We headed straight into the city and went to the markets for a quick look around (and a massage for me) and then to China Town to grab some tea, which was quite adventful and we had lots of laughs.
We wanted to make the most of our time while we were there as we only really had one and a half days, so we headed to Circular Quay. It was great having Chrish drive us around everywhere as he is such a pro driver, as he is used to driving trucks in the city all day. There is no way I would ever drive in Sydney.
It was so nice to see some of my cousins and also friends who now live in other parts of the country. It was also wonderful having so many from Tasmania go to it. I heard there were over 40 of us from Tassie there all together.
Leona and me as she spotted us with our 'good cameras' (as she put it). She then asked if we could take some photos for her and email them to her to possibly be used in different publications, so we of course were excited to go around snapping photos of different people all day. Sarah captured this on her phone :)
When we arrived we were each given a TOFW tote bag which are really cool. I can just see us all now sporting our bags at church.
The best thing about the whole day though was the amazing people who came to speak to us, and especially the messages they gave.
The thing that I got most out of the whole day was that although our lives may not be what we planned them to be and we have moved on from our 'Plan A' to plan b, c, d, etc. we are actually still on 'plan A'. My life right now IS where it's meant to be, and is no surprise to God. I never would've planned or hoped to have a child with a disability, but this is still my 'Plan A'. I also loved Hilary Week's talk about 'the clicker' and how we can choose to focus on either the negative or positives in our lives and how for her focusing on the negatives really brought her down.
We can make a choice to 'click' every time we experience a positive in our life , even just the little things, and this will help us to be optomistic and cope with everything that we have to in our lives - big or small. I guess I have always had this as my own philosophy in life. I could look at all the negatives that come along with having a child with a disability, or I can choose to see the positives, no matter how big or small. I know that if I focused on all the negatives I couldn't cope with the things that I need to do every day and I would also miss out on seeing all the blessing that come with caring for Noah and having him as a part of our family. That is why I love the quote 'don't count the days, make the days count' as I could choose to focus on how many more days we have to spend together with him, or just make the most of every day, and I choose the latter.
I took a lot of notes on my phone all day, and have so many amazing quotes and stories and scriptures to look back on. I really liked the quote from Laurel that said 'hope is wanting what I want, faith is wanting what God wants'.
The Federal Minister for Human Services - Tanya Plibersek came at lunch time, and gave a speech about the donations for the women's shelter. I spotted her in the crowd during the lunch break and knew I knew her from somewhere, and then it clicked who she was. I would've loved to have been able to talk to her in person, but by the time I realised who she was it was too late. I recently got a letter from her office as a reply to a letter I sent her to do with funding for disabilities (or the lack of it) and would've loved to have talked to her more about it, but obviously the timing wasn't right.
Another highlight of the day for me was Hilary Weeks. It was wonderful to hear her amazing voice live, after listening to her on my CDs at home for many years.
It was a fantastic day and although it was a long day, we didn't want it to end. Hopefully TOFW will come back to Australia again very soon after all the positive feedback from everyone who went and loved it so much.
We had an hour or so to kill afterwards before we were meeting people for tea, so Chrish took me on my first visit to Ikea! What a good brother he is to follow Mum and me around for an hour as we oohed and aahed over everything and complained that we still don't have it in Tassie :)
We then met a few people for tea at the most amazing buffet place at a bowls club, which Chrish had suggested for us. It was great to catch up with Penny and Wayne who we hadn't seen for years.
We had the most delicious tea - seafood galore, Chinese, fried food (my boys would've loved the endless hot chips, chicken nuggets, spring rolls, dim sims etc), roast meats and vegies, noodles, salads, soups, bread and desserts including freshly made waffles. Bonnie and I will be working extra hard in Spin at the gym tonight! :)