I have really, really not felt like writing the past couple of weeks. Our most recent post was supposed to occur last weekend after we swam with the whales for Lawson’s birthday. However, the day before we were to go we received a call that they had to cancel due to weather. We came up with plan B for his birthday but a late start that morning derailed that as well. It ended up being a fun day checking out one of the sailing communities near Brisbane! One of Lawson’s great loves is sailing, so it was a productive, fun outing albeit different than our plans. And, the best part is that we were able to reschedule the whale swim for our anniversary in October!!
I don’t know if you ever struggle with this but I go through periods of being completely overloaded with both the news and social media! They both can totally bum me out! I am so grateful for the blessings social media bring in keeping us connected and making new wonderful friends but, at times, I find myself emotionally spent by it as well, not to mention it is impossible to keep up with it all! Several years ago, I fasted from the news for Lent. It completely altered how I intake the news now. In spite of the very careful way I go about ingesting news it still is sometimes not enough to buffer all the negativity. It’s not always just the news itself, it’s how it impacts me personally that I have to watch out for. Last week’s hurricane barreling toward and eventually impacting so much of Florida was particularly difficult to be watching from so far away. Our home was not impacted fortunately but so many others were. And then, there’s US politics, North Korea and the Equifax breach that just left me a ball of anxiety. Breathe! That’s what I have been working on doing instead of blogging or being online much in general! Fasting from the news and fasting from social media are important things to consider for self care and sanity. I’m trying to find the balance between staying connected and space from all the noise! Breathe! I have a shirt that I frequently wear with BREATHE on it because I need this reminder so very often!
There has been a lot going on in our personal lives other than all the above however. Eve has been in testing for the past couple of weeks as her first full term of school in Australia came to an end yesterday! We are so proud of how she has adjusted to a new school in a new country! She knows what an opportunity this international educational experience is for her and she is embracing it! She is super excited about the two week break ahead of her though and we have a few fun things on the docket to explore! Sophie has a week break coming soon. She too is neck deep in work – especially books to read and papers due! She has a volunteer job at the Red Cross shop in Fortitude Valley to help her get her foot in the door with future part time employment. And, she was selected to be a part of the University of Queensland’s art museum student engagement council! Both girls are rocking this adventure and we are super proud of them! On the US end, we are continuing to get quotes for repairing things that showed up in the inspection report with the contract that fell through on my parents home. These things take time but it is challenging to be so far away while the process unfolds. We are thankful for a realtor who is on top of it! Just breathe!
For his birthday gift, Lawson requested tickets to the musical Kinky Boots so on Wednesday we took the afternoon off to enjoy a matinee presentation of it. It was a playful musical with an important message of acceptance woven throughout it! A really good antidote to the aforementioned!
The Sunday before Lawson’s birthday was Aussie Father’s Day. This is his second Father’s Day celebration this year and never has a daddy been more deserving! Father’s are such a crucial part of their children’s lives. The girls and I know how incredibly blessed we are to have a partner and daddy who is as engaged in our lives as Lawson is! We celebrated with a picnic at our neighborhood park – New Farm Park! It is one of the loveliest parks in the city and is at the top of every list of things to see in Brisbane! One section of the park reminds us of Fairhope’s rose garden! There is space for soccer games and frisbee and it is always sprinkled with people reading and canoodling and enjoying family time! We love having it so near us to enjoy on a weekly basis!
Yesterday, we met with an accountant who filed our first Australian tax return for us. It was an easy process but certainly a bit stressful as all these new events are for us. I think he is going to be a helpful resource in navigating a new system. He lived in the US for a number of years as well and that is always helpful to have that kind of touch point with someone! He knows the good and bad of both countries. Being an expat is a learning process every single day! Some days overwhelming, some days fun but always an opportunity to grow! Someone recently said to us “If you knew how big this really was going to be, you wouldn’t have undertaken it”! Truth! We knew this expat adventure was going to be challenging but it is really only as you begin to experience things in another culture that you understand exactly how big of an adventure you have undertaken! Deep breaths!
A couple of friends have told us they set Brisbane as one of their time zones on their phones and we can’t properly express how much this small gesture means! It is hard to imagine just how challenging it can be to be so far from home at times. We really miss friends and family and we are so grateful for those who have gone the extra mile to stay connected! We know it is not easy! As Tom Ford said “when you find somebody good keep them in your life”! We appreciate your keeping space in your life for us! As always, thanks for taking the time to read our posts and to send us notes and messages! They are so encouraging and keep us writing, even when we don’t feel like it! Kind gestures mean so much! With love from Brisbane!