Death and Taxes

You know the Benjamin Franklin quote “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”?  Yeah, these past two months have been dominated by these two things.  We spoke of death in our last post and I will just say my sweet husband is navigating the grief of losing his mom very thoughtfully.  He is taking his time, allowing the grief process to unfold.  Taxes, on the other hand, are not so gracefully navigated.  This is our first tax year as expats.  It wouldn’t be that complicated except we turned our stateside home into a beach holiday rental which means it is now a business.  Again, not too complicated except for the fact that we spent 4 years renovating and adding on to our home.  We never really thought this expat adventure would happen.  We talked about it and dreamed about it but thought we had missed the window to make it happen.  Since we never really planned on our home being anything other than our home, our renovation receipts, etc. were all clumped together in a big huge wad that has needed untangling.  Untangling all of this from a distance has been challenging and has brought it’s own kind of homesickness as we remember every little piece of the renovation process of a home we love.  Today, we finally got the last of the information to our accountant back in the States.  Hallelujah!
tax time  taxes photo
For the third time, we have a contract on my parents home.  This time, however, it looks like it may really go through.  As much as I know I must let go, the loss of my childhood home is enormous.  I have written before about this so won’t say more than this is another form of grief.  Home is my thing.  It has been my career in a multitude of different ways from helping others through feng shui and organizing to home renovator to creating home with my own family.  Home shapes us in the most powerful of ways!  She’s just a simple ranch house but oh how my childhood home was filled to the brim with so much love!  Where’s a kleenex?
2108 Brookhill Rd (1)
Our youngest daughter, Eve, has been busy with volleyball and choir during this first term of school.  Our oldest, Sophie. has been juggling an internship (that is transitioning into a proper paid contract position next week) with university studies.  We are all still adjusting to new school systems.  Schools are different and as wonderful as the opportunity is, it is still a lot to get used to.  As the first term of year 10 and uni wind down for our girls, we are prepping for some fun day trips over the next couple of our quest to explore more of our city and things close to us.  It’s funny because what we want to do is be in constant Aussie exploration mode but that is not really possible when you have life things like school, pets, work, etc….So we, explore when we can and are so looking forward to this break!

The past two weeks have brought confirmation dates of three sets of friends coming to visit this year!  Yippee!!  It all begins on July 4 then August then November!  We are so incredibly happy that friends are making the long trip Down Under!  It is a long way from home and flights are not inexpensive but it is totally worth it!  Don’t you want to come?  And, come while we are in this renovated Queenslander so you can enjoy this view!  We have only begun to explore all this wonderful country has to offer but what we have seen has been fabulous!
window view 1 Abbott
flowers at our open window
Our youngest daughter is a social butterfly!  She always has been!  She is a full on extrovert so it seems every weekend there is a birthday party to attend.  This past weekend had us traveling about 30 minutes south of our home to Manly, QLD.  While Eve did the party thing, we explored the town and relaxed by the water with all the sailboats.   I have already posted this on social media but as we were walking down the street in Manly we heard Sweet Home Alabama being covered by a local band.  Queue some serious homesickness!  This, a few days after my parents home had gone under contract!  The other slightly cool thing from our time there was as we were relaxing on a bench by the water we hear someone say “Hello you two”!  What?  We don’t know anyone.  We look up to find our doctor’s receptionist looking at us.  It was actually so nice to see a face we are slightly familiar with.  It isn’t home yet but still oh so nice!   I will wrap up this post with a few of the photos from our time there.

Boats Manly boats 3 manly
IMG_5457 flowers, boats, homes Manly
Boats 2 Manly
As always, we are ever so grateful for your joining us on this adventure!



4 Comments on “Death and Taxes

  1. I love your post! The picture of your childhood home is priceless. I can only imagine how hard letting go would be. Always love to hear how things are going and you bring the trials and tribulations to life through your posts. So happy the girls are doing well. Our daughter and husband picked up and left Florida for TN, with their four kids. They moved mid-year with the oldest in
    college (Florida State), a son in his junior year in high school, two younger ones still in elementary school. I had misgivings but they were determined. They love their TN home and the kids have adjusted beautifully! I have had adventures moving all of my life with dad in Army and then my husband, both career soldiers. Auburndale is the first time I have lived in one place for so long (now 26 years). Happy for you and especially that you have friends coming over to visit.

    • Thanks so much Terri! Yes, I am very emotional about it. If there were the slightest chance I would be moving back home I would keep her but alas that is not my path. Gosh is it hard! So happy that your daughter and family are enjoying their new life in Tennessee. What a beautiful state it is! I had such an incredibly stable childhood moving and this adventure have been an enormous stretch for me. I don’t think if the losses in our life had not been so tremendous over the past few years that I would have pushed myself to do this. Life is so short! So hoping on one of your trips over to Australia we can connect!

  2. The saying It’s not about the destination but abut the journey, is so true. Especially for you and your family. You and Lawson are experiencing different issues around grief and all so real and potent. Most importantly you have each other to lean on. I enjoy your blogs and photos so much. I also envy your wonderful childhood memories which sadly I don’t have. Love and blessing to you all.

    • It has been and still is quite a journey! While we are loving the adventure, I am dreaming of having roots someday somewhere! I never take for granted the wonderful childhood I had and hopefully that we have been able to create for our girls! I am so sorry yours was not. Thank you for your kind words! We send you much love and love keeping up with your adventures as well!

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