Ok so 2016 is quickly disappearing and I figured that seeing as I am currently on leave from work… and I have good days and bad days at home…. but thankfully more good days than bad ones… I am going to use the rest of my good days this year doing 3 things…
1. Working out how to remember Joshua when things are good and joyful
2. Getting my Christmas shopping and planning sorted and…
3. Finishing this year’s list.
This year’s list got a little ignored when I found out I was pregnant, because I was tired, some of the things were no longer possible and lets face it… my priorities had shifted… but now I am no longer pregnant and unfortunately don’t have little Josh to distract me… so the list has been bumped back up the priority list. And lets face it… it’s supposed to be filled with things I want to achieve/do/try… so crossing things off it should bring me some joy… and I could do with some bonus joy.
So here is a recap of what I have done… and probably more importantly… what I haven’t…
Start 2016 somewhere outside of Australia– completed: 01/01/2016 Make a summer fruit platter in a watermelon– completed: 19/02/2016
This one was actually crossed off way back in Feb… and it should have had its own blog because it is glorious… This delicious watermelon bowl of goodness… yep that’s it just on the right hand side there… was made for a girl’s night which I was privileged to lead for youth group… and both the evening and the watermelon bowl were spectacular.
Send 12 hand written cards/letters– completed: 23/04/16
This one has also been done for a while thanks to my new subscription to ‘Happy mail‘ which I love… It has given me a reason to write more as well as pretty much the perfect card for every occasion.
Make a lolly cake– completed: 31/11/16
Thanks to my Father-in-law and his trips to NZ this one is done… Turns out Eskimo lollies are harder to get in Australia than I had imagined… but once I got my hands on some of those the lolly cake happened… and I have it on the authority of a NZ local… (my father-in-law)… it was pretty good.
Rearrange a space– completed: 17/02/2016
- Play my flute
Go to Disneyland– completed: 24/01/2016
- Find out is our house has a legit hidden fireplace
Visit something older than colonised Australia– completed: 14/01/2016 Have tea in London… Queen optional– completed: 19/01/2016 Do a ridiculously cheesy tourist photo with a famous tourist attraction– completed: 22/01/2016 Go to a country I have never been to before– completed: 02/01/2016 Find a geocache– completed: 06/04/16 Hide a geocache– completed: 06/04/16 Watch the Prince of Egypt– completed: 18/03/2016
This probably doesn’t need a lot of explaining… it happened and I enjoyed it… I had probably talked it up too much in my mind, but it was still good… I really love the music from The Prince of Egypt… just in case you were wondering.
- Go in the 2016 Melbourne Marathon festival somehow… 5, 10, half or full
Be a Victorian tourist and go somewhere all the tourists go– completed: 09/07/16
Dave and I were incredibly blessed by some parents from Dave’s work who spoiled us with a weekend away in the city and it was perfect and wonderful and just so overwhelmingly generous that I haven’t been able to put it down in words and do it justice. But as part of this weekend we got to hang out in the city and go where all of the tourists go… we visited the National Gallery, hung out at crown, had scones with jam and cream at the Langham and window shopped in Bourke St and the Emporium… just like the tourists.
See my bestie face to face– completed: 18/01/2016
- Get back in the pool and swim at least 5 times
Go to the Zoo– completed: 03/02/2016
- Make some kind of festive seasonal dish
- Use the fire pit
Go skiing or snowboarding or tobogganing– completed: 03/01/2016 Do you want to build a snowman? I do– completed: 04/01/2016 Go Camping– completed: 04/04/16 See some Northern Hemisphere stars– completed: 06/01/2016 Run with at least 3 different people– completed: 27/02/2016
My running game was strong for the first half of the year… it’s pretty average at the moment which certainly puts some doubt over some of the other list items, but not this one… I have run with more than 3 different friends, but the first three were Parkruns with Amy-Ruth and Annie and a fun run around the zoo with Kev and Suz.
- Make a photo book or our Europe Adventures
- Save money each pocket money
Go on a bush walk– completed: 05/04/16 Go to a farmers market– completed: 27/03/2016
Do you know what’s even better than a regular farmers market? A twilight farmers market ’cause you don’t have to get up super early to be there and get things… you can sleep in and still enjoy all the spoils… it’s almost like you can have your cake and eat it too.
Make some meringues– completed: 03/10/16
I don’t know why I don’t do this more often… I love meringues!
Learn how to spell meringues without having to check it every time– completed: 03/10/16
While making my meringues I also learned how to spell the word… M E R I N G U E S… ta da!
- Keep my emails under control – no extreme amounts of notifications on my phone
- Get and keep my photo storage under control
- Sew something
Do some trivia– completed: 05/06/16
There is not enough trivia in the world… I love it… although I am always disappointed if my team doesn’t win… especially if we don’t win a Disney themed trivia night… but despite my disappointment… the trivia was participated in which means it is off the list.
Bake some snacks– completed: 02/10/16
Being a little food safety paranoid while I was pregnant meant that I made some of my own snacks instead of purchasing them… which is probably just better to do anyway and they are even more delicious that store brought snacks.
See a musical– completed: 13/05/16
When you work with a dancer extraordinaire who tells you that she is performing in Australia’s first Amateur theater production of Wicked… you get there as quick as you can, you fall in love with Wicked all over again and you celebrate this friend like never before… that’s what happened in May for me at least anyway.
Read 16 books– completed: 20/11/16
Like I said at the top… I have had a little bit of extra down time… and reading is a good way to get out of your own head and into another land… so my book quota is now achieved, here are this years books:
– The Revenant, Michael Punke
– The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins,
– Cinder, Marissa Meyer
– The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel
– Scarlet, Marissa Meyer
– The Happiness Project, Gretchen Ruben
– The BFG, Roald Dahl
– Cress, Marissa Meyer
– Simplicite, Dominique Loreau
– Winter, Marissa Meyer
– Jesus Is, Judah Smith
– The Concrete Blonde, Michael Connelly
– The Black Echo, Michael Connelly
– Inferno, Dan Brown
– The Black Ice, Michael Connelly
– The Last Coyote, Michael Connelly
- Do a water aerobics class
- Do a spin class
- Have a BBQ Wednesday
Go to a state of Australia that I haven’t been to before– completed: 03/04/16 Touch my feet to some red dirt– completed: 06/04/16
- Clean up my iTunes playlists
Visit another international thermal pool– completed: 07/01/2016
- Clean my car more regularly
- Sort out my 2014 and 2015 scrap books
Try at least 2 new park runs– completed: 12/03/2016
I mentioned before that my running game had been strong in the first half of the year, which made crossing this off easier. We ran my home away from home Inverloch Parkrun and headed to Westerfolds parkun to celebrate our friend Bram’s 100th parkrun with him.
- Keep my apple things updated properly
- Go to Inverloch at least 5 times
- Swim in the Ocean
Have high tea– completed: 09/07/16
Technically I crossed this one off when I had tea in London – way back with no. 10, but while we were in the city on our little get away we also had a pregnancy friendly high tea at the Langham… well scones with jam and cream and of course tea… that’s pretty much all you need.
Walk to the end of a pier– completed: 30/10/16
Well it’s not much more exciting than what it says… we walked to the end of the pier in Inverloch… and now it is off the list.
Get some Fro-yo– completed: 11/02/2016
- Go roller skating
Ride a bike– completed: 17/01/2016 Have some pasta/ pizza/gelato in Italy– completed: 01/01/2016 Have some processed meat in Germany– completed: 05/01/2016
- See the Myer windows
Go to a place I can’t pronounce– completed: 06/01/2016 Do some more work as a teacher– completed: 29/02/2016
This year has also seen the return of Mrs G. Still just filling in every now and again, but still teaching.
Take a photo with an English Guard– completed: 20/01/2016 Take the Eurostar– completed: 22/01/2016 See an Emu– completed: 05/04/16 Experience the outback– completed: 04/04/16
- Follow through on the date box again
Go to Sherbrook forest– completed: 09/04/16
Birthdays are a good reason to cross things off the list… and lets face it, you never really need a reason to visit Sherbrook forest because it is beautiful. We went, we tried out our new little festival chairs and had a birthday picnic… it was perfect.
- Be on time… it’s time
- Have another Star Trek Movie Marathon
- Make my own dumplings
Be confronted by WWII– completed: 11/01/16 Go on a Gondola ride– completed: 01/01/2016 Visit a real life old time castle…. like one that would inspire Disney– completed: 08/01/16 Visit at least 4 museums– completed: 12/01/16 See the Berlin Wall– completed: 14/01/16 Taste some dutch cheese– completed: 16/01/16 Have a Shakespeare moment– completed: 02/01/2016 Do a 3D jigsaw– completed: 21/09/16
While we were away on our little babymoon in Lakes Entrance I found a little 3D duck puzzle, which if I am honest looked very very lame… which made me think it would be easy… turns out I was wrong, the puzzle was not easy… and it turned out to be pretty cute… but in interest in decluttering our house to make space for baby George we left the little duck for the next guests lucky enough to have our room in Lakes Entrance.
Ride a Camel… or at least see one in Uluru– completed: 05/04/16 Have one of those epic milkshakes– completed: 09/04/16
So birthday list days are also a great reason to have an epic milkshake… and I am talking mammoth honeycomb overflowing milkshake that hits that the lactose limit harder than you will ever know
- Have a Random Acts of Kindness week
Go on a Road Trip– completed: 06/05
A road trip to Mount Gambier in SA, with 20ish of our closest student friends from the Jazz Band and Jazz Choir. Sometimes it’s fun to be a music teachers wife and to go on band trips, especially when the kids are so much fun, incredibly talented and you get to stay at the most amazing homestead in which homemade treats appearing every time you look around.
Have a wardrobe purge– completed: 29/01/2016
I started the year with a massive wardrobe purge and then since then I have had another couple, each time clearing out more bags of stuff than I care to admit I had… At first it was just for me to make space to appreciate what I had and to stop feeling guilty about the things I had that I didn’t want or use. Then the task expanded from my wardrobe to every cupboard and every other room as we tried to clear out space to make way for Baby George…
- Do another Pinterest project
Help change something at home– completed: 20/11/16
So this was going to be the almost finished nursery… but it didn’t really happen, the nursery is still a junk room and currently not required… so instead, we just built the new bed we brought at the same time as some of the nursery furniture and ‘changed’ the bedroom
- See some carols by candle light
Get a massage– completed: 23/11/16
- Keep getting closer again
- Make the most of my gym membership
- Get my menu planning and home cooking game on
- Spend some time in the Old testament (Study at least 2 OT books)
Eat something from out veggie garden– completed: 22/02/2016
- Play some badminton
- Make sure I remember my secret list
- Run 5km without walking
- Have the parentals over for dinner… all of them… separately
- Be more domestic
Take Dex on a Doggy Adventure– completed: 07/10/16
So the photo isn’t great but we took Dex to visit his friend Abe when we went to visit our friends Dust and Jess… he had a great time.
So there you go… still a lot to go… at the moment we are sitting on 61% complete… which is pretty good… but it’s going to be a big run home… some may say impossible… but not me… bring it on… hopefully with lots of ‘good’ days… oh and if you want to help with the things that are left… I would really appreciate it…
I have been thinking about blogging about this for a little while now and given than yesterday was Thanksgiving and as I type Dave is outside putting Christmas lights up that I have been nagging him for, I figured now would be appropriate.
It will be no surprise to you that I love photos and that I have probably millions of them. After we came home from our European adventure I started the process of updating our back-ups so that these fun memories were included. This project lost a little momentum when we found out that we were having Josh, but now it has shot back up the priority list with the edition of our very precious photo memories of our little boy. So the last couple of weeks
while I have been on leave I have spent a lot of my time looking through, sorting, storing and re-storing our photos.
Projects like this always take me a long time because I like looking through the photos, reminiscing and reflecting on what we have done, where we have been and who we have been spending our time with. It’s nice to look back sometimes and in true thanksgiving style it always makes me very thankful for the things, memories, experiences and people who make up my life.
Anyway, while I have been getting the photos sorted, I decided that I also needed to include the videos we have of things like our wedding. I love our wedding video, but I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually sat down and watched it… but this week I found myself doing just that, watching it after I moved it over to the back-up drive. Now, I pride myself on remembering most of our special occasions well, and in detail, but it turned out that I had completely forgotten about the song that was sung while Dave and I signed the registry. It was a song that we chose for the lyrics and as I listened to the song again tears flowed from my eyes because I realised that the lyrics were more true that I had ever understood.
The song is “When God made you” by NewSong and the lyrics are as follows:
It’s always been a mystery to me
How two hearts can come together
And love can last for ever
But now that I have found you I believe
That a miracle has come
When god sends the perfect one
Now gone are all my questions about why
And I’ve never been so sure of anything
In my life
Oh I wonder what God
When he created you
I wonder if he
Knew everything I would need
Because he made all my dreams come true
When God made You
He must have been thinking about me
I promise that wherever you may go
Where ever life may lead you
With all my heart I’ll be their too
And from this moment on
I want you to know
I’ll let nothing come between us
And I will even love you more
He made the sun
He made the moon
To harmonize a perfect tune
One can’t move without the other
They just have to be together
And that is why I know its true
Your for me
And I’m for you
Because my world just can’t be right
With out you in my life
At the time, I have to admit that while I agreed with the words, I found it a little corny, but now given the events of this year, traveling together, working on our house and with the addition of Joshua, I realise that there is no one else that I would have rather been with.
I don’t give Dave anywhere enough praise. He is truly a wonderful, wonderful man. A man who is brave and courageous, a man who is wiser than his years, more caring and more loving than I have ever known. He is talented and good at everything he does, he is humble and serves people without expectation. And in the last couple of months I have learnt that he is far stronger than I ever understood. He has stood in the gap for me, been my voice, my comfort, my protector, my support and my love and he has done all of this without any return, knowing I have been completely empty and unable to look after myself at times.
So this thanksgiving, I need him and everyone else to know that I could not be more thankful for him if I tried. I love him more than I could ever say or show and he deserves so much more than what I have to offer. I know that when God made him, as selfish as it sounds, he was thinking about me, because there is no one else but him that completes me, compliments me or who loves me as well as he does.
Thank you Jesus for giving me Dave, and thank you Dave for loving me.
I love you.
I don’t really know how to write this blog/letter… It’s been a month since we met you and had to leave you… and I still don’t know how we even start to say goodbye?
Well I guess we start by saying this isn’t the end… mummy and daddy will be with you again one day. Time will go so fast for you, partying up in heaven, but we will need to wait a little longer. Either way we will be together again one day. I will be able to hold you again and kiss your nose. Daddy will be able to tuck you in and tell you how good you are, and we will both be able to tell you how much we love you.
Even though we didn’t get to meet you in person we are so proud of you. Of your cheeky and defiant nature that we saw at your scans. Of your perfect little body with your beautiful face and perfectly long hands and feet just like your dads. And of your appetite… Turkish Delight milkshakes and pink donuts won’t be the same now that you are gone.
You were so strong and courageous, you held on for so long, right up until daddy told you it was ok, that if you needed to go to heaven without us, you could go. Thank you for being so brave and making that tough decision for us. We aren’t surprised that you chose heaven, I have heard it’s pretty incredible, but I really wish you had have stayed. Earth could have been pretty fun too.
Daddy and I are so sad that you aren’t going to be staying with us. This isn’t what we wanted, but we are so glad that we got to meet you just for a moment. I am heartbroken that I never got to hear you cry or laugh or watch you fall sleep, but I loved every moment I spent with you, holding you and soaking it all in.
Life is really hard now that we have known you and had to say goodbye. Our house feels empty without you and I feel like I have lost part of my purpose. For the 24weeks I carried you, my life was all about you, keeping you safe and growing you to be strong, but now you are gone. We are trusting that Jesus has saved both you and us from something even more devastating, but right now, not having you here really stinks. Even though I only knew you for a short time, part of me feels like I have known you my whole life and losing you has left a pretty big hole in my heart.
My precious and perfect Joshua, be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid, don’t be discouraged. Remember the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. We will try and be strong and courageous without you, we probably won’t be as convincing as you, but we will try.
Please know how much we love you and cherish you. You are the best and most perfect thing your dad and I have ever created, or ever had the privilege of calling ours and we are so proud of you, every inch, every kick and every minute we had with you.
Thank you for making me a mummy,
I love you my sweet one.