Make Things Co. Watercolor

I am SO excited to share our new custom watercolor illustration by the amazing, Riley Sheehey of Make Things Co.  Once we arrived in Alice Springs, I wanted to commemorate this special time in our lives with some artwork for our (very white) walls.  I chose Riley to illustrate our first picture in front of the Alice sign.  This moment was so special- we had just picked up Penny and Emmylou was only 3 months old (and such a peanut!).  We were finally all together and kicking off our exciting time in Alice.

Not only is this artwork so accurate, beautiful and special, but Riley is seriously amazing- she is SO talented, professional and kind (follow her on Instagram and you’ll see just how sweet she is)!  I knew Riley in college so I’m not surprised by and am so happy for her amazing success. Check out her website or follow her on Instagram @cestriley- she’s incredible!

Thanks for the beautiful painting, Riley, it’s proudly hanging in our kitchen and we will treasure it for years to come.

Happy Trails,

K. J. EL & P

Kicking Off the Holiday Season- Family Photos 2018

Oh. My. Word! These pictures captured by the sweet, Hannah Millerick are so beautiful. We wanted to take a few family photos for our Christmas card and also capture this sweet time with Emmylou.

She’s now 6 months old, sitting up and eagerly exploring her world. We’ve watched her blossom over the past few months and are constantly amazed and entertained by her growth. We wanted to get some sweet, smiley photos while she is still stationary- we know this phase won’t last long and she’ll be on the move before we know it!

We took these photos right behind our neighborhood and love that the backdrop reveals the beauty of springtime in our new home. We’ve gotten a fair amount of rain this spring, so the Bush is bursting with new growth. The greenery is refreshingly beautiful!

The holiday season has arrived and we are embracing the Christmas season early- since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, there’s nothing stopping Aussies from kicking off the season in November.  We’ve gotten a kick out of the Christmas clothes they sell in stores- we’ve traded our Christmas sweaters for Santa swim trunks!

We’ve had total mixed feelings about this holiday season…we ache to hear the leaves crunching under our feet and to smell the crisp air. The landscape here mimics the colors of fall but feels completely different. I keep saying that I feel like we live in Florida (always sweating and smelling of sunscreen). We don’t mind it (and are enjoying it!) but do miss the traditional experiences we associate with the season.  We’re excited to celebrate the holidays here with friends.  We are looking forward to some new, holiday traditions but are truly missing our holidays at home.

Most importantly, we have 2 family visits/trips coming up! Jon’s parents will come right after Thanksgiving and we will explore Alice together for a few days, then fly to Sydney to hang at Bondi Beach. In January, my parents will cruise with us around the South Pacific and Eastern Australia. Both visits/trips are all we want for Christmas this year and we can’t wait!

Things have been busy around here; I guess time flies when you’re having fun.  Thanks for following along with our family as we grow and experience this little thing called life. It’s truly an honor to share it with you!

Happy Trails,
K, J, EL & P

Life Lately

I figured a little update of what’s going on in our corner of the world is due. Although we’ve had lots of great adventures, we’ve also settled into a routine. We’ve been in Alice for almost 2 months, so here’s a look at our life lately.

The Cruiser has become a new hobby and project for the man of the house.  Jon’s enjoyed adding lights, a roof rack and other accessories to our bush vehicle.


We’re antsy to get our camping gear to really test it all out! In the meantime, he’s enjoyed taking it Out Bush with the 4WD group and to Tin Can Hill.

We’ve also taken a few trips to the local hardware store- Bunning’s- and they have a sausage cook-out every weekend.  It’s a totally Aussie thing to get the sausage, which comes in a slice of bread instead of a bun.  We had to indulge during one of our trips!

Jon continues to enjoy his new job and went on his first TDY (temporary duty) to Melbourne. He spent a couple nights in the city and this is the only picture from that trip, so cheers!

Clearly work trips aren’t all that bad in Australia! 😜 On that note, the biggest difference Jon has noticed with work down here is how dedicated the Aussies are to their time off. He’s enjoyed adopting that mindset and “leaving work at work.” It’s also been a nice culture shift with the evenings at home being much busier with our girls!

Speaking of our girl- Emmylou is growing like a weed! We just went to her 4 month check up and she’s doing great- she continues to top out the percentile charts for height (no surprise there) and hold steady around the 50th percent for weight.  She’s already outgrowing her 6 month outfits!

She’s officially sleeping in her own room and we have been in serious sleep training mode (hello, 4 month sleep regression).   She’s loving bath time and going on walks with Penny in the pram.

She’s also become a true, Aussie baby- she wears a Wondersuit most days (because they really are better than any American onesie!) and doesn’t leave the house without her sunhat.  We’ve hit some tougher weeks since we arrived with teething and growing pains, but overall she’s very happy, healthy and spirited!

We joke that she “woke up” at three months from her sleepy, newborn days. She’s a great baby but isn’t as laid back as originally advertised. 🤣 She loves to chat and is very good about using expression to communicate- she clearly knows what she wants and how to get it. It’s pretty entertaining but we’re surely going to have our hands full with her- she’s a ham! 😋

She continues to love being outdoors, has learned to enjoy her car seat (with the help of all the toys), and thinks Penny is hilarious. They are really an adorable pair.  Penny and the robot vaccuum are Emmylou’s favorite tummy time entertainment.

Penny has adjusted well to life Down Under and loves her little sister. She sniffs her diapers/whines if they are dirty, kisses her face, lays with her while she plays and barks if we don’t respond quick enough to her cries.

She’s patient, gentle and the sweetest big sister! We sometimes feel as if we have 2 babies when they’re both whining, though. 😛

Penny has definitely missed chasing squirrels and frequently dreams of them during her naps. She’s taken to chasing birds and it’s pretty hysterical. She seems to get great satisfaction from running them out of our yard and I don’t miss the crazy hound barking up a tree. It’s a much quicker and quieter process!

Speaking of the yard- she LOVES it and spends most of the day outside! She moves back and forth between sunbathing and napping in the shade. It’s totally her happy place.  Clearly I woke her from a good nap to snap this picture.

She’s also (finally) figured out that the yard is a great place to go to the bathroom. 🙌 After avoiding messing her outdoor space for a month, she has discovered the joy of going in the privacy of her own yard. I gave her treats and photographed the first one! #proudmama 😂

I have been enjoying the many playgroups, a newborn parent support group and a couple of girls nights. The women and families here are so wonderful. Emmylou and I are never short on a friend to play/chat with, walk with or go to Target with (somehow it’s not the same but has the same dangerous effect #buyingallthewondersuits 🙄).  The weather has been so nice, we have enjoyed getting a cuppa with some other mums and bubs in town.

I’m adjusting to and enjoying being home with Emmylou and have found mothering to be the hardest and most rewarding job there is. I have been getting out of the house and working out most days, which helps me feel engaged and accomplished. I am taking a few graduate credits this fall to maintain my teaching license back home and also began tutoring a sweet Year 1 student in reading.  The days fly!  I’m also enjoying finding activities to stimulate Emmylou’s development. #teachermom #sensoryplayforthewin

Our weekends are usually pretty busy so we’ve made it a point to relax (sleep regression and nap boycotts hit us all hard). There’s always something to do so we’ve enjoyed being busy and but also slowing down after a crazy 4 month stretch . Finding a balance between social time, family time and down time has been important.

We usually video chat with family on weekend mornings and find those slow mornings to be the best! We share happy hour and coffee, which works out well with the time change and Emmylou is awake and engaged. Using our EchoShows has been the best; it’s almost as good as being together.  Emmy is really starting to interact and “get” that her Grandparents are in the box.  They are starting to get some of these faces and we all melt!

We’ve got an exciting September ahead with the ball (Mommy and Daddy’s first big night out!), Jon’s birthday and a family day event at work. We are also working on planning a fall trip, so there’s lots more to come! My next post is about our trip to the Kangaroo Sanctuary, so stay tuned.  As always, thanks for following our #upwardhoundadventuresdownunder!

Happy Trails,
K, J, EL & P

Tin Can Sunset Picnic- Alice Springs, NT

For our 3rd anniversary, we chose to keep it simple.  Since Emmylou was born, we have been going non-stop (moving, visiting Sydney, new job, new home); a simple picnic at sunset seemed just right!  So on 8/8, we packed up the baby, dog and some food and wine for an evening Out Bush.

On our wedding night, we snuck out with our photographer to take a few pictures at sunset.  It is really a sweet time to reflect and it’s becoming a tradition (see the post on our 2nd anniversary sunset picnic here).

As a couple, we have been blessed and challenged so much this year!  I would say year 3 had both the greatest risks and rewards for our marriage and we are a stronger couple because of it.  It was also the year we became a family instead of a couple, so we had lots to celebrate!  Soaking it all in over a gorgeous, Outback sunset was absolute perfection, if you ask me.

We had a magical evening together and enjoyed spending time with our little family outdoors.  Before we left Virginia, I had secretly gotten a wedding album from our amazing photographer.  After 3 years, we have the most beautiful book to savor that perfect day!  We enjoyed looking through the album and reading a few, sweet cards while the sun set.  We even spotted a few roos!

If you haven’t done a sunset picnic near you, I really hope you will.  Jon and I so enjoyed the peace and quiet time away from the usual nightly chores.  It turned out to be a pretty awesome and romantic date (even with the baby and the dog along)!

Here’s a video of our celebration, which I think captures the magic of the evening, perfectly.  Cheers!

Happy Trails,

K, J, EL & P

Tin Can- Alice Springs, NT

During our first weeks here, we quickly decided that the car we originally bought was NOT going to be big enough to get Out Bush the way we hope to while we’re down here.  Most places you visit within driving-distance require 4-wheel drive and a higher clearance because most of the driving is on trails/off-road.  Jon ended up buying a Land Cruiser from one of our neighbors, and now we are SET!  It is a great vehicle to take out Bush and is in pristine condition…to say Jon is happy is an understatement- here he is giving a Cheers to his new toy!

Our first trip Out Bush with, “The Cruiser,” (as we are affectionately calling it) was with a few families to Tin Can.  This is about a 10 minute, trail drive from our neighborhood.  Although you are within miles of home, you feel like you are far from everything (which you kind of are).  It’s totally my kind of hang out- there’s a fire pit and the perfect spot to watch the sunset.  Here’s a picture looking down on our set up for the evening.  Clearly white SUV’s are a thing down here. 😛

Our first ride Out Bush made sweet Penny so nervous!  She was so confused why it was bumpy and literally glued herself to the back seat.  Once we arrived, she realized it was a pretty sweet spot and she was jazzed for the rest of the night (as you’ll hear and see in the video).

Emmylou managed the ride just fine in her car seat, but we’ll have to hold off on some of the more intense trails until her neck support is fully-developed.  (Jon went out on a trail the following week that he said was much more bumpy and that he wouldn’t take the baby or dog out there.)  We were so excited when we arrived to find this view!

Some of the kiddos took me to the top of the hill and soon I learned why this place is called, “Tin Can.”  There’s a flagpole at the top of the hill with a tin can on the top.  Unfortunately, the tin can had fallen down but we got the idea.  The 360 views are just incredible.

Did you spot the tin can on the ground?

Penny enjoyed soaking in the views!

We all brought something for our fiesta and, of course, the evening ended with s’mores.  It was a blast to all hang out, watch the gorgeous sunset and see the kiddos enjoying the evening.  This introduction to Bush life was seriously all I needed to love living here!

Here’s a video of our first trip to Tin Can; surely there will be many more to come!

Happy Trails,

K, J, EL & P

 

 

 

Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm- West MacDonnell Ranges

Our first outdoor adventure Down Under was to 2 spots near Alice Springs: Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm.  Both are just out of town (30ish minutes) and are just the intro to all there is to see and do nearby.  This was our first trip, “Out Bush;” a term that we’ve picked up quickly and describes the wilderness perfectly.  I used to say, “In the Bush,” or, “In the Outback,” but true Aussies just call anything out of town, “Out Bush.”

Some friends graciously offered to tour us around these two local spots and we had a great time with them and their sweet kiddos!  Emmylou was a little cranky on this day but we still had a great time seeing the sights, despite the usual baby party fouls (crying, pooping, etc…).

Simpsons Gap was absolutely gorgeous!  We even saw black-footed rock wallabies (which look like tiny kangaroos).  We didn’t get any pictures or videos because we had to leave the Gap very quickly…a certain baby was screaming her head off and scaring all of the wildlife away- hah!

After hanging at the Gap for a bit we headed to Standley Chasm.  We hiked in to the Chasm (very short walk) and finished off the day with lunch at the little cafe in the park.  We didn’t take many pictures that day but I did get some good video- enjoy!

Happy Trails,

K, J, EL & P

Moving Part 6: Penny’s Trip Down Under

We’re SO glad to say that Penny is finally home and and our family is, once again, complete! It’s been a long few weeks without her but we couldn’t be more thankful to have her here with us! Her trip went off without a hitch but we worried about her and missed her like crazy.  I even made a video of our sweet reunion that’s at the end of this post. 🙂

To prep, I added a few extra things to Penny’s (massive) crate. First, I wrote a letter about her (basic likes and dislikes) and taped it to the top of her crate. Since she can’t talk, I introduced her to each of her handlers that way. 😉 We also taped a bag full of food and a bag with her harness, leash and health certificates to the top of her crate. Inside of the crate, I lined the bottom with newspaper, added her bed and 2 blankets (I get cold when I fly, maybe she would too?!). All of these linens were familiar to her and had her/our smell on them. We also gave her 2 frozen water bowls so they wouldn’t spill all over her and she’d have water throughout her travel day.

Jon took her to the airport bright and early.  His Dad was so sweet to go along to help and snap these pictures for me!

She was SO good when it was time to get in the crate and say goodbye- our sweet, brave girl!

Her entire trip over was about 2 1/2 weeks, between flights, boarding and quarantine time. She left early in the morning to dodge the hot mid-day temps in DC. She then flew through Minneapolis and onto LA. We were thankful there were no issues with this specific leg of her trip because of the heat. Most of the country was experiencing temperatures in the 90’s-100’s and airlines will not fly pets if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees. She barely made it out of DC and through Minneapolis- both cities had a local temperature of 83 degrees when she was taking off! Phew!

Once in LA, she boarded at the wonderful Kennel Club LAX for a long weekend before heading down under. During her time at the Kennel Club, they sent us daily pictures and let us know that she was enjoying snuggles and giving kisses. She was in great hands and seemed to be in good spirits! We can’t say how much we appreciated the friendly staff at The Kennel Club LAX and can’t recommend them enough!  We will definitely use them again on Penny’s trip home!

After getting these pictures, we joked that Penny thought this was her casting call in LA…she’s totally posing for these!!  While in LA and waiting for her departure to Melbourne, Penny was seen by a vet to be officially approved for export. ✅

Penny had a late departure from LA and flew to Melbourne through the night (and day) to arrive in the early morning to the quarantine facility. Once checked in and approved (initial checks took around 2 days to complete), she spent the standard 10 days in the quarantine kennel.

We did not hear much during this part of her trip but were assured she was doing well. Thankfully we were traveling, moving in and settling during this time, so we were busy (otherwise we would have been a wreck worrying about her every second)! Every night after we would put Emmylou down, Jon and I would say to each other how much we missed Penny. Since Emmylou’s arrival, our evenings spent with Penny have been pretty sacred. We usually spend that time as a couple and snuggle our first baby (enjoying the peace). 😊

Once she was released from quarantine, Penny was boarded at a kennel in Melbourne for one more night before catching an early flight to Alice Springs the next morning. They sent us this picture and we all couldn’t wait to go pick her up!

When her plane landed, we anxiously waited for the airport employees to bring her to the cargo pick-up. When we first saw her she was stuck inside the crate (they seriously zip-tie those things shut!) and we began talking to her. She started softly whining and wagging her tail right away. 😍 They got her out of the crate and she came right to us, very anxious to go outside! Honestly, the reunion was sweet but pretty anticlimactic…she was happy to ride in the car and gave Emmylou tons of kisses in her car seat (which we missed getting on video, sadly). ☺

We quickly stopped at the Alice Springs sign to snap some pictures and headed home! When we arrived, she sniffed the house and whined at the door to be let out into her backyard- she was so excited about the yard! She sniffed around and promptly passed out in the warm, Outback sun.

I brushed her and I’m pretty sure she lost a few pounds of fur…she must have been doing a lot of nervous shedding (poor baby).  Other than that, she seemed a bit dehydrated and tired, but no worse for the wear!  We couldn’t be more thankful that she made it down here safely and she seems super happy to be here with us!

Shipping a dog internationally is no small feat but we feel it was SO worth it!  Now that her trip down has ended, the real adventures can begin…

Happy Trails,

K, J, EL, & P

Moving Part 5: Home Sweet Home, Alice Springs

G’Day!  We’ve made it and begun settling in to Alice Springs.  We flew from Sydney to Alice Springs on Quantas Airlines (Australia’s airline) and they required Emmylou to buckle into my seatbelt.  We thought she looked so cute wearing her first airline seatbelt (and I swear she’s saying, “I got this, Mama!”)

From start to finish, this baby was a SUPER traveler!  She slept through a fair amount of our travels and adjusted to the time change in a few days (just like us).  She was seriously perfect and we couldn’t be more grateful!  Here’s a bit more baby travel spam for good measure. 🙂

Stepping off the plane was SO exciting…we I took all the pictures to commemorate the moment.  It was also a bit surreal to arrive in the place (I’ve never even visited) that would be home for the next few years!

Our first week here has been busy (unpacking and gathering necessities) and exhausting (kicking off the new normal with jet lag in tow).  It’s also been exciting and a lot of fun!

Jon got right to work on Monday and has been really enjoying his new position.  He is loving the laid-back atmosphere at the site and happily traded his suit and tie for blue jeans and hiking/work boots (he was even given a hard time for wearing khakis on his first day on the job 😜).  Here he is with Emmylou one afternoon after work.

Emmylou and I have been trying out the many playgroups in Alice Springs.  Every day we are out and about with other mums and bubs (Aussie terminology is my new jam).  Even if EL sleeps through the playgroup, I am SO appreciating the social time and getting to know other moms.  Everyone has helped us to acclimate to the social scene in Alice- both base-related and local- and we couldn’t be more appreciative of their warm welcome!  I am looking forward to watching Emmylou learn and grow in such a wonderful community. ☺️ Here we are at Tiny Tots playgroup this week.

In addition to our new routines, there were some other serious adjustments to navigate right off the bat- a new landscape and climate, new (and dangerous) wildlife/pests and, of course, driving on the other side of the road.  I would say Jon took all of these new realities in stride, while I made a spectacle of each and every one of them. 😬

Landing in Alice was such a novelty for me (the red mountains, the bright blue sky) and I took to taking pictures like a tourist…Jon was embarrassed but I really couldn’t help myself! 🤣  Here’s a peek at our house, car (with a roo-rack) and neighborhood:

The weather every day is pretty much the same- cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon and not a cloud in the sky (I literally haven’t seen a cloud since we landed here…not one little cloud).  Talk about vitamin D, there’s no lack of sunshine here!  We definitely need to up our sun protection but I don’t think I will miss the dreary/rainy east coast days!

We came home to find a hilariously Australian (blunt) letter from the pest control company wishing us luck with the local pests.  Essentially, anything is sprayed will be “bug-proof” for 6 months and everything else is fair-game for (poisonous) spiders and other pests to make their home.  Looks like we’ll wait to get outdoor furniture and a sand/water table until just before the exterminators come!  It also warned that insect sprays will not kill bugs on the spot, so not to freak out if the giant cockroach you just sprayed continues to crawl or fly around for a while…So far we’ve only seen the webs of redback spiders but they are around.  As for snakes, we have not heard too much about them but the “Snake Man’s” phone number is on our fridge so if I see one, I’m calling him!  (Somehow this feels like Ghostbusters). 😳

Although this sign is right across the street from our neighborhood, I am VERY disappointed to report that I have seen NO kanagroos or wildlife, with the exception of birds.  I was pretty jealous when Jon came home from work and said he saw 2 kangaroos at the site.  For now I just have to enjoy the local bird-watching…this bird was so brightly colored and beautiful so I had to snap a picture.  Someday I will look back on this post and laugh at myself for taking all of these goofy pictures.  😜

Penny is going to be heartbroken to find there are no squirrels and really no critters to chase…perhaps she’ll settle for birds in their absence?  We’ll see!  Speaking of Penny, she has been released from quarantine in Melbourne and flies to Alice Springs tomorrow!  We can’t wait to get her home!

The last major learning curve of the week (for me, at least) has been driving.  The first time I was behind the wheel was a terrible flashback to my driver’s ed days…which is a time I NEVER wanted to revisit.  I am a good/cautious driver, but let’s just say it took me a while to get the hang of driving.  Flipping to the other side of the car and the road has sent me right back to when I was 15.  I would say our marriage hit an all time “low” when I was behind the wheel for the first time.  Jon suddenly morphed into my dad, slamming his non-existent brake and clenching his teeth as he muttered, “You’re VERY close to the curb over here,” and, “You’re doing great…?”  😬 We all survived (Jon’s blood pressure eventually returned to normal) and our marriage is unscathed but it was truly a humbling experience! 😂

I am happy to report that after just a few days here I was able to drive myself and Emmylou to the Tiny Tots playgroup and even shuttled a friend and her bub there later in the week!  🙌 Luckily the learning curve at 29 is quicker than when it was at 15!

So far we are really enjoying Alice Springs and our new home.  The best thing so far has been the wonderful neighbors and people we have met.  We’ve been showered with welcome treats, cups of coffee, beer, visits and so much more from the families here.  It has truly been a warm welcome and made us feel at home right away.

I will post pictures of the inside of our house as soon as our shipment comes with our things (in a couple months) and we are settled in.  For now we are exploring our new area and are so excited to welcome Penny home! 😊

Happy Trails,

K, J, EL & P

Moving Part 4: Welcome to Australia!

We made it into Sydney bright and early. It took a while to collect all of our bags and get through customs but it was still before 9 when we got out to a taxi.

Our first impression of Australia was: BRRRR! We had to quickly unpack Emmylou’s warm jacket because it was cold! We weren’t expecting that but also may be in shock since we left a heat wave in Virginia. Emmylou didn’t seem to mind the cooler air (40’s in the morning with highs in the mid-60’s during the day) and seemed to love snuggling up in her fleecy coat and hood. 😍

We took a cab into the city and checked into our hotel to get ready for the day. We were tired but the second we got into our room and saw this view, we knew we had to get out and explore!

Sydney is a beautiful city! We stayed in Old Sydney in a section of the city called, “The Rocks,” which was perfect to walk around and had lots of great little restaurants and shops. It’s also right between the Opera House and Harbor Bridge, so the sights are unbelievable.

After showering, we walked around The Rocks, bought Emmylou some Australian animal art (she finally gets a nursery when we arrive in Alice ☺) and ate pancakes. (Just a tip, when jet lagged you have to really convince your brain it’s morning and pancakes definitely helped 😜)

Once we had some pancakes and caffeine we were ready to take on Sydney! We walked down to the Bridge and enjoyed the gorgeous views. (Obviously we were not up for the bridge climb with Emmylou in tow, but perhaps we’ll give it a go when we come back someday?! Jon was up for it but I was less enthused with the idea…😬)


We figured Emmylou would fall sleep while we walked around but she hung in like a champ! She took a few, short naps in the stroller (pram) but enjoyed the sights along with us (she’s seriously a dream baby). She LOVES being outside, so a walking tour was right up her alley (and fresh air definitely helped keep Mommy and Daddy awake)!

After gazing at the Bridge we headed around through the wharf and to the Opera House. It was a sunny, cool afternoon so it was perfect walking weather. We shared a champagne toast next to the Opera House and enjoyed this view. 😍

It felt like the perfect welcome to Australia!

Sydney is filled with people from all over the world and everyone is very friendly! We feel like it’s a combination of European/Scandinavian and American…but totally has a unique feeling. It’s also an eclectic blend of old and new architecture, which we enjoyed.

After our toast, we went into the Opera House and scoped it out as much was open. We would love to come back to Sydney at some point to come to a performance- the Opera House is so beautiful!

We were dragging a bit at this point in the afternoon, so we grabbed a cappuccino and walked back towards The Rocks. We ended up eating an early dinner at a German restaurant and enjoyed their biergarten. Sweet baby girl was SO tired, she couldn’t hang in any more.

After dinner, we headed back to the room to crash. We all slept from about 6pm-3am, which is typical with jet lag. Emmylou ended up sleeping a few hours more while Jon and I blogged. 😊

Day 2 in Sydney was met with a beautiful sunrise (talk about room with a view)!  We headed to breakfast at The Rocks Cafe and enjoyed some delicious food and a dreamy cappuccino! The food in Sydney has been so fresh (similar to eating farm to table in the US).

After breakfast we headed to the wharf at Circular Quay to catch the ferry to Bangaroo/Darling Harbor.

We enjoyed the Darling Harbor area but I thought it was a bit too touristy. We ended up having a yummy lunch and going to the Australian Maritime Museum to see an exhibit on James Cameron (which was fascinating). We saved the zoo and aquarium for when Emmylou would appreciate it (and not sleep through it).

Someone was very sleepy…jet lag definitely got the best of her!

On the ferry ride back we caught these views and the sun was beginning to go down. Days are short here, just like they are during winter at home!

Once we were back at Circular Quay, we enjoyed the Bastille festival that was going on. We ate crepes and a stroopwaffle (I was obsessed with this food truck and had to have one). YUM! The festival scene was perfect because we were tired and didn’t want anything fancy. We even bought some fun art for our new, Australian home!

Even on our sleepy walk home we enjoyed the magic of Sydney!

We loved our time in Sydney so much and look forward to exploring much more on another visit. Penny has safely arrived in Melbourne and has begun her 10 days of quarantine. 🙏🏻 Thank you all so much for your prayers and well wishes! It has meant so much to our family to have so much love and support as we kick off this crazy tour!

Happy Trails,
K, J, EL, & P

Moving Part 3: And They’re Off!

We’re (finally) off to Australia! This day has been a long time coming and I think everyone is ready to get this part over with! We spent the weekend with both sides of our family and it was wonderful but we all dreaded the final goodbyes. We’re very excited but sad to be so far from family. We plan to visit home as soon as possible since Emmylou’s growing like a weed!

We arrived at the airport with 5 suitcases, 1 duffel bag, 2 tote bags, 2 backpacks, 1 purse, a stroller and a car seat. We also carried on Emmylou’s SnuggleMe cushion and SwaddleUp to sleep in. I tell you, that kid is a lucky traveler! She’s also really easy/portable at 10 weeks so we’re super grateful for that. She was ready for her adventure (complete with her themed outfit)!

On another note, many have asked about getting Emmylou’s passport photo…it was as challenging as you can imagine 😜 We took her at 4 weeks and thanks to a very patient employee, we ended up with this adorable keepsake.

For our flights down, we ended up with 2 seats (Emmylou as a lap child) to Houston and 3 business class seats to Sydney 🙌🏻. The flight left late in the evening so we treated it like normal bedtime for all of us. Emmylou was already fast asleep when we boarded; sweet girl was SO tired from a busy day of travel. She didn’t know we were just getting started…


We set up Emmylou’s seat just like her crib and she ended up sleeping through the first half of the (16 hour) flight!  Jon and I got cozy in our jams and we all settled in for some sleep. 😬 It wasn’t a full night of rest but worked out pretty well!

For the second half of the flight we alternated between playing with her in her seat, changing diapers and her napping while we watched a movie.

She also woke up in time to catch the last few scenes of Star Wars with Daddy 🤣.

She was a dream traveler! The toughest thing was knowing we’re leaving behind her consistent nighttime stretches of sleep due to the time change (somehow Emmylou was born knowing day/night and has been a super sleeper). Surely we’ll all get back on track within the first couple weeks here.

We’re excited to land and explore Sydney for a couple of days before making our final flight to Alice Springs. We’re also thinking of sweet Penny, who takes off about the time we land. We will hear updates about her trip and quarantine soon!

Happy Trails,
K, J, EL & P