boathouse on end of wooden pier
2024,  home

A Glance Back on 2023

If I were to choose a song that represents the year 2023 for me, I would have to probably start with songs like ‘I’m still standing’ by Elton John, or maybe ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’ by Diana Ross. The song I probably turned on to listen to the most this year is Phil Wickham’s acoustic version of ‘Battle Belongs’. This year I felt that this song brought a sense of calm to the chaos that was happening around me. When I closed my eyes and let the music wash over me, it was evident that despite what was going on in my world, I felt relatively calm.

2023 has been a massive year in so many ways, and on so many levels. I would not classify 2023 as a bad year by any means, but 2023 was a lot tougher year than we expected it to be. It has definitely stretched us.

I really don’t want to rehash our fire story, but it did unfortunately challenge us this year. It had a bigger impact on our family than I would like to say. Throughout our ordeal, we could see the hand of God on our situation. Unexpectedly, there were a number of good things that came out of having had the fire, but I wouldn’t wish a house fire on anyone. I can honestly say that our insurance company really stepped up and helped us every step of the way. The goal was to bring our lives back to a place of wholeness after the fire, and they really did help us achieve the goal.

The fire impacted us all very differently. We were forced into emergency accommodation through our insurance company for the first couple of weeks. This ruffled some feathers because it wasn’t always easy. Also, due to the rental shortage on the coast, we bounced from one short term accommodation place to the next over the coming months. Our family goal throughout this period of time was to keep our lives as normal as possible. School routines, work routines, hubby’s biking routine, Chanel’s gymnastics and work routines, church, friends and social events. We even started looking for Nell’s formal dress while we were out of our home. We wanted Nell to remember that despite where we were living, we still considered her need to start formal dress shopping and organising as important and ‘normal’. I won’t say it wasn’t tricky because it definitely was a difficult period of time for our family.

JJ finished his first year of high school. It wasn’t an easy transition but I am so proud of him for all of his efforts and his attitude towards just doing what needs to be done. Unfortunately one of his good friends moved to Perth once school finished for the year, but they have been texting each other and having fun chatting.

Beps officially graduated from her apprenticeship. She completed her apprenticeship December of 2022, but the official graduation dinner happened in November of this year down at the Victoria Park Golf Club. Beps is officially a qualified Baker/pastry chef, enjoys her job and has desires to study further in her field to become a patisserie chef. She also became a P-plater driver earlier this year and has since driven herself to work each shift. Hubby and I are thrilled because we no longer have to get up and take her in the ungodly hours.

Ames, our eldest still loves graphic design, and is looking for a full time position in the field. She is working hard on her website at the moment and I can’t wait to share it.

Getting to the end of a hard year is what I like to call Miraculous! In fact, 2023 challenged us all in different ways, it forced us to pull together and help each other get through our situation. From the 20th February to the 9th June, we moved house five times. It would have been far easier for us to all stay in the one place for the entire time we needed to be out of our home, but that was not to be unfortunately.
Once we moved home we had to keep pushing forward to unpack the storage container on our front lawn. It took a few weeks to pull everything out as we had tradespeople still finishing off work, and we were waiting on delivery of certain goods, so it all had to be done in order around what was happening at the time. We wanted to do it systematically as we also had to replace all the blinds in the house, and also wait for a few tradespeople to complete their jobs. It took time to really settle back in while we had to wait for our tradies to finish specific things around our home. I am pleased to say that by the time the end of year school holidays came along, we were finally done with all the little bits and pieces.

I love that our fire is archived in 2023. It is officially finished, our house was put back together, and we came through the ordeal as winners, Nell graduated year 12 in style, JJ finished his first year of high school, and our two eldest girls are doing well in their lives. In so many ways 2023 was a lonely year for me, but it was a year of deep significance in so many ways. We pulled together focussing on what needs to be done to get through.

Now here we are at the very beginning of a brand new year. 2024! We brought in the new year with incredible friends up at Mooloolaba Spit, and an amazing set of fireworks. The possibilities and opportunities before us are new, bright and exciting! Bring on 2024…It’s only the beginning!

Happy New year,
Till next time,

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