Welcome to the world baby girl

Welcome to the World…

Leonora Grace

Leonora Grace Buchanan

Our dear family and friends,

At 2:35 a.m on January 16th, we enthusiastically welcomed our baby girl to our family. We are totally head over heels in love with her! She has her mother’s sweet temperament and her father’s eyes.

She has already melted our hearts. Both Jacs and Leo are healthy, albeit a bit exhausted, and recovering well.

We will be in touch with more photos and information once we’ve had time to settle into our new roles as Daddy and Mummy.

Lots of Love
Ben and Jacqueline

Leonora Grace Buchanan
16 January 2014
7 lb, 7 oz / 3.37 kg
19.7 inches / 50 cm

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas

Looking back on 2013, it has been a great year for us filled with adventures, great friends, and big changes with our move back to Sydney. 2014 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years yet with Baby B only a couple weeks away. Right now we’re enjoying a staycation in Sydney. Jacs is finished with work and on maternity leave and I’m all done with traveling. I have 2 weeks off work, and we’re house sitting for mum and dad so are loving being near the beach and having the pool. For Christmas Day (can’t believe that is tomorrow), we’re doing a brunch just the two of us, and are then spending the afternoon with the Latham’s (Sarah’s family) who have kindly invited us to join their Christmas.

We want to wish all of our friends and family across the world a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. We’re so grateful to have you all in our lives.

You’ll be hearing from us again soon, with a new addition to our family!

xx
Ben and Jacs

Blood, Sweat and Beers

It’s already been 2 weeks since TK, Mark (TK’s friend) and I did the Tough Mudder in Sydney, so it is about time I posted about it.

Team Blood, Sweat and Beers - Start Together, Finish Together!

Team Blood, Sweat and Beers – Start Together, Finish Together!

For those that don’t know, Tough Mudder is a 20km challenge (completing is the main thing – not getting a specific time!) with obstacles along the way. We had a great time, and ended up finishing in just over 1.5 hours, coming in 6th in our group! We were super impressed with that!

Getting muddy

Most of the obstacles were great fun – crawling through mud, climbing over walls etc – however I think the ‘electric eel’ was my least favourite. It involved crawling through mud while getting electric shocked by dangling wires … in the face!!!

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. Check out the photos below :-)

Andy and Josie’s wedding

It has been more than a month since our last post, and the fact that we haven’t posted as frequently as we have been the past few years is evidence enough that we’re back in the real world of having jobs and not traveling every week or two and hanging out with friends most days. That said, life in Sydney is going really well. My work is going well – I’m already finishing up my second project (which seems crazy!), and recently moved offices (we still have a view which I’m happy about – It was great watching the Fleet Review out on the harbour last week!). Jacs’ work has been incredibly busy with a project that finishes up on Friday, so she has been working really long hours. Hopefully that calms down on Friday, and she just has 2 more months of work to go.

Baby B is growing quickly, but is healthy and her and Jacs are both well. Here is a pic for you :-)

Jacs Belly

Time is flying by, with Jacs already at almost 26 weeks! We’ve even been going to look at prams and everything which is kind of daunting ;-) Other than that, we’ve just been enjoying some wonderful spring weather, getting to the beach as much as possible (I’ve been doing lots of surfing) and hanging out with our friends here. It was also just TK’s 22nd birthday which he celebrated with a BBQ in mosman

Manly

Last weekend was a long weekend, and was also my cousin (from England) Andrew’s wedding to Josie down in Melbourne, so the whole family made a trip down there. In addition to the wedding, it was also a chance to celebrate that both Pasquale and Paski and Wendy and Ray got engaged since our last visit. Jacs and my weekend started with a little hiccup when our flight was cancelled until Saturday morning. We did make Virgin Australia get us a hotel room at the airport and buy us dinner because I was not impressed at missing a night in Melbourne. Saturday morning though we made it down after a bright an early start on the 7am flight. After a quick stop for breakfast with mum at the Fedele’s, we popped in to their Jewelry Store to say hi to Auntie Sheila and Uncle Frank, before going for lunch with Stuart and Mai at a cool place called Huxtable in Fitzroy where we indulged in lots of delicious tapas (a lot of which was fried!) and a beer. If that wasn’t enough, we then continued across the road to Monsieur Truffe for a hot chocolate to finish an extremely decadent meal :-)

After lunch, we had a quick wander around the city, and by the time we got home, there was just enough time for a quick nap before getting ready for dinner with the Fedele’s and the Hocknells (including Andrew) for a massive Korean BBQ feast rehearsal dinner. We had a great evening – it was so fun catching up with all of our cousins and having a few drinks with them to celebrate everything.

Sunday morning was fairly slow after all of the Saturday night drinks, but we had a delicious bacon and egg fry up for breakfast (so much eating!) before getting all dressed up to hop on the bus to the wedding which was about an hour away at Yarra Ranges Estate. Mum was the celebrant so it was really a family wedding. It was a gorgeous ceremony, and Josie looked beautiful. After the ceremony there were delicious cookies and cake that Josie’s friend made, and a Chinese tea ceremony as a traditional wedding ritual. We had a really lovely time! Congratulations to Andrew and Josie!

Andy and Josie's Wedding

After a relaxing morning monday, we had a final lunch with Wendy and Ray at Ray’s restaurant (Hooked) on Brunswick st, before heading to the airport for our flight home. It was such a fun weekend – and is also nice to just have a 4 day week this week.

Hope that you’re all well. Let us know what you’ve been up to.
xx
Ben and Jacs

Settling back in to the land down under

Before we get in to what we’ve been up to, we have some very exciting news to share – we’re having a baby! Baby B is due on Jan 22, 2014. We’re thrilled and can’t wait to find out at the end of this month if we’re having a boy or a girl :-)

Ultrasound

It has been almost a month since we got back to Sydney, and we’ve been having a great time catching up with friends, and settling in. We’ve definitely hit the ground running! Jacs got an incredible opportunity, and promotion :-) at Burson-Marsteller and started two weeks ago, and I start back at work on the 19th. When we first got back we stayed in Mosman with mum and dad, but we’re now back in our apartment in St Leonards which has been cleaned and painted – one more trip to Ikea this weekend and we’ll be completely unpacked :-) Although it is winter and we were bracing for cold weather, it has actually been lovely and sunny most days. I’ve been really enjoying getting in some surfing, and even convincing TK to come with me to learn.

Surfing

As you know, we landed back in Sydney on the 12th of July, just in time to celebrate Rory’s 30th birthday on the 13th with a lovely lunch at Ripples at Chowder Bay, overlooking the harbour. It was really great to get to see all of our friends as it made us happy to be home! The following Wednesday, Bonnie arrived to visit for 2 weeks – it was wonderful to see her, and we had a great time showing her around. We did abandon her for 2 days with my family for her first weekend though, as we had been invited to our friends Mel and Julian’s wedding up in the Hunter Valley. Since it is a few hours drive away, we decided to make a weekend of it and rented a house with some friends, and did some wine tasting during the day, and Jacs cooked us a big mexican feast for dinner. The wedding itself was beautiful and we had an awesome fun evening.

Mel and Jules Wedding

Back in Sydney with Bon we got up to lots of fun stuff, as well as the not-so-fun errands to get us moved in! We had a beautiful walk along Bondi beach and over to Bronte, which was gorgeous as always, but also a little windy the day we went. As we came round the corner from Bondi, the wind hit us, sending hair flying everywhere!

Bondi Walk

Windy Bronte

We also had a delicious lunch with mum, dad and TK up at Cottage Point Inn, 45 minutes drive north in to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The food was delicious and it is such a serene and beautiful spot on the water… and getting there by road is much easier than I realized since we took a ferry when I last went years ago.

Cottage Point

Since Bon has been to Sydney quite a few times (and is even starting to know her way around like a local), we decided it would be fun to squeeze in a quick trip to Melbourne to see the city, and stay with the Fedeles – mum’s sister’s family who live there. It was wonderful to get to see them all, and hang out with Pasquale and Wendy who we haven’t seen in a few years. We had a great time wandering around Chapel St (and eating at Hooked, Wendy’s boyfriend Ray’s restaurant that serves delicious healthy fish and chips), exploring the city, looking at gorgeous jewelery in their store, Fedele Jewelworks (and maybe buying some… ;-) ), and of course eating delicious food – dinner the first night was in St Kilda at a mexican restaurant called Cantina where we all overate, and the second night was a degustation menu at Ginger Boy, a restaurant in China Town that Jacs has been wanting to go to for years!

Melbourne Dinner

After all of the fun, we were sad to see Bon leave, but as her visit came to an end it was also time for Jacs to get to work, and for me to move all of our stuff in to our apartment and start unpacking.

We’re looking forward to the routine of work, but it is going to be a shock to the system after the past few years! We’ll let you know how it is all going soon.

xx
Ben and Jacs

Singapore: Our final stop

After the amazing trip in Vietnam and Cambodia, it was lovely to finish up with a few days in Singapore to catch up with friends, eat lots of food, and reminisce about growing up. We stayed with our family friends, the Balls, who live in Alexandra Park, where we used to live, which is always beautiful and relaxing.

Our first evening we hung out at the house and had a yummy home cooked meal. The next morning, all of our activities (mostly eating) began with Dorian bringing home some Roti Prata, my favourite breakfast :) Next, we went out to Parkway Parade to catch up with Leny, our family Amah (maid) growing up. 

It’s always great to see her. After that, it was time for more eating and seeing friends – we had laksa for lunch with Moira and Lauren at the botanic gardens, before going shopping with Lauren at Haji Lane, just off Arab st, which now has lots of cool little shops.

After all the shopping, we’d built up an appetite, so decided to squeeze in one last meal, and tick chilli crab off my list of things to eat at Jumbo Seafood (a singapore institution) at Dempsey rd – an area that has really developed and now has heaps of cool restaurants! The crab was delicious, and of course messy!

We weren’t done with our first day yet however, and after dinner headed to Marina Bay Sands (the new casino and hotel) for a drink on the amazing roof deck at Ku De Ta with our close friend Ryan and his friend Aminah. The view was absolutely stunning!

After such a busy first day, we had a slower morning the next day, and then met our friend Cheesey for lunch at Lau Pa Sat, a hawker center in the city, so Jacs could get popiah, a meal she likes, and I could have a hainaness chicken rice while we all caught up. We then went for a stroll around to Marina Bay Sands, and then caught the bus home to start prepping for the evening, since it was Deirdre’s birthday and the family was throwing a Greek themed dinner party.

The party, complete with paper mâché statues and dry ice, was great fun – the girls provided Jacs and I with material so we wore silver togas :) 

Today, our final day in Singapore before heading back to Sydney, we started the day with a walk along the beautiful canopy walk in Kent Ridge Park, before heading to Club St (another really cool area) to see Ryan again for lunch, and then wander around China Town, and finally do some shopping on Orchard Rd.

We’re about to head to the airport now, which brings our travels to an end. Our whole trip has been so much fun, but we’re also really excited to get to Sydney tomorrow and see all of our friends and family, and get unpacked and settled in.

xx

Ben and Jacs