Leanne from Cresting the Hill : ‘If We Were Having Coffee’

Donna has been kind enough to invite me to Guest Host for her again. I’m not officially a retired blogger, nor a travel blogger, so I can’t fairly discuss either subject. Instead, I thought I’d try a different version of my ‘If we were having coffee’ post and provide a bit of an overview of the year that was and what I’ve discovered along the way. I hope that some of what I’ve written resonates with you. After all, we are all cruising through life together – no matter where we are in the world.

So, here we are at Stirling Cottage in Harvey, Western Australia, surrounded by absolutely beautiful gardens and a river walk. You can tell it’s summer here (despite Donna’s artificial snow sweeping across the scene). If we were sitting at this table in the sunshine enjoying a cuppa and a scone, these are a few of the things I would share with you.


I’ve just passed my third year anniversary of writing ‘Cresting the Hill.’ It’s been an interesting time thinking about where I started from and whether I wanted to continue. To tell you the truth, I thought about calling it quits at the end of 2017. I was feeling a bit weary and wondered if I had anything else left to say.

Then along came my blogging buddy, Sue, from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond.  She wanted to know if I was interested in hosting a Link Party with her in 2018. Initially, I thought “what’s the point in doing ANOTHER party when I’ve pulled out of so many because there’s nothing in them that interests me?” But then I turned it around and thought “why not do one that appeals to me and see if there are others out there looking for the same thing?” Sue was on the same wavelength, and we’re launching a party exclusively for Midlife Bloggers. Our first link-up goes live on January 31st.  We’re both excited, and you’re invited to join us. It’s given me the boost I needed to reinvent myself and head into another year of blogging madly away.


My lovely husband and I have started to get out and about for a Saturday walk or bike ride since the spring weather began. I’m finding that spending time together doing something we both enjoy gives us so many benefits. We’re moving (and I need to do that more). Out in the sunshine, we get our Vitamin D. We’re talking, we’re going to new places, and we have an excuse to stop for a coffee at the end. Marriage is so important–it’s easy to let it slide into the background. We need to find time to focus on each other now that the nest is empty. Or, before we know it, we become strangers and lose our connection.


My biggest smiles over the year have come from our gorgeous little granddaughter, Sophia. She is an absolute delight! I have to share a photo because it’s what all proud grandparents do. It’s such a blessing watching our children create full and rich lives of their own, and to be allowed to have a small part in that. Finding the balance can be a bit of fine line at times, but it’s worth the pain of figuring it out.


I wrote a series of posts this year on ‘First/Middle/Last.’  It was a lot of fun for me to look back on days gone by. Sometimes I get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that I forget to stop and breathe. I need to step away from all the consumerism around me and just remember old friends, or how proud I was of my little lawnmower car, or how simple my dress was for my School Dinner/Dance (compared to today).

That’s it for now. I could share screeds more on all that happened in the year – but I think we’ve drunk enough coffee and it’s time to head home. I hope you enjoyed our catch up as much as I did. If you’re ever in the Southwest of Western Australia, let’s get together for another one.

From Retirement Reflections: Thank you to Leanne for returning to the ‘Guest Host Spotlight’ to share her reflections on her past year. I greatly enjoyed the catch-up, the cuppa and the scone! Please join us again on Christmas Eve when Deb from Deb’s World ruminates on one full year of retirement. I hate to say “I told you so, Deb” (says Donna while gloating)! See you then!

53 Replies to “Leanne from Cresting the Hill : ‘If We Were Having Coffee’”

  1. Hi Donna – just saw this pop up on my FB feed before bedtime (I think our time zones are miles apart!) And I had to laugh at the snow flakes falling while we swelter away in the throes of Summer. Thanks for having me as your guest again – I love that we have connected despite the miles and the weather differences and I’m looking forward to you linking up to my new party and encouraging me again next year.
    Leanne recently posted…LOOKING BACK AT MY WORD FOR 2017My Profile

  2. Hello Leanne, I was also taken aback by Donna’s snow drifting across the screen and I am definitely in winter in Canada! Thanks for the reminder on working on the relationship with your marriage partner. You are right – it is very important. Fran

  3. Hi, Fran – I have gone a bit overboard with decorating my blog for the Holiday Season. In my (very weak) defense, I do try to switch things up for each new December post. Thanks for commenting and thank you for highlighting Leanne’s point about the importance of actively nurturing our relationships. It is unfortunately very easy to let ourselves get distracted, especially at this time of year.
    Retirement Reflections recently posted…Leanne from Cresting the Hill : ‘If We Were Having Coffee’My Profile

  4. Hi Donna, thanks for hosting Leanne! Love your year in review and beyond, Leanne! I’m looking forward to your link alliance with Sue on midlife blogging. I’m only in two link parties now (same ones’ you’re in), and you are right about most posts being nothing I am interested in. Too many recipes and DIY! Maybe Donna’s snowflakes might cool you off on a hot summer’s day!

  5. Great to meet you, Leanne! Oh my, little Sophia is adorable! She looks quite at home in front of the camera. 🙂 Getting out for a nice long walk with our partner is a great way to get some exercise and connect with each other. Sadly, it’s getting too cold here in Charlotte. Thanks for the introduction, Donna!

  6. Hi Leanne! What a nice way to share a cup of coffee and thoughts on a Sunday morning (at least it’s morning here in So Cal!) And congratulations on your three-year blogoversary! I think those of us who continue to blog over the long run (I’m in for 7 1/2 now) find new ways to reinvent ourselves to stay engaged and passionate. It sounds like you’ve found something that sounds fun and interesting with the blog link party. I look forward to seeing where you go with it. And YES to daily walks and smiling! Happy holidays down-under! ~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com recently posted…Easing Into The Holidays By Celebrating The Best & Letting Go Of The RestMy Profile

    1. Hi, Kathy – Successfully blogging for 7.5 years is very impressive. I have 4.5 years to be able to make that claim (without any guarantees to the ‘successful’ part). 😎I agree that Leanne shares some very S.M.A.R.T. ideas in this post.

  7. Another great post from Leanne! Thanks Donna, you are so generous especially sharing all your snow with us as we swelter down here!!
    I enjoyed reading more about you Leanne and I agree with your suggestions of doing things together. Also the smiles are very important. I am looking forward to the new linkup in 2018, I’ll be joining in for sure.
    Debbie recently posted…Come and join with us as we celebrate!My Profile

  8. Nice to meet you, Leanne, and thanks for sharing your thoughts over coffee, or tea in my case. Wish I were in Australia right now, but Southern California is not a bad alternative for our winter time. I love Western Australia, by the way… The sunsets in Broome and the dolphins of Monkey Mia. Beautiful memories. Enjoy the warm holidays and new blogging year.
    Liesbet recently posted…Things to See and Do in San Diego, CaliforniaMy Profile

  9. Hi Leanne ~ It was nice to revisit your blog through Donna. I must say, I’m a bit jealous of your summertime weather. It snowed here the night before last, and the slick roads make Christmas preparations treacherous! Perhaps one day I’ll travel to the southern hemisphere for Christmas! Thanks, too, Donna, for a great Sunday guest blogger!

    1. Hi Sue, isn’t the blogging world amazing that we can become so close to people we have never met? I love that we have found such a great connection, but also that we can both be friends with Donna who lives on the other side of the world!
      Leanne recently posted…MY AUSSIE CHRISTMASMy Profile

  10. Good morning Donna and Leanne!

    Leanne, I’m so glad you’ve decided to stick with blogging for another year. I feel like I’m just getting to know you, and I look forward to the new link party. I couldn’t agree more on the need to spend one-on-one time with your spouse. Larry and I walk the neighborhood when the weather’s nice and we sit in the hot tub when it’s too cold. Both activities lead to talking about everything–big and small. It’s important bonding time for us.

    Thanks for the virtual coffee and the chat!
    Christie Hawkes recently posted…Friday favorites: more holiday cheerMy Profile

    1. I feel the same way Christie – and you’re another blogger on the other side of the world who I feel a strong connection with. It’s funny how you just click with some people and I do hope you’ll link up with us at the end of January – it’s going to be a really fun party each week 🙂
      Leanne recently posted…MY AUSSIE CHRISTMASMy Profile

  11. Nice to see you back on Donna’s blog, Leanne! You’ve got my attention at coffee 🙂 Sharing a leisure activity with your spouse is so important and walking is perfect. I look forward to the new link party. A few bloggers and I are planning a new monthly Wellness link-up in the new year so hope you and everyone here will join us , too. Thanks, Donna, for inviting Leanne back.

      1. Hi Natalie – I know Sue Loncaric would be thrilled with a wellness link up (it’s her specialty) I do hope you come and check out our new party at the end of January – any lifestyle post that talks about your life is welcome x
        Leanne recently posted…MY AUSSIE CHRISTMASMy Profile

  12. Donna and Leanne, you gals need to join us for Sentence a Day and our bucket list posts. Sue does both with us. And so does Nikki. If you are interested, please email me to be added to our email group for reminders and graphics.

    Sophia is a doll. Have grandbabies is such a delight. Mine will be here in my arms in four days. Heaven on earth!

    1. Hi Leslie, I’ve been reading Sue’s sentence a day posts and truly admire her commitment – I find a whole month slips past without taking a photo and with barely a change in my routine! Sue and I are thinking of doing a monthly round-up as well as our new Exclusive link party – you might like to check them out next year xx
      Leanne recently posted…MY AUSSIE CHRISTMASMy Profile

  13. We have a great network of trails right outside our door. Walking in them is one of the things Rob and I enjoy doing together. However, recently we haven’t been doing much walking. It is not because of the rain and fog that Donna mentions, but rather because of the getting ready for Christmas madness.

    Dr Sock recently posted…Berlin!My Profile

    1. Christmas and the end of the working year has slowed us down a bit too Jude. Also the weather is really heating up and walking in the extreme heat isn’t much fun. I think we’ll aim for a few evening strolls until things get back to a bearable temperature again!
      Leanne recently posted…MY AUSSIE CHRISTMASMy Profile

  14. Hi Leanne – it was nice to read about your year in summary. It sounds full of everything that matters – ie family 🙂

    While you are hoping for one Christmas in snow, I’d like to try one in the warmth and sunshine … however until I can afford to take my entire family with me, it’ll never happen 🙂

    Sometimes the blogging inspiration fades, but then comes back renewed. I hope that’s what happens for you. Best wishes!

    1. Hi, Joanne – Thank you for stopping by and reading Leanne’s post here. We have had a very mild winter on Vancouver Island…until today. Suddenly we are completely blanketed with snow. As beautiful as it is, I am very happy to send it to Leanne (or any other takers). Our walking/driving is now treacherous!

    2. I just can’t imagine what it would be like to be snowed in and to have to navigate my way through it! I think sunshine and blue skies is my preference! You may have to wait til the kids aren’t part of the tour package and then head down our way 🙂
      Leanne recently posted…MY AUSSIE CHRISTMASMy Profile

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