Friday, December 28, 2012

Koala Park

This day was possibly the highlight of my life. 
(excepting the day I got married... haha)
Getting to frolic with koalas AND kangaroos?! Is this even real life?
They were so precious and cuddly I thought I had just died and gone to heaven.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Father Christmas found us in the Southern Hemisphere!

Christmas was spent opening a few gifts, setting a very festive dining table for Christmas luncheon, eating that delicious luncheon, and skyping family. It was a marvelous day AND it poured rain the entire day, making Christmas even more magical (I'm not being sarcastic there... I actually love the rain haha) 
Oh, and Christmas wouldn't be complete without a 4 hour game of Trivial Pursuit right? 

I hope your Christmas was just as wonderful!

This is the closest we're getting to a Christmas card this year... haha!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas!

It's Christmas morning here in Australia and in true Christmas spirit, it's pouring rain.
But I actually don't mind it because I might have gotten a little bit sunburned yesterday and the cool air feels fantastic haha. 
Plus I'm pretending that it's like "snow" on Christmas, so I'm pretty happy about it. 

I am so grateful for the family I've had the privilege of meeting here! It's really been a Christmas unlike any I've had. I wondered if I would feel sad and homesick, since this is the first Christmas I've spent away from my family, but JP's family is so warm and friendly and wonderful that I've felt like I've been with family this whole time (which I definitely did not expect to happen)!

So Happy Christmas from Australia!  

Above is a little picture of our tree back in Utah! :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bondi Beach!

When next in Australia, I highly recommend the walk from Bondi Beach ---> Bronte Beach.
You get stunning scenic ocean views AND it appeases your inner thrill seeker because you can walk right along the edge of 30 meter cliffs with 35 kilometer-per-hour winds threatening to blow you off at any moment. 
(metric system anyone? I'm really getting the hang of things down here in the down under)

And then you should get some calamari and chips from the little fish restaurant on the boardwalk behind Bondi, with some swiss ice cream as a chaser. 
(I think I've already gained 10 pounds... I mean kilograms...) 

And then you should go lay out on the world famous Bondi Beach, because why on earth would you travel halfway around the earth (literally) and not do that?! Just avert your eyes from the topless women sunbathing as well... thankfully there weren't many. 

I can't believe we've already been here for a week!

This is JP's Oupa! 
I have heard nothing but wonderful things about him since I started dating Jean Paul and Oupa truly is one of the kindest, most generous men I've ever met. And he's Jean's namesake! Pretty great guy to be named after :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Exploring Sydney

I'm checking off bucket list items right and left down here! We went into the city and I got to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge (but we haven't climbed it yet! That's on the schedule for next week), the Opera House, Botanical Gardens, and more than one of the massive shopping malls. 
And my goodness I am going to gain 100 pounds down here. All we do is eat! But it's amazing food sooo I'm not really upset about it... yet haha.
Also, can we talk about why America doesn't use the metric system? When talking to JP's cousins I'm constantly trying to convert pounds to kilograms, feet to meters, miles to kilometers, and fahrenheit to celsius. 
A few other things I've noticed about Australia in the last 4 days is that whenever I say "thank you" the reply I receive is not "you're welcome" but instead is always "no worries." Oh, and hardly any of the businessmen wear ties! And when walking, be sure to PASS ON THE LEFT (I am the worst at this... I've run into so many people). 

We are loving Australia! And today's another beach day, so what's not to love? :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer... definitely by covering the whole house in Christmas decorations. 
(and also, singing loud for all to hear)

JP's Oupa (that's "grandpa" in Afrikaans) had no Christmas decorations up yet when we arrived, so Shayla and I rummaged through the garage and found an impressive amount of Christmas stuff that had been tucked away for who knows how long. And then proceeded to decorate the house like crazy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Have yourself an Australian little Christmas

The title might have given it away but JP and I are spending Christmas down under!

We just arrived a few hours ago after spending 14 hours on a plane (the longest I've ever been on one!)
Thankfully, sleeping on planes/trains/automobiles (catch the reference?) is one of my specialties, so 10.5 of the 14 hours were spent blissfully in dreamland 
(natural sleep too! No Ambien for me. although it was on-hand as a back up plan... haha)

Most of JP's extended family lives in Australia and I haven't met many of them, so this trip is going to be full of beach time, petting koalas, and meeting lots of people I am now related to. 

Another huge part of the trip I am looking forward to is getting to read for leisure!  I borrowed my dad's kindle and have a list of books I'm going to read during the three weeks we're spending down here, most of which came from your suggestions on this post, so thank you!

Check back for updates and lots of pictures with frizzy hair (it doesn't do well in humidity) 

Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The 4th Annual Christmas Party

Every year since we were wee little freshman living in the dorms, my friend Jordan and I have thrown a Classy Christmas Soiree. It's my absolute favorite tradition. 
{you can read about last year's party here. }

I mean, it's the perfect opportunity to mingle with good friends and to get all dressed up (which is always a plus in my book haha). 
AND it launches you right into the Christmas spirit -- even JP can't maintain his scrooge-ness after a party like this :)

We cook a full blown meal for the guests (hold the applause, please, I think it's a miracle we are even somewhat prepared when people start arriving haha) and do a white elephant gift exchange, which never fails to disappoint. 

There are probably way too many pictures, for which I apologize. But considering how many hours the setting up/decorating/Costco runs/cooking took, I wanted it all to be documented haha 
Thanks for bearing with me :)

 he was so pleased with his outfit haha i loved it.