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A Merry Step Christmas to you all


I don’t know about you, but I’m a little exhausted this Christmas eve!

I’ve had the very best of intentions to blog more and share more of how my life is unfolding as a step mum in the past few weeks.  Unfortunately the balancing act of work, family and personal time has shifted well towards my immediate family and well away from personal time.

My amazing husband

I can’t thank my husband enough for the support he shows me day in day out…even through the odd melt down.  We are a great team and work hard to keep our relationship heading in the direction we both want.  When you’ve experienced the same pain there is a very solid foundation to build a very healthy relationship on and for that I’m very thankful.

Giving, giving, giving

‘Tis the season to give right?  And I do love to give. But you simply cannot give your all to everyone.  I’ve been reminded that when you get close to the end of your giving tank (which is going to be different for everyone), you get tired.  When you are tired, you start to expect others to give back to you to help top up the tank.  The reality is that if you keep giving and expect others to give back just so you can continue giving…your tank will be totally dry and cracks will quickly show.

‘Me time’ isn’t a dirty word

It’s not and something that we encourage in our family.  It’s time to sit in your own space and feel comfortable with who you are. It’s time to breath out any negativity and remind yourself how amazing and unique you are and how wonderful this life is.  Now’s it’s time for me to take a leaf out of my own book and enjoy some me time over the next hectic few days of the Christmas and Boxing Day back and forth.

Here’s what I’ll do…

  • I’ll wrote a blog post because it’s been on my  mind for 3 weeks now…oh yay…it’s done
  • I’ll bake Christmas cookies and ask the kids if they want to decorate them today…if not, I’ll enjoy decorating them
  • I’ll make one last trip to the shops because I need Brioche to make french toast in the morning
  • I’ll sit back and watch the kids open their presents on Christmas day knowing that I make a positive contribution to their lives (presents aside)
  • I’ll go for coffee
  • I’ll enjoy spending time with family and friends
  • I’ll give myself a few days off from thinking about work

A Merry Step Christmas to you

There’s only one more sleep until the big guy slides down the chimney!  Wherever in the world you are, what ever situation you find yourself in on this step-mum or dad journey, know that there are other step parents out there doing their very best, just as you are.

Merry Step Christmas

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I’m sitting in a cafe in Mansfield, Victoria eating fruit toast accompanied by a mug of flat white. The coffee is good, the fruit toast is really good and the cafe is now heaving with people. As I sit here watching people come and go I realise I’m looking through a glass window at what life may have been if events in my childhood had of occurred differently.

Setting the scene

The reason I am in Mansfield is for a friends wedding. We’ve been friends since we were 4 years old and were inseparable throughout primary school and went on to the same high for a year and a half until my family upped and moved from Victoria to the Gold Coast in Queensland. I didn’t realise at the time, we were just kids, but it must have been really hard on my friend that I left quite suddenly and moved away so quickly.  For me it wasn’t so bad because we moved into a small beach side cottage where I fell in love with the sun and surf and never looked back at my country living, markets, shows and horse riding days.

Back in the Country

But now I’m back in the country and my heart strings are being pulled at in a way I never imaged. As I sit here in the corner of the cafe reflecting on 37 years of life, I feel like I’m looking through a glass window at how life might have been if I stayed in Victoria.

I know that if I couldn’t live by the ocean, I’d need to be in the country surrounded by mountains, horses and adventure. It feels more connected to be living and working on the land, with fresh air and open spaces all around. Living life by the seasons, by the weather, toughing if out day in day out and wanting for very little.

Thanks Cowboy

I guess I need to thank the handsome guy that walked into the cafe (boots, jeans, check shirt and cowboy hat), exchanged a brief look which launched me back 25 years to wonder what might have been. I find it so crazy how you can feel connected and be moved by a complete stranger which forces you into a state of deep reflection. On the other hand I love that. I love how powerful this life can be if you are can listen to and feel what’s going on around you and most of all acknowledge things in the moment so you don’t carry unnecessary baggage into your future.

But then again…maybe he only looked at me because I am wearing a fluorescent pink trucker hat! Hahaha

P.S Post wedding…

It turned out to be quiet an emotional day.  The weather delayed the outdoor wedding by 45 min to reveal the stunning clean crisp country air.  Weddings are never fun going solo so I was missing my man but the most emotional part for me was seeing my friends step dad tear up when he greeted his newly married step daughter.  Even the thought of it makes me well up now.  He’s a quite gentle guy that has done so much for her over the years and to hear my friend thank him for everything is something to look forward to.

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Melt Down

Ha Ha

By definition…”if the pumps that cool the reactor core become disabled the core could begin to overheat, and the reactor could melt down.”

I had to start this with a laugh because I am now in a position to laugh and not cry about the fact my core overheated and caused a major melt down!

You see life has been testing these past few months and I’ve been trying to keep all the wheels on the wagon as I navigate the bumpy road.  But when the conditions (life) become too much for the wagon (me) to keep going the wheels inevitably fall off; hence the melt down.

Allow yourself the space to melt down every once in a while. You’ll feel much better for it!

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The Triantiwontigongolope

This has to be the most random memory I’ve had in a while!

I don’t think I’ve said “Triantiwontigongolope” in close on thirty years…but this morning it popped into my head and became the days mantra.

I recall the poem always felt inspiring and motivating, a little bit cheeky with the emphasis on ‘try’. I assume it was at my request that this poem was read over and over again during my childhood.

When things get tough, try, tri, triantiwontigongolope.

Take a read and a trip down memory lane!

The Triantiwontigongolope

There’s a very funny insect that you do not often spy,
And it isn’t quite a spider, and it isn’t quite a fly;
It is something like a beetle, and a little like a bee,
But nothing like a wooly grub that climbs upon a tree.
Its name is quite a hard one, but you’ll learn it soon, I hope.
So try:

It lives on weeds and wattle-gum, and has a funny face;
Its appetite is hearty, and its manners a disgrace.
When first you come upon it, it will give you quite a scare,
But when you look for it again, you find it isn’t there.
And unless you call it softly it will stay away and mope.
So try:

It trembles if you tickle it or tread upon its toes;
It is not an early riser, but it has a snubbish nose.
If you snear at it, or scold it, it will scuttle off in shame,
But it purrs and purrs quite proudly if you call it by its name,
And offer it some sandwiches of sealing-wax and soap.
So try:
Triantiwontigongolope .

But of course you haven’t seen it; and I truthfully confess
That I haven’t seen it either, and I don’t know its address.
For there isn’t such an insect, though there really might have been
If the trees and grass were purple, and the sky was bottle green.
It’s just a little joke of mine, which you’ll forgive, I hope.
Oh, try!

Author: C. J. Dennis

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Cupcake Recipe – It’s so easy!

This has got to be the easiest and most fun thing for kids to do in the kitchen. The cake batter is so quick and easy to make which means the kids don’t get bored half way through leaving you to finish it off. The part I enjoy the most is watching the kids be creative with the different colour combinations of icing, decorations and cupcake pans they use.  Oh and they sure do taste amazing too!

Who doesn’t love a good cupcake?

I’ve made so many over the years I’ve lost count.  This classic butter cake base allows for any variation you can think of.  Try adding sprinkles to the batter before cooking, add a chocolate bud to the middle of the mix before baking or use food colouring if the vanilla colour just isn’t your thing.

The icing on the cake!

When it comes to icing the sky is the limit.  You can use butter, cream cheese, fondant, homemade or store bought and the cute candy, sugar and cholocate topping options these days are endless.

Here’s the recipe

Put the following ingredients into a large bowl and use the hand held mixer or mix master to blend the ingredients until the mix changes from a yellow colour to more white in colour.  Then evenly spoon the mix into the prepared cup cake pans of your choice. Bake for 20min on 180 degree oven.  Allow to cool completely before decorating.

  • 90grams butter, softened
  • half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • half a cup of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

A few tips

  1. The longer you beat the mixture, the yummier it is.  You want he mix to have basically turned white.
  2. When the kids are decorating the cupcakes, place a towel on the bench to stop the sugar, sprinkles and other fun stuff rolling off the bench, onto the floor, onto the kids feet and travelling all through the house.
  3. Let the kids do it from scratch and throw all the dirty dishes in the sink at the end. Obviously ensure an adult is supervising when it comes to hot ovens and electrical equipment.

StairMudda - Jo Rodway