I can’t say that 2016 up until now has been more stressful than previous years, but it has been relentless and exhausting, up until now. I haven’t been on a holiday this long weekend but I feel like I’ve had one, simply because there has not been something pressing or urgent to do and I’ve had the opportunity to rest and do things I enjoy, without the weight of things I should be doing instead weighing on my shoulders.
A dear friend came to visit on Saturday, which was actually Mr Z’s and my anniversary but he was at work. I gave a tour of my new home, discussing all our plans to update and renovate, then we went out shopping. It’s been so long since I’ve been shopping with a girlfriend I’d forgotten how much fun it was!
Mr Z and I went out to a lovely dinner after work, and the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, gardening and cooking. We had fantastic spring weather on Sunday, giving us the opportunity to try out our backyard pizza oven which Mr Z had spent time restoring to working condition. It was perfect, like camping without ever leaving home. Bliss! The bliss didn’t end there, I used the leftover pizza dough to make cinnamon scrolls for breakfast the next morning, a perfect way to start a public holiday!
That’s not to say we didn’t celebrate our anniversary in a bigger way, particularly being our last before the arrival of our baby, it’s just that with all the stress the previous week Mr Z treated me to a evening away in a luxury hotel in the city last weekend, bringing the celebration forward because I had obviously needed the treat then.
The pizza oven
Our quaint bush backyard
Preparing the pizza dough
My first pizza ready to go – we were learning lessons! It turned out that the dough was sticky and the oven not hot enough but it was still delicious
A much improved second attempt
I’m really quite lucky, every second weekend the kids go to their dad’s and I get Saturday afternoon to myself because MrZ goes to work, and then Sunday is ours to spend together if he’s not with his own kids (there is actually a lot of difficulty and heartache there but that’s his story not mine). Over the past few months none of this time was spare time however, it was time to do everything that I needed to get done without the kids around and was exceptionally busy and tiring in itself. With the move behind us and being fairly settled in now though I get to use some of this as time to myself again. I consider myself pretty lucky as most mothers in intact families don’t get that recovery and regeneration time. Truth be known I would rather be in one of those intact families struggling to find time for myself but it didn’t work out that way, so I’m just looking at the positives.
This Saturday I spent some time shopping around for some furniture to create a peaceful outdoor space on the lovely balcony we now have, although I didn’t find quite what I wanted, not enough to part with any hard earned cash anyway. That was followed by my haircut, in which I had about eight inches chopped off and resulted in a major case of ‘that didn’t look like the picture’ panic! To be fair I showed her a picture of a woman with wavy hair, because that’s what I wanted mine to look like when I curl it, but without that effort it is dead straight and flat, never more so than when it has been combed down repeatedly while being cut! I had a big night in planned for MrZ that evening so I tried to calm the panic while I rushed home to put that curl in it, although a few long, smiling glances I got in the supermarket and bottle shop on the way home suggested it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I need some practice with my new hair but I did manage to do ok that evening, MrZ was certainly appreciative of my fresh new look, joking that he didn’t know who I was there in the kitchen but he was going to dump his girlfriend immediately for me!
It helped that when MrZ arrived home I was preparing a four course dinner, music playing, drinking sangria and dancing around the kitchen as I worked. I felt light, carefree and happy and he was delighted! The rest of the evening was ours to relax, have fun, be a bit silly and enjoy some down time, just the two of us; we needed it. The following day the hint of spring was in the air and we drove around our new area in the mountains with no real agenda, just stopping when we saw something interesting including some some craft markets where he bought me a lovely handcrafted pendant, before it was back to pick up the kids and the usual Sunday afternoon work week prep. After dinner I even found some time to play a fun game of Monopoly with the kids while MrZ studied. All in all it was a fantastic weekend and I feel closer to MrZ than ever for it.