Monday, December 31, 2012

here's to 2013

Fabio and I packed up the kids, the crab scoop, a bottle of Bollinger, and two champagne flutes, and wandered across the road to the beach tonight.

(Somewhat poignant, as the house has been sold, and we have no idea where we'll be this time next year, or even next month. It's been utterly magical, living here for the last two 1/2 years, and I am sad that we could never get the money together to buy the house ourselves.)

We sat on the beach and watched the sun go down, while the kids ran about, playing in the water and catching (and releasing) crabs, and we talked.

About where we want to see ourselves in a year, in 2 years, in 5, in 10. About where we're heading, and how we need to prioritise.

I don't want to sound like a dick, but we have employees to worry about, and we plan for their futures, as well as our own. It's good to stop every year, and think about what you're doing, and why.

We agree that we are very blessed to have each other, and to have the chance at the life we have (and the one we want).

In thinking over our blessings, that we enjoy good health, wonderful kids, special loved ones, freedom, and freedom from real need, we wish the same for you in the coming year -- that your problems be small ones, or at least that you be given the power to overcome them; that you and all the people you love be kept safe; and that you be given all that you need to be who you are and to make a difference in this world.

Make this year count.

Monday, December 24, 2012

merry Christmas

*insert standard Christmas message*

But you know what? I really mean it. I really do hope you have a lovely Christmas, surrounded by your loved ones. That you eat too much, and maybe drink a little too much, that you play backyard cricket with the kids or laze around in front of the fire, playing Monopoly. I hope your day is filled with love and joy and peace.

I hope you stay safe, and that everyone you know stays safe, and that you get some nice gifts, and that you are able to enjoy giving as well.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas cupcakes

I'm in the process of making a very cool gift for my boys -- Fabio, Mr 19, and Mr 11 -- but I can't tell you about that because I know 2 of them read my blog.
What I can tell you is that it's kind of like a weird stocking -- a box filled with goodies. (no, not a hamper. Well, not the usual kind of hamper, anyway!)

I've been racking my brains trying to think of something similar to do for my daughter, and while grocery shopping, I had an epiphany (not what usually happens while I'm grocery shopping, trust me!)

I collected a nice basket, some cupcake mixes, a pretty apron and oven mitt, and some cupcake decorations.


My Princess will love this. She adores cupcakes and still enjoys cooking with Mum, plus she's almost 8 so mostly all I have to do is make sure she's not eating all the mixture, and help her fill the paper cases.

I wanted to put in some of her own cooking utensils too, but she has a birthday coming up in January, so I might add to the hamper then.

Anyway, I thought this is a good solution for pretty much anyone -- because, who doesn't love a cupcake?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

twelve years

Twelve years ago, I was having coffee with my dad, on my wedding day, and watching my sister faff about with hair curlers.

It was a good day.

We got married on the beach, in the afternoon, and Fabio drove us both down to the wedding in his banged-up ute, so we were there to greet guests as they arrived.

We had no attendants, no music, no bouquets. In my hair, I wore flowers from my friend Jenis' garden, and my dress was red.

When the pastor said 'man and wife" I yelled "WOOHOOOO!" and threw myself on my brand-new husband. (very unseemly bride behaviour)

We kissed a lot. (that hasn't changed)

Every day since then has been The Best Day. Sure, we've had some hard times -- kid trouble, money worries, work problems, miscarriages and bothersome pregnancies -- but our marriage is a joy and a rock for both of us.

Happy anniversary, my heart. I love you to the stars and back. XXX

Saturday, December 1, 2012

the Christmas Feast

Like any sane parent, I normally avoid taking the kids shopping, but yesterday was Shopping Day and it didn't happen like it was meant to as I had my poor little girl home vomiting.

So we ventured out today, and it wasn't *too* bad -- I went in with a short list and came out with a full trolley, but I often do that.
I told the kids I would have to sell one of them to pay for the groceries, and they would have to decide which kid it would be, and that kept them amused (along with other shoppers in the checkout line) for quite a while, till they decided that they would both stay and I would have to wash dishes out the back of Woollies.

I noticed a number of Christmas items on sale, so I grabbed a pav (yes, I know I should be making one) and a frozen turkey roll. We've only just started having turkey at Christmas, and we get the rolls for convenience. They're pretty yum!!

Our menu is mostly the same, year after year. A baked ham (glazed or crusted), turkey, potato salad, green salad, watermelon salad, gazpacho for me, and a selection of desserts which always always includes Christmas Pud and Brandy Custard.

Fabio and I had a talk the other day about they way we usually do Christmas -- which is, presents, then brekky, then a mad rush of cooking to get lunch on the table.

I asked him if we would mind instead doing presents, then brunch, then an early Christmas dinner at about 6 or so. And that's what we're going to trial.
I'm hoping it means I get to relax a bit and enjoy the day, instead of constantly stressing.

What do you do? lunch or dinner? big family get-together or quiet at-home? is your day relaxed or stressed?