29 December 2017

Big New Things

Pizza picnic at Pt Chev Beach

Hello again, at long last. It's been a while, but big things are afoot - HUGE things, even.
It's been so long between blog posts - I'm not going to lie, blogging has been at the bottom of the list of priorities lately. Life is a whirlwind, a relentless nerve-wracking rollercoaster and this is the last ever blog post I will write sitting at the computer in the hallway of this, my dear old house.
I'm sitting here typing this on a whim when I really should be packing boxes because...

02 November 2017

A Starry Night 13th Birthday Party

A Starry Night 13th Birthday Party

Ahhhhh, the Starry Night birthday party for Miss Fab's 13th - what a great night it was. It's about time I shared this party with you, aye? I mean, it's only taken three months!
Turns out, this is most likely the very last party that will ever be hosted here, but more on that another time...
For now here is a magical, star-studded birthday celebration that a bunch of 13-year-old girls thought was super-fun, cool and cute. We hit the spot just right with decor. We had some ironic "throwback-to-our-childhood" activities, and we had some adventures up a hill. All in all a great time was had by all, and it was also very very pretty...

24 July 2017

A Tribute to my Daughter on the Eve of her 13th Birthday

Can't believe she's nearly 13

My fabulous girl is turning thirteen on Friday. THIRTEEN.
She's nearly as tall as I am, wears the same size shoes and is, simply put, gorgeous.
It's always a super-busy week pre-party but I didn't want this occasion to pass by without me marking it with some kind of a written tribute, because that's what I do. I write stuff. I like to reflect on the passing of time, and plant a few marker stones along the way. I like to look back and say, wow, look how far we've come.
And we have come a really long way. When I started writing this blog nine years ago my girl was a feisty four-year-old.
I've got nine years of her life recorded here in case the details get a little fuzzy with my encroaching old age (haha).
Let the record show that my daughter is Brave. She is Strong. She is Hilarious.
As she gets older I see more and more clearly what an amazing person she is -  look out world, here she comes.
One of the bravest people I know.
One of the funniest people I know.

A girl with a big heart and an outsized sense of justice. Watch out if you get on the wrong side of her - bullies beware. She'll take you on whatever your size. She's been doing it for years.

06 July 2017

A Merry Heart Does You Good (like medicine)

"A Merry Heart Does you GOOD (like a Medicine)"

If you've been around this blog for any length of time you'll know that in our family we've always loved to celebrate for any excuse – and sometimes for no reason.

We loved having friends over, spending time with special people enjoying an occasion together. Whether it was a Light Party, a Birthday Partyan Easter dinner or one of our famous "Parties for No Reason"we sure did love to host a gathering.
We never spent loads of money, we never parted with cash for glitzy entertainers or fancy catering.
We liked our birthday cakes a bit wobbly and homemade-looking.
We got a kick out of thinking up decorations, games and food that we could adapt and make.

More than anything, we really got a thrill out of creating an atmosphere for our friends to come and enjoy.

Even the planning was part of the fun.
As the kids got older they came up with their own great ideas for games and decorating.

Celebrating each other was a way of showing appreciation and letting each family member know that they were valued and special.
So what happened when we changed to a sole-parent family on a tight budget?

26 May 2017

An Action Packed Sports Party - with Bubble Soccer

Action Packed Sports Birthday Party

Scrag turned NINE last month - the boy who was a baby when when this blog began is now an energetic, sports-loving rugby player whose hero is Usain Bolt and who can kick goals and dunk baskets with the best of them.

Bumper Ball Sports Party Invitation available on my Etsy ShopSo of course his birthday party had to involve Sports. Action. Running. Competition. BALLS.
The birthday boy helped me plan every detail, from the food to the guest list to the games - there would be very little sitting around for guests at this party!

With me being not exactly the sportiest of mothers (ahem), I was a bit nervous about running the show (I don't even know the offside rule yet) - until I came across the Bumper Ball website, and asked them to help make this party epic by bringing their crazy bubble action to our gig. The birthday boy was delighted when they said yes to partnering with me for this party (and so was I ). Meanwhile, the invited guests were counting down sleeps.

Here's how the party went....

12 April 2017

One Foot in Front of the Other

One foot in front of the other

Right about now I'm wishing I had some Easter inspiration to share with you. Wise words or bright ideas, either one would do.
One of those posts from days-gone-by popped up in my Facebook "memories" the other day. I read it and sighed... a deep soul-weary sigh.

Breath in, breath out, I tell myself. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Just one more trip to football training in rush hour traffic, one more early morning drop-off to the train, one more night of worrying about bedtimes and lunchboxes and clean uniforms.
Just one more day and it's school holidays. A chance to catch our breath and pause for a few days.
Man, this tiredness is bone-deep.

By body rebelled on the weekend and I kind of crashed. Had to pull the plug on all the plans, hunker down and conserve energy, go nowhere (a fair amount of takeaways may have been consumed).

I think it was the endless going-and-going without a break for so long; holding it together for everyone, keeping all the balls and plates in the air and spinning. Sole parenting is not for the faint-hearted.
Me myself, I'll admit it - I'm knackered.

17 March 2017


Pearls - deep and meaningful conversations with my son

This post is the result of a conversation I had in the car with Scrag this morning - a deep and meaningful discussion about the meaning of life (the kind of talks I often find myself having with my eight-year-old. It's how we roll).
There we are driving along in traffic, rushing, on the cusp of lateness as always, and he says, "Mum do you think there's a plan for everything? Is there a point to it?"

See what I mean? Deep. This kid is DEEP.
I know where he's coming from, what he is trying to get at.
With all the crappy things that happen, is there a reason or plan behind it? Is there a reason why we go through stuff?

Here's how I answered him...

03 March 2017

Dog Zoo (or "what was I thinking?")

Dog Zoo - our foster-puppy adventure

It started as most adventures do - with the kids nagging. This time it was for a second dog. They had all the reasons, all the well-thought out arguments, all the reasons why: Clyde the not-so-puppy could really do with a friend to play with during the long days when I am at work. He gets bored, And lonely. And if ONE dog is awesome and fabulous and wonderful, imagine the fun of TWO dogs?

I came right back with my best shoot-em-down disclaimers: I can only just afford ONE dog, I couldn't afford to look after TWO. Vet bills for two? Worming and flea treatments for two? Forgeddaboutit. Plus, who knew how much extra work an extra puppy would be? It would probably all end up on my plate, and my plate is already full.

But I wasn't prepared for their clincher: fostering.
We could foster a rescue puppy, the rescue people would pay for all the expenses, Clyde would have a friend for free... and when that puppy moved on to a new family, we'd get a new puppy. Endless puppies, endless cuteness. A win-win situation for all...
They caught me unawares with their clever logic and I caved.

03 February 2017

When it feels like the World is Falling Apart...

When it Feels like the world is falling apart...

I'm almost scared to check my news feed these days - what new soul-clenching, stomach churning madness has occurred while I was sleeping?
You probably know the feeling.
I have this urge to write, to vent, and get all the *grrrrr* off my chest, but do we really need another post like that cluttering up the interwebs? Another "this world is going to hell in a handbasket" opinion piece? I doubt it.

Chin up, I tell myself. This too shall pass.

I've been sitting here at the bottom of the world watching the madness unfold, feeling shocked and sickened as the fundamentalist American Church aligns itself with the most reprehensible human being we've had on the world stage in a long time. Their endorsement of him is doing irreparable harm to the name of Christ (who I love and try to follow). Making excuses for his inexcusable behaviour is painting the rest of the followers of Jesus with an awful tarnished brush. What they call Christianity, and Christian values has nothing to do with Jesus.

19 January 2017

Camping Solo: A Summer Adventure

Caming Solo and Other Summer Adventures

There was a time not so very long ago when I stared at the blank canvas of the summer holidays and worried how on earth I would fill it for my kids this year - me, a mum on her own.
I prayed for miracles, a way to go on holiday, provision - and lo and behold, miracles happened. Somehow dollars stretched and opportunities opened up, and here we are, in the middle of a very busy un-boring summer, where the kids have had a ball and I've learned, once again, that I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

Hard things like facing New Years Eve without a party (gulp), but still managing to toast marshmallows and let off fireworks. Like driving for eight-hours-straight with a car full of kids and a dog to visit family down-country (sustained by $1 frozen McD's drinks). And like squeezing all our camping gear into the car, setting up a tent with not a bloke in sight, camping for a week and then packing it all down again and squishing it all back in the car, with only the kids to help.

This summer has been like an endurance test - a test of my mettle. Especially THE CAMPING.
I wouldn't say it was the most fun, relaxing camping trip we've ever been on but I did it. WE did it.