An Anniversary Getaway

I have discovered that one of the great delights in life, now that I am a parent, is to escape to a five star retreat with my husband. I explained in my last post that it is tiring having two year old triplets. Conveniently, it was our anniversary last Friday night and we had organised to escape overnight to Brisbane. After such a hectic week, the opportunity to relax and unwind was certainly appreciated.

So, as much as I love my five munchkins, it was a happy heart indeed that I had as I waved them all goodbye and Grandma drove them out to her farm for a sleepover Friday afternoon. I then ran into town and did an errand, rushed about and was still late when The Accountant arrived home early to pick me up so we could be on our way. (Confound the 24 coloured pencils that I had decided to start labelling for school when I should have been showering!)

10 minutes later I was ready to go, and we headed to the Stamford Plaza, Brisbane for a beautiful overnight stay. When we arrived, there was a slight moment of panic when we realised our online booking had not been received. Luckily there were still rooms available, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to be placed in a room on the 21st floor. We adore a room with a view! Not to mention beautiful decor and l’Occitane products in the room. Devine! We smelled so sweet!

We then rushed down to George’s Paragon at the Eagle St. Pier and just managed to get there for our dinner reservation. We had a very yummy and generous meal. When I was 23 weeks pregnant we had gone to Aria, which was just downstairs. It has been one of the dining highlights of my life. Alex much preferred the seafood, and particularly the size of the portions upstairs at the Paragon, especially his “Paragon Platter”. I must admit my schnapper was delightful as well.

We had a lovely table on the balcony, (thanks to a delightful waiter who upgraded us!) overlooking the Storey Bridge.

We happily dined and wined and chatted the evening away before ending it with a brief stroll to our hotel.

Another delight when getting away is buffet breakfasts the next morning! The Stamford had a great summer package with breakfast and parking included. Alex and I have now developed a routine when we go away. Alex reads his free newspaper and I read whatever novel I am consuming on my kindle. It is so nice after all the years of marriage to sit in companionable silence participating in an activity the actually is really unwinding for us. We look up and have a chat occasionally or share something about what we are reading. We always eat at a leisurely pace and head up to our room ready to start our day refreshed.

After breakfast, we both did a little more reading before we left!

This time it was only a quick getaway, so after breakfast we checked out, more problems, this time with the bill, but that was happily sorted out without a fuss also and we went for a walk in the drizzling rain down beside the Brisbane river and then back through the Botanic Gardens. A quick walk into town, Alex grabbed a coffee and then before we knew it, it was time to go back home and pick up the kids.

We are very blessed that we live close to three of the children’s four grandparents and the children are more than happy to stay with them on the odd occasion. It makes it so much easier to arrange these little getaways. If you are able to getaway and do something that you love with your spouse, it really is lovely to return to your children’s with the fresh glow of love for one another. I know it is not always possible, but for a child to have a Mum and a Dad who are very much in love, is one of life’s great gifts. It gives them identity and security so it is always worthwhile taking the time to escape and recharge when it is possible.

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess.

*PS. It’s not that I’m opposed to doing so, but I wasn’t paid or gifted by any of the commercial venues mentioned above. I just wanted to mention some places that we have had a great time at – you know, in case you want to copy, because we feel very flattered when we are copied. Yes, really, we do!

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Anniversary Reflections

At this time fifteen years ago I was preparing to get married. It was the usual flurry of hairdressers, chattering bridesmaids, make up, finery and photos. Then there was a pause when I was ready, the girls had driven away in their cars and I was sitting with my Father waiting for my turn. I wanted to arrive at the church on time. My Mum had wanted to arrive on time, and hadn’t. I wanted to do it for her, I wanted to ‘break tradition’. (I was too young to realise that I actually love keeping traditions. The youth in me just wanted to break status quo.) My father didn’t agree. “Brides have to be late”, he had said and then wasted time and ignored my requests to get in the car. I was nervous. I knew what came next was enormous, life changing and meaningful. I was nervous, but I was certain. I wanted to marry my Alex.

And so I eventually arrived at the church (late) and married him. My Alex. My best friend. So cliche, but so true. He was, and is, my best friend. I couldn’t imagine it being any other way.
I wish I could say I never regretted the decision to marry him. It’s not true. Because marriage is hard. I can remember driving in the car with him sometime during our first year of marriage. Absolutely furious and wondering what on earth I did. What had I got myself into for the rest of my life? Because at least I always had the perspective that this was a life deal. There are times when it would have been so easy to walk away from the deal. If I had, I would have never known the amount of happiness I would have been missing out on just because I chose to halt in a moment of unhappiness and unforgiveness. Instead, I can say that I love him now more than I did on that wedding day when I passionately, with all my heart said, “I do”. I know that I am absolutely 100% glad that I did marry my man, my Alex. 
There are times when I have been so frustrated, hurt and angry at this man I love. There are times when I think I never want to see him again. I want to pack up and leave this whole crazy scenario called marriage. And, I know that he is just as frustrated. But we don’t leave. Somehow we grit our teeth and we stay.
When I made those vows, “Until death do us part”, 15 years ago, unlike current trends, I really did take them seriously. To stay together until death parts us takes an enormous amount of hard work. It requires humility, graciousness, patience, acceptance, compassion and a whole list of other character traits. Divorce is not an option. Happiness is an option, and we have chosen it. We have chosen that the times after we have fought to apologise and to make things right, to sacrifice our own agenda for the sake of our marriage, and now for the sake of our children. Our marriage isn’t easy, because it never is when two people from different background, different desires and each with sinful natures combine. However, our marriage is happy. It’s fulfilling and it honours God. It means that for the one time that I wish that I wouldn’t see that man again, there are 20 times that I am infinitely glad I share my life with the guy that makes my heart full with his corny jokes, his silly mannerisms and his unconditional love.

Fifteen years ago I had one of the best days of my life. It was the perfect celebration of the first day of our marriage. Our lifetime commitment. 
Keep tuned as the story continues. For it will. Until death do us part.
What does marriage mean to you?
And because I’m thankful for my marriage this Thursday, I’m joining in with Six By The Bay for Thankful Thursday.

SixByTheBay

On another note. Congratulations to Sharon Fawcett, Melissa Bowdler and Juanita who wrote funny rhymes about burps, missing undies and nose picking. My son loved them and couldn’t resist awarding, “Good Night, Sleep Tight” to your amusing poems!
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Valentines = Love

Happy Valentines Day!

I’ve just had the loveliest of Valentines Days. It was simple, a little bit of effort, but nothing nonsensical. Kept things simple, but it was fun.

I found myself explaining Valentines Day to J Boy after we had done a Valentines craft at playgroup.

I explained it simply to him, “Valentines Day is a day where you show people that you love them.” After such an explanation, I found myself wanting to make the day special for him and The Baby, since I love them with all my heart.

We started the day going to a storytelling session held at a local church. It’s always a lovely morning and the boys are completely doted on by all the lovely old ducks who volunteer to make the morning special for the kids by playing with them, making them morning tea, reading stories etc. They did a Valentines craft too, so the theme for the day was set.

J Boy rode his bike while I pushed the pram and walked the dog home stopping via the library. We were followed home by a young staffy dog, that’s been the low point of the day, as she is now staying with us until hopefully her owners are located, but  is a terrible whiner. J Boy told his father that “It’s a strange dog because it doesn’t bark, but it does squeal. It squealed and squealed and squealed when it got put in the yard.” Good description son. I’ve rung the pound and the local council service centre in the hope that the owner will get in contact with her. As yet, no one has claimed her, I really don’t want to send her to the pound, but sheesh, this whinging is driving me bananas.

Anyway, I got enthusiastic and J Boy and I made The Accountant his favourite dessert – chocolate mousse.

Then I thought I would make the boys chocolate and choc chip pancakes in the shape of love hearts. It looked a little better in my mind, but if you use your imagination, you can see where I was heading. Didn’t matter anyway, boys being boys only really cared about the taste, and that got the thumbs up!

J Boy and I picked some flowers from the garden for table decs. Since learning that some rose petals are edible, J has been fascinated with the whole concept, so he ate some the table’s centerpiece and declared it delicious.

I had found some funky love heart pasta, which we ate with the age old family favourite: bolognaise. Even decided to use the family heirloom Royal Albert for the occassion! J Boy used his very own Wedgewood (Peter Rabbit!) for the first time. I almost had a hernia when after strict instructions to carry with two hands he decided to swing it around with one hand by his fingertips. Close call.

So dinner with not one male, but the three males I love most in the world. It was one of the sweetest Valentines ever.

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