Saturday, August 27, 2011

A little bit of last week.

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These things make me happy:

Friday nights at the Smurf House. Freshly picked flowers from our garden and lemon tarts. Artwork from our engagement party. Honeymoon planning.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Picniking

We made the most of our Ekka Show Day with yet another picnic (seriously, we're getting good at these!) at Cedar Creek. What can beat the great outdoors, a hunk of brie and the love of your life?

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We were merrily enjoying the tranquility, guzzling down our Honest Quenchers, when all of a sudden, a greedy kookaburra landed in our picnic fare and tried his luck at stealing our food. The cheeky birdy left his beak-print in the brie, but otherwise left empty-handed (empty-beaked?).

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Of course, we weren't going to give up any of our yummy treats, so we set up a tripod to protect the goods. Low and behold, Mr Kookaburra tried again. I squealed and covered my eyes, only to open them seconds later and see Will with a large kookaburra in his hands!! The bottom centre photo shows Will re-enacting the catch - I was too slow to capture it the first time round. Needless to say, the tripod turned into a picnic-protecting tee-pee and after waiting in the trees for ages, Mr Kookaburra finally gave up.

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After lunch, Will smashed up wood and I did some wedding-related stitching. We explored the creek bed, reminisced about the proposal and made the most of my new Camera+ app.

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The day finished with Thai takeaway back at the Blue House. We began our pre-marriage counselling DVDs, which took our minds off all the wedding planning and set our focus on what's most important - our marriage. And when the clock struck 8 o'clock, Will pulled me off the couch, raced up the street and we watched red and green and pink and gold explosions fill the sky and illuminate the city.

A perfect day.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

97 days..

... until I'll be coming home to this house and this man - yippee!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A day at the Raceway

The only thing better than a Work Social Event, is a Work Social Event with your favourite colleague, who also happens to be your fiance. We spent most of Friday at Kingston Park Raceway with our work mates, racing around the track and enjoying a day away from the desk.

But don't let the smile below fool you - apparently I am not such a fan of stuffy helmets and smelly petrol cars. I quit early on in the day and may have gone home later with a mild case of sunstroke. Will, however, went on to do a gazillion laps around the course and went home with the Winner's Trophy (and his trophy fiance!).

Yay Will!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Yesterday

Yesterday, we headed straight to the blue house on the hill after church. We walked 4 minutes up a small hill to our new local cafe. We ate ham and cheese croissants and took in the quirky decor. Then we walked back down the hill, checking out the neighbourhood and watching the birds eat ants.

Yesterday, we drove in the opposite direction, to one of three local supermarkets. We wandered around the aisles, picking up all the important things. Fresh fruit and veggies. Good-quality olive oil. Mersey Valley cheese and Vita-Weat crackers. I made smiley faces at the most adorable little girl, who made lots of lovely faces back at me. We made bets on how much the groceries would cost, and I won.

Yesterday, we organised the fridge and we organised the pantry. We curled up on the couch and watched the rain catch the sunlight, and dribble down the paw-paw tree that stands just outside our window. I had a Sunday snooze. Will tickled my back and read his book. He said I didn't snore, and I hope he was telling the truth.

Yesterday, we did something we used to do last year. We each picked our three favourite things from the last couple of months, and took turns sharing them. There have been so many good things, things to reflect upon and remember. We also talked about some of the challenges, and some of the not-so-good things. We talked and talked and talked, and it was good.

Yesterday, after sunset, we got off the couch and took a stroll to the end of the street. We stood on the street corner and marveled at the perfect view of the city and it's lights. Will let me wear his fishing jacket and we tried to spot cranes on the top of buildings. We got very thankful and felt very content.

Yesterday, we ate steak and salad off the white dinner set from my grandma. We sat on cushions on the floor and put our plates on the coffee table. We talked about how very blue the house was, and how wonderful it will be to spend the first year of our marriage there.

Yesterday was a very good day.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Wedding Files: The Bridesmaids

After Saturday's adventures house-hunting, came Sunday's just-as-important adventure to find the perfect bridesmaid shoes. After being sick, interstate and up the coast over the last few weekends, I felt like I hadn't seen these lovelies in ages and was more than a little happy to spend my Sunday afternoon wandering around the shopping centre with them.

After sushi and salads and hazelnut milkshakes, we ventured off to find new high-heeled friends. We narrowed down what we were looking for and made chatty shop assistants find us 'one of this and one of that, in a size 7, 8, 9 and 10'. A couple of serious contenders later, and we'd found 'the ones'. And while there was no 'bridesmaid' discount, they were marked at a lower price than what they should have been, so the girls got a little bit off - it was a Christmas miracle! (that's for you Steffy)

These girls are my bridesmaids and I am so happy and blessed to call them my dearest friends.

Kate is my favourite sister and brings lots of laughter, creativity and silliness into my life. We're already getting sad about 'the breakup' - namely the end of the very friendly relationship between my wardrobe and hers. Who will I share clothes with when I live with a boy? Luckily, she bought us matching onsies, so that's one thing we can both keep wearing.

As well has having the hottest blunt fringe ever, Steffany is also full of bridesmaid expertise. She has been a bridesmaid before, and is in another wedding in September, which makes her full of clever thoughts and ideas and advice on pulling this event together. I'm really thankful! What's more, she's witty, she stunning and she has very nice taste - all great bridesmaid attributes!

And now Emily. I have a bunch of things I'll get these girls to help with over the coming months, but so far I've mainly been getting ideas together and getting my head around everything to do. So they haven't been roped into much just yet - that is, everyone but Emily. Emily has been working her (rather cute) butt off designing an amazing wedding invitation. She is incredibly creative and talented, hardworking and very gracious when we're slow with information or deciding on the perfect font.

And my lovely Brie - the only bridesmaid who does not blog! Brie had a gorgeous wedding of her own at the end of 2009 and has a great wealth of bridal expertise. She is thoughtful, caring and kind, and I know come November 19, Brie (and the others!) will take very good care of me. And I really love her new haircut - stunner!

And here's a little peek back to earlier this year, when I official asked the girls. I felt like I was proposing :) There were cupcakes and candles and little letters and lots of girly squeals. And thankfully, they all said YES.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

House hunting with W+L

Much to the chagrine of my employers I've been spending plenty of my time hunting for our first house. I'm not sure if it's just some caveman desire, but I really feel responsible for making sure the first place Laura lives in outside of her own family's home is decent. It'll be crazy enough living with a boy for the first time let alone living in a hovel, I wanted somewhere that even on the bad days of smelly socks and tonka trucks she could be comfortable!

Most work days I send her a 'rental of the day' by email. And we actually quickly decided we quite liked the same ideas: house - yes, apartment - no, polished wooden floors - yes, shagpile carpet - no. And so on and so on. 

On Saturday we had a mammoth house hunting adventure together. We were going to inspect four houses in the space of one hour... So here's what we found:

House #1
I'd been eyeing this fellow for a while, great location, nice verandah, and a sudden drop in price on the rental market. But my tenant sensors were up - a drop in price? no internal photos?! Sure enough the pleasant faux-villa style reno finished at the leadlight window in the front door. As we moved through the house with only another edgey couple along for the inspection, we noticed cracked windows, a run down kitchen and a 'open plan' lounge/dining that would treat our furniture like the X2 impossible puzzle. The backyard was a grassless slope, and coming back inside we passed through the kitchen, as quickly as possible. I guess it was authentically Spanish after all.
 
I realized we wanted a place that we could not only live in, but also enjoy the mundane activities such as cooking dinner together without thinking we were in a lifeline warehouse. This place would be a great reno job, but that's not what we're after so we quickly moved on...

House #2 
When the landlord rocked up in their beat up 4x4 packed with whining toddlers my guard was up. We walked through the back entrance to this place with beautiful city views - if you could actually find your way into the house! Its state of disrepair was pretty apparent, but Laura was seriously checking it out! I was ready to move on and get away from the damp air but she was adamant - we really needed to open our minds. I wouldn't be suprised if the previous tenant had a hydroponic farm and opened their minds in certain ways as well.
Sure there was a fireplace, and sure there were city views. But it was old and dingey and run down, and who wants a place where it looks like the landlord hadn't lifted a finger to fix it for the last 20 years? If he couldn't install a front door, I doubt he'd look at some dodgey wiring either.
The hippy couple who joined us for the inspection got into detailed discussions with the landlord - we made our exit swiftly as another poor soul arrived and tried in vain to find the invisible front door.

House #3
 This house was kind of an inbetweeny - cheaper than inner city, but still conveniently close to town. This house however was blue. So blue. In fact, I really was unsure about it from the outside because it stuck out of the hill like a smurf villa. We also had another inspection booked at the same time 10 minutes away, so we really had to fly through this one.
Laura on the other hand had decided that it was her house. She even gave me a star jump of approval before we got inside. I paused for a photo of the street number on the front deck, and a few seconds later I met smurfette bounding out of the living room... "Let's put an application in!"
The next thing I realized was that the inside of the house was also blue - so very blue. But it was pretty cool too. It had big, well sized rooms, new fittings, new kitchen and bathroom, a freshly painted interior and great floors. Oh and it was blue, but also cool - it was growing on me! 
So we ended up going over the house in detail, finding pros and cons and more pros and more cons. We decided to put an application in there and then. Unfortunately we had missed the other house inspection by this point, but really - this place was pretty cool.

House #4
We drove to our fourth house not really caring what was at the end of the road. We talked and thought about Casa Del Smurfo (the blue house) and how great it was. This last house was ok, it wasn't as blue but then it was also on a corner block and had some funny little quirks from what we saw outside. I suppose I'm just suspicious with upside down street numbers like the number 8 on the letter box. We drove off after a quick walk around. 

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I shall leave you in anticipation of whether we even found a house that weekend, and the next step of actually getting our application approved... But you can wait a little for that :)