24 to go

So I just had a little look at how I’m going with my 250 blog posts for 2017 and so far I have written 226. When I first looked into it it said 209 and I freaked out a bit, but then I went back and saw that there were a bunch that I hadn’t tagged as 250 in 365 so that boosted the numbers a bit!

I truly do have plenty to say and share, but finding the right time and headspace to do it is tricky! I’ve smashed a few out this evening and scheduled them for the next couple of days, but it looks like it’s going to have to be at least a one-a-day affair for the rest of the year if I’m going to meet my targets.

So, you know, prepare to be photo-spammed! Ha! Starting with this one. I finally got a photo of the two of us that is half-decent!!

Except I really need to do something (SOMETHING!) with my hair! I’m loving having a bit of length but it might be time for a shorter cut. We’ll see…

I’m still recovering from our farewell BBQ on the weekend – blog post scheduled – and after leaving Fit Mums a bit early today I came home, crashed in bed and slept on and off from 9 until 1. Hubs was home and parented like a trooper, as well as cleaned up the rest of the kitchen and consolidated downstairs a little. I’m still a bit shattered but honestly the sleep did me a world of good.

The next couple of weeks are going to be amazing and brutal. Equally. I have three cakes to bake and decorate which will provide some blog fodder thankfully, my parents are coming up on Thursday for five days and Hubs’ mum is coming up for the weekend as well, for Julius’ baptism on Sunday. It’s Darby’s 3rd birthday on Thursday as well as Chance’s school friends party and then next week it will be packing stations.

On that note, I’m sleepy again so I’m off to bed. One down and 23 to go.

The food post: Cairns 2017

The food and coffee situation on our Cairns holiday lived up to the expectations we had. And exceeded them. Here we go.

This is the K-mann’s back area set up, with cooking on coals and a pizza oven. There was am abundance of yummy nibblies and I think my kids ate their weight in pistachios while we were there.

Dessert early in the week – a date and nut slice that had chewy and crunchiness.

The worst photo of the best brisket imaginable.

This caramel slice nearly undid me

BBQ chicken wings with rice and shredded cabbage. This got messy and awesome.

Daily (hourly) coffee made with love.

Honestly there were so many good dishes for the week, and all lovingly prepared, from the delicious Vietnamese chicken baguettes that greeted us on our first night, to the (absurd) number of coffees we consumed daily, to an incredible chocolate meringue dessert very early on, to pancakes made to our individual liking on the final night.

Good food with great company and tasty wine is the best recipe.

Happy 10 years

10 years ago, I married this man.

I could not have known then, that he would take me on such a unique and extraordinary journey. Our life is like no one else’s I know.

He makes me laugh, and has certainly made me cry. But he gets me. He’s not afraid to have the hard conversations. He’s not afraid to be completely honest with me, even if it’s hard in the short term. He knows that, no matter what, we will always find our way back.

We both know that we are in this together; for the long run, and that it may take time, but we always work things out. We are stronger for those hard times. We have been tested and we have come through.

We drive each other crazy with our quirks, but we accept the other just as they are. We know we are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we don’t need to be. He is my soy cappuccino and I am his Rum and Rooibos.

Here are 11 things after 11 years together, 10 of them married, that you may not know.

11 years together
Officially got together 26th November 2006.

10 years of marriage
Married 1st December 2007 (engaged June 2007)

9 houses
Mission House (Toowong), Newman College (Melbourne), Wangaratta (unit), Mount Beauty, Wangaratta (house), Townsville, Ingham, Mount Isa, Rockhampton.

8 car seats
In each car!

7 years as parents
The journey began with Chance on the 27th November, 2010, right before our three year wedding anniversary.

6 hospital jobs
Wangaratta (as a student), Mount Beauty (student), Townsville, Ingham, Mount Isa, Rockhampton.

5 Days of Day Camp 1999
It took for Hubs to know I was the one. It took my slightly longer but when I knew, I knew.

4 kids
Chance (27/11/10), Quinn 1/2/13), Darby (7/12/14), Julius (18/5/17)

3 different cars
Kombi, Falcon station wagon, Land cruiser. And we still have the Kombi and Cruiser!

(I’m 4 days overdue with Darby in the below photo. We went out for our anniversary dinner. He was born 6 days later!)

2 people 
Just me and him.

1 marriage
Happily Ever After.

Homeward bound

We are having the best last day of our holiday. Yesterday was a long hard slog of driving with the first 450km done between 9am and 4.30pm then we visited friends in Ayr before hitting the road again at 7.30pm to do the last 300km to Mackay. Somehow we did that in 3 straight hours and arrived at our lovely motel at 10.30pm. The kids had been asleep for hours so we were all awake until midnight but that’s fine. Everyone slept well until nearly 7 and I put ABC for kids on while Hubs and I dozed until 8. Then it was into the pool for a while before walking a block down to the Mackay water park.

A friend had told me how great it was so I always had this planned for our last day. You guys, it was so awesome. And huge! This is only one part of it!

There was a cafe on site which I was a little skeptical about but Mama needed a coffee.

After drinking Shane’s lovely brew for the last week I wasn’t expecting much from this one but this was so fantastic! Strong and hot. Just how I like my coffee. And my man.

Sorry. Got a bit side tracked there… 😉❤❤❤

We planned to have brekky somewhere and the menu looked pretty good – they specialised in pancakes and had eggs Benny and even a burger for Frith so I thought why not!

Why not indeed.

Darby’s reaction when this came out was “is it my birthday!!???”

You could order 2 pancakes for $5.90 and then add whatever you want. Chance got strawberry jam and bacon. This load of bacon was $1.50.

My eggs Benny was absolutely perfect in every way. Mmmmmmm crispy bacon.

And the burger? Hubs couldn’t finish it! And it was only $12! I think he would have been able to eat it at dinner with a beer or two perhaps ☺

We got all that delicious food and two (more) coffees for under $50. Such an amazing brunch and no need for more food for the day. Coffee, yes.

If you are ever near Mackay it is well worth the visit. And it’s just off the highway so a very easy detour.

Now we’re on the final leg of our trip home and I’m feeling very content and full of goodness. There is a long to do list waiting for me at home, but for now, I have my world in the kombi, the clouds are keeping the drive cool, and the tunes are good. It’s a sweet life.

Happy birthday Chance

My big boy turned 7 today. What a champ. Then and now. Aw my baby! ❤❤❤

I made him this fairly dodgy monster truck cake that I was almost embarrassed of, until Hubs asked me “Does Chance like it?”

He. Loved it.

We had a little party for him Friday night  over at the K-mans with his favourite dinner (hot dogs) and a piñata and pass the parcel.

(Super dodgy dark photos dammit)

Today, his actual birthday, has been spent in the kombi as we make our way back south.

How gorgeous is this kid!? He has really stepped up into big boy status since Julius came along. I really need to just let him do his thing more and try to step back because he’s got it covered. He’s learning so many new things and I’m learning so much from him at the moment and it’s hard letting go and watching from the sidelines. But he’s doing just great and it’s wonderful seeing the person he is (fast!) becoming.

His dinner request was Maccas (easily pleased!) and they are all drifting off to sleep as we do the last leg to Mackay for the night.

Good night my darling boy. You are such a gift to us all and we love you so much.

Road trippin’

We are here. We arrived in Cairns last night at 8pm. We left Rocky at 2pm Friday and after stopping in Mackay for dinner (and a pee stop somewhere before that) we arrived in Bowen around 10pm. 565km in 8 hours. Not bad going with four kids and a couple of stops.

The kids set up

Ocean View Motel just outside of Bowen

We pretty much just got up and left on Saturday morning and started heading for Townsville around 8am. It took close to three hours to do the 200km drive thanks to roadworks but the kids did so well! We got there and let them loose in the water park while we caught up with friends and family there. It was 2.5 hours very well spent.

After buying sushi and iced coffees we left close to 2pm and were half an hour out of town when we realised we needed fuel. So annoying! So we stopped and if course the kids needed to pee and Darby woke up from his deep sleep he was in. After some stuffing around we finally made it to Innisfail around 5pm and stopped for dinner.

We were all getting pretty much over it by this stage but still had 120km to go!

We had to keep going! We got back on the road around 6 and I ended up sitting in the back seat with the kids. Jules was inconsolable but happy with me there.

Frith and Jules having a quick break in Innisfail.

That last leg was a doozie bit we made it! So day two was 523km in 12 hours. Yes 12. It was pretty crazy towards the end but we made it and it is glorious to be on holidays with our people. Our incredible friends who we adore and wish we saw more of. So we are just soaking it all in. And enjoying the amazing Air BnB house. Seriously. The main bedroom and cot are nicer than our own bedroom at home!

It’s going to be an amazing 10 days. I’ll keep you posted 😉

One-liners

Me: “Let’s just sit back on these couches for a few minutes and enjoy being on our holiday.”

Quinny crawls onto my lap to lie down.

Quinn: “It’s so quiet”

Me: “mmm hmmm”

Quinn: “I’m hungry”

30 seconds. That’s all I got.

Flashback Friday

This day in 2011. We were living in Mount Beauty and I invited my mother’s group and bubs up for the day to have a first birthday party for Chance and all the kids.

My gorgeous mums group. Gosh we had some wonderful times!!

It feels like a lifetime ago but also like just yesterday. How did I ever only have one kid?? They were certainly simpler times. I wouldn’t chance what I have today for anything but I’m glad I appreciated just one baby when I had him.

And in 2 weeks he will be turning 7. Just like that. What a star.

Invitations have been sent

I wasn’t actually going to have a birthday party for Chance’s Rocky friends this year. We will be in Cairns for his birthday weekend so we will have a cake for him up there, and he had a party last year so I didn’t feel the need. Plus with our going away BBQ as well as Jules’ baptism and the fact that we’re moving in a month, I just didn’t think I’d have the energy.

But then this happened.

He hand made 30 invitations, all different types of vehicles, over a few days. This is just a sample. I helped with a bit of the cutting out but he drew everything himself. How could I possibly say no?! It was so lovely seeing him come up with the ideas and then just having that confidence to draw it.

Making sure he included all of his class mates.

So it’s happening. We’ll do the same thing as last year – a cake in the park after school. Nice and simple.