Category Archives: Weekending

When The Family Gathers

A new family member – niece/cousin – is most certainly cause for a family gathering and celebration. And all of ‘us’ descended upon the new parents this past weekend. You know how it goes: a long weekend, a one-week old baby coupled with the prospect of spending a few days with some of my most favourite people, whom I’m blessed to call my family. Yes, most definitely cause to gather, celebrate and simply enjoy each other’s company.

The long hours of driving have become almost ‘normal’ to us now, so we jumped in the car at first opportunity and revelled in the fun, joy and laughter that these 20 people gathered in the same place create.

Cousins who live so far apart became inseparable for the entire weekend. Aunts (yes, me) kidnapped the baby as often as possible and reminisced as I smelt that gorgeous new baby smell and listened to those sweet little sounds only a very new baby makes. The biggest cousins were infatuated with this new addition to our family. Coffee shops were inundated when we arrived (some a little fearful at the prospect of 10 young children!). And generally it was a gentle hum of chatting and laughter which accompanied us wherever we were gathered.

Oh, the delights of family gathered together.

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Weekending – The Stitching and Breakfasting edition

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It was an impromptu Saturday morning decision to jump in the car and visit my parents. The lure of a group of beautiful ladies meeting together for ‘coffee’ and stitching for the entire afternoon was very tempting, along with the willingness and encouragement of my dear husband to allow me to go for a girls only night away. So I quickly gathered a stitching project or two, threw in some clothes, gathered Holly along with her knitting and jumped in the car – without much more thought than that. The result was a physically relaxing but mentally stimulating day and a half. A rare and precious opportunity to spend time alone with my daughter – long car trips to chat away together and time for her to join the ‘ladies’ drinking tea and stitching.

With it being my intention this year to say ‘Yes’ to these types of opportunities more often, this was timely and I’m very glad I said a wholehearted ‘Yes’.

– Weekending –


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These hours are filled with all the delights found at home with family. Sheer delight.

— The most willing of all gardening helper.

— Games played with ‘friends’ (I wonder are they giving away the opponents secrets?)

— A busy kitchen filled with willing (and capable) helpers, producing delicious ‘weekend’ food.

— Fabric and thread filling the moments in-between

— A knitting project gaining momentum as the knitter gains proficiency (she’s doing amazingly well and I’m picking up my long forgotten knitting skills very quickly as I’m called upon to do all those ‘hard’ parts such as casting on/off, picking up lost stitches and generally fixing anything that may go wrong. My memories of knitting are of me giving all those tasks to my Mum…. several years ago, obviously.)

— A new skill being mastered – crocheting. (Now that is something I’m more familiar with). This boy has mastered chain stitch and today came asking for more ‘real’ crocheting. Now who am I to argue with such enthusiasm. So a single crotchet square, coming up…

Weekending – Exploring with Friends edition

Last weekend had been planned for quite some time. An opportunity to meet up with friends in an area they were unfamiliar with. A chance to go slowly through the days and explore the beauty which spring brings to that particular part of the world. A time to reconnect with friends who had lived only minutes away from our previous residence and regular, spontaneous visits were once part of our lives. Now the distance between our homes is rather large and visits of any kind are probably not going occur with any regularity. So we relished the possibility of sharing these few days together, with no great pressures except to enjoy the time and discover some new places.

It was anticipated with pleasant expectation as the list of things-to-do and places-to-visit grew longer with each passing day. Finally the weekend arrived. And we explored, drove (many many miles), visited, drank lots of coffee and chatted till our hearts were content.  A fantastic way to spend a few days and delightful people to share it with.

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The moment we step through the gates into the Japanese gardens an air of tranquility descends, it’s a magic which occurs every time – no matter what the season. The children roamed free to explore then seemed to meld into the quiet, calmness as they watched the ducks and fish, floated star-leaf boats, or sat at the top of the waterfall simply taking it all in.

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Driving some fairly remote, back-roads brought us upon this pair of wild emus. It was an excited spotting for the children and quite a privilege to see these birds in their natural environment. (Although for my husband it’s a daily occurrence to see wild emus wandering past his window at work these days, seriously he does!) And to observe just how fast they run as they sprinted away after spotting our convoy of cars.

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Spring flowers and energetic children – what a perfect combination. They ran around and around and around the centre circular garden chanting nursery rhymes and laughing. Pure, childhood delight.

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A local community, family, fun day beckoned to some of our group early on Saturday morning. Running races were completed ranging from my Mum climbing her way through 6km’s of mountaintop terrain, Brad sprinting his way to the finals and the children running the same sprints after him. It was like a refreshing glimpse into family picnics of days gone by and an absolutely delightful way to spend a few hours of our weekend.

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Weekending – Celebrating the ‘Dad’

It’s Father’s Day here in Australia. A day dedicated to celebrating the awesome Father’s in our lives. For us it’s been extra special. The first weekend in months which we have been home together as a family without any travelling to or fro. No other commitments. No pressures from the outside. No visitors. Just two whole days to enjoy being a family. Bliss.

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Today we decided to take to the roads around our new home. Long, straight, open roads leading us in the direction of communities around. It was an almost perfect day out in the Australian bush. A day spent celebrating the fantastic Father in this family.

Picnics + Sunny First Day of Spring + Our Family = Perfection

Weekending – Teppanyaki Style

An unexpected text arrived Friday afternoon asking if we wanted to go out for dinner on Saturday evening. This is quite remarkable as ‘going out for dinner’ is not found very regularly on our calendar these days. Our style is more the ‘quiet night at home with the family’ type Saturday evenings. What was even more remarkable was the invitation was for some ‘Japanese cook at your table place.’ Hmmmmm. From my sister who lives about 9 hours drive away but was staying with family 2 hours away. Where? What? I was quite confused, but answered a resounding, “Yes, but please give more information.”

It turned out to be a Teppanyaki restaurant just up the road from my home. And, yes, it was Japanese and the food was cooked at your table – ahhh, it all starts making sense now. A few more messages sent back and forth and the evening was organised. Some extra friends who lived close by were invited. We figured, the more the merrier at a place like this. 

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We sampled some traditional sake while being treated to a spectacular show. Right in front of us. At our table. With our very own personal chef. Food came flying and if we were lucky we caught it, in our mouths, no less. If we missed, well, the floor got a bit messier. I was originally concerned that this place might not be child friendly. That fear was soon put to rest as our chef started throwing prawns, eggs, rice and who-knows-what-else at my children. The food was simple, delicious and the spectacle, drama and showmanship was second to none.

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Teppanyaki 11 Teppanyaki 12 Teppanyaki 10Would I go back again? Certainly. But definitely with a group of people who have a good sense of fun. It’s not the quiet, romantic dinner kind of place. It is loud, in-your-face, fun, fun, fun, child friendly and just a great experience all round. And I can guarantee it’s an evening my children will be talking about for many, many years to come.

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A Perfect Weekend

“How would you describe your perfect day?”

She asked the question as we sipped tea together in the quiet of the afternoon. It’s something we do often – keep each other on track with our approach to life, our dreams and plans, our values and beliefs and simply the way we show up in life each and every day.

We mused over the variety of answers to this unassuming but all-consuming question. I had thought earlier that morning that my plans for this day were something I wanted in my life. The adventure of a day trip, just me and the children with time to visit, chat, laugh and of course drink coffee with a friend.

But… It’s not a day I would want to repeat each and every day. Those big days out need to be nestled in between days of quiet and routine.

But… Those routine, ordinary everyday kind of days seem to make me kind of bored after a while. I understand the value in consistent daily action and the importance of taking small steps with regular monotony and I’ve experienced many layers of achievement by living in this way. (Just ask my children, I’ve been known to sprout this philosophy often when it comes to piano practice, or spelling, or learning to read or….)

But… Deep down, under the calm, routined exterior, I thirst for adventure, excitement, experiences and memories to create.

But… I know this can’t happen everyday. I do need the normality of everyday life as well.

So in answer to a request to describe a ‘perfect’ day, I talked for about 15 minutes and described about that same amount of different scenarios, all of which I’d describe as ‘perfect’. I really, really, really didn’t want to limit myself by describing just one day and then, in some strange turn of events, being forced to live that day over and over and over again. Not my idea of fun. No, I definitely need the unexpected thrown into my life, just to make it interesting.

Sitting in the warm sunshine watching the children play over the weekend, I reflected on this conversation. And realised that I had just lived two days of ‘perfection’. Days which I’ll repeat often, I hope. Days which will certainly make it up there in my list of delightful ways to spend a day (or weekend).


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The weekend consisted of:

:: Driving back through some old favourite places we visited often before we moved.

:: Drinking coffee in one of our favourite places, full of character with friendly staff and customers.

:: Exploring the garden (including a magical Alice in Wonderland play area) at a local historical house, which we hadn’t visited in over 2 years.

:: Shopping in an ‘exclusive’ part of town. I came out with two HUGE paper bags and felt like I had been on a major shopping excursion (like I’ve seen in the movies but never really experienced) when I had only bought two rather smallish items. A fun way to shop, and much kinder on the credit card.

:: Playing old favourite board games with the children.

:: Being greeting in the early morning by a beautiful high tide, glorious sunrise, and idyllic weather for paddling and fishing – with breakfast pancakes and coffee being delivered for the hungry crew.

:: Stitching and sewing and stitching and sewing some more.

Yup. It’s what I’ll be calling a ‘perfect’ weekend and adding this to the list of ways I want to spend my days.


:: Live Your Love ::

– Corinna –