Monday, January 18, 2010


My Lord at the luggage. When we left for the States, we took empty bags with us. I took almost no clothes for myself or the kids, cause I've learned from experience that going home at Christmas necessitates alot of packing space on the other end! Here's some of our bags when we got home on Saturday.

We had seven big bags in total, packed to the brim with Christmas presents, clothes, shoes and various items that we can't get here. I confess that it often feels excessive to me, but when I look at what we actually are bringing home, I don't think it's really extravagant. However as Jason and I sat in his parents' living room on Thursday, packing the last few things I looked up at the TV coverage of the earthquake in Haiti and thought, Wow. It just made the boots I bought on clearance and our favorite BBQ sauce seem so silly and frivolous, you know? We are doing our part to give to relief efforts, but I was just overwhelmed at the gulf of difference in circumstances! It's staggering.

But anyway. What I was gonna tell you about was some of the items that we stock up on when we're home. When you live in a different country, you end up being surprised by the things you miss and want when you can't get them. And conversely, it's surprising what you don't miss too. So here's some of our must-get items when we're in the US...

--Crest Vivid White Toothpaste. I've told y'all about this before. This toothpaste is great and it really whitens! Complete strangers stop me on the street to marvel at my blinding smile. Marvel, I tell you. Okay, that is not actually true. But I'm sure they would if they all weren't so shy. Regardless, you can't get Crest here, so we always buy some when we're home.

--KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce. For all the "throw another shrimp on the barbie" talk, we've yet to find a BBQ sauce here that we really like. Any Aussies are welcome to suggest one if you know of any! It's not like this is a top-of-the-line sauce in the States either, but we like it and it's better than what we've tried here.

--A1 Steak Sauce. What can I say? We like our sauces.

--Athletic Socks. Of course, you can buy them here. But Costco has, like, packs of 1500 socks for 8 bucks. You pay more for less here, so we stock up when we're home.

--Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix. Australia, I love you. You know that. But your Ranch dressing leaves much to be desired. It's alright--I accept that about you. Your universal health care, charming people, and gorgeous scenery are fair trades for salad dressing. We'll just bring our own, okay?

--Hershey's Chocolate Syrup. This makes the best chocolate milk, hands down. You can get it at a speciality store here, but I think I would have to sell a child to afford to buy it regularly. Okay, looking at my list makes me realize how obsessed we are with flavorings and sauces. Cause check this next one.

--McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning. Jason loves this stuff! He puts it on EVERYTHING--eggs, hamburgers, chicken, steamed veggies, grilled veggies, pasta. Actually, I think he puts it on everything but salad!

Jason makes some mean scrambled eggs with this stuff.

--TV series on DVD. We watch a lot of shows on dvd--it serves as our date night on weeks we can't get a babysitter. (Which happens often!) This year, we bought Arrested Development. We've actually seen the series before, but we think it's so hilarious we want to watch it again. I highly recommend it!

As Maria Von Trapp sang, these are a few of our favorite things. What about you? If you've lived somewhere other than your home country, what did you miss? Or if you were to move, what would you have to bring with you?

Now, I am off to finish unpacking and do laundry. Which is totally fun and exactly what I want to do right now. (When I say things like that, Ava now says to me, "You say that like you mean it, but you really don't.) She's perceptive, that one.


  1. That girl of yours cracks me up... Nate too. Our little Avery (almost 4 now) has caught onto when we tease her. I always get a kick out of the phrase "you're teasing me aren't you?" when she says it.

    Well, I'm glad that you are getting settled back in the land of Oz! As for me, well I missed hamburgers and fries when I was in Ecuador for 2 weeks last September. But then again eating chicken, rice, and beans 3 meals/day for 2 weeks straight might make you miss lima beans... I don't know, could be wrong on that one.

    Love you, miss you... shall come see you eventually!

  2. You see, I had no idea what I was missing with the McCormick salad seasoning and here it is in my own backyard. Also, the wonders of Crest, wow, I'm finally persuaded!

    I can't believe how much stuff y'all had to drag back. It was daunting. And you brought stuff for other people too! Man hath no greater love than this, that he would goeth to Super Target for his neighbor.

  3. I think you and Jason must be masters at packing to be able to get all your stuff in only seven bags ! I love your list of must haves. The Aussies don't know what they are missing, do they? Just discovered this morning that Ava left her little Poppets things. I'll send them- along with anything you need from your Mother/Father Land.How in the world did you get all of yall and your bags home from the airport??

  4. aha, I was saying to Ron not long ago that you had the whitest teeth of anyone I know, so now I know your secret, maybe you love me enough to get some for me next time you're over there:) boy do I/we need it:)
    as for the Mccormick seasoning, I had another American friend that lived in NZ who said the same thing, she used to bring it over from the US as she couldn't get any over in NZ. It must be one great seasoning!
    Now as for me, I can get most things from India here these days, things weren't always this way though...Aust has improved in this dept in the last 20 years!
    But one thing I definitely long for is some of the tropical fruits like jackfruit etc that no one has even heard of here!

  5. That's a pretty heavy question. What would I miss?

    American music, for sure. Not as much in Australia, I'd imagine, but traveling in Italy and France has made me realize how much I miss rock and roll after a while.

    For foods, though, it would take a longer time away to make me realize what I'd truly miss. I've only been away for 10 days at a time, and that's still a short enough time to not truly miss too much, while one is still embracing the new things.

    I know I'd miss coney dogs, but one can't really haul coney sauce internationally. I'd probably miss my favorite hot sauces, depending on what's available where. You know what? The more I think about it, it IS all about spices and sauces. Nope, you did it right.

  6. I'd miss the heck out of Trader Joe's. I love that place.

    And I have to say, I feel like I don't appreciate seasonings and sauces enough after reading this post.

  7. But how is the Crest as a seasoning?

  8. Oh so cute. I wish I could've seen that cutie pie while you were here :).

    Fun post. I love getting little windows into your Aussie world.

  9. I am LOVING your blog! I have just started following it (and your siblings',too. I feel like i'm having a little visit with you!
    Miss you!

  10. I'm still sitting here impressed with the amount of luggage you guys dealt with, keeping in mind the little ones you were handling, too.
    Impressed, I tell ya!