liveˈliv:v; to have a life rich in experience

a life abroad in australia & adventures along the way

Natalie & Kevin’s Wedding


Photos from their church ceremony on 24 May 2014


My Newphew’s Many Animated Facial Expressions

From Mother’s Day 2014, California, USA

2014 Highlights

I realised I have not blogged or updated or posted any new entries all. year. long…so I will first give an overall summary , and then post highlights by month. Overall Summary Ryan and I continue to play Dodgeball with a great bunch every Monday evening.  Thank you to John G. for inviting us to his team.  We started playing about a year ago, in Division 3 and worked our way up undefeated in Div 3 then undefeated Div 2, now we are in Div 1 for the second season -in total I have been playing 5 seasons with Pigs Flying. 1379410_10151714160627135_747476326_n Megan and I began meeting up for indoor rock climbing, something that we put off recently since I returned from the states early June. Ryan and I stopped going weekly and I took a break from it before starting up again with Megan. Ryan and I were house-sitting for the Thomsons in West End from November to early January. Towards the end of 2013; we adopted Penelope and got a new car, along with new phones, and for me, new job. My contract position got extended from February to now December this year.  Major plus.  I hope eventually I’ll obtain a permanent role.   (Note: I will update this post with photos along the way, but photos currently are all over the place, and so not all have been posted yet -most are on my instagram) January 2014 

  • We celebrated the new year with our friends Megan and Andrew in Hawthorne, at a house party hosted by a mutual friend.  It was a themed party -the awesome 80s.  It was last minute so we managed to put together a few things the day of the party.


  • Ryan and I checked out an exhibit at the GOMA in South Bank, a couple, actually


  • We celebrated Ryan’s birthday at a swanky restaurant along the river call Jellyfish -it had a lovely view of the Story Bridge.
  • Ryan’s father visited and we had a Pane semi family reunion, because Ryan’s cousins from China and Tasmania were in town as well; we celebrated on Australia Day at New Farm Park

DSC_0703 February 2014

  • We celebrated Bernice’s birthday at the Bell House on the 2nd.
  • I got to attend my first Hen’s party for Cate’s big night out -started off with a crafternoon at her house, then off we went to have Mexican dinner at Pepe’s in Nundah, then the taxi van drove us ladies out to Paddington on Caxton Street and we had a blast watching Cate complete her dares, sing karaoke and watching Thunder from down Under.  Whoo


  • Ryan and I won a free photo shoot with Verve

March 2014

  • Our apartment was used for a friend’s film project which was cool, because we got to see the crew behind the scenes working the camera, and the actors doing retake.  It’d be interesting to see the completed work, but who knows.
  • Brad’s birthday was on the 11th.
  • We participated with Ryan’s family in “My Kitchen Rules”
  • We went scuba diving with the crew from Manta Lodge along with my work colleagues

IMG_0679 IMG_0697 IMG_0700 IMG_0731 IMG_0756 April 2014

  • Ryan and I attended our first wedding together in Australia and in general – to Cate and Dave’s Wedding; and we had a blast.  Ryan was wooing all the ladies with his out of this world dancing skills.  I cried.  The groom and bride cried.  It was beautiful.


  • I was invited to go to Arts and Crafts with my workmate Pete.  IT was awesome.  I wish I could do more of it.  It does get pricey.
  • We got to have a few public holidays: Good Friday Easter Monday, Anzac Day; Loved it!
  • We adopted Leela! aka Leela Left Eye, she is missing her left eye.  It took only 4 days for Penelope to accept Leela.  So they are sisters -Penelope Purz and Leela Left Eye.  We love them.  Leela is a little brave silly one, and Penelope the cool calm and collected.

10498397_10103205136392807_7121719199071801707_o May 2014 

  • I left for the USA from 9 May to 7 June 2014.  It was a stressful, and at times enjoyable.
  • From my personal perspective; I was helping my mom prepare for her death.  Getting things in order.
  • I was pretty emotional while I was there; then I bought a book The Fault in Our Stars which kept me distracted


  • It was nice catching up with some family and friends; celebrating some birthdays and my cousin Natalie and Kevin’s wedding; though I did not get to enjoy the wedding fully bc I had to leave briefly, but overall I am glad I got to witness the majority of it; and Ryan was there in town with my participating in my kind of crazy.  He managed to fly over for 10 days.
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  • Highlights:
  • eating everything I craved for; catching up with cousins and friends

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  • watching my uncle play volleyball -a special thank you to Cau Phu, for everything.
  • Also seeing movies with my cousins and Uncle (The Other Women & Maleficent)

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  • sailing with Ryan’s family from Monterey Bay to Pacific Palisades and back; spending the day in LA


  • The last part of my trip was difficult with mom’s surgery (it was a success, and she survived it)  I seriously considered not returning to Australia; but made the choice to leave US to continue with the good things in my life I have got going here in Brisbane
  •  It was pretty challenging to leave, and it was horrible waiting for my flight at LAX.

June 2014

  • It was a huge wave of “calm” that washed over me once I landed in Brisbane.  I can’t explain it, but it felt like I made the right decision, and I was happy to see Ryan again, to be at home in our place.
  • I arrived on the 9th June and it was a public holiday in QLD.
  • We caught up with some friends, Stephanie; Dan and Anneke who all kindly helped look after our kitties while we were away.


  • I returned to work the following day which was a two day training on DBT.  It was a nice way to ease back into work
  • My work colleague had a “Wine Down” at her place


  • Ryan and I shopped for a new mattress and tidied up the unit because his parent and brother were arriving at the end of the month; his brother stayed at his sister’s house and his parents with us, which was nice

July 2014

  • His parents arrived (Carole’s first time visiting since we lived here 3.5 years) on Wed 2 July, and stayed with us until Sunday morning when they began their road trip to South Australia.
  • Ryan’s family and I got to see his niece perform in the musical Cats


  • Continue to catch up with my mom daily or almost daily
  • called Valentina for her birthday
  • and here we are.  Updated.
  • This year has gone by very quickly. be continued.

more photos from mom’s visit to brisbane

Mom’s Visit to Brisbane

Like I said in the previous post: (*4 weeks in the states) my mom and I arrived Sunday evening where poor Ryan had to wait for our arrival due to delays.

My mom and I were terribly jet lagged the next day waking up at 4 am and starting our day at 6am, where the three of us went to Moray Cafe for brekky.  We then walked to the Sydney Ferry Stop so that my mom could see the CityCat, Story Bridge and the City in the distance.  Ryan went to work, and my mom and I started our first day together.

Our first stop was Merthyr Centre so that we could drop off Ryan’s drycleaning, and went to Coles and looked around the stores nearby.

I took my mom to Inala, so that she can see the Vietnamese community and stores out that way.   We bought our groceries there and had lunch at Tan Thanh.  My mom gave away her foreign-ness when ordering in pounds instead of kilos when buying meat at the butchery.

After Inala, we returned home, and my mom prepared food for the week, and we relaxed and had dinner when Ryan got back from work.   My mom got to see us play dodgeball, which we won 16-10.  She seemed to enjoyed it.

Today was picture day.  We went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, and took photos with Koalas and Kangaroos.  Afterwards we spend some time at the Botanical Gardens near Mt Coot tha, and also checked out the lookout spot and had lunch there.  We shared Barramundi and Chips.

It was a good day, and now we are relaxing, then off to the dry cleaners to pick up Ry’s shirts…then wait for Ry to come home and have dinner.  Photos to follow…Mom in Inala IMG_0329 IMG_0339 IMG_0349 IMG_0354 IMG_0371 IMG_0409 IMG_0420 IMG_0431 IMG_0439 IMG_0451 IMG_0452 IMG_0454 IMG_0455 IMG_0458 IMG_0459

Jenny and Ryan’s Wedding, 10 Aug 2013

My cousin and nephew

My cousin and nephew

from the same womb at different times

from the same womb at different times

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Self Care is…walking around South Bank taking photos

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Cat Power

Shadow Shifts

Right now it is 2:21am and I’m on my shadow shift with my two lovely colleagues. It is my first overnight shift with this new job.

My first shadow shift was yesterday when I worked from 2:30-11:30pm. It wasn’t so scary as I had felt starting out. The kids were cool- we took them out to the golf range, returned and prepared dinner. The kids were competing over workouts-who could do the most push ups, pull ups, crunches etc.

Then they had their showers and relaxed with some tv- they also talked to me about what it was like for them to be addicted to their substance use. 10:30 is bed time so they eventually made their way.

There were a few incidents, but all in all- it wasn’t too bad.

Two kids have left the program and we are now left with two. Hopefully they will be able to complete the program-we are on day 3 out of the 11. They are pretty sweet kids.

We do bed checks every three hours and document them. 2:30 now. I have 6.5 more hours.

Celebrating Ryan’s Birthday

Ryan’s birthday celebration included both his dad and his brother this year, which was pretty fantastic.   We all went to the Norman Hotel to celebrate.

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