Saturday, April 25, 2009

We're here!

Hi everyone!

We made it! I have to say a big thanks to Renee and Kerri (but especially Renee for being so bossy) for helping me clean up the house before we left. I'm so grateful for your help because I know how busy you both are with your own stuff.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be in Canberra. I bounce out of bed early each morning (and anyone who knows me well will tell you this is not the norm for me) because I can't wait to start the day. Seriously, I love this place!

Yes, it's cold. But it's so different here; it's not bleak with howling winds like over on Hindmarsh Island. We have excellent heating and a trip to the Salvos for second hand winter clothes last week has been a lifesaver. I did have to buy some extra blankets but, I have to admit, I kind of like snuggling up with the pets and kids on cold nights. The best thing about the cold weather is cooking; I get to use my slow cooker as often as I like and I get to cook all my favourite casseroles and curries.


The trip over was difficult. For anyone who doesn't know, I am a fairly inexperienced driver and have never driven by myself on long trips or in city traffic. I also managed to catch an awful cold the day before the drive from Swan Hill to Canberra. Michael drove the Nissan (with Daniel) and I drove the Magna with Kayla as my passenger. She was an amazing help and saw me through some tough spots.

There was one moment, after being overtaken by a huge truck on a dirt track (I'd pulled over to wait for the dust to settle so we could see again), when she turned to me and said "Mum, I am so proud of you."

She was so supportive. Especially when we arrived at the outskirts of Canberra at dusk (my night vision is terrible as I can only see out of one eye - and not very well at that) after nine straight hours of driving and with a terrible head cold. I had to strain to see in the dark as well as try to negotiate the freeways and busy traffic (neither of which I ever normally have to deal with) for almost an hour. I won't lie and tell you that I handled it with grace and poise, but I did manage somehow not to die. That in itself was a feat.


We stopped at Swan Hill with my sister and her family for a couple of days to break up the long drive. I didn't realise how much driving for long periods can hurt! After the seven hour drive to Swan Hill all I could think about was sretching. I did an hour of yoga on arrival and felt right again.

Staying at Mat and Christie's was great. I'm so proud of my sister. She's made such a great life for herself and is an awesome mother. Her three kids are polite, helpful and just so adorable.

Christie's a real Earth mother; she keeps chooks, grows her own fruit and vegetables, makes her own jams and spreads, and never wastes anything. She rarely has to raise her voice because her kids know who's running the show. She's due to have another baby in a couple of months and at one point I might have thought she was crazy (four children under the age of five is no picnic) but now I understand why she's doing it. If anybody can pull it off, she can.

Kayla's future vocation...teacher?

A flower from Christie's garden.


I love the new house. It instantly felt like home; unlike the last house which, although spacious and pretty, was extremely sterile and uninteresting. I'm lucky that the suburb I live in is very central to everything and very close to work too. The weirdest thing, our new home phone number has the exact same last four numbers that my home phone had my entire childhood and adolescence.

I had my mother staying with us the last few days (she was here for my cousin's funeral and left today) and I've been cooking up a storm for her. She didn't appreciate the raw chillis I added to a green curry (just before serving) on the first night though. I cooled things down after that!! We don't always see eye to eye but I really enjoyed having her here. It was under very tragic circumstances, but it was one of the nicest times I've ever spent with my mum.

I've been driving around a bit, trying to get used to the speed and traffic lights etc. I actually almost got wiped out yesterday when mum was in the car with me (sorry mum). Seriously, it was a close call but I learnt a huge lesson.


I had my first day at Prouds on Friday, a five hour shift, and really enjoyed it. There was a lot of information to take in because I knew less than nothing about jewellery. I found it all quite interesting and keeping up with the customers was very challenging (as we get closer to Mother's Day). I have a lot of shifts coming up so I'm sure I'll know my way around the store in no time. Michael has been cleaning up the kitchen and helping out around the house more now that I'm officially working. I'm still in charge of cooking apparently. :) I don't mind, I really enjoy it (as long as I have the time).


We got a puppy. Having to give up our other puppy to move to SA was so heartbreaking for all of us. Daniel especially was affected by the loss. Our new addition is an eight week old Jack Russell female and she's the cutest little thing ever.

Meet Chili.

Even my mum (not the world's biggest animal enthusiast) was impervious to her charms.

It's so great to be near family at last (all of Michael's family live in Canberra). You feel as though you have an instant support system and the security that gives you is just amazing. For the first time, Kayla has cousins her own age to hang out with.

Totally innocent, right? Not!

It's not always peaceful, but they love each other deep down.

It's a long weekend here and I'm going to spend it recharging. It's been a tough couple of weeks, what with being sick, packing up the old place, cleaning it, living out of suitcases, travelling for two days, unpacking and moving into the new place and starting a new job. Even though I know I should feel stressed out I actually feel happier than ever. At last I feel we've made the right move.

Take care, all. Stay in touch.

Kim xx

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sports Day and Goodbyes

Well, the house is almost entirely packed into boxes (apart from the computers and bedding). I just wanted to put up some photos and give everyone an update before we leave for Canberra.

Daniel had his sports day last week and went in two races. He absolutely loved being a part of it all and really enjoyed having Kayla and me there to cheer him on in the afternoon.


I've been packing for weeks now, but most of it was done in the last few days. I've even managed to make myself sick with stress - yay me! Even if I don't actually feel stressed my body lets me know that I am - I currently have a pinched nerve in my lower back, an earache, a hideous cold sore, constant tension headaches, a sore throat, fatigue and muscle aches!! I didn't realise I was that stressed!!

Really though, there's so much to think about.
  • The real estate agent hasn't found anybody to take over our current lease and we start paying for the new house in two days (I'd say that is the biggest source of my stress actually).
  • After the removalists leave tomorrow we have to clean this place ready for inspection.
  • I still have to organise someone to clean the carpets and mow the lawns.
  • I have to redirect all the mail again and ring every company and organisation (banks, ATO, electoral office etc.) we're involved with and update our address details again!
  • I will have to transfer my licence over (after driving out to Christie's Beach only two weeks ago to transfer it to SA) due to moving interstate again.
  • I have to learn how to drive in city traffic (I've never lived nor driven in a city).
  • I have to find new schools for the kids, enrol them and organise uniforms etc.
  • I start a new job as soon as I arrive in Canberra (although that is something I'm looking forward to it is definitely adding to the pile).
In fact, I'm just going to stop myself here or my head might explode.

I really am completely hopeless when it comes to dealing with too many things at once. I plan to get back into meditation after the move because I know that my stress is mostly internal and it's making me ill.

Breathe, Kim. Just breathe.

It will be our last night on Hindmarsh Island tonight. We're staying in a two bedroom cabin in Victor Harbor Tuesday and Wednesday night (while we clean the house during the day) and on Thursday morning we are outta here! Look out Christie, here we come!

Phil (Michael's sister's husband) was here for the weekend as he was in Adelaide for work. It was great having him here, he helped Michael pack up the garage and Daniel followed him around like a shadow the whole time. He offered comic relief during an otherwise stressful time. Thanks Phil!

We had an absolute ball on Saturday night. My good friends, Alex and Trewin came down for the evening and we all danced and carried on until late. It was a much needed stress reliever! We were all rapt that they brought their new pet with them, a chocolate brown Chihuahua...sooooooo cute!!!

Photos from Saturday night.

Video footage of our awesome dance skillz. *cough cough*


In other news my cousin Andrew died of a drug overdose and my Great Aunt Edna died (peacefully in her sleep) at the age of 95. I didn't know either of them very well and hadn't seen them for several years but they've been on my mind the last few days since hearing the news. I'm especially saddened by the death of my cousin. I'm so sorry that so many people will be hurt by the way he died and can only hope that he has at last found some peace.


On a lighter note, Daniel invented an awesome spider catcher! We set it up in the hallway because that's where most of the spiders appear at night. Look what we found in his trap in the morning!

Well, that's it for me. Next post will be in a few weeks I would imagine. I'm so excited, I love new beginnings. See ya soon Strand/Meagher mob!

Kim xox