25 years ago my Aunties and Uncles started a Catholic community for Tongans based in Melbourne, Australia.
In 1994 they started the Tongan Catholic Community at Sacred Heart Preston.
I have great memories growing up with my cousins learning our culture and language.
After Church my uncle Daniel who was a youth leader would take the kids to McDonald’s on Bell St Preston or Foodstar on Plenty Rd.
Other times we would gather at my Aunty Pauline and Uncle Daniel’s house around the corner from the church to practice our choir songs, eat and celebrate family times.
When new families move to Melbourne we would organise a little welcome dinner or meal and it was always a great feeling being involved with a community.
I remember preparing to perform a traditional Tongan dance for community gatherings.
Our traditional dance incorporates graceful movements, upright standing form with our National costume.
I used to be so scared that I’d forget the movements.
I’ve come full circle now as my 4yo daughter performed her very first dance just like I did all those years ago!
We were so proud!
So now our community is just a few families as people move further away and Interstate.
The thing I love about our community is that it’s a place to slow down and enjoy your family, say thank you for all the good things you have in your life, look to draw help and support from when times are tough and it’s a commitment that my Family enjoys.
Looking forward to maintaining our traditions and keeping the culture alive.
As a Christian family we believe that Jesus died for us for the promise of life after death.
This is an opportunity to appreciate everything that we have no matter how big or small.
The wind in your hair, the roof over your head, the warmth of your bed, the love of your friends and family.
Even the challenges in your life is something to be thankful of.
So what did we get up to?
We caught up with Leki’s Family on Easter Sunday which was good fun. We did have plans of having it at Brimbank Park like last year but the weather was a bit iffy so we celebrated at his sister’s home instead.
On Easter Monday we celebrated with my family at Edwardes Lake in Reservoir.
It’s great to be around my Family to celebrate this great gift of Life.
From my photos from last year I can see how much the kids have grown, the relationships have strengthened and that both our Grandmothers have gone to Rest 🙁
We fell pregnant on our 2nd month of trying! We’re so happy 🙂
Btw, revisit our announcement of baby #2 – our son Kyneton – HERE.
Our family of 4 turns to 5 and we are so happy!
Now it’s still early days as we completed the 12 week ultrasound earlier this month.
I’m fortunate to have my caseload nurse from my last pregnancy – Allie – manage me again! YAY!
Right now I’m feeling pretty happy and healthy.
I’ve had a little bit of morning sickness but I have been very hungry and craving meaty meals.
I also prefer to have other people cook for me or eat out.
I love visiting my parents and having my Mum cook and look after me. It’s such a great feeling being able to be pampered even if it’s just a nice home cooked meal and a nice foot and stomach massage from my Mum.
Whatever Leki cooks at home I don’t want to eat 🙁 Poor Leki.
I’ve recently brought my pregnancy clothes back from storage and it’s a nice feeling to be comfortable with my fitted dresses and clothes.
My plan is to provide you with a monthly update on how my 3rd pregnancy is going.
Plus, with my last two pregnancies I documented my efforts to lose weight.
In the future I will share with you my efforts to lose the baby weight but this time I’ll have more experience and focus more on staying happy and optimistic.
She did a great job and will look to have them host a Party again in the future!
So a little about the actual party….
We had a backdrop which I built and it took me an hour and a bit to piece together with a balloon garland 🙂
I ordered the backdrop off UBACKDROP which arrived within 1 week from when the order was made.
Having a large family we had plenty of hands on deck to help with preparing the food and drinks.
Special shout out to my Mum for all her hard work and great help (couldn’t do it without you!), my Aunty for always supplying seafood and her special Island drink Otai, my sisters Kathy and Taina for their help and Vikki for putting the cake and cupcakes together within hours 😉
These events do not go to plan unless I have my supporters to assist. THANK YOU!
Believe it or not I have already thought about Eme’s 5th and 6th birthday party themes.
I guess I have more fun then her planning her birthdays then she does actually celebrating it 🙂
Emelina please enjoy your childhood before the you join the rest of us in the real world!
In the real world where you can be disappointed.
In the real world the curiosity and wonder diminishes with each day 🙁
Stay where you are where there is magic and wonder my beautiful little girl.
45 mins drive from Melbourne, kiddies pool, diving boards for older kids (adults) 🙂 and plenty of green grass for the family to enjoy!
BEST OF ALL IT’S COMPLETELY FREE!!!
The only thing that we can’t depend on is the weather.
Now on the day we were blessed to have great sunshine and a cool breeze in the shade. So happy! 🙂
But… we were so afraid it would be overcast with rain which was what was forecast for the whole week leading into the birthday weekend. Lucky for us it turned on just in time 😉
So now that we had a location we decided to plan for the Australia Day weekend but when Leki rang the council to enquire whether we could put up a 6m x 3m marquee they said a BIG cycle race was on the long weekend. “The Cadel Evans Great Race” would essentially shut down the whole city of Geelong. Lucky he rang!
So we pushed it forward a week and decided on 19 January 2018.
We made that decision in Sept 2018!
So from Sept to Dec 2018 we started buying little things to help make it easier for the day. Leki bought a big esky from Costco, a large marquee from Bunnings and I organised the little banner and decorations early so I didn’t have to stress closer to the big day!
Ask For Help
Nothing great can be achieved by yourself.
Ask for help!
We are fortunate to have a wonderful family surrounding us that can help in any way they can. Offering help with food preparations, donating their time to help, organising the kids to get there even though parents have to work, contacting me to see if there’s anything that needs doing and lending a hand to shop for things especially juggling a few kids 😉
Believe me it’s a ‘good’ stress when you are running an event but when you have some help it makes it enjoyable as well!
It feels so humbling when you have Family that are so helpful and it’s coming from a place of genuine love.
THANK YOU EVERYONE 🙂
Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun!
Everytime Leki and I host an event we try and spend time with everyone to make them feel welcome and special because we realise everyone could spend their time doing something else.
But, they chose to give up their beautiful Saturday to spend it with us celebrating Kyneton’s 1st birthday.
A little hack we like to think about is if we were being invited to a party what would we like to do or have done for us?
Being in the open we thought it was important to have shelter, comfortable chairs and space for everyone to relax.
We also wanted plenty of food so people could enjoy themselves and then take some things home to eat later in the day or the next day.
Another thing was looking after the kids and making sure they had fun. We planned little games to play and wanted to make sure they had plenty of swimming time, play time and adventure in the sun 🙂
For the older members of the Family we wanted to make sure there was plenty of shade and comfort for them out of the sun.
All in all I can say the day was a success and a large part of it was due to the great weather and planning the day out as best we can!
In closing this is a sad post for me because although we had a lot of fun my little side kick is growing up.
We’ve enrolled him into our local Montessori School with Eme which is only an hour per week just to get the hang of things and to introduce some Montessori ideas (we started Eme at Montessori at 18 months).
Aside from that we are looking forward to my hubby’s birthday in February then Emelina’s 4th birthday in March.
On the top right of my blog you can see when I started – 7 May 2017.
Over 19 months of consistent work and reflection 🙂
I made the goal of making a weekly blog post and getting to 100 posts before I review how it’s been going.
I think I missed maybe 2 or 3 weeks due to having a baby (Jan 2018) and being overseas for my Grandma Taina’s funeral (Sept 2018).
It’s gone so quickly and my confidence is growing slowly over time although I still get butterflies when I post something new to you guys 😉
So what Leki and I thought would be cool would be to share how we organise these weekly posts.
Here’s how we do it:
Organising our time to plan the content
Tidying things up
Make your own website
First step is either buy your own domain or start blogging on a shared platform like www.blogger.com!
What’s a domain? It’s the www.yourname.com.au in the address bar of your web browser.
I thought MyWifeLife was cool and after I searched for whether it was available – to my surprise it was 🙂
I used GoDaddy.com for my web hosting and domain registration.
The second thing I did was sign up with WordPress.com and started playing around with my website design and layout.
Now I understand it’s pretty basic at the moment.
I’ll be working on making it a bit more ‘beautiful’ in 2019 but I wanted to get the regular weekly posting under control first before I worry about the fancy stuff 😉
And that’s it.
Think of a domain name, register it, buy and design your website and publish interesting information so people can relate to you.
Planning & Blogging
This is very much a team effort.
Leki and I work on this project together and we really enjoy it!
Because we talk about what we’d like to share and it keeps us close when we have deadlines to meet.
The constant planning and communication is something that helps us in our relationship as a couple, improving on things individually, gives us a direction on how we want to parent our kids and allows reflection on how we can be there for our friends and family.
Let me give you some examples.
On the individual level I’m not very good at spelling. I’ve written before that I don’t even know how I passed high school and got my VCE certificate. That’s not a joke I should have failed English and Maths… easily.
So when Leki told me I should start a blog and that it’ll help you with your confidence I didn’t believe him. I was too worried about my own insecurities to see how it can be a valuable teacher.
For the first 6 months I struggled to post up a selfie on my blog site (although I do selfies all the time).
I’ve now grown to a place where I can start to make short video messages (vlogs) which 19 months ago would have NOT BEEN A REALITY… believe me!
In terms of documenting our lives it’s been such a great tool to reflect on how my kids are growing among other things.
Do you remember when your child started crawling and then began hauling himself up but isn’t quite walking? I forgot to document that stage of child development with my 3yo Emelina and now my 11mo Kyneton is not far from being up and walking and so I can share his milestones with you but more importantly keep it as a record on my blog forever!
I have visions of keeping this blog for the next 21+ years so I can bring up these old stories on their birthdays 🙂
At the couple level – it gives us an incentive to stay connected. Leki writes the blog and I read and review it. I then add my own phrases and give feedback before adding some photos and shooting my little video message to partner this blog post 🙂
So right now Leki and I spend about 2 hours a week on this project.
Leki spends an hour writing it.
I spend an hour reading, uploading photos and shooting/editing the video.
We then put it up and see how it goes 😉
I really hope you continue to enjoy witnessing our little project and I’m excited for what’s to come in 2019 and beyond!
As a last comment I do strongly recommend you try and start your own blog because the benefits from it outweighs the negatives.
I thought I should keep my details private. Nope, you know what suburb I live in and what my family gets up to.
I thought I could get by having a blog without having to do selfies or shoot videos with my wrinkly face 😉 Nope, you’ve seen me up close and personal.
I thought I’d never have the confidence to spell, write and speak to people that aren’t friends or family without exposing my failure of being a poor student. Nope, I did it anyway.
You can share things that help you and others which is very rewarding… just with a little effort and steady consistency.