Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Mother's Love

Considering we've just celebrated Father's Day in Australia, I should be writing about fatherly love - but I think I'll leave that can of worms closed for a little bit longer... So instead, I've put finger to keyboard to share my thoughts on Mums.

My sister recently became a Mum for the second time to Ella-Rose Violet. Having already been an aunty for three years (her son Benjamin was born in May 2006), I've adored watching my sister grow as a mother - not just in her partenting skills, but emotionally and mentally (sometimes not in the good way!). Amy was always a natural carer - from a little girl who loved looking after stray pets until we located its owner to a young adult who often ended up with no-hoper boyfriends that needed more taking care of than the stray pets! Either way, I never for a second thought Amy would be anything other than a great Mum some day.

When I first met Ella-Rose, I stuggled at first to deal with the very firm tug on the heart strings she was able to illict from me. So little and vulnerable, with so much life ahead of her. Excitement, success, happiness, fun, enjoyment, laughter, love. All I wanted to do was pull her close and fill her with words of positivty and encouragement, silently knowing that I desperately want to protect her from the awful stuff - disappointment, struggle, heart break, failure, sadness. And I'm only her aunty.

It also made me think about the relationship I had with my own Mum. We've certainly had our ups and downs, but I love Mum with all that I've got. I'm currently living at home and she seems to know exactly what to say and when to say it to rile my up. But when I need her, she's there with a hug and an affectionate tease to let me know that I'm tougher than anything the world tries to throw at me.

I found the below poem, which I thought I'd share.

A Mother's Love
by Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother's love is something that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.

It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking.

It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems.

It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation.

A many splendoured miracle man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence of God's tender guiding hand.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Horses - it's a girl thing

Ever since I can remember, I've loved horses. A symbol of power, grace, athleticism, freedom and beauty. I was one of those horse-mad girls who read Saddle Club books and begged my parents for a pony.

When I was 6 years old, I was lucky enough to get a pony. Dad was living in Warwick at the time (about 200kms south-west of Brisbane), after my parents split up, on a small farm with stables. Her name was Bonnie, a grey mare/pony. She was a stubborn thing, who managed to throw me off a few times and had a habit of kicking her back legs. I went to pony club, gymkhanas, riding camps and would ride with Dad on weekends over to my friends' properties. They are very fond childhood memories, and despite the injuries and frustrations when Bonnie wouldn't do what I'd told her, I still loved every minute of it.

Part of me feared horses. So powerful and often unpredictable. But mostly, it was a respect.

As I grew older, my opportunities to ride became fewer and fewer. Until this year I began riding again. It started out as a trail ride at Samford on the outskirts of Brisbane and now I have weekly private lessons at Wattle Creek Riding School in The Gap.

I ride one of the school horses, Jack - a gorgeous 16.2hh bay gelding (see pic). He's got lots of personality and we've established a great working bond. He's an eventer, so is trained in dressage, jumping and cross country. If the school allows, I'd love to compete again one day. Though I can just imagine me up there against all the 6 year olds who all ride better than I do now!

I'd love to have a horse again but at this stage in my life it's not a logistical or financially practical plan. Maybe one day..

Cupcakes = yum

I have a thing for cupcakes. Those that know me, know I'll never pass up an opportunity to try a new place, no matter where I am.

It's hard to tell when my cupcake affair began, but safe to say it really took off when I went to New York in January 2008. My first taste of ultimate cupcake bliss was from Buttercup Bakery, rivals to the famous Magnolia Bakery. I was on the Sex and The City tour and we were stopped on Bleeker St, right outside Magnolia. Cheeky? Yes. Delicious? You betcha. I then proceeded to purchase enough cupcakes from Magnolia to last my entire 10 day stay. And then still went back on my last day to buy more! I even managed to get one on the plane and home to Brisbane to my sister. Even after a 24 hour plane ride, she said it still tasted like heaven comes from an oven.

Since then, I've tried every cupcake place that I have come across. Well, as many of them as I can. Here are my favourite spots in Brisbane:
  • Poppycakes, 1000 Ann Street Brisbane
  • Nourish, Racecourse Road Ascot
  • Cakes By Judy C, Waterworks Road Ashgrove
If you've got a favourite, please let me know so I can try them out! Sydney and Melbourne suggestions very welcome.

What I love today #2

Just a few of the things I'm loving at the moment to add to the LOVE Capsule:
  • Cupcakes - Poppycakes in the Emporium are my favourite
  • The warmth in the breeze, heralding the onset of summer
  • Apartment hunting - despite it being tiresome and frustrating, I love the feeling of seeing a new place and imagining myself living there. One day soon I'll find the one I want to settle in for at least a year (Woolloongabba and Teneriffe are leading the search)
  • My tiny, four week old niece - so precious and vulnerable. The sense of pride and worry is overwhelming and I'm only her aunty. Just the feeling that she has so much life ahead of her is utterly frightening but exciting at the same time - what sort of world are we bringing children into, and what issues will she face in 20-30 years time that women of today have been struggling with for so long. Let's hope it gets better.
  • Gossip Girl. Enough said.
  • The excitement of seeing the new stills from the filming of SATC2 in Manhattan. Oh, how I adore thee Carrie (and Patricia Fields)!
It's only a short addition today, because I promise to update this more frequently.

Let me know what you're loving.

The latest love-search installment...

Forgive me blog readers, for I have sinned. It's been nearly a month since my last post and I have much to confess and reveal.

So, I've mentioned the internet dating experiences in a previous post and can't quite recall if I mentioned I have an active profile at the moment. I've had a few dates, all with varying degrees of success or failure, depending on how you look at it. I've dated too short, too old, too boring, too 'cool' so far.

Until I went on a date with FBI (code-name, for obvious reasons).

What started out as random, humorous interruptions to otherwise hectic days at work, turned into an invitation for a catch up one Sunday afternoon. After timing issues, it ended up being Sunday evening dessert at Freestyle (one of my favourite date places - who doesn't love dessert?!).

In the past I've struggled to get my happy-go-lucky phone personality to translate into a similar face-to-face persona, and generally end up getting a big case of the nerves which results in me botching up the end of a date (something else I'm sure I've mentioned in a previous post). Also, I've battled with experiencing the chemistry I have had on the phone with some guys into real-life sparks. So needless to say, I rarely get past a first date.

However, I digress. Back to FBI. Great guy, great conversation and great ending - I actually managed to say "Thanks for tonight, I had a great time and would love to see you again..." to which I got the reply I'd been hoping for "Yeah, I'd like that...". Hooray!

Since date number 1, FBI has had to leave town for work and comes back next week. Date number 2 is pending. Before he left we talked about horse riding - he's keen to learn how to ride like Hugh Jackman!

Also since FBI, I've been on a date with Sparkie (again, code-name). In a nutshell, great first date but number 2 just went awary. Things didn't really go his way, which brought out his true colours - the guy can throw a tantrum to rival my three year old nephew. Don't get me wrong, I love kids. But I'm looking for a relationship with an adult. Who doesn't stomp his feet when someone takes his truck out of the sandpit.

If you're wondering what I'm doing dating two guys at once - stay tuned for a post on Australia's lack of dating culture. I know many of my girlfriends lament this with me, so I'm keen to hear your thoughts on that one.

I hope the update has whetted your appetite for more stories. I'm on a bit of a role tonight...