bows & bowties.

a few posts back, i told you that i would blog about the baby shower pam, denise, tara and i threw for lyndsay {SIL, and fellow blogger} and jake {brother}.

they have made the very courageous decision to NOT find out what they are having, which meant we needed to throw a gender neutral shower.  tara came up with the idea to have a bows & bow-ties theme.  tara, pam and denise did most of the work as i am in australia so it's easiest to say that i can only take credit for the labels, invitation... anything that went on paper.  they did the rest, which was A LOT!

the venue was a local restaurant called helen fitzgeralds - delicious food - and we just added a bit of decor.

the invitation

the guests got to wear a bow or bow-tie, depending on if they thought lynz is having a boy or girl. 

we asked the guests to bring a book in lieu of a card.

CAKE POPS {many thanks to pam for figuring out the perfect recipe weeks in advance to make these perfect} in mason jars with burlap table runners

a little "wish" list for the guests to fill out for the baby (little m&m)

menu frames

tara had the fabulous idea of doing a trail mix bar... it was a huge hit!

mom-to-be... isn't she adorable??

we took a group photo with everyone who thinks it's a girl... they won, but it was close.

and the boy votes... we will see who is really right in a few weeks!!

again, the shower went off without a hitch and a HUGE thanks to tara, pam and denise for all the planning!


monday through friday {a day in the life}.

i have spoken to some of you about jim and my work arrangement at the mines, but i thought i would do a sort of day week in the life of sarah and jim. 

we get up on monday morning about 5:30am to prepare for the 2 hour drive to the mine.  we get ready and head to subway so we can get breakfast, coffee, and a sandwich for lunch later in the office.  then we start the 2-2.5 hour journey to the office. 

upon arriving in the office, our first order of business is to put on our metatarsal boots.  these are steel toe black boots that are required on site.  we get right down to business.  me, catching up on email and sorting out my to do list.  jim, making his calls and drives through the mining pits to figure out what occurred over the weekend and where he needs to go from there. 

we eat lunch out on the picnic table right outside our office at about 11:30 - 12ish, and then get back to work until at least 6:00pm. 

we go back to our room, unpack the car with all our stuff for the week and head to our room.  when i say room i mean a trailer with a bedroom and a bathroom.  we bring our own bedding (the mine provides it for you, but it's really old and you don't know where it's been) so we make up the bed real fast and then change into gym clothes. 

we usually do a run and lifting routine after work every day, but we have recently been incorporating a large amount of tennis into our routine as well.  so, depending on our mood we do any combination of the three and sometimes we do ALL THREE!  some nights we play tennis until the very last minute before dinner shuts down at 8:30pm.

there is always a standard dinner that everyone has, but we usually special request a couple of chicken breasts (you can special order both chicken and steak).  then we eat the sides that everyone else has - green beans, corn, peas, potatos, etc.  it's pretty nice having all your meals cooked for you!

we like to be back in the room by 8, but, with our recent tennis infatuation, it's been more like 8:30 - 9:00!  Then we shower and wind down by watching 10-or-so mintues of tv or reading a book before passing out. 

the next day the alarm goes off at 5am, and we are in the crib room for breakfast by 5:30am. 

after breakfast everyone heads over to the lunch area where there are plastic containers to pack a lunch.  there are all kinds of options for lunch - sandwiches, salads, fruits, crackers, meat pies, cake, etc. so everyone packs their lunch for the day in the morning and then refrigerates it to have later at the office or in the crib rooms that are stationed on the mine site. 

once the food for the day is sorted, we head to the office by 6am and start the day all over again - working until at least 6pm!  that's right - 12 hours days. 

tuesday is pretty much the same as monday except minus the drive out to camp.  we literally work 2 minutes (driving) from the camp (where we sleep), so that is nice.

and then wednesday is the same as well, except there is a BBQ at night.  this is what is considered the "social" night at camp.  everyone meets on the patio outside of the crib area and 2 people volunteer each week to grill sausages, hamburgers and steaks.  it's always really good food and a good opportunity to mingle with work people without actually discussing the daily grind that we like to call work.

thursday is the same as monday and tuesday, but by thursday you are really ramping up to go home!!

and then friday we are relieved to head home after our day's work, but we still have the 2 plus hour drive home.  in the end, most weeks are 55-60 hour work weeks.

we wear this (cute, huh??):

and we have seen the following animals in their natural habitat since we work out in the bush:

these are emus, and we see these all of the time:

jim was unfortunate enough to run across this black headed python... i think i would have completely FREAKED:

since he saw this while driving through the mine site (the pits), i have to keep telling myself that this was really far away from where we live and sleep.  yes, this is very far away from where we live in sleep.  this is very far away from where we live and sleep..........

you have already seen the photo of this kangaroo, but this is the 2nd one i have seen.  jim, on the other hand, has seen a ton of them; he gets out of the office a lot more.

and i wanted to introduce you to the kookaburra that keeps us company while playing tennis (i love this little guy), but he wasn't there the last time i brought my camera so i will post him as soon as i get a pic.

anyway... that give you a little glimpse into what our daily grind looks like... feel free to comment with any other questions you might have.


this, i will miss.

so, we were back from the states and had a public holiday off the following monday.  we were exhausted from our trip home and didn't want to do much so we went for a drive and ended up about 5 minutes from our place at this beach.  we didn't do much... just hung out, played in the sand, people watched and collected shells.  what better place to do "not much"... ???

we live 5 minutes from a beach... this, i will miss.


feels like home to me.

last week we went home to the states!!  i have been having bouts of home sickness so i was super pumped to go home and i know even jim was more than ready.  so, we took the 20ish hour trek home to see our loved ones.

the weekend started off with a shower for my friend jackie who is expecting a baby girl in june.  she looks so cute prego, and it was great to see all of my friends!!  i love and miss you all so much!

my friend jackie... isn't she cute???

saturday night most of my immediate family came over for dinner and a slumber party.  i was so happy to have my family around.  you don't realize how much you take your family for granted until you spend months thousands of miles apart.  

photo op of the night... hudson {my nephew} was absolutely infatuated with my dad playing the guitar and singing to him.  cutest thing EVER and such a special bond.

then on sunday we had a shower for my sister-in-law, lyndsay, who is due in july.  lots of babies coming soon!  tara, denise, pam and i threw the shower, although i can't take much credit for all the actual planning since i was in australia.  but these ladies did a fabulous job!!  i will post more details about our bows & bowties themed shower in the next post since all the details were adorable and i think it deserves it's own post.  

left to right:  me, hudson {my nephew - tara's son},
tara {my stepsister} and denise {my sister-in-law} = LOVE.

left to right:  me, hudson, tara and pam {my step-mom} = LOVE.

my new favorite man in my life!

look at that smile!!!  :)

yet another ADORABLE prego gal... this is lynz....
doesn't she look soooo cute?

all the gals in lynz's family.  left to right:  denise {lynz's mom},
tara, lynz, me, denise, pam, beth {lynz's stepmom}.

me and my grandma {this is my biological mom's mom} = LOVE.

the shower was great.  everything went off without a hitch.  thanks, again, to the 3 lovely planners {pam, denise and tara} who were so prepared!  plus, it was perfect because i got to see so many friends and family!

after the shower, i met up with jim and our friends jake and robyn for the florence & the machine concert.  jim and i listen to their CDs all the time on our way to work and the concert DID NOT disappoint... it was fabulous!!

jake and robyn who just got engaged... CONGRATS!

i think you know us.  :)

monday included some much overdue bonding time with that new man in my life - HUDSON!!  pam and i had the privilege of watching him all day.  with the exception of one diaper blow out and projectile vomit the day was perfect and hudson was all smiles and so much fun.

can't get enough of this sweet face!

this is hudson's dad, adam {my BIL and tara's husband}.

hilarious!!  he hated the flash on the camera.

the original girls in the family - and hudson.

then, on tuesday, i went up to jim's parents house in jacksonville, illinois, to spend time with them.  it was a very relaxing day spent getting some quality time with anne {jim's mom} while the boys were busy busy tearing down the garage for their bigger and better new garage COMING SOON.  we even broke out the photo albums to see jim as a little bambino... so cute!

we can't forget, phog.  got to see this wild man.
he has grown so much since we last saw him.

bella and phog saying hello... old pals!  

that night i spent a couple of hours with my good friend, liz... also prego!!!  surprise, surprise!  she, too, is due in june with a boy.  LOVE HER!

then, wednesday was my dad's birthday so my grandparents and i met him at work for lunch and then came over to my parent's house for dinner. a great day with a lot of quality time with my grandparents.

this is my grandma {bernell} and also my dad's mom (if you couldn't tell).

this is my grandma and grandpa {lou and gene} and also pam's parents.

this is my grandma and grandpa {june and bob} and my mom's parents.  

it was so great seeing my grandparents and visiting with them for the day. jim even got to join us for dinner.  we had a st. louis favorite - hodak's chicken and lots of yummy sides made by pam.  it was a great day.

then on thursday i got to spend a little more time with my good friend, jackie, and got to see her ADORABLE vintage chic baby room for her little one, elle.  then, i went to the casino for a few hours with pam and jim and then got my hair done.  i concluded thursday with some much needed time spent with my best friend, amanda.  SURPRISE - she is also prego!!!  she is due in august.  can you believe all the babies that will be born by the time we get back from australia?  i can't.

then came friday... dooms day fly home day.  we didn't fly out until 6pm so i spent the day with my dad and pam running some errands that i never got the chance to do earlier in the week.... i can't imagine why??  i was glad to have the day with them - especially my dad since i wasn't able to see as much of him throughout the week since he had to work.  we even got to see jake {my step-brother} one more time since he came to meet us for lunch at elephant bar.

before i close, i can't forget to mention my little baby, bella, who i have been missing terribly.  she quickly became my very welcome shadow while i was home.  it is so hard leaving her, but my parents are doing an absolutely fabulous job taking care of her and i know she loves spending time there so that makes it so much easier.  thanks, pam and dad!!!

it was a great week spent at home.   there weren't any HUGE happenings, but just being around everyone satisfied my need for family and friends in life. it was so great seeing everyone.  love and miss you all already.