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.
My husband is the cyclist in the family. Almost everyday he takes his trusty bike to work (a mere 3 miles away from our home) and he gets a good workout from it. Sometimes, because he’s a glutton for punishment, he takes (literally) the long scenic route which sees him go through the City (he works in the suburbs) and adds an extra nine miles to his trip. He loves it and gives him time to unwind from a busy day at work. He is a willing participant to the whole endeavor.
Me, not so much. I could count with my fingers and toes the amount of time I took the above bike out after purchasing it (back in the Columbia, circa 2011). I always struggled to bike for a long period of time due to sheer exhaustion. In hindsight, knowing what I know now, I attribute my lack of fitness and stamina to my thyroid issues.
But after being on thyroid medicine for the past three months, I braved the idea of taking seven mile ride from our house to South Bank so that we could attend Regional Flavours over the weekend. I am pleased to report that I made it to and from South Bank in one piece. Sure I nearly overdid it on the first leg as we climbed up the Go Between Bridge. I was still getting used to my gear changes and I pushed myself so hard so not to show other cyclists how badly I couldn’t make it up the hilly parts. Big mistake. So after a short pitstop after crossing the bridge, we soldiered on (mad props to my husband for his patience at my rather slower pace) and I knew that it was such a huge personal achievement to even make it to South Bank. But I quickly told Zach that we were going to be taking the ferry back to Milton – no ifs or buts about it.
A couple of hours and a mouthful of feta balls later, it was time to venture home. I’m not entirely sure what came over me, but somehow my husband managed to convince me that I could cycle back home. So I hopped back on and this time took it nice and easy. I went on my own pace, didn’t care about cyclists behind me and slowly mastered the fine art of changing gears at the precise time (especially going up the hills). Halfway through crossing the Go Between Bridge I was feeling (again) so accomplished and as we zoomed by walkers along the Coronation Drive part of the Bicentennial Bikeaway, I was feeling like a boss. I knew I was on the homestretch and was about to conquer something I never imagined I could. I had my moment of glory.
But more than 24 hours later, my butt still hurts from the roundtrip. I guess that’s the price one pays to feel the freedom and exhilaration of the wind in you face, cycling around Brisbane. It was worth it. So much so, we may keep doing it whenever we want to go to South Bank without the car!
My husband and I are always up for something new. We’ll try anything at least once. So when the opportunity to participate in a Murder Mystery Night came along, we signed right up.
Despite the evening occurring during one heck of a week for us at work, we still made the effort to don our Roaring 20s costumes and soldiered on to The Ship Inn for a night of murder and mystery. Don’t tell anyone but I made an 11th hour dash to the mall to gather up most of my costume. I had the dress worked out. But as every girl knows, it’s all about the accessories. I brought out my finest pearls, mad dash to the store to find a headdress (it’s really a cheap gold headband) and of course, fishnet stockings to round things off. Smoky eye and super red lips and viola, Kitty Cocktail at your service. Meanwhile, my dashing husband just had to wear his suit and buy a $3 gun from The Reject Shop. Oh, and he dusted off his Michael Jackson hat from New Year’s Eve 2014 and he was transformed into Mugsy Malone.
We didn’t end up being the murderer (it was the Police Chief, of all people!) and I came away with one thing from the entire evening: I am not much of a role player. There were plenty of people there who were putting on accents, acting like their characters and getting right into it. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t. I kinda got stage fright and honestly, barely really knew my character’s background. Thankfully, I was a minor character and didn’t really factor into the storyline very much. Regardless, fun was had by all and it was an interesting evening. We would certainly do it again!
What’s one of the best things about my husband, you ask? Well, it’s his willingness to laugh at anything and everything that is even mildly funny. I love, love, love that about him. He has a wicked sense of humor. Not that his crude about his humor, he just manages to find the funny in things. I adore that about him. He doesn’t take life too seriously, he’s always up for a good pun-off and he is the coolest dork this side of the
Mississippi Brisbane River. He’s the entire (funny man) package.
Now that I’ve gushed about him, why don’t you take a minute and appreciate the moustache-shaped sweet potato that I found during a recent grocery trip. I had no idea I had picked up this gem, but in true Zach fashion he noticed it immediately when he pulled it out of the shopping bag. He didn’t have the heart to cook and eat it, so instead we did a little photo shoot with it. I just love that he’s game enough to be a part of my silliness. It makes for a fun and unpredictable life. That’s the way I like it.
Last night, Zach and I (and a bunch of his work friends), attended a Trivia Night sponsored by a science-based company that my husband’s University has a partnership with. For some reason, they had all these Lego knock-offs as giveaways, so we assembled them all as we waited for this thing to start. The photo above was taken at the end of the night and one of my Lego friends had already lost his left arm. Tragic.
Overall, the entire night was a heck of a lot of fun. There were eight different themed rounds and I learned a thing or two of trivial stuff, plus nailed a couple of answers that nobody else knew (eg. that the New York Knicks was short for Knickerbockers & that A-Rod played for the Yankees). I tried to state my case that Laurence Olivier has had 10 or more academy award nominations – but I got outvoted on that one. It was a pure guess on my part, but it turned out to be correct.
The one thing the evening did reveal is that I don’t read enough literature and I know very little about Science (yes, there was a theme based entirely on what the sponsor works with). Hey, I read mainly non-fiction (mostly about baseball & places I’ve travelled to) and I am guilty as charged that Science is not my strength. And I’m fine with that.
But regardless, fun was had by all and I even got to drink a bottle of Blue Moon. Yes, Blue Moon. I haven’t really drank alcohol in about 4 months and as soon as a friend showed that us that he was drinking American beer, I got a sparkle in my eyes and willingly handed over my $3 for a bottle. If only I had an orange to pair with my Blue Moon. If only.
My husband is such an enabler. A gadget pusher. Proof? He got me a new iPad Mini 2 for my upcoming 35th birthday.
A few weeks ago, he had kept teasing me saying that he knew what to get me for my birthday. He should have known better because I don’t like surprises. I’m the kind of person that would be watching a movie on a cosy Saturday night and will Google said movie to find out what happens in the end. I know, I’m boring. So like I said, he should have known better to dangle that little nugget in front of me and thinking that I wouldn’t pester him to find out what he was planning. So after about half an hour of “Tell me. Tell me. Tell me what it is and I’ll decide if I really need what you’re getting me”, he finally told me.
Fast forward a week and a bit later and I now have my new gadget (complete with a quote he had me pick out). I was really impressed that Apple managed to do the engraving, personalized card (which was laughable at how big it was but how tiny the message was written) and wrapped it up nice and pretty – and all that took a week to do. Amazing. It might even been less than a week…Regardless, I was impressed!
So here’s to reading plenty of eBooks on my new mini, watching/listening to baseball games (not to mention Hulu/Netflix in bed!) and keeping track of all my social media channels. Oh, the electronic life – how convenient!
This is the only Belgian Waffle recipe you will ever need. Trust me. Serve it with some warm maple syrup and blueberries and your day is made. They keep really well too (if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers) and pops right into the toaster and viola! Waffles for days on end. Bliss.
On another food note, Zach has further experimented with other homemade ice cream concoction. After a brief hiatus after making our first batch, he hit the ground running and made two batches earlier this week. Bailey’s with Thin Mints and then an Espresso with Thin Mints. He so desperately wanted to make a chocolate mint with Thin Mints (even bought green food coloring) only to find that instead of grabbing peppermint essence, he got rosewater. Oops. So I think mint flavored ice cream will need to be put off for a few more days.
I’ve been very disciplined and told him that I will only one serving of each flavor. Any and all leftovers will need to be either consumed by him and him alone (which is a bad idea) or it should be brought to his work to be enjoyed by others. We really do enjoy making ice cream at home, but it goes without saying that eating all by ourselves will benefit nobody. So we are more than happy to share the dairy love. I think an ice cream social at our place is in order!
Next, I want to make our own donuts. So I’ll be in search of a donut tin around Brisbane this weekend. If anybody knows where I can get some normal sized and mini donut tins, let me know!