Canberra, Australia

Photos of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, Australia

As we prepare to repatriate, I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking about our time overseas. I never properly blogged about our three years in Canberra, Australia and the things I loved (and hated) about living there. That said, the things I hated have softened into mere annoyances over time.


  1. Coffee! Fresh produce! Farmers market! I could tell you of so many times I was impressed, but instead just trust that we ate and drank well during those three years.
  2. People! I met many wonderful people and made a few friends for life. Not a week goes by that I don’t check in with one of them (Hi Tina!) and I’m forever thankful for the many people that welcomed and took care of us there.
  3. Lifestyle! Everyone was relaxed and most people worked to live instead of living for work. It’s something we struggled with (Hello! I’m a Type A East Coaster!), but I appreciated it and still strive to emulate that mindset.


  1. Grocery trolley carts where none of the wheels are fixed. I can’t stand them and kicked the back wheels so many times over the three years while wearing sandals. Oww!
  2. Not being able to pay for petrol at the pump. I don’t think this needs further explanation.

And that’s it. The “Loves!” list could go on forever if I enumerated every little thing, but the “Annoyances!” list will stay forever short.

If a job ever opens up in Australia for us, we’d go back with very little hesitation.

Photo Attribution / Image by pinkzebra from Pixabay

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

I like lists and bullets, so I’m gam



Thanks to Emma at Wanderlust And Wet Wipes for the tag. Here goes…

  1. A cup of hot, strong coffee first thing in the morning–I’m the primary caregiver of two small children and I’m not a morning person. Enough said.
  2. Getting in a good sweat session at the gym–A home workout gets the job done, but it’s not the same. Give me a (preferably mostly empty) gym, my Jaybird X3s, and my Spotify playlists and I’m a happy woman. Not being able to get to a gym regularly (or exercise regularly for that matter) has been one of the hardest parts of being a SAHM over the last few years. I used to consider myself a gym rat and I miss the endorphins and stress relief (and if we’re truly being honest, the way my clothes used to fit) that regular gym going gave me.
  3. Having clear skin–Thanks to Rodan + Fields, I have the best skin I’ve had of my adult life. I hate that I let my friends’ Facebook spam turn me off from the products for so long. If you know me in RL (or just via the Internet) and want more information or what to hear my story, hit me up and I’m happy to talk about it.
  4. Bourbon. Neat.–If you know me, no further commentary is necessary.
  5. Getting older–With each passing day/week/month/year, I am more confident and comfortable in my skin. I’m looking forward to my forties and my thirties have been awesome.
  6. Watching my parents play with my children–As I’m an only child, my children are the only grandchildren my parents will have. Watching them together makes me incredibly happy and I’m so thankful that my parents are alive and healthy and want/get to spend time with my little ones.
  7. Tattoos–I have several. I want more. I’m toying with the idea of getting a few more while I’m back in the U.S.
  8. My friends and family–After moving away from my home state at age 23 and then leaving the country at age 33, I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve made and the family I have. Not everyone understands the choices I’ve made, but they’ve been supportive.
  9. Expat life–Being an expat forces you out of your comfort zone and makes your world so much bigger (literally and figuratively). It’s hard as hell sometimes, but completely worth it.
  10. Spending time with my husband and children–Sometimes, the best thing in the world is sitting in the floor with the family, drinking coffee, and playing with whatever the toy du jour is.