Unexpected Things I’ve Missed

Do you like my clever title?

There have been the most random items that I have dearly missed and will be excited to have back in my possession. Let me preface this post first by saying that these are all vain things and I understand that my life would be completely fine without them but I can’t help but miss them! And let me also say that this post makes me look/sound very, very American and I’m 100% ok with it. =) Oh and one more thing – this list doesn’t include friends or family, solely materialism so please don’t think I’m only missing my things. Cue “you’re so vain…”

1. Jewelry – especially my engagement ring


2. Perfume


3. Curling Iron/Flat iron – one can only sport the pony tail for so long!


4. Wardrobe – Specifically my white jeans because it reminds me of Texas summers =)


5. Summer Wedges/non flat shoes


6. My big purse – right now I’m just using a little wallet which doesn’t allow me to carry half of my things around.


7. Target – need I say more? I miss Target but my wallet and husband are ok with it being across the ocean.




Some of the friends that we have made from my work invited us out for a few days of camping by the beach. It was awesome! Great company and an amazing setting…definitely my new favorite beach. It was a little over 2 hours away from Nelson but worth the drive. We are so spoiled to be so close to everything in town. 2 hours in Texas doesn’t get you too far but here it’s considered far away. We felt like true kiwi’s seeing as how the campsite we went to was not packed with tourists. In fact, it was mostly NZ families on their summer break. There were probably 16 different bays all filled with campervans and these massive tents. Apparently we didn’t get the tent castle memo – these tents were huge! It makes sense because families will go out for days with 4-5 people in one spot so you would want the big multi-room tents to walk around in. The first day we tramped up to a different, more isolated beach. We forgot our camera and the iphone doesn’t do it justice but here’s the photo we happened to get. There are these massive cliffs that you can barely sea (pun intended).


When we got back from the beach, one of the families that we knew had a boat and they offered to take us fishing. I have only been fishing once so I didn’t know what to expect. Needless to say it was so fun and exciting! We were mad that we didn’t bring the go pro camera to capture the excitement. We literally went out for 30 minutes and caught 6 fish. They accidentally forgot the net so we had to sling the fish up and into the boat so the man could grab the fish and gut it (in 90 seconds – Dustin was impressed). One time someone slung the fish up and without going into too much detail the fish was bleeding and flopping all over the boat! I was squealing and everyone else was laughing – haha – a memorable experience! We couldn’t believe how many bites we got. We took back the 3 Dustin caught and smoked them right up for dinner. I had never eaten fish that fresh so that was a really cool experience. The next morning, 2 of our friends went out again and we had cod, snapper and shark fried up for lunch again. Yum!


Dustin got a bite so he jumped up on the boat!


The “I have no idea what I’m doing but I’ll smile” face.

My boss, Kat

My German boss, Kat















We are getting closer and closer to start our traveling once again! We have been busy wrapping up a lot of things here so I haven’t been diligent about writing on our blog. Our schedule is jam packed until we get back home on April 1st. (not a joke, we’re really coming home) Tonight we are driving out to meet my boss and her “partner” (aka bf) to camp out for a few days and then next week we will leave for Napier for 4 days. A few days after we get back from Napier my parents arrive (yeehaw!). I’m hosting a baby shower for our flatmate a few days after my parents leave and then we will travel the south island and meet back up with our friends one last time before taking the ferry back to the north island. Whew! It’s going to be a crazy 2 months but we are ready for all the fun to begin!!

Napier – 9 days

Hines arrival(!!!!!)- 18 days

Baby Shower – 32 days

Arrive back in the states – 56 days

Here’s a little taste of where we will be going with my parents when they arrive.
















When we went to Kaikoura one of Dustin’s co-workers told him he could pull over on the side of the road and swim with the seals in the ocean. Overall it was a success except for one seal that got a little aggressive! You can hear Dustin’s hilarious “seal call” in the back ground and it actually kind of worked! The seals aren’t a threat on land but if you annoy them they will take a snap at you. Check out the video – it’s very entertaining for a few reasons! =)

Mt. Arthur

Do you remember me telling you about the couple from ACU that we ran into our second day in Auckland? Well they were passing through Nelson so we decided to go on an overnight trip together before they left! We headed to Mt. Arthur which was about an hour and a half away from Nelson. The initial hike to the hut was only about an hour and half and then we kept going towards the mountain for another 45 minutes or so. We didn’t know if we were going to be staying in the hut or our tents until we arrived but we quickly decided we didn’t want another windy night like Cobb Valley. The four of us had a blast! Bringing cards on a hike is genius – we played a few different games, built a fire, listened to country music, ate our dehydrated meals and had some well deserved chocolate. At one point, a song came on with the following lyrics:

“Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun
And you might meet ’em both if you show up here not welcome son
Our necks are burnt, our roads are dirt and our trucks ain’t clean
The dogs run lose, we smoke, we chew and fry everything
Out here, way out here
We won’t take a dime if we ain’t earned it
When it comes to weight brother we pull our own
If it’s our backwoods way of livin’ you’re concerned with
You can leave us alone
We’re about John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere
Way out here.”

Where in the world do people get the idea that we’re all gun slingin’, rough, tough cowboys in Texas? I have no idea!

The night got interesting when we saw a few mice before we went to bed. Needless to say, we didn’t get a lot of sleep that night. Josh and Jenny were on the “top bunk” area so we climbed up into the loft where they were about 3 am – a funny mental image! In the back country huts it’s basically 4 walls, windows, sometimes a fire place and big pieces of plywood that everyone sleeps on. Atleast we knew Josh and Jenny…if it was a full house we would’ve been snoozing next to some strangers! We are planning on (hopefully) meeting back up with our friends on the south island since they will be traveling around the same time as us. Who knew I would go to college with 2 people for 4 years that I never hung out with and then a few years later climb a mountain with them in another country? Life is fun like that.

IMG_0270 IMG_0279



Les Miserables Movie Review(s)

Probably when I was at my “coolest” I was in the chorus for Les Miserables. ha! The funny part about my role in the musical was that I went to a small, private, Christian school so instead of being “whore #1” the technical Christian school title was “lovely lady #1.” My mom was really proud. Elena was of course the beautiful Cosette and rocked it! Have you ever heard her sing? She’s pretty awesome. Anyways, musicals were always really fun and something funny always happened back stage when you were waiting for your turn to clutter on stage. I have fond memories of high school (unlike the rest of the world?) so when I heard Les Miserables was coming out, I was really excited to see it! Or should I say Les Mis – it’s just what my fellow thespians called it.

Dustin knew I was really excited to see it so he surprised me with tickets yesterday. I tried to forewarn him and offered to see it by myself (before he bought the tickets obviously) – I just couldn’t see him getting into the musical but he was up for it. A couple of times I asked, “you know it’s a musical, right?” He said, “Like Mamma Mia? I liked Mamma Mia!” Welllll, Les Miserables didn’t turn out to be up to the Mamma Mia standards he had in mind. To be fair, if you had no idea what the story was about it would probably be pretty long and a little confusing. Mamma Mia is fun and up beat and as Dustin would say there was acting AND singing not just all singing. I was trying not to giggle when I heard him sigh or fidget in his seat. The people in the theater probably thought we were crazy when Dustin was singing to me quite loudly in the street after the movie – I’m sure there were still be moments when he busts out into song. I really loved the movie – I thought Anne Hathaway and everyone did a great job! I would recommend it to anyone, except make sure your husband knows what he’s about to get himself into if he comes along or he might a little…errr…miserable. =)




January 20th

Oh January 20th, you hold so many fond memories. Last year on this day, Dustin tricked me into thinking he was in Houston when really he was in Zilker Park getting ready to propose to me! I will never forget that day for as long as I live and it was such a memorable day. To say that he went above and beyond would be an understatement. Most of you know how the story goes but I just wanted to reflect back since my heart is so full today. I feel like the word “lucky” doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how I feel about marrying Dustin. I could go on and on or plaster it all over facebook all the wonderful and thoughtful things he does for me but then it wouldn’t be as special. The proposal story was just the beginning of so many great stories and adventures that we have already experienced!  There truly is no where in the world I’d rather be than in NZ with Dustin James Miksch. IMG_0626 Choke HoldLaugh2Proposal