Thursday, March 22, 2012

so much in so little time.

well its been probably a month since my last blog. sorry for that. I will try to catch you up on everything I have been doing/experiencing the last month!!
First off Mark is away for work so its been just us girls. I have been walking the dogs waking up early in the morning which has been actually super easy to do and a good time for me to be with the Lord. So many mornings I get to experience his beautiful sunrise and even one morning I saw hot air balloons float above me. I have been listening to Eagle Brooks podcasts of past services and I have been so spiritually up lifted and finding so many new realizations!! Oh and lets hope I can lose weight to since I am going to be a bridesmaid in my best friend Joor's wedding in September!! She was my old boss as I worked for her catering company but soon she became my best friend!! I am so excited for her and Bruce and to be included in celebrating this special day for them! Viva Las Vegas baby (where they are getting married) Cant WAIT!

Okay so the first weekend.... we went to the Warribee Open Range Zoo. It was Carol the girls me and her sister Melanie! At this zoo you get on a bus and take a safari ride to see all the animals which was awesome cause we saw zebras, camels, rhinos, giraffes, hippos and so many more. Alicia had so much fun seeing all the different animals and making all the different animal noises that she knows. She is very good at a lions roar : ) We had lunch in the park and walked around to see the other animals. They had emu birds just walking around so basically I could almost touch one. kinda cool but I didnt know if they would bite.... After exploring the zoo which I love so much we went to the Warribee Mansion that was just around the corner. It was a beautiful building on the most beautiful grounds. Flowers, trees and grape vines : ) all over. There was a wedding that just happened and I told Carol if I meet an Aussie this is where I will get married! Dont worry mom I havent met one yet!! We had a coffee then ventured down to the beautiful rose garden which I fell in love with and it made me miss my passion so much. Alicia and I went from rose to rose seeing which one smelt the best! My friend who I went to high school with is studying up on the Gold Coast and he came down to Melbourne for the weekend so we met eachother and caught up over a beer at a bar underneath a bridge on the Yarra river. It was so good to see a familiar face and to laugh about old times. We then met up with some of my friends and also another guy who we went to high school with and who is studying her in melbourne! He lives only 10 minutes away from me!! It was a fun night as we went to a greek restaurant and had some tasty gyros then off to my favorite irish pub and had a few pints : ) I love all these new friends I am making and catching up with old friends seeing what they are doing with their lives just as they are seeing what I am doing with mine!
Me, Melanie & the girls waiting for the bus


Annabel & I

Seeing the Hippos. Fun girls day!

Last weekend I flew up to Sydney to see Christine my friend who I grew up with. She is studying up there for the semester! Let me just say we had such a FUN weekend : ) I caught the earliest flight on friday morning and finally after catching multiple trains I found Christine! It was a hot sunny beautiful day and after talking and saying how crazy it is that we are meeting up in Australia we headed downtown to go to the beach at Manly. To get there you need to take a ferry across the harbor which was so much fun! We caught some dangerous rays on the beach while I got covered in the sand from my tiny towel : ) we got Cophenhagens ice cream which they make homeade and it was delicious. Got ready for the night after having delicious thai food and then and hopped on the train to go to a bar/club called the Scary Canary. We met up with one of my friends who used to au pair in Melbourne but now lives in Sydney. We danced the night away while meeting people from all over the world! It started pouring rain when we were on the bus going back to the dorms and so in style we got a cab so we didnt have to walk from the bus stop. We were soaked by the time we go to the door. Saturday was St. Patricks day so we put on our green clothes and went downtown. Christine took me to the Paddys Market which is basically a mall with China town on the first floor. Basically a whole lot of stuff to be sold. We got a coffee and then realized it was much colder then we thought so both bought a blazer to wear for the night. We went to a bar and got a pint to start off St. Patricks days! I mean its always 5 o'clock somewhere right?! We asked this lady if she could take our picture and some of the guys she was with decided to jump in the picture to. We then met up with some of Christines friends and went to pregame at an apartment where there were all study abroad students from America. It was kind of nice to be with americans and not have to listen hard to what they say because I always find myself not understanding australian accents! We ventured on down to an area right by the harbor called the Rocks. Had some guinness and met lots of people. After going to several other places I was never so excited to go to bed! It was such a fun night and saw so many people out in green celebrating. Sunday we explored the whole day. It was a beautiful sunny day. We went to a cafe for lunch in the rocks which was delicious, stumbled into a museum and learned about the building of Sydney. Walked over to the Opera house and after 4 attempts from 4 different people FINALLY got a good picture of us and the harbor. Strolled through the botanical gardens which were beautiful and filled with people having picnicks, exercising and just hanging out. There were tropical birds flying all over and I have to say that is one thing I am going to miss about here is all the beautiful tropical birds. We hopped on the train and went to an area called kings cross looking for this gelato stand and it literally took us 45 minutes after we finally relied on our phone to get us there. We walked past these guys 5 times who were probably thinking what are these crazy girls doing. Oh and when we got to the gelato place there were 2 and we got the fancy gelato which was some weird designs but still tasty but then we realized that the gelato ice cream was right next door. It still bugs me cause all the other flavors that we could have gotten sounded so tasty. After we got on the ferry back to Manly to go and get dinner. We asked a lady on the ferry who was from Manly of a good restaurant and she suggested an Italian restaurant that was oh boy SO amazing. We eat the whole meal. We sat on the beach for a bit then got another ice cream : ) It was such a fun night and I couldnt have asked for a better weekend with a wonderful friend. I am so thankful for the relationships I have in my life and knowing that even tho we are so far apart that when we come together it will be like we talk everyday. 
always using out top 10 sydney map!

Paddys Market/Chinatown

Our "boyfriends"

Our favorite place "the Rocks"

Opera House

My Tour Guide : ) 

Botanic Gardens

The Bridge

I am still recovering as this week I have been exhausted. It is getting cooler as we are heading into autumn. I am still up at 630 every morning walking the dogs and getting my dose of Bob Merrit : ) I bought my ticket home and I get to California on July 20th after my parents and I have our 2 week vacation!! Still do not really know where I am going to be moving after I get back. I am so at peace in not knowing that which if you know me is very very unusual. I am loving this comfort of knowing God is going to guide me to the right place and right job. 
Italian Restaurant on Manly. Last Night in Sydney


Happy St. Pattys Day.

Scary Canary

Manly Beach

The Crew on St. Pattys Night

Lara Me and Tinni

Love Her


So a little family news.... My parents are moving to Plano Texas next weekend! I am so excited to go and visit them and hopefully meet a cowboy : ) My brother and his wife Katherine just found out they are pregnant and will have another addition to the family at the end of the year! I am so excited to have a 4th niece or nephew!! Holly's family will be traveling to India & Nepal the end of April. please keep them in your prayers!! I am doing a walk for cancer tomorrow with the church I found here! I am so excited to do it and have already raised 75$$ If you would like to donate please click the link, anything is so greatly appreciated!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and a wonderful spring break! Can't believe its already April next week and I have already been here for 3 months. They have flown by and I know these last 3 are going to go even faster. I am still so thankful everyday to be here and in awe of how much God is changing my heart.
Here is my favorite verse I read the other night and ironically I had this verse on the back of my door for the last 6 years! just a different version. 

Matthew 6:34
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

So much peace in that verse. I miss everyone So much and cant wait to be home in July. Bittersweet tho as I will miss my family here so much and this beautiful country.
Love & Smiles E

Ps. If you would like to donate click the link then go to the donate tab. I am in the State of Victoria. relay 2012. click the next button. then on the left side it says sponsor a team or individual. click that. then again state of victoria relay 2012 then insert Kew Student Residence for team name and the race location is Hawthorn Boroondara. Click on the team name link and it will bring you to our team page. Click on my name and donate : ) Thank you SO MUCH

Sunday, March 4, 2012

rain rain rain.

well its been 2 weeks since my last blog and I thought I would let everyone know what I have been up to here down under!

It was crazy hot last week/weekend so lets just say I was extra sweaty when I would walk to get Alicia from school. Hyperhydrosis is in full swing on those days : ) We went to our usual music class on tuesday and play group on wednesday! Since it was so hot on that friday, after Annabel and I picked up Alicia we walked to the local pool and cooled down in the water. Annabel LOVES the water and Alicia is already an amazing swimmer. Makes me so proud & makes me miss swimming SO much. She told me she wants to take lessons! Saturday I met up with another Au Pair and we went down to Brighton Beach to enjoy the sun and cool off in the ocean! We took the train back to the city, had some sushi then came across a irish pub. We hung out there and had a pint of guinness while we waited for our other friend. There was a rugby game so lots of cheering going on and lots of questions from us as to what was going on in the game. We talked with the bar tender for a while getting caught up on the difference between footie and rugby and how in Victoria its all about footie : ) I will have to get myself to a game in the next 4 months!! There was a greek festival going on and we got a free Chobani which made me happy because I miss that delicious yogurt : ) I got lost coming home since the bus stop was moved but thankfully Carol is the best and picked me up at the tram stop!! Monday it poured rain the WHOLE DAY and what better to do then watch the oscars! I loved all the beautiful dresses and made my list of movies to see. It was Alicias last wednesday having off of school so we spent the day together & went to the park. She amazes me at how well she can read and spell already! It is so much fun helping her and seeing how she is learning. Saturday I went and watched Alicia at little athletics which is track and field. It is so cute to watch all the kids do their races and run and scream (mostly just girls) Carol made her delicious lasagna for dinner which I stuffed my stomach full. Then I met up with a couple other au pairs as it was one girls last weekend here in Melbourne. We made it to a record 7 bars and we got home at 5am which is very very rare for me! We started out at P.J. O'reileys irish pub and had a pint of Guinness... delicious. Met a real guy from Ireland to which I would like to say I am loving all of the accents I am hearing. After that we ventured to Brunswick street which is just a little ways out of downtown but has tons of bars and restaurants. After going to 3 difference bars we went back downtown to Spice Market which is my favorite dancing club here. We all danced the night away and met 3 guys who had just come from a wedding.... and of course the reason we started talking was because I asked them why they were in matching suites and ties... They asked us if we wanted to go out and get a drink since the club was closing and we said why not! so we ventured to a bar which was open obviously till late and had SO MUCH FUN. They had a jukebox which was playing oldie throwbacks, played a game of pool which I will say its not my best game to play but hey its about having fun and making memories right?! We took tons of pictures and laugh a lot. It was honestly such a fun relaxing night and by the time we got home it was 5am. getting into bed never felt better : )
Franzi & I heading to Brighton Beach

Greek Festival                                        Brighton Beach

Anna-Lena, Me & Franzi at one of the 7 bars : ) 

saying what pocket it didn't go in : ) 

Today (Sunday) Carol took me Franzi and the girls to the Dandenong Ranges which are "mountains" about 45 minutes from the city. It was the most beautiful drive going up the mountain going past the little villages and seeing the houses tucked back into the beautiful & tall gum trees. It had a rainforest feel with the palm trees and giant trees. We stopped at a little town where we went into a few antique stores, gots some australian pies from the pie shop ( they were delicious and its an australian staple. Alicia got a meat pie and both Carol and I got a sweet potato pie. In Alicias words, "they are divine") We stopped in a toy store where Annabel and Alicia LOVED all the toys. I even got Anna and Lauren bday gifts : ) After we went to the William Ricketts Sanctuary which was this man who made scultures of aboriginal people who he met in his life. He placed these sculptures that were made out of clay then put into the rocks that were all through his yard when he lived there. They had so much detail and all of them had such realistic features. Their faces to made me feel like they all had so much on their minds and looks as if they were pondering very very hard about something. It was truly an amazing thing to see. 
Driving up to the town. super foggy & drizzly
Franzi & I after 3 hours of sleep : ) 

Love my Pretty girl
William Ricketts Sanctuary

Amazing sculptures in the rocks. 

He spent lots of time in central australia living with the aboriginals

tall gum trees
After, we found a cute cafe that was tucked back in the trees and got some coffee to warm up & get out of the rain. It was such a beautiful day even though it was filled with sprinkling rain but the sun decided to peak through on our way back home. It was yet again another perfect weekend in Melbourne. 

I have realized weirdly through all this sunshine and rain that there are always going to be the happy and sad days. I am having the most wonderful time here and experiencing to many new things. Everyday is not always going to be perfect or fun or happy or adventurous but what I am learning is to take everyday on day at a time. To see the beauty and joy in the little things and to be guided by God. These rainy days have been so good to just relax and think about life and what I have learned. Not everyday is going to be sunny and sometimes you need the rain to look back and be thankful for the memories. What I am thankful for is the changing of the weather : ) I cried for the first time since being here after I read an email from my sister. 
News from the family back home... My dad got a new job working for Neiman Marcus which is in Dallas so my parents will be moving to Texas : ) which I told my mom to keeps her eyes open for a cowboy for me!! Please pray that their house will sell fast and they will find a place to live in dallas. My sister and her family are going to California on the 9th and at the end of April they will be going to India & Nepal. Please pray that they raise enough money to go & that God guides them and keeps them safe. I finally talked to my cousin Kersti in Boise and just might be thinking to take a pit stop there for a couple days on my way back to the states : ) 

Still do not have a concrete plan of what & where I will be after Australia but its 4 months away... I have time and I know that no matter what God will guide me to where I am supposed to be : ) 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week. hope spring is right around the corner (fall for me : )

Oh and I am doing a relay for life 24 hour walk to raise money for cancer while I am out here. I will be doing this on the 24th of march with the church group here. I would appreciate and be so thankful if anyone who reads this would donate even if it is just $10. Any amount helps. Here is the link where you can donate money under my name! Thank You so much and please keep me in your prayers when the day approaches. 24 hours walking with a team will be a mental and physical challenge : ) at least I have been walking everyday!

With love whether its sunny or rainy,