I blogged about our time away in Sydney over the summer, but that was just a small part of our summer holidays. We had such a great summer. The weather was amazing and it was the first time that my whole family had been together for years. My sister Nicki and her family came over for Christmas from the USA and although we couldn't all be together at Christmas, in early January we all got together for a few days in January.
I felt for Jalen's girlfriend Erin as it was the first time she got to meet everyone, and it was probably pretty full on meeting everyone at the same time! But I think she coped okay and realised that we are all pretty easy going and down to earth.
It was so cute hearing Nicki and Alex's kids come out with American accents now and then. We were hoping they'd get back their full Aussie accents while they were here, but after living in the USA myself for a little while, I know how easy it is to pick up an accent - especially when people cannot understand what you are saying. We loved hearing all about their life in the USA.
Kobe loved hanging out with all of his cousins over the summer. It can be hard for him at home as Jay and Harri are very close, and he's so much younger than them. It was so nice for him to have kids his age play with.
My cousin Konnie and her family were down in Tassie for Christmas (they live in Queensland), and it was so lovely to spend a few days with them. We caught up at the beach and at the Gorge.
We also got to catch up with other cousins and family and my friend Naomi who grew up in Tassie, but now lives in Adelaide. I love that we have so much time during summer to do this. The rest of the year is so busy and there just never seems to be any time to do anything other than work and running the boys around.
If we weren't at the beach over summer, we were at the Gorge swimming. We would usually meet up with my cousin Tim and Helene and their family and other friends. I feel so lucky to have this five minutes from home.
Kobe is getting much better at swimming, because of all the swimming we did over the holidays. I always feel guilty because I never actually took him to formal swimming lessons, but he's actually a great little swimmer just because we swim so much.
Aaron died at St Helens we still love it there, so we made a day trip there one day to spend some time at Binalong Bay. It's much easier being there now and although it makes me think more about what happened, it's also healing to be there and to make happy memories there again.
Kobe was sad but also excited to see the wharf as he knew it was where he had a photo with Aaron, the day before he died. He loves that he has a memory of being with his Dad there, even if a lot of the memory he has is just from the photo and what we tell him.
On this day we actually spent a few hours at the beach, and then we decided to head back into town and went to the Gorge for a swim at night! We just can't fit in enough swimming over the summer.
My brother Chrish came down for a week, before we went up to stay with him in Sydney. He stayed with us for a couple of days and we loved playing tourist with him. He hadn't been to Bridport since we were kids, so we took him to Bridport and stopped at Lilydale Falls, picked blueberries and went to the Bridestowe Lavender Farm on the way.
While my family were all together we booked the Ulverstone waterslide for a private booking. Some of my cousins also came along and it was so much fun. It's hilarious watching groups of people coming down together, and we made a challenge to see who could get the funniest photo at the end. my cousin Toni took these pics and I still laugh every time I see them.
One of my favourite days of the holidays was when Harri, Kobe and I went down to my 'Pop's river'. Jay was working, but it was about 30 degrees and I had been wanting to go down there for a long time, so we went and had the most beautiful day on the river.
I have such great memories of Pop's river from when I was a kid and teenager, and although Pop isn't around anymore, and we can't really get into all of my Pop's old land on the river, it is still special being able to go down there with the boys. It looks a lot different since the big flood a couple of years ago.
On the way home we stopped for the most beautiful ice creams.
We were excited that there was a Big Bash cricket match in Launceston this year, and hope that we will get more next summer.
I absolutely love my work, but it's really hard working full time and having to deal with the boys and everything on my own. I get very run down physically and emotionally and I always worry about how things are going to be once I'm back at work. I always say I'm going to look after myself better, leave work earlier, and try to keep on top of things more, but once the boy's sports start up and I'm running them around and Jay to work as well as trying to keep everything else running smoothly I always end up feeling exhausted, and the last thing I do is look after myself.
So when Harri and Kobe both told me that they didn't want to play soccer this year, I had to admit that I was very happy about it! I love watching them play, but not having two trainings a week to go to and no games on a Saturday, sounded so good! They both wanted to just play basketball this year and I was more than happy about it.
Harri is playing a lot of sport with school which will replace his soccer, and Kobe is happy to just play one sport at the moment. I hate filling up every night with something after school, so I'm glad that we will have a couple of nights a week where I can just come home after work and not have to worry about racing the boys somewhere (unless Jay has to work...bring on getting his drivers licence!).
Harri has decided that instead of playing soccer on Saturdays he really wants to do Parkrun regularly. Kobe has basketball training at the same time, so we drop him off on the way. When Kobe doesn't have training we have been joining him and just walking it.
Instagram story I had a lot of people say to me after the holidays were over, that they wished they had a summer like ours. I told them it really wasn't that exciting (as in we didn't go on any overseas holidays like others did) but we did have a great summer as we did what we love, and had a great time with family and friends.
Here is 1 Second Everyday from January (man I love that app!).