A whirlwind vacation

And, we’re back. Well, we’ve been back for about a fortnight, but I’ve been waist-deep in university assessments and haven’t had the time or the brain-space to even think about writing for enjoyment. I also can’t remember the last time I read a book that wasn’t “required reading”… I have at least one essay due every week between now and the end of August, so my life is all kinds of exciting right now. Work, study, sleep – rinse and repeat. The good news is that after this hard slog, I will be done. The crazy news is that I’ve been looking at Masters courses – why stop at two degrees? I am a glutton for punishment, what can I say.

Our trip away was everything that I needed – time off from work, time away from PosyTown, time with family and friends that  I miss so much. Before we flew out, I was constantly feeling like this awful angry person – someone that I am not, and I certainly did not enjoy feeling so on edge all the time. Spending time with my dad and grandparents and extended family in Bega was exactly what I needed. The landscape down in that part of the country is magical, and it was so lovely to be able to escape from the world. I hope my Pop enjoyed his 80th birthday party as we all did!

On our way back up to Sydney, Mr Posy and I spent the night in Canberra – it was his first trip to our nation’s capital, so we took the day to explore what is a very pretty locality. Say what you will about Canberra, there is no denying that it is a beautiful city. Unfortunately our flight to Sydney was delayed the next morning due to heavy fog, and when we did eventually make it to Sydney, our bags did not. I had watched them, from my seat on the plane before take-off, unload all the luggage, so it came as no huge surprise when we arrived in Sydney and the baggage carousel was empty. An apology certainly wouldn’t have gone astray, however…

Our time in Sydney was a bit of a whirlwind – we caught up with as many people as we could, but our trip was over before we knew it. My dear friend Neek remarked to me over a drink that she loved that I was always excited about visiting Sydney, because she knew so many people who don’t share that same excitement. Who are these people that visit or live in such an amazing city, and don’t even know it?! These people need to pay a visit to PosyTown… In the middle of the build-up, when the heat and humidity is so bad that you start to think that you are literally in Hell.

Can you believe that we are now at the END OF JUNE? Niece Posy is going to be TWO YEARS OLD next week. TWO!

Days go by

It feels like just yesterday that a friend and I were lamenting over coffee that we were in the middle of March, and now here I find myself at the end of May. We’re almost halfway through this year, which is a scary thought – Mr Posy and I have still have so much to do over the coming months, and not really a whole lot of time. I can’t believe that Christmas is “only” 7 months away!

When I was a little girl, it felt like time would pass by so slowly – I was always in a hurry for the next event, and I would will the days to speed up. Adults would tell me to stop wishing my life away, that time speeds up as you get older and that one day I’d yearn for my youth. I can vividly remember sitting in the mahogany tree across the street from my house with a friend, discussing how adults were crazy, that it just wasn’t possible for time to “speed up”, and that life would be so much better when we were grown up and we could do as we pleased. Now, there are never enough hours in the day, and I wish time would just slow down.

Tomorrow, Mr Posy and I are jetting off down to Sydney for a little break. We’ll be heading about five hours out of Sydney first up for my Pop’s 80th birthday – I’m looking forward to spending time with all my extended family. I saw them all in January for my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary, and the feeling of being in a room full of people that look like you and love you unconditionally… I can’t explain it. Living in PosyTown, so far away from my extended family, means that I’ve only spent a little time with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and little cousins over the years, so when I do get to spend time with them, I cherish every second.

After a weekend with my family, we’re heading back to Sydney for a few days, where I am looking forward to catching up with good friends, shopping, and checking out this year’s Vivid Sydney light festival. We were down at the same time last year, so it will be interesting to see what’s in store for us this year.

I have been keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast, and I am looking forward to pulling out my coats and scarves and boots and stockings. What I’m not looking forward to is the niggling worry in the back of my mind about work – I know that my staff are well able to handle any issues that might arise, but it doesn’t make me any less anxious about leaving them. I am also slightly rattled that when I return, it will be June. JUNE!

It’s a very rocky road

When I was small, I was so fascinated with Church that my mother used to tell my dad that she quite seriously thought I would be a nun when I grew up. They were never quite sure where my interest came from, having not been born into a particularly religious family. My dad was baptised in the Catholic Church, and my mum in the Church of New England; they had me baptised as Catholic (and I later went on to celebrate my Holy Communion and my Confirmation through school), and they would occasionally take us to Church for Christmas and Easter, but that was about the extent of a religious upbringing in our house.

I don’t know if it was the sense of community or the feeling of belonging (particularly when we lived in isolated communities where my main interaction with others was via radio for school), or just the pretty windows, but from the ages of about 6 – 10, I would insist that my dad take me to church.

Over the years, my attendance at church became less and less, but Lent has always been the one concept that has stayed with me. Perhaps to try and appease the healthy dose of Catholic guilt (that was instilled in me through school) of going to church less than five times a year, for the six week leading up to Easter I choose to give up something that is a true sacrifice for me. The past couple of years, this has been chocolate – my one emotional crutch.

When I say I give up chocolate, I’m talking all things chocolate – including, but not limited to: milk, dark and white chocolate, chocolate icecream, chocolate topping, chocolate in my coffee (i.e. mochas), chocolate on my coffee (i.e. cappuccinos), chocolate lollies (chicos, eclairs etc), lamingtons, chocolate cake, chocolate spread (nutella), chocolate milk/hot chocolate, chocolate mousse/yoghurt, chocolate biscuits… You get the idea.

Given I gave up chocolate for Lent, you might wonder what it was that possessed me to whip up a batch of Snickers Rocky Road at 9 o’clock on Wednesday night… I stupidly volunteered to make what I knew was a favourite treat for one of my staff member’s birthday morning tea on the Thursday. It was torture.

I used Not Quite Nigella’s Original Rocky Road recipe, but added extra Snickers bars and chocolate, partly because more is more when it comes to chocolate (and when you haven’t had any for weeks), and partly because I’m lazy and couldn’t be bothered measuring (in the interest of spending the least possible contact time with the chocolate).

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400g milk chocolate
  • 200g unsalted peanuts
  • 8 regular sized Snickers bars (I got mine on special for a buck each)
  • 200g mini marshmallows

Method

  1. Line a tin with foil – I think I used an 11 x 7 inch tray.
  2. Melt the 400g milk chocolate and three chopped Snickers bars in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  3. Roast the peanuts in the oven for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the mini marshmallows and remaining chopped Snickers bars – add the roasted peanuts and stir what I can only liken to“rubble”. Spoon into the lined tray.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate/Snickers mix over the marshmallow/peanut/Snickers rubble. Refrigerate until set, and chop into pieces!

We first made this dish at Christmas, and it was delicious. I can’t tell you how this batch tasted, lest I be struck down for even considering a bite, however my team ate every last piece, so it must have been a bit orright.

Lord, lead me not into temptation…

 

2011 – A Year in Review

Much like 2010, for me 2011 was a year of growth.  There was change and heartache and uncertainty, but there was also much to celebrate.

When I was much younger, I always thought that life would be better, easier, when I was “older”. Then I got older and it wasn’t any easier – in fact it was harder – and I would tell myself that life would be better when [insert reason here]. Now I’ve realised that this is just life, and with the great losses also come great wins – that life is sometimes incredibly painful, but it can also be extraordinary.

This thing that I’m living, this is life.

And so I present my wrap-up of 2011 –

There were babies born

2011 was the year that some very special babes came into this world.

In January, a dear friend had a very special, brave little boy – a little boy that I am very much looking forward to meeting in a week.

In September, my lovely friend Little Miss Moi had her little Harrie – and just as I do her big sister, I completely adore her.

In October, I found myself with a nephew – a little brother for Niece Posy. Nephew Posy is the most handsome little man, and I am smitten.

Friends moved away, new friends were made, current friendships were strengthened

Living in PosyTown, people come and go frequently, and 2011 was no exception. We said goodbye to friends throughout the year, and while it was sad at the time, I know I will see them again – and I know that one day soon it will be our turn to move away. We made some wonderful new friends throughout the year, and I feel that current friendships (both near and far) have gone from strength to strength.

There were trips interstate

Mr Posy and I didn’t take a lot of time off in 2011, but we did manage to get down to Melbourne in March/April for Niece Posy’s baptism, and to Sydney in June so Mr Posy could attend a work conference, with a couple of extra days on the side to relax. Both trips, while short, were exactly what we needed to recharge our batteries.

The C-word, Part II

While 2010 was the year that we discovered my mum had breast cancer, 2011 was the year that we beat it with chemo. It is of course still early days, but the worst of the battle is over.

There were great achievements

After four years in my current workplace, in April I finally won a permanent position – the position that I had been “acting” in for nine months at the time. I have a terrific team, and together we had an incredibly successful work year – cyclones and all.

I completed a second triathlon (the same beginners triathlon that I completed in 2010) – but I managed to shave FIVE MINUTES off my previous time. I felt like I was going to die on the last leg of the run, but, somehow, I stumbled over the finish line.

Weddings were celebrated

My childhood best friend got married in August, and I had the honour of being her bridesmaid. The wedding was a beautiful affair, held on their family’s property.

I was also fortunate to watch another dear friend get married, in a gorgeous ceremony, with a fairytale reception outside under the stars.

A new addition

Always one with my feet firmly in the dog-loving-camp, nobody was more surprised than my cat-loving Mr Posy when I finally agreed to us getting a cat. PosyKitty arrived in July and wormed her way into my heart. She is truly the sweetest little thing, and Niece Posy is completely obsessed with her.

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2012 is already shaping up to be another big year. Mr Posy and I are heading down to Sydney this weekend – for a very special little boy’s baptism and 1st birthday, and to celebrate my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary.

There are big things on the horizon for the Posy family this year, and I cannot wait.

Three

Today is PosyDog’s birthday. As the title would suggest, my furchild is three. Hiphiphooray!

Mr Posy’s work colleague told him we should just hurry up and have human children. I can’t imagine why.

PosyDog came into our lives at a very sad time. Our previous dog (an Australian Silky Terrier) had a penchant for frogs, and an even bigger weakness for toads. We thought after the first toad (and an emergency trip to the Vet), she’d have learnt her lesson, but months later she went back for a second cane toad, and she died in my arms. She was five. I was distraught. Heartbroken. I didn’t think anything would fill the void in my heart.

A few days later Mr Posy told me that he’d been in contact with breeders all over Australia, looking for a West Highland Terrier puppy (we wanted another Terrier, but not a silky – my girl was one of a kind) that was available then and there, and he’d done it – he’d found our new puppy. PosyDog (then, really, PosyPuppy) joined our family a week later. My heart still ached for my silky, but the puppy-cuddles helped.

PosyDog has had a rough three years. She wasn’t even six months old when she broke her leg and had surgery to have a pin inserted. Not long after her third cast was removed, her allergies started. She was allergic to herself. Her Vet tried pills and sprays and dietary changes, and when that didn’t help, they took blood to determine exactly what else she was allergic to (the list is a mile long), so that they could send away for allergy treatment. This meant injections every day, then every second day, then every third day and so on and so on, until we found ourselves finally at monthly visits for allergy needles – with the odd visit thrown in part way through the month for stomach problems, or ear infections. Surprisingly, she loves visiting the Vet.

She came to me at a time when I didn’t feel I could love another pet again. She wiggled her way into my heart. I can’t believe that today she is three. Happy Birthday, PosyDog – I love you.

Easter Weekend Wrap-Up

Are you enjoying your long weekend?

I’ve been looking forward to this little break since Christmas. I know I had a couple of days off for Niece Posy’s christening, but the trip to Melbourne really wasn’t very relaxing – I came home more tired than when I left. There has been a lot of relaxing happening this weekend in the Posy House, however.

We started our weekend with coffee at our favourite cafe, and the only open on Good Friday. When I worked at this cafe nearly four years ago, I absolutely hated working Good Friday – as one of the few cafes open it was always incredibly busy, we weren’t paid penalty rates, and I wanted to be home with my family… but now… now how the tables have turned!

Mr Posy has been looking forward to Thor for quite a while, and I thought it was fair to indulge him, especially as he always comes along to watch my chick-flicks. As somebody who isn’t a huge fan of comics, I enjoyed the movie. I’d say that I actually preferred Iron Man over Thor, but Mr Posy would be very disappointed in me…

I had a hankering for prawns late on Saturday, and as not much was open, it was down to the Wharf for dinner for us. The weather was a little warmer than earlier in the week, which was a shame, but the prawns were good!

Can you see the rainbow? I didn’t realise I’d captured it until I was home after my swim… I’ve been trying to get as many laps in as I can before the weather cools down and it gets too cold to swim. I’m such a PosyTownite (to my disgust) – I avoid the water for a good three or so months of the year!

Mr Posy’s Ma dropped by on Sunday with a carton of eggs. She’s been stopping by a lot lately, with milk, bread, apples, etc… So when she turned up with eggs I was a little egg-asperated (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!), as we have more than we can possibly get through in our fridge as is. When I realised they were warm, I open up the carton to find that they were boiled eggs… and they were red! I wasn’t entirely sure what I was supposed to do with them, but I did vaguely remember Mr Posy telling me about egg-cracking competitions with his father. When Mr Posy returned home, he confirmed that it was for a game – where we were to take turns cracking each others eggs…

I WON! Mr Posy went through 10 eggs, I went through 2 eggs, and was the “last man standing” (I’m not sure if it was my egg or my technique, but I was on a roll). Apparently I’m assured good luck for the rest of the year – I’ll take that!

Surprisingly, none of these were consumed… I gave up chocolate for Lent, and had this crazy idea where I thought I’d see if I can keep it up a little longer. I can’t tell you how tempting chocolate is, with it staring me in the face every time I open the fridge or freezer door, but… I feel good about this.

There was some gelato consumed however – down by the Waterfront. I was really surprised at just how many people were laying around in the hot sun. I know I tried the tanning-thing when I was in my teens (I never tanned, always went went lobster-red then peeled), but now that I’m in my 20s and old enough to know better? It makes me cringe. Haven’t I become quite the Tanning Prude..

I caught Mr Posy’s man-flu lurgy, and spent a good deal of the weekend on the couch watching trash cable (Park St, 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, Sex and the City, Wife Swap – you get the idea)… Yesterday it was at its worst, so I’m hoping that was the peak of it, and that now I’m on my way to recovery. It hasn’t been pleasant, let me tell you – muscle aches, sore ears, sore throat (my tonsils are huge!), my eyes are burning, it’s hard to breathe etc… However I’m not sure that it’s bad enough for three days off work like a certain Mr Posy somebody… Ahem.

Unfortunately thanks to the aforementioned lurgy, I missed the ANZAC Day Dawn Service and ANZAC Parade this year. I’ve been at my worst first thing in the morning, so I wasn’t able to drag myself out of bed early enough. I was glad that my brother wasn’t marching this year – I would have felt extremely guilty had he been! I did take time to reflect, however. Lest We Forget.

Another Year Over

One of my favourite things about one year ending and another beginning are the Year-in-Review-esque posts that pop up on blogs around the interwebs.

So, in a similar fashion, I present my wrap-up of 2010 –

A Quarter of a Century

Whenever I’d go through a particularly rough patch when I was younger, I would tell myself that if I could just hold on until I was 25, things would somehow work out.

Twenty-five was this magical age whereby all things that haunted me would no longer hold me in their grip, and I would be okay.

I did hold on. I held on for dear life. I turned 25. And things were okay. Things worked out. I have far more good days than bad, now.

In less than a month I will turn 26. I can’t wait. I love birthdays, I always have – be they mine or somebody else’s. At what age am I supposed to stop getting excited over birthdays and start feeling depressed?

I moved in with my Mister

I finally moved out of the Family Nest (the granny flat my parents had built under their house to keep me at home longer…) and in with Mr Posy. Now we live across the street from my in-laws. It’s been quite the… adventure. You can read more about my move in My Life is a Sitcom.

Niece Posy

Niece Posy

I’m ashamed to admit that when we found out (not long after their wedding) that my BIL and SIL were expecting, I was fairly unmoved by the news. It wasn’t that I didn’t care; I just wasn’t overly interested, particularly as I wasn’t that close to my sister-in-law.

The morning I woke to find out I had a niece, I acted quite cool – but when I laid eyes on Niece Posy in the hospital that evening after work, my heart just melted. My BIL handed Niece Posy to me, and I felt as though I would cry. I never imagined that I could love a tiny being so much.

My SIL has been wonderful at including me in my niece’s life – when I visit, she’ll always take Niece Posy from whoever is holding her at the time, and plonk her in my lap, ensuring that I get plenty of cuddles. Niece Posy’s whole face lights up when she sees me – she has the most amazing smile, and a cuddle from her just makes my day.

I got a promotion

I am extremely lucky to have some amazing people who believe in me, possibly more than I actually believe in myself. I never imagined that I would be in such an amazing position at the age of twenty-five – and knowing that I had the support of some wonderful people really made all the difference when I took the scary step up the corporate ladder into Management in the middle of the year. I feel more confident in my position now, but every day is different, and I’m constantly learning. I have an amazing team, and I actually like going to work.

I finished a triathlon

Tri

I’d often said that I wanted to complete a triathlon, but I’m not sure that I ever really believed that I would. It may have only been a beginners (women only) triathlon, but I felt so proud when I crossed that finish line. … and I actually want to enter another.

The C-word

Finding out that my mum had breast cancer really came as quite a shock. It was a week before I even cried. This is another post for another day, however.

My boys lost the NRL Grand Final

32 – 8. Thirty-two to eight. My boys had a good first half, but they didn’t capitalise on their plays, and then the second half, well… Let’s not talk about that. I sat in the stadium watching on, my heart breaking with every point scored against my team.

I was surrounded by some truly wonderful people

You know who y’all are. At least, I hope you do. I love you, and I feel so blessed to have you in my life.

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In a nutshell, for me, 2010 was a year of growth.

I’ve come a long way, baby.