2015 – Through the eyes of my iPhone

Wow, here we are at the very end of 2015 and I am pretty sure I still think it’s 2014. But it’s not, I have lived another year and so in blog tradition it’s time to stop just for a moment and reflect… This year’s reflection comes to you from the back row of our tour bus somewhere between Rome and Venice… Oh and like always it’s through the eyes of my iPhone… 2015 has been another super fast and jam packed year, we started in New Zealand and we are ending it in Italy.  There has been another couple of weddings, more changes at work and some changes to the house, but let me show the best way I know how… Through photos…


Highlight: Everything NZ! Hobbits, volcanos, boats, oceans, families, bikes, adventure and pineapple lumps.


Highlight: Feb 2015 was another wedding month, first Ben and Annie, then Mum and Andy… Both beautiful! Oh and when I looked at the photos for this month, I realised it was Star Trek themed, book ended by seeing the MSO play the Star Trek soundtrack and the death of Leonard Nimoy.


Highlight: I finally started doing some teaching work, just some CRT, but it’s a start!  March was also filled with Dexter… The TV show… as we finished a 7 year process of watching it from beginning to end. Dexter our dog was there too.


Highlight: April was mixed with backyard building, birthday goodness, Inverloch holidays and the footy… It was all good.


Highlight: In May we celebrated one year in our house, but it was also filled with lots of catch ups with the girls as we stared our long goodbye before K moved to London.  The catch ups were definitely a highlight, but the reason behind… Not so much.


Highlight: June’s highlight is a little lame, but that’s ok beacuse that’s how I roll…. One of my tweets was favourited by my favourite podcasters… I loved it!


Highlight: Dave turned 30 and Oz helped us celebrate… It was green and full of ice cream cake.


Highlight: This month Dave and I joined the park run community and the Lewis family killed it at family feud.


Highlight: September brought us an almost finished backyard, a new work site to call home and the beautiful wedding of Naomi and Jacob.


Highlight: Hooray for October! Dave graduated from his masters and that meant a NSW road trip which also included watching Hawthorn win their 3rd premiership and seeing Matilda!  Winner weekend… Winner Month!


Highlight: List madness as the year started drawing to a close, berry picking and the Christmas Gift to welcome the start of all the Christmas goodness that was to come.  made November a winner.


Highlight: I feel like Christmas is always the highlight of December because so much Christmas fun happens… although it may have been pipped this year.  While the Christmas dinners, advent calendars, carols and the abundance of food, family and gifts was wonderful, in December Dave and I started our European adventure and so far, although we have only done 1 stop, Rome, it has been incredible… and there is still a lot more adventure to come!.

So there you go, 365 photos which mean no. 68 is off the list and my year 2015 has been summed up… Bring on 2016!


I am not really sure what these blogs are going to look like over the next little while, but I really wanted some way to document this incredible trip that Dave and I have somehow managed to pull off.

A trip to Europe has been on my list of ‘must dos’ for a number of years now, and here we are… actually traveling around Europe.  I think perhaps the best way to document our adventures would be to document the things that I learn in the different places that we go… and (spoiler alert) post about the things I cross of the 2016 list.  I apologise in advance if these get a little boring, or too much… but it is what it is, and it will probably be a very long time before we do anything like this again.

So here we are in Rome, Italy, stop number 1.  Not only has Dave managed to navigate us from Rome international airport to our hotel on public transport, he has also successfully delivered us to our new bus load of friends who we will spend the next 21days with.

Rome is magnificent!  Every where I look there is something interesting and beautiful.  Before we met up with the tour Dave and I walked and walked and walked, just taking everything in. We found some pretty neat things… you know the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain… nothing that exciting… just kidding it’s flipping awesome. Once we caught up with our 48 new friends we walked some more… well a lot more and saw some more pretty amazing things… the Spanish Steps, the inside of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon and The Vatican – including the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Square and Basilica.  We also ate a lot of delicious food, pizza, pasta, gelato… so much good food, after all.. when in Rome!




How November has improved my December

Ok so while I started writing this blog on thanksgiving Thursday… I didn’t quite finish it but now it’s the second week of December, but hey, they Christmas season is like that and I think that it might even be a better time to stop and be thankful… to wrap up my month of deliberate thankfulness.  Not to stop being thankful though… well at least I hope not.  I have really enjoyed pausing this month, and I am hoping that through out December, even thought I am not blogging about it, that I will continue to remember to stop and count my blessings, because there are a lot.

Nov 22:  Worship – I always love worshiping God with music, but sometimes it’s extra good… and tonight was one of those times!  In fact today I am thankful for my church, for learning new things and for having some great time in worship.

Nov 23:  Good Team Peeps – Sometimes I get a chance to reflect on who I work with and today I am thankful for them because they are actually grand! They are hardworking and encouraging and I love being in a team with them.

Nov 24:  Walking catch ups – so the spring time weather has on occasions like today been delightful and allowed for a wonderfully long catch up walk with my friend Julia.  The walk was good but the catch up was even better!

Nov 25:  Glasses – tonight I picked up my glasses and I am just very thankful that some genius worked out how to make blind people like me see… The world is so much more interesting when I can actually see it with crisp clarity.

Nov 26:  Dave’s never ending list of talents – You’ve probably already worked out that Dave is a winner, but tonight at his school’s presentation night I watched him work his musical magic and it was so good.  He is a teaching and conducting wiz and I am very proud of him.

Nov 27:  Wise Friends that tell us where things are at – While it wasn’t quite how we expected the night to go, Dave and I got to hang out with our friends Matt and Fee  which is always fun, but they also speak wisdom into our lives, they are honest and loving and push us to be our best selves.

Nov 28: Holy City – even though it’s only November  Christmas can now happen, I have heard someone sing ‘Holy City’… all is well and I am ready… we not really, but if it happened tomorrow, my heart would be ok because I have heard this song.  This song that seems to be so ingrained in my Christmas experiences that it simply doesn’t feel right without… even if it is sung by David Hobson… my love-hate relationship with him and this song only seems to make the nostalgia attached to this song worse.  Oh and I am thankful for the Langham and it’s deliciously wonderful dishes, both actual dishes and food dishes.


Nov 29: The Salvos – it’s who I am, and even though there is lots about it I would like to change, there is even more that I love and cherish and today was an army day of celebration… Commissioning and the festival of mission.  Thank God for the Salvos.

Nov 30: Thankfulness in November – This month has made me stop and actually look at my days and to be thankful for what I have.    But it’s actually been more important than that, it has given me a little attitude adjustment just in time for December.  I am not really sure how, or when it happened, but it has.  Leading up to November and December I had found myself cringing every time I got a text message or looked at my diary because there was so much to do and no more time to offer.  I hate saying no, but I also hate not having time, time to prepare, time for Dave, time for me… just time and December makes these two parts of my being feud in ways I never imagined they could.  But I have decided that I just need to change my perspective… I have to look at it differently.  So instead of looking at my diary full of things I need to do as obligations, I have decided to celebrate that I actually get to catch up with people that I might not see regularly, I get to hang out with friends and family and celebrate all that they mean to me and I get to practice generosity and be blessed by being a blessing.  It doesn’t always work, but so far it’s made a pretty big difference.  I am finding that because I have changed my perspective on why I am going, I am open to enjoying things more, so it’s a double bonus.  So while this whole month of reflection hasn’t changed my daily practice as much as I perhaps thought it would, it has helped me face December with much more Christmas joy than I have had in many years.  Here are some of my Christmas joys so far in December…


… List adventures, fun runs, special birthdays, family Christmas celebrations, church nativities, Myer windows, light displays at the Town Hall, catch ups with friends  and work Christmas parties… And there is still two weeks until Christmas, but at least now I feel a little more prepared to face it.