I can’t believe how quickly time has flown these past 12 weeks. Summer is in full swing and it almost feels as though it was just yesterday that we were taking JJ trick or treating in the spring chill. Of course he was Harry Potter again. Next year, I’m going to make (and by make I mean buy) him a new costume that he simply can’t refuse. I didn’t dress up this year, though I regretted it when I saw that the ratio of costumed adults to children seemed to have dramatically increased since the year before. Halloween hasn’t been a big thing in Australia until recently, and while there is some resistance from older Australians about assimilating American culture, the rest of the population has embraced it with sticky fingers and open skeleton arms.
Since I last posted, Miss. Freya has come along in leaps and bounds and will be turning one in only a few short weeks! How could 2016 have flown by so quickly?? Our tiny princess is growing up. She’s standing, making her first adorable attempts at cruising from object to object, says Mama, Dada, Katze (cat in German), Brother, and mimics almost everything else in her sweet little voice. I can’t bear to think of what would have happened had we not had the incredible care we did when she was born not breathing and sickly. I thank God every day for the the gift of having my incredible children in my life.
Thanksgiving was a non-event. It’s easy enough to forget Thanksgiving when you’re in Australia. No one here observes the holiday, Julian was not with us on the night that it fell upon, and I simply didn’t have the heart for it. We are so isolated from our family here. This year I need to pull out all the stops to make up for it!
Christmas Eve was quiet and lovely. As we are a German family, we have our big Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve, with lots of food , a Christmassy movie, gift opening, and Carols. This year we had a lovely lunch then went out to Eastland and watched the live stream of Carols by Candlelight on the grassy town square lawn with several hundred others. The sun doesn’t go down until about 8.30pm at the moment, so it was quite a wait in the scorching December sun.
I find it somewhat amusing that Australians often complain about carols such as “White Christmas” as being culturally irrelevant for us here in the southern hemisphere. I think it’s quite the opposite. Sitting there in 36 degree (celcius!) heat at 6pm and I was most definitely dreaming of a White Christmas. Another very appropriate carol would have been “Let it Snow!”. I’m sure I could think of a few more, but I’m running on 2 hours of sleep and well, my brain is still off duty.
So we are sitting there, roasting with only a rain umbrella for shade and I didn’t think to bring sunscreen for the kids (c’mon, it’s called Carols by Candlelight – not very sun-burny sounding, right??). We ended up lathering them both in my 3in1 primer from Aldi’s Lacura range that I dug out of the bottom of my hand bag, (I LOVE that stuff) and remarkably none of us burned to a cinder.
We went to Christmas Day mass with some gorgeous Catholic friends of ours and their little ones, Julian went to visit family, and David, Freya and myself languished in the air conditioning with crisp apple cider and more cheese and crackers than you can poke a stick at. We had originally been planning on a road trip but it was so warm that we worried about Freya in the car for such an extended period. I wish I had’ve taken more pictures of Freya’s first Christmas, or at least some pictures with the big camera. Was a bit of a bleak day for me though, and when I feel crummy, the last thing I want to do is get out the camera.
New years eve was another non-event, but Freya had a long sleep and David and I enjoyed the last of the Christmas cider and curled up on the sofa, reminiscing.
An entirely appropriate way to farewell a year that gave me some of the best and the most harrowing times of my life.