Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back in Brisbane!

We're back! Tasmania was absolutely amazing! We had such a wonderful time! We drove 1850 km, saw more wildlife than you could shake a stick at and took over 1100 photos. I'll have lots of posting to do in the coming weeks but for now I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!:)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to everyone! Steve and I leave bright and early tomorrow morning for Tasmania, so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas before we go! It's been such a great Christmas so far, that I feel the trip will just be the icing on the cake! I miss everyone so much at this time of year, but know that you are in my thoughts and my heart! We'll try to call on Christmas to chat with my family and Steve's family!We decided to play with the camera a little this evening. I love the glow that the Christmas lights make in our house! Really makes it feel like Christmas!
I dropped this little stinker off at the kennel today. I was pretty sad to leave him for 10 days, especially over Christmas. We'll have to wrap him up something extra special to open when we bring him home! The house is so empty when he's not here:(
I had to post this for Carol...I've been wearing my snowman pin on my work shirt at work. I got lots of compliments on how cute it is:)
I took another picture of our tree. It's really grown on me:) Plus, you can't see them but it's gained a lot more ornaments over the last week. We've been given some wonderful ornaments as gifts, including some Australian themed ones, which I just love!
And lastly, the staff at work gave me the most beautiful flowers and a lovely card. It was very thoughtful and meant a lot, so I just had to show them off! Also, note the mini 'Cari' jersey in the background, hanging with my cards. My boss gave me that as part of my cute!

We'll try to post here and there in the next 10 days, but no promises. Take good care over the holidays and we'll catch up in the new year:)
Love you and miss you all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Joy to the World!

Last day of work and I am feeling great!
Santa makes a visit today, to join us at our pool party and BBQ that we're having for the kids. Steve and I went for the most amazing foot massages and reflexology last night at the Thai Foot Spa. It was one hour of bliss and I loved spending that kind of relaxing time with Steve after all the stress that has been our last 6 weeks!
We also went shopping for the things we needed for our trip and splurged a little (well actually a lot!) on ourselves. Some new clothes, raincoats, sunglasses, a battery charger and ipod charger, a new ipod for me and a camping headlight which I managed to find in pink! I love outdoorsy things with a girly touch:)
Lots of be happy about today! Hope everyone else is having a wonderful day too!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What a day!

I have never wished for a holiday break to come so badly. Today was an absolutely crappy day. Literally and figuratively. Everyone I spoke to seemed to be so unhappy. There was negative thoughts and energy everywhere. Then, to wrap the day up with a bang, a kid pooped in the swimming pool. Nothing like having to scoop poop from a pool with a flipper to remind you that it's been a crappy day! Side note: One bonus of being in charge...I didn't have to actually scoop it and just supervised and offered reassurance! Try being positive about, I'm exhausted!
Since lately I have been making a conscious effort to focus on the positive things and not dwell on the negative ones, I have thought about what I am grateful for about today and here it is:
~ the wonderful girls I work with who go out of their way to make each other feel supported and help make each other laugh, when really you just might feel like crying a little.
~ Snugs. I am thankful everyday for Jesse. He met me at the door tonight, tail wagging and begging for a snuggle, making all the really crappy things that happened today melt away, at least for a few good minutes.
~ My wonderful husband, who is so good at forgiving and forgetting when I haven't been in the best mood;)
Okay, 2 more work days and 4 more sleeps until we board the plane for Tasmania! The count down is on...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just before Christmas in Brisbane...

These were taken at the beach with Dan and Amy on Sunday. December 14th. Need I say more...?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Last week...

...of work and then we have 2 whole weeks off! Yippee! Only 6 more sleeps and we head off to Tasmania to bum around in a camper van with no cares in the world...can't wait!:)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Random Stuff...

...mostly about Christmas! I have to say, so far this year Christmas has been way better than last year! We've been getting cards and parcels in the mail from home, which really helps make things exciting! I've also had lots of time to just enjoy the stuff I love doing at this time of year. Some of what I've been enjoying about the holidays so far; crafting, baking, shopping, wrapping, posting (okay, this is never much fun, but it feels good when you have parcels sent!), card writing, listening to Christmas songs, watching Christmas movies, and decorating. Being creative at this time of year really inspires me!
I made these cookies for the neighbors, which is always fun! I love that I live in a neighborhood where we actually know our neighbors and can bake them cookies without being the crazy cookie lady next door!;)

Even Jesse has been having fun! He got some milk bones in the mail the other day from my sister, Connie and her family. I should have taken a video to prove to you just how excited he was! I tried putting a piece of one on his nose, but he wouldn't wait long enough for me to take a picture. He was too excited! This is the best I could get, a blurry one that I snapped just as he started to move to eat it! Thanks Aunt Connie!:)
Steve has also been enjoying some Christmas treats! I checked out the candy shop where our friend, Vic got us our Quality Street candy. I can't explain this place in words. I was literally like a kid in a candy shop. It's all imported goodies and has lots of stuff from home! I'm not even a huge candy/chocolate girl but when you haven't had the stuff you remember in 2 years, it's really exciting! A little too exciting, as I spent $96 buying candy! In my defense, the stuff isn't cheap! A box of poptarts cost $10 and a small tin of Hersey Kisses cost $20! But it was worth it because the best thing of all....they had Turtles! Steve's absolute favorite! They are just as good as we remember! Eating those felt like Christmas! And guess what I bought to wash them down with? A&W Root Beer! So amazing! I think I'll avoid that shop for awhile! It's funny how just being able to buy familiar stuff helps you feel more at home in a city so far away!

Going back to the parcel from my sister...I was having a bit of a blah day the other day. I won't lie to you, I've been feeling pretty homesick these days. Mostly because it's Christmas and while it is feeling more Christmas-y than last year, it still just isn't the same. Last year was exciting because it was new but this year is just another year far away from family and friends. So anyway, all this to say...I opened my present. I confess. Sorry Connie! In my defense, we'll be away on Christmas and won't be able to take presents with us, so I might as well open them now, right? :/ Right? So, I loved my gift! The jewelry is totally me and I hung my snowman ornament on my tree right next to one of my all time favorite ornaments (also from Connie), with our names and wedding date on it. Thanks Connie for the wonderful present! Miss you lots!

Speaking of trees, yet another exciting thing happened today (wow! There really has been lots to be happy about!)...Steve and I went to get groceries and what did we see at the grocery store? REAL Christmas trees!!! Okay, so they weren't exactly like they are at home, but they were a type of pine tree and would look absolutely beautiful with white lights and our ornaments on them. If we weren't leaving in a week for Tasmania, we would have got one for sure! I've been told you can buy them, but I didn't see them anywhere last year. I've also been told that they make a horrible mess in your house and are a major pain in the butt (the needles fall off like crazy, probably because of the heat and the style of tree), but I figure it would be totally worth it! Definitely, something to look forward to next year!

Miss you all and hope it's feeling very merry and Christmas-y in your neck of the woods!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Getting to know me at Christmas!

I received this by email from Katie and Selena and thought it would be fun to do on the blog instead. Just spreads a little Christmas fun! Here thoughts on Christmas stuff...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper...I love wrapping presents!

2. Real tree or Artificial? Unfortunately, artificial but if we were in Canada, then it would be real for sure!

3. When do you put up the tree? The first of December, or close to it.

4 When do you take the tree down? Usually New Year's Day.

5. Do you like eggnog? I love it but it makes me sick:(

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember loving the Christmas that I received cross country skis!

7. Hardest person to buy for? Hmmm...I don't think anyone is too tough...

8. Easiest person to buy for? My Mom.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope, but I got really excited when I saw one outside a church the other day...felt a little Christmasy!
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmmm...not sure I have ever received a bad Christmas present...
11. Favorite Christmas Movie? I don't really have a specific favorite but I love watching Christmas movies on TV...I should look into what ones they show on TV here...We also went to see 'Four Holidays' last night, which was fun, even though it did make me miss my family even more!
12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Early, now that I have to post things...maybe around October.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, but I sometimes recycle cards into cool gift tags
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Stuffing, Quality Street candy and Turtles. AND the best thing happened yesterday...our friend Vic, who lives here and is from Canada as well, found Quality Street candy at an imported candy shop downtown and bought us some! I was so excited! Thanks Vic! Now, if we can just find Turtles here, we'll be all set!

16. Lights on the tree? Well, this year our tree is made of only lights, but usually we would have a tree with white lights. I miss when Christmas was pretty and elegant. It's very tacky here but I figure I might as well embrace it!

17. Christmas song(s)? I love so many! I love, love, love Christmas music! I really like 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' and this year, I really appreciate 'White Christmas'!

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yup...of course! Now I just need to learn the names of all 8 of Santa's roos, you know, the ones he uses when he's here in Oz...
19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning and one little one on Christmas Eve.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The line ups at the post office!!!! Oh my goodness, the line ups!!!!

22. Theme or color? Christmas colors.

23. Still do a stocking? We haven't the last couple of years but I really miss having one! I think next year we should!

25. When do you go to Church? We don't do church here.

Okay, now let's see...I tag Kristi, Lorianne, and Kate to do this too! :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Congratulations... Kristy and Steve on the safe arrival of their first baby, a little girl, born yesterday. Can't wait to meet you Miss Alexis Kate Dyer!

You've got mail.

Yesterday, I was pretty excited to find 2 more Christmas cards and a post office letter saying I had a parcel waiting for me at the post office! It's been a really long, stressful and tiring week (lots going on but I won't go into it...let's keep this a positive post!), so it really made my day to get that stuff! Anyway, I picked up the parcel this morning and was more excited to find some Christmas presents from Kristi, Matt and Isaiah. Thanks so much guys! We're going to save them and open them on Christmas but unfortunately, Jesse doesn't have the same patience when it come to presents and I don't have the heart to say no! Jes was so, so excited as soon as he saw the box, he started biting at it and pawing at it! It was really cute! And since he'll be in a kennel on Christmas, I figured it would be okay if he opened his gift from Isaiah a little early...
So, I opened the box and Jesse instantly found the present that was for him (it's funny how they know!) and started opening it with great enthusiasm!

He loved his new toy. I think you made Jesse's day too guys! Thanks Isaiah!
And now we have Christmas presents under our tree! Kate also gave me a lovely set of 4 Christmas dishes, perfect for serving goodies on to friends. I opened those but it was with Kate's permission and encouragement! Thanks for thinking of me Kate and getting me such a lovely surprise!
Then, I felt so inspired by all this Christmas stuff, I spent most of today making Christmas cookies, even though it was hot! It wasn't actually that bad because I cranked the AC and closed all the doors to the room, except the living room and kitchen. It was fun and a great way to spend a quiet Saturday (Steve had to work).

Thanks again to Kristi, Matt, Isaiah and Kate! You're really helping it feel like the Christmas season! :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's actually starting to feel like Christmas...

...well kind of. Steve and I did some decorating last night. We "assembled" our tree and put up some lights and it really started to feel like Christmas! Then we opened our advent calendars and found a super melted chocolate. Guess you have to keep those things in the fridge here. Just a little reminder that it's definitely not a Canadian Christmas, even if it did feel like it with the curtains closed, the AC turned up and the Christmas music playing!
Here's a few pictures that Steve took of our decorations. We got a new camera, so he was pretty excited to play with it a bit...
Jesse gets SO excited when we get his stocking out! It's always really cute! He runs around the house with it in his mouth and he seriously looks like he's smiling. He must take after his Mom when it comes to Christmas spirit:)

You may recall that we bought this tree last year because it was quick and easy between moving and going away on our cruise and we said we'd get a "real fake tree" this year. Well, now that we're going to be away this year from the 21st to the 31st of December, we decided to stick with this tree again and just hung some of our favorite ornaments on it. I actually kind of really like it! It feels different, it suits the different kind of Christmas that we experience here.
AND, best of all, I got my first Christmas cards in the mail the other day!!! Thank you so much to my Aunt Gen and Nanny Henley! It made my day! I LOVE the pictures that were inside! Thanks again! I hung them with the Christmas pegs that I made especially for cards. Steve helped me make was really cute! I'm determined to make him love Christmas as much as me! :)

And the last fun Christmas thing...I bought a CD pack today with 100 of the best Christmas songs ever. It's really good, but not nearly as good as my old time favorite...Kenny and Dolly, "Once Upon a Christmas"...I just love it! I'm listening to it right now!

I was planning to bake some Christmas cookies this weekend but with temps forecast to hit 34 degrees on Saturday and no AC in the kitchen, that plan might get put on hold! So, like it said, it's starting to feel like Christmas...kind of.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Pool Party!

Yesterday, Dan and Amy hosted a pool party at their place. The pool and hot tub at their apartment complex is great! It feels so tropical! Kind of felt like we were on holidays at a resort!
Kate and Morgan...
Miss Breagha and Stacey...

A little of the pool even has sand by the water!

Outdoor bbqs by the pool...
Amy made some really yummy salads for the dinner! Thanks Amy!:)
Breagha and I hanging by the pool...

What a great way to spend a hot and humid Sunday!
Thanks Dan and Amy!

Pandemic Christmas Party 2008

Saturday night was Pandemic's Christmas party at the Pineapple Hotel. The theme was casino so many people went in costume, there were gambling tables and just for fun, karaoke. There were also lots of prizes! Steve and I had a great time as always! We didn't dress in costume this time around but enjoyed all the costumes of people who did!
Here's the photos from the night...
The Gang...

Reece went as a card shark. Very creative idea. It took him 6 hours to make and 6 decks of cards. It was all worth the effort though...he won first place in the costume competition...a $700 pre-paid visa card!The name's Treble. Dan Treble.
And that sexy lady on his arm is his fiance, Amy...
Darryl and Stacey...
Some of the costumes were really good!
I think everyone was a bit shocked at Jeff's costume...try to guess which one is Jeff in the picture...;)
Rej in his lucky #7 shirt.
A lovely picture of me, Steve and our creepy stalker, Darryl...
Rej and Clo...
Dan and Jeff. Jeff even shaved his legs, arms and fingers for the event! He went the whole way with his costume!
Shane singing a little karaoke.
Jeff and Loren singing...
Steve begging for his name to get picked for a prize. They gave away SO many prizes. I think everyone at Pandemic won something except Steve and I! Henley luck!
Steve sang a lot of karaoke! I have video to prove it so stay tuned!
The boys...
Party! This is Dave, Pandemic's receptionist.
Of course, it's not Cari and Steve unless we have a photo taken of ourselves!
The HR girls at Pandemic...Trish, Sherry and Kristy...
...and Vanessa.
Steve in someone's hat...
Karaoke...we sang a wonderful rendition of Summer Nights.
The ladies...
The party was in full swing by this time!

Elegant Amy.

Dan and Mic busting out the moves...
A big thanks to Pandemic for another great party! Stay tuned for some videos of the karaoke fun!