Friday, October 29, 2010

As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti

Not a whole lot of time to go in to it in detail right now, but Nae announced to the family last week that she had applied and pretty much been accepted to a 3 year Masters program at the University of Cape Town to study great white sharks. While I am really happy for her and excited that she will finally get to live her dream full time, I'm also really sad. I obviously don't live at home, or anywhere near it, but I liked that she was there, close to Mom and Dad and keeping them young and on their toes. I worry about her safety down there and am glad to hear she is trying to work it so she won't actually have to ever live in Cape Town and actually go to school there, but instead work from the aquarium and research station that she was at a few months back. I'm selfish and am sad because I wonder if she'll still be home in May when we go back to visit and because I know her move means we'll get to talk to each other even less than we do now. I also feel badly for my parents because I think they are shell shocked by her announcement and secretly feel like bad parents because both their kids have decided to live thousands of miles away from them on completely different continents. I think the opposite is true, though. I feel like we are this super tight little family unit and it is because they are such rad parents who taught us to follow our hearts and dreams that I had the courage to make the initial trip down here and then the decision to stay and I think it is the same with Nae- if she knew she didn't have our parents' support and a safe place to return to if things didn't work out there, she probably wouldn't do something so huge to begin with. Anyway, still trying to digest it and will probably write more about it later when more of her plans are in place.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Us with MOTH's Grandpa right before his speech. It was really chilly at this point, but wish you guys could see the little bright green sweater I had on under the hoodie.

The crowd standing and watching us...intimidating right? I felt so awkward the whole 5 minutes we were up there!

Our amazing, adult sized bounce house. Bet you're jealous you didn't have one at your engagement party, huh?

Oh man, so much of the party is a blur to me! I've definitely learned my lesson and will plan our wedding schedule better so that we actually have time to enjoy our wedding and speak to everyone who has made an effort to come help us celebrate.

After going to bed at 1:30 the morning of the party and getting back up at 6:30 to keep prepping, the time until the party flew by! At 1, the party start time, the Hairdresser had just finished on putting flowers in my hair and I was still in lounge pants and had no make up on and people started arriving. This isn't California so a 1pm start time means 1pm and not 1:30 as I was hoping!

I quickly threw on my outfit and greeted anyone who came inside, but unfortunately I still had so much stuff to finish in the kitchen that I couldn't go outside to make the rounds and chat to everyone as they arrived. Luckily MOTH Dude was out there mingling for awhile, before I put him to work on the bbq.

All my girls really stepped it up and asked me numerous times what they could do to help me so I put them to work and thank god they offered their help or people would still probably be waiting on their lunch!

The food finally made it out and man can 65 people eat! I think there was just barely enough meat and a few people at the end missed out on the kick ass fried rice LC made. I felt bad because MOTH didn't get that the chicken was only for the people who didn't eat pork and the shrimp skewers were only for the veggies so I know at least one of our vegetarian friends missed out on the shrimp. MOTH got a plate of pork and sweet potatoes and I didn't end up getting anything to eat.

After people were served, we finally got to relax and I got to stop and speak to as many people as possible, but there were still many more people that I didn't get to spend time with. MOTH's grandpa always likes to give speeches at parties so MOTH and I got pulled up in front of the crowd while he gave a super short speech that didn't really have much to do about anything-awkward! But I think he had been drinking. Then MOTH and I said a quick thank you to everyone for coming out for us and to get back to partying because we were embarrassed standing up there like that in front of them all!

After that I grabbed an alcoholic slushie and hit up the bounce house. People started leaving and after a little while it was just our main group of friends. When it got dark, we put up 4 goon sacks (aka the wine bladders out of boxes of wine) and played Goon-of-Fortune. We probably had 12 people standing around the clothes line (you spin and if the sack lands on you you have to take a chug from it) and we made it through half of each sack before people needed a break. I said anyone who wasn't going to go get a soda had to go back on the bounce house and surprisingly, most people did, and even more suprising-no one got sick! We then came back and did about 20 more spins, but people must have been cheating because in the morning when we checked the sacks, they were still half full.

By 10 I was absolutely exhausted and felt like I was maybe coming down with a cold so I snuck inside and went to bed. LC came in to try and rouse me back in to party mode but I was freezing, drunk, and couldn't keep my eyes open. Everyone else stayed up until 11:30 and then went home or camped in the backyard. When we got up in the morning, our friends were gone and had majorly cleaned up our backyard. MOTH and I picked up the rest of the backyard and opened all the presents we had been given. The rest of Sunday we just took it easy.

Although the day went by so quickly, when I was reflecting on it yesterday I couldn't help but keep getting choked up. First off, I thought it was amazing that so many people came out to help us celebrate our engagement and to show their support for us. And secondly, I kept getting teary eyed when I thought of all the work our friends had done for us over the last week. All of our friends helped us make food, serve food, take pictures, prep stuff, set up the party and tear it down at the the end and then they still all got us awesome presents, too. I was/am just overwhelmed at how amazing they are and how grateful I am to have each of them in my lives.

I guess that was the point of my post two posts ago, I feel like we used to be together like this a lot more often and I miss that. Saturday felt like old times and it was so much fun!

Anyway, in 20 years time I probably won't remember a lot of the specifics of our engagement party but I will remember all the love we felt that day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Get the Party Started

We're at T -31 hours until party time people and I am in a mad panic! Somehow between Saturday and now our RSVP list has grown from 45 to around 65 people. Holy Moly! What have I gotten myself in to?

Luckily it looks like the weather gods are going to smile on us and tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warm. Thank goodness!

Yesterday I hit the mall to find the perfect tropical-y dress to wear for tomorrow. After 3 hours and hitting every clothing store there, I decided that maybe new jeans and a cute tank top and bright shrug would be enough. I'm a bigger girl with stubby legs and big boobs so no, those maxi dresses that everyone is carrying right now don't flatter me, nor do my only other two options in stores right now- something tight and short or something strapless. No, no, no! So oh well, I'll probably be the least Hawaiian-y looking person at my party, but at least I will be comfortable and feel cute in the outfit that I did pick out. I was trying to surprise MOTH Dude by getting us male and female style leis to wear, too, but apparently plumerias aren't in season yet so the flower shop said they'd have to use orchids and the leis would cost $80 a piece so that put a kabosh on that idea pretty quickly!!

In about 45 minutes, I'll be out the door for a 5 hour shift at work and then I'm off to shop for party supplies which includes 18 kilos of pork shoulder and 4 boxes of cask wine (for Goon-a-Fortune, of course). We brought the iconic American, red plastic cups back with us on this last trip so I might have to teach these Aussies how to play some beer pong, too! (Have I also mentioned that we are having an adult slushie machine and an adult sized bounce house?!?)

Tonight I've got 3 batches of chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies to bake, as well as 3 boxes of cake mix worth of cupcakes, and probably close to 100 bread rolls (not to mention getting that 18 kilos of pork wrapped in banana leaves and put in to 3-4 different crocpots to cook away for the next 20 hours). I'm going to be one frantic girl!

I'm off to get dressed for work and then take these next 37 hours head on. Wish me luck! I will hopefully have fun stories and maybe some pictures to share early next week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

I'm in a funk. I think 4 weekends, most of them rainy, has something to do with it. Being stuck indoors with nothing to do when you've been looking forward to the weekend the whole working week sucks and then I start to think of the perpetual sunny weather we have back home and how if MOTH and I were bored there, we could take off for a night or two in San Francisco at my parents' condo and catch a baseball game and soak in the jacuzzi and explore parts of the town we've yet to see. And then I think about how there are tons of restaurants to try and fun things to do in Santa Cruz within easy distance of our house and then I just want to pack up and go there today, right now, let's book the flights, and get sad when I know that we can't.

Where we live on the Coast in NSW is so far away from everything else. We have to drive 20 minutes to find a restaurant that is not a pub or a step above a pub and there isn't like a great coffee house to go hang out at or a pier to walk on or a downtown area where we can walk around and kill some time and then try a new restaurant on a whim. We also find ourselves in the minority with our friends because they are all grown ups with kids, where as we don't have that sort of responsibility and miss the spontaneity of calling everyone up for a big night of drinking or doing something equal irresponsible. None of my close friends from back home have kids yet and so are always available at the drop of a hat to drive an hour and a half to find a really cool Korean restaurant we've heard about or to come over for a late night jacuzzi session. And don't get me wrong, I love all of my little "nieces" and "nephews" here and playing "Auntie D", I just wish we were on the same page as our friends or that they were still on the same page as us. (And friends reading this- do not take this the wrong way, I'm not having a go at anyone for being grown ups and having babies, I'm just saying I wish MOTH and I were on the same page-wait, not that I want a kid yet, but I wish that we were all experiencing all the same stuff at once-and yeah, I guess this still isn't coming out right, but I still love you guys and love our friendships so please don't read in to this any more than me feeling sorry for myself.)

I'm also in a funk because this weekend is our engagement party and you'd be right to ask, "Why in the Hell would that put you in a funk, weirdo?" Once again, the stupid weather- we're having an outdoor, Hawaiian luau themed party and it'll have to be postponed or people will have to huddle, shivering under tarps in our backyard if the rain doesn't clear out by Saturday (so far the forecast is saying it's here to stay). We've been so on top of planning for it and looking forward to having everyone over to help us celebrate and now we're both stressed and cranky that it's not going to work out the way we had hoped. I think we both need this party as a way of forgetting all the negativity that was involved when we initially got engaged and to remind us of just how many people are actually rooting for us. And speaking of people who are rooting for us- my parents and my sister can't make it out for the party, which is understandable, but I still really, really wished they could have been here with me.

So yeah, look at me...Little Miss Ray of Sunshine! Is it any wonder I haven't been blogging lately??

Sorry for the negative post. Fingers crossed for nice weather on Saturday so I actually have something interesting and fun to write about.