2010: The Year That Was.

It still feels like this past year has gone by in a blur.

To follow tradition, it's time to get busy re-capping, just like in years gone by: 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before? Secured a date, a church and a wedding venue! Left my job, shipped a cat overseas, planned an epic pre-wedding-moon & visited more of North America and Canada on our way home from London. We also saw Lifehouse (twice!) in intimate gigs in West London.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Here were my resolutions for 2010: blogging, travelling, being healthy & reading. I did blog more last year, though things did quieten down around here while I was away. I travelled a lot, and feel incredibly blessed to have seen so many amazing places this year. This year, I lost over 20lbs - and while I've hit a bit of a stand-still, I'm excited to see how far I can push myself next year. I read quite a bit, though not as much as I'd like. I'll definitely be making some more goals for 2011.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My friend Laura gave birth to little Eva, who is the most adorable thing I've ever seen - I met her on my second day back home in Sydney, and fell in love.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year.

5. What countries did you visit? The United Kingdom (duh!), Australia, France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Italy, Vatican City and the Netherlands. We also visited the United States (Florida, Nevada, Hawaii) and Canada (Vancouver, Calgary & the Rockies). It was a brilliant year.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? I'd like to have a little more patience, and a lot more willpower. It's something that I always struggle with.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The last day of my life in London, which was October 15th - and then the day we arrived home for good, which was December 7th. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I started thinking more about me. I'm not a teenager anymore - I'm 26 years old, I don't have time to be taken advantage of, and I want to spend my energy surrounded by people who mean something to me. This year I learned a lot about myself.

9. What was your biggest failure? I lost a friend (& a bridesmaid) this year, for reasons I mentioned above - and while it was sad, I feel like it was the right decision to have made. Still, it makes me question myself and the kind of person I am - am I too quick to push people away?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I literally picked up our new car today! Being car-less for the past few weeks has been slightly stressful - so this is a good purchase. We ended up with a silver Honda Jazz, and she's beautiful!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Jason. He's my rock, he's so patient with me - and I learn new things about him all the time. We've made it through so many changes, we've travelled together, and we've jumped through more than a few hurdles since being back home. I can't wait until we're settled into our new apartment and can start planning for the coming year. I also want to shout out to my bestie, Miss K, who has stuck around with me for yet another year & who is just fabulous. I feel so lucky to call her my friend, and I don't know what I'd do without her.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? A few old 'friends'.

14. Where did most of your money go? Travelling for two months, and all the joy (and $$) that comes with moving back home. We've bought a car, we've put down rental deposits, we've paid for wedding stuff, we've organised a deposit for a potential home to build. It's been costly. 2011 is going to be the year of spending & of organising our finances. (Also: I need a job.)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Everything I've already talked about: travelling, finishing up our time spent in London, moving back home.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010? The entire 'Smoke & Mirrors' album by Lifehouse. Seeing them perform live in concert was all kinds of amazing, and there's not a single song on that album that doesn't scream 2010 to me.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

(a) Happier or Sadder? Happier. I'd love to keep staying 
(b) Thinner or Fatter? Thinner. But still have a very long way to go.
(c) Richer or Poorer? Poorer. But all for good (& necessary) reasons!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I'm pretty happy with what I did this year, to be honest.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? I wish I'd calmed down a little and stopped worrying so quickly. I tend to let myself get stressed out too easily over little things.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2010? We spent Christmas Eve at home with my family, for our traditional dinner. Christmas Day was spent with Jason's family. Boxing Day was spent with more relatives. We didn't have a lot of time for 'just us' which is something I missed - especially because we've been so used to our own time together on the holidays. Hopefully this time next year, we'll start making our own Christmas traditions.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010? We stayed in love. He's my best friend.

22. How many one-night stands? I'm boring. None this year. ;)

23. What was your favorite TV program? I've have to say Grey's Anatomy, the Vampire Diaries & the IT Crowd.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't hate anyone. Disappointed in a few people, but I don't hate.

25. What was the best book you read? I started re-reading the 'Tomorrow, When the War Began' series by John Marsden, and I'm flying through them. I also read & enjoyed Little Bee and the Five Greatest Warriors.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Lifehouse.

27. What did you want and get? We got to travel and leave London with a bang!

28. What did you want and not get? To already be married & with babies & puppies. Y'know, I don't ask for much.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 26, and had a really low key and chilled out birthday this year.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Nothing; we had a corker of a year.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? Same as always: jeans skirts, flats.

33. What kept you sane? I'm going with the same as last year: Jason, Oscar, Kirby.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Not really sure.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? The K.Rudd/J.Gillard prime minister mess up.

36. Who did you miss? I missed everything about Australia when I was in the UK. Now I miss everything about the UK while I'm here in Australia.

37. Who was the best new person you met? I met several online people this year: Lacey from Perks of being a JAP, Karen from Dream Once More, Heidi from Heidikins, and Britt from xoxb - and I feel so lucky to call them friends. Honestly, the internet is fabulous. 

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010. Good things come to those who wait!

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. “All I want now is to be with you, cos you know I have been everywhere else. Looking back at what you got me through, you knew me better than I knew myself.'

40. What are your resolutions for 2011? Keep on losing weight, move more, throw a kick-butt wedding & enjoy spending time back in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Happy New Year everyone!

Christmas Back Home

So it's that time of year again - can you believe it!

Since Australia is a few time zones ahead, we'll shortly be off celebrating our last Christmas together as an engaged couple. It's pretty special to think that by this time next year, we'll be married. How bizarre is that, hey?

First up is a Christmas Eve traditional feast here at home at my parents place, followed by Christmas Day at Jason's parent's place. We'll be wrapping up the big day by relaxing with more family on Boxing Day, stuffed with leftovers and nursing full bellies. This is the first summer Christmas we've had in a while, having spent the last three winters in London town, and it feels strange but good at the same time. It'll be nice having our own place to celebrate though - maybe this time next year we'll be able to set up our own Christmas traditions.

I hope that wherever you are and whatever holiday you're celebrating, that you have a safe and fantastic time. Merry Christmas - and if you've been good this, maybe you'll be paid a visit by your very own Santa Claws!

Merry Christmas my lovelies - have a fabulous & enjoyable holiday! xx

Good & Bad

And... there I go again, disappearing for random days and forgetting to blog.

It's been crazy around here. I'm still without a car and without a job, but on the bright side - we found an apartment! I researched like my fingers were about to fall off, I looked at a few places with some good company, and I put together a kick-ass application to rent and wham!

We have a place. It's pretty fantastic too: it's a brand new unit in a brand new complex, has air conditioning (double woo!) and wooden floors. It's also fairly close by to a train station (as in, across the road) so Jase can get to work in the city easily. We move in on January 7th, and I can't wait - we'll finally be back to our little family unit again.

Unfortunately though, there's been some bad news too. My nan, my gorgeous, sweet-tempered and completely beautiful nan, has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She's coping remarkably well with it all so far, but we've all been a bit of a mess around here. The past week has been spent in all sorts of treatment rooms and diagnostic centres, to try and see how aggressive it is. It breaks my heart to have something like this happen to someone like her, but all I know is that I'll be there to support her no matter what happens.

Somehow there are only five days left until Christmas - and it still doesn't feel like it's that time of the year yet.  I hope the spirit will hit me by Saturday, because this is usually my all-time favourite holiday.

Home Sweet Home

I never thought it would take me such a long time to touch base after we'd made the move back home. It's crazy to think that this time last week we were spending our last day on the beach in Hawaii - and now I'm here. You guys, it was such an awesome holiday, it really was. We went to so many different places, adapted to a billion different climates, met some awesome people & took way more photos than I'd care to admit.

But then, all too quickly, it was all over. Jase and I flew home together but then went off to our separate homes - which has been more than a little strange. We picked up Oscar-cat the following day and have been trying to see each other as much as possible since then - which is a bit tricky at the moment, since I still have to buy a car & because we live half an hour apart. Oy, I miss having our own little apartment to come home to.

The goals for the next few weeks are to a) find a car, b) find a rental property and c) make a decision about which house to build on our block. Add in me finding a job to the mix as well as, oh, you know, CHRISTMAS {what? It's December?} and it's going to just fly by. I feel like my head is all over the place, but I'm going to just keep swimming and see what happens. I'll do some travel recaps over the next few days {or weeks?} but I just wanted to say hello & see what I've been missing out on. How's everything with you?

I'll leave you with the view of Waikiki Beach we had from our hotel room - aaah, bliss. Take me back!

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