Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Friday Night Hangs

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.

- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. quotes (American Writer, b.1922)

Just a handful of the people who make life wonderfully unlonely.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

gotta remember this date...

May 24, 2011.

The day we discovered the all-you-can-eat buffet at Sushi Station in West End.

It is also the day before Will accepted a job... in West End... down the street from my work... and approximately 20 metres from our new favourite Japanese place.

Life is throwing so many good things our way.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sunshine & beach boxes

Last year we took a holiday down to Victoria to visit friends and family before I took off to Africa. After a few misty days in vineyard territory we decided to visit the famous beach boxes and the weather kindly put on a fantastic show of blue skies and sunshiney goodness. Apparently you can purchase one of these tiny timber sheds for $200 000. At that price I'd probably install high speed internet and call it home-sweet-home.

You can also check out Laura's grateful #28 from the same day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

'Very lemony' lemon slice

So what do you do when life gives you lemons and buckets down rain before your outdoor engagement party? You make lemon slice! I practiced my house-hubby skills and used this random recipe (I have no idea how I found it) for lemon slice. As you know - the girl loves anything with lemons it!

First I made the base, which was the scariest part creaming the butter and sugar that wasn't quite room temperature. Thank goodness the 'artisan' was in fine form!
Then plonked it in the tray and into the oven to cook and go light brown for 15 minutes
While the base was baking I made the super lemony filler with lemon juice and zest - from five freakin lemons. that's a lot of elbow grease...
I poured the filler over the base, and two became one. Then put it back in the oven for 30 minutes.
I had so much filler I put the left overs in some ramekins and added crushed peanuts as a base in the bottom (that's all I could find!).
Turned out pretty great for my first ever attempt at baking sweeties!

(Babe they're ready when you get home from work :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

happiness is...

1. Finding king-sized Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and eating them right up.

2. The perfect dilemma - three beautiful wedding dresses to choose from.

3. Will+Laura+Steff dates.

4. Having the heater on at work. On and set to 28 degrees.

5. A beautiful, special patchwork quilt.

6. Visiting the cutest little cafe. It even came with knitted knee rugs!

7. Watching Miss Em walk across stage and graduate. Well not technically, as we were running late and missed that part. But we got to drool over her portfolio after. Not technically on the drool part either, leaving our saliva everywhere would not be classy.

8. Phone conversations with my Nana in NZ.

9. A day in the park playing with helium balloons. These things are fun!

10. Knowing I will marry this handsome fella in six months and one day.

He knows me too well. I do love lists.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why she can't live without lists

Whether we've been planning a holiday, a month of close-distance relationship activities, or an engagement party and wedding, I've been discovering that Laura just cannot live without lists. I might start a conversation talking about shoulder massages, Laura often opens the conversation with 'I think we need to write a list...'

Here's a list of reasons why I suspect Laura couldn't live without lists:

1. She's a logical and analytical thinker, which is awesome, because I'm often off on a tangent somewhere

2. She likes to get things done and done well, as she's a sucker for excellence

3. Lists are something two people can share and work towards, which is great as we pretty much do everything together nowadays!

4. She's visual and needs something to stare at while conjuring up a storm of ideas

5. Being artistic slash creative demands the need for a pencil in her hand and something to draw on, having a list is a great excuse!

6. She doesn't just do extra-curricular, she actually does 'ultra-curricular' activities. Lists help her spread as much Laura love around as effectively as possible to her tutoring family, her fiance, her friends , family and passions!

7. It's symptomatic of her 'notebook obsession disorder' :)

So yeah, her list obsession might very well be weird but there once was a time that I actually couldn't live without whiteboards and marker pens...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

365 days.

Dinner celebrations at Citron - the best modern Asian restaurant around.

May 4, 2011.

One whole entire year together.

Together, but actually mostly apart. In fact, I just did the maths. Of our first 365 days together, we spent 207 of them on different continents.

Being the self-confessed nerd that I am, I took the numbers a little further. June 23 is our official break-even day.

After that, we will have spent more days in the same country than not.

And that makes me a very happy girl.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Macaroons: a love affair...

Why would we post about macaroons on our blog? Well, at some point last year Laura discovered an incredible knack for creating these sugary marvels at exactly the same time that I discovered a peculiar culinary addiction to them. Some would call it all just a coincidence, but true macaroon connoisseurs know that 'macaroon' and 'coincidence' are antonyms!

Coincidentally, around that same time we flew to Melbourne and in the course of our adventures we discovered an entire restaurant specializing in macaroons....

They didn't last very long at all... Oh, and more blog posts about our Melbourne trip are on the way :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Better together

Because a couple that irons together, stays together.

When Will was overseas, one of the things I was most looking forward to on his return was being able to do things together. The basic things, like sharing a meal, or taking a walk.

Separated by thousands of kilometres, and with a seven hour time difference between us, our 'dating' relationship did not consist of movie dates and weekend picnics. Rather we talked. And talked and talked and talked.

We talked about the weather. We talked about our work. We talked about life and love and other mysteries. Sometimes we spoke until the Sudanese sun had set and the Australian sun was about to rise.

We talked until we had nothing left to say, and then we sat in silence. Or we had a video chat dance party to Will's ringtone, depending on the mood.

The thing about long distance relationships is you have to rely on conversation. Conversation without activity. Conversation without interaction with other friends and family. Conversation without body language, if the internet or power was out. Bare, basic conversation with out all the extras that really are so important.

How we both learnt to listen to the tone of each other's voice, to gauge sentences and sighs.

Once when I was feeling particularly disheartened, a dear friend wisely advised me to talk and ask about everything - including, and especially, the trivial and mundane. She too had endured a long distance relationship, and knew the importance of staying connected when distance, time and internet providers seemed intent of making connection impossible.

I can't tell you how many times I asked Will what he had for breakfast, or he asked for a blow-by-blow description of my very ordinary work day.

So there was great anticipation for his return and the opportunity to do things together - to share in something together, rather than just report back at the end of the day. I am so grateful now to head to the supermarket, to go to a friend's birthday party, to spend an evening dining out with friends, with his hand in mine and a smile on my face.

This engagement season has brought so many projects and activities our way, and there is nothing better than working on something together. The phrase 'better together' rings so true.

And while I never want to do long distance ever again, there is a real gratefulness for that season too. I know Will so well because of the hours upon hours upon hours of conversation we have had. We know the value of communication, because we've been in a place where we've had to put so much value on it.

But how I love that a hug and a hand squeeze are now back in the vocabulary.