Australia

Christmas in Sydney!

Christmas morning we woke up to the madness that is Santa and present deliveries, lollies and excitement in deciding which of Santa’s goodies will be making it to Grandma’s for Christmas day!DSC08075

We had the car packed and a fresh bag of fancy croissants and were on the road by 9am and heading out to the western suburbs. Once we got to our destination it was time for celebratory drinks and cuddles and putting the family gifts under the Christmas tree.

I had the excellent idea to have matching Christmas t-shirts, which quite frankly has to be one of my better ideas to date! 🙂

Christmas was filled with far too much food, amazing drinks, a sea of Christmas paper and presents for days!

As I was away from my family for the day, I needed to have a bit of my families Christmas tradition and so I decided to cook my annual Christmas ham.

IMG_8086Quite a bit of pressure to pull of the perfect Christmas ham in front of 16 members of another family!

Thankfully it worked out beautifully and even though my sister has referred to me as a #hamwhore – I truly believe it was worth the risk ;).

IMG_8223Christmas went off without a hitch – the kids came home with a truck load of presents, I scored a new 24mm pancake camera lens for my Canon and G loved his new GoPro!

A wonderful day and a reminder that Christmas is about each other and good times and we cannot afford to forget the reason for the season :).

I don’t think there is anything in this world quite as cute as my husband with his Grandma Ivy – just gorgeous ❤ x

x C x

Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual)

Grief: Even when I know what’s coming, I’m never prepared for how it feels.

Grief. It’s a bastard of an emotion. I’m currently on my commute to work (read: public transport of all methods), and I’ve spent the entire journey crying. 

Those hot, heavy, sorrow filled tears. I am sorry if you know the tears I am talking about. They rarely come with anything less than destructive and devastating memories. 

Thank goodness for dark sunglasses and everyone else absorbed with their phones, otherwise this would be spectacle. 

Ten years ago, everyone around me would have noticed. Ten years ago people read books on the bus and texted. We weren’t completely absorbed by our phones. Today I am thankful for the destractiob. I too can be lost in my phone. Ten years ago (almost…) we lost our Father. Our families Husband, Father to three and friend to all died. 

Our father had been ill for some time, but this is not what took him. Which was so cruel as he had worked so hard to fight his sickness for so long. To then die after a routine procedure in hospital – 1200km away from his family. I can’t imagine. 

Yes. It has almost been ten years. So why am I sitting on a bus today crying? Why have I spent the last three days crying? 

I have this every year as it approached the date. Every year. However today and this week, I am less in control than I normally am. 

My heart hurts. My soul is aching. For ten years I have fought to keep my head above water, me and mine. My small family. Just the four of us. Fighting to keep going, fighting to stay above the water. Fighting the world. Fighting each other. Hurting. 

It’s a cruel twist of fate that the anniversary of dad’s passing is always the same week as Father’s Day, here in Australia. How f*cking cruel is that? The first anniversary was ON Father’s Day. 

All else aside – I seem to have lost my strength. I’ve hit this ten year mark and I’m out of steam. I’m so desperately sad. I miss him. He wasn’t at my wedding. He hasn’t met his grandchildren. So many life events. I am crying not for me but for him. You aren’t meant to die at 50. I know plenty of people do – and I guess I have always used this as a coping mechanism. 

He had a good life. 

People die much younger. 

We loved him and he knew that. 

I had a great childhood. 

Etc. 

It’s not helping this week. My sadness is palpable. Breathing hurts. When my alarm went off this morning I started crying again. When I showered last night the water was so hot that all I could think was “did they use warm water when they washed dads body? Did they wash it?”. That’s morose I know. Here I am though. 

So what do I do? How do you deal with long-term grief? Why has it hit me now? Is it the ten – year mark? Does life-healing work? Where do I go? Who can actually help with this?

Please help me. If you know how I should try to deal with these feelings (psychologist?, kineseologist?, yoga?). I don’t know. 

Sending love & thanks. M

Lucy

X

Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between)

It’s the little things in life…10 things that always make my heart happy <3

  1. Cuddles with my Mum. Possibly my favourite thing as a little girl, something I resisted as a teenager (I was a shit of a teenager, honestly) and cherish and crave as a grown woman.
  2. When I am completely relaxed, anxiety-free and depression is under control. Oh my goodness, best feeling in the world. Normalcy, control and happiness.
  3. Taking. Off. My. Bra. Hello freedom! Oh and scratching along where the bra line was on my back – is this not the best feeling in the world?
  4. That first sniff/sip of coffee in the morning. Not a dodgy Moccona from the tin + hot water, coffee. A decent coffee.
  5. Ham + Cheese croissants. Worth the 400 plus calories and 51% fat content. Every damned time.
  6. Cake. Oh my god, cake. Chocolate, mud, red velvet, orange + poppyseed. I don’t even care, just make it moist and make it delicious.
  7. The smell of jasmine. Will follow the smell and inhale for dear life. Oh my goodness, that smell. Heaven.
  8. Crawling into bed on a Sunday evening when I have laid fresh sheets which have been in the sunshine all day after having been washed. It is important to note that this step can only be as deliciously satisfying if I have shaved my legs and washed my hair.
  9. That beautiful change of season which is palpable. The air is thicker, you need a cardigan – I cannot tell you how much I love that feeling when summer in Queensland has broken, and autumn is on its way.
  10. Laughing with my Husband. I mean REALLY laughing. Losing our sh*t, struggling to breathe, snorting – the lot of it. Laughing with your best mate – you cannot get better than that.

Lucy

x

Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between)

I love you, Mum.

I am feeling sentimental today. Today is a cup(s) of tea, Netflix, top-knot wearing, waiting for wine-o’clock, pj’s on the couch kind of day and I feel zero guilt from it! It looks like winter is finally starting a subtle flirtation with Australia, thankfully! It’s cool enough to just have the door open, no fan or air-con necessary..it’s gorgeous :).

It is Mother’s Day tomorrow, here in Australia – I am too excited! My mum is my best-friend, without a doubt. I am her first-born, her eldest daughter and I am guessing I was her most problematic teenager. I read your post today K E Garland and it inspired me to share how I feel about my Mother, I hope you don’t mind 🙂 x.

This is the person who gave up her entire life to have me, to welcome me into the fold to share the world with her and Dad. She prayed for me, grew me, protected me, loved me. She taught me to talk, walk, love and care for others. Her cuddles, kisses and smell are my favourite things. Her acts of love, selflessness and constantly going without, were to provide for her family, to love her children. To put us first.

My Mum is a powerhouse, like most of our Mother’s are. Mum is the strongest, kindest, most selfless warrior of a woman I have ever met. We were just above the poverty line for most of my child-hood. However, Mum always made things fun, she went out of her way to spoil us and treat us on our Birthday’s. Her creativity in the 80’s and 90’s (pre-PINTEREST) is astounding to look back on now.

I, like my siblings (and any lucky Aussie kid), picked a cake out of the Woman’s Weekly Cook Book every year (check this link out, to trip down memory lane :)). She punished bad behaviour in the most constructive way, told me it was better to be kind than ‘beautiful’, that strong was better than skinny and that everything in moderation was ok.

Mum taught me how to plait, she took three pieces of material and nailed them to a piece of wood, that’s how I learnt. I always got to lick the bowl after she had baked a cake, she held my head over a bowl of hot water with vix with a tea-towel over my head when I was sick.My mum took white-out and blanked out the lines in books she thought were too harsh for a little girl and would change the sentence in her own writing, with blue biro, over the top of the crunchy white-out.

I got my baking, singing and drawing skills from my Mother (so…NIL), but I also got her thick problematic hair, her front teeth, sense of humour and her resilience.

I grew up with the phrases ‘give it all you’ve got‘, ‘you’re capable of anything you set your mind to‘, ‘if it doesn’t work out, who cares at least you tried‘, ‘build the memories‘, ‘be a good person, don’t be hateful or cruel to anybody‘, ‘stand your ground‘ and ‘you are worth more than your dark moments‘.  There have been numerous times in my life where these sayings have motivated me, guided me, scolded me and saved me.

Thank you for enforcing the no-shaving-your-legs until I was in high-school, never letting me watch The Simpsons and for enforcing t.v-off at 6.30pm and reading only until 7.30pm when it was lights-off, until I was 13. You gave me my love for books.

Even when I lived out of home when I was studying, she would drive passed my place and drop left-overs from dinner off at my dorm. Looking back on it now, I am starting to think it was not just to be kind, but maybe me leaving her in that house with two younger kids on her own would have been heart-breaking, that she may not have been prepared to only make three dinners, rather than four.

Mum stood by and comforted me through every break-up, every friendship break-down, difficulties in work, struggles in university and in life. Health problems, drama’s when I went overseas. The lot of it, supporting me, encouraging me and telling me to keep going. I could be in the darkest of corners imaginable and I would get an SMS ‘Lucy, I love you – never forget that. This too shall pass‘, and sometimes that was enough to get me to move, to get out of bed, to remember the sun will shine the next day.

Her out-of-this-world excited reaction when I got my first period, got my first job, got into uni, got promotions, got married. All of them – first class responses of elation and pure-unadulterated JOY!

Thank you for making sure I made it to 31, thanks for letting me make my own mistakes but stepping in when I could have gotten really hurt. Thanks for pushing me to do things I hated, just so I would learn to appreciate what it means to honouring your commitments.

Thank you for covering my super-white skin in suncream and lycra and hats and even making me sit in that stupid beach-tent, as you tried to protect me from the Australian sun. Thank you for smiling and nodding and feigning interest in whimsical side-projects/aims/plans which I am sure you knew I would completely tank at (but never, ever saying ‘I told you so‘).

Thanks for giving me your love of diet coke, cheesecake, coffee and dark humour. Maybe not so many thanks for passing along your fear of spiders, clowns, wallpaper and Humphrey B.Bear (yes, it is ridiculous he wears a vest but no pants).

So, Mum. My best friend, my protector, cheerleader, Nurse, taxi-service, accountant, manager of personal affairs, P.R Specialist, psychic, psychologist, relationship counsellor, partner in crime, grief counsellor, expert hugger and love of my life…I love you. I thank you and I love you. I wouldn’t be a tenth of the woman I am today, without you.

– Version 2

Happy Mother’s Day, Mum!

Lucy

x