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Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places

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family time

TTT – Water, Family, and the art of asking for permission

(Again, a very late one… but at least not forgotten!)

It’s taken me a little longer to think of my list this week – possibly because I’ve been privately logging my gratitudes daily for almost a month now and feel a little repetitious, and partly because I feel like I need to pick Three Huge Events from the week just passed.

It’s been a lovely week. My quest to cut down on consumerism has yielded a mixed bag of results – I now steer clear of most shops, that’s true. But I’ve also ended up visiting more friends or inviting them over, and therefore buying a lot more food. I’ve decided it’s a net gain, overall. Spending the time to connect with others over nom-noms trumps wandering into malls out of habit… and I’ve learnt to eat more simply during my lunches.

Anyhoo… here’s three things I’ve decided to be thankful for.

1. Clear drinking water

We had Mark’s parents over for morning tea on Thursday last week, which wandered into lunch, and then again into afternoon tea. Spent a lovely day with them at Gold Creek. They’ve just very recently “migrated” from Perth, and so the comparisons between short visitations and actually settling in Canberra naturally came up.

The topic of water came up, and I know it sounds like one of those I’ve-run-out-of-things-to-be-thankful-for moments when I say that I’m grateful for Canberra’s water quality. But it’s true. I’ve drunk water from the tap in many cities and in many countries when it’s deemed safe to drink water from, and Canberra’s water is probably one of the nicest-tasting and cleanest. It was one of those epiphanies I didn’t get until I was reminded of Adelaide’s water – which tastes vile. I mean, it’s considered safe for drinking but it just tastes artificial and wrong. And their water alone is the reason I would never want to move to Adelaide. Seriously.

Canberra drinking water in a glass
Cool, clear Canberra refreshment

2. Family coming down

Plans are finally falling into place for this year-end! Tony’s parents will be staying with us in the last 2 weeks of November (hedging their bets that Boy Blob, like Arddun, will make an early entrance), and my family and their significant others will be making their way down over the course of the first two weeks in December! Nothing like a full house to welcome a new baby. It will be a bit nuts, I suspect – but good nuts.

3. Arddun’s habit of checking first

Something else I’ve grown very thankful for lately is how Arddun thinks to ask Tony or me for permission before she helps herself to food – whether it’s a biscuit for afternoon tea, or an extra slice of cheese with her meal. It’s something we’ve reminded her gently to do over time, and we haven’t always been successful. There was that one recent time she got caught polishing off a bag of lollies she received from a school friend’s birthday party… she had to learn a lesson from that. But lately, she seems to understand that she needs to ask for permission before helping herself to food. And it’s a relief, frankly, especially since she is still reacting to popular “child-friendly” foods like sultanas and other fruits and vegetables.

Probably jinxed it now, and maybe she’ll sneak off something at the next Mother’s Group luncheon… But for now, it’s something I’ve observed that she’s grown good at. And it’s such a win for all of us.

Daddy-Daughter Birthday Bash

Because Arddun’s birthday falls on the 18th of June and Tony’s birthday weekend also happened to be 18th May, we decided to put together a combined birthday celebration.

4-picture montage of Arddun at second birthday party
Birthday girl
Tony and Velle at 2nd birthday party
Birthday Boy and me
Tony and Arddun's birthday party guests montage 7 pictures
Some of our birthday guests
Cupcake-making station photo montage
Cupcake-decorating station
Party games photo montage
Games for one and all
Birthday cake photo montage
Labour of love by the talented and generous Audrey
Tony and Arddun's combined birthday door gifts in flower pots
Door gifts
Opening presents photo montage
Party loot (and I’m wondering how to ship it all back!)
Arddun fake sleeping
All tired out after a fabulous party!

To cap off the day

Arddun and I had a lovely today. Poor Tony had a semi-frustrating one working from home, but Arddun and I ended up having a most enjoyable afternoon out with Andrea — my cousin and Arddun’s second cousin, who is also known in these parts as “AN-DEEEE!”

Two pairs of sandals, a satisfying sushi lunch, and a decadent truffle-fries afternoon tea with Gail later, we all arrived home (sans Gail) with my aunt in tow. Maybe it was the mental break I’d gotten from today’s outing. Maybe it was how, flanked by two dear women who are connected to my mother and I by familial blood and by the blood of Jesus, I felt encouraged and emboldened.  Or maybe it was the sandals. But we took 3 little steps this evening, together.

  1. We emptied my mother’s shoe cabinet.
  2. We destroyed my mother’s pain medications. Every last pill, smashed and pounded. Liquid morphine, no more. The ghosts of past excruciation, exorcised.
  3. We put on her hats.

My mother had Cancer Hats. She had always been a bit of a hat-wearer when she played tourist, but she also received a few new hats when she started her chemotherapy and lost her hair. And so we gave them a new lease of life this evening…

Velle, Andrea and Ah-yee wearing mum's Cancer Hats

… and then passed them on to my aunt, with much love.

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