One Year

That’s right people. We’ve lived in this beautiful country for one year as of today! We arrived on 3 November 2011 (Australian dating notation, read “three November twenty eleven”) after leaving Canada on the 1st. We sort of had a clue as to what we were getting ourselves into, but not really.  I (Kathryn) was 5 months pregnant with Kate, we had just said goodbye to all of our family and friends and travelled to literally the opposite side of the world with 15-month-old Eden. [Note: throughout this post we’ve linked to previous posts from this year, as indicated by italics]

The last leg of the flight here, Sydney to Perth

Our first trip to Kings Park in Perth

Here’s our First Impressions of Perth if you’re interested in reflecting with us. It’s great reading back on that time. Everything was so new and we were under the stress of finding a permanent home. We did eventually find a place to call home, and this city has become familiar,  along with driving on the left hand side of the road and hearing Australian accents. We’ve definitely acclimatised, wearing jeans and “jumpers” when it’s “cold” (e.g. 20 degrees or below) and increasing our summer wardrobes significantly; especially me, since pretty much all of my summer stuff was maternity or Canadian summer clothes, which are much too hot for the Australian summer.

It’s actually a rainy, grey day today, similar to the day we arrived and apparently not common for this time of year. To be honest, I think we’re looking forward to summer, at least the first part anyway! The sun, the beach, the warmth are all calling to us, oddly enough.  We both feel like it would be really tough to move back to a cold climate after living here. I do want my girls to experience snow though, so we will be planning a trip home during the winter at some point. Eden knows what snow is from books, so I think it would be cool for her to experience it first hand.  It’s hard to believe, but there are many adults here who have never seen snow in real life.

One thing we do miss about winter at home is the falling snow. Nothing compares to the quiet stillness of snow falling – that dead air that absorbs everything else around you, leaving you isolated with just the crunch of your boots in the fresh snow beneath them – and the beauty of a landscape blanketed with it. I don’t miss cleaning the wind shield though (Aus: windscreen), or scraping ice, shovelling, bundling up, or salt-stained pants!

Over the past year we’ve become quite involved in our church – CityLight Church. Tim plays on the worship team when he’s home, mostly guitar and leads every third week. I’ve recently taken on the role of secretary, slowly doing some things from home to keep the website up to date and such. I haven’t done much other than take minutes at the latest AGM, but my duties will increase as time goes by and the girls aren’t so exhausting!

We’ve made some great friends here and have already had to say goodbye to some.

I’ve only seen 3 redback spiders and zero snakes, so our fears were unfounded (Tim’s seen much more up north, but no bites yet).

We’ve had a baby! Through that experience we learned how to navigate the public/private healthcare system, and how much better water births are than hospital bed births.

She’s not a little baby any more

We had Heather visit us for 3 months, which was fantastic.  We still miss her dearly, and anxiously await visits from other family and friends – We have a spare room now, because the girls share 🙂

Best buds in their red dresses

We survived a long drilling season with Tim away 8 out of every 14 days (Aus: “fortnight”, a super useful word meaning two weeks) from the end of January until November, excluding the month of March when Kate was born.  In total, Tim has been away for about 120 days (with a few more to come before end of season); he’s been on about 34 flights, logged 9160 metres of rock (149 drillholes, diamond and RC), and will soon be modelling one of two halves of the deposit he’s been working at. One interesting thing about working here versus IOC is that everything below 50% iron is considered waste here, whereas back at IOC the average ore grade was somewhere around 38%!

We’re now looking forward to Christmas and I’m already planning what it’s going to look like this year. We love it here, and if we could only fly our family members over to visit/live it would be perfect! We just applied for Kate’s Canadian citizenship (she’s currently stateless) and hopefully this wont take “in excess of 12 months” like they say it will, so we can come home and show off Kate to everyone before she’s all grown up. To be completely honest though, I’m definitely not ready to make that trip again, even after a year, especially with 2 children. We’ll see what the next 12 months bring!

Over all it has been a fantastic year and we look forward to another.

Look how much she’s grown!

To celebrate this milestone we’re going to have a GIVE-AWAY!

We haven’t purchased the prize yet because we want to send the winner something tailored specifically to what he or she wants. Also, this give-away is only for people living outside of Australia (sorry locals).  To be eligible, all you’ve got to do is comment and let us know what you would be most excited to do/see/eat/experience if you were to visit us in Australia!  You’re not allowed to say “see you guys!”; even if that’s true, be more creative please. Also, please include in your response whether you’d like to win a prize that is edible (e.g. bottle of vegemite), playable  (e.g. kids toy), wearable (e.g. Australia flag bikini), displayable (e.g. a boomerang), or something-else-able, so we know what to send to you 🙂  The prize will be a surprise within your chosen category, and we’ll contact the winner for your address if we need it.

Good luck and thanks for sharing in our journey and this exciting anniversary celebration!

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24 thoughts on “One Year

  1. I would love to go to Kings Park and see the gardens there! I just love stuff like that an I’m sure Aussie gardens are much more exotic than what I’m used to.

    Also I would attempt to eat a peanut butter and Vegemite sandwich (supplying my own pb) which my friends from Canberra claim is the best thing ever, but I’m not convinced to be honest. (Please don’t mail me Vegemite) haha

    Miss you guys! xx

  2. Great post guys! I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Time sure flies.

    To be honest I am not really sure what I would like from Australia. On one hand I would love something edible(chocolate-y perhaps..) but I think something displayable would be even cooler.

  3. I love reading your blog posts and hearing about all you do down under 🙂 I would love to see the different play parks around, compare them to what is license-able in Canada (maybe my early childhood craze will weaken as I get more into the field, but who knows, I could be excited about stuff like this for a while).

    I’m also not sure what I would like from Australia…something practical please, either edible, wearable, or useable 🙂

  4. Wow…lots of memories have been flooding my mind too as I have read your blog of your journey over the past year….it sure doesn’t seem like a year ago that we said an early morning goodbye at the Halifax airport. I was recently looking at a picture of Eden taken just before you left and I can’t believe how much she has grown up in just one year; I love our weekly conversations 🙂 Kate has such a beautiful smile and I can hardly wait to give her some real hugs & kisses from Nana and Grampy. We miss you all very much and are so thankful for Skype. You all look wonderful and it is apparent how how much you are enjoying your life in Australia. Looking forward to sharing some of it with you in a little over 3 months 🙂 I will be leaving lots of snow behind then for your land of sunshine!

    Now on to the contest….I can’t wait to visit some of those animal parks and experience them through the eyes of my granddaughters…there is nothing quite like looking at life through the wondering eyes of a child. And, you probably have guessed, I would like something displayable 🙂

    Much love to all of you XOXOXOXO Nana and Grampy

  5. Tim and Kathryn, I love your posts. If I was to go to Australia, it would have been awesome to go to the farm chalet you went to because it seemed so cool that there were all those animals. Any place with Aussie animals would be great really. I also like hearing that Eden is getting an Aussie accent, funny to think that she doesn’t know what real snow is like!

    Something edible, wearable or useable works.

  6. Hi Kathryn and Tim, I love reading your blog as well. It’s been great seeing your thought about your experience of place in Australia develop over the past year and seeing your beautiful girls grow! I would most look forward to seeing the landscape of Australia and how it may differ from Canada. I read a novel set in early colonial Australia called Secret River and loved it. And, of course, I want to see some kangaroos! I would like something either displayable or edible. A boomerang sounds cool or some other sort of craft/item unique to Australia. Last week at the Superstore, I was thrilled to encounter Tim Tams because I recalled your post about the Tim Tam Slam. Sooo addictive! And I have now mastered the slam.

  7. Nice recap! Solveig loves saying, on any given day, “This time last year, we were… (whatever we were doing). Can you believe it?” To which my usual reply is “Yes, I can believe that. I was there, so it’s easy to believe.”

    In this case, however, I was NOT there, so your blog is a great treat to read!

    If I were there, I’d probably want to scope out the wildlife, especially the stuff that is exclusive to there, or is big, or could kill me. The zoo is probably the best concentration, but nothing is as exciting as seeing it in the wild.

    I, of course, would go for the Australian Flag Bikini. Need to show off my bulging muscles.

    Except it’s coming on winter, so maybe not.

    Love you guys!

  8. Oh, I love giveaways!
    I would be excited to go surfing for the first time…and see some wildlife we don’t have here. The boys love animals, they’d be thrilled to see something new!
    And since we’re in the phase where everything is a toy, I’d like to win something playable. No bikinis please.
    Miss your drop in visits, can’t believe it’s been a year?!? Love you!
    XO

  9. I love and miss you both so much! Even the way you take the time to remember thing is so cute! Also, your girls are adorable.
    If I were to visit Australia, I would just want to come and see you. And if I have time, maybe a kangaroo. 🙂
    If I were to win, I would like for you to visit Lab West, or even a ticket for me to visit you. That might be a bit cheaper. Lol
    I hope all is well, and please keep blogging. I may not be one for commenting, but I do read them.
    Take care,
    Kandice.

  10. A year already! Amazing! I can’t believe all that’s happened – how much you’re grown and gone though!

    If I were to ever visit Oz, I’d love to see the outback – some of the long rabbit-proof fencing, and learn some more about the history of the Aboriginees. Silas would like to see a Koala, and Isaiah would like to see a ‘Kook – o – burra’ 😀

    Something useable for us – the boys have been breaking everything lately, so nothing fragile! 😀 Love you!

  11. I’m glad you made this post and left easy to reference links – I love seeing your two sweet girls! – I had also completely missed the tour of your house – it is beautiful by the way, what a gorgeous covered back yard space!

    If I were in Australia, I would love to help out at some animal/wildlife shelters – I follow them online via facebook, newsletters, and I’m so amazed at the work they do and wish I could do more to help.

    I’d probably need to bring a full body suit though, those spiders…. yick!

    • Oh and if I were to win – i’d love something completely unique and representative of Australia! 🙂 (non-perishable so I can keep it =)

  12. Hey, guys! Congrats on one year in Perth. Since we’re outside Aussie, I guess we qualify to enter?! We’d like to visit the Ningaloo Reef (I know it’s 1,200 km north of Perth, but still…), which is something we never got around to doing during our stay in WA. Otherwise, “Tim Tams” are on the list, too!

  13. Kathryn even though time has allowed us to go our seprate ways I often read your blogs and think about you and your family. I must say your girls are beautiful and I would love for Alayah to get to meet them someday. Visiting Australia is on Nick’s “busket list” so who knows we may actually come visit you someday! I would most like to see the outback: the scenery and the animals. If I were to win I would love something musical.

  14. Hey guys,
    Every Sunday when we’re in church and we run into your parents we always chat about you guys. It makes us miss you though, which is kinda sad. Every once in a while Emily and I talk about the year that we lived across the hall from the two of you… that year was awesome. We think you should move back so we can hang out:) If you bring your weather with you that’d be even more great!

    I think if we were to go to Australia I’d really want to see blue water. This may sound silly, but I’ve grown up in NS and always wanted to see it. Another thing that we would have to go see (not the ZOO type) would be Kangaroo’s! Those guys look awesome. To end it off we could check out a cool Island or two.

    Hope you guys get to meet Anna soon!

  15. Hard to believe it’s been a year already Tim and Kathryn! Eden and Kate are sooo adorable……… I still think you guys are sooo brave and adventurous to live so far away from your families and familiar surroundings. It’s a good thing that God makes us all different or else we’d all be hanging close to home, like me, or we’d all be right across the globe, like you guys!!!

    If I get to come to Australia one day, I’d love to visit the child care centres to see how things are done on your side of the world. And Dave and I would LOVE to worship with you at your new church home.

    If I win your giveaway………mmmmmm………how about you take the money you’re gonna spend and donate it to a special cause that’s near and dear to your heart.

    Take good care of each other and your precious Little Ones.

    Bonnie

  16. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we said goodbye over many tears…. in some ways it seems like that day was an eternity ago. I feel like so much has happened, Kate being born, the little niece and cousin we have never met! The girl’s have all grown so much. So if we were able to come and visit I would want to spend as much time as possible with the girls. Getting to know them, letting our girls get to know Eden and Kate and become friends! I would love to see the wildlife (of course) and go to church with you. I would love to go on a Pamela and Kathryn date, just the two of us to chat for hours and hours. Those are my wishes!

    So, for the giveaway… something playable for the girls would be fun! I love Holly’s idea of something musical!

    Love you all.

  17. Your girls are absolutely beautiful! I wish I could of gotten to know them. Too little time spent in Canada but I’m glad you’re enjoying Australia.

    If I went to Australia, I wouldn’t know what to do first but that’s why my great Aussie wish would be to go with my dad on one of his work trips. He’s gone before so I’m sure he’d be able to show me a few things and he’d definitely show me the greatest geology hits (I’ve seen all of the Atlantic Canada ones so I think it’s time to see somewhere new).

    If I were to win your little give-away contest, I don’t want Vegemite because I’ve tried it before! I don’t really have a preference but maybe something wearable 🙂

    Xoxo glad you’re all doing so well.

    Love,
    Labrador

  18. I would love to see Australia’s landscape and see a kangaroo! Oh and try all of the Tim Tam flavours that we don’t get here 🙂
    For the giveaway… Probably something displayable but also practical. Like something that looks nice but it also has a purpose and usability 🙂

  19. I would try to find some hobbits! and go meet the Flight of the Concords. Oh no wait, that’s New Zealand… Ok, I guess if I have to pick something from Australia, I’d find a cool coffee shop where they would let me play and hopefully a certain good friend would come play along with me. And share a Tim Tam Slam!
    For the prize… something playable, as in an instrument 😉

  20. Hey guys! Glad to read your update – time certainly cruises on by, especially when you’re away from home for a third of it. If I could get to aussieland, I would like to go see/climb ayers rock. As a geologist that’s likely predictable BUT the reason goes beyond the rock lover in me and actually is just step one in a chain of thoughts/events.

    1) It’s far away from you (I think!?) So good excuse for road trip and see some other sites (with you guys as tour guides!)
    2) A friend told me a story of climbing it and coming down at dusk and seeing “people” a little way in the distance. They didn’t have headlamps so only saw rough shapes. They later found out these were large kangaroos! So I know they’re around there so also on the list.
    3) Thinking of these kangaroos always makes me think of the infamous Bugs Bunny Show episode with the dad cat teaching the kid cat to catch a mouse, when it’s really a boxing kangaroo. So I’d like to pick a fight with a kangaroo to see if they truely box or if warner brothers has been lying to me all these years …
    4) After boxing the Kangaroo (and winning naturally) my mind drifts back to an old car commercial. Guy driving in the outback in the perfect moment, slow motion and everything. Sees a kangaroo and immediately his thoughts go to a BBQ for supper. 🙂 I’ve eaten other native exotic animals (elk,caribou, muskox, etc) so kangaroo would be good to add to that. And he’d be tender cuz I just tenderized him during our boxing match!
    5) Need dessert after a kangaroo steak so teaa and tim tams. I’m sure you know this trick but take small bites off opposite corners and then sip the hot tea through the tim tam like a straw. Instantly melts so you toss it in your mouth for a warm chocolatey (and caramel) guey treat. Delicious!

    Sounds like a decent plan right!? As for the prize if I were to win, I’d enjoy something displayable but durable as Izzy likes to play with everything. A digamaradoo (spelling!?) I think would be hilarious to see izzy try to play though rain stickslikely more up her alley. Both sound expensive though … Something native to aussie would be cool. I used to throw a boomerang in highschool too and actually could get it to come back to me but pretty sure I was always too scared to catch it! Vegemite is disgusting – how your country came up something so wonderful as tim tams and failed at vegemite is beyond me! 🙂 my opinion of course – have friends that love it 🙂 anyway, we’ll need to arrange another skype one of these days with izzy! Chat later …

    Lincoln

  21. Pingback: One year in Australia give-away winner! « K & T

  22. Pingback: 2012: A Year in Review | K & T

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