Every now and then, stop and take a moment…

And realise how happy you are and how exciting everything is. 

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That’s my mantra for the moment because everything is such a whirlwind of packing, congratulations, birthday, planning, etc that I’m not sure if I’m actually taking it all in.  Every now and then I have a moment where I pause and say to myself, “Holy $%&* I’m engaged!   This is ACTUALLY happening!”  It is still very surreal, and hard to imagine.    I’m  not sure if it’s because I’m so busy that I barely have time to scratch myself—(while I’m writing, I’m thinking I should be packing, checking emails, packing my gym bag or clearing up the dishes after dinner) but I feel like life is a whirlwind at the moment.  There actually is a LOT going on at the moment but there’s a sort of euphoric feeling that I’m not familiar with.  I think people call it Happiness or delight, maybe elation?  Really I’m not sure.  It’s not really a feeling I’ve had recently so I’m not sure what it is.

It’s weird, the last few months have been nothing short of a rollercoaster.  Actually, the last 15 or 16 months have probably been some of the most challenging and difficult of the last 10 years, if not my entire life.  Since November 2011, I’ve left a secure, well paid job that I liked at a company that I loved and went to a job in a company I hated from Day 1, stuck it out for 9 months but left without  knowing what my next move would be.  Two months later I had a new job (at my old company) and  lost my father the week I was supposed to start.   There are about three months that are a blur of grieving, grieving, and more grieving, and finally feeling normal sort of normal again.  Now it’s the high of getting engaged, the franticness of deciding to move house, and the mixed emotions of planning my third trip to the US in 14 months.  It’s all pretty full on.  It’s been draining and emotional and largely really tough.  It’s weird that I’m finally really happy about something, like really truly excited, elated and OMG wow about something after spending most of the last 6 months feeling the exact opposite.  It’s weird.  It’s pretty much the polar opposite of the emotional spectrum.  I feel like I’ve been through the entire range of human emotions in 6 months.  And sometimes, it’s kind of hard to deal with.

When you’re grieving and sad, it’s the hardest thing to feel but it’s so easy to wallow in it.  To cry, to be sad, to not want to get out of bed and to shut yourself off from the world.   People understand sadness, they understand and give you space.  Space to feel nothing, or everything or just to be in your own little world.  It’s frustrating for others because they feel bad for you but know they can’t solve it.  Grief is antisocial, it’s grey and rainy.   Being happy is harder to explain.  Much harder.   It’s not the opposite of grief, but maybe it’s close.  It’s weird, being delighted about something is actually quite hard to enjoy.  Maybe it’s because you’re worried that it’s going to disappear or something’s going to ruin it, or that it’s not really happening  or that it’s a dream.    Elation is harder to pin down, it’s not as definite as grief and it’s harder to express to others.  I think when someone is grieving, other people don’t know quite what to say to the person.  It’s hard to express sympathy.  When you’re happy, it’s hard to tell other people how you feel—you never want to rub their noses in it.  I know, it’s a hard problem to have. 

But that’s the thing about being happy, it’s a breeding ground for first world problems.  Like me in my pole class complaining that my engagement ring kept knocking me in the face when I was doing handstands.  Or having to go get a manicure at lunch my first day back after Qualia, because I was embarrassed at how bad my nails looked while everyone was looking at my ring.  See, that’s what I mean, it’s hard to talk about being happy without sounding stuck up or smug.

But my goal for now, isn’t necessarily to talk about how excited I am or how delighted or how elated, it’s just to take a moment and enjoy it.  This is one of 10 most exciting things that will ever happen to me (I’m not sure what the other 9 are).  I will never get this time in my life back, even if I pull a Liz Taylor and have 7 husbands, there will never be another first time.  So I will make a point to stop, breathe, enjoy, take it all in, and be pleased, and delighted and feel incredibly blessed and fortunate for moments like these.

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And now, back to packing!

Is there anything else we can cram in???

Ok, so if I’m honest this past week has been a blur of whirl of excitement about a million questions, wedding research and if that wasn’t enough, oh yeah, we’ve decided to move house as well.

First of all, yes The Runner and I got engaged.  It was absolutely the most perfect proposal and a beautiful day and experience—it really was like something out of a movie.  I think I touched on the story before, but it really was amazing.  I had to get the obligatory newly engaged manicure on Monday—but other than that, the week has been a blur since last Saturday’s seaplane ride.  As you can imagine it’s been a pretty amazing week full of congratulations and hand grabbing and questions—oh the questions!  And the research, oh the research!  Venues, colours, flowers, dresses, bridesmaids,  guests, wedding blogs, wedding etiquette, engagement, ceremony, honeymoon, wedding, wedding, wedding……..good lord there’s a lot to think about!  I’m enjoying it though.  It’s quite surreal and even though The Runner’s managed to keep his composure (his part is done!), I’m a bit overexcited….but in a good way!  Exciting times ahead!!!

As if that wasn’t enough, The Runner and I decided that now is a great time to move house… well I think the universe decided for us, but you know what I mean!  It’s somewhere bigger and with a car spot and closets which will be really good, but a move is a move nonetheless.   And moves are always hard work, at least 3 weeks of chaos of cleaning up, cleaning out, moving, packing, unpacking, setting up, it’s relentless….  And it’s enough to drive anyone insane.     But clearly, The Runner and I thrive on adrenalin and chaos- engagement, birthday, moving, an Ironman, a  major event at work, an overseas trip, 3 weddings, and a funeral all in the next 8 weeks.  It will be a rollercoaster of emotion, stress, activity and everything in between….  Non-stop and all the way live!  It’s going to be a fantastic few weeks without a doubt!

Please forgive me that I won’t be doing loads of cooking in the next few weeks—although I did make Nigella Lawson’s brownies today (which were awesome) for a lovely afternoon with wine, homemade pizza and mates.  Our mates have a Thermomix, which might have to go on our wedding registry (yes, being American I believe in registries!)  Sunday dinners are on hold, until after our trip away.  At the moment, our dining table is covered in boxes and realistically my main focus in the next three weeks is going to be moving, then we have one weekend to unpack and get settled before the Ironman and then Ireland.  I’ll try to describe a few culinary adventures here and there, and yes, The Runner is still running, he’s doing his second Ironman in Port Macquarie in May. 

If anyone has any wedding tips, please pass them on, seriously considering changing the name of the blog to He Run, I Cook, We’re Planning a Wedding….. cue eye rolls from The Runner.

Oh and Happy  Easter!

How was your weekend?

Well, Well, Well….. THAT was a weekend and a half!  I have to say, that was probably, if not definitely the best weekend of my life. 

A HUGE thank you to the staff at Qualia and Hamilton Island and Hamilton Island Sea Planes for making it such an amazing trip.  And what a trip it was.

First of all, there’s a reason Qualia won the Conde Nast Award for Best Resort in the World, it absolutely is.  It’s by far the nicest resort I’ve been to and truly a delight to all of the senses.  From the second you arrive, to the moment they drop you at the airport, you feel like you’re in a different world, even on a different planet.  One that looks, smells and sounds like heaven.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a few days of serenity, peace, good food, and champagne!  (Charles Heidsieck is what the pour and it is delish!)  Even without the perfect proposal and engagement, any time spent at Qualia will be special and unforgettable!  I really can’t say enough great things about the resort or the staff…. of course the $38 sandwich and $42 burger may have been a bit much but when you’re sitting in a perfect location with a nice tropical breeze you can almost forgive it (until your next trip to the ATM).  

Aside from the resort itself being perfect, our seaplane ride to Whitehaven beach (the site of The Question from The Runner) was amazing.  

First of all, I’ve always wanted to ride in a seaplane.  I think being a child of the 1980s, I’ve had a weird fascination with seaplanes for a while now.  I’m not sure if it was Tattoo from Fantasy Island  or George Michael’s Careless Whisper video (go to the 3:00- 3:30 mark) that did it, but to me, there’s something enchanting about seaplanes.  The Runner knows this because the last four years I’ve been bugging him to go on a seaplane.  Bugging him…..Unlike other places,well most, normal non-tropical island cities, Sydney actually has quite a few Seaplanes hanging around.  So, I’m sure it was quite annoying for The Runner to have me mimic Tattoo every time one passed over.  Well, finally he can breathe a sigh of relief.  We’ve had our seaplane ride and it was soooooooooo cool!  It’s quite surreal taking off and landing on the water, it’s like being on a flying speedboat.  Very cool, and the Great Barrier Reef, super cool from the air (especially if you hate fish and swimming and oceans like me!) It was my first trip to the Whitsundays but it won’t be my last.  What a gorgeous part of the world!  Whitehaven Beach is perfection!  It’s one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to and yes, the sand really is that white!

I’ll spare you all the full story, but the trip to Whitehaven was quite memorable and special.   

The whole weekend really was quite amazing and enjoyable.  A huge thank you to everyone involved in every minute of it.  It was fantastic and memorable and wonderful and special.  I can’t say enough good things about Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays and Qualia.  So in short, my weekend was perfect and this morning I had a very sparkly answer to the Monday morning question, “How was your weekend?”