At long last, the storm that is the summer holidays has finally past. The boys have gone back to school and I have already almost completed the clear-up operation necessary after having had the house full of boys big and small for the last 40 days. Not that I dislike the holidays, quite the opposite! There's no need for the morning rush to get everyone fed, suited and booted and out the door by 7.30am, no uniforms to prepare, the boys help to look after baby sis and we do have a lot of fun. But at the same time, it's sooo intense and utterly exhausting (as well as very noisy). There's not much chance of a break, I've no-one to meet up with for a play date, no-one to meet at the park and chat with while the kids play, it's just me and the kids at home all day, every day, and the fighting does get me down... it get's a bit lonely and that's when I really miss my life back home the most. BUT...
I did get a break! My sister in Sydney rang a few weeks before the holidays were about to start to say that she'd got enough airmiles to fly M and me over for a visit, and it took me the blink of an eyelid to accept! We escaped the heat and bugs and headed off down under for 10 days, leaving the boys with dad (believe me, they couldn't have been happier - they got to stay up late, eat junk, and do all they things I won't let them do). There were lots of firsts - I'd never been to Oz, never seen a koala, never touched a kangaroo, never seen cherry blossoms in August, but the best one was that I'd never met my nephew and I got to be there for his first birthday! And a very handsome little chap he is too:
We had a busy time whizzing around the sights of the area, taking in the beaches and mountains as well as the sights of the city. Yep, I could live there. I also had the chance to have lunch with the fabulous Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella - what a treat! We totally went for it on the cake front, take a look at Lorraine's blog to read of our gluttony:
(Apologies if I can't get this link to work, I'm still not very adept at this blogging stuff, but it's worth cutting and pasting to take a look as Lorraine has a far better way with words than I do, and she took some gorgeous photos of M, too!)
As well as treating me to lunch, she also gave me a super duper bag of Australian goodies to try... yuuuuuum!
I should point out that there were also 3 chocolate teddy bears in there for M, which M promptly ate on the spot (including a 70% dark one, that's my girl!), not that I minded as it kept her occupied and happy as we chatted!
The last day of our visit was nephew O's birthday party, Italian style! Lots of family and friends over, lots of food, lots of wine - perfect! I made his cake, the first one I've done in over a year so was a little nervous. Turned out well, although the cake itself was a little dry as sis and I were to busy chatting to remember that it was in the oven (didn't really matter as the wine had been flowing for a good number of hours before anyone tasted it!):
Hurrah for sisters and airmiles! Honestly, I came back a different person, a break from life here was just what the doctor ordered (indeed, the Lord truely does provide that which I really need)!
3 hours ago