Our One Year Aliceversary!
I honestly can’t believe I am already posting this…the past year has FLOWN by! One year into our adventure in Alice Springs, we are feeling even more grateful for this experience. There have been highs and lows, as you can imagine, but we are SO glad we took this opportunity!
Here’s a few highlights from our first year in Alice:
First and foremost, our Alice friends have truly become family over the past year. We have met some of the most lovely, talented, generous and amazing people here. We are always taken-aback by everyone’s willingness to help and support each other. All 4 of us have found true friendship in the past year, which is vital to enjoying somewhere so far from home. We have learned so much from our new friends (new phrases, hobbies, recipes, travel advice…) and can’t say how much we appreciate all of the relationships we have begun over the past year. Alice may be tiny, but it’s filled with the best of the best and we know our Alice friends will be friends for life!
Emmylou has grown and developed SO much during our first year here! It’s hard to imagine that she was an infant when we arrived and now shes’s a busy toddler. The culture in Alice is very baby-friendly, so we have been able to expose her to so many new and exciting experiences. We began with a parent support group when we arrived and EL and I met so many lovely babies and mums there. We have continued to enjoy the company of so many wonderful families. There are fantastic playgroups, she has loved her weekly swim lessons and there’s wonderful childcare at the gym and church for her to practice being away from Mommy and Daddy. We also adore our babysitter; thanks Maali! We are so thankful for the many people who love on and care for our girl. We have found a sweet community for Emmylou and feel so blessed by all of the experiences she is having…I only wish she were able to access pre-school here!
Penny seems to love living in the Outback, as well! She loves the sun, the lack of rain, living so close to the bush, the dog park…she has truly embraced her new lifestyle. When we are away she has a few good friends that take care of her for us and we are SO grateful to them! Maybe it’s the laid back lifestyle or more outdoor time, but Penny seems very happy as an Outback pup. She’s a bit more white on her muzzle (due to age or the sun) but very happy after a year of Outback living.
Jon also really enjoys the lifestyle and hobbies here! He is always up for an adventure Out Bush, loves Cruisin’ and is enjoying work, as well. His schedule has also worked out so well; he gets Aussie and American holidays off, has an easy commute and is home by 4:30 every day; this enables our family so much time together and is such a blessing.
I also have loved my transition from teaching full-time to staying home with Emmylou. There were times (especially when school was starting back up in the States) where I really contemplated if staying home was for me, but I’m glad I’ve stuck with it because my time at home has been invaluable. I can’t believe a year has already gone by; it’s true when they say the days are long but the years are short…I am also so grateful for the many other moms (including my own Mom) that have supported, listened and helped me this year (both locally and from home)!
As a couple, this past year challenged and strengthened Jon and I. It’s hard being away from family and we leaned on each other plenty to get through our first year here and as parents.
We, unfortunately, were plagued with quite a few illnesses over the past year. All three of us have had “Gastro” more times than we appreciate and quite a few colds. Alice germs are seriously gross; I really think they are more intense here, and that’s saying something because I’m coming from a kindergarten classroom! Hopefully our immunity has been built up and we will be more well during our second year here!
Some goals for Jon and I before coming down here were to save up and travel! I would say those two things have been the top priorities for us, behind maximizing family time. We had a minor set-back this spring when a part of Jon’s salary was suddenly changed but the timing of that was right when I began creche at the gym; it’s amazing how blessings come when you least expect them!
We have done a fair amount of traveling and knocked off a bunch of “bucketlist” items in our first year. We traveled to: Sydney/Bondi Beach, Adelaide/Glenelg Beach, New Caledonia (which was a dream-come-true), the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach, Brisbane and countless local attractions in and around Alice.
Looking ahead to our next 2 years, we hope to travel to Tasmania, Melbourne/The Great Ocean Road, New Zealand, perhaps road trip through the Northern Territory to Darwin, Perth and maybe more! Camping and exploring Central Australia (Kings Canyon and Uluru) is also a priority.
This truly is a once in a lifetime experience and I find myself in awe and so grateful for this time for our family. Even with the challenges of being so remote and far from family, we feel so blessed to be able to have and embrace this experience.
K, J, EL & P
Thank you for the beautiful family photo, Katie Hullet Photography!