Busy being a mother and a wife and taking on the biggest challenge yet, a permanent move across the world. Read here my random thoughts, feelings and stories about my life that is about to be turned upside down (literally).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Living a Simpler Life

As our container of household items floats along the Pacific Ocean we have been forced to live with the bare minimum. We packed our suitcases 2 months ago and that is all we brought.

We arrived to a lovely rented house with minimal furnishings and kitchen items. It is far less than half of what we owned in Canada but in reality, we haven't needed much else.

Sure I've been cursing the fact that we don't have a dishwasher, but to be honest, some days I enjoy the soothing warm water as I take my time to scrub away and look out the window above my sink. Some nights my husband and I quietly do the dishes together, one washes, one drys, we don't say much but just the feeling of being together for a simple purpose is comforting.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our stove and oven is of the 1970's variety and I avoided using it for the first couple of weeks, luckily we had meal tickets at our inlaws across the street. After overstaying our welcome we offered to cook for them and I had to jump right in. It is the first time I had cooked with a gas stove and I love it, the instant heat, the simplicity of lighting the oven, it cooks well and it is all we really need.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

We have a washing machine, thank god for that, the way my kids go through clothes I couldn't imagine what we'd do with out one. We are without a dryer. This is not a big deal, I always enjoyed hanging our clothes on the line in the summer but we always had a dryer to use on rainy days, to fluff up towels or when I just couldn't be bothered. Here everything goes on the line, if it's raining you wait or hang them on a drying rack inside. Thankfully one of the benefits of living in Australia is the generous amount of sunshine.

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In Canada we had a gigantic TV with a billion channels, the ability to record 2 shows at once and watch another at the same time. The kids had Diego, Handy Manny and Phineas & Ferb at their beckon call, they knew how to use the complicated remote and they watched what they wanted, when they wanted. I indulged in all my shows after the kids went to bed, I scrolled through hours of recorded TV trash and sat comatose for hours. Our Wii gaming system used to get a workout, obviously not from my Wii fit, but from Mr5's expertise at Batman and Starwars Lego. He only just asked yesterday if we still had our Wii, and he didn't say that he missed it.
Here we have a little TV with an antenna, kindly lent to us by a friend, we have 8 channels and I have to wait for Wednesdays paper to pull out the printed TV guide for the week. The kids have 1 cartoon channel, and guess what? We barely watch TV. We play outside, go for walks, read books, play Lego, visit friends, visit family. I don't miss TV one bit, okay maybe just a little bit, but I am surviving without it.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

As I talk to people, and get a feel for the Aussie way of life it's become obvious that life is a bit simpler here, having a dryer is a luxury, not everyone has satellite TV and heck, who need an oven when you've got a BBQ!

Other things also stand out, North America is so dependent on the convenience of everything. In Australia you are hard pressed to find a drive-through coffee-shop unless you go to McDonalds. Drive-through bank machines are unheard of, to be honest there is not much choice for drive-through anything, unless you count the drive-through bottle-o (liquor store) but that is a whole other topic.

Not every business accepts bank cards and store hours are limited, most businesses close at 5 pm on weekdays, sometimes later on Fridays, and Sunday shopping is a relatively new thing here.

As it turns out, all these things that I couldn't imagine living without are really not missed.

In time we will get a dishwasher, new stove, gigantic TV and probably many other things, but until then I will enjoy a simpler life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We are here, here we are.

It's hard to steal the time on borrowed wifi (from my in-laws) to write a proper post about the beginnings of our adventure. I have neglected my blog a bit, more avoided really, the emotions I felt during the last few weeks of our time in Canada were too overwhelming to express. Ive been known to bottle my feelings a little bit, but I made a conscious effort to keep talking to my husband, I might not of shared with everyone but I did share with my him, my best friend and I feel like it was just the outlet I needed.
Well, we are finally here, after 2 years of planning, anticipation, excitement, doubt and reservations. It is everything we expected it to be and we look forward to experiences to come that will make it everything we hope it to be. I have been welcomed with open arms not only by family and friends but also the wonderful online community that I have been sharing this process with for the past year. I was so pleased to see all the welcome "home" messages from my Australian twitter friends upon our arrival, I was DM'd phone numbers and offered to be picked up from the airport from people who I've never met but hope to one day. I've had the pleasure of meeting 2 of my favorite Aussie tweeps already and have plans to see them again and meet others soon.
We are proceeding with regular life, house work, cooking meals, doing laundry, shopping for groceries, not unlike my everyday life in Canada. The difference now is the involvement of family, Our rented house is across the street from Nanny & Poppy, my sister-in-law and her family also live there while their house is being built. Between our 2 homes we have 6 adults and 6 cousins, back and forth we go, sharing meals, playtime, TV time (and wifi). I get time to myself each day to just do what I want & in turn I give my sister-in-law a break while I have her kids over to play.
I grew up with only my parents and one sister, we had no family in Canada, our family holidays were just the four of us, no cousins to play with or Aunts & Uncles to tease us. We were happy as we knew no different but I am so excited to be giving this opportunity to my children to enjoy their childhood with more than only each other.
The beginning of this adventure has not yet involved exciting travel, kangaroo spotting or hot sunny days, but the reality of the benefit that this move is to our family is already very evident.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I have lost all ability to express myself in writing, I am holding myself together with bits of tape and glue, I might burst at the seams if I let go just a little. So much has happened over the past month, I am in the middle of the biggest change of my life. I cannot manage to string two sentences together for a blog post. I am not ready to let it flow, because if I sit down at the computer to express what is inside I'm afraid that I will never be able to stop, I will deflate, there will be nothing left but my fears, worries and anxiety splattered all over your screens to see.
I am so displaced, I can not find a better word.
Like my 2 year old said to me yesterday:
I just want to go home

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Weekend to Remember

As my move date draws near, my social calendar is quickly filling up. I am trying to spend as much time with my family and friends as I can. The highlight so far has been my girls weekend away to Scandanive Spa in Blue Mountain. What I thought was going to be a day at the spa with my best friend Jennifer turned out to be a surprise weekend away with all my close girlfriends. I have known these girls for almost 20 years, our earlier friendship consisted of late nights, and sometimes early mornings in the club scene of downtown Toronto, seems so far from where we are today. Since then we have lived together, shared each others joy in new relationships, careers, engagements, weddings and children. Being with them is so very comfortable and this weekend had us feeling like we were all 20 again. Not a care in the world just a bunch of girls hanging out. We enjoyed a relaxing day together, shared an amazing dinner and then danced all night! There were a lot of laughs and also a few tears shed. It is so hard to imagine my life without these amazing women. I know that we will keep in touch through e-mail and facebook but I will miss our monthly dinners, birthday celebrations, camping trips and annual Christmas party. I can't even put into words how much their friendship means to me.
Here are a few of my favourite photos from the weekend, some are too incriminating to share so I will only post the "appropriate" ones.

Road Trip!

The hot pools.

Ready for our massages.

I had this smile on my face all weekend.

Relaxing by the fire.

Ready for a night out.

There were many of these.

As well as many blurry photos like these.

This was indeed a weekend to remember.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It doesn't take long to fall in love.

The past few weeks have been filled with the most life altering news, all that we had been wishing for was finally happening, my Australian Immigration was approved followed the next day by the sale of our house.
The most unexpected joy came as a bit of surprise, a positive pregnancy test. How quickly it all seemed to fall into place, we had been trying for a 3rd baby for over a year. To finally get pregnant just as we are preparing to move to Australia confirmed my lifelong belief that everything happens for a reason, it all works out in the end.
But not this time.
I had 4 whole days to feel the joy of an expanding family, I eagerly downloaded the baby center app on my phone, I checked the due date, December 25th, the best gift I could imagine, I consulted the Chinese gender predictors, a girl, I shared the news with my family, all were overjoyed. I told my sister that her new baby girl due in July would soon have a playmate. For 4 days I envisioned the gentle moments I would catch my boys in with their new sibling and I imagined the comfort of having a baby in my arms again.
4 days was all I got, because at exactly 5 weeks pregnant I miscarried. It was so early, and according to my app the baby was the size of a sesame seed, but those 4 days felt like a lifetime, I envisioned this baby born, nurtured, loved and become part of my family.
I've read so many stories on miscarriage, always trying my best to empathize with those sharing their story, never could I imagine the pain it would bring, true gut wrenching sadness. I find myself struggling to justify feeling so overwhelmingly distraught because it was so early. There are so many others who have had weeks, and months of bonding with their baby only to tragically lose them.
Mine didn't even have a heart beat yet, but it had already filled my heart.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A new start to come

It seems like ages ago, but in the summer of 2009 my husband and I decided that it was time to move back to Australia, we wanted to surround our children with a family much larger than what they have here. 2 years later after many ups and downs, here we are with a sold sticker on our For Sale sign. We are getting ready to pack our bags and head to the other side of the world. Emotions are high, the past few weeks have thrown us a few curve balls but I am feeling so hopeful. I have a renewed sense of life, the chance to start over, a chance that not many of us get. I am happy with all the wonderful blessings in my life, but I am going to start fresh. I am going to take better care of myself, be smarter with my finances, get more exercise, get out with the kids, make time for my husband, travel, explore, sing, row, swim, create, laugh and love.
What better way to celebrate all the new things to come than with a gorgeous blog re-vamp.

So my friends, are you ready to come on this journey with me?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A life story, a story of love.

I have a story to share, about the man who was my father. On the 2nd anniversary of his passing he is still in my thoughts every day, he is every where I go, I see him in shadows in the night, I hear his voice, a whisper saying hello, I see his reflection through the window, just a glimpse but he is there, and I am glad.

Born in 1946, in the town of Subotica, in the former Yugoslavia. He was born to parents he never knew, adopted by Maria and Marco, Hungarians living in Subotica. He was joined 7 years later by his brother Joso.

His days were spent playing barefoot in the streets, kicking soccer balls and running with the Gypsy's. His nights were spent in a one room apartment, for they had very little money. He was happy, so very happy with nothing, he didn't even know the things he didn't have. For he had love, and that is all that mattered.

He was clever and mischievous, he was bored in school and was much happier attending the school of life, on the streets, stowing away on the trains and riding until he was in a foreign land. He's be gone for days but his parents always knew he'd be back, charming his way into homes for food, and hitching a ride back to them.
Then one day he spotted my mother leaning against a railing in the city center market, she was young and naive, and had never had a boyfriend. He charmed her, wooed her, promised to marry her and then left for his military duty. She was smitten, and of course she would wait for him.

2 years he spent in the Army, traveling, learning new languages, meeting new people but waiting until the day he could get back to the woman he promised to marry. Marry they did, running away from her strict parents, hoping on a train to Germany and eloping with their best friends. They had their whole lives ahead of them, the world was their oyster, they wanted great things for themselves.

They chose to start their new life in Canada.

They landed with $50 to their name, and only speaking a few phrases of English, but they were happy, for they had love, and love would see them succeed.

He worked hard, he wanted to provide for his family and his 2 little girls that quickly became the love of his life. He took long job postings as an electrician in the mines of Baffin Island, leaving my Mom to raise 2 girls on her own for extended periods of time. We'd all wait, anxiously for Daddy to get home. He'd tell us about fighting polar bears and sharing whale meat with Eskimos, he'd bring us beautiful sparkling rocks, telling us they were full of diamonds. He'd tickle us until we almost peed, and stroke our foreheads at night to lull us to sleep.

He'd read books on Aristotle and Chomsky, he'd smoke cigarettes and drink vodka, he was mysterious and would divulge strange ideas to us when he'd had too much to drink. He'd recount his theory's on aliens and UFO's, government conspiracy and the afterlife.

He'd teach us Latin and German, and scold us for watching soap operas and reading Archie comics. He described all corners of the world with his stories and took us to some of his favourite parts of the world in real life. In France we spent days seeing every historical monument there was, in Hungary we spent Christmas day in a Hari Krishna temple. In Yugoslavia we went to the mountains and the sea and saw everything in between.

He taught us to be ourselves, and told us to be open with him, we talked about sex and drugs, and could always count on him to be fair and honest.
He made us laugh, he had a dry sense of humour that terrified our boyfriends but made us giggle all day, he was quick and witty and was king of the pull my finger joke.

He struggled with insecurity, and was disappointed easily by unkind people. He was a recluse, liking time on his own to think, for he was a great thinker. He taught us how to be good thinkers, to see the logic in things and to open our minds to more than what is just there in front of us.

His ultimate goal in life was for us to be happy, if we were happy, he was happy, all our accomplishments big and small made him proud, little did he know that he made us proud too.

He did all the things a great dad should do, he taught us to be kind, thoughtful, forgiving, appreciative and to Love, for Love above all was his specialty.

Here is a poem that i wrote for my Dad when I was 20, one I didn't share with him until after I found out he was sick.

I’ll Fly Away

The sound of silence, unnoticed by my ears.
Yet I unsuccessfully block out the whispers.
“Spread your wings” they call, “don’t hold back, just fly away.”
My first reaction is to obey,
to follow the whispers to a sea of independence.
Yet instead, I grasp on to what is more definite,
something stronger and wiser, than I’ll ever be.
Someone who’s arms can forever wrap around me
and protect me from a world so seemingly large and scary.
He who stands so tall is my father.
A bright moon and I his star, glowing brightly under his rays.
I’d like to fly away and soar in the sky,
but only dear father if I know you’ll be there to catch me when I fall.

May 1992