Saturday, December 31, 2016
Questions and answers that I found on Facebook...
1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before? I built a house, on my very own
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make any and may do... we'll see what tomorrow brings.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Gorgeous babies Caleb & Jacob <3
4. Did anyone close to you die? No
5. What countries did you visit? NZ, Ireland & England
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? Happiness
7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? February 13, the day that for me, it all truly fell apart.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting back on my feet again
9. What was your biggest failure? Let's call 2016 a learning experience, I don't like the word "failure". Everything happens for a reason.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing significant!
11. What was the best thing you bought? The house!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? The real question is "whose didn't?" I think (someone else wrote this, and I think it's a good answer)
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I choose not to answer this question.
14. Where did most of your money go? Very definitely on the house.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Ireland and seeing everyone at home.
16. What song will always remind you of 2016? Songs don't really remind me of years.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier
ii.thinner or fatter? Fatter
iii. richer or poorer? Richer (although my bank account is poorer!)
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? This is a tough one. I don't know really. Loved, travelled, laughed...
19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Stressing
20. How did you spend Christmas? Double ROK at work.
22. Did you fall in love in 2016? Not a chance.
23. How many one-night stands? Zero
24. What was your favourite TV program? So many! OITNB? the Crown?
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I don't want to hate anyone: some people aren't in my life any more, I choose not to hate.
26. What was the best book you read? I really don't know.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Heathens - One Twenty Pilots - well not a discovery, I guess I just liked it.
28. What did you want and get? Lily.
29. What did you want and not get? To be still married.
30. What was your favorite film of this year? Hacksaw Ridge.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I flew from Melbourne to Canberra and then back again and then back to Canberra, and I was 29 years young.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Being closer to family!
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? HAHAHAHA!!!
34. What kept you sane? Family & God. Maybe that should be God & Family. Friends.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None!
36. What political issue stirred you the most? I don't get involved. I have no voice. (Not a voter yet)
37. Who did you miss? My family SO very much.
38. Who was the best new person you met? Amanda
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016? People will always be there for me no matter what.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year? Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
Friday, December 9, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016
My very own, brand new, house.
It's a bit dirty though. Apparently builders don't know how to clean houses. Will was complaining, as we went around the house making sure everything was done right, that he had never had to do so many touch ups in his life. Pity I'm a perfectionist then!
I did my first pre-handover inspection a week ago, on the 1st, and they were only just beginning to do the touchups and there were blue stickers everywhere marking what needed to be fixed (mainly paintwork), so Will had agreed to do a second one. My handover wasn't scheduled until Tuesday 13th.
I turned up for the second pre-handover inspection. Will was holding a big white box with a ribbon around it, and after we walked inside he said "this is for you" and "congratulations" and handed me the keys. I was shell-shocked.
It took us about three hours to go around the house making sure everything was OK. I had vaguely wanted to pay for an actual handover inspection to be done by a professional, but had only got around to arranging it yesterday - for the 13th - so it turned out being too late, so I was just extra picky myself. The builder did have to get an external building inspection done for certification, so that will have to do. I now have six months to find defects - such as cracking in the corners from drying - and then at the six month mark they will fix it all.
We did write a few things down that Will didn't have time to fix. He did lots of paint touch ups - such as the front left pillar where the driveway people had scraped it - and around power sockets and such like. He put silicone under the mirrors in the bathrooms, knocked a little dent out of the sliding door track, and cleaned filler off lots of places. He couldn't fix the warped laundry cupboard shelf, which the manufacturer has been contacted about, or re-tile the WC sink in time (that contractor comes today).
I didn't even take any photos. I think I literally just stood there, unsure of who to tell first, and wanting to dance on the spot.
It was 1400 by the time I left the house, and I hurried back to Zillmere, my mind in a whirl of what to do next. Having messaged various friends, K&T were keen to go Christmas shopping with me and we headed to North Lakes to find me a Christmas tree (hurrah for Kmart).
We then went back to the new house and while K had to hurry to attend a party, T slept on the floor in the media room and Hayden and I dusted, vacuumed and mopped. When K got back shortly after, we all put the Christmas tree up together. For some reason, K thought it would be a good idea to put up an inflatable pool - she says it's for the Christmas party on the 23rd - so we put that in the spare bedroom and sat in it to eat mince pies and chocolate after all of our hard work. It was such a fun evening.
And now, it's morning (after a very restless night of SO many random dreams about the house going wrong) and I should motivate myself to take another carload up to the house and start organising it!
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Thursday, December 1, 2016
I had the pre-handover inspection today. It was a bit of a waste of time. Amanda went with me, as she is also a perfectionist and I felt she would be very helpful to point out little things! However, they hadn't done the builders' clean yet, and the painters were only just starting to do the touch-ups so there was just so much to comment on that it was hard to know where to start. Everything was just small touch ups except for the WC, where they had put entirely the wrong tile on the sink splash back! However, that shall be fixed, despite the supervisor complaining that he would have to drive the whole way to Rochedale for the tiles. Sorry mate, but it's written in the contract, so I'm going to get what I paid for!
He did say that I could go again next week to hopefully do a second pre-handover inspection!
The 13th, aka the Key Date, is drawing ever closer, and I have most things organised now. Still one blind to purchase - a 2.4 metre media blind which is extravagantly expensive but I can't really see any other option.
And so it goes...
Monday, November 28, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
I started going to church again at about the time that my life began to completely fall apart, and I have made a few very good friends there. Having people to talk to, people who understand, and people who, strangely enough, don't judge, has been invaluable. I have lots of preconceived ideas about church, preconceived from my upbringing, my expectations, and so on, and that's been a bit of a struggle in itself, but it's not about that. It's not about whether or not I read the Bible, or go to church every Sunday, or remember to pray every night before I go to bed. At least, for me it's not - I've never been good at that, and I'm all done with striving.
In the midst of everything bad that's happened in 2016, in the midst of all my despair and loneliness, God's still there. God is still good. God hasn't changed. I think a lot about Job, and God-forbid that Job's misfortunes ever happen to me, but I want to believe like Job. I don't want to experience misfortune like Job, because you know, no thanks, but if I did? Whether what's happened to me is everything I have to go through, or whether it's only the very tip of the iceberg and my house is going to burn down with everything I have inside, I want to be able to say "God is good."
I don't claim what Job claimed: I don't claim his innocence or his purity in all his actions, but I do claim that I still believe in God whatever the circumstance. And in many ways, 2016 has truly tested my belief, and yet I have received so much this year.
I have friends, who have stood by me through thick and thin. I have family, who have interceded for me daily. I have Lily, who has given the best cuddles whenever I've been feeling down, and I have the house, which is causing me a great deal of angst in having to organise, but in general is incredibly exciting. I even have a new housemate who can be slightly annoying (I thought airplanes were boring, but trains are even more so) but who actually cooks me dinner when I get home from work, and cleaned the house, folks. Cleaned the house. I also have work, which can get in the way of life, at times, but pays the bills and is much better than sitting behind a desk.
And as 2016 pulls to a close, and as I plan to actually move into the new house, it is easy to be afraid of 2017. Afraid of how I'm going to feel when I move in - alone - and even afraid of being happy. Guilty, perhaps? I guess what I really need to remember is that I'm not alone. I might be alone from a relationship point of view, but in every other? I'm not alone, because God. I'm not alone, because Friends. I'm not alone, because Family. And guess what? You're all invited to come to my house and Be Not Alone With Me.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I think this is actually Night 1...
When the food arrived, we sat down at the camp table and wondered how on earth we were going to eat without ingesting at least one fly per mouthful. I'm not sure why we didn't think of it sooner, but I made a mad dash for the tent and was quickly followed by the others. It was so peaceful and fly-free in there that we decided to have all of the rest of our meals there as well - and cooking was moved to the boot of the SUV.
L and I went for a glorious swim, it was so nice to wash the fried breakfast, sand and charcoal off ourselves, even if only with sea water. The dogs amused themselves on the sand, and Lily guarded L's shorts with her life. When we came back up to the car, we found that J was now sitting in the car, on his iPad, with the engine running. He stayed there for at least an hour before we finally tried to extricate him. Did you really come camping to sit in the airconditioned car? Is it really a good idea to run the engine this long? It was the flies, he complained. By this time the flies had pretty much cleared, so we finally managed to get him to rejoin the party.
A glorious morning for a swim
We then went to Rainbow Beach, had a look at the surf and decided it was calm enough to hire a stand up paddle board - J wanted to take Tachi out on it. L and I didn't think that was a good idea, but he was pretty determined. By the time we had a coffee and hired the board and made our way back down to the beach, the wind had picked up and was stirring up white caps in the sea. L and I decided to skip paddle boarding but J was still determined. I got some decent video footage on his phone of Tachi falling off and swimming back to shore as fast as she possibly could!
Rainbow Beach yellow and white sand dunes
Rainbow Beach is apparently named that due to the different coloured sands. If we had a proper 4WD we could have driven along the beach to check it out, as it was, both L and I forbade J from doing so. We did walk a good kilometer or so along, and there were definitely patches of bright yellow sand along side pale white sand, but nothing remarkably rainbow-ey. Maybe Google has some better shots.
With a wind-swept Lily
The evening was bitterly cold as the afternoon wind didn't die down at sunset like it did the night before. We managed to get the camp fire lit but it simply meant that our legs were warm and the rest of us were freezing.
J took this of us sleeping !