Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Australia Day.

Happy Australia Day (1/26)

It was a fun week as the sun was out and everyday was hot! I went to church on Sunday night and felt so happy that I found a place where I was surrounded by other believers. Right away a girl came up to me and started talking. I got introduced to a couple other people which made me so thankful knowing that God brought me there. I am excited to go tomorrow night as its at a park!
The girls got a little kid pool for the house and might I say they have been loving it. We put it at the bottom of a slide they have and I can not express to you how entertained they are just splashing in the pool. It makes me smile seeing how much fun they have in the water. Alicia starts school next friday so she went and got all her school supplies and has been counting down the days! She is so excited to see her friends. She also starts gymnastics on monday which will be so much fun to go and watch her tumble and jump. Annabel and I spent friday just the 2 of us and I must say it was very nice to have just her for the day. We went on a long walk in the morning, played and giggled and enjoyed the sun! We are working on saying "Done" when she is finished eating and she has said it a couple times and of course I praise her when she does! I cant believe how much she knows only being 1.

Thursday was Australia day and I saw SO much and met so many people! Me and some other Au Pairs went to the parade downtown which I was blown away by so many different ethnic clubs or groups. I saw so much of the world in just that parade. Lebanese, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, Thai, Afghanistan and so many more oh and even a star wars dress up club : ) We then wandered down to the woodchopping competition which was So much fun and crazy to think of how people get involved in those things that you don't hear to much of. There were young guys and even older grey haired men chopping this huge block of wood. After we went to the Docklands which was where I went for the fireworks NYE. There was a woman who was doing a beautiful chalk picture on the sidewalk. Let me say that God gives that talent to certain people cause I could never do that. We ventured to the Botanic gardens where they have a music stage called the Meyer Music Bowl. We saw irish dancers which made me want to visit Ireland because of the music. All those dancers must have crazy calf and thigh muscles cause all they do is jump up and down while their curly wigs bounce with their every jump! After a Irish band sang which they did an Irish rap! very interesting and not going to lie I couldn't really understand a thing he said. 

We then ventured down to St. Kilda beach which was PACKED with people. Everyone was drinking and having a picnic enjoying the warm weather and celebrating. It was a place where everyone in their 20's and 30's were but scattered around were a few kids with their parents. It is the closest beach to the city. Makes me miss the beaches in so cal. After spending some time there we went and met up with some other people and went to a bbq which we were to late to even eat cause all the food was gone. Played a few games and went back downtown to catch the fireworks which were set off from on top of the Eureka tower which again is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. It was a fun night walking around seeing everyone out celebrating. It reminded me SO much of the 4th of july, well basically its the same thing. I do love that in America there are fireworks everywhere and most the time you go to a cabin or a lake and hang out.

With everything that God has been putting on my heart and I am listening to him intently as to what he wants me to do after my adventure here I know he is calling me to move back to America and start a life and community. I do miss so much working with flowers and being in my passion field. I am not sure which state I will move back to but its looking like Minnesota will be it. God has shown me where he wants me to work in his church and I am so thrilled and excited to start serving him there. He has given me a desire to be a mentor and small group leader for high school aged girls. Outside of family and friends I never had a mentor and I think if I did things would have turned out a little bit different. I want to be that person for a group of girls who are comfortable talking with me and I want to make a difference in someone's life and not have them go through what I went through. I have been praying that he will prepare those girls hearts and mine when the time comes. As excited as I am to start my life again back home I am still looking forward to the next 5 months here and learning and discovering everything Australia has to offer.

My parents are coming in July and we are going to travel for 2 weeks which I have never been more excited to see them in my life. I am ready for the experiences and memories that we will share!

Loving the warm sun and experiencing Gods beauty through beautiful people who he is putting in my life.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


This last week was FULL of celebrations! We celebrated the sun finally coming back to join us this summer. We hit the pool on tuesday and let me say so did everyone else! It was busy with little kids swimming and teenagers tanning. Alicia loved to watch the swim practice that was going on which gave me great joy as I was showing her all the strokes they were doing. I am getting a beautiful tan these days : ) 

I learned how to drive Carols car which is a manual so now I can go places with the girls! I am not 100% but I am getting the hang of it. I am grateful for automatic cars and surly do miss mine but I am taking in every learning experience while I am here and I will be taking home the knowledge of a manual car! 

It was Annabel's 1st birthday on friday and we had a wonderful day! The girls and I went up to the shops and picked out her birthday gift. While she slept, Alicia and I made party decorations which included paper chains and party hats for dinner that night. Carols parents and sister came over and we had a delicious meal as always and opened presents and just enjoyed each others company! Saturday, Alicia had Little Athletics which is track and field for kids under 16 here. I watched her practice and win the 70 meter race which she was SO excited about. She had the biggest smile while running all her races and when we called out to her to run faster she gave us a huge smile and sped off! After, we had a birthday picnic at the park where a couple of friends came and joined us! We barbecued some sausages and chicken burgers which were delicious along with turkish bread and humus which was absolutely divine. We sang happy birthday and Annabel devoured her vanilla with strawberry and coconut cake which I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed. The kids all ran around while having so much fun having a play. It was a successful party. Ill admit I was exhausted that night but it was so beautiful out I went on a walk down the path and sat by a little pond and watched the sun set while praying and taking in everything I have experienced in my 3 weeks I have been here. I am still so amazed where God has directed me and what he is putting on my heart. 

Last night I went to church... FINALLY. I loved it. Right away a girl came to talk to me and told me to sit by her and her friends. I am always just blown away by how God urges certain people. I took in every moment and felt so much happiness singing praises and celebrating Gods love with others. I am hoping to join a small group and that I will keep meeting more people there and God will continue to grow in my life. I can't wait till next Sunday already as we are having the service at a park which Carol tells me its beautiful! 

This last week I was reading through the book of Romans and I was blown away by how many times I kept reading that God is guiding me, showing me where he wants me and he will never leave my side. I rely so much on him for protecting me and keeping me on the right path. This was the perfect book to read as now there are so many verses underlined! I urge whoever needs encouragement in their life or whoever is feeling lonely you need to read Romans as I promise God will give you comfort in knowing that you are NOT alone. 

Some verses that stuck out to me and comforting me in my lonely moments.

Romans 3.28 “ God does not respond to what we do, we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all other by letting him set the pace not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.”

"he trusted God to set him right instead of trying to bright on his own" Romans 4.3

" the person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives" Romans 1.17

" Dont even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life" Romans 6.13 (this is a verse that I need to keep reminding myself when I am put into situations where I need to make the right decision if to do what I have done in the past or what God wants me to do) Also read Romans 7.14-16

"Simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us" Romans 8.4

The sun is supposed to shine all week which means the girls and I will be spending lots of time at the pool! 
Hope everyone has a blessed week of rest and hope my little words of encouragement will come in hand. 

Oh and I finally skyped with my sister, sister in law and best friend I must say I miss everyone so dearly and am SO very thankful for skype!!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Romans 3.28 
“ God does not respond to what we do, we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all other by letting him set the pace not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.”

My verse to memorize. 
Uplifting and so true. 

Remember to take everyday as it comes. do not rush or try to plan everything out. God is in control and will always be. If you let him set the pace then things will fall into place just as he has planned.

I would say that I have grown up so much in this way and am so thankful to have changed to just trust that God will always guide me. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Change brings Change.

its been one week since my last blog and let me say it was a wonderful crazy fast week at that. It was my first week of work which I was so ready to be in routine and let me say its been perfect. I spend tuesday thru friday with the girls and let me say we have lots of fun. Our days consist of several dance parties, many books, walks, crafts and laughs. I am falling so in love with these girls  and creating a beautiful relationship that I know will last forever. I pray that I will make a difference in their life since they are making one in mine. The weather was cold and rainy so we were not able to do much and since I didnt have a car we had to stay close. There are little shops just up the street where we went one day and got a milkshake and Alicia picked a red gerbera daisy for her parents from the local florist (where I left my phone number if they need help crossing my fingers I could pick up hours on the weekend) We went to 3 different parks when the sun decided to join us in the afternoon where we went down slides, swung and titer-tottered. Annabel LOVES the swings and going down the slides, she gets the biggest smile that is so precious. Alicia has 2 favorite songs that we dance to everyday, Single ladies by Beyonce and I got a feeling by black eyed peas. Let me say that I have gotten past not liking these songs and am just used to listening to them!

Friday I finally had a girls night and got out to explore downtown at night. I was with 3 other Au Pairs who are from all different places. Germany, Italy and France and of course me the American : ) We went to a bar/club that was super cool but I realized that it is not my scene. We met very nice guys who were australian and they walked with us downtown and even brought me home which was SO nice of them. It was crazy to see so many people out at night. The streets filled with people from all over the world. Very good people watching as there were so many interesting outfits. We went to the "english bar" where they had a live cover band which was fun to dance since I do love to dance. My feet hurt bad as I will never wear 5 inch heels again when I go downtown. But that wont be to often. Saturday I went downtown with 2 French girls I have met and it was the most lovely day. We walked all over the place exploring even more then I did on my own last saturday. We went to the Melbourne park which is where the Australian Open is being held right now. We watched a match and walked around the grounds which were crazy busy already. There was a concert in the Fitzroy gardens which we went to for about an hour. Reminded me of concert in the park in Park City where everyone comes with a bottle of wine and dinner while catching up. We ate dinner at this little italian restaurant that was literally a hole in the wall but the most delicious food I have eaten. Homemade pasta really makes a delicious dish. I know I will be back there several times to try their whole menu. Mom and dad get excited cause I am taking you there : ) After one of the girls wanted to go to the skydeck which is at the top of the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. Pictures were good enough for me : ) It was such a wonderful day spending it with others walking around and learning about life in Europe. I have learned so much already about different cultures and customs. I love that I have met so many people from Europe which I know we will keep in touch and if I ever get around to going to Europe I will have friends to catch up and travel with.

Yesterday we were invited to a bbq at a neighbors down the street. It is one of Alicia's friends and I must say I miss being 5 years old sometimes. Nothing to worry about and so much imagination.

Change brings Change is my lesson for this week as I am in a new place and I have already experienced so much change in my life. God has really changed me in so many ways in such little time. I am realizing that who I share my time with is really a reflection of who I am. I know the importance of surrounding myself with people who love the God I love and who share a similar passion and lifestyle that I am so desperately trying to live. As much as I love to have a good time and go out it doesn't bring me satisfaction and I keep going back to my old ways which I have no desire to. I am praying that I meet a good group of friends when I go to church next week who will be a positive influence in my time here. I am praying that God will bring me a group of friends who will be my heart and soul and will be there for me during my difficult times since we will always have them in life.
I know that right now this is exactly where I am supposed to be in my life. I love this feeling of comfort knowing God has me here for a reason and that he is putting so much on my heart to think about.

I have no clue where he will take me after these next 6 wonderful months but I trust him completely because I would have never imagined that I would be where I am right now. I am so thankful for everything he has provided for me and most thankful for giving me the family I am with right now. It makes this experience that much more enjoyable knowing that I will have these 4 wonderful people in my life forever.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week full of laughter joy & memories.
May God start a change in your life as it is the most wonderful feeling knowing he is always with us everyday.

with love,


ps. I am learning to drive a manual car. tonight I will have my 2nd lesson so hopefully tomorrow I can bring the girls to the pool since it is supposed to be hot and sunny. let just hope i don't crash wahh : )

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Yesterday, Saturday I ventured downtown all by myself. which is for me, going out of my "box" as independent as I think I am, I usually always like to have someone else with me whenever I go out but yesterday I proved to myself that I could explore all on my own. I had a wonderful day just to me to see all the new sights of Melbourne. There is a city circle trolly that is free so I hopped on board and rode down to Federation Square. I found myself walking past all these little cafes, boutiques and bars. By alleys filled with beautiful graffiti which makes me think about the people who created the artwork and why they painted what they did. I went to the Ian Potter Center NG Australia which is an art museum that represents Australian artists. As I walked past the beautiful paintings I started talking to a man and he informed me that the reason why the earliest artwork was so dark as in color was because the Europeans who came over were still painting with an european eye. They had a different twilight then the Australia. So when I continued to move forward I saw the painting become lighter in color and also in attitude. I was so captivated by the beautiful colors. They had an exhibit from the aboriginals which I found so fascinating. They used earth colors of deep reds, browns, yellows and pure white. All the pictures are filled with millions of dots. The way they portrayed the land where they lived, the beginning of life and the end of life. I came across a wall full of shields that were used to show the different tribes and ranks. Things haven't changed, today people show their status with the things they own, houses or cars they have and the amount of money they make. In the end, they are all material things and don't go to heaven when you die.
I walked all over downtown taking in the beautiful sights, the incredible intricate churches, (went into the St. Paul Cathedral and it was so beautiful all of the artwork, I couldn't imagine the churches in Europe that are even more beautiful. I hope to see those in person as well : ) I had a glass of wine and tasty salad at an Italian restaurant on the river while I read my book. I enjoyed the time alone. I was so blown away at how much Melbourne reminds me of New York city with all the little nooks and hole in the walls full of restaurants. Here they have China town, little italy and discount stores. I walked past many people of different cultures, Asian, European, American, African, Indian basically people from all over the world. It is amazing that I saw more foreigners rather then "Australians" Everyone wants a chance to have the best life for them and their family and I guess they will go wherever they can provide that happiness.

Its a rainy sunday and I can't wait to go check out this church tonight. I am so excited to praise God for what he has done for me and where he has put me!

I start "work" on tuesday and can't wait to get into a routine. I know I will be going on plenty of walks with the girls.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Convent: a community of persons devoted to religious life under a superior.

The other day we went to the Abbotsford Convent. The grounds are beautiful full of color. It was abbandoned and now is a sanctuary for artists. There are several cafes on the grounds. We went to one where you "pay as you feel" it was delicious food as all their food is vegan. The mix of people who went through the line went from hipster to homeless. Such a mix of cultures as it is really a melting pot here, not just in the US. After we went just down the street to the Collingswood Children's Farm where we saw donkeys, ponies, peacocks, piglets & goats. Alicia & Annabel LOVED seeing all the animals and petting them. I saw Gods beauty as we walked along the grounds and I see why this is a place of inspiration for the local artists. 
St. Abbots Convent
Beautiful Grounds. 
Alicia got new rollerblades for her birthday back in August so we went down to the Melbourne Museum where they have a wonderful park, path and place to rollerblade. She zoomed by me loving every moment. The architecture of the museum was beautiful and the grounds were perfectly kept. Next to it was a big building similar to a convention center. The end of April is the flower and garden show which I am excited to go with Carol. The people watching is so good here since there is such a wide variety of people who live/visit Melbourne. Even tho the weather was at a perfect temperature I got a wonderful farmers tan : ) 

I met up with another Au Pair one night for drinks down on Brunswick St. It reminds me of Grand ave in Minnesota. Lots of bars, restaurants and shopping. She is from Germany and has been here for 3 months. It was so great talking to her and hearing her experience. I have to say that I could not be more blessed to have the family I am with. I know that God put me with this family for a reason. 

Yesterday we went to the Royal Botanical Gardens which made me giddy inside. First we stopped at the Shrine of Remembrance across the street. We toured inside and walked around the grounds. Azure day is similar to veterans day as it commemorates all the Australians who served in the wars. When you stood at the top of the stairs you could see the skyline of downtown. I forget that every place has their own way to celebrate the service men and women of their country. Makes me so thankful that I am able to travel here and other places because of those who are brave to fight for freedom. 
Alicia and I raced up these stairs. She won!

Cant wait to explore downtown
We then ventured over to the gardens. The "bush" which they call all the trees were tall and full grown. They had a children's garden area where Alicia and Annabel played in a little stream where all the other kids were splashing around. It was so crazy to see no young moms or dads there as I said before that most people here wait to have children in their 30's. As we walked through the paths there were beautiful flowers and colors. The green grass and trees met the light blue sky. We had a picnic by a "lake" where Alicia and I spotted turtles and lake eels (i would never swim in a place with eels) Carol and I have been having the most wonderful conversations and she told me that after we skyped for the first time they knew that I was the perfect fit and canceled all other interviews. That made me feel so comforted in knowing that this was meant to be. She has taught me so much already about their culture and the city. I have a feeling that I am going to bring the girls down to the Gardens often and even by myself. A perfect spot to spend time with God and reflect on what he has put in my life. As we walked back to the car we treated ourself to some sorbet. yummm.

We drove downtown seeing all the "malls" similar to Nicollet mall. There are so many places I want to go and see. So many different cuisines and shops that look so unique. Every street was packed with people either tourists or locals. We arrived at the Victorian Farmers Market which I was very excited to walk around. We unfortunately were an hour late and just catching some vendors who were closing up. The market is divided up into different sections. They have fruit and veggies which are very cheap compared to the grocery store prices. A meat and cheese section which we bought some delicious dips but will have to go back. The vendors had a huge variety of cheeses from all around the world and meats that I have never heard of. Then there were the typical "tourist souvenirs" that I walked past as Carol teased me about getting my I <3 Melbourne T-shirt, boomerang and kangaroo skin to bring home. I can not wait to come back down and walk around to see all the different produce and people. There are many Greek, Italian and Lebanese immigrants who have places at the market. It is so interesting to me to see where people come from and I can't wait to meet some people and ask them why they chose Melbourne. Their are so many different communities of people. I would love to experience a little part of each.

I have been eating very well as Carol is the most amazing cook. I have so much to learn from her. I tried Lamb for the first time on a very Greek salad. It was delicious. The wine here is amazing as it has so much more flavor and taste or should I say the local wine is. 

Behind our house there is a wonderful trail called the Koonung Trail. I took a walk last night and was filled with happiness as I realized how thankful I am and how much I am going to learn here. There is a beautiful stream that runs along the path. One way I could take the path all the way downtown but that will not be happening. I am so excited to be able to have a route to run along. 

Australian Lingo:
Pram = stroller
The Bottle Shop = Liquor store
Que = cash register
corriander = cilantro
cilantro = parsley
carpark = parking lot
petrol = gas

I love learning the different terms as I slowly see myself adding these new words into my vocabulary. 

Convent: a community of persons devoted to religious life under a superior.
I am craving a community here that shares my values and beliefs. I know in time God will bring me a community I just have to keep trusting him and praying that he will. I see more and more that having a community to share your life with helps define and mold who I am and my relationship with God. I am going to a Church this sunday and am praying that I can find somewhat of a community of people who are open to a relationship with me, to show me around & make me feel welcome for the next 6 months. 
I have been praying that God will show me my purpose while I am here. Show me where he wants to put me to show other people the joy and contentment I find in him. I am only hoping it will be within my floral passion. I am in no rush as this next 6 months is devoted to where he has put me. These 2 beautiful girls and 2 wonderful parents are one of my communities here in Melbourne.  

Hope everyone has had a wonderful week.
May God put a light in your life so you can share that with others.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm finally tan!

Hello finally from australia! I feel like I have already been here for. Long time. Let's see my flight went superb for being my first international flight. Got caught up on Harry potter and slept. Oh and didn't get carded for a glass of free wine. Helped me fall asleep : ) flying into new Zealand was incredible so lush and green. When I finally landed into Melbourne I couldn't. Believe the hundreds of people from all over the world going thru customs. Thank goodness my bags both arrived one behind the other. I have been getting used to the temp in celsius. I am getting really good and multiplying by 2 and adding 32. So basically the 30's and 40's is the 90's and 100 degrees. So let's just say its summer! For new years eve we had a lovely barbeque and I must say its so nice sitting outside on the porch listening to all the new sounds. We went down to docklands which is a really long pier with lots of bars restaurants apartments and really big yachts. They had a kids show with Dora the explorer and at 930 the fireworks went off. I must say that they were the best fireworks I have seen in a long time. It was so fun to see all the people gather together to celebrate a new year and new beginnings. I slept like a rock that night. My head hit the pillow and I was out. Tody we went to a beach about 45 minutes west. It was a beautiful drive as I think it kinda reminds me of the California coast. There are no waves since its a bay and it was so nice to relax and play in the water. There were several boats coming in and out of the docks many pulling tubes behind. It would not have been a day at the beach if I didn't get sunburned. Mom and Ada you would be proud that my shoulders face or legs did not get sunburned but yet my feet and little parts of my back are fried. But hey I haven't been in the sun for a while and I must say it felt amazing. So far I have had a wonderful time getting to know mark carol and the girls. They are such and amazing family and I could not have asked God for anyone better. We have had great conversations about almost everything. I haven't felt this comfortable with people who I really have never met. Annabel is already attached to me and doesn't cry or show that she doesn't want me to hold her. Thank you God for making that easy since I'll be spending most of my time with her. Alicia is full of energy and loves to play. We have already made jewelry and cooked. Tomorrow she is gunna bike we I run and she is showing me the duck pond that is just down the path behind their house. Carol and I have lots in common. We both do not like to drink our calories and we bothe have a huge sweet tooth. She is an amazing cook and I can't wait to learn her recipes and show her mine. Mark is a wonderful dad and has many amazing stories about all the places he has been when he was in the British army. Ironically one of his favorite places was park city Utah! I already feel part of the family and they have done so much for me to make me feel at home.

I realized that everyone in the world had one thing in common. We all want an adventure out of life. To experience a life changing moment. Wether it's alone, with a loved one or with you're family and friends we all want to obtain a wonderful memory and experience. I know this is my adventure. I know God has put me exactly where he wants me to change me and others who he brings into my life. I read the Book kisses from Katie which everyone needs to read. She talks so much about how she always has to rely on God to get her thru each day. As lonely as I'll be somedays and miss my comfortable life back home I have to keep reminding me and relying on God that he is always with me and has a direction for my life. There is a reason I am where I am at this time and moment in my life. I know my relationship is going to grow so much in these next 6 months and I will have to rely on him even more then I ever have for guidance. I want to experience his creation and his beauties.

Some fun tidbits I have learned:
Diapers are called napies
Women do not get married young. Carol told me that in her kinder group for Alicia she was the youngest there and she was 32 years old. It's so interesting to me that people wait so long to get married and have children. I could never imagine having young kids near to my 40'. I feel like in America there is such a rush to get married and start a family hence why there is such a high divorce rate.
People have holiday houses along the beach. And when I say holiday house I mean little one room shack right on the sand. Apparently they can go for 20,000$$ which I couldn't imagine who would pay that. Most are passed down from family to family.
Brand name Shampoo and conditioner is 15$ for a regular size but the organic is wayyyy cheaper.

I am loving every minute of this new life. Yet I still have to fully unpack. Mom you were right I did pack wayyy to much. And it's a good thing I left my blow dryer because they have different outlets here! I can't wait to go and explore more and meet new friends. Mark and carol are going to take me to a winery which I can't wait for and which I love that I won't be carded!
As for now I hope everyone had a wonderful new years and hope that 2012 is full of laughter and experiences with lasting memories. may God fill your hearts with love and compassion.


Ps. I'll post pictures as soon as I get an adapter for my computer. I'm currently on carols iPad. Let me just say the trees are green, wage ocean is crystal blue and there hasn't been a cloud in the sky.