Happy Monday • Back to School Edition

Back to school time is sort of great (miss First Grade really missed spending all day with peers) but the days start so much earlier than summer days.

My new phone will be announced tomorrow! Let’s hope it’s pretty, and within my budget.

Speaking of iPhones: how have I literally never noticed that the clock icon is an actual functioning analogue clock face, right down to the seconds hand?

And, on the subject of time, blackberry season is almost gone. After all the waiting and sour too-early berries, to now see them shrivelling is sad. We scour the bushes for the last few juicy ones, the slow or late bloomers, already missing the blackberries until next year.

Happy Monday • Edition of the Holes

The four-year-old asked where Heavenly Mother lives. It makes me sad that this is such an obvious question, but that we don’t really know.

I have a hole in the right bum cheek area of my pyjama pants. How does that even happen?

I was so worried I wouldn’t remember how to make friends, that everybody would have their own established groups, that it was just pure chance I ended up not being a social outcast in London. Of course, everyone has been so welcoming, and I’m already developing little crushes and finding kindred spirits.

Listening to music on the way to and from activities, I realised it’s been a long, long time since I’ve listened to music very much – and even longer since I went looking for new music. Sad songs don’t make my heart hurt like they used to, and I’m simultaneously relieved and disappointed. I guess I’m not over being over it. When I stop being surprised that I’m over it, I guess it’ll be okay. Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday in a few weeks, and I’m waiting to see what happens.

I think I never got around to posting the photos from the road trip. It took so long to upload them all to Facebook, I didn’t even attempt Wordpress.





My favourite dress is beyond repair.

One of the bust seams has come apart, and because I’ve put on weight over the last couple of months with all this stress, I feel guilty. Even though I could do the zip up, I shouldn’t have worn it. And then there’s the whole complicated relationship with my body. It took me a really long time to stop worrying about how my body looked. And when I did, I lost weight. I felt healthy. I felt thin.

I need to put a stop to these feelings before the stress and guilt lead to a downward spiral.

My daily writing practice really helped – I have no experience with meditation, but I can hold a pen to paper, no worries. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s express myself with no filters. So, I do. I write, and write. I usually set a timer (5 minutes at first, then 10, then 20. I’d like to work up to an hour). Sometimes I pick a word limit (three pages, or 750 words). And then I get comfortable, pick up my pen, arrange my journal, and disappear. My thoughts come straight through my pen, and I am a conduit, not really a person. In the most hippy-dippy way possible, I become one with the universe, and attuned to all of creation.

And then I feel better. In losing myself, I become more connected with myself.

Happy Monday • Neurosis Edition

I read a couple of weeks ago about the difference between “less” and “fewer”, and am now incapable of stopping this mental correction thing I have going on. It’s at least as bad as apostrophes.

Three sleeping children; my job here is done. Time to enjoy what the Internet has to offer ;)

I am completely willing to accept that I am (at least at times) irrational. (It’s called “being a human”).

I heard an owl last night! I’m so grateful for where I live, in this beautiful city, and right by a wetland park.

We might have a house soon! I love house shopping, seeing these homes at once empty and full of life. I love the potential they brim with, imagining where to put the piano, and who will sleep where. I love to imagine the stories they hold, what the families were like who lived there. What kind of people would paint this room this colour? And why is this part of the carpet the most worn out? Where did they eat breakfast, and how many hours a day was it empty? Just questions of the tiny differences in the patterns of our lives, but they enchant me.

Meltdowns this week: 1 so far. (More on that later).

About me

I’m 26 years old. I’ve successfully made it through my quarter-life crisis, but I still have plenty of transitions and beginnings ahead of me. I’m not even at “settling in”, let alone “wrapping up”.

One day, I’ll be a teacher, but that day feels a long way off. For now, I teach Sunday School and care for small children as a live-in nanny.

I’ve explored some of London, and Europe in general – and now I get to explore the good ol’ US of A – with camera in hand, and filters at the ready.

I think a lot about society and structures and how certain influences affect us – for good and for ill. It’s part of why I want to be a teacher – I want to influence society for the better, and I want to open children’s eyes to the way the world is, so that they can be more thoughtful and considerate both of the ways they let it affect them and the way they can affect the world around them. I firmly believe children are people, and that their interests and preferences should be honoured. The best way I can be an example of that is through working directly with children.

The world is not “lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy”, but many things within it are and I want to seek after those things as well as work towards eradicating things that are not. I care about people’s lives. I care about peace and equality and understanding each other.

I am fascinating, and I like to be open but I have pretty high walls until I trust someone. This blog is a way for me to share with slightly less risk to my sense of self. I hope to connect with people who share, if not my exact passions, my desire to make the world a better place by appreciating our differences and celebrating our commonalities. People who create things that are beautiful or thoughtful, people who can express themselves in ways I admire. People who are heartened or inspired by what I have to share, and who want to share part of themselves with the world as well.

Welcome :) Won’t you tell me a little about yourself?

Happy Monday • Belated Edition

15 minutes after I spotted the signs, she ran to the toilet bathroom. Always happens. There’s no use fighting fate (or your bladder). A hard lesson for an almost-6-year-old, I’m sure.

Visiting someone else’s home for an extended period of time, and being able to raid their bookshelf, is like finding a cave of treasures.

It’s weird how there’s a river, but then only a few metres away everything is dry and brown. Also, lakes. Lakes are the weirdest. It’s not a beach, it’s a giant puddle. The kids were happy making mud pies, though. And very happy driving their grandparents’ boat.

No internet is driving me ca-razy. The complete lack of distractions means I’d be mega productive, if only I could get anything done.

It’s nice to know that I’m okay, letting go of this thing, that I was pretty sure I never wanted to let go of. That I would prefer to be unhappy, as long as I could keep my grip. Well, actually, I’m okay. And sometimes I don’t even notice that it’s gone. And when I remember, it’s not sad that I’d forgotten. I am okay.

Happy Monday • Land of the Free Edition

I love my job. So much. Today, I got to overhear the 5-year-old tell her mum “I love you more than all the other mothers love their children, and more than all the other children love their mothers”. Sweet, no?

Summer makes me happy.

I’m out of jetlag, and into the regular kind of exhaustion that comes from happy children not sleeping in the summer. Late nights, and early mornings.

I have a house key. I officially live here!

Swimming lessons continue, for the 4- and 5-year-olds. They continue to think their time is best spent by asking the teacher to watch them do some trick, rather than actually learning to swim. (Somehow they manage to pick up a thing or two. I assume by osmosis).

Seattle looks a lot like Switzerland. I swam in a lake! I saw baby trout, and a handmade wooden canoe, and I missed my camera very much. Always bring the camera! Even for a quick trip to nana’s house! You never know when it might become a lake-swimming trip.


Waiting at the airport. After 5 hours sleep, I was worried I’d crash and miss my flight, but so far, so good. Only another half an hour until boarding.

Checking in this morning, I was given a $10 voucher (I needed to spend another 10 cents to be able to afford a chocolate-pistachio scroll and an apple juice) because my flight has been delayed just over 90 minutes. Luckily, the internet is pretty good, so I’ve been able to bask in the love of friends from Melbourne wishing me farewell and happy adventuring, as well as a few friends in the US who are excited to see me. A good friend is in NYC at the same time as me, so here’s hoping we cross paths! And a new friend invited me to a young single adult convention the weekend after I arrive in Seattle, and of course Chad and Elisa heard about it and were already arranging rides for me. I registered online, putting this wait time to good use.

I’m ever so slightly worried about the effect of this delay upon my transfer between LA and NYC – I only learnt this morning that I’ll need to collect my bags, and go through customs and then check-in again before my connecting flight. The plan is to handle all my bags with grace and poise, but I’ll settle for being in the right seat at the right time, with all my bags on the same plane.

It’s a Qantas flight, so the food should be good – and I already checked the movies. Mostly, I’m just SO EXCITED to see my family again. A guided tour of NYC on the way is just gravy on the cake.

One way or another

You know how, sometimes, everything seems to be going your way?

Even though the first few days back home were tough, from the moment Anne and Steve kidnapped me offered to take me in, everything has felt like smooth sailing.

Maybe I didn’t sleep much, right after I booked the embassy appointment that would take place in only two days time. But that was so much better than the August 11th alternative, which seemed like it was going to be the next free date.

And then, even though they told me it might take up to 5 business days to receive my passport back, I knew it would only take the minimum 3-day timeframe.

I wasn’t entirely sure my brother would be awake in time, despite his insisting it would be fine, so I planned to come back home after the school drop off, and camp out until I heard the knock on the door. I thought my little brother and sister would be there, but the house was quiet when I arrived. Nothing in the mailbox, yet.

My little sister said she had slept over at a friend’s house and would be back in the afternoon, but she soon messaged me to check I was still there. She’d received some bad news about a young friend of theirs, and was on her way back. When she arrived, we called my little brother, to make sure he was okay (he wasn’t far from mum, so had gone to meet her at uni), and arranged to pick them up – making sure our other brother was listening out for the door while we were gone.

When we got back home, I called the bank (they’d blocked my credit card, because I misremembered my password to confirm an online payment), but I had to leave after 20 minutes on hold, for after school pickup. It was just one thing after another.

Mum took over on the call (it’s all sorted out), and on the way out the door, I flipped up the mailbox. It’s a habit, I didn’t expect anything, but there was a “sorry we missed you” note from the delivery company.

I was furious.

My passport, my entire life is in that package. And they didn’t even knock on the door. (Or my brother wasn’t paying attention).

If I don’t have that passport in my hand tomorrow morning, I have to wait another whole week for my flight.

We called the 1300 number listed, to find out which option would be quicker, a local delivery point (it wasn’t even 3pm yet, if they were still doing rounds, it could be there in a couple of hours) or the nearest depot (in the city, an hour away, but the call centre said they’d be open until 8pm). The staff were very close to useless. This is a company whose whole purpose in life is to take packages to places. You’d think they would have some understanding of logistics. A way of tracking items and knowing when trucks are expected back at the depot. If they were really good, maybe an ability to contact the driver. Not so, my friend. In fact, though apologetic, they didn’t sound surprised that the driver probably hadn’t knocked – and certainly hadn’t filled out the entire “sorry we missed you” slip. I was lucky to have a consignment number.

I was mostly frustrated that I have no control over any of this, and although many people have been great (the embassy, the au pair agency we switched to after the first ones were not very helpful), there are times like this where it seems like those who have my immediate future in their hands just don’t care.

So. Finally, at 8:15pm (the depot closes at 9pm, would’ve been nice to know), I have confirmation that my passport is at the depot in Port Melbourne.

Immediately after school drop off tomorrow, I’m on my way. I have to double check the visa is printed correctly, and then I can email everyone to confirm my flight for Sunday.

It will be nice to have a moment to breathe, between that confirmation, and the mad rush to pack and organise everything, and then get to the airport on time. The next time I’ll breathe is when I’m in Seattle. (Though being breathless in NYC should be the good kind!)

Phew. Wish me luck!