmas and Special women in the kids lives, and I gotta tell you, I was out on track feeling some serious gratitude, reflecting on the women who shape me into the person, the mother, the friend I am lucky enough to be.

I thought of my mother in law, Narelle and how much I miss her. I thought of her smile, hugs and kindness and the sadness we all feel. I thought of her ability to see the best in you, no matter what. I thought of how proud she would be of Grimace and his two sisters. I thought about her life and her legacy.

Next, I thought of my own mum and the difference this woman makes every day to so many people in our community. I thought about how proud I am to claim her as my own mother. I thought about the sacrifices she made for my siblings and I, and how she continues to provide me with nurturing day in, day out. I thought about everything she does for me – listens, talks, acts, loves. It is difficult to put all these feelings into words, but I recognised how lucky we are to have had all this time together, particularly with my kids.

I thought about my sister-in-laws Laura, Kerrie and Wendy. I thought about their smiling faces, their warm hearts and the way they always show me that there are other, completely normal ways of doing things. I thought about their display of ultimate unconditional love for me and our crazy family of four.

I thought about my two sisters, Soph and Dom; two strong and compassionate women in their own right, who inspire me to be the best incarnation of myself.

I thought about the friends I have become close to, since having kids. They say it takes a village to raise a family, and I thought about how lucky we are to have these women who care so much for me, my kids and our family.

I thought about the strong, capable and encouraging women I know through my running circle and felt like I was a part of a bigger family.

I was getting on a roll with my gratuitous thoughts, acknowledging only some of the MAGS that surround me…only to see that I’d finished by final 400m lap, and it was time for a cool down. It was such a nice way to end a track session, and I have so many other MAGS to acknowledge that I will no doubt look to use this technique again, perhaps in the lead up to Mother’s Day. I see such importance in valuing the sisterhood – the connection to each other, the ability to nuture yet respectfully challenge one another. It is the relationships and connections that well and truly extend deep into my soul and shape the very essence of me.

Another run down, another day realised that I’m lucky to live the life I do. Another day I am thankful to all my MAGS xx