Remember when I said we wouldn’t wait a whole season before writing again? And it’s officially summer here. LOL OOPS. Sorry guys! I’m the worst. These past few months have been so crazy, and admittedly, I did forget about the blog on more than one (possibly 10+) occasions. But, I am here now, and ready to update you on all that’s been going so you can rest assured that we’re happy, healthy and loving Melbourne more than ever! I’ll make this a recap post to cover all that’s gone on since the end of August :)
- We celebrated my birthday on August 26th by hanging out with our small group, and going to the Night Market, which is around the corner from our apartment complex. In lieu of birthday cake, I had deep fried Oreos (I mean, what more can a girl ask for?!) And had a wonderful surprise in the mail later that week when I received a dozen DELICIOUS cupcakes sent from my employer, Help Scout :) They’re the best at taking care of employees and, in my opinion, the best help (sorry, couldn’t resist a shameless plug ;))
- On September 22, Will and I celebrated our 2-year wedding anniversary (whaaaat). Time flies by when you’re having the time of your life :) We had a really chill day, and went to grab dinner together at our favorite dumpling restaurant. So blessed and thankful every day to be married to my absolute best friend <3 life is such a joy with him.
- As mentioned in the previous blog post, we went to Boston for my company’s retreat (which took place in Portland, ME). Since part of Will’s side of the family lives there, we decided to make a two-week trip out of it, so I could also work in the Boston office and get to spend some extra time with my colleagues (whom, prior to that trip, I’d never met in person yet!) My parents also made the journey up to Boston to see us, and it was just a stupendous time. Must say, it was pretty weird being back in the U.S. (culture shock, ha- who would’ve thought?!), but so, SO good at the same time to see family. The retreat was a total blast; 75% of our company works from home, so it was a great chance to meet everyone, bond, and have some time to just chill out. There was plenty for us to do, from bike rides around the city, dinner @ an amazing BBQ joint, bowling, massages, and more! Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? Because I really do.
- We booked our trip to South Africa, and time has flown by SO quickly, because we are leaving TWO DAYS. OMG. We’re going for a month, and we could not be more excited. We haven’t had a vacation since, oh, the last time we went to SA, so we’re long overdue for some R+R.
- After 2.5 years with my forever dying/freezing iPhone 5, and 2 years with his equally forever dying/freezing iPhone 5S, we were pretty much fed up and went to get new phones! We also ditched our crappy cellular provider for the one with the best coverage in Australia, and we are so happy. I got the gold 6S, while Will opted for the space grey 6S+. I love the live picture function- it’s so creepy and cool at the same time!
- Earlier this month, we had an international dinner night with our small group + other friends from church. We pretty much have every continent represented within our small group, that we thought it’d be fun to have everyone bring a dish from their native country. Will made chipotle + chorizo mac & cheese, while I made milk tart (custard pie from South Africa – thanks for the recipe, Aunty Des!). The milk tart took me three tries before I got it right, but now I have it down pat, and think I’ll attempt it for Christmas in SA :D. We had other dishes like Hungarian pancakes, gumbo, cheesecake, Finnish cookies, curry, several noodle dishes from Malaysia + Indonesia – oh man, and everything was soooo good. There were about 20 or 21 of us, and we just chatted, laughed, and hung out for a bit in our building’s BBQ area- it was a gorgeous evening. Thank you so much to everyone who came out! What an incredible time!
- I just had to shout them out. My best friend and her hubby just had a BABY 2 weeks ago! AAHHH! (Hi Em + Miller + baby George <3!) We love you all so much, and can’t wait to FaceTime with baby George some more, and squeeze and kiss him next year!
- It’s been on my bucket list for several years now, but we signed up and did the Color Run two weeks ago and it was even more amazing that I initially imagined. A few of our friends from church decided to get a team together (The Hue-Tang Clan ;)) and go together; we ran for a bit of it, and then walked the rest of the way. What an awesome time!! It was also the largest Color Run ever out of all the ones they’ve done worldwide – 24,000 people! You may have seen our photos on Facebook or Instagram, but we were totally caked in powder and glitter. During the actual race, we didn’t get as much as we would’ve liked on ourselves – but when we got to the finish line and, subsequently, the Finish Festival, everyone got a package of powder so we had a powder fight and covered each other! We were also blasted in glitter OMG. I was still shimmering a few days after the race hahaa. We took a selfie in different stages of the race – one before, several in between and two after the fact – and I’m so glad we did, because you can definitely see the progression in color :D
- One reason I love fall (well, fall back in the U.S.) is that all our favorite TV shows return – and en masse! “How To Get Away With Murder”, “Empire”, “Shark Tank” and “The Walking Dead” are some of our favorites (I’m also SO happy that Hulu picked up “The Mindy Project” – I love Mindy Kaling), and also picked up some new shows like Gotham (I love any- and everything Batman, except for Ben Affleck LOL) and Heroes Reborn (Will’s new show!)
- We had our second annual Thanksgiving lunch with some of Will’s American coworkers! You may remember our celebration from last year, and it was equally (if not more) delicious this year. Will made his amazing mac & cheese, and I attempted sweet potato casserole (my favorite). There was also green bean casserole, cornbread, stuffing, ham, Nando’s chicken (lol), caramel apple pie, blondies, pumpkin pie, and au gratin potatoes. And as is our tradition each year (it has been for the past ~5 years), we watched the Iron Bowl together, and of course, Alabama WON.
- My sweet friend, Tara (hey girl!) and I treated ourselves to a late birthday celebration (her birthday was in July) and went to see Mockingjay together in STYLE! We went to the Gold Class portion of one of the movie theaters here, and it was sooooo awesome. We got to order food to have during the movie and had incredible reclining seats; the movie was also fantastic. Can’t believe the Hunger Games movies are already done :'(. Thanks for such an amazing time, girl!
- The Lost Dogs Home, a local animal shelter, hosted a “Human Walking” event to encourage people to get out of the office on their lunch break and come walk doggies from their shelter. It was such a fantastic idea! For dog obsessors (like ahem myself), this was a dream come true to get to pet and walk sweet doggies for free. I went by on my break, and there was a long-ish line to wait to get a dog to walk, but people came in groups of 4 or 5, so it made it go by quickly. They gave you any dog that was ready to go (there was a big pen they were in if they needed to rest, eat, or grab a drink of water), and an elderly golden retriever I had previously petted a few minutes prior became available and when the woman came up to me, I had to suppress a fangirl-ish squeal; I was SO excited. Her name was Bonnie and she was 12 years old; her owner had had her since she was just a pup, and she was just there to fill the demand. I loved her and gave her a ton of pets and hugs :)
- You may remember us mentioning that we weren’t quite done with decorating our office, but it’s about 90% there! We purchased a daybed, and it serves as the perfect two-in-one package: a great place to work/grab a nap + rolls out into a full-size bed for guests when they visit! We just love it, and it fits perfectly right under our window, so you have an incredible view when you wake up.
- I can only speak for myself on this subject, but now that Thanksgiving is over, I am in full-on Christmas mode. I started on Friday with some Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé and Boyz II Men, and I got so fuzzy inside. I even took my lunch break on Tuesday when the Charlie Brown Christmas special (50 year anniversary!) was on TV, HAHA. I love that movie so much. All this Christmassy stuff is making SO happy that we’ll be in Cape Town to celebrate – it’s honestly one of my favorite things in the world. Also, Melbourne is in full-blown Christmas mode too (and has been since early November, since Thanksgiving isn’t a thing here), and there are decorations up everywhere :) We caught the projections show on Town Hall (which you may remember from last year), and this year’s theme is “Twelve Days of Christmas”. You can check out a video I took of it on my Twitter here – it was incredible.
Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving, and more than likely, we’ll be updating during our stay in South Africa – or at the very least, we’ll be posting photos on Instagram and our Facebook, so catch us over there too! Also, thanks for putting up with our crazy, unintentional (we promise) hiatuses LOL. Maybe our new years resolution will be to keep up with this thing more often *insert see-no-evil monkey emoji here* ha.
Love you guys!
Kelly + Will