Monday, 31 December 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

It's been a tough, crazy & also wonderful year, but not just for myself. I have spoken to many people in the past couple of months who share the same view on 2012. It was a monster. Bring on 2013.

It's amazing how much of the way we choose to see things can change our levels of happiness & motivation in an instant. Personally, looking at my 2012 & concentrating on the life-changing events, bar a couple, I have honestly had quite an awful year. It also occurs to me though, that these events have now shaped my life into the most magnificent & opportunistic playground, that without those misfortunes, mistakes & the utter messiness - I wouldn't be where I am right now.

It's currently 15 minutes to midnight as I write this & I could not thank 2012 enough for the heartache, the whirlwind or the unease it has seen me endure, because I have done exactly that - endured. I am strong, enlightened & motivated. I have decided to follow a simple principle in 2013 that I believe you can only truly appreciate when you have been the lowest of low & know that the only person that can make it better, is you:

So I hope that like me, you can do the same. Be strong, look forward & make life what you want it to be. What a precious gift we have been given. Happy New Year xo

What are you 2013 dreams, aspirations, resolutions?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The family you choose for yourself…

I have always held my friends just as close to me as my family. Only certain ones, of course…
Each of them play a different role in my life, just as each of them have their own habits & talents that make them all the more special to me.
These are the people I choose to think of every day, even if I don’t talk to them as often…

My Girly Friend: 
Since high school (and a few years beyond that), Bek & I rarely seen each other. Recently though, we have caught up & realised that in each others absence we have become all the more compatible & our friendship has definitely blossomed. Girly catch-ups of silly chitchat & constant giggles have kept us busy ever since. 
Bek has always been 100% focused on what she wants & goes well out of her way to get it. Recently she’s been chosen to travel to places like Hong Kong & soon Florida for her field of expertise: IT. A whole lot of meaningless jibberish to me but she has fast made her way in the career avenue of life & as her friend I couldn’t be more proud of the life she has made for herself & the work she has put into it. Looking forward to making many more girly memories with this lovely lady.

The Impact Friend
I met Doug in Grade 11 of high school. He was the cause of many girls swooning throughout our senior years & I was the odd one out: he is a very handsome chap, but for me he was like a brother. After graduation, Doug & I maintained our friendship through group outings, going to see the odd movie & a whole lot of coffee dates. Driven & intelligent, Doug has always had enthusiasm & determination leading to career & life accomplishments that still amaze me. I’m sure he is unaware, but as my friend, Doug has given me quite the headache. His passion for being more in life & his opinions on some of my life choices have made gulp & question myself like crazy. But after some thought & a lot of time, I have come to believe (and I do hope I am right!) that Doug doesn’t give time or emotion to people lightly, but he had given the time to let me know what he though was wrong. So I hope that although his life is super busy, that we still have our coffees & make time to catch up. Either way I will always remember the impact of the words (or lack thereof) of a very wise friend.

Hard times reveal true friends:
Mel & Chris have been together since high school & now, you don’t get one without the other. The first to offer me a place to stay in bad times & the kind of friends I can not see for 6 months, sometimes more & still be completely myself with when I do. This year they moved up to Morayfield, an hour away from home & have started a life together there. I can’t thank these two enough for being a pretty pivotal point in a very hard time for me, their acceptance & love is something that is hard to come by. So no matter how old we get or how far away we live I will always make time for this pair & hope that if they ever need the same help, they know that my ears & home are always open to them. Love you guys xo

This guy:
Davis & I have a strange relationship that I love. He seems to understand where I am at, without to much need for talking & vice-versa. I’m not sure I could be more comfortable or less offended by anyone, (not through his lack of trying). Davis was the guy I first ever dated. Notable for the fact that the usually boorish, pain-in-the ass boy of the group took me on this date & proceeded to not say a word pretty well the whole time. I’ll never let him live it down. We catch up randomly & mostly to update each other on necessaries & then chill in each others company. Although he doesn't seem aware of it, he has done a lot of amazing things in his time, traveled near & far, making friends wherever he treads. Having the guts to risk things most people wouldn't dream of to chase an idea. I am proud of this guy for the person he is & the things he has accomplished. There is so much more to come & I am looking forward to seeing all of it.

My Best Friend:
Meeting Lana through an ex-boyfriend & a bad relationship was extremely difficult for the both of us. But it also proved to be a staple in our friendship – I knew everything she said was honest, well-intended & that she was my friend because she wanted to be. When I first met Lana, I was terribly intimidated by her. She is tough as nails, knows what she wants & has no problem laying it on the table. In the few short years that we have been friends, we have been through a hell of a lot. The only person on the planet that knows what I actually thing & feel 100% of the time & the one person who can calm me down & cheer me up over just a few text messages. Our shared love of nerdy things keeps us constantly nattering away & the knowledge that we accept each other entirely (we're both a little different) keeps us forever strong. I hope that a few years turns into a lifetime.

My forever friend:
It’s been 17 years since I first met Cass in a dancing class. From the second grade we went through most of our school years together, until Cass changed high schools in our senior years & I didn’t see her for a very long time. It took us a few years to catch up after that. High school was over & we had both started living our lives. I was excited to see her when we first caught up but for some reason nervous as hell. But it proved to be a silly notion, although we had changed in some ways, we were still those little girls way down inside & there was instant comfort & familiarity in her company. We have caught up a bit more often since then, always for wanting to, as no matter how much time we spend apart, our friendship is one that falls back into place as if no time has passed at all. Cass is one of the most amazing women I have ever met: Beautiful, independent & thoughtful beyond comparison. I am looking forward to the many stages of our lives that I truly believe we will share, whether they be days or years apart.

Who are the people in your life you choose to be your family?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Just for fun...

Growing up, Halloween was never something we celebrated. I never minded. Where I grew up, that was more of a blessing than a hindrance.

As I got older though, something like 11 or 12, my best friend at the time, Alyssa, was all for celebrating the holiday. Alyssa’s Mum was a whole other sort of relaxed & let us trick-or-treat without the knowledge of my Mum… Basically, she covered for me. (SORRY MUM!) At the time that was super badass & I couldn’t help but love the woman. Now, being an adult & having nieces in their early teens, I choke at the thought of them doing the same.

So, apart from the couple of times that I trick-or-treated with Alyssa, Halloween never touched my radar… Until about 3 years ago. With so many nieces & nephews running around it was just another reason to dress-up, spoil & spend time with all of the little cherubs I love so much!

This year, with Halloween falling mid-week it was a little harder to celebrate. Since most of the kids are too little for trick-or-treating, I made them each a little care package with Halloween-themed toys & a few yummy treats… With my witches hat on & a full tank in Betty, I made the rounds to each house & received very warm reception from all the kids… I even got a few treats myself along the way!

Besides that, this is the first year I have celebrated Halloween as an adult.
A friend celebrated his 27th Birthday on the weekend prior to Halloween. And so, it was Halloween themed. We decorated, we dressed up & most importantly, we carved pumpkins… Something I always wanted to do. I went for the classic face but that was just part of the draw for me.

So now I have a whole new reason to celebrate Halloween. Not just for the kids, seeing them enjoy this crazy event, but for myself. I’ll be carving a lot more pumpkins in the years to come & dressing up both for the kids & for the adult celebrations. Just for fun!

What’s your take on Halloween? Are you a fellow celebrator or is it lights doused & TV muted?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Making a Cuppa

Last weekend, after a big Saturday night of partying, I couldn't sleep. 
So, just before 5am, I took off for home, prepared to put my insomnia to use & get the housework, etc done.

On the way though, I thought of Mum. I hadn't seen her for a few days (unusual for us) so I decided to call & see if she felt like an early morning cuppa. I woke her up. She loved it. 
10 minutes later I came barreling into my childhood home, noisy & full of energy on a Sunday morning. My Step-Dad, Bob, loved it too. 
I made the early morning disturbance up to them by grabbing the morning paper on my way in. Hehe.
I lived in this house from birth until I was almost 19. It will always be home. I always feel like I can go there, I know where everything is & still have the mindless habit of checking the pantry or fridge for something to munch on - though, since I've left, there is no longer anything I would ever eat.
I went about making Mum, Bob & I a cuppa while they dragged themselves out of bed. Growing up, I would make my breakfast cup of tea with the sun coming through the kitchen blinds, listening to the birds chirp while surrounded by the smell of the morning -always fresh & relaxing at Mum's. It had been a long time since I had done this! Nostalgia set in... I was overcome with the urge to cry. This was, at one point in my life, complete happiness & contentment. I was suddenly 12, gearing up for a chapter of Harry Potter & Vegimite Toast before school time.
The moment seemed to go as quickly as it came... Leaving such a light, happy feeling in it's wake. For something that had happened in a matter of seconds, it made a lasting impression in my mind & spirit.
There was a sense of wholeness & rightness to doing this very simple task, in this place, at this time of day.

So, is it just me or have others had experiences like this? What was yours?

Monday, 1 October 2012

A few more stories...

I'd never really known my Uncle Gary. He was my uncle by marriage & had split with my Aunt when I was too young to remember. I knew of him as my cousin's father & that was about the extent of it.

Last year, my cousin got married & I met Uncle Gary (properly) for the first time.
Instantly it was an easy relationship - Talking, laughing, relaxing.

So this year, on a trip to visit my cousin in Moura I had the opportunity to spend a bit more time with my Uncle Gary... I chattered away to him at dinner with my cousin & his family. Played pool & had a few drinks at the bowls club. What most caught my interest though, was when I joined him on a couple of runs in his truck, from the quarry to the roadworks & back.

It's not an overly long run, but just long enough that there were moments of silence in the cab. Completely comfortable silence. Not something that comes easy to such a new relationship with anyone. 
Besides that, Uncle Gary told me stories. Lots of little, random stories from his life. Living out in northern Western Australia. Trips overseas to Bali. Jobs he had as a cook & a truckie. I enjoyed every single story & wanted to know more. Some people should really write books about their lives. As far as I'm concerned, Uncle Gary is one of those people.

Unfortunately I had to cut my trip short & come back home but can't wait to go back again. Hopefully I'll get to spend more time with Uncle Gary now that I finally know him, and hear a few more stories.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Some time in Moura...

In my bulk of time off, I knew I wanted to fit in driving out & visiting my cousin, Chris, in Moura.

Kick-Ass Road-Trip Care Package!


So, with a new stereo installed in Betty, a 3am start & one kick-ass "Road-Trip Care Package" from my beautiful sister... I was off.

Sunrise on the road

7 & a half hours, 620km, one speeding fine & a spectacular sunrise later, I was there - guzzling down some much needed coffee & while Chris was at work, meeting up with his wife, Jo & their baby boy, Ken. 


Over the next 4 days I spent my time enjoying Moura life - taking a trip to the one & only shop in town to stock up on nibblies & reading material while enjoying the absolute quiet that came with the middle-of-nowhere spot.

 Most nights we had dinner out the back. It was extremely relaxing to have a few drinks, fill our stomachs & chat by the warmth & light of the fire.

  I also went out in the truck with my Uncle Gary & stopped at the quarry Chris manages to have a look & take in a bit of their every-day.

In the truck
The Quarry

Jake & I

 At the moment, my younger cousin, Jake, is staying up in Moura too, so I got to annoy him a bit...


Uncle Gary, Hazey & I having a few drinks.


My last night there called for dinner at the Bowls Club. A buffet dinner, a few rounds of pool & complete control of the Juke Box made for a very enjoyable night.


 It was a fun trip, so nice to see family, meet new people & experience some new things... with a total of 15 hours on the road, where my car became my personal opera hall & Ice Break bottles piled up on the floor... It was very much my cup of tea & I'll be doing it again as soon as I can.

What road-trips have you taken recently? Where to & why? What did you do?