One morning, about a month ago, my little family and I traipsed through a local forest with one of the loveliest people and talented photographers I know. I’ve very grateful for these beautiful photos. This is just a selection, I’m looking forward to seeing all of them soon. Kelsey didn’t ask me to tell you about her, this isn’t a promo or a freebie – I just love her work and her big heart, and would like to share her with you all. Kelsey Grace Photography is available for shoots in Sydney and Adelaide.
This past fortnight (really, only a fortnight? It feels like a year), I found gratitude hard to swallow. Grief for my brother was all consuming, and any efforts to be grateful were kicked in the guts and left in the gutter. Sure, I felt a hollow gratitude, for family, friends, flowers. But it all felt pretty meaningless. None of it changed the fact that Ryan is gone, that his kids don’t have a Dad any more.
Grief has been like a dog on a lead, permanently tied to my wrist, following me everywhere. Sometimes it would swallow me whole, from out of nowhere, with one big bite, and I’d be drowning in darkness and tears and feeling nausea and pain. Real pain. I never knew that before. Grief physically hurts.
It still hurts. It still sneaks up on me. But now there are little fragments of light, piercing the dark.
But you know what comes with that? Guilt. Surely I shouldn’t be feeling happy? Surely I shouldn’t laugh? Surely I shouldn’t find enjoyment in anything, not when Ryan is gone.
I tell myself, and my family and our friends, that no, it’s not wrong to laugh. Ryan wouldn’t want us all to be permanently morose. There is no right way to grieve. Cry when you’re sad. Laugh when you’re happy. Punch things (preferably soft cushions and not people) when you need to. And find light in gratitude.
Now, in this moment, I’m deeply grateful for:
♥ my family. We’re all leaning on each other and it warms my heart to see how we are trying to protect and care for each other.
♥ my friends. They have been quick to envelop me in support and love. I’ve been completely blown away by their support.
♥ my children. Pebble and Rocky have been like my little security blanket during the past fortnight. The thought of them, the feel of them, the smell of them. Their laughter and silliness, their cries of need that remind me that I need to keep being mum.
♥ my husband. Oh, my husband. He’s been simply amazing. Always one step ahead, thinking of what I might need. Being mum and dad for the kids, while I wandered, numb and empty. I simply could not have gotten through any of this without him by my side.
♥ my MIL, SIL and niece, who have all helped to care for our babies while we’ve been here and there, mourning, grieving, supporting.
♥ new babies. My newest little nephew arrived in the world and brought with him real smiles and joy amongst all the sadness.
♥ healthy babes. Our little Rocky has been giving us some trouble, we thought he might need an operation on his testicles and our GP suspected a heart murmur. BUT a visit to the paediatrician gave us the all clear on both. Phew! I’m SO grateful for that.
♥ funeral services. It feels strange to be grateful for this, but it did help me to let it all out and to get a little bit of closure. The funeral home was so caring, understanding and thoughtful. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful and heartfelt farewell to our Ryan.
♥ kind words.
♥ warm hugs.
♥ pretty flowers.
♥ sunshine on my face and grass on my back.
♥ buttered toast.
♥ sugary tea.
♥ soft tissues.
I’m feeling very smug and happy today. I just spent the whole day with my dear friend, playing with our babes and chatting about stuff. We shared a frantic lunch, throwing food at kids and picking it up of the floor, and feeding it to them again. We also shared some chocolate mousse. At lunch time! I know, who does that?
Yesterday I asked Facebook what I should take to share for dessert at a dinner party and the gorgeous Danielle from Hello Owl shared this chocolate mousse recipe with me. I’ve decided on something else for the dinner party (more on that soon!) but knew that my friend would love this sweet treat for lunch today. This is how I made it.
2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse
- 1 small jar (220g/7.7 ounces) Nutella
- 300ml/10 ounces thickened cream
- Throw both ingredients into a bowl. Mix on high speed for five minutes, or until a mousse-thick consistency.
- Serve in your fanciest bowls or glasses with a strawberry or two and your done!
Note: some might prefer this to be refrigerated for longer before serving but we thought it was thick and creamy enough just as it was.
This week I’m grateful for dear friends (again!) and chocolate. What more could a girl ask for?
My gratitude this week is simple. I’m grateful for friends.
I’m grateful for friends who come and rescue you
from an endless afternoon of crazy with the kids.
I’m grateful for friends who laugh with you
over a long, lazy, Sunday lunch.
I’m grateful for friends who drive for an hour just to see you,
and come bearing baked goods.
I’m grateful for picking up where you left off,
no matter how long it’s been.
I’m grateful for text messages in the night,
sharing the woes of not enough sleep.
Hi there! Thank you for reading this blog! ‘Octavia and Vicky’ is my hobby, my escape, my creative outlet, my memory box and my passion. I love it dearly, and I love that each and every day readers old and new come to visit.
I also love that this blog has given me some new opportunities. I’m excited to share that I’ve been invited to join the Kidspot Village Voices community over the summer, and look forward to sharing summer play ideas over there. I’m also working on a collaborative project with a lovely bunch of bloggers, which will give something back to a cause that I feel very strongly about. I look forward to telling you all about it! It’s going to be a full summer and I’m so grateful for these new adventures!
I look forward to continuing to give you all something too, as I share more kids activities, yummy recipes and giveaways along the way. Thanks for coming along for the ride :)
I’d love to know more about you. Do you come here often? Perhaps you’ve never left a comment to say ‘hi’? Please tell me a little something about yourself. Or tell me what you’re grateful for.