Ten New Things 2014 – 2

Ten new things of 2014 continued…

6. First year anniversary

At a wedding near Vernon, BC
At a wedding near Vernon, BC
Enjoying the Whitsunday Islands in Australia
Enjoying the Whitsunday Islands in Australia

Our first year was great.  Not perfect, but full of love.  We continue to learn more about each other a little at a time, and also how to be patient and work at problems.  Marriage is a constant process of moulding something to be a little more perfect.  But I feel really blessed by God to have found Dave and I remind him all the time (he does too).  We look forward to decades of more companionship.

7. Hosting our first Thanksgiving

Since arriving in Vancouver, I have always wanted to host a Thanksgiving dinner for our friends.  So now that Dave and I have a slightly bigger place, we wanted to have friends over to share a Thanksgiving meal with.  I made a great turkey and everyone brought sides or desserts.  We had 16 people over and it was lots of fun.

8. Visiting new places

Some of the new places I have been other than Australia include: Indianapolis for work (those middle Americans sure know how to have fun), I flew through Phoenix (saw the Grand Canyon from the sky on the way), returned to Auckland, New Zealand and actually went into town and not just the airport this time.  Dave and I also had a wedding in Vernon area (Okanagan) and visited new wineries.  New Years Eve we are going to Hemlock in BC for some skiing and hanging out with friends.  It’s always great to visit an area of BC that you haven’t explored.   

9. Ordering a half pig

I don’t think I have ever had so much fun with meat.  I thought I would make the same kind of pork chops over and over,  but I’ve changed it up every time and they get better and better.  The bacon has been phenomenal.  I feel like I would pay for half a pig just to get this bacon.  It is smoked and brined to perfection.  The pulled pork I made a couple months ago turned out so great that I made it Christmas day for our family.  (My first time making the main course.) It was easy to make and the house smelled great. We still have the trotters and a pork leg to cook and I’m excited to see what we can do with them.  

10. Becoming a manager

I have been with Yellow Pages for 4.5 years and in my current department for the last four.  It took a while but the time was finally right.  I worked really hard to get there and I’m sure it is going to continue to be a lot of hard work, but I’m up for the challenge of helping our team be the best it can be.

Extras 

Dave and I did a beer advent calendar (I tried so many new beers!), our Bible Study group got so big that we had to split, and I helped lead that.  It was a challenging experience to go through, and I don’t want to do it again anytime soon.  I passed my first Google Certification test on AdWords.  I haven’t studied or written a test in quite a while, so that was tough on it’s own.  I also played on a baseball team that wasn’t forced on me in gym class.

It was a great year, and we have some adventures in store for next year which I’m sure you will hear about soon enough (it includes a trip to a country, nah, a continent, that I have never been to.)  See you in 2015!

Ten New Things 2014 – 1

This was a big year for Dave and I, but I am starting to think that every year feels like a big year.  

At Moet and Chandon in the Yarra Valley
At Moet and Chandon in the Yarra Valley

1. Going to Australia

 

With so many Aussies working in Vancouver, we have made many great friends.  Several have moved back to Oz, so it felt as good a time as any to go visiting.  We had a great balance of seeing people and time on our own.  I have fond memories of having an ice cream coffee in Brisbane with Megan, surfing with Ben, scary switchback driving and beautiful scenery with Christen, wine touring with Linton and an awesome morning seawalk wall to Bondi Beach and breakfast with Lex George.  So many memories I will cherish forever.  I would love to get back in the next ten years and see more.

2. Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef

This is one of those things that you dream of doing and we knew it had to be on the list of things to do in Australia. You don’t fly that far and not do the one huge thing the country is known for.  It was one of the highlights of the trip.  I think the best moment was taking a small tour out from the larger group and being able to touch the spaghetti coral.  It felt amazing!

3. Adventurous new food

Strangely I have no pictures of crocodile or wallaby, but I do have the lamington.  :)
Strangely I have no pictures of crocodile or wallaby, but I do have the lamington.  :)

Australia presented lots of new eating opportunities including crocodile with it’s crispy skin, wallaby, lamingtons, and lamb brains.  Our friends Ben and Megan also treated us to a proper Aussie BBQ full of meat and as well as to an Aussie lamb roast with the mint jelly, of course!  I really loved all of it, even the lamb brains.

4. I quit sugar!

After the gluttonous affair in Australia, it was time to clean things up.  It has been seven months of being pretty sugar free and I feel so much better for it.  I eat mostly sugar free now, which means I will have sugar a couple days a week, but at low quantities.  I have good staples in my diet that I like to go to, including sugar free desserts, because I love me some desserts.  It has pushed me to try new things and read labels all the time.  I’m still shocked at how much sugar is in things.  For example, Dave was having eggnog and the second ingredient after water was sugar!  In Eggnog!  Not cream, not milk, but sugar as the second ingredient.  Crazy.  

Overall, I have clearer skin, I workout less, and have lost 5lbs.  I’m at my happy weight and don’t have to think about it a whole lot.  I eat lots of healthy fats and I feel good.  And when I do have a sugary dessert, I don’t punish myself for having it, because it truly is a treat.

5. Ordering a vegetable CSA

We have talked about doing this for a couple years and finally found a close one that we wanted to try.  All the veggies were grown around the area in people’s yards then harvested every Sunday.  We tried some new things (Jerusalem artichokes, frisee, dragon beans) and had plenty of familiar things (potatoes, carrots, rosemary).  We never knew what we were getting, so I found it a little hard to meal plan and some things we just didn’t get through fast enough before they went bad.  Value for money, I didn’t think this was the best, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to try again with a different company or system.  I think it is great to be buying produce from local groups and eat seasonally and we will continue to try.

6- 10 coming soon!

 

Baby Tiered Coat

It seems that so many friends are having babies right now, so the baby knits are in full gear.  This little jacket was made for a friend from our church small group who is expecting the start of January.  I love it when they know ahead of time what the sex will be so that I can make something specific for a girl or a boy.  This kid is going to look so stylish in her little jacket with the heart buttons.  

Pattern: Baby + Toddler Tiered Coat by Lisa Chemery

Yarn:  Cascade Yarn 128 – Superwash

Colour: Burgundy

Needles: US 10/6mm

Knit For: Baby Madison (arriving Jan 2015)