Saturday, July 30, 2011

[lately] skate park

I don't know if I've ever told the story here about how I met my incredible friend Anastasia. The short version is: we met online. But not only does that sound weird and possibly a bit creepy, it also fails to tell the full story. Basically, we were both part of a LiveJournal community dedicated to keeping handwritten journals. Staish's pages were amazing, sprinkled with prayer poems and beautiful handwriting, and (yes, this part is possibly a bit creepy) I kept coming back to her posts when I needed fresh inspiration for my own journalling. It was evident she was in love with Jesus and exuded creativity.

From there, we became actual LiveJournal buddies and then MySpace pals (back in the day, hey?). We were commenting back and forth on MySpace one day when I informed Staish I'd be moving from WA to Queensland. 'Where in Queensland?' she commented back. 'Brisbane,' I said. 'Dude, I live in Brisbane!' was Staish's reply. Then I realised my mistake and amended it: 'Actually, it's [little suburb south of the city]'. The next reply from Staish: 'I LIVE THERE!' Sure enough, in what can only be a God thing, Anastasia lived five minutes down the road from my family's new home in Queensland. Crazy, crazy stuff.

We talked about meeting up and then one morning I found a package in my letterbox with a map to Staish's church -- attached, with ribbons, to a block of chocolate. Then followed incredibly awkward trepidation pre in-person meet-up followed by amazed and bewildered joy as we realised we could be Real Life Friends in even greater measure than online buddies.

It continues to amaze me that God could randomly introduce such a spectacular person in such a neat way. Now, I experience withdrawals if I don't get catch up with Staish once a week. We talk about books and God and her present and always husband and my future one. We watch movies and do craft and gush over Moleskines and laugh at awkward things and both love art and teenage fiction. Anastasia is a blessing in my life and I'm so so pleased God introduced us.

And I guess I got a little carried away because that was really meant to be an intro to our afternoon expedition taking pictures at the skate park near Staish's house. Never mind: people are always the real story, right?

* * * * *


Caitlin -- I'm making handwritten notes of all the posts I want to write ;)

Katie -- I don't think I realised how easy wireless makes things until here I have it again and it's bliss!

Laura Elizabeth -- good observation skilz! I was definitely being photobombed in my own house. Tain was proud of his ability to make it in the shot (again and again!). Also, I am an intense nerd so I loved that your comment included homework for me. My definition of RALIOISM is: the state of fustration which occurs when your attempts at a picture are repeatedly thwarted by photobombing attacks.

Un -- I'm back!

Carla -- internet, I love thee!

Samantha R -- I missed being more caught up on everyone's worlds. Really looking forward to being better at staying in touch. xx

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Well hey

Remember those ads which said This Is Your Brain, On Speed? Well This Is My Face, On Wireless. Yes, after four months, the Housie has connectivity. There are some bugs to be ironed out (too SLOW, with the occasional entire drop-out of internet all together), but we HAVE internet. More than that, however, I also have neighbours -- my parents and smallest brother have finally moved into the main house next door to the Housie. I want to call it The Big House, but that has jailbird undertones, and The Mansion sounds too pretentious. Regardless, they're here, and we're all looking forward to life resuming some aspects of normalcy. I'm also looking forward (optimistically) to spamming you with all the posts I've written in my head lately. Stay tuned.

* * * * *


Laura Elizabeth -- you're really too nice! I love that about poetry -- that it's possible to connect with the words without always understanding the story or true significance underneath them.

Samantha R -- YES. Exactly. <3

Monday, July 25, 2011

Project 52: seven

I crave belonging (I suspect we all do).
We hunt it out wherever it is to be found.
We band together in tightening circles
And bear the marks of our believed belonging in
The intricate carvings on our skins,
The unparalleled symmetry of our faces,
Our shared seeming inability to belong,
Or the fact that he said, ‘you, too?’

We search for our best fit—
A tiny head nestled into mama’s collarbone;
His hand in yours like hook with eye;
The three of you slunk against a rusted rail,
Together looking outward.

And sometimes we find it, but sometimes we don’t
(or we do, and it no longer fits).
The belonging we stretch for
Falls just outside our reach
Or abrades, coarse surface to coarse surface.
And we are homesick
Though this is where we’re meant to be.

Take your heart and wade on with courage
Through present tension to future tense.
We are rooted in earth but ethereal
Never full belonging
Where we won’t be long.

* * * * *


Samantha R -- you said it beautifully :)

Asea -- I heartily recommend the Crafternoon -- as heartily as I recommend trips to Australia :D

Monday, July 18, 2011

Project 52: six

You know how, in this world of swiftly-shifting modes of social interaction and everyone so busy being somebody that sometimes it's hard to be us (like two or three people, themselves, together), it seems like there are more missed connections than caught ones, more awkwardness than ease, and it sometimes makes you wonder (though you know you're being more than just a little Eeyore) if anyone really finds each other any more? Well, they do.

* * * * *


Samantha R -- thank you, friend. xx

Eweight -- thanks, lovely. xx

Ruth -- ah, what gave you the idea that I'm not in love with the fine establishment known as Sizzler? ;)

Rebecca Simon -- I wish you could come along to one of our crafternoons :)

Katie -- it is indeed a fun way to spend an afternoon. :)

Harri -- you're my original crafternoon buddy!!! How I wish we could have one together now :). Yes, that's Abby. Isn't she a little chubbykins?

Laura Elizabeth -- I'm devastated! I just saw a book for sale called Kids' Crafternoons! I wanted that word to be alllll ours!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


One of the things on my holiday wishlist was to launch Crafternoons at the Housie -- and last week, the first one happened. There were sweet cupcakes, a sweet baby, and some sweet crafting action. My mum worked on her wholecloth quilt while my sister Lauren made baby thank you cards. Staish cut pieces for some adorable strings of bunting, and I played with my art journal and some stitchery work. Happy days!

* * * * *


Un -- Tain wouldn't have even noticed :D

Mothercare -- :D

Laura Elizabeth -- the lucky is all on my side. He's so hilarious and fun :D.

Staish -- I get to see you tomorrow! And thank you for your always beautiful words.

Rebecca Simon -- <3

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Project 52: five

This isn't the best photo.
You are high on Pepsi Max
and on life
and there's a cut on your lip
from shaving
(oh yes, this just in: you shave now).

You like Batman figurines,
the Wiggles, John Wayne,
Little House on the Prairie,
and you shave.

You chose to go to Sizzler,
oh most classy of establishments,
and I suspect the attraction
is not the food itself but the fact
that you are allowed to walk right up
to that creepy health hazard of a buffet
and serve the food all on your own
and onto your own plate
--as much as you want.
Am I right?

You are very much thirteen in this regard.
But you also talk about getting married
and having a job someday (farming and
being president are two favourite options)
and you like wearing slippers with that hideous dressing gown
that looks like someone wrapped you in a dead bear,
so occasionally you are also fifty-five.

But you are still a fan of snuggles
and Bob the Builder
and if you're being too bouncy,
your bedtime is nearer 7.30 than 8.
So in some ways, you will always be
six years old.
But in every way, you will always be
my littlest brother
and I'm thankful that your birth mother
chose to share you with us
twelve years ago.

* * * * *


Mothercare -- sadly they're dying now. I always hang onto fresh flowers too long.

Samantha R -- it really does look like Autumn! I'm guessing because maybe this Queensland winter is closer to Autumn in other cooler parts of Australia.

Laura Elizabeth -- absolutely!! are you on holidays now, too? I do hope so!

Un -- I'm glad we chatted yesterday :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy golden days

Sorry to have gone all ninja on you and disappeared from the blog. First, I was sick. Then, I was, you know, on holidays. It's been nice. Some of the stuff that's been happening includes:

• starting books and actually finishing them
• a crafternoon! (pictures to come)
• trying to keep alive the tiny herb garden my mum made for me
• hanging out with my family
• squishing my niece
• sleeping in
• watching some good DVDs
• shopping for a wedding outfit and finding one, with only a hint of tears
• actually doing some novel rewriting
• tidying and cleaning the Housie
• movie night and black forest trifle with lovely girlfriends


• finding beautiful bouquets of flowers on sale for ridiculously cheap prices

What's new with you?

* * * * *


Katie -- it seems the ideal garden for a slow graduation into new seasons. While some of the trees are losing their leaves, others are just turning, and still others already have new buds. It's lovely.

Laura Elizabeth -- yes! Nights are cold and the days are sunny. It's practically perfect! And thank you for your lovely words re. the project 52 post. I have to come and lurk yours (my internet is being a pain; it's disconnected three times just in the writing of this post, requiring a restart of my computer before it would even connect again. GRRR!).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Winter at the Housie

I was going to make a more thoughtful post today, but being a bit under the weather has melted my brain. Instead, I'll share with you some pictures of winter at the Housie. Since moving to Queensland four and a bit years ago, I've lamented the fact that the seasons pass by almost unrecognised here in Brisbane. Things are either green, or not, it seems. And I miss the beautiful liquid amber tree from my childhood home in the Hunter Valley; it was like a perfect barometer of the changing seasons. However, I was obviously not looking in the right places because here in the garden, winter is shouting in all its most glorious colours -- and sharply, too, as my mum has been digging and weeding and trimming and dead-heading and spreading and everything is looking lovely.

Winter foliage. Mmhmm.

* * * * *


Un -- :) Memories...

Elisabeth -- you are a sweet friend! x

Abbie -- This: There's so much to learn as we travel along, isn't there? And learning to treasure very moment, every season, every good or bad, is something I need to learn most of all. So true. And you didn't ramble at all; longer comments are a treat :). It was great to see you briefly for coffee and chats and smiles. xx

Bloss -- a treasured comment from you! Thank you! xx It's so strange to suddenly realise that we're no longer waiting to grow up or trying to put it off; it happened when none of us were looking, and it's a different place to be, and a challenging place to be, but a great place nonetheless. I'm so glad you could relate. Bless you!

Katie -- so considerate of him! little Daniel is already being a thoughtful young man.

Harri -- letterssssss! YAY! <3 you.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Project 52: two [three, four]

Friday: we are little girls, dreaming, dawdling, playing, and promising never to be grown ups, never to sit around and just talk. Saturday: we talk, sometimes, but we still know how to build treehouses and lay hidden in the overgrown green of the next-door paddock. Sunday: we forget our promises never to be grown ups because it happens, almost, when we are not looking. Someday: someday is here, and I have grey hairs, and I cry, but not just about the grey hairs. It is someday and it's not what we expected. It's harder than we expected and it's worse than we expected. But it's easier than we expected, and it's better than we expected. Someday: and there are other little girls, and they are our little girls. One of them dreams and dawdles and plays and wants to be grown up right now. We could not slow the growing up down, and she cannot speed it up. She looks at us and wonders why we just sit around and talk. But we realise now that it's exactly what we want to do, and it is good.

* * * * *


Samantha R -- :D :D :D thank you, friend! He's a doll.

Un -- it really was :D. xx

Rebecca Simon -- yes, sorry it didn't happen! We almost got to organise something with you but plans changed before I could text. We WILL catch up sometime, I am sure!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Two weeks was a long time to be away from home, but a short time to be with my sister, Andrea, and her precious little family. I'm fumbling around for the right words to aptly summarise two weeks of getting to hang out and chat with a sister I see all too little, and making better and better friends with my first niece and nephew. Amelia and I were already BFFs (sharing a fondness for journals, coloured pencils, and costume jewellery, though at four she already has better taste than me), but Mitchell, now two-and-a-half, took a little more convincing. On the first day, he responded to my anecdote about seeing an owl on a signpost with the blunt shut-down, "That's not exciting." But by the next day, he told me I was his "best best friend" and shouted, "I LOVE you staying here till the baby comes out!"

Which is the real reason behind my visit: to be there as aunt/babysitter when small person no. 3 made his or her arrival. Only said small person was none too quick about arriving and its due date slipped past with nary a peep. We filled in the blanks by exploring the little snowfields town my sister lives in, tripping out for a day to Canberra to see the war memorial and the luscious streets lined with bare-bones winter trees. We had coffee (twice) at our favourite little providore, and both times we managed to get a table right by the open fire. We knitted (well, Andrea did) and read (well, I did), and Sam introduced me to the dorky entertainment that is The Scrapheap Challenge. I laughed over and over again at the amazingly witty things coming out of small niece and nephew's mouths, and we generally tried to ignore the fact that baby no. 3 might not actually arrive before I had to fly home again.

Andrea walked over hill and dale in an attempt to keep moving and possibly nudge baby on into the world, but all seemed useless. It was snug in there; who'd want to face a southern winter anyway, right? But one afternoon, Andrea and I sat down to watch The Little Kidnappers, a movie we'd loved when we were small and which we were hoping would stand the test of time. We weren't five minutes in when Andrea leapt off the couch quite suddenly. It was happening.

Just after midnight, with Amelia and Mitchell sound asleep, my phone rang (I should probably change my ringtone from the Batman theme soon) and Andrea was there, telling me that there is a new little man in the world, and his name is Daniel.

In spite of our complaints, Daniel's timing was perfect. And he is perfect -- already a golden child, so content and snuggly, and looking a lot like his dad. I had five days to enjoy him before I had to fly home, and it was an honour to be able to be there for his first few days of life this side of the womb. Though we never did get to finish watching The Little Kidnappers.

* * * * *


Laura Elizabeth -- I know, right? Two babies in two months is quite incredible! PS. Thank you for missing me in blogland. I felt all warm and fuzzy :).

Staish -- alas! In the post-trip suitcase weigh-in, the red coat got thrown aside on account of IT WAS TOO HEAVY.

Katie -- thank you!

Cara -- new small people for both of us! Yay!

Amanda -- I'll be posting more at LJ :)

Samantha -- thank you, lovely. Thinking of you today. x
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