365 – The year that was

All these days that have come and gone – little did I know They were Life.

A friend of me used this quote on Facebook today – and I realised how fitting it was for today’s blog post, where I am reminiscing about the year that has been. The quote has an unknown source, but my research finds it probably either of Swedish or Norwegian origin. Wherever it came from, it is beautiful.
I feel like I have been very lucky this year. I have had many new experiences and made several new good friends – seen lots of new and amazing shows and learned quite a lot along the way.

I started the year being overseas. I had flown with my three munchkins through four airports and three flights where they were remarkably well behaved and ended up in my hometown late on this very day. We rang in the new year with an awesome display of fireworks (people can fire up their own in Norway, so the sky is usually filled) right outside my childhood home the way I have done it throughout my childhood many times before, and the day after we had our ‘second Christmas’ with more of my beloved family member coming to visit. The children love Christmas in Norway, and I just cannot get the same feeling here as there, so being able to yet again give them that was wonderful.
Throughout January there were lots of snow, the kids got to practice their new skis and they even got to have their first trip in the ski lifts – which resulted in more than one of the adults being injured – which we can obviously laugh about now, but it was not the best moment. Either way, the girls loved the experience, and I got to ski for the first time since Melodie was only a few weeks old, so I won (although it turns out my skills have rapidly deteriorated!).

January also marked the start of my new Bachelor degree. I applied for a Bachelor of Education (Secondary Arts), but since I have not gone to school here, they offered me a Bachelor of Arts placement and I’ll later be moved into the education course once I’ve completed enough units. Studying literature in a different timezone, in a somewhat foreign language, having to write academically, add in a bit of Shakespeare – it was a little confusing, but I made it through and succeeded, and will start my third unit (German, so totally different!) in a few weeks time!
Because Simon was left in Australia, and then later traveled to the USA it meant we were separated from him for quite a while – and the children were not happy as you can imagine, but even so, they pulled through. He did miss out on two birthdays, but as a trade they got to celebrate with family and friends over there so they enjoyed it heaps:)
We spoke before we left about meeting up in New York, but were told he wouldn’t be able to travel there, so when he got the counter message telling him he could, we jumped on the opportunity to have a weekend alone, together, in a special place. Never having been to USA before, and in love with anything Musical Theatre, I wasn’t hard to convince and I made all the arrangements. I traveled there on a Thursday, and stood in line in Times Square with my suitcase for two hours to get tickets for a show that very night. I hadn’t even checked in to my hotel yet, but I needed tickets. Once I got to rest my legs and change my clothes, I was back walking through the magical city of New York which I had dreamed of so many times – suddenly being there all by myself and loving it! I watched the show Finding Neverland, and yes, I cried and laughed and it was every bit of wonderful. I imagined myself feeling lonely in that big city walking home to my accommodation, but instead I felt like I had arrived somewhere I was meant to be. The next day I got to meet up with a friend from NSW, and then went to the airport to meet Simon and had one of those sweet, romantic reunions where we held hands and kissed and all that stuff. You know, probably a bit too much PDA.
Our weekend together there was amazing, but too short, and we’ve vowed to go back and spend a considerably longer time. We went to see another show, Blackbird, which I loved, but was slightly too much for Simon, and we did all the other touristy things one does in New York, including spending too much money and drinking too much coffee. It was lovely – and our first weekend away from the kids ever, so why not make it big?:)

After three and a half months in Norway I got to just spend my birthday with some of my amazing girlfriends, celebrate my grandmothers 85th and managed to fit in another weekend away to visit one of my dearest friends. All in all the time spent there was amazing and the girls and I won’t forget it, but it was so nice coming home to our own house, our daddy and of course, to come home to cuddle Joey again.

Melodie started school again, and life went back to the normal. Sophia started going to dance class, things were less eventful, but life was good. I knew I had to get back on the musical theatre scene, and auditioned for two shows in June, and was lucky enough to get into the show called ‘Mack and Mabel’. This obviously took up a lot of my time, however this didn’t bother me the slightest.
My sister came to visit for a bit and we went to the Royal Adelaide Show, same procedure as last year. We’ve made it to a tradition now, so hopefully she will come over and attend 2017’s show as well! While she was here we also went to the ATG Awards night where we got to dress up nicely and look our best hanging out with the most talented people in Adelaide, which was awesome.

Outside of the theatre world life has been going on as normal, with not many major events happening. Inside the theatre world I loved it, and doing that show provided me with several good friendships and an awesome crowd of people who I am proud to call friends of mine. Everyone involved in that show is sure to agree with me when I say “I can’t believe we made it” but we totally did, and the experience was awesome and taught us all… resilience (I think this is a fitting word). I had to learn how to tap, (although I am not saying I know how to now, don’t hold it against me!) I had to be funny, and in all of it I ended up with a violent cough so I couldn’t sing on stage in fear of having to run off coughing, which also bruised my rib so the running and dancing on stage became slightly more challenging (however the adrenaline of going on stage makes you forget all that anyway:P). Both the cough and rib have only recently gone back to normal as well, so they’ve persisted! All in all immersing myself into a musical always manages to make me a better person, mum, partner and I am so happy I got to be a part of it.

 

November was pretty much spent suffering from post-show blues and trying to hang out with my theatre friends as much as possible to ease the pain. We also participated in the One Walk raising funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Ardrossan. With matching t-shirts once again we stood out, and had a great day! We will continue to do this charity walk for as long as we can, and we are so happy and thankful for all donations we have received in the two years we’ve done it, raising well over a $1000 for this charity!

December has been super busy with stuff on pretty much all the time, but we are happy and content and after landing another audition and being offered an ensemble part in the production of The Pajama Game in March/April next year, I am stoked that I wont have to spend the next months waiting for something new and get to hang out with my theatre family once again:)
2017 is looking like it will be a good year. I am starting it with seeing two shows in the first couple of weeks, a major concert at the end of the month, rehearsals for the next show and getting ready for our little Sophia to start her very first day of Kindy. Melodie and Ricky are also starting dance lessons this year so we will have busy times ahead for sure!

 

Ricky.
I am starting out with her year, as she is the littlest one. It’s weird thinking that one year ago, she was only one year old! And yet in one year, she will be the one off to Kindy. I am so not ready. This has really been a good year for her though. Her development has gone through the roof, and she has gone from being our little baby to now being a little girl. I mean, big girl – if you ask her. She knows how to dress herself, and she knows what to wear, and she’s happy to change five times a day – but if you try to tell her what to wear, she’ll get cross. She is a girly-girl who loves pretty dresses and pretty hair and if she gets to wear make-up she is all over it. She stopped herself wearing nappies in only a few weeks once she started, and has in the last few weeks decided to drop her dummy as well. Some days she finds one and she will cuddle it for a bit, but it wouldn’t affect her if she never saw one again. Her voice is the cutest little thing, super high-pitched, but luckily not screechy (not to us, anyway:P). I am amazed at the knowledge she seems to have over things, and her vocabulary seems to expand rapidly, although with several pronunciation errors which of course are super adorable. Funnily enough she has a ‘defect’ where she replaces consonants in the beginning of a word with the letter ‘L’, like ‘less’ instead of dress and ‘lew’ instead of new, and when I asked my friend who is a speech pathologist about it, she didn’t recognise it as a common thing. Her speech is getting heaps better day by day though, and I mean, it must, because she is never silent. Some night if we are driving home from somewhere and the other two are dozing off, our tiny one will sit by herself and sing and talk to herself finding the world quite amusing. I know what you are thinking, dear mother, she is just like I was:) I mean, they all are me. The amount of times I look at them and go “OMG She is me,” is amazing. And weird. This little one though, is SO excited to start dance lessons herself next year, and she knows exactly what is expected of her. Being the littlest one in our house she has really learned this year to stand up for herself and not to be stepped on by the older ones, however teamed up with Sophia she can indeed be up to lots of mischief! But just look at our cutie though – she’s quite special:)

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Sophia.
I never know where to start with Sophia. She is always the one that everyone is mesmerized by. She looks different than the others, (although some people insist they all look the same) has a different personality than them and is overall quite special. And I mean, I get why. She has a tendency to not actually speak to people if she is being spoken to, but she is not shy, she just chooses not to reply. Rude, I know, but even so, the amount of people who fall in love with her despite that is pretty big. This year there hasn’t really been a big change for her, she started dancing, and she got to perform in two concerts, one big one at the end of the year with costume changes and make up and all the works – and since she was given a trophy she is kinda a big deal now. She has been talking about starting Kindy next year for at least six months, and when we learnt that all her friends were going to be there on the same day, we were very happy (Four of the kids in Melodies class have siblings which will be in Sophias class, actually.). Even now, she asks about when she will get to go to kindy. In one month, exactly, she will have had her first day. I know, we’ll bring tissues. She is still the same whirlwind though, with destruction on her mind, however not as intense and not as bad as before although I swear she has a way of turning her ears off completely. The good thing is that behind her destructatron exterior, there is a sensitive little girl who really just wants to laugh and entertain us and has emotions just like the others, she just needs help to control her energy. Luckily, she is now much more loving and caring than she is naughty, but she has her days. I know I will be sad when she is off to kindy, but in one way I will be very happy that she can be there and get the guidance from her friends and other adults and not just us. She is still a water baby and enjoys the pool immensely. This had been the year of unicorns for her and I feel it will continue on into the next year easily! I love this picture of her. She went into her shell when we had photos taken, and refused to smile – as she often does in an unknown setting, but after some tickles from dad and some singing and dancing, we got this of her, which shows real happiness. My gorgeous<3

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Melodie.
My dearest Melodie has had an awesome year, she reckons. I mean, this was the year the Pokemons returned, and for a girl who has always loved dinosaurs and dragons I knew they would be right up her alley! I did have some thoughts about taking her out of school for a whole term and feared she might end up behind the other kids, but I feel she is well within where she would have been anyway. She’s loved her new teacher and diabetes carer at school, and is very happy she gets to continue with the same ones next year. Coming back to school she was a bit of a celebrity, with girls rocking up to see her, whispering “that’s the new girl, wow, there she is” and her old friends coming right up, hugging her and showing her around her new classroom and where to sit and stuff. She loved being the centre of attention when she came back and she settled back into school life immediately. She has continued to read and expand her knowledge and her love for all things flying and moving on this planet is growing every day. I won’t be surprised if she one day decides not to eat meat anymore. Her loving and caring nature can be trying when she has two little sisters who often team up against her, but it doesn’t stop her from making them breakfast/lunch and care for them like the best big sister there was. Melodie still loves making stuff and being arty, which is also her favourite subject at school. She has continued with gymnastics this year, and we felt she may not have wanted to continue next year, but she says she still loves it so we will let her go on. She is also starting dancing lessons next year, although she is still deciding which type of dancing. This year she was given a violin for Christmas and she absolutely loves it. She continues to be brave and great with her Diabetes which we know is hard at times, but Captain Starlight and the crafts at the hospital makes things always better she reckons. The best part about it is that her friends at school, especially the ones she has been with for two years, has the knowledge and helps her out and makes her feel special in a good way, and not alienated for it. I will always be thankful for that:) My beauty<3

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As the year ends I am happy that we get to finally experience another new years eve together again, as the previous two were spent apart. We finish this year like we started it, still in love, still happy and still ever so proud of our three little cuddle-bears! 2017 has good things coming for us, I can feel it!:)

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From our family to you, wherever you are, whatever you do, hope your year has been brilliant and the best wishes for the next one<3

Xxx,

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