It's a NEW Year

Holy smokes! I don't even know where to begin. Ever since NJ got blasted with a hurricane, it seemed as though my life jumped from that to Thanksgiving to packing to moving to Christmas in UT to Sydney to unpacking. That combined with the ridiculousness of Blogger cutting my storage space has alotted me no room (time-wise or tech-wise) to blog. Bottom line--we've been in a crazy, foggy whirlwind and I think...maybe...I'm beginning to see the dust start to settle.

I think I'll begin with now. And catch up with a few "flashback posts" a little later.

However, first things first. Happy New Year from Sydney, Australia!

We made it!

 And thanks to our amazing friends, Nate and Claire, we got to celebrate the new year at their place with their okayish view I guess, ya know, if you like that sort of thing :)

Considering we've gone to bed at 9:30 every night we've been here, it was a feat to have made it to 10:30 before walking home. Thankfully, they do a 9 pm show for the young ones and their wimpy parents.

Claire provided sparklers for the kids. Unfortunately, they scared the tar out of Penny, but Ryder soon warmed up (haha) and experienced the joy and thrill a only playing with a little fire can bring.

Today we've been in Sydney for almost an entire week. We arrived last Saturday morning with about 30% of our wits. Our babes did great on the flight and Hazel who was recovering from a double ear infection, actually took first place for most well-behaved child throughout the journey here. That was a huge blessing. I know we had a lot of loved ones praying for us, so thank you, thank you.

Unfortunately, after getting through customs, we would be lucky to say Phil and I had 5% of our wits left between the two of us (and it would be quite generous of myself to say I was bringing at least one of those percentage points to the table). It was sort of a math problem, you see. If you have four loaded luggage carts, one stroller and three babies, two of whom are breaking down--using only two tired adults, how do you get everything through a 100 ft zigzaggy customs line? After a half hour of trying to figure out this ourselves we concluded that YOU DON'T! Instead, you yell at everyone and get really, really cranky. Well, that's what I did. While Phil remained the sane one in our marriage I took my pathetic looking self over to some airport workers and begged for help. They took pity on me--got one of those huge flatbed carts and not only helped to roll us through customs, but rolled us right out to Nate's van. Thanks to Nate waiting for us on the other side the airport lady who took pity on our pathatic plight, we were able to make our last leg to the van with relative ease.  (Depending on whether or not you could block out Penny's crying...I could:) And just like the great parable of the loaves and fishes...but, um..opposite...kind of...we somehow fit all of our stuff and ourselves into Nate's minivan. Seriously, a miracle. Phil and I are still scratching our heads wondering how we did that.

Eh, we had to have a little stress, right?

Luckily we had the keys and our new home waiting for us. Which was so nice. We arrived around 10:30 am. Phil was an animal that day. He managed to go to IKEA for linens and a crib, and got us some groceries, while I sat at home with the kids only able to mumble three words over and over, "lunch then nap, lunch then nap, lunch then nap. I'm not really at liberty to say whether or not the children were left under the safest of care during that time...

We were able to adapt to the time pretty well and all of us got a good night sleep that night. Sunday we went to church. More than one person was impressed that we had made it that day, but wherever we move, Phil and I have learned nothing makes us feel more settled and better about our chaotic situation than going to church. So there we found ourselves, in what seems to be another kind and great ward. And thanks to Claire's delicious cooking, we had dinner both Saturday and Sunday night as well as a ride to church. Blessed souls.

This took us to the last day of the year where Phil (why is Phil always doing all of the work?) was in Penny and Ryder's room unpacking their clothes and I hear in a soft voice, "Jaaaaaasmine." Apparently, a 5"wide spider had made its way to the corner of the KID'S room. After about an hour of high drama (killing the spider, analyzing the remains, researching Australia's top deadliest spiders, emailing our agent, etc) we found out it was most likely a Huntsman spider. We read that they the only time they've been known to hurt someone is because they showed up in cars while someone was driving and scared them so bad that it caused said person to get in an accident. Call me crazy, but after reading that I vaguely recalled watching a National Geographic about that a couple of decades ago... Anyhow, once we discovered that my body literally started tingling with relief.

Since the new year began we have been busy doing fun things like figuring out our phones and opening a bank account acquiring groceries and other necessaties. We've also managed to make it to the Taronga Zoo and the beach. I have discovered my body having a hard time deciding whether it's on vacation or real life. I'm guessing come Monday (when Phil goes back to work), its going to have to commit to the latter.


  1. Miss you! So glad you made it there safe!

    Sorry about the spider...

  2. Anonymous6:01 PM

    I'm so grateful you made it there, safe and sound.
    Wow, that spider story, honey.
    Aunt Lancy

  3. Amazing adventure! Happy New Year! I can't wait to follow along with you guys. You are a super woman!
    Just keep in the vacay mind frame and everything will be just fine ;)

  4. I can't believe you weren't crying with hysteria over that spider! Good for you!

  5. Anonymous5:50 AM

    What a way to begin a new year. Loved hearing about your adventure. Good luck to you and your cute family!
    Sis Rodak

  6. Making it there is more than half the battle! ..and I think fighting a huge spider and not high-tailing it back to the US counts for more than half the battle too!!

    I think I always thought our time in England was an extended vacation, so you don't necessarily have to choose between vacation or reality! :)

  7. I can't believe I didn't get to chat on the phone with you before you left. We'll have to skype or something. I can't wait to hear from you. Reading about customs and tons of luggage makes me cringe just slightly with memories ;) It's all worth it in the end!