29 December 2013

I Baked Biscuits With My Children ... And Survived!

MissyMoo1 (7) has been nagging asking me to let her bake something for a while now. This interest in culinary delights was compounded when she received a book on easy baking for kids. (It's my fault really - I bought her the book through the bookclub at school thinking that if it was aimed at children, it might actually contain recipes with a degree of difficulty that even I could manage)

You might not understand my reluctance to bake with my daughter, particularly some bloggers out there who blog about baking and who, I therefore assume, enjoy it. Let me explain. I don't dislike baking. I sort of enjoy it. But I don't find it easy. It requires concentration and effort on my part. Baking with my seven-year-old is no more difficult than baking alone - she is capable, keen and tall enough to reach the bench. Except that it's never just baking with the seven year old, is it? There's the four-year-old and the two-year-old to consider, climbing over one another to get a look at the mixing bowl, wanting to "help" with things like sifting flour - oh the horror!

Nevertheless, being the selfless mother that I am, earlier this month, I grabbed a free afternoon after school and set it aside for baking. MissyMoo1 was allowed to choose three recipes from the book as possibilities. From those three selections, I chose "the one" (the easiest).

Biscuit dough

The biscuit dough was easy to make and formed a dough easily - something I've struggled to find at times in other biscuit recipes.

We got out our new fancy-pants cookie cutters and cut wreath shapes. MissyMoo2 (4) was great at this too (I may have underestimated my under-the-radar middle child).

Cut into wreaths

And what would a post about baking with children be without photographic evidence of the mess they left behind? I threw them the line that when you're a chef you have to learn to clean before you learn to cook ... to no avail ...


Despite the mess, the biscuits started to look pretty darn good. So does the oven, by the way. I love the kitchen in the house we're renting right now.

Cooking pic

After the biscuits cooked, we let them cool and then we decorated them. We had a production line happening with the older two MissyMoos icing the biscuits while MissyMoo3 (2) passed me the mint leaf lollies and glacé cherries.

Finished product

They look pretty good. They tasted even better. They didn't last until Santa came. We had to bake again for him!

4 Years of Blogging

Can you believe it has been four years since I started this little blog? Well, the blogiversary was a couple of days ago, but I forgot about it until today ... oops.

So from my humble beginnings four years ago, what have I achieved? I haven't become a big-time blogger and I haven't even published my book yet - if I'm being completely honest, I probably would have expected to have a bit more progress in either or both of those areas in the space of four years. Having said that, I don't really care - they're not my goals in doing all this.

In the past four years, I've learned a lot about online communications, writing and websites. I have made wonderful connections with others in the blogging community. Blogging has recorded important times in the life of my family, seeing us through pregnancy, baby, toddler, pre-schooler and school stages with one or more of my children. It has documented my journey in writing my first (and hopefully not only!) novel. Next year, you'll have more to look forward to with blog fodder in the form of building a house! I love the memories blogging preserves, the conversations it starts and lessons it teaches. I have really enjoyed this blogging journey - it is a small but important part of my life and I hope to continue with it in some shape or form into the future.

I don't consider myself a "blogger", but blogging is one of the things I like to do with my time and something I have enjoyed for four years now. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you'll keep visiting Francesca Writes Here!

22 December 2013

Christmas Ducks

As you may know, I go to a bookclub which we call the Old Ducks Bookclub. It's a collection of friends who like to read and we gather on a monthly basis to catch up and talk about anything but the book we have collectively chosen to read in the preceding month.

One of the old ducks gave me this as a Christmas present:

I exclaimed that we could use it to make duck-shaped chocolates or cupcakes.

Oops, I really should have read the label :-)

21 December 2013

Playgroup Christmas Party 2013

I've blogged before about co-ordinating playgroup. B and I have continued on with it all this year. To be honest, I thought I would have blogged about it more, writing about craft ideas or other fun stuff, but for whatever reason, it has for the most part slipped under the radar this year.

For the last playgroup session of the year, we always have a little Christmas party. Everyone brings a plate, kids get in their swimmers and play with the hose, "graduating" kids (and parents) are given certificates and all kids get a small gift along with some reindeer food.

This year was no different, with great weather for water play and a magnificent spread:

The lovely playgroup parents and carers were a bit sneaky and organised a gift each for B and I:

I drink my cup of coffee from it every morning!

Unfortunately, one of the "graduating" parents was B herself, which means that I will be taking on the running of playgroup on my own next year. I have already had a few offers of help, which is lovely. I will miss B and I wish her all the best for the next phase of her life, having all three of her children at school and I hope playgroup can flourish again next year, as it did in the later half of this year with the influx of a few new families and gorgeous little ones.

Francesca's Festa of Favourites: December 2013

Now I know I normally open up the Festa at the start of the month and it's now the 21st of December. There are only four more sleeps until the fat man in red comes down the chimney (or slips in through a door left strategically unlocked) and I'm only just putting together the Festa of Favourites for December.

I wish I could say that it was a strategy on my part to generate interest at the end of the month when people have read a few posts they might want to link up (hey, that's a good one!), but actually, life has just been so busy that it has left little time for blogging. I now find myself sitting at the computer, three MissyMoos playing nicely together following an hour of grouching at them on my part (don't jinx it, please kids keep playing nicely for a little longer), so I am taking this opportunity to create an extra festive festa!

Without further ado, welcome another edition of 

For anyone who's new to the link-up, here's some background: "Festa" in Italian means a celebration, a party. This link-up is a place where you can place links to your favourite posts in a given month, but here's the difference: they don't have to be posts you've written (although they can be). You can link to any post for the month that, for you, has been a must-read, that you're proud of, or that you think is entertaining.

I add some of the posts, from blogs I read regularly, so you might see the same bloggers cropping up over the months. I make no apology for that - I love being able to use this space to bookmark my favourite blog posts for the month.

But, more importantly, I love seeing what everyone else likes reading and it makes me smile till my cheeks hurt when other people add their favourites to this festa. So feel free to link up as many of your favourite posts as you like during the course of the month.

(Let me know in the comments if you have trouble with the link and I'll try to fix it.)

Pick of the November bunch (in my humble opinion)

There weren't very many posts linked up in November, not because there wasn't any good stuff around, but I put it down to my almost-never presence on the blogosphere during the month. But there were some, and they were good, so I have chosen one post from last month's linked posts to showcase here. I think it's a great way of showing off other bloggers in my own little corner of blogland. To check out all the posts linked up in November, click here.

The November Festa Favourite is:
 Time for Some Blogging Confessions by The Muddle-Headed Mamma.

Lizzy's blog celebrated its 1/2 birthday and with that, she makes many entertaining blogging confessions. You should totally read about it.
Now, let's see what goodies you bring along to Francesca's Festa of Favourites in December (what's left of it). Happy linking!

18 December 2013

Kidspeak Gems: MissyMoo3

I swimming! I swimming in the water!

I love, love, love play centres with my adventurous child. I just want to capture that two-year-old enthusiasm and bottle it!

15 December 2013

Bare Walls

Our moving journey began with the first packed box:

But nothing says goodbye like bare walls.

When I lived away on campus in my first year at uni, through the term my walls would be covered in posters and photos - putting my interests and everything I held dear out there on display, helping me feel at home in a place far from there. During each term break, we would have to pack up our rooms completely to allow distance education residential students to use the rooms. So at the end of each term, I would take everything down, pack all I could into a high cupboard and padlock it until my return to campus after the holidays.

Bare walls. As if I had never been there.

A few weeks ago we packed up our home of seven years; the home we'd lived in as each of our three children were born; the first house we bought.

I took a few photos of the rooms before we started packing everything away. Here are a couple of pics from kiddy rooms:

And then afterwards.

Bare walls. Only a hook to show we had ever been there.

Now we are set up in a rental house - a lovely new four bedroom house. But we aren't allowed to hang or stick anything up on the walls.

Bare walls. Nothing up around us to make us feel at home.

But we have each other. We are not alone. And we can look forward to the day when we have walls of our own (or the bank's if you want to get technical about it) upon which we can make our home.

14 December 2013

Putting up the Christmas Tree

Now, we did this on 1 December and I'm posting on the 14th - better late than never!

The first Advent activity for this year was putting up the Christmas tree. (Let's ignore the tiny fact that I added this to the Advent calendar retrospectively, as I put the calendar together on the 2nd of December!)

It was a bare corner of our new house, with many things still packed in boxes, but a great spot for the tree was decided upon very easily.

We had a bit of a production line, with two helpful little MissyMoos passing branches, and my big girl and I putting everything into place while the Hi5 Christmas album played in the background.

This was the first year MissyMoo3 (2) was able to join in with helping and it was very special to have all three MissyMoos enjoying decorating the tree together.

12 December 2013

Advent Calendar 2013

Amidst all the crazy business of the past few weeks, I still managed to put together an Advent calendar for the MissyMoos, albeit a relatively effortless one.

If you were reading my blog last Advent, you'll know that I'm not into chocolate Advent calendars. So I made another activity-based calendar this year.

The first thing to do was to put together a list of activities. I did this with a little help from the calendar, as some days call for quick things and other days can be more involved, depending on what we have on:

Here's a close-up so you can get a better idea of what the activities are:

Thankfully, I still had the numbers I used last year stored on the computer, so I just printed those off again and stuck them onto envelopes.

I then cut out the activities, put each in the corresponding envelope and there you have it. It's not a craft-blogger's masterpiece, but it's a time-poor parent's Advent calendar! And I managed to get it done the day after Advent started - not too bad at all ;-)

27 November 2013

Moving Day

Today is our official moving day. The phone line has been moved to our new place, the internet is out of action and so I put pen to paper.

This morning was crazy busy, but I am so glad we organised things the way we did. All three MissyMoos were ready and we were out the door before 7:30am. Hubby was not working today so he could do some moving, and he was up and at 'em super early, taking bed frames apart and getting everything ready for the removalists. Just as I was leaving with the MissyMoos, the truck pulled up.

I dropped MissyMoo1 (7) off at B's and B took her to school with her kids (as it was way too early to drop her at school at that time), then I drove the 40 minutes to Nonna and Par's house to leave MissyMoo2 (4) and MissyMoo3 (2) there for the day, then I turned back and backtracked 20 minutes to go to work.

When asked by a colleague why I was at work on moving day, I honestly replied: "To escape." Poor Hubby, I think he got the raw end of the deal having the day off work! But he worked hard with the moving - he did wonderfully and the place looked great when I got home in the evening.

There are still some things left to bring over from the old house, but the big stuff is done and we're sleeping in the new place tonight, so we can safely say:


You Sign It, You Eat It

In third year law school at university, I studied contract law. Although that was ... ahem ... a few years ago, there is one phrase which has stuck in my mind to this day. I don't remember the setting - whether it was my male lecturer or my female tutor who said it. I don't remember who I was sitting next to in the lecture theatre / tutorial room. I don't remember if it was hot or cold, morning or afternoon, what I was wearing or how I was feeling.

But I remember this phrase.

You sign it, you eat it.
The meaning was simple. If you sign something, the starting point is that you meant to be held to it. Sure, there are all sorts of exceptions, like fraud or undue influence, but generally, it was a warning to the fresh-faced future of the legal profession that signing something indicates that you have read it, that you agree to it and that you accept the consequences.

Hubby and have been doing a lot of signing lately - a multitude of documents for a multitude of purposes in our house-changing journey.
Initially I wolfed down the appetiser contract with the real estate agent to place our house on the market. I quickly put away various courses as the need arose: contract for sale of house, lease for the next place to live and then purchase of land.

Soon after the feeding frenzy was over, the heartburn set in. Were we doing the right thing? Was all this upheaval and stress going to be difficult for our family? MissyMoo3 was getting unsettled again at daycare after being fine for most of the year - could she be internalising my stresses? (Turns out she was cutting a molar - all good.)

Let's hope it digests well and leaves some appetite for dessert: a building contract...

(Disclaimer: this is not legal advice - this is an anecdote and a clumsy metaphor. Take it as such)

26 November 2013

MissyMoo1's 7th Birthday

Today is my beautiful, amazing, lovely MissyMoo1's 7th birthday.

Can you believe I have a seven-year-old? Neither can I - I'm far too young to have a seven-year-old! [flicks hair vainly]

Although it's her birthday today, as you may already know, we here in casa di Francesca are big fans of the birthday week and so the celebrations obviously began prior to today. MissyMoo1 had a birthday party on Saturday with 14 of her closest friends (!) plus her two sisters. She didn't do the birthday party thing last year (bless her) so we said she could this year.

What do you do for a 7th birthday party when you're smack bang in the middle of moving house? No, we did not have it at home - we're not that crazy! (You thought I was going to say we had it at home, didn't you? Have some faith in me, people!) MissyMoo1 had suggested ice-skating, however, I promptly dismissed that idea at the image which immediately popped into my head of having to chase my two-year-old around the ice...

It was agreed that a gymnastics party would be the way to go - soft mats for her sisters to play on if they didn't want to/couldn't join in the circuit. And with food and lolly bags provided, I was all for it. All we had to provide was the cake.

They had a wonderful time. MissyMoo1's friendships this year have really strengthened and blossomed. I was so happy to see them all playing together so nicely. She has friendships with a great group of kids and I couldn't be happier for her.

Yesterday, at her weekly school assembly, she was presented with a birthday certificate and the kids all said a prayer together for the children having birthdays that week. It was very sweet.

Today she got an extra special lunch order and tonight Hubby made her favourite dinner. He's the best.

Beautiful girl, we're sorry that your birthday has been surrounded by so much hectic activity and stress, but we hope you know how incredible you are and how much we love you. Happy birthday to the best big girl ever!

23 November 2013

The Week Looming Ominously Ahead

I am looking ahead at a crazy busy week and I am feeling slightly nervous. We are as organised as we can be, but part of me feels that ignorance would be more blissful than my Word table setting out each day of who goes where and for what.

Here is a sneak peek of what lies ahead for us this week:

  • Today is MissyMoo1's birthday party
  • Tuesday is MissyMoo1's birthday
  • Wednesday is removalist day for the furniture and the first night of sleeping in our rented house
  • Thursday is a friend's wedding
I am trying to keep my head together and I know that all I can do is take one day at a time.

I am trying to remember why we are doing all this - that the big picture end goal will be worth all the upheaval, stress and uncertainty we now face.

19 November 2013


We have a plan. A plan to make life at home more comfortable. But progress cannot come without sacrifice. A bigger house will be great; a bigger mortgage, not so much. Ying and yang. Balance.

In recent weeks we have had to make decisions to sacrifice some things which give joy to our lives in the process of striving to attain our goal. The first was the trampoline. A 14-foot circle of jumping fun had to go, as the backyard in the rented house we're moving to (or any other for that matter) simply is not big enough.

We bought it four years ago. I can still remember the squeals of delight as the then two-year-old MissyMoo1 (6) jumped on it; her curly mop of toddler hair flopping up and down with every jump. MissyMoo2 (4) and MissyMoo3 (2) each began bouncing on it as soon as they could crawl. Singing songs like Play School's "jump, jump, jump if you feel you want to-oo-oo", learning to count in Italian by counting the jumps, racing around the perimeter, "bouncing" The Fat Cat when she jumped on to join in on the action - these are all memories I want to preserve. Hey, even I used to enjoy using it sometimes!

MissyMoo3 being awesome

In the end, the trampoline is just a "thing"- we can replace it later if we want to (although we probably won't).

But there's another sacrifice we must make - not of a thing, but of a part of our family. It makes me feel like a callous, materialistic cow, trading in The Fat Cat for a nice house. But there you have it. The Fat Cat can't move with us, as pets aren't allowed in the rental house we're moving to.

But I'm so cute. Why can't I come too?

Thankfully, Nonna and Par will be fostering her for us for the time it takes us to build our own home, after which we'll welcome her back to our abode with open arms and lots of cuddles.

My first fear with this was telling the MissyMoos. Thankfully, Hubby took care of this with no drama or build-up (I would have made a meal of it) and they took it incredibly well. In fact, they're actually excited that because we'll be spending Christmas with Nonna and Par, we'll be able to spend Christmas with The Fat Cat as well!~

I still worry that she might run away or get lost, but I know she is an adaptable cat. When we got her, two years ago, she was already three years old. Her family had moved away and had been unable to take her with them (oh no! history repeating itself - poor kitty), and the neighbour who had taken her in couldn't keep her because of severe allergies. So we took her and she adjusted well. Hopefully she will again.

15 November 2013

Kidspeak Gems: MissyMoo1


11 November 2013

Silly Sock Day

Throughout the year, MissyMoo1's (6) school runs various mufti days and other such fun to raise money for Catholic Mission.

The most recent one, on 31 October, was Socktober day, during which all children were allowed to wear silly socks to school.
Not content to go along with only one pair of silly socks, MissyMoo1 decided to add stripey legwarners to her spotty socks for a very bright, fun combination :-)

10 November 2013

Francesca's Festa of Favourites: November 2013

I came so close to not doing this for this month, but hang that, I'm not closing down a festa!!


...welcome another edition of 

For anyone who's new to the link-up, here's some background: "Festa" in Italian means a celebration, a party. This link-up is a place where you can place links to your favourite posts in a given month, but here's the difference: they don't have to be posts you've written (although they can be). You can link to any post for the month that, for you, has been a must-read, that you're proud of, or that you think is entertaining.

I add some of the posts, from blogs I read regularly, so you might see the same bloggers cropping up over the months. I make no apology for that - I love being able to use this space to bookmark my favourite blog posts for the month.

But, more importantly, I love seeing what everyone else likes reading and it makes me smile till my cheeks hurt when other people add their favourites to this festa. So feel free to link up as many of your favourite posts as you like during the course of the month.

(Let me know in the comments if you have trouble with the link and I'll try to fix it.)

Pick of the October bunch (in my humble opinion)

As usual, I have chosen one post from the previous month's linked posts to showcase here and I'm continuing this month as I think it's a great way of showing off other bloggers in my own little corner of blogland. To check out all the posts linked up in October, click here.

This time it was really hard to choose one post to showcase. There weren't all that many posts linked, but they were all so good... But without further ado, my October Festa Favourite is:
 My Baby Boy Almost Drowned and It Was All My Fault by Emily at Have a Laugh on Me.

(Except that it wasn't all her fault by the way - she is being waaaay too hard on herself).

Have a laugh on me
With the warm weather well and truly here in many parts of Australia, I thought it really important to highlight this post as a reminder to us all of how quickly something can go wrong with little ones in the water.

Now, let's see what goodies you bring along to Francesca's Festa of Favourites in November. Happy linking!

09 November 2013

Project Find a House to Rent: Done!

Hi all.

Well the title gives it away, but I'm mindful of the fact that I haven't blogged in a while and I would hate to think any of you lovely readers might be worried about whether we have a roof over our heads.

It's okay. Roof located.

This is a pretty cool looking roof.
Ours is nothing like this.

The day contracts exchanged for the sale of our house, I was on a mission. MissyMoo2 (4), MissyMoo3 (2) and I went to three real estate agents in our local area searching for a place to rent. Taking them with me was a risky move, but they wowed real estate offices all over town with their good behaviour :-)

The experience, though, was quite stressful. It was demoralising, seeing places online which might be suitable, only to find out that they had just been taken by somebody else. It was unsettling having lived in our own place for seven years to then be in the position of wondering where we would be living in only a matter of weeks. It was almost enough to bring about some seller's remorse ... almost...

I looked through one completely unsuitable place after school one day with all three Missy Moos. It was only 3 bedrooms, which of itself wasn't too much of a problem, except that the current inhabitant was a heavy smoker and had two little dogs who slept inside. Not so good for allergies. Oh, and no dishwasher. In a family of five? Deal-breaker.

Next, I looked through a pretty good place. Fairly nice, again three bedrooms, but quite liveable except that it was built on a cliff. I kid you not. It was well landscaped at the back, but I did not fancy attempting to get the white bus up the steep driveway...

There was one more. One shining light in the darkness.

One 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage house which appeared on the internet like a vision. I could be forgiven for imagining hearing a chorus of angels at the moment the photos appeared on my computer monitor. It is less than 500m from where we currently live. It is the same distance again from where we intend to build our next home (oops, spoiler alert!). MissyMoo1 (6) does not even have to change bus stops! Our application has been accepted, we sign the lease next week and we'll have a bit over two weeks to slowly move our stuff over to the new place before we have to be out of our current house.

It is not all perfect, as with most things, there are some sacrifices to be made. This really requires a blog post all of its own, though. Stay tuned.

"Relief" is the most suitable word to describe reaching the end of this small chapter in our "forever house" story.

29 October 2013

My Debut Novel Publishing Update

It's been a while since my last post about my book, so I just wanted to keep you all up to speed on what has been happening.

The short answer is "nothing". If you want to stick with the short story skip below to the paragraph headed "Next Steps". If you want to read a bit about what's been happening behind the scenes, please continue to the next paragraph :-)

So, here's something I was not permitted to reveal to you but may now put out there, as I didn't win. I entered the Vogel Award. The Vogel is a competition held annually by Allen & Unwin publishers and The Australian newspaper for an unpublished manuscript by an author aged under 35. I didn't actually ever believe that I would win, but I decided to throw my hat in the ring, as the manuscript was ready by the submission deadline. The only problem was that I couldn't do anything further about it until I got my rejection letter - which, in the end, wasn't a problem, as it gave me time to step away from the manuscript and then "return" (you'll get this if you read my last post about my book) with fresh eyes to do another edit.

When I got my rejection letter from Allen & Unwin, I submitted the manuscript to a small publisher who also did not give me a publishing contract. But that's ok. I got one of the nicest rejection emails I could have imagined from them. They really made me believe that as a small publisher there's only a certain amount of books they can publish each year and that they really did wish me all the best with future pitches. I choose to turn a blind eye to the possibility that this is just what they say to all the "unpublished".

I'm actually okay about all this. And I'm looking forward to ...

NEXT STEPS (this is where you skippers rejoin the blog post)

I think I will self publish. I have already (I think) chosen who to go through, but with everything happening with our house at the moment, I have decided to take my time. I'll put it on the backburner for now while we move and get settled. I'm thinking I might take on self-publishing in the new year. I have lots of ideas about covers and websites, but for now, I'll let them swirl around in my mind rather than settle and weigh down on my already burdened shoulders.

Stay tuned!

Today I'm linking up with Jess for #ibot :)

27 October 2013

Farewell to my Thankful Thursday linky

Francesca Writes Here
As many of you would know, I have been hosting a Thankful Thursday linky party each week for the past five months - well, I did miss a week when we were away on holidays last month, but apart from that, it has been up and running each week. I took this link-up over from Six by the Bay in May 2013.
I have loved hosting the linky, as it has made me stop and think of something to be thankful for each week, even at times when I haven't been feeling particularly positive. Lately, though, it has been feeling like a bit of a chore. My evenings lately, instead of being distributed in a balanced way between time with Hubby, housework and blogging, have been taken up with all manner of things associated with selling our house and finding somewhere new to live. And this won't change any time soon, if we go ahead with our plans to build.

I wrote a few weeks ago of my doubts about continuing with Thankful Thursday. At the end of that post, I expressed how I needed to keep going because it made me blog. Here's the thing, though. My blogging time is at a premium right now, and I don't want Francesca Writes Here to turn into just a collection of Thankful Thursday posts as it has in recent weeks, when I've only been able to manage writing one post per week. With the changes going on in our lives right now, I value this space as mine to express and record what is happening with us, in my own way.


Right now, I don't need a theme to inspire me to blog. I have a tonne of real-life inspiration going on - I just need time and energy to write about it.
I am thankful to Leigh for passing Thankful Thursday to me. It has definitely helped me to find the good in things and to be thankful for them. I am thankful to all of you who have linked up at one time or another and supported the linky party on my blog. I am also thankful to Rhianna at A Parenting Life for volunteering to take over Thankful Thursday hosting responsibilities.

A Parenting Life

I hope to link up with Rhianna's Thankful Thursday more often than not and I hope that you can support her in making this link-up her own.

25 October 2013

Our Forever House

Over the past while (years, now that I think about it), hubby and I have been thinking, dreaming, planning for our "forever house". We haven't always called it that, but now we've put a name to the concept.

I may be slightly prone to exaggeration here...

You might remember me alluding to decision-making quite some time ago: here and here. Well, that's what it was all about. A decision-making and decision-breaking cycle of stay where we are, subdivide, buy something bigger or build somewhere else, then back to the first idea and around again. First world problems, I know, but still a weight on our minds. It has been exciting at times - dreaming up plans, looking at house designs, picturing our family in a few years' time. It has also been quite stressful - mulling over the logistics of moving with three children, the pressure of a much larger mortgage and the endless array of decisions involved in building a house.

A couple of weeks ago, we made a decision and acted on it. We saw a house out of our price range, but beautiful and in a great location, and made the decision to sell our house. We knew that no matter what we did, we would have to sell our house first in order to "upsize" our home.

From there, things happened at light speed. A day and a half after our house was advertised on the internet, our agent showed five people through. The following evening, we'd had two offers. A week later, contracts were exchanged. There was no sign out the front, no saga of will we or won't we sell it - it happened just like that.

In the meantime, we've been looking for places to buy. The problem is, there's nothing around which is suitable and in our price range. So, we've decided to build. The only thing is that we need somewhere to live in the meantime. And so begins the search for a rental.

So, as you can see, it has been a busy, full-on couple of weeks. These are exciting times for us, but also quite stressful. I don't seem to be able to get excited just yet, as my anxiety over finding somewhere to live is overwhelming every other feeling at the moment. I think once we've signed a lease, I'll feel much better about things and I'll be able to focus on packing up a house we've lived in for seven years and had three kids in. But right now, I just need to find us somewhere to live...

24 October 2013

The Thankful Post About Nothing

Francesca Writes Here

To say things have been busy in casa di Francesca lately would be a gross understatement. I am thankful for plenty of stuff, but each item really needs its own blog post (or series of blog posts) to do them justice. Now is not the time. So today's Thankful Thursday "post from the host" is somewhat Seinfeldian. (Remember the show about nothing?)

Image source
That's not to say I'm thankful for nothing. I am thankful for many things but writing about them today would give the game away. Let me just keep the mystery alive until I have time to do a proper post devoted to life at the moment by saying that I am thankful for the first step of our plans being accomplished so quickly. I am thankful for the well wishes and support of friends and family. I am thankful that I haven't yet had a nervous breakdown!

What are you thankful for?

17 October 2013

Thankful for the Serenity

One of the great things about going to Gran and Soot's place in the school holidays was the space. We live on a fairly large block, but there's something special about  -----WIDE ----- open spaces outside of suburbia, in a country town, which we don't get even here.

One thing I love in bigger properties is finding small quiet spaces, little pockets of serenity. Somewhere to sit and just be. Or, if you're surrounded by small children, somewhere to take a photo of so as to imagine sitting and just being...

How's the serenity? ;-)

Francesca Writes Here

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