The last week has been super busy here in New Zealand. Having the boys out of school has lengthened my work days considerably. Thankfully we successfully arranged a handful of play dates with classmates so the boys were able to get some distance between themselves. The less fighting for me to deal with the happier we all are.
The boys love swimming so it’s been incredible to be able to drive to the local beaches for a dip. I would say usually it’s only a quick dip as the 6 year old tends to get cold pretty quickly. Even with a wet-suit and a beaming sun he can’t last more than 15 minutes without coming down the with some serious shiver shakes. I can sympathize whole heartily!! I still remember being a kid and feeling like my body for sure would stop working because everyplace on my body seemed to be covered in goosebumps and my parts must be too cold to function!!
I took the boys over to visit with the Whitley Fam Jam before heading off for our North Shore Picnic. The visit was a great prelude to our upcoming Christmas celebration. It’s been a shame how rainy the weather was for the first few days of their visit. It’s been forecasted to rain and stay stormy for our Christmas day tomorrow. Hopefully the weather and traffic won’t dampen my Christmas commute.
Thank you to everyone who has sent me cards in the mail! The Christmas cards are proudly displayed by my baby tree in my room. The boys loved delivering the mail to me and were always so eager to watch me open it. I was just thrilled with all the cards and also appreciated the e-cards filled with holiday cheer.
I will be thinking about all of my family and friends around the world. Enjoy all the time and laughter shared with your loved ones this holiday season. Christmas time is so magical so try to capture as many happy memories in your heart and on film!!
Yesterday I woke up to a text from my friend informing me of the Connecticut shooting. A 20 year old shot and killed his mother and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary school killing 20 children and countless adults. I immediately texted her back saying this world is too intense for me. It is becoming such a scary place! Neither of us are mothers but we could NOT imagine a world without our babies. My heart aches for the innocent angels that lost their lives. The pain those families and community must be going through… events like this really shake me. Throughout the day the New Zealand media kept the public informed. Feelings of such strong gratitude for all the heroes who helped protect the children and sacrificed their own lives. Faculty members lost their lives for the sake of their children. Through this devastation stories of strength and heroism are coming to light. I watched Barack Obama’s heartfelt speech and I, like him, feel my heart is broken! I posted on my Facebook wall that I have so much to be thankful for. I must continue to not lose faith in humanity.
With that said — I am so thrilled to welcome Charley Juilet Glass to the world. My best friend’s sister delivered her precious baby girl in Nanaimo, British Columbia today! Charley shares her birthday with my Daddy- o. December 15 is a great day to have been born!!! Happy Birthday xox
My New Zealand update this week isn’t too meaty. Emma and I got together during the week to buy the last of our Christmas presents. We are both officially done shopping! Feels good to have all my presents bought and wrapped before December 15th. We also mailed all our Christmas cards back to Canada (weeks back) and know that most of them have already arrived!
family Xmas tree
We spent Saturday lounging in the sun on the porch enjoying spritzers. We had to put the umbrella up because the sun was becoming unbearably hot. We had our books and portable speakers and made a day of lounging. When we found ourselves to be way too hot and sticky we went inside and watched The Fast and The Furious….I know we lead a hard life!!!
Emma was able to successfully pick up the Whitley clan from the airport this morning. It will be nice to have more Whitleys here for the holidays!
My boys have school on Monday and then just a half day Tuesday before they are off on Summer Holidays until the second week of February. LOTS of summer activities planned and I am looking forward to lots of summer fun. The countdown for Ana and Kristy to arrive on January 3rd is getting closer and closer too.
Life is good for me but my heart feels heavy for all those in Connecticut. What happened was ‘unimaginable’ and I will continue to be thankful and blessed for all that I have.
I figured I better post this before I fall too far behind…
We had both had a pretty busy week and decided to treat ourselves to a relaxing afternoon inside an air-conditioned movie theater. It was the first time either of us had been in a Kiwi theater and we were thrilled by the experience. The theater was in fantastic condition with large comfy seats. They were so wide and deep we felt we were almost able to recline in them. The movie wasn’t my pick… Twilight the last one in the series. Besides seeing Dakota Fanning and Taylor Lautner it wasn’t amazing..but then again I haven’t read the books or seen any of the previous movies.
After the movie we decided to get our Christmas cheer on and attend Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park.
We packed a picnic dinner and went to the Auckland Domain to enjoy their annual outdoor concert. The turnout was impressive and they had a huge stage for the acts to perform. There were also lots of food vendors and some (sketchy looking) carnival rides. The concert was pretty decent but we didn’t really recognize many of the acts. Instead of staying for the whole concert we walked around downtown Auckland for awhile before heading home.
The next morning we decided to skip the Santa Clause parade and instead go for a walk. We tried the Le Roys Bush and Little Shoal Bay bush walk. It was a gorgeous walk! It is about 15 minutes away from Emma’s house and was a scenic walk. The paths are well maintained and still gave off a very naturalistic feel to them. It took us around an hour to complete and we were beyond ready to be done once we finished. The sun was so hot that day and we were still both exhausted from the night before. So glad we chose the walk instead of standing and watching all the floats go by.
I was excited that we finally made it to the night market! It is from 5:30-11pm every Sundayat Westfields Shopping Centre in Glenfield North Shore.We made a smart decision to not eat dinner before arriving as there were so many choices of fresh authentic food! We did not find many things we wanted to buy at the stands but they were fun to shop around and look at all the homemade stuff. We found that some of the stands felt like garage sales while others felt like serious businesses. It was a great experience and I will definitely go back again.
Sorry I fell behind. I will post this weekends blog now so I can be all caught up 🙂
Thanks for reading. Can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner!!!
Not having to update the blog everyday feels like I am on vacation!!! Wanted to do a quick update to let everyone know I am alive and safe. Emma’s family and my family are both safe and sound.
There was a tornado that hit West Auckland around 12:15pm causing 3 fatalities and about 7 in the hospital. I got a phone call (from the mom) in the afternoon to let me know there had been an tornado and the boys may be a bit frightened when I picked them up from school in the afternoon. I told her that we had planned on going to our doctor’s appointment and then we would either come home or walk around the mall looking for Christmas presents. (Best to stay inside and be safe!!) The morning had been cold and overcast and then it rained heavily all afternoon. Other than that Torbay didn’t get affected. Tornadoes are a regular thing so don’t get too worried about my safety. The last one that hit was about two years ago.
I was going to go to bed but I thought I should blog quickly first. Thank you to everyone who shared their birthday wishes with me. As always, it was a pretty awkward day with the kids shrieking how OLD 27 was. I encouraged them to stop saying the number but they felt the need to keep reminding me of my age 🙂 The family bought me pink roses and made me vanilla and red velvet cupcakes. We unwrapped gifts after the fireworks…well actually the kids unwrapped the presents and then showed me what I got. (I am pretty excited to see them on Christmas morning. They are going to be HYPER when it’s time for them to open their own gifts!)
Emma and I spent the whole day together. She really wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget it was my special day. She prepared me days before that I would not be allowed to sleep the day away because it was MY BIRTHDAY and a day to be celebrated. MY pleas to just sleep the day away fell on closed ears. It was a pretty great that my birthday landed on a gorgeous Saturday so I had the day off work. We went to a restaurant close to the beach to have breakfast then quickly headed off too the zoo. Burma (the Burmese elephant) was out walking around which was a huge treat. Quite often she is in her glass house chained up to a pole so it was nice that she was roaming around. She came quite close to the wall so we were able to get some great shots of her. She still looks like a baby elephant to me but I have been informed that she is fully grown.
After we walked around the whole zoo we went and grabbed some caffeinated drinks. We needed energy to continue the celebrations. We went to the Christmas Wonderland. It is New Zealand’s biggest indoor Christmas forest. over 150 trees are uniquely decorated by different themes. It would have been nicer if the building was a little bigger because there were so many trees and people, strollers and kids all in one square building. Some of the trees were so cute. All the money from tickets was donated to charity!What is a day without a little shopping? We were both on the hunt for presents for our kids. My kids keep changing their minds on what they want for Christmas so I have yet to buy them anything but I am hoping to complete my shopping pretty soon. My homemade Christmas cards are finally done and I am hoping to get them all mailed off tomorrow. After shopping we drove to Brown’s Bay and got pizza to eat at the beach. How nice is it that I got to eat Birthday dinner at the beach in December! I can’t even complain that it was windy because the air was still warm.
We went home for a bit to swap photos and relax before the fireworks. I was able to send off a few birthday thank you emails and enjoy my flowers. It was the first time I had ever received flowers and I GOT two bouquets in one day 🙂 Emma dropped me off when it started to get dark out. I met up with my family on the grass and we (the parents) shared in some bubbly and strawberries. When we got home the kids were excited to eat my cupcakes and open the presents. It was a really late night for them but it was a great end to the day.
Sunday (my Canadian birthday) I got to celebrate in my own way! I slept in with NO ALARM CLOCK (even though I could hear the kids running around the house I could just smile and roll over)! I hung out in my room reading text messages and facebook posts and got to chat a little with some friends. I went upstairs and had lunch and shared cupcakes with the boys. Pretty much my whole day consisted of lounging, playing with the boys and finishing my Christmas cards. The 6 year old tried to help me with my cards at one point so there are a few that…aren’t up to my level of perfection. There wasn’t much he could do to assist me so I let him put some stickers on the cards. Unfortunately when they were going on crocked I patiently tried to explain I like them to be straight and not clustered together. Eventually I let him peel them and then give them to me…production slowed until he got bored and decided to make his own!