My week summed up in animated GIFs

Two very strange things happened this week.

One: I got box seats to see Keith Urban in concert. I played the dutiful trophy wife once more and even though I hadn’t even listened to a Keith Urban single, let alone a whole album, I’d become a bit of a fan of his after his stint on The Voice last year.

After a surreal experience of eating a belated dinner in a room lit only by the flashing neon from Keith’s opening number, we got to watch the concert while drinking endless cups of coke zero and creme brulee. By the end, I was a complete convert to Australia’s favourite fluffy-haired singing export. Keith puts on a bloody good show and knows what his fans want when they come to see him in concert.

Two: Someone who I adore very much told me on Thursday that I remind them of Renee Zelwegger’s interpretation of Bridget Jones. Mostly because of my ability to make an idiot of myself and my preference for wearing bunny ears.

I do NOT count calories like Bridget does, though I’m known to wear granny fat sucker knickers and sing along to power balads very loudly when the mood suits.

On Thursday arvo I told my podiatrist of my friend’s recent discovery AND SHE AGREED THAT I’M LIKE BRIDGET. I asked if that meant I got to slide down fireman poles and kiss Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

Apparently that’s not going to happen for me.

BUGGER

On 2012

Oh hai!

I bet you guys thought that I’ve abandoned this place, right? Whoops, my bad.

Can you believe that it’s the end of 2012 already? After a crappy year in 2010, an excellent year in 2011, 2012 has been beautifully mundane. Tonight we’re welcoming in 2013 with Rekorderlig, a homemade Mexicana feast, movies and local fireworks. And 2013? It’s going to be all kinds of BRILLIANT. I was just saying to Shae that it feels like we’re on the verge of something great. NYE does this to us all every year, but this year is way different. Do you feel it too?

In the last few weeks Dan and I have made some plans that has changed our outlook on virtually everything for the new year. I feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my heart, shoulders and soul and I feel like a little kid in a lolly shop. Everything out here is so bright and shiney and I’m grinning like an idiot. To celebrate, we’ve booked a getaway for the Easter weekend with a couple of old friends and I cannot, CANNOT wait. When I’m not finding myself a new bikini, I’ll be booking myself into some wellbeing courses that I’ve got my eye on so that I can focus on ME.

It’s gonna be great, y’all!

Thanks you guys for reading this funny ol place, even when I’ve seemingly leglected it. Hope you’re all on the verge of something amazing in 2013.

Here is the NYE meme that I’ve done for the last few years: 20112010 and 2009.

  1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
    Flew in a plane with Dan, gave Dan driving lessons, lusted after a Macbook (only for a little while, pinky swear). Visited Tasmania, drank alcoholic hot chocolate. Attended my first PR event as Smarter Admins. And I ate olives!
  2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    2012 was my year for stressing less, which I did (most of the time). My unofficial resolution was to send birthday cards for every birthday in my calendar. I would say I was ~70% successful
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Just the usual smatterings of workmates and extended friends
  4. Did anyone close to you die?
    No, thankfully
  5. What countries/states did you visit?
    Tasmania to visit Jarod and Liz, Melbourne for Problogger
  6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
    A life worthy of beautiful photographs
  7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    In all honesty, no specific dates will stick, just periods of time throughout the year for varying reasons
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Work. I changed jobs within the same department and it took me right out of my comfort zone. I managed to survive, mostly unscathed!
  9. What was your biggest failure?
    Jealousy. And being rejected for blood donation because of low iron levels
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I got too many colds this year and a bit of whiplash after (yet another) car accident
  11. What was the best thing you bought?
    A hot red Mazda 3 and a ticket to #probloggerevent in Melbourne
  12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
    The US citizens who voted for President Handsome :) And on a local level, my neighbours who voted to ban smoking in our entire block. No mean feat!
  13. Whose behaviour was appalling?
    The NRA and their ilk for their reaction after the Newtown shooting. Australian politicians and their treatment of asylum seekers
  14. Where did most of your money go?
    The bloody bloody mortgage! And so begins the next 30 years of my life, huh?
  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    Going to Tasmania for the first time, to visit Jarod and Liz. And seeing Human Nature in concert earlier this month. And having so many family and friends on the blogging bandwagon with me. I feel validated :)
  16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
    This one’s a draw between the Will.I.Am/Sesame Street number and Mikhael Paskalev’s underpant dancing song
  17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    a)  happier  or sadder? happier
    b) thinner or  fatter? fatter
    c) richer or poorer?  poorer in $, richer my sense of  self-worth
  18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Go on holidays. Put effort into Smarter Admins
  19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Avoid difficult decisions
  20. How did you spend Christmas?
    Lunch with maternal in-laws, evening cocktails with paternal in-laws
  21. What was your favourite TV program?
    How I Met Your Mother. Surpassing every other TV show to become my all-time favourite
  22. Did you make a friend with anyone that you didn’t know this time last year?
    Not exactly new, but I’ve strengthened some friendships, expecially when sharing hotel rooms this year :)
  23. What was the best book you read?
    I’ve done more business reading than anything this year and one book that really helped me was the Problogger book by Darren Rowse
  24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Dan introduced me to Fun. when we started using Spotify. Do you use Spotify? It’s fuggen great
  25. What did you want and get?
    A safer car
  26. What did you want and not get?
    Galaxy Note II. Hard to justify upgrading when my current phone is still working
  27. What was your favourite film of this year?
    I really liked 50/50 with the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun
  28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    My 34th was the usual love from family and friends. It’s a birthday I’ll remember moreso for the way I reacted to a potentially horrid situation. It saved me a tonne of grief and meant that I was able to really enjoy my birthday for the first time in years.
  29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Meeting Barack Obama :)
  30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
    Pretty boring!
  31. What kept you sane?
    My husband :)
  32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    President Handsome, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel :)
  33. What political issue stirred you the most?
    The NRA gun thing. It’s just revolting
  34. Who did you miss?
    Jarod and Liz. Liz and Jarod
  35. Who was the best new person you met?
    Me ;)
  36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012
    I am loved :)
  37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
    If what I am is what’s in me, then I’ll stay strong, that’s who I’ll be
    And I will always be the best me that I can be
    - Will. I. Am. and Sesame Street residents

I refreshed huffpo like a mofo

Currently I am…

Watching

As ever, I’m on an infinite loop of watching How I Met Your Mother in its entirety. All eight seasons. This is the third time around, I think? If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’d be well aware of my love of this show. I watch it when I’m sick, I watch it when I’m in bed. I watch it when I’m feeling lonely, even. For me, this show is like a great book: the second you finish it, you want to read it again. When I get to the end of the season, I feel like there’s a chunk missing in my life. Yes, I realise how dumb and tragic and emo that makes me, but I don’t care. The last time I got like this about a show was Rescue Me and, before that Will and Grace.  But HIMYM sits above even those shows. There’s a part of me in each of those characters

Listening

Two stand outs from two faves in the pop phase I’m going through atm:

Bruno:

Robbie!:

I’m listening to Robbie’s new album as I type, and it’s not doing anything for me, yet. I am, however, all over Kylie’s new album Abbey Road Sessions. It’s string covers of her songs and it’s fricking awesome.

Thinking

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the impact the internet (blogs, specifically) has on cluckiness. These won’t be the most coherent thoughts, but here goes.

We’re a mid-30s married couple without kids. We’re in the minority amongst my circle of friends; in the majority in Dan’s circle of friends. The people I talk to who haven’t got kids yet tend to talk about THE KNOWING of having kids; the reality, the beauty, the horrific loss that so many have experienced. I have watched so much grief over the years. Children, babies diagnosed with life-threatening conditions. Babies who are born sleeping. Parents whose mental health deteriorates even more as a result of having kids. The people I talk to who don’t know if they can bring another life into this world of cyberbullying, greed, environmental instability. The talk of being so much more aware because of what’s shared online. And because we aren’t always great at sharing positivities, we read more tragedies, struggles and challenges. On blogs, twitter, facebook, instagram. It’s right there. And not that it’s something that shouldn’t be shared or discussed. But I’m throwing it out there. Maybe our over-sharingness is putting us off.

Wow, that was heavy. Sorry.

Loving

This week has been all about the US Presidential election and how well Obama kicked Romney’s backside. There was much skipping, squealing and high fiving when the news came through (that makes it sound like I waited for someone else to tell me who won. Who are we kidding? I refreshed huffpo like a mofo to watch the race to 270) and discovered many more Obama fan girls (and boys!) in my circles. I dare you to watch Barack’s final campaign speech, his victory speech and/or his thank you to volunteers and not be moved by it.

From his victory speech:

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

Just, wow.

Reading

There are a multitude of books I’ve started; even more that I’ve borrowed from friends that I need to finish. There are books piled up on my desk that I need to read to keep moving Smarter Admins further. My blog reader is overflowing with unread and uncommented posts. But! Today I read this interview with Stephen Colbert in playboy (yeah, I know, playboy, right? wtf?) and it’s not often I read that long an article online. Five pages and I could have read another five.

The interesting thing about grief, I think, is that it is its own size. It is not the size of you. It is its own size. And grief comes to you. You know what I mean? I’ve always liked that phrase He was visited by grief, because that’s really what it is. Grief is its own thing. It’s not like it’s in me and I’m going to deal with it. It’s a thing, and you have to be okay with its presence. If you try to ignore it, it will be like a wolf at your door.

One thing you MUST read (if you haven’t already; chances are, you already have) is the Confident You series from Suger. Suger was my roomie on my last trip to Melbourne and an absolute superstar. My confidence grew so much just by being with her for 3 days. And now? We can all read just how great she is. Cause she just is, you know :)

There are days that I wake up and the next thing to do on my list, the getting dressed and ready for work, the whole world of it is too much. So I do something I learnt from Sunday school. I count my blessings. In my head I start by saying I’m SO glad I woke up this morning. Feet on the floor; I’m so glad I have a soft bed and a roof over my head. Walk to the bathroom; I’m really really glad I have hot running water and indoor plumbing. And on and on it goes.

Making me happy

Having a couple of relaxed weekends at home after I had five weekends away  in a row. FIVE! It was

  1. Tasmania
  2. Tasmania
  3. Family birthday out west
  4. Melbourne
  5. Friend’s birthday out west

I haven’t been that social… well, ever. I wasn’t sure if my body could hack it; I was convinced I was going to get sick again (after my winter of getting sick every fricking month. So over it). But I survived! And of course I loved every minute of it. I quite like the jetsetter lifestyle, and so did the dust bunnies at home cause they got to run free for far too long. But while I’m really really missing the people I got to hang out with over those five weekends, I’m finally back into the old routine and had some decent daylight hours at home, just catching up on domestic bliss and, you know, hanging out with my husband. My soul is re-energised and feels like it can cope with another week.

We went to a stunning wedding with the most divine candy bar I’ve ever seen. It looked like something out of Pinterest

I’ve been catching up with friends who have been neglected of late

I ated a strawberry that I grew on our balcony!

Even though I now have the end-of-the-weekend cranks, I’m feeling well, I’m feeling happy and content.

How’re YOU?

This is an idea borrowed from Miss Scarlet, which is borrowed from Sometimes Sweet. It’s fun! You should totes try it.

On feeling wanted

Packed shopping centre carpark at peak “hour”.

Just after school or most daylight hours on the weekends.

There are drivers stalking shoppers with their trolleys in the hope of getting their spot when they leave.

I like when someone puts their blinker on for my spot, I foolishly feel in demand. But when the carpark is busy and no one wants my spot

it makes me sad.

PS I don’t do my grocery shopping at Ikea. Although I’m tempted to say “challenge accepted” a-la Barney Stinson

I love

I love that a new cafe has opened up near(ish) to home and that they put hearts in my hot chocolate. I love that we went and had brunch for the first time in about a year (mortgagees on a tight budget, yo).

I love that I ran into a friend there, even though she lives on the other side of the city. I love new opportunities that are opening up, I love that I’ve been invited to a crafty group and that I might finally get my crocheting straightened out.

I love that I’m reading the words my husband writes for a living, how proud I am of him and his wordly talents (why didn’t I inhert these through marriage?).

I love that we’ve just ordered wedding pizza for dinner tonight. Wedding pizza being our favouritest pizza ever that we chose to eat on our wedding day with all our friends.

I love that I’m getting some of my mojo back, slowly but surely. I love feeling like I’m part of something bigger than I am. I love feeling like I’m making a difference, just little ol’ me. I love that so many people in my “real” life are blogging; my longest of friends and even a sister-in-law. I love that I feel like blogging isn’t something to be ashamed of anymore.

I love that I can look at this face and feel sofa king relieved that we’re back on speaking terms again.

I love that the cats don’t poop until Dan gets home, so that he can clean the litter tray.

I also love my ugg boots.

What do you love?