Monday, July 16, 2012

Down Under with the Schonemans

well as most of you know I am done with my working part in Australia. It came fast as these 6 months have gone by so fast and I am so sad to be leaving. I had a wonderful last couple weeks with my host family as we eat delicious food, went to a massive bon fire, and I said bye to my friends.

 My parents came last friday and we spent the weekend in Melbourne. We went on a wine tour in the Yarra Valley and had the most wonderful time as it was a perfect blue sky day with yummy wine that we drank glasses and glasses of. We walked all over the city exploring the rich history Melbourne has to offer from the Shrine of Remembrance to the Victoria Market. We had a wonderful dinner with my amazing host family. It was so hard to say goodbye but really it was a see you later. They will always be apart of my life and will continue to bring joy and love to my life everyday. On our last day in Melbourne we spent it soaking in the hot springs down in the Mornington Peninsula. Afterwords we had a delicious dinner with a picturesque view at the Portsea Pub. It was a beautiful drive up the coast as we watched the sun set. We finished off our adventures by having cocktails on the 35th floor of the Sofitel hotel. Saying goodbye to Melbourne was such a distant moment that I thought would be far off when I first arrived but it came and it was weird to know Im not coming back for 4 years. It felt good to fly up to warm weather and feel the sun on my oh so pale skin. We found ourselves on a beautiful 4 mile long beach where the palm trees come right up to the water. We boarded a boat and set sail out into the ocean to explore the great barrier reef. My dad and I went scuba diving and it was the most amazing experience as we were right up to the beautiful growing reef. We swam with a turtle which was so majestic and saw so many neon fish. I am amazed at all the color God put into this world. We ended the night with a delicious fish straight off the grill : ) We soaked up the sun on the beach and swam in the refreshing 70 degree water. That night we tried barramundi fish for the first time and our mouths were watering for more. It was an amazing dinner finishing it off with a sticky date pudding. Saturday we headed on up to the Daintree river where we hopped on a boat and went crocodile hunting : ) well not hunting. We saw about 5 crocs from babies to a 80 year old huge croc nicknamed scar face. We had the most knowledgeable tour guide as he fed us information about the vegetation and animals that were surrounding us. We then headed on up north to Cape Tribulation but on our way there we drove on windy roads and through thick rainforest full of tall trees and huge ferns. We arrived and the sun came out. It was the most amazing place I have ever been to as its where the rainforest comes right into the ocean. The mangrove trees were right in the ocean soaking up the salt water which was giving them life. The water was crystal blue and warm while we waded in it soaking in Gods creations and love. While driving back down we found ourselves way up ontop of a mountain looking down at the ocean and then 5 minutes later we had a sandy beach just feet from our car. It was simply breathtaking. Ice cream was our next stop as we drove through the Daintree Ice Cream Companies orchard. The ice cream we found ourselves inhaling was Raspberry, Passion Fruit, Lychee and Wattle Fruit. Each flavor was full and intense as it was made straight from where we were with the seeds and everything. We continued to drive down and stopped at a few lookouts, one was a view of where the Daintree river emptied into the Coral Sea. It was such a beautiful sight with all the lush green rainforest trees meeting the crystal blue and turquoise ocean water. I have never been so amazed at Gods love for us as we discovered a place that we have never been to. At that moment I was overwhelmed with the feeling that Its going to be so long till I am back here and I am not ready to leave. Sunday we walked along the beach, which it was not a short walk but we ventured into town where they had a huge market full of homemade crafts and food. It was so much fun to see all the things that people create and the passion that people have for certain items. We winded our way to each tent and bought several gifts for family members. We finished off the day at a restaurant called On the Inlet where they have a HUGE grouper named George where the feed him. It was truly an amazing sight seeing this 400 kilo fish just tear apart these fish chunks. We met a lovely couple who was from Philip Island down in Victoria. After having a wonderful conversation with them we were seated at a table right on the water. Our meal was DIVINE! simply amazing food as we tried tune, coral trout and barramundi and finished off with an espresso creme brulee and poached pear crepe. We left with our tummies happy. It was also my moms bday dinner out which she had a dessert drink of Sambuca Vanilla which she claims is her new favorite drink. On the way to our car we met a man who made us an angel fish out of Palm tree leaves. We had a wonderful night as we all fell asleep with happy tummies. Today, Monday I woke my mother up screaming HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY : )  I made her a delicious breakfast which consisted of a breakfast burrito with sausage and fresh papaya. We took a long walk on the beach exploring the tide pools since the tide has been so far out. We found several crabs and a starfish on the move. It was very windy today and we saw several people kite surfing. I made my mum a delicious birthday dinner with consisted of baby rocket and parmesan salad, butternut squash and prawn risotto with baby rocket, feta cheese and a sauvignon butter sauce. It was restaurant worthy I must say ; ) and as I am writing this now I am finishing off a yummy bowl of toasted coconut gelato with fresh pineapple. I love being in the tropics! Tomorrow we wake up bright and early to catch a flight down to Sydney where we will end this great adventure. We have a whale watching boat tour booked so that gets me so excited since I have never done it before. I will say I have seen so many animals while I have been here. Kangaroo, Koala, Wallaby, Crocodile, Turtle and now hopefully a whale!! We have also made bookings at some delicious restaurants one where the executive chef follows me on twitter : ) tehehe. We are also going to go to the Sydney zoo and hopefully hold a koala!!

I cant believe that my time is just numbered by a few days here. I remember the day I arrived and saw my beautiful Alicia ontop of Marks shoulders holding a sign saying Welcome to Australia. I am so thankful for all the memories and people I have met while being here. I have changed as a person and thankful that God brought me here and into the amazing peoples lives I will always call my family. Carol keeps telling Alicia that they are going to see me soon and they will come to my wedding whenever that is : ) hopefully I will see them before that.

I have no clue what is up ahead of the road for me but I do know that God is always going to guide me because he brought me here and brought all these wonderful experiences to me.

I have 2 interviews in Cali while I will be there for the short time that I am. One is a florist in La Jolla and another is a florist who is wanting to sell her business. The other is a florist in Eden Prairie MN and I will have a phone interview when I get to my parents house in Texas. I am not worried that I will not find a job. I have to give it all up to God and trust that will bring me to the right place, the right job and bring the right people into my life.

I will be in California for the weekend then fly to Boise to see my cousin Kersti for a couple days then fly on down to Texas to spend the weekend with my mom in Plano where they have been living for the past couple months. My mom and I will then drive up to Kansas City where I will FINALLY be reunited with my sister and her beautiful children.

Well I will leave you with some pictures from the last couple weeks.

May God bring you amazing experiences in your life like he has in mine

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm Alive.

Well I am alive. especially after my weekend in Auckland, New Zealand. I have been saying goodbye to friends in melbourne the last month and spending time with Alicia and Annabel as much as I can. I have only 4 weeks left of work?! SAYYY WHAT? crazy I know. time went by so fast.

Christine came and visited me for a weekend and it was so good to see her again. Friday she experienced a day in the life of Emily the Au Pair as she helped me with Annabel and went with me to pick up Alicia from school. we went to a footy game which is australian football league... kind of like rugby but they kick the ball between 4 posts. it was so fun to be there as the place it was at was huge and packed with supporting fans! saturday carol took us to the dandenong ranges and went to the little towns, got a pie from the pie shop (which gave me food poisoning unfortunatly) and went to the william rickets sanctuary again and also went to the rhododendron garden which was SO BEAUTIFUL since all the trees here are turning colors. That night I stuck it out and took Christine and 2 of my other friends to my favorite italian restaurant but didnt make it out after that so Mark came and got me but all 3 of the girls went out and showed Christine the Melbourne night life. Sunday we got delicious crepes and explored downtown heading to Lygon street to get some gelato then down to St. Kilda to see the sunset on the water and get some dinner. It was so fun to show Christine my life here the past 6 months.

well as for new zealand I visited my friend from high school, laura bergman who is studying there and libby came over to visit her so it was us 3 the whole weekend... lets just say it was a memorable one.
Friday morning I arrived and just spent the day downtown with libby. Got lunch and later that evening got drinks for happy hour at a bar. We made dinner then off to downtown to check out the bar scene. very tiny compared to Melbourne but we still had a blast dancing together. Saturday we got up early and caught the ferry to take us to one of the several islands. Waiheke is a beautiful island and I was taken away by all the lush green trees that met the beautiful aqua water. We rented a car then lauras boyfriend drove us around the island to do some wine tours (he grew up on the island so knows every road thankfully cause us girls would have gotten very lost) the wineries were beautiful and picturesque and of course the wine was SOO GOOD. we went to a secluded beach and had fun frolicking in the water. It was just so beautiful and I was so amazed at all the beautiful things God creates. We got some dinner and headed back to auckland. We all took a nap on the ferry : ) We went out again and danced the night away. Sunday we hopped in the car and drove 3 hours south to Rotarura to go white water rafting. It was an amazing experience even tho we were so close to tipping the raft when we went over a 7 meter waterfall. The river was beautiful with clear blue water and it felt as if we were in the amazon with all the trees and rocks surrounding the river. We were all so nervous to tip but we never did. My face in all the pictures shows how nervous I was. It was a wonderful experience and had so much fun laughing with Libby and Laura. We drove home, made some dinner and all fell asleep... which is just what we needed. Monday libby and I bungy jumped off the Auckland Harbor bridge... yeah its true. 40 meters above the water we jumped together. It was the most amazing feeling and I am so glad to have done it with someone who I have been friends with since 2nd grade. The video of our jump is on my facebook if anyone wants to take a look and laugh. We got drinks after and I had to head to the airport. The flight back home was great as I sat next to a guy from scotland and we talked the whole 3 hour flight.

Said goodbye to my friend franzi. Us at a footy game

I am slowly preparing myself for saying goodbye to Alicia and Annabel but they are not going to make it easy as Alicia tells me all the time she loves me and that she doesnt want me to leave. We had a girls night the other week and going to have a movie night this saturday which I will miss so much Annabel kisses me and loves to give me hugs. These girls will forever be mine and I am going to miss them so much. The hard part is not knowing when I will see them again.

This weekend a few friends and I are driving down to the mornington peninsula to go to the hot springs and then explore the beautiful back beaches on the other side of the bay. I am also going with Carol and the girls to see a whaling ship that has come into the port. They stop the killing of whales by the japanese. I will let ya know more in my next post.

I am getting ready to see my parents as they come exactly 1 month from today : ) We have so much fun planned and I cant wait to explore more of Australia with them. I am so ready to be in the warm sunshine on the beach.

Still do not know where I will be moving as it depends on where I get a job. God is still giving me a peace and telling me over and over again thru scripture that he has everything planned out for me and will guide me to the right place. As of now I will be living with my sister in Kansas City until I find a job.

Cant wait to see everyone.

Here are some pictures from the last month & my trip to NZ.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

always follow you.

well I will let you guys know what I have been up to the last month since I have not been good about writting but this is what I did today! finally got my tattoo. Its a little piece of Melbourne that I am taking home : ) i love it and could not be happier with how it turned out.

mean: sunflowers follow the path of the sun... I need to follow the path that God has for me in life. always need to look up to him for guidance and direction.
and its my favorite flower : )

This next weekend Christine is coming down and we are going to a footy game with some other of my friends and of course showing her my city! we will be eating lots of yummy food and bar hopping : )

7 weeks left until my parents come! I can not believe how fast time has gone.

hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful spring/summer weather as here its getting cold and always raining : (

tata for now

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Half way. already?

well as of the other day I passed the half way mark of my adventures down under. I seriously can not believe it has gone by so fast. I am so thankful for every moment ups and downs. I have learned so much about God, who he has made me to be, and parts of my puzzle of my purpose in life.

This last week I worked monday thru friday and let me say I am thankful that I am not a mom right now and that I have 3 days off. I do not know how Carol does it. She is a super mom! One thing that made me so excited to be a mom when that day comes is Annabel woke up from her nap from a dream and wouldn't go back down so I held her and she was resting her head on my shoulder and fell asleep. She even started to drool. But that feeling of having this tiny little person just cling onto you and be so comfortable to fall asleep in your arms is a something I will always remember.
On our walk to the duck pond : ) such a happy girl

It was Alicia's last week before her holiday break so at ballet I got to watch what she has been learning over the last 2 months. I almost cried thinking next time it will be my last week with her. I will say we have had some struggles when it comes to listening and following rules but that is what being 5 is and I think we have formed a lasting relationship and she truly makes me so happy and smile all the time.
My Ballerina! 
Last weekend was low key which was SO nice. Saturday I did relay for life cancer walk with a group from the church I went to a couple of times. There were TONS of people there and it was so great to see all the people who came together to honor loved ones. It was a chilly day but after a few laps and some coffee it was all good. I only stayed for about 2 hours until heading off to babysit for another family up the street. Sunday I met up with a friend downtown and we went and got some delicious french crepes for brunch then headed on over to Max Brenners Chocolate bar for a drink. of course I got a peanut butter chocolate shake. it was DELICIOUS. we had such a fun time just talking and its so interesting to hear about different peoples views on things and how they live. It is such an eye opener. I stopped by the fruit and veggie stand on the way home and made some veggie pasta with a chicken burger that I cut up. It reminded me of home : ) 
The last 2 weeks I have been changing the way I eat because in September I am going to be a bridesmaid in my best friend Joors wedding which I said was in vegas! gotta start toning and getting into tip top shape. and also for when my parents and I travel up to Cairns!! 
Max Brenners Chocolate Bar (delicious chocolate)

Last weekend I spent saturday at the International Flower and Garden Show which is the 2nd largest in the world! I was in flower heaven and I have never been so sure that this is my true passion. I was surrounded by so many amazing creations. It was so busy with so many people taking in all the beautiful artwork. I can't wait to get back and start working in the floral industry!! I met up with 2 other au pairs at one of their houses for wine and some pizza. We went out but I was so exhausted I went home early! Sunday Me Carol and the girls went and got brunch at the convent as it was such a beautiful day. Then headed on over to the museum so Alicia could rollerblade for a bit then ventured on into the museum to check out some exhibits. It was such a wonderful day with the girls and ended with a delicious pumpkin curry that carol made for dinner! I love spending time with these wonderful girls and makes me smile to see them so happy. 

Sunflower wall. My favorite

Today I am heading on down to the botanic gardens to read and just relax on this beautiful sunny day, also catch up with a friend. So thankful everyday to be here and to soak up everything around me. I am really trying to give up all my struggles and questions up to the Lord as I know I cant do things on my own.

My parents packed up their house in Kansas City and moved it on down to Plano Texas. I am so excited for this new adventure for them.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week and it is a week until Easter. I am going to focus on what God really gave up for me and my sins this week. I would not be here if it wasnt for his precious son. I am missing my family more then anything right now esp during easter but I know that I will be well taken care of with this wonderful family I am with now. God does miraculous things just make sure you open your eyes to them and understand why he does it. 
In love