Suddenly 30


Dad and Regan as he gives me away

Last night was wonderful! After I finished a long day of work I hopped into my car and went straight to my sister, Becca’s house. We don’t have an oven at the moment so I asked if I could come over to use her oven to make my hubby a “death by chocolate” cake (it is as delicious as it sounds.) Once I licked the bowl clean and put the cake in the oven it was straight to ‘Australia’s next top model’ where we watched the botch up over and over trying to analyse every facial move of Sarah Murdoch. That’s when my sister Katie arrived with the two kiddies and I spent the rest of the night snuggling up to her gorgeous son Dane and trying to get him to say “cool tricks” which he translates into “tool fix” … classic!

After getting my Dane fix I hopped into the car and got home before midnight so that I could come in and wish my beloved a happy birthday right on the dot (sorry for waking you … I just get excited about birthdays!) This morning we just stayed in bed and chatted and giggled right up until I had to leave for work. I love giving presents and this time was no exception (I actually had to hold myself back from giving it to him at midnight.) I couldn’t wait to give him his present which was ‘Versace Blue Jeans’ aftershave as well as a bike that his parents put in for too.

Regan is one of those people who has a million friends. He is instantly liked by everyone that he meets and one thing I fell in love with when we were dating was the fact that he could see the good in absolutely everyone. He is fiercely loyal in his relationships and he is the person you want in your corner. On top of that he is an excellent father to Ella. He will spend hours playing ‘my little pony’ or wear a pink love-heart friendship bracelet she made for him and he will cuddle her to sleep when she is having nightmares.

Regan is the first man (apart from family) that I said “I love you” to and this is because he made me feel safe. The night before I said it, he looked me in the eyes and said to me that he wanted to be with me forever after only knowing each other for a couple of weeks and at that moment I melted and my walls crumbled and I let it all in. This man is the man who sent me essay length text love notes, cooks me dinner, stayed up with me late when he had to get up at 3 or 4 am, prayed about me and for me since the night we met, makes me omelettes in bed any chance he can and buys me CDs when I’m feeling sick.

Happy Birthday my love, can’t wait to die slowly by chocolate soon 🙂


Happy Birthday Shmilla!

In the Soininen family half of my sisters are born within a couple of months of each other and so be prepared to see a couple more of these posts in the near future.

Today is my sister, Amelia’s Birthday (Amelia is the one on the left of the phot in the last post.) Amelia is one of the people who I miss like crazy after leaving Adelaide. Even though She lives a good 4 hours drive from Adelaide I miss her weekend visits where we would sit watching trashy movies and eating Fruchocs (mmm I could really do with some now.) I grew up with Amelia in the house until I was about 12 (I think) and I always remember looking up to her and thinking how much I wanted to be like her, and today is no exception!

Amelia is seriously the most sweet-hearted, talented (check it out here), giving person and I am so glad to have her in my life as a sister and a friend. So much so that when she said that she was contemplating coming and visiting Sydney soon I almost peed my pants with joy and told her to DO IT, DO IT, DO IT! She is so so creative and gives away almost all of her wonderful creations to people. I forgot to include her and some of my other sisters in the wedding post and I forgot to say that Amelia was such a massive help in setting up the house and painstakingly arranged the flowers on top of our cake with no experience but it looked so professional and beautiful.

I used to be sad when I was younger because I was the young little sister and I was jealous of the older sisters who could all hang out and be friends and share secrets and now I am at the stage where me and my sisters are really great friends and Amelia is someone I know that I can share my happy moments and my sobbing moments with and who will be my shoulder (even if it is just through the phone.) I can honestly say that anyone who knows her is better for it and I have not met anyone that has ever said a bad word about her.

I only wish I could be there today to help her celebrate this day by helping her each cake and watching trashy TV together. I love you Milla and hope you have the best day (come visit soon … you know you wants to!)

Happy Birthday Becca Boo

My sisters: Amelia, Kate, Rebecca, Erin, Kelly

These are all of my wonderful sisters. I’m so proud of them and for all of the love, strength and wisdom they have imparted to me throughout my life. On this day though I want to focus on my eldest (but still very youthful sister)Becca.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! For those of you  who have not had the pleasure of meeting her, she is the one in the middle of the photo.

As I am the youngest child in the family and she was married and had moved to Sydney when I was only 4 (aunty at 5), we didn’t have your regular siblingship (don’t know if that’s a real word but I’m still using it.) I have vague memories of running around at her wedding and looking on jealously as her firstborn Hannah became the youngest in the family and subsequently took over being the first person to open christmas presents. I also remember long road trips to visit her where I felt more like her child than a sister.

This past year has allowed me to have a wonderful and close relationship with her thanks to her continuing generosity. As I explained in previous posts, she offered for me to come and live with them in Sydney for as long as I wanted (or as long as my spinster self was left on the shelf.) She had extended this hospitality to several of my other siblings in the past and now it was my turn to make the trip.

From the first moment I stepped into her house I felt nothing but love (thanks for not giving me a wedgie Morgie.) I felt immediately accepted into their family and I felt so comfy taking up another little spot in their home. We would have long conversations about serious current affairs or talk about celebrity gossip. We would watch trashy Foxtel to the dismay of her hubby Morgan and watch Masterchef and (Australia’s, America’s and New Zealand’s) Next Top Model religiously. I used her a lot as my soundboard when I first started dating Regan and seeking some “been there done that” advice. One thing I always loved and appreciated came after hanging out with Regan into the late hours at his parent’s house. Every drive home was in freezing weather but I knew that when I came home that the front porch light was always on and my room was toasty warm from Becca turning on my heater hours earlier.

I have always admired her for her wit and intelligence. She is one of those people who has in-depth conversation about world events and ACTUALLY has a solid argument after having read every article on the matter. She is also incredibly loving, gives the best hugs and is such a good mum. She has impeccable taste in music and has done super cool stuff like sneaking backstage at concerts. She makes fresh bread once or twice a day and makes the most delicious Pulla (with extra icing on the side.)  She is the one who encouraged me through all of my job application failures, who laughed with me through my stupid moments and held me when I cried. 

I am so happy you are my sister and friend… I love ya Becca Boo 🙂

not so thirsty any more


So I feel it is my duty to warn you all that pure hell has a new name and it is Koya Aloe Vera drink. Yes my people. I have spent the last half hour researching aloe vera drink and its effects and no where does it say “Could cause severe  pain” or “This drink may cause you to have violent and stabbing pains in you intestines as they gradually swell to breaking point.”

Oh how I was fooled. Upon shopping I darted quickly past the chocolate aisle and in a moment of strength I bought 1.5 litres of aloe vera juice. “well done Ellen” went through my head as I patted myself on the back. Now home to dinner and my tasty healthy drink. Before I knew it I had finished of a litre of the drink and this is when the fun began. The swelling grew and grew until I seriously looked no less than 11 months pregnant (so wish I took a photo now.) I lay on the couch tossing and turning with the pain as my husband looked on and laughed (ok so it was slightly funny) but in that moment of pure pain I did not see the humour.

Soon Regan retired to bed and I stayed up until 1:30am to what felt like labour pains (ok don’t shoot me all at once) and by this time I was sitting there wondering to myself “What number from 1 – 10 am I going to tell the doctor in the emergency room, that I am?” (I would have said an 8 for those of you that are Brian Regan fans.) So I decided that it was time to wake up sleeping beauty and to ask for a blessing (I’m so thankful that he could give me one.) He blessed me and that’s when the relief came. I’m not gonna spell it out but by this time I was crying and laughing with Regan constantly (in separate rooms) for the next 30 minutes as relief got better and better (the joys of marriage!)

What a lack of judgement! I just hope I don’t get burnt this summer ’cause Aloe Vera in all its forms are still scary to me.

Mawwage is what bwings us togeva today

As promised, here is some footage of our wedding day … Thanks to Uncle Andy again for this amazing wedding gift!

Going to the temple and we’re gonna get married …


On March 6th 2010 I was sealed to the love of my life for eternity. Just 9 short months earlier I was blissfully unaware, completely oblivious to the whirlwind romance that was before me. We knew from the first few days we met. He prayed to find me for weeks before we met and he prayed about me  every night since the first night we met (swoon.)

The night we met went like this. I had been in Sydney for 1 and a half weeks and I really wanted to meet some YSA down in my new stake. That night  institute was meant to be on but after calling a friend he said that institute wasn’t on, but a small group of people were playing games at the chapel. At this point I was scared of walking into a small gathering. So I sat in my pyjamas umming and ahhing until Becca said “you might just meet your future eternal companion tonight” to which we had a good old laugh. Little did I know that she was SO RIGHT!

Fast forward through belly laughs until we cried, crying until the other made you laugh, dodgy ice skating, a million “I love yous” (seriously), romantic text messages, soft kisses, dreams shared, secrets whispered, sleepy drives home, deep conversations, shallow conversations and maybe a few disagreements 🙂 .

finally the day was here, the day that I would call him mine forever and when we would make the biggest and best promise of our lives. As we sat there in the Celestial Room I felt more beautiful in this $25 dress than any other thing I had ever worn. We looked at each other with wide eyes and open hearts. We didn’t feel nervous… not a bit … it felt too normal, we felt too ready and as we held hands in that sacred room, we prayed, our last single prayer. We prayed for the spirit, we prayed with thanks in our hearts for the wonderful moment that lay before us and asked him to bless us in our marriage. Finally we made our way into the sealing room hand in hand. Walking into that room was the best moment of my life to date!! As I walked in and saw a room full of people who loved us and who we loved back I felt this overwhelming feeling of love hit me like a brick wall and tears followed.

I don’t remember much of the fine details of what was said but I do remember watching Regan as he held back tears (manly tears by the way) and me trying to jump the gun a couple of times. We were grinning as wide as our mouths would physically allows us too.

The rest of the day could not live up to this, the best experience of my life, but it came pretty close. The highlights were:

  • We had the reception at my parent’s beautiful home where there was wonderful food and music and dancing
  • An amazing cherry ripe mud cake (thanks so much Sister Howes)
  • A fun photo shoot (love ya uncle Andy)
  • The biggest thanks to Mum and Dad for pretty much organising everything and I mean EVERYTHING (flowers, food, house, decorations, etc.)
  • The Arthur family (and a couple of extras) did the Hakka for me (AMAZING.)
  • Me and my new husband took our turns serenading each other and his wasn’t planned.
  • The ring ceremony done by Brother Phipps that everyone could witness.
  • Having most of the people who have meant the most to me all there in the one room.

The only thing that could have made the day better is if I had all of the extended family there!

I love you baby and I can’t wait to grow old with you.


So one thing I have craved since we got married was to get a new camera. We had been creating all of these memories but had no photos to really show for it so on Saturday morning Regan and I got up early in search of a camera. We were determined to not return home until we had bought one and it was a success!!

Check out my new baby

my new baby

After seriously walking upstairs and downstairs into 2 different shops about, no joke, 5 times each we found it and we found out we also get 200 bucks worth of photos on top as well so we can’t wait. When we were looking I also set my eye on the SLR cameras. I have read so many of your blogs where the photos are amazing and I have some real jealousy issues haha so I also plan to play around with this little camera for now and then buy an SLR in the near future. Can anyone recommend what kind of camera they love?

Oh and I have finally gotten round to checking out my honeymoon photos and my wedding photos and in the next few posts I’ll share them with you.

On a hilarious note … as some of you might know … I am the second counsellor in the stake primary presidency and on Sunday we went to Mittagong branch for ward conference. The Primary president didn’t have counsellors and for some reason she went home we Rosie Tupou and I decided to hold a little impromptu sharing time. Luckily I had a pre-prepared sharing time in my car all about repentance (don’t be fooled about my organisational skills, this was pure luck). This was my first ever sharing time and I was pretty excited. Let me just say that little primary kids are HILARIOUS!! Apart from the excitement and their little squeals of “OH OH CHOOOOOSE ME MEEE” after every question with their hands in the air as far as their shoulder joint would allow. Some of their responses were gold.

Me: What does “being mean” mean?

Primary kid: I have a question!! So I was watching the ghost whisperer and there was this Asian kid who was being rude to his mum, but then the wind came and told him that he shouldn’t be mean anymore so everyone was happy!!

quickly followed by another little child…

6 y.o. Child 2: when I was at school a friend of mine came up to me and said “get away from me you dirty little !*&^”

a very shocked me: ok … alright … yeah no we shouldn’t ever repeat those words EVER … not even in class.

Also, Regan and I were asked very last second to teach the youth Sunday School class. At first we were bumbling around trying to think of something cool to do but then we decided to make it into a testimony meeting and after a very slow start we were amazed at the wonderful spirit that entered the room. They turned from a tough crowd into strong bunch of valiant youth.

I love this gospel and I love this camera … stay tuned for my photographic masterpieces!

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