the midwest changes you

Representing the Show-Me State! We are such tragic Missourians (& proud of it).

It has been 13 months since we moved to Brisbane but a day hasn’t gone by that we are not reminded about our time in the Midwest of the U.S.A. Mainly, it’s thanks to sports and of course, the undeniable connections we still hold with family (my husband’s parents) and our dear friends (who thanks to the beauty of social media, has made keeping in touch much easier). I know for a fact that we will always have a connection to Missouri beyond our family and friends and our beloved sport teams.

It is in the Midwest that we made the commitment to one another (our marriage license was granted to us by Boone County and we got married at the Newman Center on the University of Missouri’s campus). We built our first home on the best name street I’ve ever had the pleasure of living on (Funderburg Mill Drive – I mean, come on, the word FUN is in it). The Midwest taught me how embrace my community and all that it has to offer. Midwesterners are the most generous and accommodating people. It is in Mid-Missouri where I truly started my career. I was given a chance to build on my confidence (and we all know that Americans in general are the most confident group of people you’ll ever meet) and go after what I want and share what I have to offer.

So really, spending six years in the Midwest gave us much more beyond our unbridled support for the Tigers, the Cardinals, the Chiefs and the Cougars. Since the best way to show your affinity for ones favorite place is through shirts, hats, etc, we can’t help but wear our Missourian gear all around Brisbane. Partly we’re hoping that one of these days we’ll get stopped by fellow Midwesterners – we always enjoy when that happens.

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mighty mighty deck chairs

Back to that one time when we sat on really large deck chairs. Oh Columbia, i sure do miss your randomness. #homesick

I am a sentimental fool. I love looking back on old photographs, reliving memorable moments in the process. That’s why Timehop gets nothing but love, love, love from me. It enables me to have a Throwback Thursday each and everyday of the year, going back up to four-five years ago. It’s perfect. It reminds me of all the good times and the not-so-good times, plus all the in-betweens. It does not discriminate, it does not have favorites. If I recorded it as an image years ago, Timehop will show it to me, warts and all. Can’t get more real than that.

I also love reading back on old journal entries. Thankfully, the beauty that is Livejournal is still alive and kicking. I started LJ back in 2003. I repeat, 2003. For many, many years I religiously wrote on my LJ – about anything and everything. My entire life was shared on that online journal, every little detail. It’s still alive today and I continue to write on it for my LJ friends to read. Then when I read this awesome article the other day, #2 pretty much advocates for the reading of old journal entries. I’m hoping that when I’m old and wrinkly and sitting on my rocking chair, I’ll still be able to peruse through my LJ entries and read all about the life I lived years ago. That would be one heck of a Throwback Thursday!

for granted

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We are eight months on. Almost to the day since we landed in Brisbane. Amazing.

You know, moving across the seas was (at the time) a struggle – all that packing, getting settled in and dealing with realtors, shipping companies and phone companies. The necessities. The first few months felt like a complete blur but it was never something that would feel like a long-term inconvenience. We got into the groove pretty nicely.

Then today, it dawned on me how much I have taken from granted to conveniences we had well-established in Columbia: our dentist and optometrist. Living in a medium-sized city (as quaint CoMo was, I just can’t call it a small town) had its advantages: personable service from your trusty dentist and optometrist.

I was fortunate enough to have inherited both of my husband’s teeth and eye doctors. Both provided that warm and personalized treatment. I got to know my dental hygienist (Trish) and dentist (Dr. Shapira) very well in the five years I visited them both. They both knew not only Zach but also my in-laws. We shared stories (Trish lived on a farm and loved horses) and they told me tales about how Dr. S remembers my husband as a wee little lad. As someone who doesn’t shy away from personal conversations, I found their banter to be comforting and quite simply, enjoyable.

Then there’s Dr. Studer, the eye doctor. First impression was that he was a hard nut to crack, but once you crack him he’s a jolly man with equally jolly stories. He often asked me questions about Australia (he had family who lived in Australia at one point in time, if my memory serves me correctly) and like Dr. S, he had adorable anecdotes about my husband (and he liked to re-hash Zach’s eye problems).

I just cherish these little moments now that I no longer get to have them. I most certainly took them from granted now that I realize how much I dread having to find a new dentist and optometrist. Will I ever get a Trish, my two Dr. S’s? Highly doubtful, but I can always hope, I suppose.

It’s interesting what I end up reflecting on as time goes by. In the first few weeks I missed far different things (the food, the way of live, the weather). Now these days I end up reminiscing on the littlest of things, such as my horse-loving dental hygienist. Is that strange? I sure hope not!

hashtag blizzard of 2015

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Call me crazy, but I miss snowstorms. All this talk about #blizzardof2015 has got me reminiscing about six year’s worth of Missouri snow days. There was something so calming and soothing about watching the snow fall, the drifts and watching the snow come towards you on a windy, snowy evening. The novelty wears off rather quickly only when things get icy and you have no choice but to drive in those treacherous conditions. But once again, all is forgotten when a beautiful snow fall comes through and blankets the roads, the trees and surrounds all over again. It’s one of those experiences that doesn’t compare to what you see in the movies or view via photos. I highly recommend it.

8 months later…

The beach wall that makes you feel good. #Adelaide #SouthAustralia

We are nearing our 8-month anniversary since the move from COU to BNE so I thought it is worth taking stock on how everything has eventuated since May.

I’m all about doing some reflection in between the craziness of my life (and I use crazy in an exciting, eventful and meaningful kind of way rather than in a negative way). And really, in those moments I reflection I would be lying if I said that I didn’t still miss my Columbia life. I don’t feel it’s a reflection on Brisbane/Australia or our life here in general, but more that I am still holding on to the memories and the familiarity that a CoMo life gave me. As much as I might appear spontaneous, in reality, I love routine, a constant and comfortability when it comes to my day-to-day. Despite the fact that CoMo life had its challenges and limitations, it dawned on me that I actually loved that way of living. So much so, that if given the chance, a small part of me would ask for my CoMo life back in a heartbeat.

Take note that it’s only a small part of me though. 

I think it’s still quite normal to miss my former life, to mourn the life we left behind in Missouri and to yearn for it. If I remember correctly, it took me a good 18-months to stop missing Adelaide. I went through these same set of emotions 6 years ago, so I’m not at all concerned that I still feel this way a mere eight months later. I don’t think I would be normal if I didn’t.

Again, I don’t want to take away anything from our Brisbane life because it has been one heck of a time so far. I am grateful and indebted to my new home. Why? Because my husband is professionally fulfilled. He enjoys going to work each and everyday. He is revitalized and renewed in his work life. He feels a sense of worth and a great deal of satisfaction. What more could I ask for? Afterall, this was the primary reason for our move here.

Of course, I have my own personal favorable feelings towards our move and being closer to my immediate family is one of them. A 24+ hour commute has been reduced to two and a half hours. Time zones are no longer an issue. Flight costs are nominal. The trifecta!

In closing, I realized that I went off on one huge tangent during this post, but I guess I want to say that eight months later life is beautiful. It has elements of sadness and nostalgia mixed in with feelings of gratefulness for what we’ve already been able to experience and excitement for what is ahead. I know that Columbia (much like Adelaide) will forever have a special place in my heart and one day Brisbane will take its place in it too.

obama observation

The First Lady is a long way from home. #Brisbane @FLOTUS @michelleobama

Something random that I observed during the G20 and beyond: Australians and/or the Australian media hold an unexplainable (to me) affinity for the Obama’s – may it be the President or the First Lady. During the lead up and most definitely during the G20, I noticed a lot of attention put towards POTUS. He has serious klout around here. Then I remembered that back in 2008, when he first ran for President, I remember reading somewhere that he had a really high approval rating amongst Australians (second only to the Danes). Why that is, I couldn’t even begin to tell you because I’m perplexed myself!

Now, let’s be transparent here. If you were to ask me my political leanings, I would quickly declare that I am more of a Democrat than a Republican and had I been given the privilege to vote in the 2008 and 2012 elections, I would have voted for Obama. So really, the attention and respect he gets here in Australia doesn’t bother me. In fact, it makes me even more proud to be an American – because if you go back in history, and not very far back at that, you will find that the George W. Bush era was not exactly favorable towards Americans here in Australia. So having a President that is at least not the butt of all jokes is a refreshing change for the better. I will take it!

the comeback treat

The Twinkies stretch far and wide. #foundinadelaide

I’m sure the tagline “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever” is going to be lost on most Australians who have no idea that the humble Twinkie nearly found itself instinct. In the six years that I lived in the U.S. I can count on one hand the number of times I ate (not enjoyed) a Twinkie. The first taste was such a novelty that I had to indulge in. The second time? They had it was a treat at work and it was the only sugary one there, so by default that doesn’t really count.

Now Swiss Rolls, those ones I would miss if Little Debbie’s ever went bankrupt. I am a chocolate fiend afterall, remember?