Same same but different

As sisters go, we don’t look very alike. Both with dark hair and eyes and well, that’s it. Sometimes I’m not even sure how two people could look, think, talk, dress and act so differently and yet still be so very, very much the same. Like our ability to have a conversation in 3 ‘eh?s’ and a shake of the head, our love of good food and drink, relaxing at home and most of all, a simple happy life. Something else we sisters have in common, is that we know where home is. With our family.

I’m the younger sister. An eighties child, a little on the too sensible side yet classically creative with an eye for stylish things (except perhaps when dressing myself). My hairdresser coming to my door every six weeks is possibly the only thing that saves me. And well, what make up?

On my return from a long stint studying, living, working, partying and bit more partying in Melbourne, I was lucky enough to meet Dancing Dave, the man that grounds me, my best friend and husband. After playing house for a few years, we’re now mama and papa to our little girls Bubby and Boo, and two little black cats Nellie and Poppet.

Dave and I initially lived in a tiny two bedroom cottage dubbed the ‘Slanty Shanty’ for its location on a very steep Hobart hill a minute or two out of the city centre. Unfortunately our quaint living quarters were not so desirable after the birth of our eldest daughter, Bubby and the ever growing number of Dave’s building tools under our bed. It was time to move on.

But why the same street as your sister you ask? Because I’m lazy would be my answer, but because I missed her would be the real one.

I make no secret that the ‘burbs where our Two Houses are situated is a whole 10 minutes too far from the city for me, but after failing to find something suitable closer, the modestly sized run down weatherboard house with a big bare backyard looked ideal for fixer-uppers like us. And it was only a mere five doors up the street from my sister. We’d found our new home.

BK (before kids), my sister and I would see each other more than regularly. Dinners, drinks, parties, dancing, sleepovers, markets and more – we’d be together. The day the eldest child in the Two Houses was born, I looked at my sister gazing down at the bundle that was Little G in her arms and knew our lives were never going to be the same. Of course all for good reason, but life just got more complicated. We still talked, texted and emailed constantly, but it wasn’t the same and nine months later as Bubby arrived on the scene, the frequency lessened even more. Now we are neighbours and the togetherness has returned.

The past couple of years in the Two Houses has brought us beautiful moments a plenty, with a closeness in us, our children, husbands and extended family that surprises most we meet. Along with the joy, we’ve had our share of some heart-breaking challenges, which have been so much more manageable thanks to the support of the community we’ve created.

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To begin with

I’m the older and more mature one. Just kidding. I’ve had very haphazard life until my thirties. A mere handful of half-arsed capers under my belt: six months in Taiwan. Half a degree. Worked part time in a call centre and lived pay to pay. I had some very fun times. Lots of friends, travels and adventures, but was basically pretty aimless and sometimes quite unhappy. I quite often felt that I’d missed a very important meeting early on in life and never quite caught up.

Then somehow at 32, I met Glenn, got married, bought a house, got a dog and a baby boy, all with dizzying speed. I cannot believe how much my life has changed (read: improved) lately. I still look at them sometimes and can’t believe it. Feel free to vomit now. But I do feel that finally with Glenn, Little G and our shaggy dog, Barney, in our little house five doors down from my sister and her family – I have everything the way that I want it. Maybe one day we’ll move into a bigger house in a different street. But this is our life right now.

Suddenly, as a parent, I feel that for the first time I have something wonderful in common with people. A LOT of people.

So why would you want to read about me? Or about us? Maybe everyone feels that their family is the best in the world and maybe there’s nothing particularly special about ours (bullshit). We’re just two normal families trying to muddle our way along and keep up with life and enjoy it as much as possible. Starting to write for this blog is terrifying. At worst, I guess no one will read it. At best – we will share with people what we feel is a very special scenario – two sisters and their families living in the same street. I can’t tell you the number of times people, mostly parents, have commented on how lucky we are. We hope to cover many bases – the kids, recipes, beer brewing, gardening…that will be just the beginning. We will be shaky and nervous to begin with but hope that you will stick with us as we gather speed with this whole blog thing.