Wednesday, January 28

Goodbye Broome. Hello Barn Hill

the road to Barn Hill Station Stay
Moving day. Blerh. I know I shouldn’t feel this way but it so much work packing it all up. Made even more frustrating by the girls refusal to just buckle down and do what needs to be done. Though in all fairness to Lovely she does a relatively good job at pulling her weight it is more so the little two that drive me to distraction.
It is hard balance deciding how much energy to exert getting them to do what you ask and just doing it yourself. Oh the joys of parenting hey?

Today we say goodbye for real to Broome and make our way to Barn Hill Station. Which is on the way to Eighty Mile Beach and is really only hour out of Broome but by all accounts a fantastic place to stay. I am a bit excited to be leaving civilisation if you will. As lovely as Broome is I am glad to not be anywhere near a town.

Barn Hill is a working cattle station. The outskirts of which adjoin a rather exquisite beach. As this part of the property is not the best for housing cattle the owners have made it available for camping. There are limited power sites and plenty of room on the edges of the stunning red cliffs. As there was minimal pricing difference between powered and non powered we decided to take the powered option. It also appeared as if the powered sites were slightly more shaded.

Camp Barn Hill
We were intending to stay for four nights so it made sense to unpack everything. That way we could live in comfort. Not too long after unpacking everything we knew that we would probably be staying for a little longer than four nights as we were so instantly in love with our surroundings. Oh and it was ridiculously cheap. Like $27 a night cheap, which after the $50 per night at most van parks felt like the bargain of all bargains.

Before long Zany and Teapot had befriended a few children that were already there and Mr Awesome and I were enjoying the tranquility and simplicity of life on the road. (Read as we were sitting in our chairs under the shade of a tree having a cold cider.)

This really is the life.

The access to and from the beach

Joining in with Malinda
My Brown Paper Packages

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Tuesday, January 27

On pushing and knowing when you need not to.

The other day, or perhaps even last week, (my days feel to often seamlessly merge from one to another so keeping track of time is easier said than done, though I must admit it has never really been one of my strong points) I wrote about making it to the top of Stove Hill. It was a post that has been floating around in my noggin since the moment I conquered that pile of rocks and dirt. 

In my minds eye it was supposed to be about how good it feels to push oneself. How the feeling of achievement was worth the effort, no matter how hard that effort was. And I guess to some extent I did manage to convey that. Only as it too often the case with what I write, it somehow didn’t capture the true essence of what I wanted to say. Which is an absolutely ridiculous thing to say because if I have written something how can it not be what I want to say? Deep huh?

As I was coming down the hill the words I wanted to share were forming sentences in my head. My brain was buzzing with ideas. Of course by the time I actually made it home there were children to feed and a husband that needed picking up. A husband that I was so eager to pick up that when I left I forgot to unplug the car fridge and consequently drove around with an extension cord hanging out the back of the car. All of which I have earmarked as a story for another day mind you. My point for now was that once I got home life, as it so often does, distracted me and I never got to write those wondrous words.

Going out for that particular run that day reminded me of how much I loved running. With all our adventuring running had taken a bit of a back seat to. Though after conquering Stove Hill I was determined to push running back to the forefront. In fact I was determined to just push myself in as many ways as possible. 

One of the revelations I had on that day was that I am an easy street rider. Rarely do I push myself out of my comfort zone. A fact I was planning on changing after this run. Having just pushed myself beyond all comfort zones known to man (or at least this wo-man) and conquering what had once seemed unachievable I was essentially ready to take on the world and push myself at every possible opportunity.

And for maybe a week I did. 

And I felt awesome. 

My pushing mainly revolved around running but it was a start and that was all that mattered.

my running track of recent times
And then I stopped. 

And looking back now I can’t even recall the what or the why behind my non pushing. I guess life just got in the way (again).

A few weeks ago I decided to do the local Australia Day Fun Run. There was a 10km or 5km option. Suddenly remembering my desire to push myself I signed up for the 10km. Since there was only a little over two weeks till the big day I diligently started running as much as I could.

To say it was hard running again was an understatement. But it felt so awesome to be pushing myself I loved every minute of it. While where we are staying at the moment is incredibly beautiful and I love every minute of it, there is not exactly a good firm running path. 

There are lots of paddocks and sandy sides of the road but not a designated running path like I have become accustomed to in the past. Though I didn't really mind as it was just another way in which I was able to push past my comfort zones.

Only just under a week out from the run tragedy struck and when I went for my run my shins felt like they were on fire! 

As I tried to soldier on and push my way through the pain my mind went into overdrive trying to come to terms with what was happening. Was this a sign I should forget the fun run or was this the ultimate test in pushing past my comfort zones? 

You see until this point my entire running journey had been focused on not pushing myself too hard. I have always been fearful of injuries and in my mind the sure fire way to an injury was to push your body too hard. Something I had until this point successfully avoided. 

After much internal battling and feeling like one of the world's biggest failures I made the decision to not push myself any further. There was no point in sustaining an injury when I have (until now) successfully avoided doing so. 

Being an eternal optimist I secretly hoped that by resting I would have some kind of miraculous recovery and be able to run my race.

Whether that was the case or not you will have to wait and find out. For today is Tuesday and for the first time in what feels like forever I plan to join in with Essentially Jess for IBOT only Tuesday is nearly over so I must get a wriggle on. Do pop back in a few days for the rest of my tale though

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Wednesday, January 21

Cable Beach Camel Riding (Day 54)

Before I ducked back to Darwin the other week Mr Awesome and I told the girls that when I returned we would do something special. At the time we weren’t really sure what that something special would entail but we knew it wouldn’t be hard to come up with something.

We were right.

Almost as soon as we made the promise we came across the camel rides and we both knew instantly that would be our something special.

We ran the idea past the girls and they were just as excited about a camel ride as what we were.

There were three camel ride companies to choose from. All of which offered pretty much the same, at a relatively similar cost. In the end we went with Red Sun Camel Rides. For no particular reason other than red goes faster. Or maybe they were just the first phone number I could find to book in.

With the tour booked in for the late afternoon it made for a rather long day waiting for it to finally be time. In our excitement for our ride we arrived at the beach with plenty of time to spare. Which initially the girls found rather frustrating. However when they realised that it meant we were able to watch the camels arrive their attitudes quickly changed.

After listening to a quick safety talk and what have you, the guides helped us mount our rides. I had actually ridden a camel once before when Lovely was a baby but I had forgotten just how incredibly long their legs are.

It worked out that the two little ones could ride a camel with me while Mr A and Lovely shared another.

Needless to say we all had a fabulous time and the girls could not wipe the smiles off their faces.

If you are even in Broome I strongly recommend you make the time to have a camel ride. The guides were lovely and friendly and made the time to come and talk to everyone about the camel they were riding and and answer any questions you might have. They also took a photo of you with your own camera so you didn’t have to pay to be snapped. Of course there was still a professional photographer option as well but I thought it lovely they took a photo with your own device as well.

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Tuesday, January 20

On conquering Mount Everest. Or at least Stove Hill

When we were in Karratha, many moons ago, or at least so it seems, there was this hill. Though I liked to think of it as a mountain it probably was not really big enough to be considered as such. Given that Darwin is nothing but flat land though it was easy for me to think of it as a mountain despite it actually just being a hill. But already I am digressing.

Either way it was a rather large and some what intimidating pile of dirt and rocks.

This hill, according to the camera in my phone, was known as Stove Hill and was located right out the front of our caravan park. There was a dodgy looking dirt road that slowly wound it’s way up to the top but we never drove it. Mainly because when we pulled into Karratha we had issues with our clutch but also because right near the top it looked ridiculously steep and as awesome as Patty the Patrol might be we doubted his ability to conquer this particular pile of dirt and rocks.

Ok so this image doesn't really show just how steep Stove Hill is,
but it is an impressive view
On our second day in Karratha I decided to head out for a run. Having treated myself to new sneakers a month earlier it seemed only fitting that I get out and use them. As I lamented over where exactly my run would take me, Lovely made some flippant comment about doubting my ability to run to the top of Stove Hill. 

Initially I agreed with her because looking up at it from the ground it looked ridiculously steep. 

The more I thought about it however, the more I started to think that me getting to the top wasn’t so unachievable after all. It was most definitely worth a try at the very least. Especially since my said new sneakers were purchased for tail running as much as road racing.

So off I went.

The first half of the run was rather enjoyable and I felt all kinds of awesome. Striding out on the rocky trail my minds eye had me as a hardcore trail runner that could tackle anything in her path.

Slightly after the halfway mark though things took a turn for the worse. The steepness that I had seen from the ground suddenly became more than apparent. My running, which was quite possibly better described as a slow jog, slowed even further. Actually it slowed so much it essentially became a walk, but on I went.

By this stage my determination had well and truly set in. I would not be beaten by a pile of dirt and rocks. Regardless of how big or steep they may actually be.

As a mother I want my girls to be proud of me. I want to possess certain qualities that they will one day aspire to also possess. You know things like strength and determination. It was with this in mind that I kept on keeping on.

A little further on up the hill even walking became more of a challenge. As much as my flash new sneakers were meant for trail running they were not providing me with a whole lot of grip on the gravelly path that was meant to lead me to the top of the hill. In order to keep going I had to crouch down, for a while I was down so low I was pretty much crawling.

Come hell or high water though I was getting to the top of that bloody hill.

About ten metres from the top the path started to turn in a direction that no longer lead to my desired destination. Standing there, so close, and yet so far, to where I wanted to be I couldn’t just turn around and head for home. 

Despite my allotted time being nearly up and me huffing and puffing for breath like an allergy suffer in the middle of a field of flowers I refused to just walk away. If the path didn’t want to lead me to where I wanted to go then I would just forge ahead and create my own path.

Right there and then on top of that pile of rocks and dirt that half an hour ago had seemed so insurmountable, I suddenly felt more empowered than I ever had in my whole life.

Life is all about standing up to the challenges before and charging on through with all the gusto we can muster. Which was exactly what I intended to do to reach the top. I was not going home a quitter.

With a bounce in my step I started to make my way over the boulders and spinifex balls that were before me. My head filled with all kinds of crazy notions about me paving the way and leading the pack. Because of my efforts I would become an inspirational leader. Even if it were only to my offspring.

Me, feeling like I was standing
on top of the world
When at last I reached the summit one could have been mistaken for thinking I had conquered Mount Everest the grin on my face was so wide. I stood there at the top of the hill we thought could not be climbed revelling in all my glory.

I had done it.

The journey down was considerably easier than the way up on account of having the gravitational forces on my side. Well that and I was on a high at having actually made it to the top in one piece. Words can not adequately describe how good it felt to have accomplished something that I had set out to do. It is somewhat of a rarity in my life.

As I headed back home I was filled with excitement at being able to tell the girls what I had achieved. Words for a blog post on determination and hard work filled my head and I longed for a few moments at the keyboard to tap it all out. It felt like a new chapter in my life had begun, one where I could tackle anything I set my mind to.

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Monday, January 12

Staircase to the moon (Day 53)

Today we had a shopping spree in Broome. Somehow we manage to go through nearly seven hundred dollars. Sure a great portion of that was on food and but still. My mind boggles at how quickly we can go through the cash at times. Anyone would think it grows on trees or something.

One of the reasons we decided to stay in Broome again rather than just push on through, was so we could witness the staircase to the moon. It is a natural phenomena that happens for three nights a month on the full moon.

As the moon rises up over the water the reflection makes it look there is a staircase you could walk up. Lucky for us one of the best places to view this happen is right next to where we are staying. It is a relatively big event that includes markets and live music and all kinds of things.

With all the dramas of set up yesterday we treated ourselves to dining out at the markets last night. Though really we just ended up spending lots of money and no one feeling properly full. Markets just do that sometimes I guess. We did get a lovely CD from a woman called Laura Hill so I guess all was not lost.

The whole staircase thing was a bit underwhelming though and I was left feeling more disappointed about that than the hungry stomach from the laksa that tasted terrible. On the upside though as we were walking home we came across a much better viewing location to try it all again tonight.

This time however we will be taking our own food. A nice selection of dips, sticks, biscuits and things.

The view tonight was much better than last night however I still failed at being able to capture it perfectly on film. Mind you I still couldn’t help but think I had seen a similar effect at sunset back home.
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Wednesday, January 7

Digital Parents Blog Carnival - December 2014

Well hello and welcome to my very first post for the new year! 

It is with great pleasure that I bring you a selection of some the Digital Parent Members favourite posts from the month of December. Since I am still a bit stuck in holiday mode this seemed like a brilliant way for me to kick off my blogging mojo for 2015.

So without any further ado I give to you the greatest hits from the Australian blogosphere from December 2014. Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy the reading.

Lydia at Where the Wild Things Were wrote Good for her, not me!
A suggestion on how women can be more supportive of each other and lesson the divide on parenting issues
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Anger is a normal emotion to go through, but when your a child or parent it can be hard for all involved. Here are 5 tips to help your child manage their rage outbursts.
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The easy gift gift for a new Mumma. No toys, baby clothing included. Things that she really needs in the first few weeks of motherhood.
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Living in Hobart we are blessed to spend quality family time on the water. Our children are growing up with salt in their hair and boating in their hearts. Hobart welcomed the winning fleet of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in a spectacular finish on a gorgeous Tasmanian summer day.
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Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey wrote Hilarious things kids ask Santa for
Having a giggle about the crazy things kids ask Santa for sometimes
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Holly at Simplify Create Inspire wrote Make 2015 Your Year of Change
Join the Simplify My Life year long challenge to get the life you want in 2015 - declutter, organise and simplify from top to bottom.
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Alison at Talking Frankly wrote On the eve of my 40th birthday

I was just about to turn 40 and so I loved myself stupid for a whole blog post
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Graeme from Sustaining Community wrote Some definitions of family
We all know what a family is, right? But as this post shows, it’s actually a very hard word to define. How would you define family?
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Shereen at Starring Maya wrote An Indian Italian Muslim Catholic Christmas
Christmas with an Indian mummy who grew up muslim, a papa who is catholic Italian and thier little girl who is a delicious mix of both!
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Kylie at A Study in Contradictions wrote Waiting for Godot
For me, this picture makes me wonder what they are doing, what they have been doing. It makes me ask questions about the two people, one small, one big. It doesn't give any answers, but lets the viewer speculate about what has been, what could be. That is my ultimate goal in photography. To have the viewer asking questions, thinking, wondering.
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Tash at Gift Grapevine wrote What made me happy in 2014?
My 2014 round up - what made me happy this year? From bloggy stuff to toddler tornadoes, music and Tom Selleck. It's all here!
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Rebecca at History of Parenting wrote 6 outrageous myths of modern parenting
Modern parenting is the only 'right' way to parent, right? Wrong. Let's bust a few of these myths, shall we?
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Dear me,
RE: Your new name
It is with pleasure that I write to inform you that in approximately x weeks’ time, you will formally receive the title of ‘Mum’...
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Lisa at Write Like You Mean it wrote 2014 Wrap Post
My wrap post of 2014 inspired by questions Robyn of Mrs D plus 3 blog shared on her blog recently. 2014 was a year of many adventures and lovely moments and I shared them all in this December wrap up.
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Francesca at Francesca Writes Here wrote My Family Navtivity Scene Has Found a New Home
The nativity scene, hand crafted by Francesca's grandmother around forty years ago, is now being enjoyed by its fourth generation
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Stepping out of your comfort zone is so important and recently I did exactly that when I experienced my first game of paintball. Definitely something I wouldn't normally do!!
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I made these little treasures in the lead up to Christmas, I think they are appropriate to enjoy at any time of year. Easy and so delicious! They are trending extremely popular on the Blog!
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Pot plants are one of the lamest gifts you can give; "NOT DAD ENOUGH"! So we're showing you how to turn them into an awesome Super Mario Bros Piranha Plant.
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Basically it is a shot of coffee which gives you energy (caffeine) and good fats (Coconut oil) and Butter to help make you feel full. Is this the new weight-loss magic pill?
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A reminder when it all gets to be too much, to just breathe. Also sharing some of my highlights from the year.
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I love the fact that my daughter's favourite singer is Taylor Swift. I’m glad she has found a pop idol who is so grounded and represents a good role model for young girls.
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And from yours truly, Rhianna at A Parenting LifeThe bumpiest road. Ever
Sharing another tale from #ouradventureofalifetime.
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