Out of Hibernation

Things have been quiet here for the last few months but for good reason!

12 weeks ago (yesterday) I married my sweetheart ♥
I know it’s super cliche but we honestly did have the best day ever. It was so much fun and if I could repeat the whole day again I would!

Here are a few snaps of our day x

We’ve had the best three months setting up our little house, watching our new house start to be built as well as celebrating with Dyl’s brother and our new sister-in-law leading up to their wedding which was almost 2 weeks ago now.

The year is flying by and it’s definitely been a big year for us but I’m super keen to get back here and continue our conversations around personal finance.

Step Four is coming soon. Plus how we approach budgeting for Christmas. Plus a whole heap more!

Hann x

The Best Time of My Life, Right?

The Best Time of My Life, Right?

It’s the first day of winter and I could not be happier! Besides it being my favourite season every single year, I think this year will top them all.

I was midway through writing up an Instagram post and mentioned how I decided to take unnecessary pressure off myself so that I can enjoy the season ahead for me and truly make it the best time of my life and thought that I’d love to share how I’m going to make the most of this season ahead.

Here’s how it all started…

A few weeks ago I had a little bit of a meltdown. These don’t actually happen that often for me but I was just feeling it. I was trying to do an assignment that I just was not understanding and I was frustrated with myself and I spat it. I said to Dyl that I didn’t want to study anymore, I wanted to drop units/drop out of uni, I wanted to just spend all my time on wedding and house planning. I didn’t care, who needs a degree anyway… I shut my laptop and slid it across the loungeroom floor – I was done. It was a bit dramatic, haha. Dyl just sat there kindly as I vented and then said things that were sensible that I didn’t want to hear (why are guys always so logical!?) but that were things I needed to hear. I then text my little sister to download everything. She has just graduated and also studied while working full time so it’s nice to get her advice because she knows what it’s like trying to balance it all.  The thing was/is, of course I want to get my degree! I have goals & dreams and obtaining a degree is a stepping stone to reaching those, but I also want to enjoy wedding and house planning and take in every moment of this season I’m in right now.

When I started studying, I said to myself that I wanted to graduate before I turn 30. A great goal to have and always a good idea to set timeframes, but the thing I didn’t consider was all the other stuff that would be going on in between starting university and turning 30. We’re only going to be getting married once, and we’re only going to be building our first home once too, and uni is something I want to do well in, so after talking it over with Dyl and my sister, here’s what I decided to do…

  1. B R E A T H E – everything will actually be okay
  2. Cut myself some slack – it’s okay to shift the goal posts and make changes. My world won’t end if I haven’t graduated by 30
  3. Not dropout – while it’s tempting some days, I’m better off just taking a step back for this season and chip away with 1 unit instead of feeling overwhelmed by 2 while trying to balance everything else
  4. Reprioritise – the goals are still there, but I’ve just shuffled the priority of them around and that is totally okay
  5. Have the best time of my life – I’m going to make the most of every sweet moment over the next 12 months and truly have the best time of my life celebrating what’s ahead

Getting married and building a home are big life moments that I don’t want to miss out on because I’ve stressed myself out. In a years time, I want to be able to look back and feel so much joy about the best time of my life. I definitely don’t want to be feeling regret that I didn’t slow other area’s of my life down to enjoy what’s happening for me right now. So I’ve made some changes, and I’m totally okay with them because if there’s one thing I know about life is that we need to be adaptable and we need to make sure we don’t miss the big moments. ♥

When Life Gives You Lemons

When Life Gives You Lemons

My goal in this whole blog-writing thing is to be honest and transparent, in the hopes that it might bring someone else hope or clarity or comfort or all of the above. So here goes nothing… I’ve mentioned before here and here about how my dating experience with Dylan hasn’t exactly been like most people’s dating experience and so I thought I’d share why (with his permission).

Have you ever been in the situation where someone you love, whether that be a family member or partner or good friend, was going through something that regardless of how much you wanted to help there was just nothing you could actually do to help?
Well, that was me for the first 4 years of my relationship with Dylan.

It 1000% sucked!

Dyl was pretty sick for a long time. To his credit, unless he’d told you about it, you might not have even known. The kind of sickness that he had was pretty debilitating for him and it often made it hard to just go and do what you wanted when you wanted. For us in our relationship, it made it hard to go out spontaneously or to plan dinner or activities with friends as each day we just never knew how he’d be feeling. All the things that I considered “normal” couples did, we couldn’t do… Jumping in the car and driving for the sake of going somewhere new, or going out for dinner, or going to the movies, even going to friends places, all of these things we just couldn’t do. I often felt like we had to explain ourselves as to why we didn’t go to certain things which I hated. I also hated when people asked why Dyl had lost so much weight or why Dyl had put on a bit of weight. I hated that there was no consideration that maybe something else was going on and it wasn’t just “anti-social” or that he was eating better or eating poorly.

So here are a few places my thoughts went during this season of our relationship:

  1. Why us? Why do we have to be the ones who have to navigate something like this?
  2. This sucks
  3. Why, God, haven’t you healed him yet? A miracle is literally the only option
  4. Maybe there’s a lesson here somewhere…
  5. This sucks so much
  6. God, I’ll take some of the pain but not the symptoms… I want to be able to understand what this is like for Dyl (side note: thank GOD that he didn’t answer that little prayer, not sure I could have handled the pain)
  7. Alright, if we’re really stuck in this place, what can I/we be learning from this?
  8. I know it’s not about me, but I wish someone could feel how it feels to be me in this situation…
  9. Whyyyyy is he not better yet. This sucks so, so much!
  10. Okay, God, I’ll make a deal with you…

The hardest thing is not being able to do a single thing to help. It made me feel like a useless girlfriend, to be honest. I felt frustrated because I didn’t fully understand what it was like for Dylan, and then I felt frustrated because I felt like Dylan didn’t fully understand what it was like for me to feel frustrated that I didn’t fully understand what it was like for him. A big round-a-bout of frustration!

So what do you do when life gives you lemons? You look for the lessons or significant moments so that you can make lemonade. Here are some of the sweet things I’ve taken away from this “lemon”…

  • Regardless of what we can physically see, God is always doing something and I had to learn to trust in that. Now, I know some of you mightn’t believe in God so you might think this is strange, but for me, this was a big thing. I guess I always had a head knowledge that God is always working a plan but this circumstance shifted that from a head to a heart thing.
  • Everything we go through is building something within us for the next season of our lives. Even though Dyl and I aren’t married, I already know because of this situation that we can do “in sickness and health” because we’ve done it. We learned different ways in which the other communicate, we learned that even though it can be tough it’d be tougher to do it without each other. I have no doubts that what we have been through has set an incredible foundation for what’s ahead of us for the rest of our lives.
  • Dyl is the best person on the planet. Period. I know that he was frustrated by the whole thing, but I don’t think I ever heard him really complain about it. I get a small cold and I whine like I’m on my deathbed, but this was not Dyl’s first response. He continued to give God 100% of himself and say yes to whatever was put in front of him. He still loved me wholeheartedly when I’m sure it would have just been easier to hide or decide it was too hard. He really is just the world’s greatest.
  • Everyone is going through something, whether it’s obvious or not and kindness really is just so important regardless. This whole thing has changed the way I view others… maybe Person A isn’t actually just being rude, maybe they’re dealing with something that is so painful (physically/mentally/emotionally) that they just are doing their best to get through a conversation. Maybe Person B would actually love to hang out, but they don’t feel comfortable anywhere but their own home and that’s totally okay. I’ve learned to not take things so personally and to think creatively as to how to make the most of quiet moments.

For the last year and a half, Dyl has been 1000 times better than any other time in our relationship and I wholeheartedly believe that God has healed him! I am certainly so, SO glad that we are done with that season, but I will forever be grateful for the kindness God showed us through it and the things I learned along the way about Dylan, about God and about myself.

So there you go, a snippet into my relationship with Dylan and the biggest challenge we’ve faced to date. I hope you have learned something about me or found yourself somewhere in this and that you’ve been inspired to be a little kinder today than yesterday ♥

If you have any questions or are going through something similar, I’d love to hear from you. You can head to my Facebook page and message me there!

Han xo

30 Minus Nothing

30 Minus Nothing

I have a friend and her name is Mary-Anne, Merman, Miriam. Some of you may know her as well as I do, others may just know who she is and some of you wouldn’t know her if you ran into her!

Meeting Miriam changed my whole life.
I know, that sounds so dramatic, but here’s why…

Miriam had a huge influence on whether or not I got the job to work as her receptionist in July 2009. I was in the middle of Year 12 and I hated school. Looking back, I think I was just really lonely, but I dreaded going every day. One day the careers teacher came to me and said she’d had a call from the Practice Manager of a physio practice who was looking for a trainee receptionist. I jumped at the chance, had the interview (in my school uniform lol), did a trial day, and got the call to say I’d got the job! On my trial day I discovered that this beautiful blonde with a cute bob cut went to the school I did. We also found we had mutual friends and knew a lot of the same people (because of school). I feel like that may have given me the edge over the other girl who had a trial…maybe haha.

The next thing that Miriam did that has changed my life was start going to Gateway Church. When she first started attending, if “you do you, boo” was a saying then I would have said that to Miriam, but the joke’s on me because the way Miriam described church had me so intrigued that I ended up checking it out myself. Seven (or maybe eight) years later and I’m still here! I am sure that one day I would have found my way into a place like Gateway Church without Miriam, but I am grateful for the timing she went that gave me room to follow.

Work days then became a time for recapping what new thing we’d learned about who God was. They also became the times where we’d recap on this mystery boy, Craig! I don’t feel like Craig was gradually weaved into conversations, it was just all of a sudden, there he was. “Craig did this. Craig said that. Craig wore this…” Haha, it wasn’t quite like that, but his name was mentioned quite a lot in our little office. And I am 100% glad it was. The way in which Craig and Mim have always gone about their relationship has always been something I’ve admired. They adore each other but more importantly adore God and that is something I have seen from those early days back in our office and something I’ve taken into my own relationship.

Today is Miriam and Craig’s 5th wedding anniversary. I couldn’t be a prouder friend of the two of them if I tried. I know that I’m not the only one whose life is drastically different because of their influence, kindness, and love. As individuals they’re incredible, but as a team, they’re really something else (in the best kind of way).

Today is also Miriam’s 30th birthday… So, happy 30th birthday, Miriam. I know my life would be far different to now if it weren’t for you. I needed someone to follow and you were that person and I am so glad. You will forever be one my favourite people and know you will always have the place in my heart right next to where Nutella, choc-coated Tiny Teddies & Ribena sit. ♥

Han xo

There She Goes

The girl my heart adores. She’s moving. Tomorrow.
She has heard a whisper in her heart and is obediently following it.

I am so proud.

I needed a friend just like her, and in the most perfect of timings our friendship began to grow to a depth like no other. It’s always been raw and honest, open and kind. There’s nothing quite like finding a friend who you know will be in your life forever no matter the season. There’s nothing quite like a friend who can make you laugh like a child, but also ask you a question that leaves you undone.

She carries my triumphs, and she carries my trials. She lifts my head when I need to be reminded of Who is in control, as I do for her. This last year for us has defined our friendship so much. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with out her so close to me.

Souls who follow their hearts thrive; fools bent on evil despise matters of soul.
Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. – Proverbs 13:19-20

She is following her heart and I know she will thrive.
She walks with the wise and has made me wiser.
She inspires me.

I hope that you have a friend like her; one that pursues dreams, challenges you and makes you laugh like no one else. And if you don’t, I know you will find one right when you need it most. Just like I did. X




The Year That Was

The Year That Was

Last year I wrote a post on New Years Eve, so I thought I might make a tradition out of it.

I thought I might just show you some of the highlights of my 2015! So here they are… Some of my top moments of twenty15

(these are in no particular order)

B A B I E S – Two of my sisters and my best friend had babies! Which means that I’m an auntie five time now (and yes, I realise that “technically” I’m not Eli’s auntie, but I’ve known Sarah my whole life so I’m claiming it haha). These are the first pictures that I had with my 2015 cuties (except the one of Marli, that’s the second because I like it better).

W E D D I N G S – We had a few weddings this year also but my favourites (if that’s allowed) were Sarah’s and my sister Megan’s. I was honoured to be a bridesmaid in Sarah’s wedding which was in beautiful Stanley. Megan’s wedding was a delightful small family wedding (as small as it can  be when you’re one of 7 kids). We also had a few friends get married this year which is always exciting – it’s so fun celebrating people’s big life moments with them. Here’s a couple photos from both Sarah & Megan’s…

D Y L A N – He’s always a highlight. We have laughed, cried, cheered, celebrated, believed and loved our way through this year. He is my all time favourite person to spend any of my time with. This year we spent the most time apart than we ever have since we started dating when I went to America. One of my best friends asked me when I got home “Did distanced make the heart fonder?” To which I replied, “Yes! I am very fond.” I adore Dylan wildly, and I was so happy to come back home to him.

A M E R I C A – This was the first time I have ever been overseas and it was so good. It already feels like a lifetime ago even though it was only last month. I went with Tiffany (one of my best friend & Dyl’s sister). It was so much fun. New York City was my favourite, followed by San Francisco and Chicago. I wouldn’t want to live in the States, but I would definitely go back. It’s such a huge place, with so much to see and do. It was definitely an incredible adventure and one I’ll remember for my lifetime! America ended with a trip to Melbourne to see Taylor Swift which was just the icing on the sweetest holiday cake!

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C H U R C H – this year I’ve seen hundreds of young people each Friday night come and meet God for the first time, and those who have been meeting with Him for a while. We, as a family, celebrated B I G at Easter and Christmas because God deserves it – there’s no simpler way I could put it. Our Wonders Conference happened in July and fell on my birthday so that made it all the more fun! There were so many things about those few days that did my heart so much good. I’m still wearing my Wonder’s band in faith for all the things I know He’s promised.

What a year it has been. I’m incredibly thankful for the friendships that I’ve made and sustained, the adventures that have happened, the moments where God’s spoken and I’ve listened, the family time, the Dylan moments and everything else that fills my life.
But what a year this next one will be! I have so much faith and expectation for the coming year, it’s crazy. I know I’ll see miracle after miracle; I’ll see moment after moment where God changes someones life radically and I’ll get to be apart of those moments! I’m dreaming big for 2016. xo

1000 Days of Dating

1000 Days of Dating

Today marks 1000 days of dating Dylan, so I’m going to write 1000 things I love about him…

  1. He is incredibly good looking
  2. He can sing! (Seriously, he’s so good)
  3. He is very smart

…Just kidding. What a boring post for you all.. Even though Dylan is incredible and there are so many things I love about him, I thought I would share just a couple of things that I’ve learnt over the past 1000 days. Maybe they can help you with your relationship, or help prepare you for one.

Here we go…

Patience has been one of the biggest things I’ve learnt. Probably the biggest. It isn’t at the top of the list because of anything negative.. It’s just been a big part of how we function. He is patient with me when I don’t understand things and he’s explaining something for the millionth time (probably should work on my listening skills haha), I am patient with him when he is playing guitar and all I want is attention (haha). There are a lot of other examples I could give as to where patience has come into things, but I don’t quite now how to put them in words just yet. Life doesn’t always go the way I plan (surprise, I’m not actually in control) and to be honest, sometimes I really struggle with that. I want to know the next move, I want to know what’s going to happen in the next month, year, or even five years, that’s just part of my personality. This adventure with Dylan has seen me slowly (sometimes very slowly) let go of the things I think I desperately need straight away. I know that patience is something I’ll forever be learning about, but it’s definitely been one of the biggest area’s I’ve grown in.

It’s a choice. Everyday, no matter how I am feeling, no matter what else is going on, I will always choose Dylan. I will choose to cheer him on, I will choose to listen, I will choose to understand, I will choose to love. I know that life will never be perfect, that things happen that are out of my control, that we are both human beings and are flawed. But I know that Dylan has so much greatness still that I’m yet to see, and I know that he is so good to me and for me so despite how I feel (happy, sad, angry, excited, scared etc.) I’ll choose him.

Isn’t it just the worst when we realise this one. I feel like God kinda laughs (kindly) at me when I have the mindset that I know what I need, when I need it, and that the world revolves around me. But again, surprise, I’m not in control and it’s not all about me. I like to see my relationship with Dylan as being a part of a team. Now, I haven’t played in a sport team since Grade 6, but I do know the saying “There’s no I in team”. We work together, we see the other persons potential, we cheer the other person on. If I had the mindset that this relationship was purely about me and what I get out of it, I know that it would fail. It would be frustrating; it would probably be a mess. But I’ve been learning it’s not all about me. Sometimes I have to put my plans, my opinions aside for the benefit of us. I don’t see it as missing out either. All great loves require a sacrifice. That sacrifice may be time, it may be plans, money, whatever… But realising it’s not always about me, I think, helps keep things nice and balanced (because I know there’s been times where Dylan’s had to do the same).

This is something that I have intentionally worked on over the last few years even before dating Dylan, but it’s something that’s grown so much more so because of him. Mostly for me, it’s kindness in what I speak. I have learnt about how much words matter and how much kind words matter. “I told you so” isn’t a helpful phrase…at all. It doesn’t build the other person up. I intentionally praise Dylan, I intentionally show him kindness because I know for myself, when someone is kind or goes out of their way or tells me what they love about me, it shifts the way I’m feeling. I always want to be a person who makes people feel good about themselves, so being kind to Dylan is no exception.

GOD IS BIGGER…ALWAYS (last but not least by any means)
Always, always, always, always. No matter the feeling, the health level, the job, the dreams, the goals.. God is bigger. I’ve learnt that I don’t have to have it all mapped out because of this. I’ve learnt that God is in every single moment of my life, and that He has been since the day I was born and He will be till the day I die. He’s working a plan, and all I’ve got to do is listen and go where He says, when He says. That’s easier said than done, however, especially when things are hard, or when we’re sick, or when we seem to be facing a giant, but I love that God is bigger than my feelings. Over the last 1000 days, God has proven time and time again this – that He is bigger and that He is always faithful. How can I ever worry about my relationship, or anything in my life for that matter, when God has already done so much for me and for Dylan. I know that not a day has gone by, or will go by where God won’t have mine and Dylan’s best interests at heart and it’s such a sweet and comforting feeling.

I can’t wait to see what God does for us over the next thousand days. X

Thought of the Day

I am so overwhelmingly thankful that I changed the path I was headed down before I had a chance to convince myself it was too late.

God has been nothing but gracious and kind to me. It’s unbelievable! I honestly see it as being rescued. I was rescued from a life that relied on what others thought of me, it revolved around doing what everyone else was doing so I didn’t feel left out. It was ruled by self doubt and disbelief.   

I now live the best life. It’s far from perfect, but those things that had my heart bound are no longer there. I live freely, I live with friends whose friendship is legitimately unconditional, I live out of a place of grace. I now make decisions based on what is best for me and I don’t make them alone. I have a heart that is full – I’m no longer striving for others to fill it for me. I’ve found a place where I can be whole-heartedly, and unashamedly ME! 

I live my life with a constant Companion who’s there when I have a crappy attitude about my job, and there when I have a sour thought about a situation. A Companion who, in-spite of all that, still whispers in my heart “You are my Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” [You got it, I’m talking about Jesus.] 

I have no doubt in my mind that I would of found this place to live in eventually, but I am so glad I’m living in it now. I’m so glad that Jesus looks at me with eyes full of love and kindness. I’m so glad that with compassion in His voice He calls me close to Him. 

My hope is that you’re encouraged by this. My hope is that you understand that’s it’s never too late and you’re never too far gone to ask Jesus to come rescue you. He’s there, waiting to sweep you off your feet with His incredible love and kindness and compassion. 

Hann. X


c213102d2e44111b8958520934b9e7deA few days into 2014 I decided that I was going to start #365daysofpraise… A post a day of something I’m thankful for.

I love Psalm 63:3 – Because Your love is better than life my lips will glorify You. It’s from a moment in my life where a lot of things changed for me in the best kind of way. It reminds me to always keep when comes out of my mouth honest, pure, kind, full of faith, hope and love. Naturally, I can be quite a sarcastic person, I’m happy to admit that. It’s part of my character, but what isn’t part of my character is unkindness and probably more times than I’d like to admit, that is what my sarcasm came across as. Over the last four and a half years I’ve found myself on this adventure of watching what comes out of my mouth. God has designed me to sing and worship and change atmospheres over people and their situations through that and I’ve been learning that what I say outside of those moments matters just as much as what’s sung within them.

Ephesians 4:29-32 says this:

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

I was blown away that I could grieve God and break His heart by what I say. That alone makes me want to always be praising others, cheering them on, and speaking well of myself (that’s a biggie).

I really want praise, honour and kindness to be the first response to whatever comes my way in life. I want helpful and compassionate and honouring words to be what flows out of me so I decided I was going to make an investment into that.

The Goal:

  • Post one photo a day for 365 days with something I was thankful for
  • To grow in praise, honour and kindness
  • To purposely seek out the good in each day
  • To make thankfulness a natural response

The Outcome:


I’m constantly left astounded by how God uses everything I face to build up within me greater character. By no means do I think that I have the ideal character, I fall short often, but because I know who I belong to I can recognise all the times and different ways God speaks to me and corrects me. This simple, yet large idea of being thankful intentionally for something every single day for 365 days on Instagram is something that I believe has altered the way I go (and will go) through life. I know that life won’t always be rainbows and sunshine. I know that death happens, sickness happens, sadness happens, but I also know that God is far bigger than any of that and that fact alone deserves absolutely every ounce of my praise.

I want thankfulness to be a natural response. I want it to be the first response; the knee-jerk reaction. The thing I do without even realising, yet with intention. I’d challenge you to spend some time investing into praise, honour and kindness. How you do it may look different to how I did, but I can guarantee that you won’t ever loose out on anything by spending time being thankful. To wrap this up, here’s what I wrote on my 365th post, it sums it all up perfectly for me.

“365 days ago I decided I would post one photo a day attaching something that I was thankful for. Today is day 365. I am incredibly thankful that I stuck with this. I am incredibly thankful that I took the time out in each day to find something to be thankful for. I have actually been surprised at how much doing this has affected me. I’m thankful that God is always good and His love never stops. I’m thankful that I’ve allowed a whole year for my heart just to soak in thankfulness and praise. I’m thankful that it has kept me accountable to have a praise attitude in the real world as well as on here. I’m mostly thankful for what this has set me up for.. What that looks like exactly, I don’t know. But I know that doing this has shifted something in my spirit and been incredibly good for me. Praise doesn’t stop just because a countdown does.. Can’t wait to see what God has for me in the next 365 days! 🎉”