Snapshots from a late Autumn weekend of sunshine in Wellington

The days are shorter, but they’ve still been sun-filled and autumn has been easy on us so far (though winter is forecast to arrive a week before the official start – with snow expected on high ground tomorrow). Our weekends have still been filled with lots of outdoor time – soccer for hubbie, runs by the sea for me, time hanging out at the beach and the playgrounds.

This Sunday, our youngest was up before dawn, but knowing sunshine was forecast to rise – and the beach was but a breath away –  made that okay. I took her down for a treat (more for me, than her!) of breakfast at Maranui Cafe – before 8am – when we could get a seat – and for a ride on ‘the camel’ with the best view from a 50 cent ride – over looking Lyall Bay beach.

Maranui Cafe on a Sunday morning

Whilst the rest of the family had a lie in, we played on the beach in the sunshine, before returning home for an early nap (thank goodness she still has one!). Many people question why she still has a nap, at the age of three years and as many months, but she has good reason. She has two older sisters, and loves her time with them, so she has programmed her sleep to be around nine to ten hours at night – which leaves a little shortfall in a twenty four hour period to make up the next day. I am all for siestas and have become quite addicted to them in the past ten years of parenting. I have learned the ability to fall into a deep sleep within five minutes – then waking up, totally refreshed, after 45 minutes. Our youngest thrives on a night time sleep of 9-10 hours and a nap, from 1 to 3 hours.

As a consequence, dark evenings haven’t brought about earlier bedtimes for the children. Evenings are spent building lego, helping with ‘science badges’, watching our older children present their latest creations on ‘Mine Craft’, dancing around with our youngest daughter – even outside in the dark, under the stars, with the outdoor speakers ramped up and the spa heated for a quick dip. The children are usually all fast asleep by 10pm – followed not long after by Mum and Dad!

My husband and I look at one another, eyebrows raised, exasperated, barely time to spend a moment together. We smile, reminding ourselves how fortunate we are to have three healthy, bright, energetic children. We stop on the stairs to pause, arms around one another, wishing we could disappear for half an hour – but knowing – within minutes another request will come from one of our children – and – because we love them so much, we respond.

Truth is, we love spending time with them and getting involved with their worlds – but our children are so used to our high level of responsiveness – that when we ask for a little couple time – they aren’t used to it! So, with our 14th wedding anniversary this Wednesday – we are making a little time to head out, together – it’s rare that we do – and we need it – we really do.

It must have been the thought of an approaching wedding anniversary that prompted me to book an appointment with the hairdresser on Saturday morning. You probably won’t notice the colour change, or anything drastically different, in the photos below – but I had a wonderful time of walking to the hairdressers on a sunny Saturday, by the sea, skipping in with the knowledge of a few hours ‘child free’ time and coffee fresh, hot and not forgotten half an hour after being made. It was the time, more than anything, I valued.

Plus, I have one of those special gems of a hairdresser – Julia Saili of Essence Hair – that doubles up as a shrink 😉 – Seriously, I just talk – with care free abandonment, trusting my secrets will stay within the walls of the salon and I laughed so, so much – in an adult context (novelty for me when I spend Monday to Friday in the near constant companionship of my Miss 3 and 7 – whilst Miss 9 has more sense and heads off to a school she adores for a ‘break’ from her sisters – though she truly loves them deep down).

Saturday morning haircut

So there you have it, a good weekend of Autumn sunshine. So bring on the winter I say (not very loudly), so long as the sunshine and blue (that usually returns not too long after) returns in a hurry (that is a blessing of the wind in Welly – grey skies do not linger long – they haven’t a chance!).

I went for a run on Sunday ‘avo and nearly got swept off my feet!

This was my post run photo (taken with the clever ‘Double Cam’ app – showing what I saw in front of me – and behind me – with only seconds between).

Lyall Bay

I spent half of the near 5km run laughing my head off – as I struggled to stay grounded and not fly off Mary Poppin style with the gusty northerly!

Have a great week! I’m going to wrap up snug now, light a few candles, pour some Pinot Noir… all necessary requirements at this time of year (anyway, I tend to write more when I drink – wine that is – not green tea – but the typos tend to give me away! Oops!).