Showing posts with label Lovely Husband. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lovely Husband. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

I've got the painters in...

Image from here


No, really!

We're renovating another little chunk of the seventies monstrosity that is home.

Easter is a time when we tend to get around to a bit of tarting up of our house, and this Easter is no different.

When I first ever viewed our house, back in late 2006, the first thing I knew I wanted to change was the hall.

It is big and spacious but as a result of a timber staircase and slate tiles, it is gloomy. Despite it's huge size: it's dark.



The previous owners had done clever things with mirrors, I'll grant you. They even left us with some sensationally tacky mirrored wall tiles in the stair well (which Lexie dances in front of - she likens it to a ballet studio, apparently...)



My lovely husband, for all that he is a geeky IT nerd boy, is a dab hand at painting and decorating. If he had ever taken up a trade, I daresay it should have been a painters apprenticeship. He is a perfectionist who is totally anal committed to intense preparation.

In relation to other tasks, I have heard him utter, many times, "close enough is good enough". But in relation to P&D? Nope. Skirting boards have to be removed and numbered. Vermiculite scraped off the ceilings and then same ceilings painstakingly replastered.  All of the door frames sugar soaped and sanded. Every tiny scrap of wallpaper stripped. Light fittings removed and power point plates lifted.

I groan and complain, but the truth is that I love him for it. We have renovated (and as such, painted) a great number of houses since we have been together. We work well as a team. He cracks the whip, I cut in. He rollers the ceiling whist I get to grips with the high gloss. He starts the second coat whilst I make lunch, and run the rest of our lives.

Now, excuse me, whilst I get him his tool belt, and myself some paint charts...

Quiver...
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And as we renovate, I realise beer and wine glasses around the mess of drop sheets is a big no no. So I am looking at these very coounbreakable plastic glasses - score!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The dance...



My gorgeous friend Naomi writes about all sorts of lovely stuff. I adore her, and I adore her blog: Under the Yardarm.

I had a brief two minutes this morning to read her blog. I am so glad I did.

She writes of new normal and new routines and it resonated with me so much.

My world is chaos at the moment. Between my Mum, friends, guests, school and work, I am drowning a little.

And the lovely husband is frenetic too. I can see it in his eyes and in his nervous tension.

The kids are quick to adapt and the lovely husband and I will get there too, eventually.


"...the dance of me doing more than him,  then him doing more than me.  No set rules, just each of us doing what needs to be done and supporting each other..."


If we aim for this, we will get there? Won't we? Eventually?


I will try...

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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Six years...


For some reason, I have never blogged about my wedding. I have no idea why not, to be honest.

And today is our wedding anniversary.

The lovely husband and I have been together for fourteen years, and married for just six.

On this day six years ago, we made ourselves official, in front of family and friends. We chose to celebrate in an entirely secular fashion. We insisted upon no gifts, and threw a carnival of a party with face painters and fairy floss and bouncy castles...A Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Olivia walked down the aisle with to us. She had only just learned to walk, bless her. It was magical and it made me cry, to see her toddle down the aisle towards us. In full flower girl regalia, she looked utterly heart melting, her red hair topped with a tiny crown of lily of the valley.



This Corner of the Earth

Charlie was only months old - I was a breastfeeding bride. He was, as he is now, easy, content and placid. Through the ceremony and reception he was passed to a hundred willing relatives for cuddles and he gurgled happily to all of them and then slept for hours. (Lexie was not even a twinkle in a our eye - she is horrified that she was the only one not at our wedding...)

The entire day was celebrated with sensational spring weather, in the Adelaide Hills. At an old country house with paddocks abound, we were wed. The food was rustic and delicious, and the wine free flowing. The band were so much fun, and we partied on and on and on.

It was one of the best days of my life. A Lovely Day.

And the very best bit? I got to marry a man who rocks my world entirely. He my best friend and he makes me smile just thinking about him. Together, we are cooler than just about anyone else I know.

Today, over a chaotic family lunch, he loaded up a whole stack of the songs that we played at our wedding. That he can remember them, and play them to me and the kids, is a mark of the man he is and how much fun he makes our world. We don't bother with an exchange of gifts on our anniversary. But we did have a smoochy dance around the kitchen together whilst the kids giggled at us. And exchanged kisses, like we do.

Someone Like You

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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Out of the glut rut...



I was in the supermarket the other day, and one of those sample ladies accosted me - with a locally made balsamic beetroot relish. It was sensational. Utterly delicious.

I was candid with her and told her I would not be buying any from her. She looked surprised - and I explained that we have a glut of beetroot ready to come out of our garden. (The lovely husband and his gluts are well known...)

Luckily we all, including the kids, love beetroot.

So this weekend I took yet another bucket of beetroot from the garden of my lovely husband, and tried to replicate the balsamic beetroot relish I tried in the supermarket.

Beetroot Relish

Ingredients

• 1.5kg fresh beetroot, top and tailed and peeled
• 3 brown onions, peeled and finely chopped
• 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
• 1 cup balsamic vinegar
•1cup white vinegar
• 80ml (1/3 cup) fresh orange juice
• 250g caster sugar
• 300g brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
• ¼ teaspoon mixed spice

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Chop beetroot into quarters and place in a large baking dish, covered in foil.


3. Bake for an hour until beetroot is soft
4. Place onion, apple, vinegar, orange juice, sugar and spices in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.



5. Process the cooked beetroot until roughly chopped – not a fine puree.
6. Add the beetroot to all other ingredients and simmer for an hour, until the mixture thickens slightly.




7. Spoon the hot relish into sterilised jars. Seal.



Enjoy on burgers, with cold meats, or in sandwiches. Or on a cracker with some goats cheese or Philadelphia...

Tell me, beetroot - do you love it or hate it?


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Friday, 23 September 2011

Hot date...


At the end of yet another very busy week, I am grateful to be able to slow the pace a little by snatching five minutes to write a blog post.

I have a date with my husband this evening.

I love him an awful lot; to smithereens in fact, and going out, just the two of us, for dinner, is sublime.

I am grateful for this love we have, and eternally grateful to friends who offer to babysit.

We will recharge our respective batteries, he and I, and top one another up with energy and laughter and gossip, and perhaps a little wine. We will untangle the weeks we've had, and catch up with all of each others various goings on.

We will give anecdotes as gifts to one another and share our wins.

We will, as we do, thrash out issues, plan, anticipate, and verbalise dreams, together. We will exhale and play footsies and flirt, as we sink into the weekend...

As always, I am grateful to him, that lovely husband of mine...


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Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wattle...



It is nearly five years since we moved into the "Seventies Monstrosity" as I tend to call our house.

The front garden, when we first moved here, was tended and perfect. Neat. Not a blade nor a rose out of place. It featured automatic watering and dinky little volcanic pebbles to minimise the weeds.

Some five years on, it has a more "lived in" look, a more rough and tumble appearance, and a lot more "native" a feel.

My lovely husband is a talented gardener. I have made mention of his gluts before, and yes, I love his gluts, for gluts sake. But he is not so keen on working on the front garden. Too public. He hates to "get neighboured" whilst he is gardening and resists lengthy small talk with passers by.

So, our front garden has evolved into a beautiful but rather random combination of herb and salad patch at the lower level, and native jungle at the top of the drive next to the street.

The pavement is gradually lifting, I notice. By the roots of a wattle tree that has grown, from nothing, in less than five years. It is currently in flower, and quite breathtaking. I see people on their evening stroll stop, and admire it's height, it's profusion and it's colour. As I round the corner into our street, and see the wattle, quite bursting with abundant flower and foliage I feel a swell of pride.

When I look at snaps of the front of our house from five years ago, this tree was not evident. It has grown in such a short space of time. Native to the postcode and loving the soil, it has thrived. I take photos today, and it is hard to fit the whole tree into one snap.

Which makes me realise, if you just let nature be, if you leave things to their own devices, beautiful things grow strong.

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Friday, 26 August 2011

Followers, love and "fame"...


I generally try and do a "grateful" post every Friday, and link to Maxabella's Grateful linky.



I am going to use this weeks grateful post to also give some other shout outs too.

So, in no particular order, here are a mere selection of the things I find myself very grateful for this week:

1. Followers - whether you count their numbers or not, all bloggers love engagement, and so I am very thankful for all of the followers and return visitors I get.

My first ever follower was a young lady by the name of Melissa. She is a legend. She writes the blog Suger Coat It. She is my blog designer. She is my Skype chick. She recently wrote a brilliant post about women. Go have a read. You will adore her.



2. Encouragement. I had been blogging for a number of years when Sarah over at Just Me, encouraged me to "go public". I am so glad she did. Blogging has become my best and fave online activity. Sarah, on so many levels, you rock. Your quiet kindness in this world does not go unnoticed.

3. "Fame". A Current Affair, for reporting on a story last night with some level of sanity. News it was not, but they represented Mum Bloggers very well. It was my TV debut. In which I talked about speed and vomit. Classy. As my lovely husband said to me, Oprah has nothing to fear. If you missed it, the video clip is here.

4. Love. My lovely husband. Who comes home early, clinking with the sound of a bottle or two of wine, with a grin, to our weekend.

What are YOU grateful for today?



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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Just me and him.

In a week where my feet have barely touched the ground for a variety of reasons, I am grateful for.....

Friday nights. The anticipation of the weekend ahead of us is gorgeous.

I am always grateful for the bliss of just talk talk talk talk talking with my lovely husband on the couch.

No TV, no Twitter, no Wii, nothing but lovely laughter and lovely conversations. There is a relief and a a connectedness about our Friday nights. I am lucky.



I am so utterly grateful to him, and for everything we become and achieve and enjoy, together.

That is all.

Have a lovely weekend!


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The penny drops...

My lovely husband has been a lean and slim individual his whole life. Lucky bastard.

In all of the photos that I have seen of him as a boy, he is small, slim and wiry.

As a teen he grew into a active and fit young man without an ounce of body fat.

When he and I met, in our twenties, he was muscular and lithe and fit. Lean.

In the entire time I have known him he has never changed the size of his pants; nor has he ever bothered to weigh himself on a regular basis.

For his whole forty plus years he has been a picture of health and metabolic perfection.





In all the time we have lived and loved together, he has been able to eat and and drink whatever he likes and never feel the effects of an expanding waistline. (And I am not kidding when I tell you that his "breakfast of champions" would be a chocolate donut and a toasted ham and cheese sarnie and a can of coke at 11am...bless him...)

He has always taken a great deal of incidental exercise and has played cricket with a passion. He is a natural and gifted athlete.

He has always supported me totally in my weight loss attempts. I think he has, at times, struggled to understand it, but he has unreservedly given me time and encouragement every single step of the way. (I probably can never thank him enough for his support actually - I have never felt pressured into losing weight at all. His support is a mark of the man his is, and how kind he is to me...)

He has listened to me ramble on about weight loss and exercise a lot; and whilst I think he has always sensed how hard it has been for me, at times, I suspect, in his head, he may have been thinking, like metabolically charmed people do: "Surely it's not that hard? Just stop eating chocolate and you'll lose weight? Just go for a quick jog and the kilos will disappear?"

Anyway, recently, since our Wii has been mended , the Wii Fit has seen some activity.

My lovely husband has been lured by the call of the balance board, to weigh himself.

It tells him he is "overweight". (I hasten to add here, he doesn't look it at all, but I sense he has felt a shift in his normally very fast metabolism and perhaps some thickening around the waist?)



Straight away, affronted by this, he takes steps to lose weight.

An exercise regime of Couch to 5kms is initiated and completed; and he cuts out the beers from his lunchtime menu.

He had taken to eating a muesli bar in the car for brekky, and having apples at his desk to snack on. He has been religiously utilising the Wii Fit for muscle and strength workouts and has invested in a fancy stationary bike on which he races intervals.

Evening meals are eaten earlier, and are smaller in portion. He has been requesting a lot more salads.

He has reduced the amount of coffee he drinks, and guzzles water and herbal tea.

And he is committed too. He has finished the Couch to 5kms program, and looks fitter than he has in a while. He has weighed himself consistently over a six week period. I am inordinately proud of him.

He was showing me his results this morning.

He is still termed as 'overweight'. He has fluctuated a bit, and over time, lost about 2kg.

He put his head to one side and said "I don't understand it. It's actually quite hard to shift weight, isn't it? All this effort and all this exercise, and eating healthily, and all I've lost is 2kg..."

No shit Sherlock.

My darling man, welcome, to my world...


All joking aside, his reaction to how tricky it can be to lose weight is a great prompt for me to really step our mutual weight loss efforts up a notch...



Sunday, 15 May 2011

Feijoa Feijoa For Gluts Sake...

I have made mention before of our garden. And of my lovely husband's green fingered ability to give me gluts. Love his gluts.



The newly created front salad and herb garden is thriving - he built it, and he plants out; I water and tend to it. We have not bought fresh herbs or salad greens for six months. The morning sun that this garden bed enjoys, and it's guilt inducing position that's on the way to the car, are a perfect combination.

And as we move to through Autumn to Winter I am still presented with bowls of tomatoes. Still! They have lost their red intensity, but the flavors of these late fruit are still wonderful.

And as I look out of my kitchen window I can see the lemon tree laden and groaning with fruit. This past summers increased rain fall have done the lemons a lot of favours - this seasons fruit and blemish free and thin skinned, ripe with scent, almost pip free and bursting with juice. It is a bumper crop, and will force me to investigate new preserving options - there are only so many jars of marmalade I can give away. 


On the way to the productive compost corner, an old hydrangea bed has been converted by the lovely husband, into another vegetable patch. I suspect this soil, whilst it has had a huge investment of our compost over the past four years, was treated previously with a fair amount of lime (to encourage the old hydrangea bushes to change from blue to pink...)
This lime, in turn, serves the beetroot crops very well - and I cannot wait to start dealing with the beetroot glut that I am sure is coming.

But our greatest glut this year? Feijoa. It is not a fruit that I see in the shops much - maybe because nobody ever needs to buy any due to the profusion off one tree?



When I tell you that we have BUCKETS of the fruit dropping daily (on both sides of our fence) I am not joking.

I have given buckets away daily to neighbours and friends and teachers at school.

The smell is perfumed and fragrant, the taste is sweet and fresh. Luckily my children all love to sit with a bowl of them, sliced in half, spooning out the pulp for themselves.




So I have scoured the internet for tried and true Feijoa recipes and Feijoa Jelly and Feijoa Ice Cream and Feijoa Muffins are all in production today.

If you know of any amazing tried and true Feijoa recipes, please let me know? Or if you have recipes for using bulk amounts of lemons, please share with me?


Saturday, 14 May 2011

The School Run

Whenever it gets to Friday*, my mind starts to wander to the weekend, to our plans, to spending time with the children and my lovely husband.

This week has been busy; non-stop busy, and there I was, on Friday, and dare I say it, but I felt as if I was nearly all caught up?

And so my mind wandered a little more, in this place it found itself, this content place, this grateful place.

It was not even lunchtime and I had a clean house and ironed jeans and dinner was bubbling and smelling rich and enticing in the slow cooker.

To say that I am grateful to my lovely husband is an understatement.

I struggle to articulate just how thankful I am for his presence, which I can never presume to expect.



Yesterday he did the school run for me.

The untold joy that that brings Olivia and Charlie is quite worth it, for him, whilst Lexie and I are then unencumbered by the trip - we remained in our pyjamas and got busy with boring but quite satisfying chores.

He works hard, my lovely husband, for us, for me, for himself.

I know, intellectually, how hard this must be - a family to support, the main breadwinner, the car loans, the reputation, the scope, the stress. But I am not sure I do comprehend emotionally how really tough this is for him at times. When I do catch a glimpse of it, it scares me.

So I tell him how much I love and appreciate all that he is, and just hope he feels it.

I am eternally grateful to him, for the essence that is Andrew, for the man that he is.

And I am also incredibly grateful for the fact that he does the school run...




* I wrote this yesterday. Then Blogger broke. Now we are back, it seems. I am grateful to Blogger too...!

PS This is, as always, my contribution to Maxabella's Saturday Grateful.

Friday, 29 April 2011

How I met the Lovely Husband...

I have been a trippin' and a stumblin' down memory lane. About love. And how grateful I am that things turned out the way they did.

The lovely husband and I met way back when Optus first started out in Australia.

Remember being able to Dial 1456?



That was me and him. And a few others too, but not many.

Back in those days (1995?) the induction training for all new Optus employees was six weeks long. (Six weeks? Fark. Times have changed.)

So, Andrew and I had six weeks of getting to know each other/showing off to each other/nicking off for smokes together.

I liked him.

He had nice long eyelashes. And he was verbose and confident. A cynical optimist. Really. He told me that about himself on the first day we met, and I thought he was mad. Cute, but mad. I thought that to be a cynical optimist was a total contradiction. An oxymoron. But it's true and possible. He is, to this day, a cynical optimist.

We then worked and partied together for a year or so. We were friends. We talked, and flirted. We got messy together on Friday nights at the pub.



I was fond. In a very low key kind of a way. He had a nice bum. Him and his goatee and his general levels of hedonism: they were fun.

We were close, in a drinking buddy kind of way. He would kiss the top of my head as he got up go to the bar to get me a drink. In a way that made our other work mates raise eyebrows. But I kind of just sat with the idea of him, in anticipation.

And then, one day...he then went and got married to some other girl. (A blonde skinny thing.)

I could tell you I was broken hearted. But I wasn't. A little sad that my Friday night pash was out of action, perhaps. It actually didn't bother me. I think I kind of quietly knew that we would end up together eventually one day. But that was a deep down in my gut very quiet type of whisper.

Him getting married to someone else was just an odd detour. I think he was on a one way street with her, unable to chuck a u-ey.

Anyway...his marriage was short and sweet. As was my attention span, to be honest. I think he tried to take me on a few dates. But I never realised he was trying to woo me. I thought we were "just friends".

I then took a trip back to England to extinguish some old flames. And whilst I was away, I would get sweet voicemail messages from Andrew. Those messages from him, well...they made me feel safe.

He picked me up from the airport when I returned from that trip.

He drove from Palm Beach to Mascot at some ungodly hour of the day, to meet me off my plane and to carry my bags.

And I still didn't really get that he was wooing me.

A week or two later, I offered to take him for dinner, to thank him for all of his gracious taxi services.

We went to a beachside restaurant in Coogee.



And he had to walk me through it very slowly.

Andrew: So, what are we going to do about us?

Me: What d'you mean, us?

Andrew: Well, we can carry on as we are...you know, friends,

Me: Yeah........

Andrew: Or friends that hook up on a Friday night...

Andrew: Or you could go get a proper boyfriend on me?

Me: Yeah...

Andrew: Or we could do the sensible thing. Make it official? You and me...
Me: Oh. Errrrm, so which would be your preference then?

Andrew: The latter. Obviously. See if we fall in or fall out, perhaps?

Pause

Me: Oh. Okay then.

(I have to point out something here. The above script makes me sound very cool/charmless/disinterested. Not the case. I was blown away that such a lovely bloke was able to articulate so easily to me the options, and best of all, what he wanted.)

So, that was the night we got together.

We walked, hand in hand, to the top of the headland overlooking Coogee beach, and kissed and talked. For hours.

It was bliss.

There was little pomp or ceremony then.

And 16 years later, there is still no pomp or ceremony.

But it's still bliss....




(This post originally appeared when I guest posted last year over at Lori's place. I am now linking up to both the Weekend Rewind & Maxabella's Grateful....)





Saturday, 16 April 2011

Coming home...



My lovely husband was away last week, interstate again, on business.

We cope fine when he is away.

I juggle a little more quickly, a little more intensely, but force myself to slip into a groove that excludes my need for him.

The bed is too big without him, but I fill it with books and children.

There is no clarity or anticipation to my evenings when I cannot expect him home, but the solitude to write and plan and focus is welcome.

There is no maleness around, no smell of him, no all encompassing hugs. No laundry or shirt ironing either.

We do not spend hours on the telephone with one another when he is away - to talk but to be apart makes that lonely gap widen.

And then, at last, he is home. I feel my whole being relax with sweet relief. (I am sorry to my Twitter friends who I abandoned rudely last night. He appeared. And my Twitter was forgotten mid tweet.)

Late evening sun with a view, and him, and talking and sideways glances. A shower together and reading together, curled up. Red wine and slow smiles and talking. Oh how I love talking with him.

He has come home and I am more grateful for him as a result of his absence.



I am linking this up with the lovely Maxabella. Where I remember that the LOHL was away this week too....



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Total calories inhaled - 888 ~ Exercise calories burned - 450 ~ Glasses of water sculled - 4
School terms completed without a dose of nits - 8! ~ Hours of glorious sleep - 6

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Boys...

My daughters, Olivia and Lexie, and I indulge in "girl time" a fair bit. Be it bubble baths together, or mammoth colouring in sessions, or singalongs to Grease.  We do chick stuff together. We revel in it.

Charlie, my son,  maybe misses out, then, through the week?

He spend lots of time with me - he walks with me some mornings. He always requests to have his bedtime reading last, as he knows this allows me to linger with him, and snuggled together on his bed, we chat.

So it is pottery weekends like the one we have all just shared together that I notice that Charlie is determined and relieved and excited to get "boy time" with Daddy.





They have been like one anothers shadow all weekend, in the thin sunshine. They have shopped for plants and garden "stuff" at the nursery.

They have focused, almost silently, over a huge jigsaw (now complete).

They have riddled out compost and planted out more beetroot seedlings. They have fryed big breakfasts together.

They have cleaned the Weber, cooked a roast, and started a bonfire pile. Together.

They have flopped on the couch and watched sport and Sponge Bob and shared a mug of tea, together.

They have passed me by, with the odd pat, the odd kiss.

They have enjoyed boy time.

As I have enjoyed watching them both, my lovely boys, immersed in one another.

It makes me realise how vital it is to spend one on one time with my lovely children, and to let Daddy get that time in too...

If you have boys, tell me you father son tales?

Do you make time to spend individually with your kids? One on one?




I am linking this post up to the Weekend Rewind