Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Batten down the hatches

We were in Queensland for a few days last week. We wanted to go but didn't really have the finances, however we received some help with flights as an anniversary present so with ten days notice, we booked flights.

We knew it was going to need to be a low budget holiday, but we haven't been on a family holiday for almost four years and our boys deserve a holiday.

Even though money concerns me at times, especially spending money that I know needs to go elsewhere (upcoming doctors fees!!!!), we felt that a holiday was important so that in the upcoming difficult time ahead, our family will have some fun memories to talk about together.

We had a blast! We got to spend time with family and friends and in the five days we were there, we even made it to Dreamworld. Not being able to go on rides is one of the disappointments that has resulted from my back problems. I LOVE rides!! I wasn't too silly but I went on a few of the tamer rides knowing my rods are already broken and if things go really bad, I have surgery scheduled anyway. A bit naughty I know but I NEVER get to go on rides and it will be back to being extra careful again after surgery is over so I wanted to make the most of it.  It was a long day and I did indeed pay the price physically but I am so glad we did it.

The beginning of the Qld storm hit while we were on the Gold Coast. It rained...and rained....and rained some more. We flew out first thing Sunday morning and escaped the worst of it but the next day we too were receiving warnings in NSW to prepare for damaging weather.

The news reports said to be cautious and it got a bit wild but nothing like the images we were seeing of our northern neighbors, however we didn't know how bad the impending storm would be when it made it to our neck of the woods.

Monday day and night were loud, windy, and incredibly dark and wet. But come Tuesday morning, I was surprised to see the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. If anyone had told me on Monday that there would be sunshine the next morning, I wouldn't have believed them, but indeed Tuesday brought beautiful weather.

I am two and a half weeks from surgery. I feel nervous, like I am heading into a storm. I don't know how bad it will be, but either way I know it won't be fun. I am so glad our little get-away gave me the chance to think about something other than what's coming.

More than anything though, I look forward to the sunshine after the storm, I can't see it yet, but I know it will come.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

And now for some mush

Tuesday is our 8th Anniversary. That marks eight years I have been able to call Anthony my husband - eight wonderful years.

They have been wonderful, but that doesn't mean they have been perfect. During those eight years, we lived together for the first time, endured pregnancy and birth together, stumbled our way through the 'newborn haze', made hard choices together, made plans together, been blissfully happy, been angry at each other (albeit only ever briefly), wiped away sweat from one another's fevers, dried each others tears (generally mine but only because I'm a sooky la-la), stayed awake chatting in bed til the early hours of the morning, laughed til tears came out, spent LONG nights awake with sick children, changed nappies and cleaned vomit, and we have grown.

You hear how people say that within a marriage people 'change' over time and sometimes that causes problems. Nothing and no-one can stay the exact same year after year. It's the nature of life - nothing remains the same. There are two options, you either change or you grow.  I know they sound really similar and in some ways they are.  But I see one distinct difference.  The difference is when you change, you simply become something different, but when you grow, you become something greater.

I think I can safely say that during the past eight years, we have grown. We have enjoyed so much joy and have been so blessed, and we have endured pain and difficulty. But the one thing that has made everything bearable has been a stable, happy marriage.

I have a husband that I love more than anything and who I know with one hundred percent certainty that he loves me too. I'm not saying that he is perfect, just that he is perfect for me. I got a good one :)

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!

Friday, January 4, 2013

A post-Christmas wrap up

We had a different Christmas this year. In the past, we have always had both sides of our family in Sydney. Growing up, Anthony's family celebrated Christmas with a bigger breakfast and dinner, whilst for my side the main meal was a big lunch.

Once we got married, we decided we wanted to attend all three meals with our families. This meant waking up early, opening our presents at home, setting everything aside and driving down to Sydney for breakfast at the Bush's. We would then rush off to lunch with the Bennallack clan. Then head back to the Bush household for dinner.

Needless to say we were stuffed!

We loved it, but it was hectic. It got even busier when our boys came along.

This year was different. My side of the family were in NZ for Christmas. We got to begin our own little family tradition of Christmas Breakfast.

Our boys woke up early (Tony waking up Carter for a change) and we opened presents. Perhaps later I will post a video of one of the 'unexpected' presents the boys got - I must say they were warned that Santa knows what they have been up to though.

We had breakfast together and for the first time ever the boys got some time to truly relax and play with their presents in their own home on Christmas.

Around mid-morning we made our way down to Sydney spent the afternoon and evening with Anthony's side of the family. It was nice and relaxing and although different from years past, I enjoyed the change of pace.

The rainy weather made for a much different feel this year. It made me want to curl up and relax. So we did.

I don't know if it's my current physical situation or as I get older or what, but what I love most about Christmas now has moved on from the excitement and bustle to just loving being with those I love. I love watching the wonder in my boys eyes and seeing their joy is my joy. I always hold my breath watching others open presents I have chosen hoping it's something they like, so they know I thought hard about them when I chose it. I love that my Anthony knows me so well that he makes sure he buys me two big bags of cheese popcorn because he knows one will be eaten immediately. I love that at some point, Christmas stops being so much about what you receive and there becomes greater joy in what you give. I love that despite the distance between us this year, I still felt close to my family. Christmas was different this year - but good different.

On a side-but-not-so-subtle note, if you are reading this Anthony, I suggest buying the party size bags of cheese popcorn instead of the large - you know I have an addiction. Did I mention that I REALLY REALLY love you?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Different Gift

This Christmas has felt a bit different to me. I have tried to keep things a bit simpler knowing my back isn't in the best state.

Over the past two weeks when I would normally be baking up a storm and hitting the shops almost daily, my back pain has been increasing which has taken some of the joy out of Christmas preparations.

A week or two back, I was feeling somewhat sorry for myself. Actually I was feeling frustrated and ripped off that I can't physically do the things I feel I 'should' be able to do. It being Christmas time made me feel worse about it. Getting the invoice for my doctors fees certainly didn't bring any merriment!

Anthony and I discussed our situation and decided to lay all our cards on the table, from doctors counsel to our own feelings, in prayer. I would have liked everything to be easier and less painful. Instead we felt a distinct impression to make sure I rest and be careful not to overdo it, particularly because it is important to be in a good state for surgery. It seems the increasing pain isn't going to improve.

The impression received was something I knew, but needed to be reminded of. To be wise with my limitations, especially at times like this when I don't want to.

But the days following were the real blessing for me. Ever since, I have felt so incredibly blessed to have the family and friends I have. It has been as if it has been pushed to the forefront of my mind constantly.

I have wonderful friends who show love and support for me when I need it most.

I have incredible family who do so much for me and my boys. They call and email to see how I am doing, help with the boys, and hop on a plane when I need help.

I have my sons who are the sunshine in my day. They sometimes smother me with love, but I know it's just that they want to be near me.

And I have my Anthony. I don't have a perfect marriage (who does), but I have the fairytale. I have what so many people in the world are searching for. Someone who truly loves me and who I love back. Someone who can spend all day with me and not be sick of me. Someone who tirelessly works for our family without complaint and who still picks up the slack at the times I can't do all the "mum jobs" I usually do. Someone who I just love to be with. I have a happy marriage.

These things have been swimming in my minds for days now and I can see that has been the best blessing I could ask for. Things are a little tough for me right now, but that feeling that I have so much to be thankful for is overwhelming. It has made my Christmas special indeed.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!