Feeling Better and Pictures from National Park #2

I’m feeling better but still a little tender in the stomach where the incisions are healing.  Today I’m not resting because I have to be on campus for our internship introduction but I’m thankful that I can sit in a classroom and not have to be too active.  More details on the internship in Friday’s blogpost so stay tuned.  Please pray for me this week as I’m pretty busy but still in recovery mode.  In the meantime, here are some pictures from last Thursday’s pre-surgery outing.Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 2.44.44 PMFor various reasons we haven’t been hiking for awhile so hiking and another national park seemed like the right pre-surgery activity.  We drove about an hour to visit Serpentine National Park and parked using our WA Park Pass.  We were greeted almost right away by two kangaroos enjoying their breakfast in the picnic area.  And we were happy to see monarch butterflies as well.  The three hour hike only took us an hour and a half but it was still enjoyable and the views were lovely.

When we went back to check out the swimming hole again, we found even more kangaroos that hopped away before we could snap a picture.  I’m sure the novelty will wear off eventually but it’s still fun to see kangaroos just hanging around.  This park was a sweet little gem and we are looking forward to heading back for the longer hike as well as swimming when the weather warms up again.

Reasons #83-#85 Why I Love My Husband

Ryan came home yesterday from his weekend trip to Darwin.  I’m thankful he had this opportunity and I’m thankful for the future possibilities that were explored.  But mostly I’m thankful to have him home.  It’s him being away that has inspired this edition of Why I Love My Husband (Click here to check out Reason #82).

#83- I miss him when he’s gone.  I know I love him because of how much I miss him.  I miss him because of who he is but also because of what we have together.  As often as we fight or misunderstand each other, we laugh and encourage each other more.  When he’s gone, I miss all the little moments that happen throughout the day that make our life together special and unique to us.Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 8.58.16 AM.png#84- I love him because he brings me breakfast in bed.  As I type this I have an empty bowl next to me.  I don’t remember how it started and it isn’t every morning but many mornings, Ryan brings me my usual.  Greek yogurt, two Weetbix and a drizzle of local honey.  It’s a nice way to start my day.

#85- His kisses.  When Ryan is gone, we talk on the phone before bed.  We catch up, swap stories and relax a bit before saying goodnight.  Over the phone you can tell someone you love them and they can hear that in your voice.  However, the phone is not a good conduit for sending kisses.  I love my husband’s kisses and I love being kissed each day we are together.  It takes him being away to remind me how special those kisses really are.


Date Night in Perth

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 1.25.11 PMLast Thursday Ryan and I splurged a little to enjoy a fancy meal (thanks to Groupon) and a show.  We dressed up and headed out on the town.  We don’t have a full length mirror up in our place but we do have a short ride down the elevator in our building with mirrored walls:-)  I love that I can wear tall heals and I still look short next to Ryan.Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 1.32.56 PMRyan has never attended Cirque du Soleil before so when we heard it was in town, we jumped at the chance to see Kooza.  We see the tents that are set up every time we drive to or from Brookton so it feels like the circus really did come to town.  This was a fun show with lots of showmanship along with crazy acrobatic stunts.  I’d encourage you to watch the video on their website.  It will give you a little taste of what we saw.Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 1.26.34 PMThanks to an online promo code and Ryan’s searching, we had great seats.  This is a picture I took during the pre-show before they turned down the lights.  We were close enough to the stage to see expressions but far enough away to not be caught in the crazy antics.  During the show a few people were brought up on stage to be a part of the performance and I was just fine being an audience member only.

I’m thankful for the ability to enjoy an extra special date night every once in awhile.  Time for Ryan and I to just be together and enjoy each other’s company.  It’s also nice to see something fun and different, taking advantage of the wonderful things Perth has to offer.

Deodorant in Australia

Confession time, I have been using homemade deodorant for about 3 weeks and I might just stick with it.  The reason for the switch is three fold.  One: Deodorant in Australia is different (look at those shelves full of liquid and spray deodorants, not a solid bar in sight) and having what I’m used to shipped from the US is not worth the expense.  Two: I like trying new things.  Three: The more I read about what types of ingredients are in the products I use on my body, the more curious I am about trying to find easy alternatives that don’t require huge changes.  Bonus: This will save us money too.Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 11.33.45 AMWhen doing research I saw a lot of blog posts and articles warning about underarm detox and reactions to baking soda and all sorts of scary things.  None of this happened to me and Ryan (yes, he’s trying it too!) has reported no ill effects either.  I realize that may not be everyone’s experience but so far it’s been an easy switch for us.  The biggest difference is that no homemade deodorant, or natural deodorant for that matter, is going to be an antiperspirant.  So we still sweat but we don’t stink:-)

Below is the recipe I used.  Once we get through this batch I am going to adjust which ratios of essential oils to make it a bit stronger but at this point I wouldn’t change anything else.  And all these ingredients were already in my pantry!

  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 4-6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • essential oils (I used lavender and tea tree but I’m contemplating adding rosemary to the mix next time.)

1. Combine baking soda and cornstarch.
2. Add four tablespoons melted coconut oil and mix with a fork. Continue adding coconut oil until the deodorant reaches your preferred consistency.  I think I used all 6.  It will seem a bit thin but will become more firm as the coconut oil cools.
3. Add essential oils and mix.  I used 10 drops of lavender and 5 drops of tea tree.
4. Transfer mixture to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. (The jar I used was too small to fit the whole amount so I put the extra in another container and gave it to a friend who reported back that she liked using it too.)

The essential oils are not required but they make the deodorant smell nice and they have soothing (lavender) and antibacterial (tea tree) properties as well.
To apply just take a little bit on your fingertips and rub it into your armpits. I have had no issues with staining on my clothing.

Anyone up to try something new?  If you put homemade deodorant to the test, let me know what you think.


Home Cooking in Australia

There is not much that my husband enjoys eating more than pizza.  But I can only eat the same pizza so many times.  Additionally, moving to Australia we’ve had to relearn how to make things with some different ingredients.  This is no where near as steep a learning curve as cooking in Papua New Guinea was but some typical ingredients just aren’t typical here.  Like no buffalo sauce or certain Mexican ingredients are more challenging to come by.  Or something might be called, for example, pepperoni but it’s quite not the same taste.

With this in mind I experiment and cook.  Sometimes not so successfully.  My homemade hot sauce and buffalo sauce were way too HOT (and we like spicy) so I’ll let you know when I figure out a good recipe.  But tonight was a pizza success.  Homemade sauce, good pepperoni (this stuff was nice and thin) and mozzarella cheese on homemade whole wheat crust.  Ryan called these pizza cinnamon roles and I’ll take the compliment.

Reason #82 Why I Love My Husband

This edition contains just one reason because although I do love it, it also drives me crazy.  Maybe I’m the only one but I do find that sometimes the things I love the most about my husband are the things that can most easily get under my skin.  Maybe I just need to be a little more ok with things not being serious sometimes.  So here it is, reason #82 why I love my husband- He loves to be silly.Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 7.58.19 PM.pngIn case you didn’t know, it’s autumn here in Australia.  Not fall, autumn.  And my silly husband decided to stop by the side of the road to play in the leaves yesterday.  Truthfully, it’s still mostly green here with palm trees and lots of other verdant vegetation.  But there are pockets of areas with trees that are turning colors and shedding their leaves.  I think if we had a little more time, Ryan would have ended up jumping into and perhaps even napping in a big pile of leaves.  This Wisconsin boy loves the seasons.Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 7.56.58 PMAnyone else do the dishes like this?  Nothing like a saucepan guitar jam to 80s music.  My silly husband loves to make a game out of everything, which includes joyfully doing the dishes thanks to the help of music and a little imagination.

So there you have it, nothing surprising to those of you who know Ryan well and for everyone else, another little insight into why I love him but also roll my eyes at him.  For more reasons why I love Ryan, check out these previous Why I Love My Husband (Reasons #78-#81 and Reasons #75-#77) posts.

Reasons #78-#81 Why I Love My Husband

Just because I haven’t posted an update to this list since November (Reasons #75-#77 Why I Love My Husband) doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped loving this guy.  But I’ve recently been reflecting on how amazing Ryan is especially when, during a Social Work class, we’re given a list of ways that true love typically manifests itself and Ryan hits all 4 main points.  So this post is dedicated to us falling more in love with each other, falling in love with Perth city and being thankful that I see signs of a healthy functioning relationship.  Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.07.50 AM#78- Ryan cares for me and for himself practically.  I’m thankful for a husband who loves me not just with words but with tangible, practical, visible actions.Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.04.46 AM#79- Ryan sees the good in me.  I’m always blown away when I catch Ryan looking at me and I see something in his eyes that I don’t deserve in the best way possible.  He sees what I bring to our relationship, he sees my potential, he sees my beauty and he doesn’t question it.Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.50.09 AM.png#80- He forgives my errors.  I don’t remember the last time we had a perfect day with no arguments, disagreements or harshly exchanged words.  We aren’t by any means proud of this but it’s our reality.  We’re working through it intentionally but forgiveness is crucial every step of the way.Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.03.52 AM#81- He’s good at maintaining intimacy.  Intimacy is way more than just sex, intimacy is all the little signals, touches, smiles and exchanges throughout the day.  It can be a challenge to maintain this but Ryan is great at reaching out and doing the small things which keep us going strong.Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.08.26 AMI am so thankful for my husband and all the reasons he gives me to love him each and every day.

*All the pictures in this post were taken outside the Royal Perth Hospital at Kirkman House which is a spot we regularly pass on the bus ride home.  These cage swings hang from a tree known as the “Kissing Tree” because it’s where nurses would say goodbye to sweethearts before returning to Kirkman House where they were living as they worked at the hospital.  In order to commemorate this spot someone hung these two people-sized birdcages complete with a heart and birds kissing on top which you can see in the second picture of Ryan by himself.  Anyone can stop, swing and hang out in these cages which are especially lovely in the afternoon shade.