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.

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.

Missed it again, but gratitude is still gratitude

So thankfulness on a Thursday is not really working out for me… Because once again it is Saturday… And perhaps thoughts of gratitude haven’t invaded my everyday, but I am still enjoying stopping and reflecting…

Nov 16:  A good list – I have a long list of things I need to do at work… Unfortunately for everything I cross off 2 more things seem to be added… But today I got lots done… And there is nothing better than the feeling of crossing things off the list…

Nov 17:  Listening ears – so after my over achieving yesterday, today I crashed and realised that Christmas is coming like a steam train and I am no more ready than I was weeks ago… But luckily I sit with a winner friend at work who was more than helpful as I panicked.

Nov 18:  How far I have come – I had the opportunity to reflect today on how far I had progressed at work over the last 2.5 years, and to be honest it was a pretty good reflection, I have grown a lot as a dietitian, but also in a number of other areas and I am really thankful to work somewhere that helps me use and also appreciates my skills.

Nov 19:  Private Health insurance – Tonight I ordered new glasses, something that would have been much more expensive without my health insurance, but more than the discount I got today, I am thankful that we can afford luxuries like health insurance, because there are lots of people that cannot.

Nov 20:  Home – I know it sounds simple, but I am thankful for our house.  It has all we need and we have made it ours and it is good.

IMG_0422Nov 21:  Friendsgiving and Pumpkin Pie – Hanging out with people you love seems to be a theme of this thankfulness month, but I suppose it just highlights how grateful I am to have friends and family who I love and can spend time with.  There is also something special about baking special treats for people too and today I made a pumpkin pie, thanks to a generous recipe share from a friend, just for Davo, although we all enjoyed it too, because praise the Lord it turned out pretty good.

So there you go, another week of November gone…

Still Thankful

Ok, so I missed Thursday again this week, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thankful this past week, I have… here check it:

Nov 7:  Catch-Ups with old Friends – there are some friends who I don’t see all that often, but when I do it is like no time has passed, things just click back together.  I am truly thankful for this because I know it isn’t always the way these things work, but I am so glad that with these guys it always seems to happen.  So much has changed since we first meet during O-week at Uni, but the three of us remain solid… it’s good.

Nov 8:  That God made berries and that we could pick them – But this is so much more than berry picking, although we picked so many and they were so very delicious, we also got to hang out with My brother and his girlfriend and enjoy the beautiful sunshine… just a winner combination.


Nov 9:  Skills – This one might sound a little arrogant, but I am thankful that I have skills in a lot of different things and that I am currently in a job where people appreciated my skills and encourage me to use them.   It’s good to feel supported and appreciated.

Nov 10:  The gym – It’s a love hate relationship, but this week I have been really glad to be back in the gym, it’s good to exercise… I wish I felt like this more often.

Nov 11:  Meeting wise people – During Alpha at church we have been put in a group with some pretty wise people, I don’t think I will ever get sick of learning about what God is doing through people, or challenged about how I can lift my game.

Nov 12:  Friday Feels on a Thursday – Today was a great day at work, and there was a Friday feeling in the air, even though it was Thursday, although technically my work Friday… because I wasn’t actually working on Friday… but it wasn’t just me… work was just really fun today and for that I am thankful.

Nov 13:  International Post – It was my bestie’s birthday yesterday and I popped a card in the post last week hoping that it would make it but not expecting that it would… and guess what, it did.  Only a day late for her birthday, but even so I am pretty proud of myself and really thankful that it actually made it to London.

Nov 14:  Camping – I really love it, much to the surprise of my friends and family.  So a impromptu overnight camp organised by Davo to help me cross some things off my list is pretty flippin good.  We crossed three things off the list… 61. Go Camping, 31. Stargaze while lying on the grass and because Davo planned the whole thing just for the list we also get to cross off no. 48. Go on a romantic getaway. But even without these things on the list, it was just really nice to be away even just for one night, see some wildlife including a random deer (who knew that was a thing in the Yarra Ranges), go for a walk and have some peachy keeny custard with our worrying about a thing.


Nov 15:  Birthday Brunch – You know the thing I wrote about for Nov 7?   Well its true for today as well.  Today we celebrated another besties birthday with delicious breakfast and it was good, everything about it was good, except the serve that was pretty bad, but everything else was top notch.  I am thankful for the people that are in my life, especially the ones like those I hung out with this week, who have known me for longer than I care to think about and still love me anyway.  Friends who just accept me for me… they are good ones.


So far November is proving to be a winner.

The Flute let me down

The flute let me down in high school… It made me a lame school musician… Like the nerdiest of the

Learning an instrument at school is great… It helps with a lot of things, including brain development… But it is an activity often taken up by nerds… Either because their parents told them to, or they thought they could be the musician that defied the laws of school ground class groups and become a cool musician… Adored by all, young and old, girls and boys, nerds and jocks alike… But the truth is… Most school musos are fairly studious and pretty well behaved nerds… Not surprisingly… I did music… Because I thought it was cool… (Which it is, but only now that I am older and I can see it with my older me eyes, and it’s a different cool than what I was aiming for in high school).  At school I learnt flute… Which wasn’t my first choice… But it’s where I ended up… And until last weekend, I was content in being a flautist at school.  But that was until I went to Mt. Gambier… To the Generations in Jazz competition… I had known about the competition since I was at school, the stage band went and back then didn’t win much, and Dave’s school, which I had taken an interest in went and won a lot.  Over the weekend Dave and I returned to Mt. Gambier with a stage band from Dave’s school and it dawned on me that I had missed out.  There were lots of kids there who had been just as nerdy as I was, but here they were kings… Those from schools with great music reputations were famous, it was like a whole new world… One which I think I would have enjoyed very much, but the flute ruined that for me.

You see, while there are often flute players in stage bands… They are there because they play more than one instrument… Flute is just one… Because playing the flute alone doesn’t get you into a stage band.  An orchestra, sure, a concert band, absolutely, even an incredible ensemble.. But not a stage band… And not to Mt. Gambier… So, it turns out I missed out… I missed out on Mt. Gambier, which just isn’t the same when you return a teacher… Especially when you aren’t a music teacher…

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