Monday, November 30, 2009

Long time!

Long time no update! Sorry 'bout that. I've been siiiick. :(

We had a good Thanksgiving, for what it was. I tried really hard. It's really sad when you're used to it being cold outside and for there to be a parade on TV and to be surrounded by extended family... It was 100+ degrees on Thursday and I was by myself in the kitchen all day until Chris got home at 6:30. I got pretty overwhelmed, but I made it in the end! People here don't understand that being alone on Thanksgiving is a lot like being alone on Christmas....but I did get to talk to momma for a little while that day! And then, the next day, I got to video-call my grandparents and my whole family when it was Thanksgiving for them so that was really nice! Grandma and Grandad loved the video, and I hadn't talked to them in so long so it was awesome for me to see them too. :)


I just watched a show on MTV called "16 and Pregnant" and it's about, well, being 16 and pregnant. This episode was following a high school senior who is 17, gorgeous, good student, a varsity cheerleader...and she's pregnant. For some reason watching the show was really emotional for me....for some reason high school students scorn pregnant peers like they have the plague or are whores or something. I watched as her friends dropped like flies and, the thing that really killed me, was how hard her mom was making it on her. I mean, at the end of the day, she IS a teenager so there were a lot moments that proved just how much she really doesn't get it... but she did decide to keep her baby and finish her high school credits at the community college and get a full time job which is a LOT of stress...and then she's having a tour of a delivery room at the hospital to kind of get a feel for things and her mom and sister are with her and the nurse asks them who's going to be staying in the delivery room with her and both of them are full on refusing to be there because it would be uncomfortable for THEM...uhh hello, your daughter/sister is giving BIRTH, get OVER yourself! And then at the end, when she was actually delivering the baby...I'd never seen anyone have a baby before! It was emotional for me to see her do that. I think EVERY high school student should have to watch this series to see what their peers go through when they have babies and that, if they're having sex, they're not any better than these girls and they could very realistically BE these girls one day soon! Anyways, the show just really touched me and makes me feel for the teenage mommas who were at my school in a way I never have before. Instead of feeling sorry for them, I feel respect for them for not getting an abortion and for sticking it out whether that meant adoption or raising their baby was inspiring, and I just had to share how it made feel. :)

It's Chris's birthday today! He's actually having a pretty awesome day. Usually he has to be up at work at 6am, and he was today BUT they decided to send him to a course in town. SO. I was sitting on the computer playing The Sims 3 (fun!) and I heard the door to the house open...naturally I totally freaked out because NO ONE should have been coming in our house!!! So, of course, I grab something heavy and go to see who's there and if they needed to be beaten, but it was my BEEBS! Yaaay! He didn't have to be at his course until 8am, so I made us some iced-coffee and we got to hang out for 45 whole minutes. :) And THEN he came how for a whole 45 minutes at lunch time and we got to go to Subway and have sandwiches and cookies! Oh my gosh! It's only 1:45 and he just came home for the whole day! I haven't even made his bday cake yet! ahhh! I have to go! hahaha

Happy Birthday Beebs!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I LOVE this kit-home!!!

It's very much a classic "Queenslander" but with a modern twist. I LOVE the huge wrap-around verandah. I also love how it gives the impression of a traditional high-set except the first floor is actually a part of the house. It's quintessential Australian architecture and it's beautiful. :)

While I'm not as big a fan of the exterior of this next one, I do really love the interior a lot more than the previous and it still has a beautiful verandah! The model has also been built in the middle of the rainforest which is something Chris and I daydream about all the time. The views through the windows are spectacular and it's easy to fantasize about buying a plot up on Mt. Tamborine with views like that. I can almost hear the birds singing. :)

It's been styled very clean and modern inside, which isn't really my style, but I love the layout. I love how open everything is and I can't believe it's a kit home! A home like this would actually be fairly expensive to build, but would be far more affordable than it would to buy once it was already on the market. It's 5+ bedrooms though which we would absolutely never need but I know that they'll shrink down the plans to suit you so I'm sure we could get it in a 3 bed + study if we wanted. I don't see a lot of purpose in buying/building a huge house with a bunch of rooms you're never going to use anyways. :)

We're planning on starting with a kit home and, maybe one day, we can build our dream home in the future. We def won't be buying/building anything until we save a 20% down payment. That could be 2 years, 5 years or even 10 years. We don't know what they future holds, but I'm not in any real hurry to buy a house. I don't understand the popular desire of newly-weds to run out and buy a house right away. It's as if women feel like they can't have children if they don't own a home...maybe there is a logic behind this unbeknown to me, I'm sure if there is someone will enlighten me. lol I know plenty of people who rent and have children and are happy waiting to buy a home later when they have saved a larger down-payment even if they weren't happy waiting to have kids in the meantime, but I know many more people who really want to own that house before they have kids. It seems like it would be really difficult to take on so much debt and then start having babies right away to maybe it would be overwhelming? That's just my thought process. I don't know if we'll have kids before or after we're home-owners but it's no big thing to me either way. I know I wouldn't wait to have a baby, if I was ready, just because we didn't own a home but I also wouldn't mind having him/her grow up in the same house.

It is undoubtedly fun browsing homes either way though. :) I do LOVE Texas architecture a million times better than Australian though, I have to admit that. Maybe we could purchase plans from or hire an American architect to build a house for us in the future....I think it'd be painfully expensive to build houses that would be affordable in Texas here....just an impulse. My favorite house is one I've never seen the inside of. We've driven past it a bazillion times though so I was creepy and clipped the google-maps picture:

They don't really build houses like that here...I just love how the stone contrasts with the brick and how they've done the front porch in timber. It's just beautiful in an unassuming sort of way. I have a creepy crush on it. ;)


Someone from the hs drumline posted this link on Fbook today and I'm amazed at how STRESSED I feel watching it!

I can't believe I used to obsess over music that many days spent in rehearsals. THOUSANDS of hours of my life....I feel like it was kind of a waste. I wish I'd done more in high school than just band. It seemed so incredibly important at the time but I don't really have that much to show for it now.... I used to be able to play some of my scales as fast as like 300 bpm or was like a reflex. I was noticing yesterday that my arms look completely different as well...I used to stick out my arms and have this huge and prominent forearm muscle and now it's not noticeable at all. No wonder I was so skinny! lol I remember being committed...but never comitted enough to take things to that next level. I would always freeze up in auditions no matter how well I knew what I was playing and I'd just lose confidence over time. It would have been fun to just continue on to become a music major in college...but that route just never seemed very practical to me and I couldn't imagine how someone would make money with that degree after college without having to become a band director (DEF not something I EVER wanted to do) and I just wasn't brave enough to find out either way.... I also knew I didn't stand a chance in hell of making it into UNT's music program since I could never really play anything well other than Marimba and auxillary and I didn't care enough about any of the other instruments to study them intensively enough to put together a respectable audition....and I was afraid I'd just choke at the audition anyways. Lucky for me I kind of forced myself into a hiatus from school and any efforts would have been completely lost regardless. :)

Anyways, I suppose it wasn't a complete waste of time because I learned a lot about work-ethic and leadership that I never would have otherwise and I met my best friend through band and I don't think we would have been close at all if I'd chosen to do choir, art and drama instead. I def. think I would have been a lot happier in school if I'd escaped the stresses of drumline, especially that year I did winter-drumline (hello 40 hours of weekend rehearsals on top of school, on top of 10 hours of daily rehearsals on top of private practice. UGH.) I can't say I would mind buying a marimba at some stage and picking up the mallets again for another go, just for fun. Too bad they cost like $10-$12k USD, I don't even want to know what they'd cost in Australia. I don't know that the bars would go very well in the heat besides and we don't have central air. Maybe when I'm like 60 and our kids are all grown up and out of the house I'll be able to start again. But maybe I'll have arthritis or something at that point and won't be able to. LOL

Just some thoughts. :)


Our lawn is coming up beautifully! The native grass is this really thick bladed breed that makes a soft cushy carpet, it's surprisingly shiny as well which I've never seen in grass. :) Unfortunately it is REALLY hard to keep up with the watering and that when there's so many water restrictions. I wish we could use mulch instead of grass in some parts of the yard but the rental company doesn't allow us to use mulch in case termites come. Boo! So, some of the yard is just dirt at the moment. I'd like to lay down gravel, but it can get we just rake the dirt and make it look nice. lol It's actually more like dust....I doubt anything could grow in it. It's pretty and red anyways, yay Australia!

The little space we've been working on on the side of the house is coming along quite nicely! We will probably wait until after Christmas to order the gravel in, but I found some pictures kind of like what we want to do:

I like this path. Ours would be a bit more modern with black gravel (looks like dirt almost) and square tiles. I want the square tiles to create a path

Our tiles look like exactly like those, same color and everything except I'd put them much farther apart than that like this:

I LOVE that path! We won't be having a curb or anything though, but that's the first all-gravel pic I've been able to find and the gravel is the exact size we'd be using. Those shrubs on the left are actually really drought hardy, and would be awesome if they'd stay that size but they get HUGE and I don't really want to buy any plants we can't keep in pots so that we can take them with us if we move. We're also laying down plastic before we lay down the gravel so: #1, we can easily pack it all back into a trailer if we move and, #2, it won't sink into the dirt over time and need to be replaced. We can tell that one of the other tenants had put gravel down at some point because we can see the remnants of it all over the place, but there's not much left. Maybe they scooped up as much as they could and took it with them, or maybe it just sinks into the dust over the years, either way I think laying the plastic down is a good idea. We're not planting anything in the gravel so it shouldn't be a big deal.

I'm just pondering and playing at the moment. :) I'll take pictures when everything's done!

Monday, November 23, 2009


If it wasn't for Facebook, I swear I would have TOTALLY forgotten it's Thanksgiving on Thursday. hahaha Lucky for me everybody's talking about it in their status updates. What would I do without facebook? We bought a pre-roasted turkey (at least I think it's pre-roasted...) and it doesn't have any legs or wings or anything so it's just the yummy white meat. I also found cranberry sauce in the sauce aisle which was NOT there two months ago so that was exciting! I have to make my pumpkin pies from scratch because they don't have canned pumpkin here...only I don't have a food processor so that could get interesting. Maybe I could borrow one from someone...

Anyways! Our Thanksgiving will be fairly basic. We're having roast turkey with cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potato mash and pumpkin pie. I'm still dieting so I don't want to go *too* crazy. It's also Chris's bday on Monday and we're going to have cake then so I gotta pace myself. ;) I should probably ask him what he wants for dinner....I dunno if we're going out or what the plan is. There's not many restaurants in town...and none of them are all that impressive anyways. Okay, I just asked him and he'd like to have the family over on Monday for his actual bday and then go into Mackay the following weekend and celebrate just the two of us. Sounds nice. :)

He really likes I'd like to make a chocolate bday cake. I'm not as crazy about chocolate (I'm more vanilla ;) ) so I don't really know a good recipe...maybe I'll just buy a box cake and mix a chocolate swirl into it or something....I'll figure something out! He's watching Dragon Ball Z at the moment and is WAY into it. hahaha

I think I'm getting a head cold or something. I don't feel very well. :( I might go to bed early tonight.

love y'all!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

OH yes!

Update time!

We went to the beach/Mackay this weekend so Chris could get his car serviced (HELLA expensive btw, I hate that but it keeps us safe I suppose.) We wandered around the mall from 9-11am and got REALLY bored so we took a taxi to see Twilight New Moon! Woot! It was SO good. I don't know if someone who hadn't read the books could appreciate it in the same way but I loved it!

::SPOILER... if you don't wanna know what happens in the movie....don't read the next paragraph::

The part where Edward leaves Bella was really emotional for me. It reminds me so much of when I visited Chris here in Australia the first time and went back home without knowing when we'd see each other again. I was in that head-over-heels puppy love stage of the relationship and coming home without knowing when we'd be together next just made me feel this enormous amount of felt as if he'd died. I was just numb. I know people say it, but food literally had no flavor anymore. I didn't really feel like seeing friends or pretending to be happy when it was the furthest from how I felt and it seemed like everything around me echoed with the absence of him.....Bella said something poignant, and I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was so TRUE and along the lines of that their relationship felt like a unreal like maybe it didn't happen. I got to a point after it had been 4 months or so since we'd seen each other that, if it wasn't for pictures, I don't know if I'd be able to believe I'd actually met him, touched him, and that he had loved me. It felt like a dream or something completely intangible. It was really hard, so I can only imagine if he'd told me, like Edward does, that I'd never see him again. That he didn't want me.....I think I just really empathized with that. It was sad to watch, but harder to read in the books.


All in all the movie was really great and I wasn't disappointed! Granted, I'm not that person who's read the books like a basquillion times (I don't really see the point of reading them one after the other after the other all the time.....but I am to the point now where I'd read them a second time :) ).....So I don't remember all the minute details of the book to the extent where I could tell you how true to the books the movie was or wasn't. I do think it was a lot better than the first movie. The first film reminded me a lot of the 1st Harry Potter film; the director is trying SO hard to create the world that all the fans have seen in their heads for years and to stay true to the characters and not offend them that you lose some of the plot in the mix. This movie seemed to relax a bit and, even though it may not be 100% true to the storyline of the books, it's close enough that I fully enjoyed the film and didn't notice at all. Hurray!


Thanks to those of you who are following my weight-loss blog! I feel more enthusiastic about using it now that I know I'm not just writing it for my own benefit. lol I mean, I probably should be enthusiastic either way but it helps knowing that I might be able to motivate someone else or that other people will know if I fall off the bandwagon again. Thank you!!


Okay, on a completely different note, I found out that 10 years ago the house that we're renting would have been purchased for only $10,000......that sounds more like what it would be worth. Now it would sell for $475,000 which is ludicrous, so it makes me feel better to know that the market here hasn't always been crazy. They have a new rental agreement between the unions and the mines now that will help lower the house and rent prices though so that could be great for us! We could get into a newer house that actually has insulation. (You can see sun shining through the cracks between our floorboards at the moment.) Instead of leaving it up to the workers to find accomodation and wait for approval from the housing commission, the mines are going to put together a list of pre-approved houses and who qualifies for each one. They'll be doing all the negotiating themselves so that we just have to pick from the list and move in. Easy peezy! If the price on a house or on the rent is too high, it won't make the approved list and they owner will either have to drop the price or no one will move into it. Ta da! Problemo solved. :)

I got to see Ashleigh and Angela this weekend. Yay!! I had so much fun catching up with those girls, I love and miss them to peices. Beef had a bbq at his place and it was so great to just hang out with everyone again. I miss socializing. It reminded me how hard it would be to move to one of the cities and leave all of them behind. The friendship wouldn't be the same...but honestly with as often as we're able to see each other at this point, it may not have as big of an effect on our relationship as I think....I dunno. We'll see. :) Ashleigh's baby was due yesterday but still no birth! We're all holding our breath....I hope it's a little princess. I would spoil her as if she was my own little beebs and it would make it easier for Chris and I to wait to have kids. I know, I know, selfish. :P But who said I was perfect??

I got the information about the R.E. program today! It looks really interesting and, at the moment, they only have 2 other teachers for the secondary schools so they're really keen to have me on board. It would only be once a month because they don't have enough teachers to commit to things weekly which makes things a bit easier. I'm hoping the older kids will respond better to me than they do to the middle-aged teachers since, hopefully, it will feel a bit more peer-to-peer. I also like to thing I'm capable of keeping things from becoming monotonous and to speak in a way that's relatable to them. Hopefully I won't be embarrassing myself. lol I've also agreed to get on board with the chaplaincy commitee so that, when the chaplaincy is up for renewal next year, I might have the opportunity to apply. It's going to be really great to get involved and get to know the kids. I'm really looking forward to it! Hopefully they don't make things too hard for me.

Our inspection was moved to this Tuesday now, so we have to tidy up the house again. ugh. No, it didn't stay spotless for long. :P Chris and I are just messy people, what can I say? So I better go get started on that. I love y'all! I'll update again soon. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nothing new

Nothing new really happened today... I got to talk to Kara for a little bit which is always awesome. :) We don't get to catch up as often as I'd like. I have a Skype date with Amelia on Wednesday at 4:30am (12:30pm CST) that I'm excited about too. It's good to wake up when it's still dark and the birds are sleeping and have a nice cup of coffee before the heat of the day has a chance to set in. :)

Beebs and I cooked some dinner together tonight. We had chicken. mmm I had mine in a greek salad and his was more of a garden salad. It was fun and yummy. I love when we cook together, even though our kitchen isn't really set up to do it very easily. He had picked up some low-cal icecream at the store to suprise me and, even though it tasted like glorified frozen CoolWhip, it was pretty yummy.

Speaking of food, the single mango that survived the possums, fruit bats and bugs has almost completely ripened! I'm excited. It is literally the only one that made it, so it's kind of a big deal. I'm going to be pretty upset if we cut it open and it's anything less than perfect. Next year we'll spray as much of the tree the hose can reach with pesticides and anti-fungals. The tree has a LOT of fungus, I'm not quite sure how this mango escaped it when none of the others did. None of that will keep the fruit bats away, but hopefully there will be enough ripening (like on other trees I've seen around town) that they can't eat them all.

I've been discreetly soaker-hosing our flowers a couple times each day. It's too early to know if it's making much of a difference, but time will tell!

Bean has been recovering nicely from his surgery. He is already noticeably less feisty, but he now sleeps an even larger part of the day than before...annoyingly so! He still likes to play fetch though which I'm happy about. I like playing with him. He hasn't had any psycho moments recently (where he runs full tilt through every room of the house and over all the furniture) though so that's a definite plus!

Oh! I started a weight loss blog to catalog my weight loss, that's something new! I've been trying to lose weight for years now and, while I'll have a few small or even big wins here or there, I always gain the weight back and then some. I'm finished yo yo dieting and want to make a life change. Hopefully my blog will help keep me accountable and will also give me an outlet other than this blog since I know some of the people who are interested in my life in general might not be so interested in the details of my weight or diet. There's a link in my profile if you want to follow!

That's all I got today. Hopefully things will get more interesting!

Houston, we have a problem.

I only have trouble sleeping when Chris is in the bed with me.

He gets up for work, I sleep no prob. naps in the afternoon? No prob. Same bedtime= BIG problem! This is so annoying. I've always had sleeping problems and was just getting the hang of how to sleep normally by myself and now I've got this other person in the bed to add a whole 'nother variable to the sleep equation. We have a king bed so essentially there's tons of room for me to have just to myself. I even have my own comforter because I like to cocoon and he likes to keep it tucked in. I have the room nice and cool so it's not a temp issue.... it's psychological. What is my damage? I'm going to start playing the brown noise again and see if that helps. Maybe I'm just having trouble getting my brain to shut down or something. Maybe the air conditioner is too loud and I can't get past it. (I tend to fixate on noises.) Some nights are totally fine, I'll go a couple weeks of normal and then it'll get all screwed up again.

This story is to be continued once I've tested some of my theories.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hear the banjo strumming....

Santa Clause is coming! hahaha I LOVE this song! I love that it's Christmas on my blog! I love this illustration I found of a glowing Christmas tree. :) Something about it just captures the magic for me. There's a few fun songs I added here, I hope y'all enjoy it! (There's no Thanksgiving here so I get to skip straight to Christmas hehehe)

We don't have a Christmas tree yet. There aren't any places in town that sell them so we have to wait until we go into Mackay to pick one. :( I think we might be going in next weekend though so maybe we'll find a good one! I'm debating whether not to get a white tree and go for something chic and cool or do a green tree and keep things more natural and homey. It's an exciting decision I've never gotten to make before! When I was growing up my family never had a "theme" for Christmas. We always used the same old ornaments, a lot of the handmade, year after year and we all had our favorites. It made things so special as we decorated the tree to have our favorite ones peek out of the boxes every year. The older we got the more jumbled the boxes of ornaments became and the more surgery we had to perform on our old friends. I'll never forget the year Kaitlyn decided to hot-glue my FAVORITE ornament (that was a gift from mom) onto her stocking.... sad day.

But that was one of my favorite parts of Christmas....opening all the boxes of decorations and ornaments and figuring out where each thing was going to go that I think we won't be doing themes year after year either. We'll start building our ornament collection this year and buy our nativity set and the lights and the will be fun accumulating all the stuff. I'm thinking maybe a green tree will be more versatile. We'll see what we can find for sale. Sadly there aren't live trees in the "Tropical North" so that's not even an option. But we never had a real tree at our house until I was like 16 or something so I'd be lying if pretended it was like, a huge deal not to have the choice. ;)

I'm going to have to turn the air conditioner on full blast, put on cuddly pjs and watch White Christmas with beebs! yay! I bet we could even find some egg nogg.... ooOOoo! They have stuff here called like...brandy cream or something....yeah, or something. lol But no one I've asked has every had egg nogg. They're missing out. hahaha

Okay, so the margarita mix here (Jose Cuervo) is gross. So I tried to make my own last night and it was REALLY yummy! It turns out that lime-juice cordial is EXACTLY the same thing as sweet-n-sour mix! This means that I can just ask the bars in town to use lime-juice cordial instead of lemon juice in my margarita (yes they use lemon juice....I don't know why.) and have an yummy margarita every time! I mean, I can't keep the tequila from being crap...but I'm not going to taint a good thing by getting all technical.

ALSO, I found MISSION tortilla chips at Cole's today. YEAH!! I about freaked out when they started carrying the Mission tortillas, but now I have REAL tortilla chips too! I could die! Up 'til this point the closest thing resembling tortilla chips was the plain Doritos (without cheese powder) and the only tortillas were Old Elpaso (git the rope.) If you can't tell, my relationship with food is very dear and having some of my favorites nearby again with the Dr. Pepper and the tortillas and chips and them actually carrying jalapenos at the store's all a big deal for me! They even had Hass avocados at the grocery store today! I think maybe I've just been out of the country when all of this stuff was in season before now. I've never been here for the summer before...well, I was here for 6 weeks Jan-Feb in 2008, but I wasn't cooking then! If there is an Angel of Food, God has sent him my way and I'm loving every second of it. This is pretty cool! It would just about take my breath away if I walked into Cole's next week and saw Hidden Valley Ranch dressing on one shelf and A1 on the other.....I'm just sayin', if there is an angel...just sayin'. ;)


Let's see....what's been going on We saved a green frog from Bean on Friday! I was just about asleep when I heard this TERRIBLE noise!! I'd never heard it before and I freaked out because I thought it was Bean and he was choking or in trouble or something! Chris said it was a frog's distress call and that we had to save it. We found Bean cornering the frog under the washing machine and it made a RACKET that resonated up through the washing machine every time Bean got close. It took disconnecting and lifting the washing machine out of the way to save it, but I think our little green friend will live to see another day. Chris OBSESSES over stuff like this....whether it's an ant or a spider or, in this case, a frog he will do everything to try and save it. He's just so empathetic he can't stand being responsible for the death of anything with breath. It's kind of adoreable most of the time....but the rest of the time it gets annoying. lol LET ME SPRAY THE SPIDER!! No...he must escort it outdoors to safety....I don't mind saving the frog from Bean though. Hopefully it doesn't hop next door and meet the Staffy that's moved in there!

We've watched a couple good movies: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist which I had already seen but thought would be fun for a Friday night, and tonight we watched Fireflies in the Garden which I thought was horribly disappointing but Chris just loved to Of the two I'd recco Nick and Norah, but obviously Beebs would disagree. lol Your pick!


Love ya'll! I'd like to write more, but I'd better go to sleep. Church in the A.M.!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gunna git mah hur did

I had to have boring hair for the wedding so I could look glamorous. Now, four months later, my hair is STILL BORING!! I went to brisbane with beebs two months ago and dropped a LOT of money in a salon...only to leave with a cool cut (even if not what I wanted) but BORING color still (they totally didn't get what I was trying to say I wanted.) So....I'm ready for something fun and different again. I don't remember the last time my hair was the same color for more than 3 months, so this 10 month thing is CRAYZAY for me! I'm ready for a change. I've been every natural color under the sun at this point, every level of blonde and brown (even black)....but I haven't explored red yet. Maybe it's time.

I know that I look better with dark hair than with light, but I just LOVE this color and how it fades from dark to light in the front...maybe we can do something similar but toned down a couple levels. I also love the haircut. It's super modern and full of texture and would thin out some of this heavy mess on my head while keeping the current length. I've had a variation of this cut before but the color was black at the time so it was a little more Joan Jett than I would have liked.....We'll see if I can stand to wait until I get to dfw to try this cut and color out. I think there are like 4 colors in there so it could be looks like a medium brown with chocolate-cherry lowlights in the back and then a medium-light copper with blonde highlights in the front. I don't know how easy it'd be for me to go from my current level to such a light copper so I'll just have to talk to a colorist and see.

Anyways. Just sharing. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

oh boy!

I was reading some entries from my old blog.... It's interesting to see the world through the eyes of my 19 y/o self. It's exciting to return to this turning point in my life and in my faith and see the doubts fade and my footing become sure. I just want to go back in time and SQUEEZE me into a hug and say how proud I am of me for not just accepting things blindly and, even though it was hard, to listen for direction from God first and foremost. I was so excited to find a blog post cataloging the day that I decided to follow Christ and his will for my life. This was the first day in my life that it made sense that I wasn't just calling myself a Christian because I always had but because it's what I'd chosen for myself. I think I could take a leaf out of my teenage self's book today's so cool to relive that moment. I don't blog about the exact moment but I remember it well...I was sitting on my bed just crying out to God to TELL ME the answer....and then I was silent....and it all just clicked. It was like a button was pushed somewhere within me and it all made sense. Here are the entries:

May 28, 2006

Okay so I've just had a breakthrough..... I babble on about these doubts of mine but in the end, they are not even relevant to what is the true root of my struggle; am I following Christ because I love Him or am I following Him because I believe just enough to fear not following Him would lead to eternal suffering?

The problem was that I had only ever looked at my faith in this light. Therefore, I had no idea if I was a "true" Christian or not, knowing all along that God would see right through me if I have been faking it all this time...And so today, for the first time, I looked at all this in a different light.

I reworded that question of mine into an even more important question; If there was no Heaven and no Hell, if there was no reward or punishment for choosing Him or rejecting Him, would I still follow Him? And so there I sat, wondering...imagining. And it was then that it dawned on me that I could never give up my life as his disciple because He is my life. Even if I would suffer no punishment to say Goodbye to Him forever and go about my life just like everyone else....I couldn't imagine a life without Him in it. What would be the point? And my heart smiled and swelled with pride at that thought that I am truly His, and yes! Yes, it was all by my choice! Of course there is no choice when you are looking at it as a life or death decision....but that's not what it is. It's a life decision. Period. The choice is not to choose whether to live or die but to choose HIM. Or not. And the punishment isn't really a punishment at all.....after a person dies their spirit has to go somewhere, after all and, since this person has denied and rejected God and wants nothing to do with him, the only place in existence where that is truly possible is in Hell.

I've had this issue with worship for 2 years now....the idea that God would create us only so that we might bow down before Him and tell Him how great He is....well that's not what worship even is is it? It's a choice just like everything's just all the people who have chosen to love Him coming together to visit their father and thank Him for all he's done for them and given them. It's like..let me tell you a story.

You are lying on the side of the street naked, starving, thirsty, impoverished and dying. Just as you draw what you believe will be your last breath, a stretch limousine pulls up not two feet from where you lie in the dust. A man in a white linen suit emerges from the car, lifts you into his arms prepared to give you new life. First he takes you into his home where he makes you a part of his family. He clothes you and feeds you. And then, when you have strength and life again, he places a check for 15 billion dollars into your fist and tells you that "you are now strong enough to be free to go out and make a life for yourself in whatever way you choose." You stand there looking at Him, jaw agape, in awe of the goodness of this man and you ask him, "What can I ever do to repay you? I never deserved any of this. I was a wretch, I was worthless, I--", it is here that the man cuts you off with a smile and a wave of his hand. He shakes his head at you, his eyes shining with unconditional love and he takes you into an embrace while saying this; "All I ask is that you come by and visit me once a week, just one day every week that we might spend together, just you and me." You smile into his shoulder as two tears run down your cheeks and you say "Thank you Father."

After all this man has done for you, would you not visit him once, even more than once, every week bringing gifts and singing his praises, all the while never letting him forget just how thankful you are and what an amazing and wonderful person he is?

I feel as though our relationship with God is parallel to this story.Except of course we are more than simply indebted to Him. We owe him our very existence, our world, our family.Everything. Imagine if the man had let his only son die for you so that you might live? How much more grateful might you feel towards him?

I finally understand that liturgy that I always thought was so corny, until now. "It is right to give Him our thanks and praise"

The Truth

Relient K

And I've collected all these thoughts
And I'm dying just to lose them
And if your words are true or not
I'll die trying to prove them
But I'll just have to accept
That my mind is so inept
And the only thing that's left
For me to do is to trust you

Convince me
Because I really need your help
Oh convince me
Because I can't see this for myself

I'll put the emphasis on the evidence
Begging for the proof
Sometimes the hardest thing to believe is the truth

This is so unnerving
I know you've never lied to me before
But the things you're telling me
I can't yet believe
Yet can't ignore
But I'll just have to accept
That my mind is so inept
And the only thing that's left
For me is to trust you

Put the emphasis on the evidence
Begging for the proof
Sometimes the hardest thing to believe is the truth

It's a world full of cynics
Who say to stay alive in it
You gotta stick with what you know
But the soul is always aching
For the heart to start taking
A chance by letting go

So let go
Let go
Sometimes the hardest thing to believe is the truth
Attempt to place our lives into your hands
Confide in what you'll do
Cause sometimes when you're trying to sleep
And all your doubts and your faith don't agree its cause
Sometimes the hardest thing to believe is the truth

Ahhhhhh....I love when everything just comes together. And all I had to do was look at things in a different way. :) Today is a landmark day. I have to go spend some time getting reacquainted with my Father, I'm sure you can understand. :)


June 19th 2006


2 years ago I began running in circles around the inside of circular pen; a pen with walls built from my own doubt and disbelief. Everyday I ran around and around that pen, just staring at the beaten path in front of me...never looking up. I was determined that this path, my path, was the only path worth traveling and would surely lead to an exit if only I followed it long enough. After a couple years, I changed tactics. I was so so tired of running and, as I staggered from the path and collapsed in the center of the pen sobbing and gasping for breath, I cried out to God, "This isn't working!!! This stupid path doesn't even go anywhere!!!" As I sat there staring at the ground, my breath steadied and, so softly as to be almost inaudible the words "Lord, show me the way....I want to know...I need to know the way....." escaped my lips. I had asked for help before as I ran along the path, but this time was different because this time I stopped and took the time to listen....after a while, I heard a soft reply, "Look up." My lip trembled with shock and relief at the voice of my Lord and as I obeyed, I saw Him standing next to an open gate that led off into the meadow. "I've been here all along.", He said. "All you needed was a change in perspective." I had spent two years of my life running in circles when, all the while, my God had been standing at the gate to the pen; the gate I had never noticed because I was too busy staring at my own two feet to look around and see. I climbed to my feet and stumbled out the gate. I stared into the face of my Lord as He took my hand. And as He began to lead me along the new path, He said "I am the way."

Intense eh? haha I love writing metaphors and that is the metaphor for the last two years of my life. Less than 24 hours after I hit rock bottom three weeks ago, the Father showed me what should have been obvious all along; He is the answer to the question, He always has been The Way, The Truth and The Life and all it took for me to fully realize that these are more than just words but TRUTH was a change in perspective. :)

If you want to know the full story of me coming to find the Truth, read my May 27 blog entry on Myspace. :)


I know people say it and rarely mean it when I say it because I really have no reason to continue; This is my last and final Xanga entry ever. I've worked out what I needed to and see no reason to continue. Find me on Myspace!

Love, Mel


And that was 19 y/o me. :) That was when I decided I was going to make a difference in the lives of youth. Granted, I didn't think it'd be in Australia. lol But it's still taken me this long to begin to understand God's plans for me. It's great to be able to see where I've been and get a glimpse at where I may be going. Funnily enough, I met Chris not 1 month after that post.... and the post before it was about being frustrated at being single and how I knew the "textbook" answer was to "put God at the center of your life and, when you find yourself content in HIM you'll run into the man He has planned for you when you least expect it." I was SO frustrated by that "rule" so to speak....and yet it seems to be how things worked out for me. It wasn't an easy path, but it's the right one. I'm glad I made the right choice.

Good Day

Okay, so yesterday was just a WEIRD day. I was like...crying all day long for no apparant reason. I don't know what my drama was. Maybe it was just home-sickness like mom said. I just felt this overwhelming need to get OUT like I was trapped in a box and couldn't find an exit. Anyways, as sporadically as those sad feelings come, they have gone now. Hurray!

Okay, so today I'm super excited. :) Check out my Kangaroo:

I saw him through the window of a new store called Australian Country Living that just transferred to Moranbah from Mackay and I WANTED him. :) He's just hanging out on his little shelf here in the living room now. For some reason his tail is's magnetic. Maybe for storage purposes? Anyways. He's pretty much awesome. I guess it's a she and not a he since there's a little joey in there too. She's a mumma. :)


ANOTHER reason I am excited is because I have TWO episodes of Gossip Girl, TWO ANTM, 1 Bones and 1 Medium to watch on my iTunes. :):):):) That's a lotta happy right there.

Bean got "fixed" yesterday. I felt so horrible that we did that to him but he doesn't seem to know it was our fault. They did the procedure completely different than they did with Ender or Tigger....there are no stitches and they shaved his whole behind area. I don't remember Ender being shaved at all....his little booty looks VERY amusing at the moment. He was high on drugs when he came home too which was sad. He would scream if we left the room and couldn't figure out how to find us. It must have been very traumatic for him. :( He's just been resting up a lot since then. He did a number on the vet tech. too...he gave her a nice bite on the back of one arm and scratched up her arms and face and scalp...they said it happened while he was going back into his cage and I just don't understand why they didn't hold him by the scruff of his neck so he'd freeze up. He's been labeled as dangerous now on his records and that makes me sad because he's not!! I mean, I'm not happy he attacked the technician but I think he was just scared. He's been fixed and had all of his shots now though so hopefully we won't have any reason to need to go back any time soon.

We planted a WHOLE bunch of new flowers that are just dwarfed by the ones we planted a couple months ago. I hadn't realized how much the other ones had grown. Actually, only about 4 of the petunias are just huge and thriving and then a further 8 are just living and are about half the size of the other 4....I don't know why those 4 would be doing so much better than the others. Maybe they are getting more sun? Or more shade? They are all on one side of the garden. I don't know! But they look pretty!

It has uncharactaristically been POURING rain on and off since yesterday morning (it's now 4pm.) This is SO exciting! We put a lot of fertilizer on the grass and the flowers two days ago so it's perfect timing for showers. I wish it would just rain all the time....I should have lived in Seattle. lol

I don't have much to talk about today other than those things. If I think of anything else I'll stop back in!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bad day.

Today is a bad day. I just feel trapped. I feel like a bird in a cage. I could never be a small town girl....I could never live here, or even in Mackay (still small town by my standards,) forever. I get too restless. I'm tired of not having options. I'm tired and I've only been here 6 months. ::sigh:: I'm already over it. The more and more I read about all the stuff there is to do in Sydney and Melbourne the more and more restless I get. I can see why most people live in the capital cities here...I've only ever "met" (online) other Americans who've moved to Sydney. Nowhere else in Australia...they all just move to Sydney. I don't think they know how frickin easy they have it...not that I'm bitter or anything. :P

I guess I'm just not at all a small-town girl. I'm too high-maintenance and maybe even too prissy. It's not that I think I'm "too good" for Moranbah....I just feel like I'm having to re-evaluate all the interests I've developed over my lifetime like fashion, culture, food, shopping, etc. and replace them with gardening, crafts, and bird watching. I guess I also have an affinity for being surrounded with convenience. I don't ever want to have to drive more than 15 minutes for absolutely anything with very very few exceptions and I CERTAINLY don't want to drive 2 hours just to see a movie or go shopping. I think I just managed to pick one of the most difficult place in the country to transition from the USA and I'm trying not to resent the town at the moment because of it....

I sound like a spoiled brat throwing a tantrum and maybe I am. I don't want to live in the middle of nowhere anymore. blehhhh I know I grew up with more convenience than even the average American which just comes with living in such a huge metro (4th largest metro in the country with something like 6.5 million people vs. the 6,000 in Moranbah) so I'm not surprised things are so different...I just didn't expect the difference to affect me so much. I guess I'm just that spoiled.


There is a possum and her baby living in our trees. :) I took a picture just now to show you! She may have eaten one of my roses.... we'll hope not. She had a leaf of something in her mouth anyways.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


The idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs is illogical. How would you just make the jump from scaly reptile skin to feathers and going from running to flying? Why would you just, all of a sudden, grow feathers?? I just don't get it, it boggles my mind why that would make sense to anyone. Why would they decide that a dinosaur just hatched one day covered in feathers when the rest of his friends had scales and then go around touting it as scientific fact?

"According to evolution theory, birds should not have been around at the time of the dinosaurs. This is especially true of the parrot, which is supposed by those who believe in evolution to be a more highly-evolved bird.

A fossilized parrot's beak was dug up 40 years ago, but ignored. It was recently rediscovered at the University of California, Berkeley, by a graduate student. The problem for evolutionists is that they date the rock in which the beak was found as coming from the Cretaceous period when the dinosaurs lived and birds had not yet evolved. X-ray study of the fossilized beak shows that the beak has the same blood vessel and nerve channels as a modern parrot. But it is not just one parrot's beak that has been found in rocks from the age of dinosaurs. Loons, frigate-birds and other shore bird fossils have also been found in rock that was supposedly laid down during the time of the dinosaurs!

Fossils are remains of living things rapidly buried, we believe, at the time of the Genesis Flood. However, it is perhaps not too surprising that bird fossils and dinosaur fossils are generally not found together; indeed, bird fossils in any part of the earth's strata are extremely rare. This is because while dinosaur bones are very robust, bird bones and beaks are extremely fragile and would not have survived the turmoil of the Genesis Flood. The very few that have been fossilized tell us of very rapid and deep burial that would be expected during the Biblical Flood."



EVERYTHING I could ever possibly want to create yummy yummy Mexican/Tex-Mex food here! They have an online store, can you believe it? A woman moved to Australia from Mexico and was home-sick for Mexican food and so she made it her business to bring "a slice of Mexico" to Australia. They have fresh corn tortilla chips and everything! I don't know how far they would make it....but I'm excited anyways. :) It's good to know that I can order the spices I need to make steak and chicken rubs and even have REAL Salsa. I swear all they have in Moranbah is Old ElPaso and Doritos brand. (Did someone say "Git the rope?") I've never really been able to make any salsas other than pico de gallo before (since the have fresh jalapenos here sometimes.) But this place has fresh salsas the make on-site and ship to your door so it would save me the heart-ache of trying to find the fresh ingredients I'd need. (Not gonna happen out here.)

Anyways, it's just a glimmer of hope in the sea of Thai, Indian and Chinese spices and produce I'm surrounded by daily but don't know how to use. I've been learning a bit of Thai (I'm still not really sure what the definition of a "Curry" is though...which I think it pretty important to know. ) but I don't know anything about making Chinese or Indian food. I might stick with Thai when I can't get Mexican, some of the ingredients are actually the same except Thai food uses coconut a lot where Mexican doesn't. I can make a yummy coconut rice now, which is more than I could before!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Garage Sale Gold

Yayyy!! So, we used to just have that entertainment hutch and nothing else. Over the past few months I've bought those two shelving units, the bowls and plates, the arch candle-holder set, and the painting. Grand total: AUD$78. ($70 USD) WOOT! I'm so excited because it finally feels finished for the time being. Eventually we'll get one of those plasma tvs and will have to get a new hutch or wall mount or something to suit it, but for less than $80 our house feels more like a home and you can't beat that value. :)

This is the 1950s vintage diamond ring I bought for FIVE DOLLARS! woo! It's 18k gold as well. :) The diamond I'd guess at no more than 1/10 carat. There are a lot of factors to consider but I'd guess it's worth no less than $100 USD, depending on the weight of the gold, the quality of the stone and whether it's mounted in silver or platinum (def not white gold since there's no yellowing and this ring is OLD.) Not bad. :) I'm hoping to make it a gift for someone since it doesn't fit any of my fingers but my pinky. I thought it's maybe a size 7, but I wear a 7.5 and I can't even get it over the second knuckle on my ring finger so it's probably closer to a 6/6.5.

I'm starting to love garage saling! Debra and I should do it every weekend. :) It's nice to get out and see all the different bits and peices.


I found Dr. Pepper at the gas station this morning too!! I haven't had a Dr. Pepper in forever and it's just so beautiful. :) I bought all the ones they had in the fridge, and I swear everyone there thought I was insane. I was going in to get a red bull and looked over the DP first because it wasn't what I was looking for...and then I did a double take. And then I started pulling them all out of the fridge one after another after another until my arms were completely full and I was just laughing maniacally and saying "I can't believe it! I can't believe it!"

They *must* be ordering stuff up from USA Foods in Melbourne because they had Cherry Coke a couple weeks ago and they also have things like Tootsie Rolls and Reese's pieces too and I know you can't get those here unless they've been imported. Either way it's really cool to have a little slice of home every now and again. :)

We bought some new flowers!! We'll be careful with the roots this time.....also bought a new rose bush, a pink one. Not sure of the breed but it's PINK. Also got a little hibiscus bush and it has pink leaves. WOOT. We'll plant those tomorrow, it should look very nice.

That's all I have to say for now! Really just wanted to update on our little wall in the living room and how cute it is. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's only friday!

It's only Friday and it feels like Saturday! haha LOVE it!

Chris and I didn't bbq last night so we're doing chilli dogs tonight. MMM mmmm....

Oh, and the house is STILL spotless! It did take an hour this morning to get it back that way....(BEATING) but it's better than the 5 hours it took before, so I think I might try the 1 hr on Saturday thing and see how we go.

In other news, I was attacked by my previous manager at Cole's and he's offered to find me a full time job. :) Nothing's set in stone, but they have a position opening up as an "orderer" (uh..easy. I did that every day at Target.) He doesn't know I'm leaving for 4 weeks in dec/jan, but that may not matter. Then again maybe it will, meh. The cool thing is that I'd go into work at 4am and be off before lunch. AWESOME!! This job would allow me the flexibility to be involved in all the programs I want to and STILL get paid. Chris is up at 4:30 every morning anyways, so we'll just have him up an hour earlier and go to bed and hour earlier. Hopefully. Anyways, like I said, nothing's set in stone and I don't have my heart set on it or anything because I feel really at-peace about the volunteering next year but this would be a great way to pay off debts and buy new chairs and sound system for the church and lease a car and all these THINGS that cost money whether we like it or not. Please pray for guidance for the manager to make the best decision for the store! I just think of how much the church could *really* use that money right now and how awesome it would be to just pour it into sprucing the place up and I can't help but get excited!

Bad Trend of the Day: "Paper Bag" shorts

aka Diaper Shorts or worse-than-Walking-Shorts

This is yet another style that can only (kind of) be pulled of by a 5'10" size 2 woman. If this is not you, please refrain from going anywhere near them!!

I was personally offended when a fashion mag I purchased today suggested that women with curvy thighs wear these "shorts with volume" and included a picture of a plus size (almost identical to my figure) woman wearing Paper Bag shorts WITH FRONT PLEATS as if this was a good idea. HELLOOO!! If you have curvy thighs, STAY AWAY FROM SHORTS altogether, and opt for a-line skirts and dresses in the summer instead! DUH! ::sigh:: As if adding volume to an area of your body would make it look slimmer. They should fire their stylist.


If you wear Paper Bag shorts, don't take offense. Just please, don't ever wear them again.

So...I looked ALL OVER for Grenadine, or cherry syrup, or cherry cordial, or cherry essence/extract or SOMETHING so we could make cherry coke....Nothing. Nowhere. Really?? Really. Apparantly Australia does not share America's affinity for cherry flavored things. Raspberry? Sure! Strawberry? Of course! Cherry is just a bit too hard to manage in Moranbah though...ahh well. I had a moment of hope when I saw a cafe here had Grenadine syrup on their counter...alas. At least I know I can order it.

This reminds me of a Facebook status I posted the other day about fountain drinks! So...

Culture Clash of the Day

I miss drink fountains. Quik Trip's (QT) drink fountains in particular!

For the Aussies (pronounced "ozzee" not "ossee" btw ;) ) a drink fountain bev. is called "post mix." I'm not unfamiliar with this term as that's what we called it when I worked in restaurants, but most people I know refer to them as "fountain drinks" and the machine you get it from as a "drink fountain."

In America:

Any time you order a soft drink at a restaurant, it will usually cost you about $2.50 and will be served as "post-mix" or from a "fountain" on ice. You have unlimited refills at no additional charge. This is the same whether you are in a full-service restaurant or a fast-food restaurant. All gas-stations (or servos for the Aussies) have drink fountains where you can buy a 32oz of soft drink for $1.50, less at some places. QT does a promotion in the summer where any 32oz beverage (including iced coffees, frappes, slushees, etc. ) are 60 cents. In the winter you can get all 32oz warm beverages for 60 cents. Most gas-stations charge about half price for refills.

In Australia:

What you see is what you get. Any time you order a soft drink at a restaurant you will usually be offered the choice between a can or a bottle and they will pour it over ice for you. I'm not sure of the avg. price but I know I've paid 2.50 for a can at a few different places. Some full-service places will bring the drink to you in a glass bottle (which holds about the same amount as a can but costs more.) If you want another drink, you pay full price and are bought another can or bottle. The only places I've been offered a fountain drink as the "norm" is American fast food places like McDonalds or Burger King. I'm not sure if refills are free though. Aussie fast food restaurants offer you a can with "small" value meals and a 16oz bottle with "regular" and a 20oz with "large" meals.

The aussies on Facebook argued that "you can't beat a coke from a glass bottle" and that's fair enough. But, I'd say you can't beat the value of a fountain drink with unlimited refills and it tastes pretty darn good too. Someone else said "why would you want more than one in one sitting? they're so unhealthy. water all the way!" (as if they're the picture of perfect health. HA!) and to that I say they're just trying to stir people up. In the same way you go to a bar and expect to be able to get ice cold beer on tap, I expect the same thing when it comes to soft drinks. Sure the beer tastes great from a bottle, but it's cheaper on tap and doesn't taste half bad to boot. ;) At the local pub, coke costs even MORE on tap than it does in a can. That's just re-damn-diculous. I don't care who you are. It costs them like 25 cents (or less) for as much post-mix as one drink uses and they want more than $2.50 for it (about 12oz) . ::barf::

QT Self-Serve Soft Drink and Slushee stations

QT Self-Serve Coffee, Frappe and Latte station:

What makes QT unique is that you can add flavored carbonated syrups to your soft-drinks or creamed syrups to your coffee for no additional charge, so you can have a cherry-vanilla coke or a white-chocolate-macadamia coffee for the same price as unflavored.

I'm not going to be able to replace alllll that lovin' for a single over-priced coke in a glass bottle. Sorry!

Anyways...I must admit it's been within the past 10-15 years or so that American places have started doing the free-refills all the time thing. (Which goes without saying that Australia will join in sometime in the NEXT 15-20 years because that's just the way things have been running) I can remember when a refill at McDonalds was 25 cents and Chilli's charged per-beverage. It just goes to show how smart those shops with free refills are with marketing. I might have ordered water before since it was free, but if I have unlimited refills on a coke I might as well order one of those and make it count. Or QT's Cheap Drink Summer is AWESOME marketing because, where I might have gone to Walmart to buy gas before, I'm DEF going to QT now to get a drink and one for a friend because that deal is just too good to pass up. Where I might have bought no drinks from them all summer otherwise....I'd go in 4 times a week during their drink sale. It's sneaky because you're not really saving any money at all that way......but it's tasty either way. ;)

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Thanks for all the comments on my emo post!!

I don't think that middle school and high school deserve an entire post of their own. Well. High school probably does for entirely different reasons, but that's for another day and maybe isn't stuff that I want strewn across a public blog....but I digress. ;)

It took me a long time to find beauty in myself. I used to spend so much time obsessing over trying to make my hair look thin and straight like the "popular" girls and I learned as I got older that people would kill to have a mane of thick voluminous hair that does anything I tell it to (except be flat and lifeless ;) ) I used to obsess over (sorry if TMI!) why my bra cups never runneth over, or even filled out and now I see that, not only do mine make me look 20 lbs thinner, I can wear shirts as low cut as I want without it being pornographic. I am one of the heaviest girls I know, but I can slap on a pair of spanx, a cute dress and some makeup and flaunt it with the skinniest of them and still believe that I look as good as they do and wonder how well they could flaunt it at 200 lbs. I think that's what confidence as a woman is all about; accepting who you are in your own skin no matter what size or shape you are and the fact that you can be JUST AS BEAUTIFUL as someone half your size (if not moreso.)

I've come a LONG way from that sad 10 y/o girl, but I honestly think that it's all about your attitude. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for where I'd come from so I wouldn't change a thing in that sense, for myself. But I think that the tools I've learned to find confidence in myself, or to find the light in the darkness as Nelson so eloquently put it, are things that you can learn at any age and I aim to go out there and uplift girls who need that boost. I've been thinking a lot about motivational speaking lately and how I could get started on a program for pre-teens and teens....I am looking into degree programs online (no universities 'round here) that could combine youth ministry with counseling and so on and I'm thinking of how all these things could combine to make a difference.

I just want every girl to know that they are beautiful and deserving of love and friendship and so much more. On top of that I'd like to have some kind of an education program for...would you call it bullying? I don't know that I was neccessarily bullied. I don't know. I'm going to do some reasearch into existing programs, if they're out there, and find out how to bring them to Moranbah and the surrounding rural areas and what kind of work and costs that would entail in the long run of things. Programs take years and years to build up, so if there's something out there with materials and media already set then I could easily figure out how to implement them locally.

Anyways, long story short is that I've lived an awesome life. I have a better relationship with my parents than absolutely anyone I know and I cherish that even more now that they're so far away. I have a charming, handsome, gentleman of a husband the likes of which they write Romantic Comedies about and dear friends for whom I would give my life in a heartbeat. I couldn't ask for more in life and, even though it's hard being far away, I'm genuinely happy with the way things have panned out so don't feel sorry for me. ;)

I went to play Mahjong with Debra and some of her friends today. It was a fun game, I'd never played before! It's nice to get out of the house and have conversations with people, although I do wish I could meet more people round my own age. All anyone my age seems interested in doing per extracurricular activities is going to the pub and getting drunk. They feel like that's "all there is to do" and they're mostly right, but I'm just not interested in that kind of lifestyle at all. It's SO hard on your body when all you do is get drunk on the weekends and most of the time all I want to do is hang out and catch up anyways. Sure it's not a big deal to do it over a bottle of wine or even two, throw a board game into the mix and you've got a party. ;) But I'm really just not into pubs with heaps and heaps of "old guys" gawking at you and it's so LOUD....Moranbah tends to be a bit cliquey as well, and I'm just not interested in bowing down to the "queens" of Moranbah. Get OVER yourselves ladies, how sad that your goal in life is still to be "coolest." ::barf:: I honestly don't know how to distinguish them much from the Mean Girls in 5th grade, go figure.

What do y'all think about me starting an Ellen fan club? I think it could be cool. :) I just watch Ellen everyday by myself and it would be so much fun to have anyone over for coffee and just watch together and laugh and cry together....I just don't know if that seems like something anyone would want to do. I guess it would be weird having perfect strangers in my house....maybe I'll see if my friends like Ellen and if they want to watch with me. :) They all have babies/small children though so I am always afraid to invite them over because I don't know how hard it is to pile your kids in the car and go to visit a house where there isn't also other kids and toys and things. Any thoughts are welcome!

That's all I have to say for now. Beebs is home soon and we're having a bit of a date night tonight. We're thinking grilling up some meat and having a few drinks sounds nice and relaxing. :) He's had a big week so it'd be nice for him to be able to kick back.

Love y'all tons! Start a blog please, I really will read and comment every day. You can ask the people whose blogs I already follow. :)

Lighter Note

My posts have been decidedly darker than usual. I thought I should add a random post about dryers.

So, I'm in the market for a dryer... the ones I see in tv commercials when I'm in Texas look like this:

But the only ones I can find here look like this:

I did find one that looks like the ones I thought dryers looked like these days but it was like $2000. ::groan:: Maybe we will just have to have an ugly dryer. But most of them are SUPER tiny too...and I know that when we get a dryer we will run it into the ground before we buy a new one and so I'd like for it to be a large capacity in case we have the same one when we have kids (and things like a load of whites is large capacity anyways.) The biggest I can find is like 7kg. I would also like it to be a steam dryer....but those seem to be really expensive here. ::sigh::

Just for once, just one time, I would like to have something I assume to be "the norm" and "totally accessible" to actually BE "the norm" and "totally accessible." That's all I have to say. That and also if you can find a dryer that meets my specs I'd love you foreva! ;)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



I hope everyone had a happy Halloween. :) Ours didn't turn out quite like I'd planned, but it wasn't bad. I wanted to watch this marathon of Halloween tv shows, make Halloween cookies and just hang out with Beebs...but we ended up going to Graham and Deb's place and having dinner....which took a lot longer than I expected and we didn't get a chance to do anything remotely Halloweeny. :( Oh well.

In other news, the house is completely spotless! I did some garge sale-ing with Debra on Saturday morning and got some really pretty bowls and plates and things that suit our neutral theme in the living room, so I've displayed them on the shelves in there and it looks really nice. It's just nice to be in a clean house! Chris and I are naturally extremely disorganized and messy people (a blessing actually because I'd drive him insane otherwise) so who knows how long the house will stay this way. It will be nice while it lasts though!

Amelia sent Bean a new collar in the mail!! He's never had a collar with a bell on it before and was freaking out trying to figure out where the ringing was coming from! Click on the first picture in my Flickr Stream on the left to watch a video of him doing back-flips across the living room trying to catch sight of the bell, or click here:

Bean can now not only play "fetch" but "catch" as well. If we throw the ball down the hall, he'll chase it, bring it back and place it in our hand. Now if you throw the ball directly at him, he'll jump 18 inches off the ground and catch the ball between his paws every time. He's awesome!! Coolest cat I've ever had, hands down he just takes the cake. :) It's too bad most of y'all haven't been able to meet him yet!!


We've also planted some new shrubs in the garden. We've had them for almost a month now but only just decided to plant them in the pots we've gotten. They actually look really really nice and make a big difference to the side of the house! We've thrown Miracle Gro all over the lawn in front of the picket fence and on the left side of the yard. The lawn in front of the fence is responding nicely, but the lawn on the left side of the backyard is still grey and dead. :( I hope it comes up!! It's REALLY hard to have a green lawn here though with all the water restrictions (sprinkling M & F between the hours of 5-9 pm ONLY. Hand watering Tues. Wed....something like that) and I don't know if we'll ever manage to have a completely patch-free yard but we're going to try!!


I talked to Debra about how I've been feeling about next year. I really want to do a hairdresser apprenticeship...but I just couldn't feel "at peace" about it. I know that God needs me in Moranbah and I feel like I could make a big difference here as far as the programs for youth are concerned which is why I feel like I'm supposed to be here, like the youth are my purpose....I just feel like locking myself into a 3 year apprenticeship would mean giving up any opportunities to work with youth during that period. I'd be too tied down and I think I need flexibility right now. I'm also having a hard time playing "the game" in Moranbah which is sooo "not what you know but who you know" that it makes me want to scream. No one wants to hire you for the 9-5 type jobs if you're not "a local" or if they're not familiar with your family or your husband, etc. etc. It doesn't matter how hard you work, if someone else comes in who's best friends with the boss's wife or has a good reference with the manager's golf buddy they'll get the job over you every time. I'm not used to that....but I know that I need to get my face in the community if I'm going to gain the trust of the community. SO Debra and I decided that I should go on like, a volunteering spree next year and forget about the job for now. I'm going to volunteer at the Salvation Army, MDSS, HS "tuck shop", RE program, Lifeline and whatever else I can find. I'm just going to dive in and tell them I have absolutely nothing to do and would love to help whenever and however they need me. I would LOVE to just be involved and meet people and make a difference. :)

There's also some high school aged girls at church (maybe 3?) and I'd really like to get to know them and see if they'd like to start a girls youth group of some kind. I'd provide food and fun and they just show up. I wouldn't want it to be like a bible study or anything, just a place where they can come with their friends and know that no one will judge them, there's no "in" group and they're all just friends hanging out. I'm excited about it. :) I think it'd be cool to do a craft each week like jewelry or something.....I dunno. I'll talk to them and see if we should set up a meeting with their parents to get something started.

There was 22 people at church on Sunday, btw!!!! This is HUUGE compared to the 3 people in September. In a population of 6000, that is a really big deal. Percentage-wise, if we were in Fort Worth with a pop. of 720k (not counting surrounding cities that some churches attract attendance from) it would be as if 2600 people came to your church when your avg. attendance is 360 people. I just had to be excited with you!!

Gotta go to bed now, but I love y'all and can't wait til the next update. YOU should start a blog if you don't have one. I would read all the time. Promise. ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Regrets

In response to a post on the blog "I Am Ashley's Smirking Revenge:" Click Here to read it.

I hold onto the mantra "Carpe Diem" like my life depends on it. I think the unusual way my life has panned out compared to the norm is a testament to the fact that I really do try to sieze every opportunity and really strive to make every moment and every breath count. I never want to be that person that looks back on my life and wonders "what if." I want to know "what if," because I DID "if."

We don't get to choose when it's our time to go. So many of us assume that we will have the luxury of dying in our sleep at a ripe old age surrounded by those we love. Unfortunately the truth is that every 5 minutes, someone dies of an accidental death. These are perfectly healthy people minding their own business who wake up one morning, go about their routine, and never wake up to another day again. Even more people are given death sentences in the form of incurable illnesses. These people thought it could never happen to them. They thought they had all the time in the world. They never saw it coming.

We don't get to choose when it's our time to go but we can choose to seize the day. We can choose to do today what we've been putting off until tomorrow. We can choose to spend time instead of money. We can choose to smile instead of frown and laugh instead of cry. We can choose to volunteer and choose to make a difference when there's nothing in it for us. We can choose to love instead of hate and build up instead of tear down. We can choose not to judge those we don't understand and we can choose to stand up for what we know is right in the face of adversity. We can choose to say, "I love you" every day and we can choose whether we mean it or not.

We can choose not to have regrets. There are so many arguments we can choose not to have. So many hurtful things we can choose not to say. So many people we can choose to uplift. So many ways you could choose to make a difference. So many ways you could make your life bigger than yourself. So many ways.

What would you do if you had 24 hours left to live? Would you have regrets? What changes could you make to your every day life to ensure you have none? More importantly, what would you do if your spouse only had 24 hours left to live? Dying is easy, but losing your spouse isn't so much...would you have regrets regarding your attitude or the time you spend together? What changes could you make to your life to ensure these regrets were no longer an issue?

There are so many people who devote the majority of their lives to getting ahead in their career, to making money, to being "successful." I wonder if these people have ever stopped to realize there is more to life than money and status. I wonder what these people will regret.

You don't get to choose which day is your last, so live each day like there's no tomorrow. You never know.