Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ready to end so I can begin!

I work all. the. time. About 50 hrs/wk every week (or 7 days as it were) and I am SO burnt out. I can't do this anymore! So I quit. ;) I can't believe I only just started this job 3 months ago, this is like the shortest I've ever been in a job but it feels as if I've aged 3 years in this 3 months. No amount of money is worth how I've felt lately. I gave them 6 weeks notice which means my last day is the 29th of December. It's crazy how a job that I initially loved turned out to be something that took sooo much out of me, isn't it?

I don't feel like re-hashing all the things I didn't like about the job because what it all boils down to is that I don't like being a manager. I like someone telling me what to do every day. I think I could be a great supervisor or department head or something...but I don't like being in charge of everything. It's just not for me! Also, since I don't plan on having a career in retail, there's not a lot of purpose in me putting so much time and energy into this job. We can afford for me to take some time off and re-think what's important to me. I'm traveling to DFW 26 Jan - 12 of Feb so I get to see my family which I've realized is REALLY important for me to do about every 6 months. I don't know that we'll always be able to afford to do that and, you know, i'd rather pay $1500 and spend time with the people I care about most than drop that money on the kitchen table or hair extensions or something equally silly that I don't really need.

The only sad thing about this is that my heart is in two places now. I'll be spending my bday in DFW now which means I won't have Beebs or Shlee or Chica with me, and that's sad too. I'm amazed at how much love one heart can hold! I feel so thankful that God has given me such dear friends here now because I'm sure you all remember a time when I felt all but alone here if not for Beebs. My bday won't be the same without my Aussie family, but it wouldn't be the same without my Texas family either. Always torn in two. Two home sweet homes. :)

On the work front, I only just found out that we have extended hours for the last 3 weeks of December. We're open until 6 pm on Christmas Eve!!!! That's later than usual and here I thought we'd be closing early. GRRRR! We're supposed to be driving out to Sarina beach to spend Christmas with Chris's family but I just don't see how that's possible. It's a 2 hour drive there and back which means that, by the time I close the store, take a shower, and drive to the beach it would already be like 10pm. Only to have to drive all the way back the next day to open the shop at 9am on Boxing Day. I have to play Devil's advocate here though because, if it was my family at Sarina, it would be worth it to me to drive out and back just to spend part of Christmas with even though I could care less and it's a HUGE inconvenience....if Chris wants to go, I will go. And I won't mention the inconvenient part. lol I would want him to do it for me. Either way it won't be much of a Christmas this year, I think having it just the 2 of us would feel kind of sad/lonely. I don't know. We'd make it special I'm sure. Change is hard!

Back to the extended store hours....I think I'll have to be going into work late most days in order to not be over on my hours. Especially when we're open until 9, there's no way I can do 13 hour shifts every day! But there's no assistant what do we do? hrrmph.

Okay, just felt like I needed to blog update. There's TONS that's happened that I haven't updated on but I just can't be bothered. I'm too tired. I'm sorry!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Runaway home

Usually this is my favorite time of year. Usually I'm buzzing with excitement, planning christmas gifts and sipping pumpkin spice lattes all the way with Christmas music blasting from the speakers in the car.

Usually I'm happy.

this year I'm not. This year I'm stressed every waking moment of every day. I'm at work now and I'm fighting that all too familiar (if increasingly rare) feeling to runaway home. I just want to go home... But not the home down the street, the home that is so far away I couldnt run there if I tried.

I miss my family today. I miss the familiarity of the birds and trees and grass today. I'm missing sitting in traffic and singing to the radio today. The christmas music is sounding through the shop, but I'm missing my Christmas spirit today. I don't want to live here today. Today I want to be in the arms of those who know me like no one else can because they are the ones who made me who I am. Today I want to runaway home.

But tomorrow is a new day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I've been AWOL. I need to blog more. I know....


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I had a hallelujah moment this morning! Chris washed one of the only pairs of jeans that kind of still fit me...and my heart sank because they ONLY fit if I spritz them with water and do a lot of clenching and jumping and pulling and then wait an hour before wearing them in public.... I was not looking forward to wearing them! But they were the only clean ones. (and the only ones that fit) So, I pulled them on and....

they buttoned!!! Easily! No jumping, clenching or pulling required! WOO! I'm trying on all the jeans I thought didn't fit at all when I get home to see if I can jump clench and pull my way into one of them now! hehehe

Also, in other news, I now own an iphone 4! I'd like to encourage any one of my friends and fam back in the states to invest in one of these because, if you have one, I can video call you from anywhere, any time. This means I can do a quick chat from my lunch break at work at a time that's actually convenient for everyone! If you have an iPhone 4, let me know so I can call you up. :):) I know Amelia does and I think Kaitlyn might....anyone else?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Holy 7 day work week Batman!

I'm exhausted. I've been getting headaches every evening. :( I think I'm overwhelmed.

I realized today that, because our roster runs from Thursday thru Wednesday, I'll be spending 2 weeks of every month working 60-70 hours in a row before getting a day off. So even though my schedule says I have two days off each week:

  1. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
  2. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
The traditional work week says different:

  1. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday,
  2. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
I didn't realize. How CRAZY is that schedule?? 7 days on one week and only 3 the next. How am I supposed to get anything done the second week if I'm only there 3 days? I'm not only freaking out about the 7 days in a row, I'm freaking out that I have SO much to do and will only be in the store 3 days of next week. ARGH. I also pretty much have to be in the store Tuesdays because that's when we intake all of our new stock, and Thursdays are my paper-work day so I have to be there then too.

I've already worked so much o/t this week trying to wrap my head around things that I'm already up to 70 hrs for the week and I still have another 8 hr shift tomorrow before I'm off on Monday. Pray for my strength.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

She works hard for the money!

I have a job!

I'm the new manager at a local discount/clearance/warehouse type shop. I don't want to say the name because then anyone who googles the store will be re-directed to my blog and I'd really rather not have that happen. We'll call the store PP. ;) (If you know the name, don't type it in a comment either or else it will still direct to my blog!)


Work. I work 43 hours a week--on the schedule. Which means that I'm really working 45+ hrs every single week because you know as mgr you never leave on time, you're always getting called in on the day off, etc. etc. I get every other weekend off and *should* be off by 6pm most days, but have been closer to 7pm most of the time. I'll get better. :)

Something scary happened today. I hope it was just a calculation or computer mistake on my part or else this could be the shortest lived job ever (i.e. I could be fired!) because, when I was balancing the registers at the end of the night (first time closing on my own and it's only my FOURTH DAY. A bit too soon? I think so too.) my calculations said there was $60 too much in the drawer and more than $1400 in debit and credit over-charges. WHAT?!?!?! That's a $1500 discrepancy. What was I doing wrong?? Surely that can't be right. I called the asst. mgr. after counting and counting and counting and re-counting. I'm a really slow counter, really bad with numbers, really thought it HAD to be a mistake on my part, but I know after re-counting that many times my numbers are spot on. Now, as far as the non-cash discrepancy goes I could have just been entering the wrong # into the wrong box in the computer system so it'd calculated things wrong. I just don't know. The asst. mgr (2IC) told me to just go home (it was 1.5 hrs after the store closed) and she'd figure it all out in the morning. I love my 2Ic. She's really laid back, not in a people-pleasing kind of way but in a truly Aussie "meh! She'll be right!" kind of way. I love that. It's the perfect compliment to my impulse which is to hyperventilate. I need to hear "she'll be right!" Hopefully it will be "right." Hopefully there's not really $1500 in overcharges and hopefully I still have a job in the morning.

I really love this job. I love the freedom. It's a really small store, only 10 employees. The challenge is in that the stock is constantly rotating and, because it's such a small company, there's no such thing as a planogram. (for those of you who've never worked retail, a planogram is diagram showing how to merchandise products) so all of the merchandising is pretty much up to me. I get a few ideas from the regional mgr in my inbox but, other than that, I have to figure things out on my own. This is a little overwhelming at the moment because it's like a contstant game of Rubix Cube. I'm constantly shifting products, entire AISLES of product, to the other side of the store, only to move the same product to a different section of the store two days later. The only way to not feel exasperated about it is to forget that I ever spent 5 hours the week before moving that same product to where it is. Because your first impulse is "UGH! What do you mean "move it?" Really?? I JUST moved that! I JUST got it the way I want it! ""

I just have to ignore that impulse and accept that constant re-merchandising is just part of the job and take each day at a time. Another big thing to overcome is that my staff on Thursday nights (we're open late) and weekends is so frickin YOUNG. 13-15 years old. Seriously. Shoot me. There's no work ethic, lots of attitude. It's like babysitting. I cannot BELIEVE kids that young are all that I have on the weekends. In Australia you have to pay people time-and-a-half on wknds so they use only kids then since their pay-rate is lower. (hourly pay-rate in oz is determined by age) ::Sigh:: I'm having a staff meeting tomorrow to basicially remind them how to to their job. I'm going to be basing their hours on their work ethic and attitude so hopefully when the ones with 'tudes see that they're not on the schedule next week they'll get a wake up call that, if they want to work there, they have to *work* there; not sit on their ass, text on their phone and give mgmt attitude there. :) I have only met 2 of the kids thus-far, but I've heard "things" about a few of the boys. Lets hope they behave for me.


So that's about my work. :) I feel really good about what I'm doing there and will hopefully remain there until we decide to start a family. It's not hairdressing and I was a bit sad to let that go but this is an opportunity I just couldn't pass up. Our financial situation is 100% relaxed now and the level of savings we'll be able to build up within the next few years is too much to ignore. I really want to stay at this store for as long as I can because, once I have management experience, it will be so much easier to get full time work again in the future when we inevitably move from M'bah. all I needed was someone to give me the chance!

As good as I feel about work, I feel REALLY stressed out about home now. I just don't have time to do anything anymore. I have to schedule dentist, doctor and optometrist appointments, pick up some packages from the post office, hire a cleaner, cook dinner, and on top of those things I'd love to have time to catch up with friends as well. I work from 8-6 5 days a week and only 4 days of the month will my days off be on week days when I can schedule appointments, actually go to those appointments, catch up with friends, do some yard work. I think my life is about to become very micro-managed. I'm at the dawn of becoming one of "those" people who has to pencil you into their schedule a month in advance if you ever want to see hide or hair of them. I hate that... I wish I didn't have to work weekends, but that's part of working retail and at least I don't have to every weekend. :)

It's going to be extremely difficult for me to Skype anyone back in Tx now as well since the only really convenient time to call everyone falls right in the middle of the work day for me. We'll have to start "penciling in" some Skype dates because I don't know how it's going to work out otherwise! I can't promise that I'll be free to chat in the mornings on my days off and that makes me nervouse because I don't want to lose touch with everyone. Unless my friends and family back home are willing to wake up at 4 am when I get off work (ha!) I don't know how it's going to work out. Hmmm.

Okay, it's almost midnight. I really need to get some sleep. Just wanted to update everyone on life!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Music, Babies and Money

I hope you like this new song I'm playing. It's Neopolitan Dreams by Lisa Mitchell and those of you who know anything about my taste in music will hopefully agree that this song fits nicely into "my" genre. :) I love Lisa Mitchell. She's an Aussie artist and former Australian Idol contestant (when she was 16! made it to the final 6!) I've always loved her song Coin Laundry, it has a fun rhythm to it and I then fell in love with Neapolitan Dreams while doing an itunes store search to see if she'd done anything new recently. I hope y'all love it as much as me. I love the bell kit in it, the bells just tug on my heart strings after spending a good 7 years of my life playing them. It's on heavy rotation on my playlist as well as "Fingertip" by Aqualung. If you want to know. ;)

p.s. "The House That Built Me" makes me cry. I know it's not the same as my story because it's just my parents living in the house that built me and I'm not broken or anything. But I cry anyways. Because out here it kind of is like I'm someone else. I hope mom and dad never sell that house. It would feel like the final nail in the coffin of the life I had and who I was... am I getting too deep for blogger now? It just came on the radio then and I got a lil emotional. lol Just sharing. :)

Baby Brainstorming

I think I've had the Baby Moment. Shock and awe! I know, me. I think because I've been spending so much time with everyone elses babies lately...whoever said they aren't contagious LIED. Because I've definitely been clucky lately (as the aussies say.) I've decided I don't want to wait as long as I did before, even if there's no pitter patter of feet in the near future. I was thinking about it and the reason I got so freaked out by the idea of having more than 1 baby was because the idea of 2 small children was overwhelming. But I really like the idea of having about a 5 year gap so the oldest is in school most days and I'll have a lot of time to spend one-on-one with the youngest. I think I could manage that. That plan would be nicer if If I'm 25/26 for #1 and 30/31 for #2. Also, if we have any trouble conceiving, it would be REALLY convenient to find that out before my biological clock starts ticking on me to boot which is another good reason to start trying in 18-24 months from now instead of 5 years.

All of that said, logically speaking, it's not the logical time to have a baby. So we'll wait. And (I think) I'm okay with that. At the end of day we'll have to look at finances at that stage and see if we can afford to have a beebs. I know they are expensive! We'd need to have at least an extra $1000/month for a baby. We have about that now, but the only way to have that much excess comfortably is to be 100% debt free which would give us an extra 250/wk wiggle room.

Okay, would a baby effect our ability to purchase a home? It would push that back a few years, but how many years? We could afford to do both straight away, but after all the necessities there would be little to no room for any extras. I don't want to be living paycheck to paycheck...but Chris would really like to try to move up in the company and won't be in a position to have the level of promotion he'd like for another 6-10 years anyways. If we have a baby we get to move into a bigger house too. As Chris climbs his way up the ladder, we get nicer houses as well. Houses we only have to pay $50 a week to live in... so maybe having a little beebs before we have to pay a mortgage is a good idea? I don't know. It's so much to consider.

Okay, so what about me? What about getting an apprenticeship? Getting a degree? I don't know. The apprenticeship is only for 3 years, but I don't even have one yet. If I don't have an apprenticeship by October (they usually come up in September) I'm going to take it as an official door closed. I'm not going to spend life waiting around for something to happen. I can't really afford a degree right now without any financial aid, and won't be able to for 2 more years when the aid is available to me so I definitely won't be sitting around for that either. Apprenticeships, Degrees, babies, all of it will happen on God's time and I'm having full faith that all that timing will reveal itself without me needing to micromanage it any longer. So I'm just going to continue following the path that is laid out in front of me wherever it happens to lead, even if it's nowhere close to the plan I've created for myself, and trust that path laid in front of me is God's path. :) Faith is awesome that way.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don't know what to blog about really! Let's see

I had some drama-rama the likes of which I haven't seen since I was 17. That was pretty damn annoying, for lack of a better descriptor. The pettiness and short-sightedness just boggles the mind. Really, it boggles. But whatever. Since I'm not 17, I don't have the energy or patience or emotion to waste trying to grovel with someone who I'm so obviously better off without so I'm just going to brush my shoulders off and move forward. :) I think I officially have an enemy or something now and it's a small town so I'll have to see them around...that's awkward. And even more annoying. UGH. I need a better word for "annoyed." Exasperated? Beleaguered?


We're going to New Zealand with Ashleigh (who has been renamed "Shlee" ;) ) and Turtle next year! Dunno if I've already shared that....But it's really happening. :) Beef is definitely coming too and I think maaaybe Tippet? Maybe? Or was it Jono? I don't know. Maybe Tim and Lizzy too. Kara seriously talked about saving to come, but hasn't talked about it since so who knows. Regardless, it's going to be a blast! I've never been skiing, so I'm excited. I'd also love to do a wine tour and maybe get a proper massage. If I'm at the level of fitness I want to be then, it'd also be great to go hiking or bike-riding...then again it might be too cold. Chris wants to go sky-dyving and bungee jumping which I am NOT interested in, but Beef is going to do it with him so I don't mind. We've also never taken a week long vacation like this before either, usually just little mini-trips to Brisbane so it should be really great :) I was getting a little teary thinking that I'm going to have my first hot Christmas this year, so I'm excited that I'll at least get to have a good cold and snowy holiday 7 months later. If I've already talked about New Zealand ( I think I have) I'm SORRY. I'm just excited. :P

My french cooking is still going really well. The house is no longer spotless, but it's still at a place that I could just do a quick 1 hr tidy-up and have it spotless again so at least there's that.

I'm going to start planning our garden for the spring. Next month is when we'd start planting so we have to start preparing now. We're going to put a gazebo on that 3mX3m block of concrete in the backyard where I *think* a shed must have stood at some point. This is my inspiration:

Of course it will be a cheapo version of that and, since I don't have nice furniture like that, REALLY cheapo version.... but once I put my twinkle lights up inside it and our table and chairs underneath it and put a path of pavers leading to it it should be really nice. :) I wish we could afford a Bali hut:

But they're like, $3000. lol Not happening. It's not really my style besides...but they just look so cool! The whole Polynesian trend is HUGE in Australia so it's always neat to see someone who's built one. :)

Also, I'm reading Oprah's biography. It's unauthorized by Oprah, but most of the stuff in it is pretty believable. Apparently she's a big fat liar and manipulator. Interesting. I got it for 50% off at B&N when I was in Texas, so I'm surprised it's been as good as it is. I'm not very far into it yet though, so we'll see.

I've been spending time with Elisha, a girl I met at the AOG church a couple years back, and I really like her! It's good because she's as needy as me when it comes to friendships so I don't have to worry about annoying her by being too clingy or texting too much or paying too much attention. I love that! She's the first fashionista I've met in Moranbah as well, she loves a lot of the same styles as me. Loves Gossip Girl. lol She has two little babies, but I'm starting to figure out how to be around kids now. She's older than me, but I'm not sure how much. I think she might be 28? Dunno. I love meeting people that I can unashamedly be 100% myself around without fear of judgement or jeering. Awesome. :)

We found out Petra's been escaping by pushing open the louvres (we'd mistakenly left unlocked) so she could look out the window. Only when she walked through the louvre vent, it would close behind her and she'd get stuck. So she pushed the screen out of the window to escape, and ended up outside. So sad! She would have fallen into the bushes once she pushed through. :( Poor kitten! Though I think she spent all day trying to figure out how to get back into the house rather than exploring, so at least there's that.

Tim and Lizzy's housewarming party is on Saturday this weekend. It should be good to catch up with everyone. :) I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Got my nails done!

I'm in love with gel nails. If you haven't tried them before, you should because I am ADDICTED. If you don't know what they are, the nail artist paints the gel on just like nail polish only it has to be cured under a UV lamp for 2 minutes between layers so it takes about 2 hrs for a manicure instead of 1. But, when you're finished, you have the most perfect manicure of your life and it lasts 3 weeks before you have to get the cuticles filled. 3 weeks after that you get them soaked off/filed down and start again!

I don't have a photo of my nails, but my inspiration was this photo:

She did a great job, mine look *exactly* like that and I love it! The best part is that once you leave the salon your nails are 100% dry so you can't dent the polish (cause it's not polish) and they also make your nails SO strong. If you have trouble growing your nails because they tend to peel or break off, try gel nails! They actually make your nail healthier and they don't have to do any of that grinding down on your nail bed like with acrylic. If you like the french-tip look they can do that for you too and it looks just as good as acrylic without all the damage.

I'm an official convert. :)

I'm holding out.

This was one of the busiest weeks I've had to date since I moved here and I'm LOVING it! I'm a very social person, so I'm just thriving on all the attention I've gotten lately. :) I've been booked up every single night this week and even got to spend a whole day in Sarina with Ashleigh which was SO refreshing. It's so nice to be able to spend time with someone who you can say anything to, even if it's politically incorrect or might make you vulnerable, someone who accepts you as you are....I love that. :) Some of my newer friends in Moranbah can make me feel embarrassed about my opinions or choices sometimes and it makes me feel so free with Ashleigh. I don't have to think, we just hang out and it's easy. And I LOVE her baby Ezra. I think she's my adopted niece, officially. I freaked out the other day because I realized that she's not going to stay a baby forever. I know it should be obvious and it is....but it still is mind boggling that one day soon she'll be speaking to me. And that in 10 years time, which seems like such a short time to me, she's going to be in 5th grade....I think I realized how quickly childhood passes and that scares me. Part of me just wants to freeze her as she is now, so precious and innocent and the whole world is new and exciting to her....but I'm also really excited to see her grow up. I feel so much love for Ezra and she's not even mine, not even blood, so I can't fathom the love Ashleigh must feel for her or what it will feel like when I have my own.

I've felt really happy and fulfilled this week. :) Maybe because my social needs as an extrovert have been met and even exceeded....I don't know. I didn't realize how much I thrive on social interaction, but I feel more alive and motivated this week than I have since I was visiting fam. in Texas so I think I need to start making more dates with people!

I have to be honest about something. I am 100% happy with my life the way it is. I like my freedom and that, you know, if I want to drive out to Sarina for 2 days in the middle of the week I can and that I can go to the gym every day and cook a new recipe for dinner every night and cuddle my kittens and read a book and watch a movie any time I want to...I like my life this way. I've felt pressured by some people to find a job, any job, straight away and I confused that pressure as something I wanted....but it's just confusion. I would LOVE a hairdressing apprenticeship, so I am holding out for that. Period. I don't want to find a random full-time job doing something I hate and adding stress to my life and filling my days with work that leads to no end goal. I wouldn't mind doing some casual work here or there...but I'm not going to hunt down a full time job just because it's what people expect of me or think is best for me or something. I've decided. So, I've given up on admin. work, officially. I'm just not cut out for it. The job description says things like "must have high numeracy skills (ha!) exceptional time management and organization. (ha and HAAA!)" and the list goes on. It describes a person opposite to myself....I get anxiety just thinking about it. *YES* the money is unbelievable...but we don't actually need all that money. We can afford for me to hold out for hairdressing. I'm also just starting to find my groove and happiness in Moranbah and I really don't want to mess that up by throwing a fast-paced desk job into the mix. Maybe this all sounds really spoiled...I don't know. It is a privilege to be able to hold out for something I love. But Chris said that there's already one person in the house doing something they hate for the money and he doesn't do that just so I can go off and do the same thing and be miserable... So I'm holding out. :)

The house is still relatively clean, after a whole WEEK of us living in it too. Surprised? So am I. ;) I even had Mel and Hayley over for dinner tonight just in case this is the only time our house is clean enough to entertain. I should take pictures. LOL

I love y'all! Sorry this isn't a more in depth update, but I'm sleepy and have to go to bed.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekend Update Jul. 24

Okay, so it's only saturday which is a little early for a weekend update, but what can I say?

This was a great week! I got a new cookbook in the airport last weekend called "The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook" by the author of that book French Women Don't Get Fat, have you heard of that book? She was on Oprah. You can google it. lol Anyways, the recipes are really simple to cook and are so different from anything I ever make and are also, apparantly, healthy for you! My goal for the week was to cook dinner every single night and I have succeeded with the help of this book! The theory behind the whole French Women Don't Get Fat thing is that you should ask do I need or do I want the next bite. It's like shopping: do I want or need the new shoes? So many of us just buy the shoes either way, but if you can't afford them, you're more likely to not buy the shoes, right? Well I've tried to apply that to eating. If I am eating just because the food is there and not because I'm hungry I tell myself I can't afford to take that next bite, it costs too much (i.e. my health because I am obese and have a family history of diabetes.) And it's working so far! I've also been in the gym at least twice a week and so far I've lost 15 lbs since a month ago. This only puts me back at where I was in oh, say, April. But progress is progress. :)


This is Melanie, or Mel:

This is Hayley:

They are my new friends I keep talking about! Hayley is a 5th grade teacher and just moved here from Brisbane. She has had trouble adjusting to Moranbah life after living in the city too, so it's been nice to have that in common with someone. Mel just got a new job as an admin assistant with a company here in town. She is born and raised in Moranbah and actually went to elementary school with Chris even though he doesn't remember. lol They are both good friends. Mel has been going to the gym with me and we started a Zumba class together this week. It's HARD but fun! It reminds me of when we used to go to those drill team workshops at the high school as kids....I'm not in the shape I used to be though, that's for sure! Maybe I'll actually be able to salsa dance after all this though. I've been trying for years and just look silly....something about the hip swirling just doesn't compute to me. lol Anyways.

After Chris and I had dinner last night, we went up to the pub with Hayley and her friend Amanda. Chris has NEVER been to the pub with me so this was quite exciting! I think he was nervous because I do look at him with rose-colored glasses and have a tendancy to dote...and he was afraid no one could live up to this. Except for that he IS all that I say he is and more! Everyone loved him of course and I even overheard some friends (when they thought I wasn't around) saying they didn't think guys that great existed and how cute he is and I just beamed and beamed and feel so lucky. Can you tell I am in love? hehehe I think there are other nice guys out there for my friends too, I just don't think they're going to find them at the Black Nugget at 10pm on a Friday night. I'm just sayin!

I was thinking about leading a speed dating group once a month or something...there is just NO WHERE for any of the nice single girls to meet the nice single guys except through mutual friends and it's just not possible for everyone to know everyone else like that.... I don't know if anyone would go, but there's needs to be something. Some kind of mixer or something. I don't know!! Ideas anyone?? I feel like mine are cheesy. lol

Tonight I am going over to Mel's place to watch a movie and have a girls night with Hayley. It should be nice. :) I think Chris will appreciate the time to play a PC game or two while I'm away as well! :P I gotta be ready to go in about an hour though (which if you know me is pushing it!) so this is all I got for now.

I hope all of y'all are well and that this was a good update for everyone!

Our weekend away

So much to talk about, so little time!

So, Brisbane was pretty much one of our best visits ever. I don't know if it's because it's been a full year since our last stay there or if it's because it's been so long since we took a romantic weekend but it was just a really special time. The Wintergarden (shopping centre adjacent to the Hilton) on Queen St. is undergoing a lot of renovations at the moment, so that kind of forced us to get out of our comfort zone and walk further than we usually do. There's lots of new shops and things going in everywhere you look, it's really exciting!

On Friday we were lucky enough to have our luggage be the first off the carousel giving us just enough time to SPRINT to the train ticket stand and be on our way with one blinking minute to spare as the green sign so kindly reminded us. I was not going to sit on that platform for 30 minutes in the freezing cold! This worked out well because we were able to check into the hotel by about 9am and go straight to Coffee Club. They make a better Flat White than anyone anywhere, hands down! Then we proceeded to partake in one of our very favorite pastimes: people watching. :) We like to make up stories about the people as they pass. And 9am is one of the very best times because you get to see all the people commuting to work. I must say, everyone in Brisbane is much thinner on average than anywhere else we've been. It must be all that walking! Perhaps if we were looking at the people who drove to work they would be significantly softer. Perhaps. ;)

After Coffee Club, I'm not quite sure what we did with all our time. Mostly just browsing shops while Chris trailed behind me I think....but before we knew it it was noon and time to start heading to ARIA for lunch. But we were le-tired and decided to order room service and have a nap instead. lol It was my first steak in months and it was everything I'd dreamt it would be. The nap was nice too :) From there we proceeded to trek to Spring Hill for our appointment with our photographer and boy is Brisbane hilly! They don't call it Spring Hill for nuthin! My calves were screaming in protest, my forehead was glistening and I was a bit huffed and puffed by the time we got to the studio. And the secret of all the thin ones in Brisbane is revealed: hills. I am decidedly out of shape, but that is quite beside the point isn't it? :P

We spent the next 3 hours poring over 900 pictures and were, somehow, meant to narrow them down to less than 200. It was a really special time for us though. It was different being able to look at the photos in real size without a watermark and some that we'd completely looked over before became real gems in our eyes. One of the most special moments for me was at the reception as I was dancing with Daddy and seeing the way he looked at me. That one's going in a frame! We hired Marcus 1st and foremost because of his unbelievable ability to work the landscape around you into the shot in ways you'd never imagined and some of the shots just took our breath away! These are our top 3 shots:

He loves:

I love:

We love:

After our appt. with Marcus, it was almost time for pre-dinner drinks and canapes which are free in the executive lounge of the Hilton when you are in an executive level room. So I got my party dress on and we had a couple beers and tried all kinds of different canapes...only to find an hour later that we were both stuffed on canapes and didn't need dinner after all! So we went downstairs for the ceremonious overpriced cocktail in the lounge and found that they have DISCO'D my favorite cocktail. :( In all the years we've been going to the Hilton, I've gotten the same thing and now they don't even put it on the menu?? Sad day. Ah well. We had drinks until about 9pm and planned on going upstairs and ordering room service and maybe watching a movie...but next thing I knew it was 4am and I was in bed, fully clothed, shoes and all. Chris was much the same next to me. HA! You'd think we were seniors.

Saturday we had the breakfast buffet downstairs and it was SO nice. Gourmet chef doing omelets made-to-order in the middle of the restaurant, every fruit, muffin and danish you can imagine. Fresh barista brewed coffee any way you like it! It was the nicest breakfast we'd had in a long time. We were happy chappies. :) After breakfast we walked to the Myer center. There I found out that there actually IS quite a good selection of nice fashionable plus-size clothes designs for women in Australia, just not in Mackay! (I'll remind you "plus-size" in Oz is anything over a US size 10.) But Myer is coming to Mackay, they're building it as we speak, so I could be in luck after all. :) Okay, I am seriously digressing from the point of our trip to Myer: TWILIGHT ECLIPSE! woooo! I even bought a sparkly ring from this new accessories shop in the Myer center that's two wolf heads. It's prettier than it sounds and does NOT look like two llamas as my friend Hayley keeps insisting. It's my Wolf Pack ring, in honor of our trip to see Eclipse. :) It was so good! I only read the book once like 2 years ago now so there was some stuff I'd forgotten about and of course there wasn't enough fight scenes for Chris but we both agreed it was one of the best movies we've seen all year. Maybe if I was more of a "twihard" or whatever I could complain about it, but I just thought it was great. :)

That night we had dinner at a place called Gusto da Gianni, because I was craving GOOD pizza and had looked at reviews online that said this isn't the best in Brisbane but is still worth checking out. (pizza is my favorite food in case you didn't already know.) We had so much fun! I don't know what it was, it felt like it did when we were dating again when everything is new and fresh and exciting. We laughed through the whole meal and shared stories we never had, even though we thought we knew everything there was to know about each other. We went back to the Hilton and had a few cocktails in the lounge (yes there's lots of alcohol in our weekend away, what can we say? :P) and there were a bunch of beebs there for their "formal" which, from what I can gather, is like the Aussie version of a prom. It was so precious!

We had another early night and were in bed before 10pm but still slept in until 8 the next day which was nice, and had a quick breakfast in the exec. lounge before heading back to the airport.

Last weekend was so good for our marriage! I don't know what it was, it's not like we were having problems or anything before, we're both still very much in love and that's never wavered...but it's like last weekend put a bit of that uninhibited infatuation back into our marriage and it feels like the honeymoon phase all over again and it's really nice. :) Even though it was an expensive time away, I think it was worth every penny when it brings us this much closer. I'd recommend it to anyone. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hey you, with the face!

It's been a while! I'd be lying if I said I've been so busy I couldn't update, it's more that nothing of consequence has really happened until lately so now I am updating!

We are leaving for Mackay tonight and fly out to Brisbane in the morning. Woo! We're creatures of habit, so you won't be surprised that we're staying in the Hilton on Queen St as per usual and don't have any real plans other than to finally choose our photos for our wedding album and have a look at the video footage they took. That should be really special, I'm going to wear waterproof mascara!!! hahaha Our only other goal is to see Eclipse (Chris actually really likes Twilight btw, I think he has a man crush on Jacob and laments often why anyone would choose someone so pale and skinny over a ripped werewolf. ha!) and that new action movie Knight and Day. We're seeing them in Brisbane instead of Mackay because Mackay cinemas are, frankly, shit. For lack of a better word. They just are. :P I'm going to try and find a theater in Brisbane with digital projection too so it should be great! Other than that we plan to take full advantage of the executive lounge at the hilton with their free breakfast and pre-dinner drinks and canapes and maybe have dinner at South Bank. Dunno. We'll just play it by ear!

We went into Mackay yesterday because, and I don't want to freak anyone out, Chris needed to have a CAT scan. He's just been having headaches lately and they want to rule out everything, most likely there's nothing wrong with his brain.... It meant he got the day off though and we got to have breakfast at Coffee Club, my FAVORITE thing for breakfast, and a mug of yummy steamy frothy flat-white. You can't beat that. The most exciting thing that happened yesterday was that I finally found out, once and for all, what size I wear in Australia....drum roll pleaaase! 20!! And I'm not ashamed to say it. :):) Because I can actually walk into Jeanswest now and buy a pair of jeans. This is a first for me! I should note that this is a 20 misses and not a 20 womens (plus) which is also nice to know I can shop outside of a plus size store. Woot! Life will be a lot easier when I'm an AU 16 so that I can buy clothes most everywhere, but all things in good time. ;)

I'm getting my hair done today! We've been slowly slowly going more and more red, but it's still more of a dark auburn at the moment and I'm shooting for more of a light auburn a la Ashlee Simpson (haters keep hating, but I LOVE HER. so shutup. :P)

She's also wearing the Juicy Couture motorcycle hoodie jacket that many have copied but few have mastered. I covet it. Anyways. Ever since she went red, I've loved her color and have been working up the guts to go red too. I think I would have done it a long time ago but I have been every other color under the sun and I know, without a doubt, that I look best as a deep brown. End of story. So I tried to just be happy with brown....but I can't. I have to know what it feels like to be red. I've been just about every shade of black, brown, blonde and even platinum and I have to explore the red spectrum before I can go about my life normally again. Yes. It sounds crazy...but that's just me! Her hair is really light though, like a level 6 and I'm def a level 4 underneath even though I'm a level 5 on top so it's going to be a while before I can fully get there. I'm getting a little impatient. Where's one'n'only Colorfix when you need it??

OH! And, before I forget, we've booked the tickets and are def going to the Hillsong conference next year. I enter in with a healthy level of scepticism as there's still some things about that church that I just don't trust....but the conference should be good regardless and I'll bring a healthy grain of salt along with me just in case!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekend Update

I had a great weekend! I can't tell you what I did all weekend, I don't really remember....but yesterday was our ONE YEAR anniversary! Wooo! It was just a magical day, I don't know how to describe it felt a bit like Christmas when I first woke up. The house was FREEZING cold as we had a "cold snap" yesterday and it was 6 degrees Celsius when I woke up (about 43 degrees F) which is officially my coldest cold experience since I've been in Queensland. It just doesn't get very cold in Moranbah! lol But it was so nice...I think it felt like Christmas because I felt excited and the whole house smelled of coffee and bacon and we had the heater going so it was nice and was just nice! We had butter croissants stuffed with bacon for breakfast and then we listened to some music from our wedding day: Vitamin Quartet performing "I don't want to miss a thing" which was our processional, A. R. Rahman and the Pussycat Dolls performing "Jai Ho" which was our recessional and then Explosions in the Sky "Your Hand in Mine" which was our first dance song. It was pretty emotional actually, listening to the music, and we exchanged gifts then as well. Chris gave me 20 paper roses (1st anniversary gift is traditionally paper) on each of which he'd written one thing he loves about me (teary!) And then he'd also ordered a hand-made leather-bound journal from Italy that has yet to arrive (he printed a picture of it for me) on which I'm meant to catalog the next year of our life together since I love to journal. I gave Chris a 435 x 315mm rosewood photo album with 17 pages. I thought that we could have the first page be our wedding and the next 16 will be scrap-book pages summarizing our life together that year. So that's 16 years of marriage. :) I'd like to make a tradition of it. For example, this years would have a picture of our house, our kittens and our garden which catalogs what we've spent most of this year doing. Some pictures from Christmas in Texas too. :)

Just about everything in Moranbah is CLOSED Sunday evening, so we just went out for Chinese. It was yummy! We came back here and compiled a fruit and cheese platter for dessert and also cut into the top tier of our wedding cake. It was surprisingly delicious for being a year old in an ancient freezer down at the beach house! The frosting tasted a little freezer-ish but the cake itself was delicious. Yum yum yum! Chris's parent put together a gift bag full of paper gifts for us and came up with witty little sayings for each thing. For example baking paper so the bad things in life might roll off and a few scratch-off lottery tickets so we might keep dreaming. It was really sweet! Overall a really perfect day. :)

We're going down to Brisbane as our big thing to celebrate our anniversary. I'd wanted to go to the Whitsundays and chill at one of the resorts, but we decided that a more anniversary-ish thing to do would be to fly out and go into the studio to finally choose our wedding pictures so we can have our album and video put together. Finally. lol Should be nice! And I always love an excuse to stay at the Hilton besides. hehehe

On a completely different note, I lost 6 lbs last week. Woo! Probably just water weight for the most part, but I'm back in the 230's now so I'll take that. ;)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Moving Forward

I am in So. Much. Pain.


Why do I do this to myself? It's only been 2 months since my last workout and I'm officially back to sqaure one. I did Slim in 6 Tuesday morning and then a Tae Bo class that evening and now every part of my body aches! Tae Bo was like, an HOUR long and turned out to be a lot of identical moves to Slim in 6 so it really kicked my butt. I haven't been back to the gym yet, but I'm going to try to work out some of the pain with some cardio later. Maybe Chris and I can just go for a walk or something.... anyways. I'm dying. Nuff said.


I'm tackling the kitchen today. It's fairly disgusting. I don't know how Bean manages to coat EVERYTHING in hair because he is a short haired cat! But it's stuck to the cabinet doors, it floating in corners, it miraculously lands in my curry sauce. I'm done! First I'm going to shave off all of Bean's fur and then I'm wiping, vacuuming, and mopping every crevice of that kitchen until it shines. Okay, so maybe not the shaving part, but the rest is on my To Do for the day. I want to start perfecting the art of cooking good tofu and I can't do it in that kitchen the way it is right now!


I've been catching up with friends and it's been fun! No more restlessness. I still haven't met Karen's new baby, Isla, yet though so hopefully I'll see her soon. It's been so good to get out of the house every day and see smiling faces, old and new friends, and start to re-embrace Moranbah life.
It's always hard coming back into Moranbah after visiting my family in Texas. I'd come so far in accepting this town and it seems that every time I visit DFW I regress a bit, fully convincing myself that I hate and despise everything about rural Queensland. But, you know, that's not really true at all. I think the only thing I truly hate is how separated I am from friends in Mackay and, of course, family back in Texas. But I've also grown to love some things about Moranbah that you just can't duplicate anywhere else, so I will list them here in case I ever try to convince myself otherwise:

Horses near Moranbah by mcmahong.

- I love the peace here. Every day is full of constant bird songs and it's always quiet enough to hear it. There's no distant roar of traffic, trains blowing their horns, ambulance or police's just peaceful. The noisest noise I ever have to manage is children playing and, you know, I think I can get used to that too. This pic was taken off the highway on the way out of moranbah. It's not mine, but I think it captured the essence of this area beautifully. :)

- I love how so many women are stay-at-home moms. When I visted DFW I was taken aback for a moment when I realized that everyone would be working throughout every day and realized how spoiled I am that most of my friends here are available to go out for a coffee at 10am or to do lunch any given day, leaving the evenings for us to spend with our families. As much as I'd love a 9-5 job, I'd also miss being a part of that world where we can all just have morning tea on any given Tuesday, no worries.

- I love how you can go alone to the pub on a Friday night and know you'll run into at least a handful of people you know to have a drink or two with. No phone calls, no plans, and there's something so liberating about that. I know you might be able to duplicate that in the city if you frequent a certain bar often, but I don't think it's quite the same. People make fun of it so often, but I love the Moranbah Black Nugget in all it's understated overpriced glory. It's not a cocktail lounge by any means, but it's unapologetic simplicity is what I like about it. :) I also like that no one can smoke inside which is one of my pet peeves of bars in Fort Worth: you always leave with your freshly done hair and new shirt/dress/purse/jacket REEKING of smoke. I'll never be a fan of City pubs, (although The Flying Saucer in FW is digging a special place in my heart!)

- I love that there is NEVER traffic. I'd be willing to wager that I spent at least a cumulative 15-20 hours of my visit to DFW sitting in traffic. It reminded me how I was able to learn all the words to so many albums in the past and struggle to even know all the tracks on some of my favorites today, but I will NEVER miss wasting that much of my life sitting in a car. The Moranbah definition of "traffic" is having to wait more than 30 seconds to turn right onto Mills Ave. We don't have any traffic lights, and I think I've seen maybe 3 stop signs. Maybe. I love this. :)

- I love how approachable the people are. It seems like just about everyone is ready for a chat at any given time, whether you know them or not and that's a breath of fresh air. In DFW it seems that everyone is always in a hurry to get someplace or do something and no one in Moranbah has ever made me feel that way, friend or acquaintance or perfect stranger. That's nice!


SO in case any of you have ever had an earful of all the things I hate about Moranbah, please know that, in spite of my City-Mouse-in-the-country venting, there are some things I truly love here, even more things I like and a lot of things that are starting to grow on me. It's an adjustment, yes, but I think it's becoming Home too. :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back in Moranbah

I'm back in "the bah" as they say. heh. And I miss my family. :( ::sigh:: An extreme extrovert like myself really wasn't designed to sit alone in the house day-in and day-out though so I'm sure that's adding some insult to injury. I've just realized that all my teacher friends, if they've stayed in town, are off for school holidays though so hopefully I can catch up with some of them. I have made some plans to catch up with a couple friends throughout the week now so the rest of the week should be better than today.

I'm officially unpacked! This is actually a first for me. For example, I didn't fully unpack from my December trip to Texas until I started packing for the June trip. That's just me....sloppy sloppy. Anyways. I decided if I didn't do it today, I never would so I've unpacked and put everything in drawers and the dirty stuff into the laundry basket and feel a slight sense of accomplishment. Ta da! I cleaned something!

The next step is to tackle the mountain of laundry we've accumulated. Somewhat annoyingly, Chris refuses to launder any of my clothing for fear of ruining something. I've tried to explain that every garment has a care tag and you just have to read it to know how to wash no avail. Hopefully we'll overcome this in the near future because it's just silly to wash our clothes separately, but until then I do pretty much all the laundry and Chris just washes his work clothes every week. If you know me very well you know that this means that the laundry doesn't get done very often..... (please don't give me the "little here and there" lecture. I understand the logisitics, I just choose not to partake. ;) ) This leads to a MOUNTAIN of laundry whereby I end up washing just about every item of clothing we own (out of necessity, as we've run out of clean clothes.) Regardless of desperation, I continue to put off the mountain because, well, it's a mountain. And it's daunting. And smelly. And we don't have a dryer. So I have to hang up every single piddly sock and undergarment BY HAND. And hope it doesn't rain. Or that a bird won't shit on my favorite jeans. Ugh. Okay, I know, now I'm just complaining. Anyways....laundry is on the to do.

Also, the house is in a fairly scary level of disarray. I found a bowl of tapenade hiding under some old mail on the table that has definitely been sitting there for about a month. P.S. we also don't have a dishwasher. UGH. We're officially disgusting. So I have to clean the house this week too. I'm not interested, can't be bothered, but officially have to force myself because it's that gross. I don't think Chris has touched the toilet brush since I left either....oh boy.

So. How was my trip? Great! I did lots of catching up, drank lots of beer, ate Mexican food and drank iced tea almost every day, laughed more than should be allowed and did heaps of shopping on the side. It was the stuff dreams are made of! I wasn't ready to come home yet, but all good things must come to an end. Plus I missed our little bubble here in Moranbah with my beebs and my kittens. :)

The highlight of the trip was probably just a blip on the radar for everyone else, but it was just so easy that it made it special. I spent the whole day drinking my favorite beer by the pool with Laura who got inexplicably drunk after 2 beers and sun-burnt to an amusing degree, then we went to pint-night at The Flying Saucer where we drank even MORE good beer and had lots of laughs and all my favorite people were there and then Kara and I went to Braums, home of the best peanut brittle ever, and then met Kaitlyn and Kara's friends at Froggies where we monopolized the juke box and plunged even further into the beer fest. We ended the night with a song and dance at Red Goose with some dirty martinis and I tearfully showed pictures of my cats to everyone in the bar and then called it a night. An unassuming evening with good friends and good drinks but still, lands in my top 10 best days ever. :)

I could write forever, but I'll come back and say more later so you don't get too bored. ;)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Texas!

I made it in alive. :)

I LOVE an uneventful trip and this was the most uneventful trip ever. Not even a hiccup. On my flight from BNE to LAX I was only awake for the first 4 hours which honestly flies by because they feed you dinner and give you snacks and coffee and bottomless alcohol and you always find some new release movie to watch on the in-flight On Demand system...but at about the 3.5 hr mark I took a Doxylamine and conked out for a good 8 hrs. It wasn't a wakeless sleep, I'm not superhuman, but I had no trouble just conking out again for another 90 minutes if I felt it was too early. I remember waking up at the 6 hour mark and thinking "REALLY?!?! Barely halfway?? How is this possible?" So I just woke at about 90 minute intervals until I felt like I could entertain myself for the rest of the flight. I also slept all the way from LAX to DFW with no problems so it really was the most perfect trip. Not even a screaming baby to speak of. :):):)

I had the ceremonious Chipotle trip within an hour of arriving and then conked out AGAIN after a very brave effort to stay up until 11! The next day I went shopping with mom and we had a bbq that night where Amelia came over and gave me a much needed dose of BFF lovin. Yesterday I went to church with Kara, visited Grandma and Grandad, got a bra fitting at VS and found out I'm 2 sizes bigger than I thought (yay!) to end the night meeting Kara's new love interest and good friend Cara over an authentic Italian pizza Kara's L.I. made (YUM!) and a glass of wine. It's been the best weekend I've had in AGES.

I've lived in Oz long enough to be able to make a few distinct cultural judgements at this point, the most obvious of which is just how Self Important everyone is over here. It's disgusting and infuriating! I think this ties back to my previous comments on the overall passive demeanor of Australians as a whole, and so maybe that's rubbed off on me and you should correct me if I'm wrong here...but doesn't every American's "EXCUSE ME" sound an awful lot more like "How DARE you delay me those 5 seconds you chose to stand in front of me, if you would PLEASE get OUT OF MY WAY I'm very important and very busy and nothing you could be doing is possibly more important than me and my life." Because that's what it sounds like to me. Also, the road agression is just disgusting. CALM DOWN PEOPLE. Good for you, you just shaved 5 minutes off your commute by going 15 over the speed limit.

That said, the sales people in the stores here always manage to leave all their self-importance at the door and become almost like wag-tailed puppies eager to help at every step of your browsing journey which is about the opposite of the self-important shop keepers in Mackay....

I hate the heat, I'm melting all the time, but I love the company and am having a great time. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gladiator shoes

I want some Gladiator sandals!

One of the annoying things about wearing a size 12 is that it takes a couple years for the latest trends to become available in a size 12. Lucky for me, this is the first season that LOTS of gladiator sandals are in my size! (this probably means they will go out of style next year, but what can I do...)

Here's some of my faves that come in a 12:

19.99 @ Torrid

19.99 @ Torrid

19.99 @ Avenue

$129.00 Sam Edelman

Of course I love the Sam Edelman shoes most because they're, oh, you know, only SIX TIMES more expensive than the others.

Some kinda zombie

I can't sleep. Bleh. It's almost 6am!

I'm leaving for Mackay tomorrow night so that leaves me 1.5 days to pack and tidy up so Chris isn't left with all the cleaning for our inspection in two weeks. This will be the first inspection where I'm not home and, since we only have one "outdoor only" cat on paper, finding somewhere for the kitties while Chris is at work could prove difficult. I don't know why, but they ALWAYS do inspections on a Tuesday. It'd be convenient if they would schedule them for a Monday so Chris could be there....and hide the kitties someplace. lol

In true Me fashion, I will probably not pack til tomorrow...but maybe I will today. I have so much to procrastinate for. lol For instance we don't have many clean I have to do those too. A mountain of them. I did make a list of everything I need to pack though, so that should make it easy enough. Since it's only 3 weeks I'm not bringing much. I've decided on 4 outfits 3 pairs of shoes (flats, sandals and running shoes) 2 sets of pjs and then my various toiletries. It doesn't sound like much, but I ALWAYS over-pack and ALWAYS end up leaving with more than I came with. So, the emptier the suitcase is on the way in the better it will be on the way out. I've had to buy another suitcase to fit all my crap in the last two visits and I'm determined not to do that again!

As far as my plans go for my visit are concerned, I don't really have any. I'm seeing Mumford and Son next Thursday and mom's going to Houston on business the 15-18 so I thought it'd be fun to go down with her on that, but other than that I plan on just hanging out and catching up with friends. The last time I visited home I wasn't really happy with my life here in m'bah yet; I couldn't drive and hadn't made many friends which made for an all around boring existance. Since I've been driving and going out on the weekends I've felt so much more relaxed and happy. And even now that we have Petra, it's so much fun to play with her and watch her and Bean do somersalts across the house. I think that this will keep me from feeling like I have to "live it up," so to speak, like my last visit to DFW because I already feel fairly content with everything I have and the way things are. I'll want to cook and eat a lot of Mexican while I can, lol that's definitely not going to change...but I don't plan on going out every night or going to a different restaurant for every meal or going shopping every day. Number one: we really can't afford it. Number two: I really can't afford to gain another 10 lbs. Number three: I don't feel that desire to. I'm content. :)

Don't get me wrong, I do want to do *some* shopping. ;) I really want to check out Torrid in person and try on the shoes in my size and their clothes so I can figure out how everything fits for future reference and orders and what not. I'm also trying to combat all the excuses I make for not working out and one of the big ones is that I don't have any workout clothes that fit (truly, the last time I really bought athleticwear was in 2003 for marching band) so I plan on going to Old Navy and buying enough outfits in the right colors that I can have an outfit to wear every day and only wash all of our workout stuff once a week. I know ON has men's athletic shorts, nice ones, for only $5 so I'll just wear those and get some t shirts too. It doesn't have to be cute, just functional!

I've still got my food list of things I have to eat:

#1 is a Chipotle burrito. Always my first meal off the plane and I don't plan on that changing! I seriously crave this at least 4 or 5 times a week. No surprise since I eat it at least once a week when I'm home...hopefully it's not a daily thing though because those buggers are like 1500 calories. lol
#2 is a regular Whatburger with cheese and jalapenos! Gahhh they just don't make burgers the way I like 'em here and my mouth is watering for it!
#3 is McDonalds breakfast burritos. I want to eat ten of them.
#4 is STARBUCKS!! I always get this in the airport, but I have to put it down anyway.
#5 is a slice of New York style pepperoni pizza. mmmm

That's all this time! Are you proud? Last time the list was like 50 things. I think I'm officially acclimating. :) I've learned to cook a lot of the things I used to miss and can finally make a really mean margarita on my own so that's probably helped. The things on that list (well, maybe Starbucks) I will never be able to replicate though so I still crave them all the time.

More than the shopping and the food I am looking forward to spending time with my family! I was talking to mom and dad earlier and I'm going to try and cook for everyone as much as I can so we can sit down and have family meals instead of going out all the time. Should be nice. :)

I'm just pondering things...I don't really have anything to talk about other than that stuff so I'll go try and sleep now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Old Photos

I uploaded a whole bunch of old photos from 2008 and only took me two years to do it. As I was uploading I realized the extreme measures I go to avoid packing.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The hunt is over!!

If you remember my previous post I've been struggling with the Australian aesthetic when it comes to making a house a home. To recap, the typical (i.e. easy to find) style here is ultra-modern modular type furniture and that's just not my style! To add insult to injury, everything is very very expensive compared to what I'd be prepared to pay for something similar in Texas and it made finding the perfect couch a very painful undertaking indeed.

So, it is with more than extreme excitement when I inform you that THE HUNT IS OVER!!

We were at the markets today and I was lamenting, yet again, how we don't have a couch yet after hearing of the steal someone got at Lifeline (thrift store) on a really nice lounge set. Then they told me that the family who owned a popular local corner store has sold up for a cool $1.5 mil. so they're selling everything they can at a garage sale this weekend and moving to Townsville. They mentioned that there was a huge chocolate brown (EEEK! the color I want!) lounge for $800. We promptly abandoned the markets and drove straight to the garage sale hoping against hope it was still there.

When we pulled up, we had every intention of trying to talk them down to $500; after all, they'd been at it since Friday arve and still hadn't sold the thing and we'd hoped we could score a deal. We also hoped there wasn't something horribly wrong with it! When I sat down on it, I was blown away by how soft and perfectly squishy it was. I was also blown away that it wasn't micro-suede after all but genuine suede leather. And, even though it's more modern that what I would pay full-price for, I feel like it's the happy medium between the modular and La-Z-Boy style extremes I'd seen in all the stores and people's homes. It's a silky soft over-stuffed masterpeice made all the better by the fact that it's mine. :) On top of THAT, two overstuffed arm-chairs were included in the price! (As a reference, you'd pay at least $4000 for a similar set in stores, no exaggeration.) We were sold right on the spot and I giggled and clapped all the way home!

We came into some difficulties after they delivered it to our house and realized perhaps why it hadn't sold yet....others who posessed greater forsight than with which we were blessed had most probably measured the couch ahead of time and learned how truly enormous it is and that it simply would not fit through their doorway no matter how amazing it is. We sure learned that the hard way! We ended up having to lift it through the window.

Now, pushing it through the window probably sounds pretty simple to those of you who live in your average home where the base of the windows are all but 6 inches from the ground...however, we live in what's known around these parts as a "low set" which means our floor is a good 4-4.5 feet off the ground. On top of that, the base of all our windows are fitted with louvers meaning that the base of the actual window itself is a good 7-7.5 ft from the ground. We (and by we I mean Chris) had to lift this couch 7.5 ft off the ground, over his head and through the window. First he took the window completely out of the pane which I thought was pretty cool and then lifted the whole fricken couch over his head (it's huge y'all, it's at least 200 lbs) while I guided it into the house from upstairs. The couch was 34 inches wide and the window was 34.5" so it was a pretty tight squeeze to boot.... talk about team building!

Here is Petra checking out one of the chairs for the first time. :) (btw, I glued her first set of claw covers on in honor of her trying to scratch the couch and learned she is WAY patient with them which is super exciting for us!)

The chairs themselves are humongous. Each one is about equal to half of the couch, which is also humongous, and our house is pretty small as far as houses we have a space issue. The solution is to move the tv and entertainment center (you won't understand the details of where unless you've been in our house so I'll skip 'em for you ;) ) but that raises the issue of the satellite cable being too short to reach where I want to move the we gotta find a longer cable. So, for the moment, our living room is very crowded and off-balance until we get that cable....but I still love it. Our house feels SO much more homey now, for the first time.

I've noticed a few signs of wear on the couch that I didn't notice before, like a few spots where the suede has gone shiny I guess due to friction or oils from people's hands. This is only on the seams of the arm-rests of the chairs though, the rest of it is perfect! I googled it and it looks like you can bring the nap back up on suede with a special I'll need to get one of those. I can't BELIEVE we have a leather couch. SQUUUEEEEEE!!!!!

In closing, this is what our $800 could have bought us at the cheapest shop in town:

Not bad, but not leather, a fraction of the size and no way could it be this soooooft! I want to live in my couch. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Almost there!

I have a sore throat. :( Ow. I don't know if it's just dried out from having the space heater on all night or if I'm actually sick, but it doesn't feel nice. It was only my left side when I woke up this morning and now it's both sides. Boooo!

I am coming to DFW in 10 days...last I checked it was 50 something, so time really does fly! I should probably unpack from January if I'm going to have to re-pack again in a few days. (yes I haven't unpacked. my suitcases are still spilling clothes....) This is going to be the first trip in a long time with NO visa or passport worries or dramas. I'm already good to go! I know exactly where my Passport is and all my domestic flights are booked! I totally forgot to book from Mackay to Brisbane last time and had to do it the day before....the only open seats were business class. Needless to say it was a REALLY expensive mistake that I thankfully haven't repeated. :) Hopefully the travel this time of year will be a bit of a non-event.... It doesn't really feel like I'm leaving yet, even though it's next week. I'm excited!


I haven't made a fashion post in a while, so I just have to dote on Australian fashion for a minute. It is so COOL. Well, most of it anyways. ;) Australian designers seem to take a lot more risks when it comes to translating runway trends into the ready-to-wear market. For instance, big shoulders are back in a big an Australian ready-to-wear designer might but out a top with a puffed shoulder and call it a day. The Australian designer creates a structured top with a stiff angular shoulder mirroring the couture that inspired it.... more risky, but because everyone here jumps on the trend bandwagon like there's no tomorrow, it works. Granted, none of the cool stuff comes in my size at the moment as most labels only go up to an AU 14 (US 8/10) but I'd like to share some of the labels with you anyways. Just because they deserve it. ;) I love all the embellishments; fashion here is dripping with studs, sequins, beads and rhinestones. I LOVE it! Some of it is SO 80's it's almost funny, but I actually like the shoulder pad look. Laugh if you must because I know it's a trend that will be awesomely bad in good time...but for now it's cool. Here's some eye candy. :)




I love all those embellishments! If you see anything similar that comes in bigger sizes, point me that way. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010


I'm sorry this is so long, I just had a lot on my mind and it ended up taking up a lot of space!

For anyone who doesn't know, I have ADD. I was diagnosed at 17 and I remember the immense amount of relief I felt when I found out...I would get so frustrated before that I just couldn't seem to remember the simplest things. I was constantly losing things and had several very expensive belongings stolen after forgetting to lock my locker or leaving them behind on a bench. I felt broken; it was infuriating and exhausting. I was on medication for a year or so, but gave up on it after I graduated because it made me feel so sick all the time. For me it was enough to just know that there was a reason for my chronic scatterbrain, I wasn't just chronically lazy after all, and I moved on from there.

It's 5 years later and I haven't thought much about it since then...until now. I knew that ADHD affected my schoolwork, but didn't think I had to worry much about it now that I'm out of school. Out of curiousity, I googled the symptoms again today. I heard that some people outgrow it so I was just curious if I had many symptoms now...only, when I read the checklist, it was like the story of my life currently. I realized today that ADD is still affecting my life, and severly so. It's really affecting my relationships in a negative way due to my apparant inability to remember plans, remember to charge my phone or check my messages, my chronic procastination...just all of it. I also realized that the reason Chris and I don't have any problems because of my ADD is because he most definately has it too. Because of this our home is in a constant state of chaos. Everything is always a mess, both of us have a lot of trouble remembering important appointments and, if it wasn't for automatic online bill pay, we'd probably be in a lot of trouble on that front as well.

Even though, with the help of journaling and my amazing mother to bounce thoughts off of, I've come up with a lot of tools over the years to overcome the extent to which ADD affects my life. One of the biggest things that helped organization and time-management-wise was having a routine, and a familiarity with my surroundings. Even if my room appeared to be chaos, I still knew exactly where most things were because I had my own system. I knew exactly how long it took to drive most places, especially work-places, and had my morning routine down to a science. My friends and family understood and accepted me in all my scatteredness and of course living with mom meant that, when it came to the really serious stuff, I'd never forget and always be on time.

But here I am. I'm in my first house and so the mess is no longer confined to my bedroom. It's everywhere. Worse is that we feel the need to keep up an appearance of normalcy when guests visit so we throw most of the mess in the front of the house into boxes in the study, everything in the guest room or on the bathroom counter gets shoved into drawers and all incoming mail gets thrown wherever is most convenient at the moment before being lost forever at the bottom of a box of junk when someone comes to visit. This rotating mess means we never know where anything is and is where "organized chaos" just becomes chaos. I don't have my mom to remind me of important engagements anymore. I bought a PDA which helped for a while....if only I could remember to charge it. ;) I don't know how long it takes to get anywhere which makes me rely on Chris whose time-management is even worse than we are always at least 15 minutes late to absolutely everything. Or worse we think it's from 9:30-10:30 when it's from 9-10 so we end up showing up in the last 15 minutes...I procrastinate painfully, about stupid things. Like grocery shopping. Or watering the plants. My library books are 6 months overdue. And most of the time, I don't remember those "stupid things" at all...which leaves me in a constant state of "d'oh!" if you get my meaning. I even procrastinate blogging. All of it has escalated to an embarrassing extent.

I get so embarrassed that I forgot to return this friend's book I borrowed 3 months ago, or to return that friend's call/text/email or worse get the dreaded "where are you?" text alerting me that I forgot to set an alarm (or forgot them altogether) when I'm still in bed. I am mortified that we are completely incapable, no matter how early we start, of being on time to anything EVER. I feel so irresponsible. On top of that, I can speak REALLY impulsively and even though I would NEVER say anything I couldn't handle someone saying to me, this impulsiveness disallows me to consider how the person I'm speaking to might handle what I've said and not everyone shares my perception, you know? On the way home from every single social engagement, I have at least one--if not five-- impulsive statement(s) to dwell on that make me cringe. Have I no discretion? No control? I wonder how long it is before my friends lose patience with me.

I found this website that was really reassuring for me. One of the things I REALLY appreciated was the "Myths/Facts" section:
I feel SO much better, because I kind of believed in some of those myths. Especially the part about a lack of willpower. I still feel SO frustrated with myself that if I *really* wanted to, I could focus on anything and remember things. I also felt a bit self-conscious even mentioning ADD to people because a lot of people don't believe in it and do say things like "doesn't everyone? ::chuckle::" So yeah, I guess a lot of people do have some ADD symptoms, but my life and my relationships are strongly affected by mine and always have been.

I know that the only way to overcome this is to organize my life. I know that when I create and force structure, that things go really well. Keeping lists is one of my major tools, I have to write absolutely everything down if I don't want to forget. I wish they had a Container Store here or something similar because I think that, when it comes to the mess, if everything had its place, its label, its drawer, its caddy, I think we would stay so much more organized. Right now, and I am not exaggerating, only about 10 items of our clothing (nice things that we never wear) are hanging in the wardrobe and every other item of clothing is laying in a wad on a table or the floor. Every single thing. Organizing a mess is a physical tangible thing that I can do. But...I honestly don't know what to do about the forgetfulness, or the procrastination, or my propensity to start projects I never finish. I'm scared to go on medication again. I didn't like the side effects... that website has a lot of self-help resources though so I should try that. I'd love if we could bring in an ADD coach or personal organizer to help us get off on the right foot...but maybe, with diligance and more journaling I can manage this thing better on my own...

I worry that friends and acquaintances and my in-laws wouldn't understand or even accept ADD as a reason for our irresponsible habits, or would view it as a cop out for things full under our control. ::sigh:: Hopefully the resources I've found today will help it become more of a non-issue so we don't even have to bring it up.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


For all who were wondering about my symptoms, I'm NOT pregnant. (took a test and everything, just for momma.) But I think I might have PMDD. Just had to say. ;)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Recap


My weekend was good and bad. It was good because I got to go to a Body Shop party in Sarina and order nice smelly smellies and eat food and talk to Ash about life and love and the pursuit of happiness....but it was bad because I was supposed to go to the races FOR THE FIRST TIME on Saturday and was really excited about it....but I woke up feeling more exhausted than I had in years with a pounding headache and nausea....and I ended up sleeping in and missing out. :( It was for the best though, as I would have had a hard time making the drive home as early as I needed to (it's a 2.5 hr drive) and I would have been in the WORST mood. I felt ugly as I had the first two mega-zits I've had in over a YEAR (yes, no zits for a year. dunno what I did to deserve that!) and it was the first day of AF. (sorry guys, if any guys actually read this. heh.) It took me until today to recover...after 14 hours of straight sleep. But I'm feeling better, really. Not 100%, but better.

Chris downloaded a game for me called Blueberry Garden and I played a lot of that. I already finished it, but it was still fun even though it was short. It was like a beautiful work of art...I've never played a game like that. I loved it. :)

I've also been watching all 6 seasons of Sex and the City before the premier of SATC2 next weekend. I've seen probably half of the re-run episodes since I saw the movie back...well back whenver that was. lol I wanted to try and see the new movie next weekend...but I have to choose between that or the giant Sarina garage sale this coming Sunday because I can't miss 2 weeks of church...and I REALLY want a couch! I think my couch could be at this garage sale... Sarina has an annual sale every year where everyone has a sale on the same day. SO people pretty much save up all their stuff all year long and then they sign up to be put on a map and you just drive around and buy stuff. I really really want a couch. :( BUT Chris is leading worship at church that Sunday and I don't want to miss that either. Ugh. I don't know.... I'll figure something out.

In other news it was FREEZING cold yesterday! Okay, not 62. But with rain and wind! That's cold by m'bah standards. It's been kind of cold all week...I'm loving it! I'm not looking forward to the nasty weather that is Texas in June, but my fam. is worth it so I will enjoy the chilly while it lasts. :)

I have my last dentist appt. in Sarina at 10 am tomorrow. I really don't want to drive in there and then drive alllll the way back again! For those of you in DFW, it's like driving all the way to Waco (with some traffic) and back again just for a dentist appt....blehhh. That's why I was planning on just staying the weekend. But then I was going to come home again for the races.... on Saturday...but then I didn't even go to the races but had to go home anyways because I didn't bring any more clothes. haha! I could have stayed, but it didn't feel right to stay all that time at Ashleigh's without fair warning. Don't wanna overstay my welcome. ;) Maybe I'll just stay at the beach and come home Wednesday morning.... ::sigh:: that just seems stupid though. To spend an extra day there just because I don't feel like driving home. Ah well.


I was talking to Ashleigh on the weekend and she was telling me about the degree plan she's going after at CQU. It's Business Communications, and it looks like fun! I was going to get just a general communications degree, but Business Communications (maybe with a minor in HR?) would be general enough to not be stuck looking for any one specific position but, especially with a minor, specific enough to make sense to future employers. (So it's not like "why is an English major applying for an HR position?") I'm old enough now to have figured out that if I'm going to spend all this money on a degree it should be in something practical. When I was 18 and trying to decide on a major, it was more about "what interests me...I'll do that!" which a lot of friends of mine did as well and many of them struggled to find employment after school even with a full degree. I wasn't as interested in a general business degree, so I think this one might show more focus.

Communications was something that sounded like a lot of fun, but the career path was more limited. Business communications includes a lot of business related course work so that, even if I don't end up a communications coordinator, I could still be a good fit for other positions. I'd really love to go into the marketing if I can, and this degree is perfect for that. It would also come in really handy if Chris's show takes off, so that I could successfully be his manager. I've also always thought of opening my own business, and I think that this would give a good background to understand what I'm getting myself into and it wouldn't be hard to take a couple courses later on in business management if I decide to go that route.

I'm trying to be practical for once and just do something that will make money and get me employment in any town or city. I still want to do hairdressing, but I don't know how long it's going to be before I'll start an apprenticeship so I just need to get started doing something for myself in the mean time. I just want to move forward with my life, I'm tired of sitting around and doing NOTHING. bleh.

The dentist never called btw. SO I guess I don't have that job... Kind of why I decided I need to just get started with school. In order for this to work I have to stay focused. It'll be hard for me, but as long as I stay organized (don't laugh...I can be organized if I work my butt off :P) it should be alright.

Another more specific degree I'm looking at (that would make a LOT of money if we stayed in this region) is the "Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Human Resource Management)" It also looks really interesting. It's essentially a sociology degree with a few HR courses slapped on the I think I'd be a Sociology major with a minor in HR...if I'm understanding that correctly. I dunno. I like the looks of this degree better than the other, but I don't have Ashleigh to walk me through the course work on this one so I don't know if it's the right degree for what I want to do. I know HR managers and directors do REALLY well financially and sociology has always fascinated me. I already have 3 sociology courses from UNT so I'd have almost a full semester done if I go this route.'s all up in the air. I just need to talk to an advisor I think.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Perfect Fit

I was confronted with a strange thought the other day... the idea of moving back to Texas scares me. But why?

My life here has gotten easier lately. I have made some new friends and am finally settling in to our home. Chris and I have built a routine and I'm growing to accept rather than despise all those things that are different. It used to be that I grasped at any excuse or reason for us to move back to Texas one day...and then it was "well, if I have to be here, why can't we move to the city." And then I realized that moving to the city would mean sacrificing the support system we'd built here in the Mackay region and starting all over again...and I found that I could actually be quite happy settling down in Sarina.

So which is it? It feels like no one place is a perfect fit.

Reasons for The City:

  • I know that in order for me to get a degree and for Chris to pursue radio full-time we'd have to move to a city someplace....unless some unusually convenient circumstances popped up.
  • Properties in the suburbs are much more affordable than in the Mackay region
  • Convenience factor. Our kids would have every resource imaginable right at their fingertips, most state resources are centralized in the capital cities.
  • Unless we moved to Brissy, we wouldn't actually know anyone in any cities. We'd have to start over again. (BIG con.)
  • Too many distractions.
Reasons for DFW

  • All of my family is there, including most extended family. BIG PRO.
  • I'm familiar with the culture, the system, the politics, all of it. BIG PRO.
  • Cost of living is exponentially more affordable. i.e. If we bought a house there and paid it off while on Chris's current salary, it could easily be paid in full within 5 years. Less if I get full-time work. That would just be impossible with any and every property here unless we lived on baked beans and tinned spaghetti. ;) You can feed a family of 4 on under $100/wk where we struggle to do less than $150 for 2 people here. (rarely do)
  • Education is valued far and above Australian standards. This is more important to me than it is to Chris and I think that's just my inability to shrug off my culture than anything else. You don't really *need* the same degree of education in Australia as you do in the USA, but I can't move past how low the standards are. It's shocking to me!
  • My credit score is horrendous. If we planned on moving, we'd have to mortgage through an Australian bank or we wouldn't stand a chance. We'd have to set up a plan so our assets by the time we moved would cash in to buy at least one family car (shouldn't be a prob if we sell our Aussie cars and buy in the states...but still a con.)
  • Chris would have to start all over. Everything that makes it hard for me to live in Aus. would make it hard for him to live in DFW. He'd have to find new employment before we could even think of moving and we don't even know how that would begin to work. BIG CON.
  • The health care system is crap compared to Australia. We have the security here of knowing that if anything was to happen to one of us or our children that it wouldn't be a financial burden, I don't know if that will ever be true in the USA. This is a BIG con for Chris that he can't move past at the moment. We both definitely like the form of government here better than the USA.
  • The economy in the U.S. is really unstable right now. No job is safe and that's an environment we don't really want to be a part of. Australia's managed to escape this whole global financial crisis unscathed thus-far and it feels a bit reckless to leave that security on a gamble.
Reasons for Sarina:

  • We would be near most of Chris's closest friends and some of his family. His parents would be about 2 hrs away (considered close by Aussie standards. ;) ) My closest friend in Oz, Ashleigh, would be right down the road. If I have to have babies in Oz away from my Mom and sisters, I want to be as close to Ashleigh as possible. She's a super mom and super friend and I get really excited thinking about our babies playing together. :) That support system is invaluable!
  • It is only 25-30 minutes outside Mackay and Mackay is growing fast. It will have most of the convenience we could ever want in a city, while living in Sarina would give us the benefits and culture of a small town. It's the best of both worlds. :)
  • I always wanted to settle down on a block of land in a country-style home. This would be living my dream. :)
  • If the going got rough financially, Chris could always get a job in the mines short-term while we worked our way out of that rough patch.
  • We have no idea where either of us would work at this point. Chris wants a full-time job in radio which, in theory, could be done from home or by renting studio time at a local station. Especially if his show was formatted in similar way to what it is now. We just don't know how possible that would be financially at this point. In the mean time he would still have to work as an electrician and he's not really very excited at the prospect of doing that forever.
  • There are no universities nearby. This affects both me and our kids because they'll inevitably have to move away to go to uni and statistics say they won't be coming back. :( Most kids who go to uni. end up moving away to whatever capital city they did uni. in. It's the way of the world here and I hate the idea of that. I'd also be forced to get a degree online which isn't impossible or anything, it would just be REALLY difficult for a person with my traits to stay motivated with online classes. I'd just have to make it work of course, but it's def. a con.

Those are my thoughts. The common denominator between the 3 is employment, where would we work? And my degree. So, I think I should just suck it up and try taking some classes online rather than just assuming I would fail at it because erasing that factor from everything would make the choice a lot easier in the long run of things.

I think I'm scared to move to DFW because I'd have so much more responsibility than I do here. I'd have to teach Chris everything from A-Z and maybe even wear the pants for a while and I don't want to have to do that. Call me old fashioned, but I like that he's in control, making the plans, and bringing home the bacon. The idea that I might have to have that role for a while if we move to DFW is scary. We also have a security here that would take a decade to build up in DFW and that's scary too.

Bottom line is that, while part of me kind of does want to move to the city, most of me is happy to move from Moranbah and stay in Sarina forever. I think I would only move back to the USA if Chris got an amazing job opportunity and it was secured and signed for.... so much to think about. It's a long time before we have to go down that road though. :)