Getting to Know Perth: Restaurants

Australia is expensive so you could go broke eating out all the time.  But there are so many fun and delicious places to explore.  When friends come in to town, it’s a good excuse to try different restaurants in a new (to us) part of the city.  And especially for Ryan, it doesn’t hurt when Tuesdays are half price pizza days:-)Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 8.47.07 PM.pngShafto Lane is a neat little alley-way with lots of restaurants in downtown Perth.  We stumbled across it on a walk one evening.  And besides pizza, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub has a fun menu including some yummy Irish dishes like Bacon with Cabbage (bacon in Australia is more like ham), Bangers (sausages), and the Beef and Guinness Pie (which I’ll have to try next time!).  The atmosphere and good food made for a lovely evening.  Eating through Perth is a really enjoyable way to get to know the city!

The Aftermath of Visitors

Ryan and I have always enjoyed hosting people in our home.  We have many happy memories of friends in our first home in Camarillo enjoying a small quiet meal or a large group packed into our place, filling every corner.  We’re slowly getting back to hosting again in our new place here in Perth.  Today we enjoyed a lovely after-church meal.  American style taco salad was a hit and super easy to prepare ahead of time.  At the last minute I added ranch dressing to the table (ranch isn’t a common things here in Australia) and one of the boys couldn’t get enough.  Children getting multiple helpings is a big compliment!Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 4.37.11 PMThe aftermath doesn’t even look too messy despite the fact that we used almost every bowl we own for all the salad fixings plus had tea, ice-cream and cookies for dessert.  This is one of those times that we will actually use the dishwasher.  We also normally have our kitchen table pushed up against the wall for just the two of us but we have enough space to pull it out and sat 7 people comfortably.  And I was close enough to the refrigerator that I could easily grab the lettuce and replenish when we were out, I didn’t even have to stand up!  Our space may be small but it works.

Today, a sink full of dirty dishes is a sweet reminder of friends, new and old.  We’re thankful to be able to host people and look forward to many more memories of meals and conversations in our home.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Typically I stick to easy baking, like lemon bars, but when a friend says that lemon meringue pie is her favorite and she wants to help me bake, I jump at the opportunity.  It’s so much easier to make this pie with an extra set of hands!  Especially with someone who is patient enough to wait until the lemon filling is actually thick enough to set.  When I was growing up, I remember my dad helping my mom bake these pies for friends and family.  Back then, I only liked the meringue part but now I appreciate the whole delicious pie.
Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 8.48.53 PM.pngSo today, my friend and I used my mother’s blue ribbon recipe and although it was missing my mother’s touch, it still turned out great.  Maybe I’ll have to get Ryan in on this and we can learn to bake lemon meringue pies together in the future.  Baking is always a fun afternoon activity and the pie tasted even better than it looked.  Thanks Mom for passing on this yummy tradition!

The First Day of School

“Smile, make friends and eat a healthy lunch,” was the advice from a friend when I expressed that I was a bit nervous about today. It’s been 10 years since I graduated from UCSB so I do feel a little out of practice with this whole student thing.

But here I am ready for my first day with my healthy lunch packed, smile on my face and ready to make friends. Please pray for this week of learning and adjustment.  Graduate school can’t be too difficult, right?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

In my experience even the best days have lowlights and the worst days can have highlights.  Usually things aren’t all great or all terrible, it’s a little bit of everything, sometimes happening simultaneously.  This week has been hard, it’s probably a mix of culture shock, high expectations, unexpected pressures and poor timing, among other things.  I’ve yelled at my husband, cried tears of anger and frustration and spent more time wallowing than I’d like to admit.  Moving is hard and moving around the world has even more, sometimes hidden stresses.  It’s often ugly but it’s real and it’s what I’m living right now.screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-2-22-52-pmYesterday was Australia Day (even this has it’s own set of controversy over the celebrations but that’s for another time).  We chose to have friends over and partake in the festivities happening right outside our door.  We were excited to see people out and about along the water, hear the music, enjoy the carnival events and taste the food truck treats.  Later in the evening, the plan was to all gather in our home to watch the fireworks display from our balcony.  But then we heard that a plane had crashed into the swan river, killing those on board. (News Article and Videos if you’re interested in details.)  Of course, the fireworks were then cancelled so we just gathered and hung out for awhile before everyone headed home.  This morning we are still able to watch the cleanup from our balcony, which is the picture above.  In all honesty, there is a part of me that was disappointed that we missed out on the fireworks but that is a tiny loss in comparison to the families who lost loved ones.  Another tragedy and one more bad thing for this challenging week.

But I need to remember that this week has not been all bad.  I’ve been to the beach, finished our first Australia newsletter update (coming to your mailboxes soon!), spent time with friends, we had our entire team around a table together for the first time, my husband still loves me (even when I’m not kind to him), I found a fun way to celebrate our anniversary in February and even bought tickets to an interesting show this week as a part of the Fringe Festival (Djuki Mala).  This week I’ve accomplished things, spent quality time with people and planned some things to look forward too.  It definitely wasn’t all bad and it definitely wasn’t too ugly despite some really terrible moments.  I’m thankful for the measured good that allows me to keep learning and growing, reminding me to be appreciative for the things that are wonderfully and overwhelmingly good in my life.

Good Goodbyes

Long drawn out goodbyes are one of the most difficult parts of this stage in the process.  We’ve been saying goodbye since November and it doesn’t get any easier.  I still don’t know the best way to say goodbye.  (Anyone have any tips?  I’d be happy to listen.)  Although, I do think it’s helpful to have a time when you choose to give an extra hug to someone, maybe say a word of prayer and at least remember that maybe this could be the last time you see each other for a relatively long period of time.

We had the opportunity for two wonderful goodbye parties this weekend.  Warm, cozy houses filled with lots of friends, good food, and visiting is always sweet.  And, of course, everyone always gathers in the kitchen.  I’m so thankful for these homes where Ryan and I have had so many great memories over the years.  Lord willing, there will be more memories made in these homes when we’re back for further visits.

The past two Sundays, we also had the opportunity to share our vision, say our thanks and goodbyes as well as be prayed over at the church where Ryan and I attended for our first two years of marriage.  It is very sweet to be surrounded by our church family who loves us well and we know will be praying for us as we set out to Australia.

During this process I have to remind myself that saying goodbye is challenging because we have many wonderful friends and supportive, loving families.  It’s these great relationships that are providing the foundation in support for us and our ministry.  These have been such good goodbyes.

15 Days Until Christmas Eve

Do you have your Christmas shopping done?  Ryan and I were done early because we were originally planning on being in Australia for Christmas.  But we’re thankful for the time we get to share with family and friends over the next couple of weeks.

Even though I’m typically an early shopper, there is often one or two people who make it a challenge to find just the right gift.  I know everyone has at least one hard to shop for person on their list.  And most everyone can do with a little nourishment.  I blogged about this when it first came out Nüresh- A New Way to Feed Your Mind, Soul and Spirit but I figured a little holiday reminder would be good because this would be a great gift for someone who is hard to shop for.screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-8-41-10-amFrom the description on the website: NÜRESH gives you thousands of hours of the most inspirational and informative premium spoken word content in one innovative and easy-to-use Web interface. Listen, learn and still have time to live your life.

And since it’s price had dropped recently, if you buy a subscription now, it’s only $9.99 per month for life.  So if you have a $30 shopping budget for that hard to shop for person in your life, you can give the gift of three months of listening and then if they choose to keep the subscription, it’s still affordable for them.screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-8-26-25-amRyan and I recently signed up and are excited to check out some of the speakers.  And the database of resources will just keep growing so we are looking forward to having access to the content as it increases too.  Give the gift of Nüresh this holiday season because it can nourish your mind, soul and spirit all year long!