... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

z is (predictably) for zoo

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

pink flamingos, Atlanta zoo

Stay with me here, yes 'zoo' for letter 'Z' is a predictable topic but it's one that I feel should be mentioned and (hopefully) discussed!  My first impression of zoos in America has been somewhat disappointing.  Although I've only visited two zoos: one in Dallas and one in Atlanta; I have conducted a little research (Google search) on zoos throughout the country and can safely declare my reason for being disappointed: most of the animals aren't even American!

giraffe and zebra at Atlanta Zoo

As the cartoon Madagascar honestly portrayed, every "New Yorker from Central Park" animal was actually African.  Sure: giraffes, lions and hippopotamuses are extraordinary to look at and my goodness the gorilla enclosure in Atlanta is simply divine, but where are the native animals? The bison?  The bald eagles, the moose and wolves?  When I visited an American zoo, I expected to see some native American animals, yet aside from some bird, deer and reptile types - they were all foreign.

rattlesnake, Atlanta zoo

I recently read somewhere (forgive me for being vague) that it's considered cruel keeping a bear in captivity because they become very depressed and moody, often lashing out at carers and viewers.  But isn't this true of all intelligent mammals?  I've heard orcas get the same way and yet they are still kept in tanks.  How can it be considered cruel toward one species and not others?  And if bears cannot be kept in a zoo - what about other native animals?  Are all American animals incapable of captivity?  It makes no sense to me, especially when other animals are transported half way across the world to be enclosed.

gorilla in Atlanta zoo

During this A-Z challenge, my topic has been America from an outsider's perspective and through it, I know I've raised controversial questions and frequently compared it to my own country, Australia.  Permit me to this one last time and just say with utter certainty: Aussie zoos are better!  This is simply because when you visit an Australian zoo, you will see every native animal you've ever read or heard about - from the platypus and wombat to the emu and koala bear.  Often, there'll be an elephant and some zebras too but somehow they are never the main event.  Surely when people visit the USA they would like to see native animals too?  Don't get me wrong, I'll not going to stop visiting them, I love zoos and seeing all kinds of animals make me happy!  But my wish is to see a real moose up close.  A bald eagle would be nice too.

Thank you for joining me on this A-Z adventure.  I apologize for blogging a little late at times this past week - I've had some doggy / computer drama at home but it's all good now :)  I've really enjoyed meeting everyone and becoming part of your networks or having you become a part of mine.  I hope we can all stay in touch and catch up again soon!

y is for bucket list item No.1 | Yellowstone National Park

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Although the A-Z challenge is coming to an end, I'm starting  a new series on the blog for my bucket list items.  In honour of the letter 'Y,' I've chosen to write about, and share a few pictures of, Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park.

this beautiful photo from Wikipedia Commons

Will got to go here last year and I sat at home while he sent me snapshot after snapshot of the incredibly beautiful things he saw.  Since then I've had it down on my bucket list.  Here are my top reasons why:

1.  The Petrified Forest

2.  Amethyst Mountain

3.  The enormous variety of animals that live there!
It would be like visiting a safari in Africa, only you'd see moose, bobcats, bears: just to name a few!

Bison in Yellowstone - one of the last remaining herds in the wild
pic thanks so wikipedia.

4.  The one-of-a-kind water bodies that are completely unique to the area like the geysers or the Mammoth Hot Springs (pictured at the top of post) and the famous Morning Glory Pool:

another awesome pic thanks to the Wikipedia Commons 

5. The changing seasons because as you know, I'm obsessed :) Going to Yellowstone in spring would guarantee breathtaking views of meadows in bloom:

In summer all the animals would be most active.  Autumn would broadcast the vast array yellow, orange and red hues throughout the forest canopy. And winter would truly be a white wonderland:

6.  It's a super-volcano and the ancient paths of lava flow have solidified into the landscape, something I very much want to see!

the letter x for X American things

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Roman numeral X stands for number 10 and while not exactly my first impressions, I wanted to name 10 American things I like that start with letter X:

I: the X Files
Does anyone remember that show?  I was too young to watch it when it was on mainstream TV back in Aus - but thanks to Netflix, I've recently been watching and really enjoying it.

II: X-Men
This goes without saying, of course a Sci-Fi geek like me would love the X-Men movies, comics, characters; you name it!  I can hardly wait for the next movie to come out in August! 

III: "Xyla"
This American owned and operated company makes all sorts oft things using xylitol instead of sugar.  I've recently found out just how horrible refined sugar is for our bodies and now I choose only to chew gum and eat candy with xylitol - which is better for teeth and easier for the body to digest.  (If you want to know more, check out this video).

IV: X-Doria
Another American company that makes beautiful and professional looking protective cases for smart devices.  

V: the X- Games
Now the X-Games (or extreme sports games) are worldwide but they originated in the USA and are still predominately controlled by the US.  I'm looking forward to the Games coming to Austin in June, where I will hopefully be enjoying the skateboarding. motocross and BMX events in the crowd!

VI: X-Ray Tetra
Believe it or not, America has an animal beginning with the letter X.  It's the X-Ray Tetra (pictured above) and it's a pretty little fish that looks a lot like other tetra fish expect that it has a transparent body, which I genuinely think is cool and I'm not just using it because of it's name!

VII: Xanadu
Another American movie that features one of my favourite Aussie actresses of all time.  I also like watching the video clip to the song - Olivia Newton-John is sooo pretty!

VIII: Xbox
Although I prefer WII - the Xbox is still a video game and therefore very fun to play.  It was invented by Microsoft, an American company and this isn't cheating.  Ok, maybe I'm struggling a little, but I defy anyone to say the Xbox isn't fun! 

IX: American History X
A chilling movie with a beautiful message.  Edward Norton is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G in it and yes, it counts as a letter 'X' because without it you're just searching American history!

X: X is for Generation X
Not just in America, but Generation X worldwide is my favourite generation.  I think I'm part of it, but Will says I missed it and fell into Gen-Y. Even if he's right and I didn't make it - all my best friends did. I was always friends with the older kids and always liked what they liked (a lot of which WAS American).  Nirvana, Converse, skateboarding, surfing, plaid flannel shirts, hats and teenage angst.  Teenagers these days don't seem as angry or frustrated, it's like Gen-X were all depresses because we /they noticed the world failing but kids now are fixing it up.  Hopefully. 

w is for wildlife

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coming from Australia means every American animal I see is exciting.  In my three years of living in Midtown Atlanta, I was lucky to see the occasional duck, Canadian goose or squirrel in the city's parks.  Sometimes when I was really lucky I would see a chipmunk, cardinal or blue jay.  The really impressive animals lived outside of the city and I used to love visiting friends and family in the suburbs or driving out to the state parks because there I was guaranteed to see any one (or all) of the exciting, camera-worthy ones.  That is those deer, foxes, rabbits, armadillos, possums, skunks, hawks, owls, pheasants, turkeys, storks - I even saw a beaver once!

My most beloved place was Will's grandparents'.  I cherish the afternoons I used to spend sitting in their backyard bird watching.  I saw my first hummingbird, yellow finch and woodpecker there.  It was such a happy, peaceful place - when my dogs weren't around!  If the dogs happened to be inside or left at home, the chipmunk that lives in their garden would come out to say hello and the squirrels would climb down from the trees to forage in the grass.  It was bliss!

Since moving to the suburbs of Austin, I have wildlife all around me.  Here are the ones I see 
every day
(all photos were taken by me - some aren't very good, sorry!) 

blue jays
and right now I'm seeing squirrels daily, eating my mulberries!

Here are some animals I see occasionally:

deer crossing
I also occasionally see woodpeckers (the real ones with red heads!), possums and raccoons but I don't have photos yet.  And here are some incredible (incredibly sad) photos I took shortly after moving to Austin - thankfully I haven't' seen it since: 

vulture eating squirrel 
vulture and squirrel

v is for variety

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My first visit to an American shopping center (mall) left me wide-eyed and speechless.  Despite coming from a first-world country, I felt like somewhat of a barbarian because I had never seen some of the decorating items for sale, nor had I ever seen such an enormous variety of everything.

Some of the decorating items I'd never seen include a variety of wall hangings.  Americans love filling empty spaces on their wall with art or these metal, Celtic looking designs (above is a picture of one I really like from JCPenny). Then there are those salt and pepper shakers and napkin rings.  They come in every shape, size, colour, animal, tree, flower or artifact you could ever imagine!  Here are some from Cracker Barrel and Pottery Barn:
Mushroom S&P Set
Mt Rushmore S&P set
Rain boot S&P set
Another thing that's different is how Americans make their beds.  Aussies have duvets - a fancy blanket that you can use for sleeping.  Americans have comforters - a blanket that's just for show to cover up the bed and make it look pretty during the day, but one that comes off at night for sleeping.

Decorating my house in America has been quite an overwhelming process.  There are so many shops that sell objet d'art, each one cheaper and larger than the first.  It takes me ages to decide on a theme anyway, but once I have it takes even longer for me to decide to buy something because of the sheer variety in that category and because I'm always worried that I could find it cheaper somewhere else! 

Here's an example: let's say you want a set of blue towels.  Where do you do?  How about Bed Bath and Beyond.  Ok, you've walked in and found the bath towel section.  Now what?  What colour blue, every blue-hue you can imagine is in front of you and which one is right for you? Light blue.  Ok.  Now do you want light blue with a pattern or light blue plain?  The pattern is white ikat and it's rather pretty. How about you get the bath towels and washers in plain but the hand towels in blue and white ikat?  Will that go with the bathroom?  Maybe one of each will be nice?  Maybe since the ikat is white you should incorporate white as well.  A set of blue, white and blue & white ikat towels.  That'll be nice.  How much are they?  Oo, that's not bad... Although you wonder if they'd have these at Target or Marshalls for cheaper... so you go for a look.  You find the bath towel section and it begins all over again because here the pattern on light blue is yellow zig-zags and you think that's nicer than white ikat anyway!  It's seriously hard for me.  I wish I was firmer in my tastes because Will and I are still wiping ourselves with the hand-me-down towels his mother gave us when we first moved here!

So that's variety and it's killing me!  Now let's talk price.  Everything is so much cheaper here than in Australia, it's like IKEA prices everywhere you go.  Example: Ralph Lauren lamp, brand new: $49.99 at Marshalls!  Handmade 5X7 Kilim Rug: $130 at World Market.  Full stainless steel bar set, $70 from Williams-Sonoma.  Oil paintings for $30 from Kirklands and all of that objet d'art is dirt cheap at department stores and Home Goods too!  Photo frames from $3, figurines from $10, mercury glass candle sticks $15!  Don't even get me started on clothing!!!

If variety really is the spice of life then I think I'll stick to plain potatoes for now, hold the salt!

celebrate the small things | Apr 25

Friday, April 25, 2014

What a crazy week it's been!  I've dived head first into a new job and as a result have severely struggled with the A-Z challenge!  After spending the days writing articles, I've neither the strength nor inclination to write about First Impressions of America, letters V-Z, instead pouring a glass of wine and just zoning out before the telly.  I think if I chose to do the challenge again next year I'll need a far more engaging topic to motivate me!

To add to the stress, my puppy Dorothy has been sick almost all week with a tummy bug and this has kept everyone up all night because every two hours, like clockwork, she needs to go outside.

Still, there's lots to be grateful for and I love doing this on Fridays - taking time to reflect on the week and counting all my blessings, here we go:

1) This week, above everything, I'm grateful for two things: my husband, who's the most wonderful human being I've ever met!

2) and the ANZAC's (Australia & New Zealand Army Corps). Although ANZAC Day was technically yesterday in Aus due to the 15 hour time difference, the date here is the 25th April so to me, it'll always be a day of commemoration, no matter where I am.  I think we should always be grateful for and celebrate the freedom we have.  A freedom that is not our birthright, but that others gave their lives for.  Today I celebrate Veterans and service men/ women everywhere and thank them for fighting for their countries.
Now for the small things:

1) I discovered a mulberry tree in our backyard!  Mulberries played a big part in Aussie childhoods. 
2) I had a longer than usual conversation with Aunt Amy (1hr 45 min!) so now I'm missing her a little less
3) Tomorrow is Saturday!  The first weekend after my first work-week and I'm ready to relax! I've got nothing at all planned.  No housework, no shopping, just uninterrupted relaxation. (Maybe I'll catch up on my A-Z or maybe I'll rest my eyes from the computer and make it up on Sunday...)
4) oh, and I'm still majorly obsessing over the pretty shiny new heels I got last Friday.  They make me smile just looking at them #materialjoy !

Hope everyone else has had a lovely week and you all enjoy your weekend! 

u is for the USMC

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Will is a Marine.  Although he's been out for years, I say is a Marine because once a boy becomes a Marine, he remains one for life.  I wanted to write about the Marines because of my own experiences: my first impressions, my prejudice, my deep dislike that transformed to endless love and what it's like to be married to one.

My first impressions were horrible but this can probably be attributed to the time and place.  When I met my first group of Marines, I was a full-time university student working part time at a restaurant/ bar to pay my bills, in a small town called Rockhampton, in Central QLD Australia.  Not far from this town was a military training ground, Shoalwater Bay, which facilitates simulations and exercise for militia from several different countries, one of these being the United States Marine Corps.  I won't go into detail about other countries but I will say that none of them behaved the way the U.S. Marines did.  Whenever they had free time, they would storm into Rockhampton, drink themselves stupid and crack onto every female with a pulse.  If you were even semi-attractive you were in serious danger of becoming a victim to incessant bull-whistles, vulgarity and all manner of propositions.  Myself and the other girls in town quickly understood why the Marines had such an awful reputation for womanizing and although we thought it shocking that any girl could fall for such sleaze, we each sincerely worried for our friends, hoping no one we knew would add to the 'surge in local pregnancy' statistics that followed the Marines whenever they left a town.  My opinion was set: I hated every one of them.

As I've mentioned in the past when I met Will two years later, I found him arrogant.  Within the first hour, I'd also discovered he'd been in the Corps and thus thought my dislike justified.  His cockiness, to me, was surely a result of spending too much time womanizing and I could never give someone like that the time of day.  Yet within the next few hours, I thought myself in love and by the end of our first week together, I was certain of it.  Of course his own merits had everything to do with this, but his Marine-ness was more of an obstacle than I could have predicted, I flat-out refused to get involved with one. As the weeks went by, my resistance began to crumble and after several frank arguments, Will helped me to better understand the mentality of the boys.  He told me what being deployed, boot camp and war is like, in a way that movies and songs can never convey.  He made me aware of things from their point of view: their desperation, their struggle, their need for intimacy and their 'frankly, not giving a damn.'  They go in as boys: wide eyed, looking for honour and glory.  They become hardened men within months and perhaps for this reason, they are fortunate to be part of a militia that allows them some kind of outlet during their free time.  Although I don't condone their actions in Rockhampton and firmly believe in subtlety, my anger at all of that has dissipated and has long been replaced by pity.

It makes my heart hurt to think of Will as one of those boys, but at the same time, I feel safe knowing my husband is a Marine.  Not only because he's had the training but because of how emotionally strong he is.  I am awed by the sheer amount this man can handle.  And the way he deals with one problem at a time, giving each his full, undivided attention.  He has carried me through physical and home sickness, arguments, grief and more: standing firm and strong just like I envision a soldier would in the face of danger.  There are times when he breaks.  There are times when he needs to be alone.  There are times when he cries. Some times he becomes pensive and just doesn't talk. During all those times I remember what he told me to make me feel pity instead of hate. I remember what he's been through and I give him as much time as he needs because it's worth every hardship, a thousand times over, to be married to a man like Will.

More than anything else, being married to a Marine is like having an enormous family.  Every one of the boys from every one of his platoons is a brother to him and every time I meet one, they become a brother to me as well.  These boys are so real!  So honest and loyal. I love watching them interact, always with heartfelt emotion, kindness and genuine affection. Yes, they are rough as hell and when they're drinking it's best to leave them be - but they are tender when they need to be and I know within my heart that I can call anyone of them, anytime, and they will be there for Will, for me, for our family. The bonds they made, they've made for life and perhaps beyond, for their souls are joined for eternity - of that I'm sure.

t is for tradition

Anzac Square Brisbane.  The Shrine of Remembrance and Eternal Flame
In many ways Australia and America, both being christian countries, celebrate the same things and have similar holidays.  But there are a few Australian traditions I miss dreadfully.  Anzac day, celebrated on 25th April, (which incidentally is today over there), being the major one because of so many sentimental reasons: it's the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps day and a time when the entire nation stands still in commemoration and gratitude.  The parades, the speeches, the haunting sound of the bugle, the silence and the memories of one beloved Anzac soldier together with love for my close friends still serving to this day, will always and forever keep this day sacred to me.

At a Remembrance Parade and Ceremony, Anzac Square in 2012
Will, paying his respects
Melbourne Cup is another tradition I miss.  Of course the actual event is larger than life and the city gets a holiday, but no matter where you are in Australia on that day, you are expected to participate.  Ladies get dolled up in elaborate dresses, hats and jewels; men wear suits and off they go to work where they are undoubtedly greeted by a table of food and drink, underneath the biggest TV the organizers could find.  This is where, for the duration of the race, you will find most Aussies on Melbourne cup day.  Placing bets, screaming, laughing, crying, eating and drinking: then it's back to work as usual.

clowning around at the local races (not the actual Mel.Cup)
The Aussie tradition of Easter is different too.  For a nation that thinks bigger is better, America has definitely missed the Aussie-Easter-egg memo.  Our Easter eggs (and chocolate rabbits) are HUGE and I'd never quite given up searching for one of those traditional head-sized ones I always got in Aus, until this year.  I disparagingly gave up hope when one of the bloggers I follow (another Aussie ex-pat living in the States as well) wrote this post about how American Easter eggs are plastic and full of candy VS Aussie ones that are almost always chocolate: sometimes with candy inside; sometimes simply (deliciously) as large as a football.  It used to take me a week to eat my traditional present-from-the-parents egg, but that's how I liked it!

One American tradition that I have embraced with all my heart is Thanksgiving.  Never mind how it started, or what caused it in the first place, I think giving thanks is a wonderful concept!  Traditions are undoubtedly things that vary between families, but in America everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in some capacity and it's my favourite of Will's family's celebrations too.  Nobody goes around saying what they're thankful for but I like to sit back and make metal notes while Uncle Sean stirs butter into the mashed potatoes, Aunt Amy pours martinis, grandpa mutes the TV so that he can hear what we're all gossiping about in a 'subtle' way, grandma fusses over who's not eating... and bookmark all those moments forever in my memories that live in the thankful side of my brain.

One of the things I love most about Will's family (and something I hope remains a tradition), is how they can take a public holiday like Thanksgiving and turn it into a week-long celebration.  The women call each other to find out what we're all drinking, who's bringing what to the table and what we're wearing a week in advance.  Then we all 'conveniently' decide we're missing an ingredient or the right outfit and that we must go shopping - as if we need an extra excuse to get together!  Despite all of our preparation and fuss, our get-togethers are never structured or on schedule.  It's always chaos, but it's real.  Will's family isn't formal, they each are completely comfortable setting vague time frames and then going with the flow.  We're always allowed to take our pups with us and they run free, scrounging for food dropped on the floor while everyone helps themselves to the fridge or pantry and argue about petty opinions or reminisce about times gone by.

s is for sentiment

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I wanted to write this post all about sports - because the American sports culture is really something - but then I took a step outside and an enormous grin took over my face as I observed spring in full force all around.  This made me think: there are so many special, unique and wonderful things that I love about America and perhaps instead of monopolizing, I should take this chance to list some of those that begin with S.  (Luckily sports is one of them, so never fear - it'll get a mention as well!)

I want to kick it off with Spring.  Not in so many words, but maybe these pictures will speak for themselves:  (Will and the pups get so irritated at me whenever we go for walks because I'm constantly stopping to take photos, but seriously, who can blame me?!) 

TX wildflower
Daffodils in Atlanta's Piedmont Park
GA wildflowers
Clover field in Atlanta with dogwood tree in background
TX wildflowers
My poodle, Baxter, with TX wildflowers 
Pink magnolia tree, Midtown Atlanta
Breathtaking flowers in Atlanta tree
Butterfly on flower in Austin
TX wildflower
My baby Dorothy in a field of TX bluebonnets

Seasons in general need a shout out.  If you look over my past blog posts - you'll see fairly quickly that the seasons are a reoccurring theme.  That's because I come from a part of Australia where the only thing that changed from season to season was the temperature.  The scenery was basically the same all year round so I delight in the changing seasons and I'm so grateful every time I get to visit somewhere new within America where I can take pleasure in seeing how different the flora and fauna really are from State to State.

Song birds: don't want to make this a spring-theme, just want to draw your attention to this for a second, as many people don't automatically assume spring = song birds.  I've only recently made this connection myself (in Aus our parrots squawk all year long, especially by the beach (lorikeets/ black cockatoos/ majors)).  I am loving the song birds around our place at the moment.  Mainly they consist of cardinals and mockingbirds but I feel like a Disney princess every time I step into my living room which has big windows on either side, through which I can see and hear birds happily chirping in the trees right outside.  Another recent discovery about song birds: mockingbirds sing well into the night, long after the sun has gone and attack squirrels when they come too close to their nests!   (PS: I love squirrels too, but they will get mentioned in my W for wildlife post).

Summer:  most people already know, but it's worth mentioning that kids get the entire summer off from school.  I would have loved to get the entire summer off school!  In summertime everyone here is very active and there are so many activities the vacationing-kids can participate in.  Cities with rivers have river sports or river tours, places that serve food stay open late and the sun doesn't go down until 9.30pm some nights!! (the average 9 pm).  This part can be quite disorienting and I never get enough sleep but who needs it when there's so much to do!

Sports:  Americans are o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d (like every game is the Melbourne Cup obsessed) with two sports - football and baseball.  Football in winter and baseball in summer.  Basketball is popular also, but not to the same extent.  While I haven't really gotten into any one particular sport, I really like going to live games in a stadium, regardless of what sport is playing because the atmosphere is incredible and the excitement is contagious! One of my favourite things about the South is that people dress up to go to games.  It's not uncommon to see girls in dresses and heels alongside boys that wear team jerseys with khaki pants.  Such pride!  I love looking all around once I'm seated at all the colours, smiles and comradery or gentle rivalry that circles the stadium nonstop.  I think even the most cynical people-haters would find hope for humanity at a sporting event.

Shoe shops: there's a store all over America called DSW, which stands for Designer Shoe Warehouse.  This store sells top designer labelled shoes at a huge discount and the first time I walked into one, my jaw dropped.  These stores are incredible!  Every one I've ever seen to is ginormous - roughly the size of an oval - with 1/2 belongs to the women, 1/2 to the men and sports.  There are rows and rows of shoes so you're practically guaranteed to find the shoe you're after!  Between this DSW, the other discount stores like Marshalls & TJ Maxx and department stores like Macy's & Dillards; I haven't paid full price for a pair of shoes the whole time I've lived here!

r is for random facts

Monday, April 21, 2014

For 'R' I've compiled a list of random facts that start with the letter - all about the things outsiders to America notice upon arrival.  Let's dive straight in:

- red birds: ok, so these birds are called cardinals but they're my favourite birds and I was really just looking for an excuse to throw in a pic!

Photo taken by my talented cousin
- road: 

  • traffic moves in the right direction
  • rule 1: most States allow you to turn right at a traffic light, if the way is clear.  This is called 'right on red"
  • rule 2: some States don't require motorcyclists to wear protective leather or helmets!

- religion: it's more obvious that religion is a big business in America.  You'll see billboards, TV commercials and pamphlets promoting different churches and denominations almost everywhere you go. (Especially in the South).

Yes, that is a church sign beside a strip-club sign
No there's nothing wrong with your eyes.  Thanks to abc.news for this image
Just couldn't resist sharing this one as well! Thanks postkiwi.com
- ratings: that is, TV ratings.  These are (compared to Australia) higher for movies that have sexual references and swearing, but are actually lower for violent movies!  (Also, swearing is still largely unacceptable (unlike Australia) in the media so most channels will bleep out swear words or simply do a voice over - over the swears.  Even words like 'boobs' are considered rude). 

- railway: apart from America's very large cities, travel by railroad is not a popular option.  Most trains you'll see within the country itself are transport ones.

- radical regulations: some of the country's founding laws are either still in place in many states, or have only recently been abolished - whether residents know of them or not.  Will told me about a law that has only been revoked within the past decade, that allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick, as long as was: (a) on the steps of the courthouse (b) on a Wednesday and (c) with a stick no thicker than the width of his thumb!  This law was actually written down in documents and was allowed in many Southern states.  

a weekend in Dallas 2 | April 19.20

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I'm starting to look forward to the finishing the A-Z challenge so I can begin writing what I want to again!  It's not that I'm not enjoying it - I've just been holding back so much of what I want to say because I don't want to bombard my blog with too many posts... but a lot has been going on.  April has been an eventful month with plenty of highs, blissful weekends, snapshots and a couple of lows - all of which I've held back sharing, wanting to wait for May, but I can't take not sharing this weekend (and not bragging about Will: the best husband in the world) so I've decided to slip this post in...

Some of the aforementioned lows had been weighing on Will and I last week.  Life threw us a few curve-balls and both of us were starting to feel a little overwhelmed. Instead of wallowing however, Will selflessly surprised me by giving me one of the best weekends I've ever had!

He began by researching, visiting and organizing doggy boarding so we could take the weekend to ourselves, something we never do.  This meant the world to me because I'm very protective and particular about who our dogs precious angels stay with and even though Will's not as particular, he went out of his way to make sure I would feel comfortable with whom he chose - all without me knowing!

Then he whisked me away to Dallas for a night so we could let our hair down, let loose and forget about all the bad stuff - which seemed non-existent after a surprise like that anyway!  From the moment we left the house, it was a wonderful weekend.  The road to Dallas was canvased by wildflowers and blue sky - so vibrant and picturesque - like straight out of a dream!

When we arrived we met with friends, ate, laughed, went to a baseball game and delighted in youth and life and everything about it that makes it wonderful.

By the time we drove home, we were feeling rejuvenated and blessed once more, only to pick up two happy puppies who had fun and remained unscathed. And then, as if it could get any better, I received a new, very exciting freelance job offer!  So win all 'round!

Oh! And I got a brand new pair of sparkly shoes! 

I'm feeling wonderful and ready to take on a new week! I'm so happy to be starting a new project and having success in every major aspect of my life.  I hope everyone who reads this is as happy and has enjoyed their Easter weekend as much as I have!



About unwavering me

Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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spring in Austin TX

spring in Austin TX

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