And so it goes out with a bang



What a year. It was truly spectacular. Not everything was spectacular in a good way but it was spectacular never the less.

We were no longer a family of three but now just 2 when 2013 ticked over. The pitter patter of puppy paws down the polished boards was now a raw memory, but only a memory.  The morning, afternoon and lunchtime hugs were over as was that horrible feeling of swizzle sticks stabbing you with every step as Yoghurt exited the blanket area. It was and still is a horrible feeling because her little life was far too short but we miss her no less as we enter 2014 and can smile now at her memory.

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My granny of the cheese variety departed this world for a better one.  I was always fearful of losing my grandma.  My grandfather passed when I was 9 and being so young I took it well, but I knew now things were very different.  To my surprise I have accepted her passing in my stride.  Her life was the opposite of YoYo’s. It was long, amazing and her family were always there for her. Right to the end.  She didn’t want to live in the way she was, unable to remember the most basic things – like how to eat.  I could be sad as I cannot talk to her or hug her any more but that would be selfish. She is in a better place and I am glad for her.  I have many amazing memories and a single dried rose to remember her – and that is enough for me.

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The year started in a job where your well being could not be sustained.  Challenge was not a word sufficient enough to encompass the pressure put on me and support was not a word that existed in their culture.  There were fireworks, crying, screaming and tantrums on a regular basis.  You would think the best moment was just days before my leaving when I successfully ran a full budget review with 4 members of the executive and 3 of their direct reports… but it wasn’t.  It was just minutes after being asked to reconsider my resignation by one of those executive members…. when I walked passed the post box. Opened it. Paused. Pulled an envelope out of my bag. I reconsidered. For a moment. Then smiled as I heard my new life hit the pile of letters below it.  That there was a moment of genuine satisfaction.

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That’s it. In a whole year, 3 bad things. And technically only 2 of them occurred in 2013.

Madison was born! Woooooh, what a cutie.  My niece is quite possibly the happiest baby on earth.  From the day she started smiling she never stopped (give me a break, she was small in this photo – smiling at that stage was more difficult). She also doesn’t make much noise which can only be a good thing with Princess Ella turning 3 and making more than enough noise to compensate for Maddie’s placid nature.

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China. The food, the snow capped blue sky mountain, the museums filled with relics that “weren’t real”, the ice castles, the -20 degree weather, feeding Siberian Tigers and small children pooping in the middle of a crowded park (puts a new spin on taking poop bags when you walk the dog right!?). I could go on for hours about all the things we did and saw in China.  Suffice it to say, it was an experience of a lifetime.

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Moving back to Brisbane and staying with the in-laws for 5 months was also brilliant.  Chats every day and sitting out the back on weekends having chips and dips.  Their cooking on a daily basis was yummy as always.  It was just nice to be part of the family.  I am a very lucky daughter-in-law.

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Of course I am now a Ba PhD (Basically a Doctor).  While in Brisbane, I worked for a hospital group where I had a project to improve the stock process through the theatres.  For 2 – 3 weeks I shadowed nurses working early-late shifts and watching all sorts of surgeons do their thing.  I’ve seen spines, hearts, knees, ovaries and much more – all from the inside.  An experience I will never forget.  I don’t think Steve will either.

NOKIA Lumia 800_000246NOKIA Lumia 800_000272NOKIA Lumia 800_000438It was lucky that I became a doctor because on a surprise trip to Melbourne the hubby fell ill with kidney stones.  The excruciating pains equivalent to child birth were quickly surpassed by the pain of not being able to eat chocolate but he seems to overcome this suffering daily.

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Miss K, my favourite Caloundrian cousin took me to Melbourne to buy her wedding dress.  We ate, shopped, ate, shopped, ate, ate, ate and shopped. Perfect.  I can’t wait to see this beautiful bride in 2014.

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I had a dream that saw me speaking to people on the other-side.  I predicted the passing of a distant relative that thankfully turned out to be a heart attack and that family member is now on the mend (I assume!).  Most importantly, I woke up from that dream (despite the bad news) feeling elated.  I felt like I could do or achieve anything and I’ve never lost it. It has been the driving force behind Being Like Nike.

We returned to Melbourne.

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After a spooky Halloween send off!

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I have my own kitchen now which goes with the new healthy lifestyle.  I’ve lost 6.4kg and maintained that while eating 5 meals a day plus dessert.  I’ve become a culinary demon and cannot wait to continue to try new dishes – especially those recipes sent to me by family. I enjoy every little piece of food that passes my lips despite losing a finger along the way.

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My good looking sister-in-law turned 30 and we partied hard dressed in polka dots with curly hair. I know we are growing older but nothing made that more apparent then when the birthday girl sat on the floor, stupidly drunk, complaining of her 2 girls not allowing her to party as they wouldn’t go to bed. At this very moment Ella Rose walked over and offered her Mummy a drink of milk to which she responded, “No Ella, milk is BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!”  I looked at Ella who was completely mortified and didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or give her a big hug.  This will most definitely be a memory I will hold over Sarah for years to come!

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It was a horrible and amazing year all at the same time, but there was no better way to see it out than with a big bang.

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Recipe of the Year

Slow Cooked Japanese Pork Belly

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You haven’t lived until you’ve tried this recipe.  So try it. My thanks to Nami for creating her Just One Cookbook, Easy Japanese Recipes site.

 

2 thoughts on “And so it goes out with a bang

  1. Thank you so much for making this dish many times and linking back to my post! I’m so happy you like this recipe. 🙂 I just shared your post on my facebook page. I couldn’t figure out if you have facebook page so I couldn’t tag. Sorry if I missed it. Thank you again!

    • Thank you Nami! My husband and I love Japan, its people and of course, the food! I’ve been 3 times now, twice in the past couple of years. Our favourite meal was at a gentleman’s home where we did a Japanese cooking class in Kyoto! I was of course delighted to find your recipes and this one in particular is amazing. I’ve cooked it for both my parents and my in laws – all of them loved it. If you ever start a cooking class, I will definitely be there when we make it to Montreal 🙂

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