Getting Out There

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We spent the weekend in the high country of Victoria, celebrating a little friend’s first birthday. The town we were meant to stay in was fully booked out due to a few events we weren’t aware of, so we had to look further afield. We ended up in a historic gold rush town that neither of us had visited in a number of years, and it was

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on being limited

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We are renowned for packing everything plus the kitchen sink when we go away on holiday. Every time we begin to pack I am determined not to be weighed down by junk and clothes that come home packed and unworn… and yet it seems to happen over and over again.
The last couple of times we have gone away I have resorted to downsizing the bags we each take. Which I have to admit often just ends up meaning we each take that small bag… plus two more shopping bags for all the things that ‘didn’t fit’. Why we feel the need to take so much stuff I really don’t know!
But for the first time last weekend, it worked! I am used to having my feet propped on things, the dog resting her head on things, things piled up so you can’t see out the rear-vision mirror, things, things, things. When we drove down the coast on Thursday, I could see out the rear view mirror, the dog was stretched out at Birdie’s feet, and we could open and close the boot without something falling out!
Over the five days we did a couple of clothes and nappy washes, but despite our limited packing we still came home with things unworn. It just goes to show that you really don’t need much, we are just conditioned to think we do. I took three t-shirts with me, and wore two, but really could have done with just the one because I only wore the second one to prove a point, trying to wear everything in my bag. I came home with a cardigan I hadn’t worn as well as a pair of shoes, a pair of pants and two long sleeved tops that could all go straight back into my wardrobe.
It’s nice having choices, but sometimes it’s also refreshing not to. This addiction to our stuff and things and phones and rubbish is not good for us.

a mini break

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We took off down to the beach five days ago. A wintery, blustery, windy, soulful, refreshing time we had. We are back home now feeling relaxed, but of course not as relaxed as one would like once the pressures of life and all its administration return to flood us.

My favourite part of our time away was heading off for the afternoon with Prince Charming. We made left-over roast lamb sandwiches and chose a 6km bushwalk along the coast. It was just brilliant! Simple bliss. Just the two of us, stopping midway on a sandy beach to have our sandwiches before walking back. While we were walking down the little bush track we realised with amazement that it was actually the first time we had gone out together and left the children with the grandparents since the pesky pixie was born! Didn’t take us nearly as long the first time around!

I have been asking many questions of myself and Prince Charming lately. Who are we, what is our capital P Plan, where are we headed, which path will we take, and so on. We seem to have hit a time in our life where we are faced with a number of options, which is nice but also a bit daunting. One of the options is to stay put and do nothing different, which we have decided we will do, for a spell. I’m a dreamer but the Mr is a sensible chap, he only likes to delve into big plans if he has some sense they might actually happen. Boo to that Prince Charming.

My mouth spilled questions on our journey back from the beach. Then I got home and after the unpacking of the car, the dinner rush, the bedtime sagas, I sat a moment and had a little scan of a few blogs. I stumbled across this post and it was once again the little reminder I needed to stay put, in body and in mind, and be content with where we are at this moment.

What have you been doing this school holidays?

a belated christmas post

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I had no time after Christmas to post a little update. Four days post the big one we were packing and cleaning and packing and tidying and packing and trying to get organised. It felt like groundhog day trying to get us and the kids out of here. On the 28th we were finally On. Our. Way. down to our family’s little country hideaway. We got back today and we are lucky enough to be heading off again on Thursday in the opposite direction to spend time with the other side of the family on the coast. I feel blessed to have these little hideaways that our parents generously allow us to visit. Without them we would not be in a position to have a holiday for a very long time.

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Christmas came and went and for us is always spread out over a couple of days with the various groups of family we have. It was the first year that our biggest kid really got into the spirit of it all and went to bed tingling with thoughts of Father Christmas, reindeer and surprises to open the following morning. I remember those days so well and am reliving the thrill of it all through her big brown eyes.

IMG_2888Like I have spoken about before, I am very conscious of not have a house full of discarded toys, but instead having meaningful and well loved things to play with. The biggest attends Montessori once a week so much of our play is inspired by the beautiful Montessori setting, but I also really love Steiner environments and philosophies as well. I am not qualified in either and what we do is just a mix of things I have seen, liked and feel comfortable with.

She was given a lot of lovely gifts on Christmas Day, which I predicted, so at home that morning she just had a few simple presents to open, the main one being a secondhand doll’s house that I found on a local Buy Swap and Sell group. Well worth checking out on Facebook to see if you have one near you! I was so thrilled to find this secondhand as I feel uncomfortable about our throw away society, and like to re-use things where possible and instill this value in my children. I couldn’t care in the slightest that my child is getting something that isn’t ‘brand new’ and if anything I think it adds to the character and value of many of the things she owns. The well loved doll’s house in the picture above is a perfect example of this, I love it, and I think I am having more fun playing with it than she is!

This Christmas was probably the most joyful day I have had, the build up, the advent calendar, the excitement… I really am loving Christmas again and am so pleased to be starting new traditions with my little family. I should probably admit now that at 11pm on Christmas Eve I realised that I didn’t have anything for the littlest as I had spent so much time focussing on the biggest. Bad Mother Alert!!! Luckily I had a few things in the shop that I could wrap up at the last minute. Sorry darling baby.

What traditions do you celebrate with your kids? Do you celebrate traditions that you didn’t as a child? I’m interested to know as we started celebrating Winter Solstice last year which is something we never did as kids in my family. This year we will also celebrate Valentine’s Day as a day to show our friends and family how much we love and appreciate them (puke, sorry.)

* Does my littlest not remind you of a tiny wee possum? She is such a little pixie.