Weekend: 12-13 March 2016

  • Went to K-Mart after work and bought myself a bag, shoes and a scarf. Treat yo’self 🙂
  • Bought a dozen canolis in celebration of my father-in-law’s birthday
  • Visited my mother-in-law for tea and canolis
  • Receiving hilarious showbags from a country show in our area. We got those horse head masks in ours which was hilarious
  • Picking up our friends on the way back home.
  • Watching The Lobster. I loved it – definitely an acquired taste and very strange, but I loved the style of the movie.
  • Watching some episodes of American Ninja Warrier with our friends
  • Saying goodbye to our friends after midnight and deciding to do a  impromptu gym session in our new home gym
  • Going to bed tired and happy
  • Sleeping in on Saturday and relishing the light streaming in through the bedroom window
  • Complaining about the heat – it may be Autumn now but Summer seems to want to stay
  • Cancelling our gym memberships and buying groceries
  • Eating a big lunch of my mum’s traditional food – black beans with rice, cheese and sugar bananas. Yummm
  • Picking up our friends and heading over to the country show
  • Sweating in the heat while watching pig races, lumberjacks competing in wood chopping, whipcrack demonstrations, and classically, a guy playing a guitar while seated on a cow wearing a hat.
  • Sitting at the main arena waiting for the monster trucks
  • Amazed at the defeaning sound of the monster trucks as they entered the arena
  • Watching a few normal jumps, before one did a jump a little too fast and ALMOST FLIPPED OVER. It didn’t but landed with a crunch on its front steering rod which snapped cleanly in two. Cut the show short, but it was very exciting.
  • Watching a hilarious comedy exchange between a guy and his horse.
  • Going on a few rides as night fell and enjoying the speed and being flipped upside down
  • Heading to dinner at one of our favourite Italian restaurants
  • Ordering a red wine and tucking into a delicious pasta
  • Catching the end of the fireworks from the restaurant
  • Ordering a creme brĂ»lĂ©e. Yum
  • Heading home sleepy but happy
  • Waking up early on Sunday morning to get ready for a big day. It was our family’s annual picnic day to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday. We always go to Thirroul beach which has a nice park for the young kids to play in as well.
  • However before going to the beach, Cejay had his first trial soccer game of the season at 9am.
  • Hanging out with a friend while watching the soccer and relishing being outside in the beautiful weather with a coffee.
  • Enjoying the game and Cejay’s team winning
  • Getting a little concerned when things turned a bit hostile on the field.
  • Heading to the beach!
  • Chatting with friends and family and playing some ball games
  • Having a bbq lunch
  • Heading to the beach and diving in to the freeeeeezing cold water
  • Battling against the very rough waves and enjoying the sand, salt and water
  • Getting out after a while and heading to the sea salt pool
  • Chatting with friends while relaxing in the pool
  • Getting out after more than an hour, getting changed and enjoying some cheesecake that my friend made
  • Feeling tired and helping to pack up as we headed home
  • Did some quick laundry and housework before settling in to watch Spectre. A decent Bond movie.
  • Heading to bed to get ready for another week.
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My Father-In-Law

Today is 11 March. It is the birthday of my father-in-law. He passed away 4 years ago now. Wow. 4 years.

He didn’t get to see us married. Or even engaged. He didn’t see it when we bought and built our house. When we got our full-time jobs. When we started our business.

But the thing is, rather than let this be a sad post, it’s a realistic post. At least, in the way I have learnt to deal with grief.

I haven’t actually experienced a death before my father-in-law. The closest is probably meeting my paternal grandmother when I was 5. I still remember her. But I was 5. And she didn’t speak English. I did. We spoke in gestures and smiles and I truly loved her. If I close my eyes I can still smell her scent. She passed away several years afterwards, but that was when she had already gone back to her homeland of Bangladesh, and I hadn’t seen her in years. I had grown up to be around 9 years old. I didn’t understand grief. I knew it was sad. I saw what it did to my dad. But I didn’t understand it.

The first time I saw a dead body was when I saw one of my friend’s parents pass away from lung cancer. I was about 10 at the time. I saw this chubby man disinitegrate to a thin one. A scarily thin one. And when I saw him after he passed, I hardly recognised him. I was a little afraid, but mostly, I didn’t understand.

I don’t think I fully understood the circumstances when my father-in-law died. I was 20 at the time. I knew the mechanics. I knew he had oesophageal cancer. I knew it was the worst stage. I knew it had spread to his lungs. I knew that chemotherapy and radiotherapy were the only hope, a small hope. And I understood when, approximately 6 weeks after diagnosis, the news that it had spread to his brain was bad. I knew after he had a stroke, that it was the end. What I didn’t know though, was that the end didn’t necessarily need to come immediately. He stayed for another week. In a coma, but he was there. He knew when we were there.

I’m not trying to make this a sad post. I’m … reflective. I haven’t been able to write words like this yet. It’s all been in my head. It’s been raw. But this is probably the first time I can write about it without sobbing. That hasn’t stopped my eyes welling up though.

I’m not sure what the point of this post is, but I suppose if I had to give a reason, it is that life goes on. So much has happened in the last 4 years. But at the same time, that grief stays with you. It always will. But the hurt that has happened whenever I think of him, has slowly began to be replaced by happiness. The happiness caused by celebrating a life. A beautiful life, a beautiful soul. My father-in-law was amazing. I wish he was here. I really do. I miss him. But avoiding to think about him is wrong. I don’t want to lose his memory.

I am so happy that I knew him. I am so happy that he was a part of my life for several years. I love him and I know that he looks over us. So, today, for his birthday, I am going to be happy. In previous years it has hurt. But this year I am going to be happy. Because, it is his birthday.

Jess xo

Weekend: 27-28 February 2016

  • Finishing work and looking forward to the weekend.
  • Eating dinner and keeping an eye on the time.
  • Heading off to the movies to watch Deadpool.
  • Spotting an old friend at the movies and having a quick catch up.
  • Deadpool was AWESOME.
  • Heading home and having a nice quiet evening before going to bed.
  • Relishing the first proper sleep in since coming back to Sydney.
  • Having a cup of green tea.
  • Sorting laundry and tidying.
  • Playing Sim 3 (we have become addicted again…)
  • Doing some furniture shopping – our study needed a new bookcase.
  • Attending a friend’s housewarming.
  • Eating food and chatting.
  • Heading back to my mother in law’s house for tea and dinner.
  • Having a nice chat with our aunt, uncle and nan.
  • Heading home quite late and doing a further tidy up of the house.
  • Watching tv and relaxing with a cup of tea.
  • Complaining about the awful weather forecasts recently – they have been constantly getting the weather wrong.
  • Heading to bed looking forward to Sunday.
  • Waking up to find Cejay had caught a cold and was now with a sore throat.
  • Calling off our plans to go to the beach today.
  • Heading out quickly to the green grocer and to pick up a lamp we had purchased prior to Asia.
  • Heading home and cooking tortellini for lunch.
  • Watching the brand new episodes of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Big Bang Theory and Modern Family to distract Cejay from his cold.
  • Playing the Sims as a further distraction.
  • Eating leftover tortellini for dinner (it was really yum)
  • Having a glass of red wine as I binge watched Season 1 of Gossip Girl (I have forgotten everything and I LOVE it)
  • Heading to bed looking forward to another week.

Back in Sydney

During most of February, I was travelling through Asia which is why I haven’t written recently. I’ve been back to normal life for just over a week and have finally started to settle back. We landed on the Sunday and went straight back to work the next day, so things like a trip to the market for groceries, laundry, a clean house and sleep were pushed to the side for the first few days as we struggled to get back to reality. Now that the washing has been done, the fridge stocked and the house (mostly) neat, we feel a lot more like ourselves. Phew.

Asia was amazing. I will post up more pictures and recounts of what we did soon. We travelled to Singapore, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau over 2.5 weeks. My favourite was probably Hong Kong, and I would go back in a heartbeat. Although Singapore was also very cool – I felt like I had travelled to the future with their amazing buildings.

Otherwise life has been very busy and there are incredibly exciting things on the horizon. I feel like the year has started just now for me, and that I am ready to get stuck into some hard work and achieve some goals.

One of the things I’ve really missed being away from home are all the home cooked meals. We have cooked dinner every night, and the nights we aren’t home, we are at our parents’ houses eating our favourites. I don’t see myself succumbing to a lazy McDonald’s dinner any time soon – I am so over it now. Over the years I have avoided McDonald’s because its appeal has been lost on me, however overseas, we found it was the ONLY place you could get Western food, which we craved amongst the many Asian dishes (which were all delicious but sometimes you just have cravings). It also didn’t help that our hotel in Guangzhou was right next to a McDonalds.

So no McDonalds for months I think. Although KFC and Red Rooster are looking pretty good…

The main thing that I’m craving is Italian. Italian food is a huge part of our diet, and that has been helped along by Cejay’s Italian nonna, who makes the BEST spaghetti. That was actually our first request when we got back to Australian soil. And my Spanish mother’s home made tacos (right down to the tortilla) was our other request.

And yes, we ate both of those meals the day we landed HAHA.

For us, food is a huge part of our family and culture. I asked my friend who we travelled with if she had requested any particular foods to eat for dinner when we landed and she said that they didn’t really have any particular foods or favourites. That sounds absolutely insane to me. To me that’s like life with no air. Food is everything in our family, it brings us together. When my mother was away overseas of a month a couple years ago, what made me miss her less was when I made some of her recipes (they were never as good). My younger brothers, who live at home, asked me to come over many times to cook them particular foods usually made by mum (they know how to cook and feed themselves, but there are just those special recipes that they missed – and I only know how to cook a very small portion of them).

But yep, that’s basically what I’ve been focussing on since coming back. Food LOL. After getting through my list of home made favourites, I’ll probably get onto my list of restaurant favourites…

Jess xo