26 December 2014

Christmas this year consisted of family, food, giving, Lobethal Lights, backyard cricket, backyard basketball and an afternoon on the porch. All of which was done to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Thank you to everyone for sharing the love, especially during this time of year. Happy Christmas! 

Highlights of the Past Three Months

- Bought two fishing kayaks
- Became Runners Up in my Saturday netball grand final
- Attended our last AFL game at Adelaide Oval for the year
- Visited the Royal Adelaide Show and cheered on our sister in her whip cracking competition
- Ate scones and drank tea at a Kitchen Tea
- Celebrated two 21st birthdays
- Put on lipstick and high heels for a night of dining, drinking and laughing with friends
- Caught up with Jamie's Best Man, his wife and their new daughter for the first time since our wedding. Delicious home cooked meal!
- Jamie cheered on Port Adelaide at the SANFL grand final
- We spent 10 amazing and relaxing days in the Stansbury Caravan Park. We fished, played games, kayaked, ate, slept and laughed with family. Our tent even survived 60-80km/h winds in a tent on the first night!
- Planted my first lot of fruits

- Dressed in black and white for a friends Hens Night
- Jamie played golf and ate out for a friends Bucks Night
- Had an amazing coffee date with a friend which turned into a six hour catch up
- Our small group organised and hosted a quiz night at Church
- Celebrated an 18th birthday
- Jamie waved goodbye to his P Plates
- We celebrated some friends as they began a new journey together in marriage.
- We celebrated a cousin's 21st
- Spent an incredible long weekend away with family at Rapid Bay. One of my favourite camping spots!

- Came home at 3am after many laughs and dancing with two primary school friends.
- I joined my mother and brother-in-law on a tour of Hillgrove Resource Mine. Quite interesting.
- Jamie closed his current Optus Store and moved into a bigger and better store in the shopping hub. We have said goodbye to two day weekends but hello to more opportunities.
- We celebrated 100 years of the Lobethal Recreation Ground over a lovely meal, good music and reminiscing of old memories.

By the end of November my Christmas tree was up, Christmas shopping had begun and the countdown had started for the most exciting day of the year.

The Eighth Month of the Year '14

3 September 2014

Until I started looking back on the month of August, I thought it was a quiet month for Jamie and I, however, we actually managed to fit a bunch of things into thirty-one days.
The sunset we drove into, on the way home from netball one Saturday afternoon

The things that continued from July into August was my study, my work, Jamie’s work, small group and our sport:

*As every job, Jamie and I are having ups and downs at work, but generally it is pretty good. One request we would both like to make though, is for the sunshine to not restrict itself to outside and seep indoors. Something tells me this isn’t possible (especially if your office has no windows!!) – we will just have to make the most of the warm weather when we can.

*Small group has been wonderful! We have started a new study about ‘community’. Over the past few weeks, I have learnt that we have some talented bakers amongst our friends… as well as learnt more about each member of our group through life stories and honesty. We are definitely learning, first hand, how important community is. Our small group also went to a movie fundraiser one night after work. We saw this movie, which I would recommend to others!

*Sport – Jamie is playing another season of basketball at a complex minutes down the road, with some church mates. He also played two football matches in a C grade team, which lit his passion to play footy again (maybe next season?). My netball seasons have continued with a Tuesday night mixed netball team and a Saturday women’s team. Stay tuned, as this Saturday I will be playing in the grand final! We attended two more AFL matches at Adelaide Oval. Oh, and we also bought the sport channels on foxtel – definitely for Jamie’s benefit more than mine but something I can get used to and don't mind having on in the background, while I cruise through my cross-stitch.

I was blessed to catch up with some of my closest friends over the past month on various occasions - some of the activities that we shared together were: eating Chinese, drinking my first ever mocha (the closest thing I've had to coffee) and falling in love, playing games, consuming the best eggs benedict I’ve ever had at this amazing café, styling a friends hair for a ball, enjoying a picnic in the company of a very friendly emu, browsing this store, beginning a new personal bible study, engaging in life changing, fun and encouraging conversations and feeling a friends baby kick!  I also found time, for down time with God at this café and this café, in the sunshine. Jamie got some boys time too, which included a weekend away at the Yorke Peninsula for a fishing trip. They caught a massive handful of squid and red mullet but forgot to bring them home. Jamie’s smile was enough proof that they had a ball though.

On the 17th of August, I got to spend a day with my parents. They arrived at my house in the morning and we drove into the city for lunch and a show! We saw Grease. I can not express how much I loved it. I think I smiled throughout the whole performance. It was so special to share the day with mum and dad and re-live the days I used to watch Grease on repeat.

Jamie and I went to the dentist. I probably wouldn’t share this with you except, for me, it was the first time I had been in six years (oops!) and miraculously had no issues. Same as Jamie.

August finished with a very special person's step-up to communion. Conveniently, Jamie and I were able to walk across the road to church and witness my beautiful cousin and god-daughter take the next step in her faith journey. We finished the night celebrating and spending time with relatives, over chocolate cake. God is so wonderful.  

What were some of your highlights from August?   

Looking forward to Septembers adventures!

Seventh Month of the Year '14

21 August 2014

We are over halfway through the year now. Wow. Am I the only one to think this year is flying by? 

During July the following happened (an overview):
- Jamie and I began to host our church small group at our place this month. We are blessed to have great friends join us each week to learn more about God, ourselves and each other.
- On the 13th of July my brother turned 20! We celebrated with him over dinner and many laughs, at a local hotel. 
- Mum and Dad picked me up and we spent a day out shopping at the centres near my home. 
- Jamie dressed as a rockstar for a school friends 21st. He looked smashing! 
- We attended a church young adults movie night
- We attended two Power matches at Adelaide Oval
- Friends visited our place for dinner and a catch up
- We celebrated birthdays and family!
- Jamie and I stayed at a hotel and spent the evening dining, wining and listening to live music in the Adelaide CBD. A night to remember!  

I would love to hear how you have been? 
Love to you all 

Sixth Month of the Year '14

I think I'm safe to say that life is busy. You may be aware of this as we are in August and I am just updating you on June!

Lolly Pops for the Ferry Trip
June started off with a trip to Kangaroo Island with Mum and Dad. We initially went over for their monthly markets but also enjoyed a walk around town, dinner at a local pub and the adventure through the rain back to the ferry. Since then I have finished my KI tomato chutney and Jamie is well and truly through his KI sweet chilli sauce. We had a great day!

This month marks one year of Jamie and I owning our little unit. As one year passed of living out of the Adelaide Hills, June 2014 beings a new routine of spending three days a week back in my hometown with a new job! Through a lovely friend, I got a new office job working in a construction company. Jamie and I are already notice how having a little extra income, takes some stress away.

On the 6th until the 9th of June, Jamie and I spent the weekend camping at Rapid Bay. We set up camp in the dark on the Friday night and enjoyed the beautiful weather, some fishing, some local shopping and daily drives all weekend. Was a great trip away and we even had freshly caught fish for breakfast one morning! The scenery of this trip reminded me how amazing our God is. 

Jamie and I bought a new car!! I was a little hesitant about this decision but I put my trust in Jamie and I’m so glad I did. We purchased a Mitsubishi Outlander (a.k.a white 4wd-y thing), with plans to take it on many adventures and stay with us for years to come.

Another excitement for the month was Jamie’s 22nd birthday! Woo! I woke up super early and treated Jamie to eggs and bacon in bed for breakfast, followed by some present opening. We then (after Jamie’s request) shared sushi for lunch and Chinese for dinner. Although it was Jamie’s birthday, I feel like benefited from it too! It was a yummy day.

Other things that happened in June were:
-      We attended one footy match at Adelaide Oval
-      We went to Hungry Hippos café with Ben & Laura
-      I played mixed netball on Tuesday night and travelled to the hills for netball on  Saturdays
-      Hosted an afternoon at our house watching the showdown with friends
-      Church young adults board game night

Fifth Month of the Year '14

1 June 2014

Today we say goodbye to Autumn and hello to Winter. Although another season comes and goes, I would have no idea what season I was in if I judged it by the weather. Autumn gave us a broad range of t-shirt weather, along side of jumper and beanie weather. Unpredictable, but I don't mind. God is obviously playing a few games up there!

May was fun but also held one big challenge for me. Jamie left the state for three days. This was our first nights away from each other since the first of February. Honestly, I struggled. I didn't have anyone to do the safety walk each night before bed, anyone to fend off unwanted bugs that entered our home or anyone to debrief with after a long day. Thankfully, Ikea and Harbour Town are right next to the airport so I managed to get some retail therapy in though. However, this was a massive experience for Jamie and it was very exciting. Jamie flew to Sydney for a work conference. He not only learnt a bunch of information but Luna Park was opened just for the conference goers, they had Timomatic perform for them and witnessed Cosentino's craziest tricks. Plus, free food and drink. He summed it up as 'awesome'. It's great to see the managers get rewarded and acknowledged for the hard work they do.

Our celebrations continued from last month - we had a cousin's, aunties, friends and father's birthday, we celebrated our mothers on a day dedicated to them, we celebrated getting a few questions correct at a local quiz night and spontaneously celebrated our relationship with a night at this hotel, as well as dinner here, a different dinner here, plus a midweek dinner and movie date.

A Foggy Drive into The Adelaide Hills
Jamie and I continued to enjoy our local sport during the week. I have also began winter netball in the Adelaide Hills on the weekend. This has definitely tested my fitness but it is great to mingle with old friends again.

Vanilla Cheesecake
This month I tried a few new things. I was introduced to my new favourite cafe. Coffee by the Beans. My friend exposed me to this place and I'm so excited to go back. They make one of the best chai lattes! I also made my first ever cheesecake - I have decided that cheesecakes are going to be my thing. Oh, a one of the biggest changes of all... I cut all my hair off!

Other things that happened this week:
- I finished the best book I have ever read, Redeeming Love. Everyone should read it! 
- I accompanied Jamie fishing at Semaphore Jetty. It was a magical night, with no breeze and a clear sky. We weren't accompanied by any eatable fish, however we met a Port Jackson Shark and a Seal at it's feeding time. I enjoyed it. 
- Jamie and I hosted small group at our home for the first time. It's great to have friends that share the same love for God as we do. 
- I can't forget to mention my drive to college when I took a wrong turn. I got lost but it was the best moment in the day. I got to speak with an artist, visit the local wharf {photo below} and still wasn't late to class. Everyday is an adventure.

Port Adelaide Wharf
Another month has flown by. How was your May?

Fourth Month of the Year '14

30 April 2014

To those that read my blog, I apologise for my lack of posts. I love writing and love keeping you up to date in our lives but sometimes life doesn't give me enough time to sit down. This is the compromise - a monthly overview (maybe with an occasional extra post, every now and then).

We have just come out of April. It is crazy to think that four months of the year has past but even crazier to think that Jamie and I have been married for three of them. The saying 'time flies when you are having fun' could not be more precise. Marriage is amazing, challenging, strengthening, rewarding, exhausting and fun. The best.

April contained a few changes, continuity, celebrations and a cute little cafe.

The cute little cafe goes by the name of Hello Yes. It is a cafe in Adelaide CBD, located in a warehouse and sells delicious bagels for breakfast, all day. I am blessed to have a friend who enjoys discovering new places as much as I do.

Our continuity and changes live most among work and study life. I have continued work at an out of hours school care, while Jamie is now the official manager of his Optus store (after being the 'acting' manager for a month). Yay! Biggest change so far is that I differed from university. After many prayers and conversations, I took the leap and chose to stop my teaching degree for a year, whether I go back or not is what I am still working out. This was a leap that I had thought about for a while but was very hesitant to do. I didn't want to jeopardise my future if I was meant to fight through the struggle of uni life. However, the same day that I made this decision, I was reminded about a program that was running for the first time, beginning this month. The program is called Big Year Out (which gives me a Certificate 4 in Christian Life and Ministry). Perfect for anyone trying to find some direction in their life and learn more about our wonderful Creator. I was on the phone right away and within a week was attending the Uniting College. I haven't looked back. God has taught me so much already and I'm excited for the future.

Adelaide Oval - Power Members
Kingston SE - Breakfast
Jamie and I celebrated a lot this month. We attended two twenty-firsts, an anniversary dinner, became members of our new church and cheered power on to victory twice. Plus, we celebrated the most joyous season of all away from home. Easter. This long weekend was spent with Mum, Dad and my brother at Kingston SE.  We were blessed with glorious weather, beautiful sunsets and many laughs. The boys fished off the beach, while mum and I watched the tide creep upon us at a increasing speed (we survived). We visited garage sales, the giant lobster and climbed a lighthouse. Everything about this weekend was memorable and relaxing.

Jamie also started playing basketball and I started playing mixed netball this month. We were very thankful to not only have the opportunity to socialise each week in our local town over sport but also to run off all of that party food and chocolate we had eaten this April! It has been a yummy month.

Hope you all had a great fourth month of the year.

Powering Through

30 March 2014

On Saturday Mr J and I powered through the crowds to find our amazing seats at Adelaide Oval for the first showdown of the season. A huge thank you to our relatives who gave us membership tickets for our wedding. Date day and game day all in one. Experience was everything and the atmosphere was amazing.

Go Power. That is all.

Thankful Thursday {with a splash of colour}

27 March 2014

Here's to plants that brighten up a home, to supportive families that stand by you through the hardest of times, to colourful soap suds in the car wash, to breakfast dates with my husband, to celebrations of birth and free gift vouchers, to three bedroom homes that fit seven living spaces, to a flexible work environment, to shopping days, to cold autumn days, to a colour coordinated bookshelf, to social mixed netball with my aunty and uncle, to camps that share God's love and to photos that hold memories. So blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?

A Spontaneous Productive Day

26 March 2014

Today was one of those spontaneous days that turned out wonderful! Mr J had a very rare day off and I was excited. Our body clocks didn't allow us to have a massive sleep in but enough that made us feel relaxed. Getting up at our own pace, we decided to do some of those jobs that have been sitting on our list for a while. We started the day at Billy Baxters for breakfast {thanks to an entertainment voucher!} and then sorted out our medicare and private health insurance. Feeling secure. After sitting in waiting rooms all morning, we were reading for some fun. We decided to explore ikea and Harbour Town. We were able to use a wedding gift voucher to purchase a soft rug and some new mugs for our home. There were some bargains we couldn't resist, therefore came home with some extra goodies too. Smiling.

The night ended with the assembling of furniture and rearrangements of old furniture to make our home feel a little more like ours. Our three bedroom home now has seven - a living area, dining area, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom/laundry and an office space! It's amazing what can be created with a little imagination.

Here is my office space, that my wonderful husband worked hard assembling.

Do you have a favourite shop?

52 Weeks of Art Journalling

24 March 2014

Look what I'm doing!! I'm doing a 52 Weeks of Art Journalling course and I'm so excited. When I'm wrapped up doing art or craft, time flies fast and I look forward to finding time to do it. I've decided to base my art journal on my first year of marriage, showing all the adventures I am doing with my partner in crime. Sometimes I get stuck on ideas and new creative ways of displaying something but with this course, I think that may change. If you are interested in giving it a go too, go here

Have you started something new recently? 

KCO 2014

23 March 2014

Since Friday evening, Mr J and I were at Nurioopta helping run KCO. This year we were blessed to be able to teach young children about the Holy Spirit and share God's love with them. Mr J took on the amazing role of MC - his enthusiasm, energy and craziness is admiring. I assisted with registrations and ran the KCO shop. A massive weekend of fun.

We are all apart of Team Jesus!

Family is Precious

20 March 2014

Yesterday was my 21st birthday. Thank you to everyone for their birthday wishes, gifts and love. I was spoilt with breakfast in bed, flowers, a new handbag and purse from Mr J and a Daniel Wellington watch from my parents. Speechless and so thankful.

My day was filled with happiness, as well as sadness as I lost a wonderful uncle. My memories of my uncle exceed the word great and I feel privileged that each year, on my birthday, we get to celebrate and remember such an amazing man. R.I.P Uncle Chard, missing you already. Family and time is so precious.

If you want to donate money to Melanoma Institute Australia please go to this page to support our family walking in the Melanoma March. Every little bit will help.

Happy Birthday Dad

18 March 2014

Happy Birthday to the best Dad in the world. 
Couldn't ask for a better father, friend, mentor and support. 
I love you Dad. You are my hero.

Spontaneous Dessert Date

16 March 2014

{My dessert: Brownie Indulgence}

Mr J and I went on a spontaneous dessert date last night. As dinner time was approaching, we hadn't left the house all day. Feeling like we needed some fresh air, we thought we would try some dessert dining which we had only heard good things about. This is where we went. I predict that I consumed more chocolate within an hour than my dietary intake recommends in a week. It was amazingly delicious. No regrets. Quality time with Mr J, good food and a splash of rain finished off a great day.

What is your favourite dessert?

Catching Up

14 March 2014

I realise that I have not posted for a while now. Apologies. I'm back now. Please be prepared to get bombarded with some of my life adventures from the past week.

As I write this, I'm looking back to the 8th of March. The night we celebrated a friends engagement in the beautiful wetlands of my high school. It was lovely to mingle with people I hadn't seen for a long time, drink iced tea straight from T2 and see the filmed proposal of a gorgeous couple. Congratulations J & D. This night made Mr J and I think back to our engagement party, and although it seems like yonks ago, we will never forget the atmosphere that was created with our loved ones celebrating with us. Priceless.

What did you do on the public holiday that fell on the 10th of March? Mr J and I joined some of the young adults of our church at the river. Although the photo above looks quite overcast, it was warm and perfect weather for some water sports and swimming. Mr J mastered the knee board and had a load of fun on the 'biscuit'. It was a nice and relaxing day away from home - it was was even better to enjoy it with other Christians in God's environment. Blessed.

Autumn is officially here. Walking outside to see the leaves changing colours on the trees and covering the ground gives a new definition of beauty. Over the last couple days on my way to university, I have stopped to thank God for his creation. Something that we can take for granted too often. He is amazing.

 How have you been over the last week?

Happy International Women's Day!

8 March 2014

Today is a very special day. It's International Women's Day.

If you can find time in your day to watch these videos, I recommend them:
25 singers and musician from 20 countries come together to sing this one song
Celebrating working women

To all the women in my life, you're awesome!

Happy Weekend.

Thankful Thursday {with a dash of cupcake}

6 March 2014

Here's to grandparents that are one of the biggest support and encouragement in our lives and although we only see them occasionally they still mean the world to us, to breakfast time with Mr J, to cool weather that still allows the sunshine in, to productive study days, to spontaneous dates with my husband, to the first milestone in our marriage, to left over wedding cupcakes for morning tea, to a husband who can find all the positives in a day, to friends that say all the right things at the right time and to a new love for this show. What have you been thankful for lately? 

University Plan of Attack

5 March 2014

I mentioned here that I'm now back at university. Last year, I became distracted from uni work due a a particular wedding coming up. This year is my second year into my course. I feel motivated but in order for me to stay this way, I need a plan. Here it is:

Study: Sounds like an obvious one right? Sometimes it's not. This year I plan to use my frees at uni to study, keep up to date and stay focussed. Temptation to check my facebook feed, go online shopping or simply get lost in thoughts unrelated to uni is extremely high but as I now have a husband to go home to, I don't want to spend my home life doing study too. Let's get productive!

Selflessness: University has the potential to be some of the most selfish years of my life. No day is the same, therefore routine becomes a mess. Because of this university students get to eat, sleep and study whenever they want. We need to remember that life is not about us. Ever. Not only will a good routine of eating, sleeping and study benefit our health - it will benefit the people around us. I aim to have a good routine in these areas so I can find quality time with family and friends without stress that I should be focussing on study. I want to have the energy and time to be a good wife for Mr J by not letting the house become a shamble and my emotions go too wild. Occasionally busy study days will surprise me and routine may have to be altered. That's okay too. We can enjoy our freedom but don't abuse it.

Challenge myself: Rather than settle for average, I want to aim higher. Rather than just believe and nod my head, I want to ask questions. For a women that can be a people pleaser, occasionally insecure and confused, I often stand back from the debates and question time. I know that this is me but I also know that deep down I also have questions and opinions that can be raised. This year is my year to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself.

Sollitude: I need to find time for myself. Time to centre myself. Time where I can cry, smile, pray and relax. Life can become busy especially when it is deadline time and this time is when solitude is most essential.

Maybe some of these might encourage you too.
Here goes another year of university...
Who is on this journey with me?

Spontaneous Date Night

3 March 2014

Mondays are often hard. After such a relaxing and fun weekend, the last thing you want to do it go back to work or uni. Today was my first day back studying and although I'm happy to say it was productive and not as bad as I predicted, I was exhausted. My brain isn't used to that much thinking! While I was learning about being a teacher, Mr J was 500m down the road at a manager's conference. Another brain workout. Looking ahead to a meeting we both had that evening, I thought I would pick Mr J up and surprise him with a early dinner of asian food. We filled out bellies with an entree of salt & pepper squid, mains of crispy beef, peanut & coconut chicken and fried rice and treated ourselves with dessert. I tried my first serve of fried ice-cream, while Mr J's was flavoured strawberry. We could not fit another spoon of food in. Full to the brim. 

A nice way to unwind, before heading back out to town. 

What is your favourite asian dish?

One Month of Marriage

1 March 2014

One month ago, I got married (see photos here)! I know the true meaning of 'time flies when you're having fun' now, as that is all that marriage has been so far. Ofcourse, we have had our disagreements about little niggly things such as what time to wash the dishes and where the location of dirty clothes should be but I'm safe to say we got through it. The fact that I can look forward to seeing Mr J every night and every morning is great. Super blessed.

As today marked one month with the man of my dreams, we invited our parents over to view our professional wedding photos. We ate cheeses, dips, crackers and homemade scones while we laughed and reminisced over such a great day. A day that will never leave us.

Thankful Thursday {with a dash of pink}

27 February 2014

Here's to girl dates to change my nails pink and chat over a chai latte, for weekends full of friends and celebration, for hundreds of wedding photos ready to sort and places to print them for a bargain of a price, for pancakes for dinner and time spent with family, for welcoming communities and church services that make you feel like dancing. Gratitude turns everything into enough.

What have you been thankful for lately?

The Pancake Kitchen

25 February 2014

Mr J and I thoroughly enjoyed a spontaneous catch up with family tonight. We visited The Pancake Kitchen for a late dinner where we ate yummy food and engaged in great conversation. Feeling very blessed for my husband, mother, father and brother.

How did you finish your hump day?