sidetracked

It’s been the most turbulent month of my life, I think. Anyway, things have started to move in a direction that I want to call forwards, but that word doesn’t seem to fit. I’ve been really looking forward to writing about my thoughts and feelings, plus the few adventures we’ve had.

So, I made myself a Gin & Tonic and thought “I’ll sit down, have a quick yarn to Grimace and then I’ll knuckle down and bang out a post, soothing my soul along the way”. Ha. Well, I drank the Gin & Tonic (double shot, I might add), spoke to Grimace and started internetting kitchen renovation designs. And 90 minutes later, here I am: an empty blog, an empty glass and an empty soul after looking through millions of perfectly designed show-room kitchens.

So, I’m awfully sorry – I’ve been sidetracked; don’t expect much more from me tonight!

Our little world is changed forever

Grief is an odd thing. It comes in many forms, and is usually unpredictable. It brings with it big feelings: enormous scary feelings of loss, change and sadness, all overlaid with an odd haziness that is hard define. Many of you know that you’ll also find it in unexpected places – these are sometimes the hardest to grasp, grabbing you in the moment and quickly reminding you of the loss you are processing.

Theverymoodyhousehold has unexpectedly said goodbye to Grimace’s mother, the boys Nanna and my Mother-in-Law. The unexpected nature of the heartache has been somewhat difficult to process, and I am in awe of Grimace’s family that have been able to to come together to form a tight, supportive and loving unit.

We held a beautiful and devastating service yesterday, attended by a startling number of people, whom she had treated only ever with kindness. The beautiful flowers and beautiful words were only fitting, to pay tribute to the beautiful woman, who previously held so much warmth, kindness and everything my boys hold dear in their Nanna.

Grimace and I made a conscious decision to keep the boys involved in all aspects of the loss and grief. They visited their Nanna in hospital, less than 12 hours before she left our world. This was a particularly hard decision for us to come to, but one we are pleased we took. Death is hard and scary, and everything you want to theoretically protect your loved ones from. But, in the end, it comes to us all – and talking with my loved ones about it will hopefully help their grief, and in turn work to help mine. By talking with the boys about Nanna and her passing away, we are navigating the grief together, and with that, we are finding the stories and memories of Nanna easier to tell; easier to remember with joy. We will keep their memory of Nanna strong, making sure they know how much she loved them, and how much she was loved by everyone.

Death is definitely a definite: perhaps, the only one in this life (after the Taxes component seems to becoming less and less definite, depending which business you own!). While I am processing the loss of our favourite Nanna, I am in awe of the mature way in which both Little Mate and Giggles Magoo are processing their grief. They have so much love for this woman who cared so deeply for them – I feel so incredibly lucky to have the memories I do of their faces lighting up when they’d previously spotted Nanna coming down the drive. This lovely woman was so incredibly dedicated to her six grandchildren, she would constantly give herself to ensure they (and their parents) were supported through their everyday.

Our lives are forever changed with the loss, however her legacy will live on – we will continue to live our life, guided by her warmth and kindness for all who come our way.

Nanna, Narelle Anne Moody (nee Hunter 14.11.1953 – 05.03.2018) –

Forever in our Hearts xx

That’s what weekends are for

Running, bushwalking, swimming, finding delicious market produce (okay, okay, and finding some dumplings too), hanging out at home, hanging out at the coffee shop, hanging out with the kids and friends at birthday parties, hanging out for dinner at the parents place, one on one puzzle time, giggles in the grass. The weekend is definitely for all these things, or rather, the weekend that is now only a memory was filled with all these things.

After a week that has included many an adult stress for Grimace and I, it was lovely to spend lots of time outdoors and with the kiddies.

I’ve begun to realise that my two are at the age now, whereby they will remember a grab or two when they’re older, or entire scenarios from this time in their life. It’s the time in their life where The Endless Summer is exactly that: long days, filled with fun things and v.e.r.y. little responsibility. The bushwalks we take together, the pool swims, the backyard cricket games – all these fun, yet entirely unplanned things will give them their warm and fuzzy summer identity.

The irony is not lost on me as I sit here writing this, it’s cold and rainy (and I’m definitely not complaining, the rain is a much-needed and a welcome change from the stifling heat and humidity we’ve been having), but the inclement weather didn’t stop us spending a fun few hours at the public swimming pool. It’s these hours that I adore as a parent – Carefree, focused on the moment as it is playing out, smiles and laughter don’t need any work (they come oh so very naturally at these times).

I probably haven’t picked the best activity as an example of a carefree parenting moment, but it’s the last activity we did so it’s clouding all my thoughts 🙂 Sure, swimming always requires that little bit more attention, however with one very capable swimmer, two parents in the water and a whole heap of kiddies around to play with, carefree and living in the moment were definitely themes from the day. Thinking about it though, swimming with kids is essentially a great activity to practise ‘being in the moment’. Your thoughts cannot wander, your focus needs to be on the activities of each kid – your own, or others close by. Sure, you can chat and play away, but at the end of the day your mind needs to be able to clear out any topics that will distract you from your responsibility. The risk is far too great.

Wow, started to get a bit lecturey and dark there, didn’t I? Thanks, introspect. In all seriousness though, finding the balance of being an organised parent, along with the ability to be carefree and live in the moment is a hard balance I’ve been working on for near on 6 years now, and I can say that the work does pay off, especially on the weekend. Afterall, they are for enjoying x

Ch Ch Changes

A few years ago, I was finding a big sense of frustration in my creative outlet. My sister-in-law had started up an extremely entertaining blog, my younger sister had previously written a travel blog, and I was thoroughly enjoying my drive to write within paid employment. I began to realise I could entertain myself on the commute to work by starting a blog, plus tend to the creative outlet I so desperately needed. Each day I worked, I had (2) hours of idle time that I could dedicate to blogging. It was this realisation that began my foray into the blogosphere.

While I’m not exactly the most competent blogger, nor do I host a blog about one or two particular topics (other than narcissistically myself and my family), I seem to have built a decent readership and have found an extreme sense of satisfaction in being able to process the happenings in my world. Now, relax, I’m not really looking to change any of this anytime soon. In fact, I hold grave fears that I might just shrivel up into a small lifeless blob if I’m unable to keep writing about my world. I’m just wary that today marks my second last day of the commute for the forseeable future. You see, I’ve been successful in securing another role which is faaaar closer to home and will probably mean me driving to work. The challenge will become how I make space in my world at home to keep punching out these little posts, without the comfort of an hour or so’s train ride.

I’m more than confident that I will in fact find ample space to dedicate to tending to my own slice of the internet, it’s just the proposition of change can be daunting. It’s when we (read: I; I’m being generalistic to hide my vulnerability!) find ourselves at possibly our most vulnerable points. Without the luxury of what we already know and are confident in, we begin to wonder if the right decision has been made.

In a practical sense, I am more than sure that I will enjoy not taking the train to work and commuting those tedious hours, but then I start to question my decision to step away from public transport and exactly how will I schedule those writing hours into my life. To accept the change on an emotional level, I try to keep the context of the decision at the fore and remind myself exactly why it makes so much more sense to work closer to our home. I’m finding that to keep peace with the change, I rely heavily on my strength and resilience – the ability to reassure myself that I will indeed find the energy, desire and drive to keep this creative outlet open; I just need to remain open to the change and keep a vision about what I want to achieve with the blog.

Anyways, just thought I’d punch out a blog on the insecurity I’m feeling about the future of my regular blogs. Ha, it’s nearly ironic, right? Probably more moronic 🙂

Running with the boys

If you’re a regular reader here (Hello Mum, I’m sure my only one), you’ll remember I have taken to running. It’s fast become a favourite activity or outlet – and one I am gaining confidence in giving my all. Sure, it gets hard. But, I have found I’ve been able to push my physical exertion levels far beyond my previous self-imposed levels and have even come to an acceptance that I will huff and puff like a race horse while running – and that’s more than ok. I have even found myself easily** running 5km. I’m actually in training for a 10km event too.

One Saturday, a few weeks ago, I ran in the Lawson Park Run. When I got home and regaled the fam bam with my pace and shared my general exuberance for the event, I found the two boys completely enthused to go for a run. Like, they wanted to immediately go running. It was with great excitement I packed us into the car (after a much-needed coffee hit), and headed to the local Knapsack Park, entering off Mitchell’s Pass (at Lennox Bridge).

The boys hit the trail with their speedy legs and we managed to explore a fair amount of the old quarry. The boys loved racing up and down, exploring the trees and bushes, the flowers and the animals (well, Little Mate didn’t quite like the dogs off lead, that came bounding toward him for a kiss) and generally just being free outdoors.

I feel incredibly lucky to have two sons who look to share my interests and are actually keen to do them with me. I know this won’t always be the case (they’ll be gross teenage boys one day….say no more!), so I’m loving the shared time now. There was nothing more heart warming and satisfying to see them so happy and free running around in the dirt.

At the end of our traipse, we had enough time to explore underneath Lennox Bridge – this sandstone bridge is just beautiful and is currently the oldest bridge on mainland Australia (there must be an older one in Tasmania). If my memory serves me correctly, it was built in 1833. The site is definitely one worth checking out – the sandstone is beautifully arched over a creek bed, which I think only runs these days after rain. The council and locals have a battle on their hands with taggers, but the gross spray paint appears to come off with much hard work. I love standing underneath the arch and gazing up at the stones, marvelling at the hardwork that was no doubt input to finish the bridge.

All in all, a favourite February memory from me x

**Easily might be the wrong descriptor, as I’m remarkably red and puffed by the end of it. But, I never anticipated being able to hit the 5km distance so consistently.

 

 

Happy Friday

So its Friday. Grimace is at home, playing with Little Mate & Giggles Magoo after the school pick up. Nanna and Grandad are on their way to look after the boys while Grimace & I have a date night . The house is clean and the clothes are put away. It’s a running rest day for me. The fridge is full.

I’m feeling free and lucky. And it is a really nice feeling to have on the verge of the weekend.

Happy Friday x

Schools in

As I sit here sit here typing this out, I am surrounded by craziness. Not the craziness I have come to know with my own kidlets, rather the craziness of all the parents at a cafe after school drop off. I’ve been in this exact spot, at this exact time of the day and sat through the same mania that seems to come once the school drop has succeeded. But, today is different for me, you see – I have joined them; I am now in drop off mode and counting down the small amount of hours I have until I need to retrace my steps and collect them again.

I have just dropped Little Mate at his new day care centre, and then dropped Giggles Magoo for his third day of kindergarten. I have joined the ranks of the parents who have 6 hours to run around and solve all the problems of the world, and then be back at the school for a 3pm pick up.

Granted, I won’t be dropping off each day (when I typed this up and forgot to schedule the post to be published, I was on my lucky last day of annual leave), nor will I be picking up each day as we’ll be sharing that luxury with the before and after school care lady… But, it was nice to be there for day 3 and wave goodbye at a game of handball.

It’s been a wonderful first few days, seeing my little ball of energy that is Giggles Magoo adjust into his place at school. His classroom is as endearing as a kindy room can be, his teacher kind and enthusiastic and his school grounds wonderful. I must admit his resilience at the whole process has amazed me, and I am so proud that he is adjusting to the environment so easily.

Now, if only Grimace and I can maintain the same resilience in the face of the daily lunch box preparations. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Finn's first day of school 1.2.2018

Another January, another camping trip

With Grimace having a Saturday out of the shop, off the back of public holiday Friday 26th January, we had three days to get out for another camping trip. The original plan was to head to Burralow Creek in Blue Mountains National Park (north side, near Bowen Mountain/Kurrajong) however fire season unfortunately meant our back up plan needed enacting.

After arriving at the fire trail gates for Burralow Creek, heartbreak set in when we found the gate tightly locked shut, Grimace turned our vehicle around and headed to the other side of Bells Line of Road and into Wollemi National Park for the Wheeney Creek campground. As the boys’ Gra had forewarned, the creek and campground were heaving with day trippers and weekend campers.

Grimace took charge with the set up after finding a nice patch of green, while the boys took charge of cricket, swimming and exploring. We were all set for a laid back 3 days/2 nights out in the wilderness, and with thanks to the Australia Day long-weekend, a thousand others.

Having pre-cooked our pasta for Friday night’s dinner, it was a very carefree night indeed, well, that was until our little campers were too excited for sleep. After what felt like an eternity, the little buggers finally dropped off and Grimace and I were able to enjoy a wine or two, taking in the expanded universe.

Boasting a little, this was our first camping trip whereby it didn’t rain, or have all the equipment soaked with overnight dew. Grimace and I cannot recall a camping trip together where we’ve escaped the wet stuff, and I gotta say, it was rather nice packing down with everything dry!

In a decision I sort of regret, we opted to take our smaller tent – a 4 person tent. We were all on moon mats and it was a squeeze to fit us all in. I am well aware that no-ne ever gets enough sleep when camping, and so the justification for taking the smaller tent was not around the inevitable sleep disturbance (sleeping altogether in the one tent meant both boys slept through both nights), rather the smaller amount of space we’d need in the car and at campground, and if we take the bigger tent, we are more likely to take more stuff, just because we can… now, my lesson from this is: the 4 person tent CAN fit 4 people for sleeping, however it doesn’t MEAN you have to.

Across our lazy days I read a lot of my book, adventured up and down the creek and watched Giggles Magoo flourish, practicing his school-ready social skills.

A very fun and dry camping trip – let’s start planning the next one Grimace x

Run, run as fast as you can. You’ll catch me

In October last year, I found some courage and joined a local running program, specifically for women who are in the beginning of their affinity with running. I’ve quite enjoyed the challenging nature of the sessions and felt extremely supported by those in the group, some of which are far more experienced, some who have just recently completed the beginner runs too. I’ve learned that everyone has a running pace – some are faster than others, and some plod along, just getting it done. The latter is me… And proudly so.

Since joining the Tuesday evening class, I’ve started running 5km with relative ease (when compared to the huff and puff I used to run 100m with), and on public holiday Friday, I’ll be running my first trail event! I’m certainly enjoying my runs around the block, down the road and through the local Bush tracks so I’m pretty keen on doing it in an event setting.

Tuesday night, training night has also become the ‘time for me’ night. Grimace does the school/day care pick up, dinner and bed time while I sweat it around a local running oval. It’s the best!

After being able to complete 5km in 2017, I’ve made the goal of running a 10km event before May, 2018. I’ve committed to a 10km ‘race’ in April, and honestly, I’ll just be so proud if I can get to the finish line!

Anyway, that’s where I’m off to now… training! If you run, run as fast as you can, you’ll definitely catch me!

One for the memory bank

With Monday now under my belt, I feel it appropriate to write about the weekend that was. There is nothing quite as a depressing as a Monday back in the office after a lovely celebratory weekend, so a reflection on the weekend that was is rather essential.

I spent the weekend in similar fashion to that as mid-twenties me would have, rather than the responsible adult-me usually does. And it was grand. And I was so busy enjoying the 48 hours, I forgot to take any photos, other than the goofy one you’ll get to at the end. Actually, I don’t think I even took that pic – that credit obviously goes to Jake.

Friday night was to hang out with my perfect friends whom I have known for 5, going on 6 years. Yes, we bonded during those first few weeks of becoming new parents, and I have to tell you, without these outstanding ladies in my life, I may very well not be the pleasant person I generally strive to be. By trusting the process of friendship, each of us was able to be entirely vulnerable and received loads of support, affirmation and laughs as a result. Anyway, fast forward five-or-so years, and we find ourselves sitting with drinks in hand, waiting for our banquet to be served at Penrith’s newest bar, Mr Watkins. Whilst yelling over music isn’t entirely my thing, the delicious food and tasty drinks did ease that somewhat and I’d like to say the vibe of the establishment surprised me.

After maybe a drink or three too many, it was 5am wake up for me after Little Mate remembered I hadn’t been around the evening before. And I knew the day was going to be A Great One, as I had zero feelings of resentment for being forced out of bed at 5:01am. We watched a sunrise together, where he kept asking if the sky was on 🔥. We played on the car mat, plotting traffic jams to rival any Sydney blockage, and then Little Mate made Grimace and Giggles Magoo scrambled eggs for breakfast – my not yet 3 year old cracked the eggs, poured the milk in (granted I did pour the right amount into a jug so he could pour himself) and mixed altogether. Once the pan was hot enough, he slurped it all in and stood there stirring until it was “all done”. He went screaming into Grimace to announce “bekfast is weady”. I seriously cannot wait until I can get this kid cooking his own gourmet inventions – he has a natural affinity to the kitchen, or rather it could be a natural affinity to the mess he can legally create whilst at the helm of our galley-style kitchen. Either way, it sure is going to be fun when he wants to make me a 3 course meal (with drinks to match, please).

After washing what I’m sure was every single kitchen dish, pan and serving implement, I got the kiddies ready for a sleep over with their “other family”. Rewinding to my previous paragraph, the boys and I have been lucky to befriend a family from my mother’s group, in which they feel completely at ease when hanging out at their place. In fact, both boys at times prefer their “other family”. Anyway, after I dropped them for a sleep over, I headed to the city to celebrate my wonderful SIL’S SURPRISE 40th.

I spent the entire afternoon smiling, socialising with Wendy’s fabulous circle of friends and eating delicious Greek food (including possibly the best hommus of my life) at Kepos & Co. in Waterloo. I should also add in we of course sipped on delicious bubbles and the matching wines. I think my favourite part of the afternoon was watching Wendy rock into the restaurant, and at discovering the extent of the surprise, loudly proclaiming us all “fuckers”. It was truly the best reaction! My second favourite bit was having 3 of the 4 siblings in the one spot, with no parenting responsibilities, before my bro and Wendy head back to the land of chocolate, watches, tennis super stars and snow.

After stuffing ourselves completely, we headed to Archie Rose Distillery in Rosebery, for a few merry gin-based drinks. I previously announced my love of gin, so none of you should be at all surprised when I say I really enjoyed this part of the evening.

Anyway, the only photo I have of my weekend shows just how merry these gin drinks were:

After celebrating Wendy on Saturday and my mother’s group friendship on Friday night, Sunday was filled with another lovely past-time: home time and pool time with the fam bam.

It really was a weekend that I’m grateful to have in the memory bank