Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Canada!

Happy Canada Day! Wish we were there... I can just imagine all the BBQs being fired up today! Can't wait to get there in a few weeks. I am so looking forward to our vacation.

Also - a big welcome to the newest Garcia family member. We can't wait to meet the pink little bundle! Congratulations B & A... we are so thrilled for you! Be sure to send us some photos soon!

Evening over the Harbour

Gorgeous sunset over Sydney Harbour, taken from Observatory Hill on a crisp winters evening. Sure do love that bridge... what a view.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Keep on truckin'

I have again been visited by the lovely 'sinus infection fairy' and so I have been even more attached to the couch than normal... and for those of you who truly know me, I am sure you are wondering how that is even possible. At least I got a day and a half off work out of the deal. It's ironic, however, that the neverending rain finally stopped on the exact day I got sick, and so it's been gorgeous and sunny every minute of the time I have been miserable and snotty. Humph.

The Husband and I sat down last weekend (after another tearful and homesick breakdown by moi) and discussed our short term, mid-term, and long term plans. As I am a planner, I needed to know what The Plan was, and what we are working towards. (In reality, I think I just needed to know exactly how long until I am near a Target and/or Pottery Barn again. A direct result of way too many decorating blogs.)

Anyway, I think we came up with some good plans. I look forward to sharing a few with you all as they happen over the next few months. In the immediate future, I have finally signed up for that ever-elusive knitting class I am have been talking about for, oh - 15 years?! So, wish me luck with that. Anyone need a scarf?

We are also headed "home" in 4 weeks for another whirlwind tour. Looking forward to some r&r on the shores of the Georgian Bay... hope to see some of you there! Bring the brats, we will be firing up the barbie!

Long term plans include a few trips to various locations in and around Oz. Need to get that list crossed off before it's time to say adios! to AUS.

Hope you are all enjoying a fab Canada Day / 4th of July this week. Wish we were there.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Just thinking.

I read this quote on a blog today...

she looks like a picture you cut out and save in a scrapbook of what you want to be like when you grow up

It reminded me of the all the special women I have in my life, and how I think of so many of them every day.

I think of Manya, one of my all time best friends. A friend I am truly blessed to know. She is real and honest and gifted in all the ways I am lacking. She is the kind of friend I can go years without seeing, knowing we will pick up exactly where we left off. I have learned so much from her.

I think of Misty, who is more of a sister than a cousin to me. Who is so very much like me, and yet totally different. Misty, who has unlimited patience and gentleness and kindness. Who is the perfect mother and daughter and sister. The older I get, the more I miss our youth together.

I think of Sarah, who is more than a friend to me, she is the family I chose. My calm in a storm, my laughter, my shoulder to cry on - even from a world away. She is the only person I know who actually writes me letters anymore, and I treasure those letters so, so much. She is also the number one reason I am homesick. I admit it, I am "Sarah-sick."

I think of Grams, one of the women I most admire in this world. I aspire to have her spunk, her knowledge, her zest, her full and open heart. I would be a lucky woman to grow up to be even a little like my Grams. My life is better just for having her in it. I treasure every single memory I have of her, and I delight to find bits of her in me.

I think of Aunt Bern, a woman to whom I credit some of the hardest learned and most treasured lessons in my life. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and smile. I leave my house each morning with her voice in my ear telling me "make me proud!" and I pray that I can.

And I think of my mom, who is the most amazing woman I know. I will never know anyone with more patience, more love, or more forgiveness in their heart. I know I will never come close to comparing to how amazing she is. I truly hope I can grow up to be just like her.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Simple Things

It was a long weekend here and while it was great to have an extra day off work to just chill and get stuff done around the house, it also brought on another bout of homesickness. We have been talking a lot lately about what Australia has meant to us, what we have gained from this experience, and what we will take away from it.

We both agree that it has been a fantastic adventure. Despite any number of things that we might dislike about Australia, we have had a great time so far. And we hope to have quite a few many more adventures before we leave. But... there are definitely days when I am ready to pack up and go home... even though we aren't quite sure where home might actually be.

Those are the times when we talk about what we like about Oz, and what we would miss if we were to pack up and leave. And we usually come back to the little things, the simple things, that we enjoy about our lives here.

Sure, it's way easier to list the things we don't like - and honestly, it's just plain more fun to winge about the negative stuff. But it's more meaningful to focus on the stuff that we love, and it's those things that get me through the homesick days.

So, what do we love about it here? Well, for starters, we have seen more stunningly blue skies and sunny days than we could ever imagine seeing. I have seen more rainbows in the past month than I have maybe seen in my entire life, ever. Walking to the grocery store is a small joy we never experienced before. We have learned to live with less stuff and still be happy. We cook more, and try new dishes with new ingredients.

Someday we will be happy to return to North America. There is a laundry list of things we will enjoy returning to. But for now, it's about learning to embrace the simple things.

What simple thing have you found joy in this week?

E Who?

This emu was the highlight of our trip to the zoo on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day, and we wanted, no... needed to get out of the house. So we walked to the zoo. (Isn't it cool that we live within walking distance of a world-class zoo?!

It was a fun day, always lots to see at the zoo. Baby chimps, a baby seal, a wombat who was actually awake, and this emu. This emu apparently gets the run of the place, because he was just strolling around like he owned the joint. He got alarmingly close, considering his height and creepy eyeballs. And then he followed me for several meters, getting closer and closer... until I freaked out and ran away, shrieking like a girl. In the moment, it was a little scary. But looking back, it was pretty funny. Ah the zoo... always a good time.