29 things before 30

So tomorrow I turn 30… and just like every other birthday for at least the last 10 years I am not excited about getting another year over… but this year I feel a little more ready for it.  30 has been something that has been looming for a while… 30 years in fact, but more so in the past 12 months.  Something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about and something that I have finally decided won’t be as bad as I think it will be.  So I thought I would continue my new tradition (from last year) to take a moment before it happens to reflect on the year that was 29 before it is gone altogether.  But before I can reflect on the last 12 months… because 30 is also the end of a decade… it only seems right to look at the last 10 years as well…

20-30 is a big time of change… a lot of growing up… and while I don’t think I have being an adult down pat yet, I certainly feel more like an adult than a young adult.  I am not sure if it’s my new found love of a quiet night in? Or my change in thinking around having to stand up and make a change if I don’t like something… but I feel like where I am at now, even though it may not be where I am forever, is an achievement…

20-30 has also been home to some of my happiest times as well as my most challenging…  I have changed and grown, physically, mentally and spiritually.  And while I wish I hadn’t grown quite as much physically… unless I could have gained some extra height… I am thankful for the lessons I have learned and the paths I have taken that have made my faith and mind stronger.

I have done so much in my 20s that I am not sure how my 30s will catch up, but I hope that they do… although, I am hoping our hardest path has already be walked… and the rocky patches ahead will not be quite as devastating.

Since I turned 20 I have…

  • Completed… well attempted to complete my very first list (2007) and since attempted 8 more… I am currently on my 9th
  • Returned to China to hang out with Dad and cross ‘Hong Kong Disney Land’ off my life long Disney visit bucket list (2007)
  • Had my life outlook changed by a uni placement to Bourke (2008)
  • Had 2 massive 21st parties
  • Finished my Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (2008)
  • Started running the Kids Church at Church and had the most epic YP Anniversary of all time with ‘Talkin’ about my generation’ (2009)
  • Continued my red dirt obsession with trips to Broken Hill (2009) and Uluru (2016)
  • Got a job in the country… Castlemaine to be exact… moved out of home and spent a year blogging about it (2009-2010)
  • Had my 5 year and 10 year High School Reunions (2009 & 2014)
  • Starred in Box Hill Salvos “Nativity Play’
  • Got my first iPhone
  • Ran 2 Half Marathons (2008 & 2013)
  • Meet a cute little guy named Dex… and he moved in (2009)
  • Bought my first new car and said goodbye to my faithful Saabie (2010)
  • Experienced some snapshots of Europe… first with the Big Band in Sweden in 2010… then with Davo in 2015/2016
  • Got Engaged (2010) and Married my very own Prince Charming (2011)
  • Auditioned for Broadway (2010)
  • Visited Disneyworld with my new Husband (2011)
  • Visited NZ and my NZ family a couple of times (2012 & 2014/2015)
  • Watched one of my little brothers get married (2012)
  • Said goodbye to my second job as a Dietitian and moved to my current workplace at Link, where I have been able to expand my dietetics skills in to Marketing and IT (2013)
  • Been Bridesmaid for 2 of my best friends (2014 and here)
  • Brought my first house (2014)
  • Graduated from uni twice… one for dietetics and then again for my teaching degree (2014)
  • Watched both of my parents get remarried (2014, 2015)
  • Worked out how to long distance best friend (2015)
  • Recorded my first CD… well sung vocals on a Big Band CD (2017)
  • Became a mum and had to say goodbye to my little man (2016)
  • Got back up (2017)

A big 10 years… but I think the past 12 months have challenged who I am at my core more than any year before and I think lots of the things that I have done over the past decade have somehow prepared me for what happened…  But there has also been lots to be thankful for and I have learnt a lot… so in my new tradition… here are 29 things I have learned, loved and lived in the past year that have helped me prepare for 30…

  1. Birthdays are excellent… No matter how much I have been nervous about embracing them… they are always fun… especially when Dave helps to plan them… tomorrow will be good.
  2. Epic milkshakes are indeed epic… and often overwhelming, they should be consumed with caution… and preferably with no other sources of lactose.
  3. Having a celebrity like a post… even if they are a fake one… is more exciting than it should be… they are just people…but it was Russell Coight
  4. Dave makes driving a bus look grand
  5. Trimester 1 of pregnancy is the worst… it is hard keeping a secret, especially a when you feel like poop and you have to convince everyone else you are fine… lets hope that the next one is somehow easier.
  6. Jells Park is way more beautiful than I ever gave it credit for growing up… I am really glad that it is my local Parkrun venue.
  7. Dex looks great in a bow tie
  8. Family is messy and hard to fit on a wall, but I wouldn’t change any of it
  9. Pregnancy cravings are weird… but turkish delight milkshakes are the bomb
  10. Having Josh was the best thing I have ever done, but it was also the hardest knowing he wouldn’t stay.  Even if I knew what would happen I wouldn’t have swapped those 24weeks for anything.
  11. Colouring really is as good a distraction as they say it is…
  12. I still love my list, and I am really enjoying the simplicity of it this year, lots of local fun.
  13. 29 has been a year of home, embracing family, learning to breathe and dreaming for the future.
  14. This time last year I wrote ‘I am stronger and more capable then I think… I should remember this more often’, this is more true now then ever before.
  15. Whatsapp is great, but seeing your bestie face to face is greater, especially when you have time off to be able spend with them.
  16. I like being in the IT and Marketing teams… I also really like teaching.  I am pretty blessed to work for such great places that encourage me to grow and learn new skills.
  17. Dancing in a strawberry suit isn’t as embarrassing as you think it will be, you should just embrace it.
  18. Dave is still the best person to have ever entered my life.  He is strong, wise and loyal and I love him more than ever… plus he gets even better looking with age… who would have thought that was possible.
  19. I am getting better at throwing things out… lots of times you have to get rid of something old to make way for the new.  I don’t need to be a hoarder to keep the memories.
  20. I have good people around me, my community if vast and wide and I often take it for granted, but Dave and I could not have gotten through the last 6 months without them.
  21. I love the country
  22. I love the AFLW and I am glad I was part of the first season.
  23. I love singing in a recording studio… it makes me feel like a superstar.
  24. New cameras are the bomb… but I desperately need to improve my photography skills.
  25. Practicing gratitude is important… my new daily habit of writing down 3 things is helpful… it’s making me see the good… I should keep this going because I still can’t make happiness, or just choose to be happy, but I can choose to fill my life with people, things and places that make me happy, I can choose to see the good and I can choose to seek better.
  26. I still love blogging… and I think I am getting better at it… I suppose that’s the plus side of honesty.
  27. I love to worship… I love learning about worship and I love Jesus… He is the only one worthy of my worship.
  28. My plans for my life might be good, but as hard as it is to accept sometimes, His ways are better.  Life often seems unfair sometimes and we can’t always see the bigger picture… but we have to trust.
  29. I am still getting better at looking after myself, but just like last year I still have a long way to go… but this remains a top priority.  I can’t do what I am called to do, if I can’t function.

29 you have been a challenge, you have been hard, but you have been worth it all… in fact 20s you have been great… better than I had ever hoped and totally different from what I expected.

I am holding on to the promise that my 30s will bring better things… I hope that I continue to learn more, love more and live more… 30 I am now ready for you.

Czech’ing out Prague

Prague is a city that just doesn’t make sense, almost completely physically unscathed by World War 2 and its soviet occupation and totally mind-blowingly beautiful, yet completely oppressed for so much of the last century.  It is a town that has seen and felt so much horror and yet stands tall with not even a scratch.

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The more I learn about Prague… the more surprising it is.  Today we have seen an astronomical clock, which was first installed 1410… way before Australia had become the country of Australia… see what I did there? That’s no. 9 off the list… smooth ey?  We explored the clock tower and an Apple Museum… not the eating kind of apples the other kind. Watched the changing of the Prague castle guard with its epic fanfare trumpets. Shot a crossbow… and learnt that I would die if I was reliant on my crossbow skills for anything… it is not a skill I possess. Learnt all about communism in a fairly biased communism museum and explored the Jewish Quarter. Which had been singled out by Hitler to be preserved as a museum of it’s own to the ‘extinct race’, thankfully it has not served it’s purpose entirely. In the quarter, there was the most incredible ancient cemetery, another weird fascination of mine, where generations of Jewish people were buried and the tombstones crowded each other out and were built on one on top of the other.   According to the audio guide the graves were 10 layers deep… you can decide what that actually means.

While we were in Prague we were also introduced to Trdlo… a delicious pastry hybrid… recommended both with and without nutella.  As we were told before we got there… and now fully agree with…
“If you don’t like prague…. there is something seriously wrong with you”

Prague2

 

Český Krumlov

I have been trying to work out how to describe Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, just right… it is not at all what I expected, which shouldn’t really be a surprise given what I have already experienced on this trip.   But if I had to describe it… this is where I would live if I was indeed, a Disney Princess… which is something I have given more thought than I care to admit.   But it would be seriously perfect for this, tiny cobblestone streets, a beautiful river, picturesque skyline and an ancient castle complete with a bear moat… seriously a moat with bears instead of water… not ideal for the bears right now, but definitely Disney princess movie worthy… because it would be cartoon and the bears would be part of the family in a totally animal rights approved way.

Cesky1

Just to add to the magic that was Český we stayed in the one of the greatest places I have ever walked into… The Old Inn, right in the town square. An Inn which I am pretty sure has just been added to over time. The stairs and floors have no real order, you just follow the signs around twists and turns until you get to your room… which for us was right up the very top… in the attic… it was super cosy and ticked ‘have a room in the attic, complete with slanted roof’ off my life bucket list… although the roof did make the shower a little more complicated then it should have been… I have never had to kneel to shower… and I hope I don’t have to again… but it was fun for a night.

Cesky2

Oh… and we visited our 4th museum for the year today… which means no. 76 is off the list.  Not bad for day 12 of 2016!

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Halfway point 

Just like every year, this year is flying and without really any warning at all we have reached July… which is the halfway point… so what better time to do a quick list update.  I think the list is actually traveling along quite nicely… but I will let you decide for yourself.  Like always, those list tasks that already have a blog or a picture of their own have a hyperlink, so you can go back a read all about it… but I have included the ‘official’ list picture too, just for some fun.  Oh and any that have been completed but seemingly flown under the radar you can read about here…. ok, here we go halftime update.

1. Visit Hobbiton – completed: 01/01/15

3. Do another Pinterest craft – completed: 13/02/15

4. Make my own hot cross buns – completed: 05/04/15

7. Eat something I have planted – completed: 27/01/15
The veggie patch is still going strong, although I think we have enough chillies to last a life time.

9. Go to two weddings – completed: 21/02/15
(wedding 1,
wedding 2)
Two beautiful weddings I might add, the first our friends Ben and Annie and the second my Mums. 

10. Order fish at a restaurant – completed: 06/01/15

12. Have a weekend away – completed: 26/04/15

14. Work as a classroom teacher – completed: 13/03/15
Yep it’s happening, at the moment it is just emergency relief teaching, but it is teaching in a classroom all the same.

17. Do some trivia – completed: 17/01/15
Ok so it wasn’t quite the trivia I had in mind, but there were several rounds of buzz and it is a trivia game, so it is off the list. 

21. See some black sand – completed: 02/01/15

22. Put some new photos up around the house – completed: 11/04/15

24. Ride a rollercoaster – completed: 09/04/14
Winner birthday inclusion from 1 Dave George!  It may have just been the scenic railway at Lunar Park, but its a coaster of sorts and was enough fun to warrant crossing this off the list.

26. See a movie at the drive-in – completed: 14/02/15
What better way to celebrate valentines day than at the drive-in?  There is none, seriously I don’t the drive-in will ever go out of fashion

29. Take a selfie with the selfie stick fully extended – completed: 10/01/15

30. Go to the beach at least 5 times – completed: 26/01/15
Split over 2 countries in the once summer means 5 different beautiful beaches.

33. Rent a bike and go on an adventure – completed: 03/01/15

34. Stay at the Langham – completed: 07/01/15

35. Go Hiking – completed: 03/01/15

37. Make a playlist for each season
Well we are now into our third season this year… so two playlists are done.
Summer:

– Burn Like a Star – Rend Collective
– My Lighthouse – Rend Collective
– Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
– Style – Taylor Swift
– Out Of The Woods – Taylor Swift
– Blank Space – Taylor Swift
– Welcome To New York – Taylor Swift
– I Am Australian – Travis Collins
– Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson
– Ever Be – Bethel Music

Autumn:
– American Honey – Lady Antebellum
– Forever – Bethel Music
– Wasn’t Expecting That – Jamie Lawson
– Trouble (feat. Jennifer Hudson) – Iggy Azalea
– Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
– Sexual Healing – Hot 8 Brass Band
– Marvin Gaye (feat. Meghan Trainor) – Charlie Puth
– You’re The Voice – John Farnham
– How Can We Be Lovers – Michael Bolton

44. Knit a scarf – completed: 30/05/15
Hand knitted… as in… with my hands… as the knitting needles… and it turned out ok…. but took a lot longer than the 30 minutes the YouTube I watched told me it would.

45. Read a book on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose – completed: 08/06/15
This year I have been part of a new bookclub… which I mention breifly here… and I love it, I have read 3 books now that I probably would never have read without prompting and one I chose.  2 of the 3 were books that I would have read if recommended to me, but probably would other wise not come across and one was completely not on my raider.  I had heard of it… mostly because it’s title is my name… but it was in a genre that I just never really got into.  I think probably because I found them more challenging to read, and couldn’t do it as a little mind escape… it took effort.  But May’s bookclub book… which turned out would also become June’s as well was Emma by Jane Austen, a classic.  And even though I would have never chosen it myself… I am glad Kirsten did, because it does share my name and once I got used to the style of writing I actually loved it.   So time well spent and no. 45 off the list.

50. Learn something in sign language – completed: 08/06/15
So I have always had a fascination with Auslan and how incredible it is… so I popped learning some of it on my list this year.  Conveniently one of my besties recently did an Auslan course and shared some of her knowledge with me… and we made a little video.  Click the link to check it out. 

52. See two oceans meet – completed: 05/01/15

53. Go in a sea vessel… kayak, canoe, paddle boat, regular boat… whatever – completed: 06/01/15

64. Eat a Feijoa – completed: 15/04/15
Delicious and sweet… I really don’t understand why these don’t take off here.  Seriously they are delicious

65. Go on a luge – completed: 03/01/14

66. Swim in a thermal pool – completed: 02/01/15

70. See a Musical – completed: 07/02/15
January date night at Once with Davo.  Quite different to the musicals I usually go to, but still a winner, let’s face it musicals usually are. 

71. Read 15 books
Ok so it isn’t quite completed yet, but it is on it’s way… I’ve read 10 so far, 5 to go, but here are the ones I’ve read to date:

    • The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult (finished 26/01/15)
    • Still Alice – Lisa Genova (finished 09/02/15)
    • Leaving Time – Jodi Picoult (Finished 22/02/15)
    • Wild – Cheryl Strayed (21/03/15)
    • Divergent – Veronica Roth (02/04/15)
    • Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith (10/04/15)
    • Useful – Debra Oswald (05/05/15)
    • Emma – Jane Austen (08/06/15) 
    • The Burnt House – Faye Kellerman (18/06/15)
    • If I Stay – Gayle Foreman (25/06/15)

74. Have a mocktail – completed: 17/02/15
Thanks to a fun hen’s night for my mum this is now off the list!

79. See Big Hero6 – completed: 30/05/15
We didn’t see it on the big screen like I thought we would, but we did see it in the comfort of our lounge and it was wonderful as all disney movies are… seriously I can’t think of an animated dud.

82. Do some colouring – completed: 08/05/15
Apparently adult colouring is a thing now… just another thing that I seems to have been into before it was cool… so much before that I was uncool… but now I can embrace it… seriously embrace it because its a thing… a real anti-stress thing. 

83. Go to a live sporting event – completed: 08/01/15

85. Have High Tea – completed: 07/02/15
Celebrating mum as a bride to be also meant that we got to have high tea, and as all high teas are it was beautiful and delicious. 

87. Learn a new skill – completed: 10/05/15

90. Ride a push bike without tears – completed: 03/01/15

93. Go to a farmers market – completed: 26/04/15

95. Do something handy at home – completed: 14/02/15
Now that we have our own home we can change it whenever we want… so at the moment we are preparing the backyard for a deck, so far I have drilled, hammer, shoveled and use some power tools I don’t actually know the name off, but it is fun… and you’ll get to see some pictures when it is done. 

99. See a wild swimming animal – completed: 06/01/15

100. Touch a volcano – completed: 02/01/15

2013 – Through the eyes of my iPhone

Another year done and dusted… and once again it’s time to reminisce on what the year has brought.  It’s kind of overwhelming to look at the year in one go like this.  In many ways it feels like 2013 just started, but when I look at all the things i’ve done this year, it feels like a long time.

2013 has been another busy busy years, with lots of excitement, fun and laughter, some tears and sadness but it has all played an important part in the year that was… and without it.. it would have been pretty boring.  There are still things I wish I had have achieved this year, but there is lots of things that I have done which have been bigger and better than I could have imagined.  And just like the last couple of years I have taken a photo everyday, some good ones, some boring ones, and some in-between, but it gives me a good recap of all that happened in 2013… so here is 2013 through the eyes of my iPhone…

JANUARY

Jan

Highlight: January was fun month full of all good things about summer… sun, friends, family and the beach.  There was a lowlight of my computer dying, but that was outweighed by weddings, new puppies, dinner with family and some time at the beach with rellies from overseas… well played january.

FEBRUARY

Feb

Highlight: All things outdoors – my new herb garden, a new sleeping bag, moonlight cinema, young adults camp, oh and an indoor night with Keith Urban…

MARCH

Mar

Highlight: New apple products – a new laptop and my iPad mini… Fun weekends in Inverloch where Dex met Abe oh and Kate got married… March was a winner month.

APRIL…

Apr

Highlight: My Birthday and everything that went with it… crossing things off my list… although I am not sure if bikram yoga is a highlight or lowlight… but the most exciting moment of all is getting the call that said my best friend was engaged!  So much love and joy in one call.

MAY…

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Highlight: Dave’s school production of Les Mis… hands down… it was simply the best, such a wonderful bunch of talented kids and teachers… well done WCC…. Also Jake got enrolled as an adherent and that was pretty awesome.

JUNE…

Jun

Highlight: Camping… I have decided I love it… I love the tent, I love the adventure and I love our new tradition of timer photos.

JULY…

Jul

Highlight: Jake turned 21… and it was fun!  Oh and there was more camping which was also fun.

AUGUST…

Aug

Highlight: Well actually it’s a lowlight, in August we said goodbye to Dave’s Nanny, which was sad, but it did mean I was able to learn a whole heap about Dave and his family, look through lots of pictures and reminisce which I love.

SEPTEMBER…

Sep

Highlight: September was a big month, we went on another road trip, I got an awesome Tupperware haul, the Hawks won the flag and I finished my teaching rounds.  Overall a pretty impressive month.

OCTOBER…

Oct

Highlight: The highlight for October definitely has to be upping the anti on 2012 and completing my 21.1km half marathon at the Melbourne Marathon Series with my Dad and Davo.

NOVEMBER…

Nov

Highlight: Kempy got married, I got a veggie garden and we crammed in a whole lotta date days…

DECEMBER…

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Highlight: Another December, another year of Christmas being the highlight… In particular this year a special mention goes to Carols by Candlelight, the fireworks and Bruce, my penguin snow globe.  Man I love Christmas.

So that’s it… another year condensed into pictures and a highlight or two… so much madness compacted…

Here’s to 2014… I’m hoping its even better…