This is the longest time I’ve gone without blogging and, to be honest, I haven’t missed it. I’ve only felt slightly remiss for not having ‘documented’ everything so that I can look back on it in later years. The last few weeks of November into December were so busy, with our oldest finishing school for the year, in early December, and the long summer evenings keeping everyone awake and ‘partying’ in the garden till sundown and beyond. My oldest set up a beautiful advent calendar for our youngest daughter, lending her a polaroid camera, to take a photo on a theme every day leading up to Christmas Day.
Along with the daily photo theme I was keeping up with my yoga (as best as possible around interruptions – mostly from our dog!).
With the increased light and longer evenings we made the most of spending time outdoors, enjoying glorious sunsets, playing at the parks and the beaches that surround Wellington.
My middle daughter is so into cooking and the latter part of 2016 was heavily consumed with her being busy in the kitchen. We did ‘My Food Bag NZ’ for a week and loved having the fresh ingredients and menus delivered to our door – something we will definitely have to do again.
Our youngest daughter, aged 6, was very excited about preparing for Christmas and made a lovely ‘wreath’ around a candle, using a hot glue gun to join lolly pop sticks adorned with shells and little gem stones. She also enjoyed having her older sisters to entertain her, with everything from comedy sketches and stunt shows, to Pokemon hunts and making origami Christmas decorations!
As you can see I’m sharing snapshots from my ‘Instagram pics’ here, interspersed with memories, as I can’t possibly spend the hours needed to go through the gazillions of photos I’ve taken.
It’s been a time of grabbing the sunshine, eating and dining, yoga, dance, running, creating, board games and gardening. Having our family together, whilst thinking of our own extended family; so many miles away in the UK and missing them greatly, and spending time with one another has been so precious. I was so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to the UK in September, along with my youngest daughter, and see so many of our wonderful family, as did Dan – tied in with busy trips on business.
Here in Wellington we celebrated our second born daughter’s Birthday on Boxing Day, after a lovely day of sunshine and good times on Christmas Day.
The summer holidays for our oldest were very long – 8 weeks! We loved having her at home, but she didn’t find it easy being away from her routines, hobbies and friends. She is fortunate to attend an amazing private girls school in Welly, which she really does make the most of – loving the choir and musical tuition.
Her two younger sisters, currently home educated, are used to being at home and making their own entertainment, but it was a little trying for my oldest and I did feel for her. Thankfully we had a trip to Sydney to look forward to at the end of the holidays, before returning to Welly for the Chinese NY celebrations and a sunny weekend for me to get a long run in!
We did so much in our week in Sydney, enjoying the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, and the Wild Life Sydney Zoo, all on the edge of beautiful Darling Harbour. There was also a fabulous Lego exhibition – of various famous landmarks from around the world, and a ‘Hunger Games’ exhibit, which I saw with my oldest daughter. We fitted in some shopping, which our oldest daughter particularly enjoyed and a trip to Luna Park (we were unfortunate with the weather and got drenched on that outing!).
It was an amazing week away in Sydney, from our beautiful home in Welly. We are so fortunate to live in a ‘city’ that feels like a village, in so many ways, surrounded by beautiful beaches and so many town-belt trails winding through gorgeous bush tracks that follow the ‘town-belt’ land between the city suburbs. However, staying on the 75th floor of a 77 floor apartment building – the highest in Sydney (!) overlooking Darling Harbour, was so amazing, as were all the amazing museums and entertainment we enjoyed (and food!). We loved seeing the stage show ‘Aladdin’ and catching up with an old friend of mine from my youth, growing up in Hampshire, in England. The younger two loved seeing their ‘YouTube’ idol – ‘Dan TDM’ – The Diamond Minecart. He put on a fabulous, fun show at the Sydney Opera House and the next day they got to greet him in person and have their photograph taken with him, which they were so excited about!
We spent most of our summer holidays around Wellington, with a couple of trips over to Martinborough, in the Wairarapa, whilst hubby worked away at the office.
I enjoyed a fabulous, no children, time at the UB40 concert at Luna Estate on the 2 January (which felt like New Year, party style, proper!).
Our actual New Year’s Eve was a beautifully quiet and mellow one in Martinborough, whilst our oldest daughter stayed in Wellington and partied with her friend that lives next door to us! The first time she wasn’t with us for New Year’s Eve, which felt kind of strange, but she’s growing up into a wonderful, independent and talented young lady.
Christmas was low key and lovely, at our home in Welly. The weather was kind (extremely so, considering we’ve had a mixed bag of summer weather this 2016/17… it’s the kind of summer in windy Welly where you have to get out when it’s good and time your visit to the beach with the wind – as well as which beach, dependent on wind direction – or simply EAT SAND!). I’ve kept up with my runs, to keep off the mid-section weight gain (not easy given my love of wine!) and keep fit for the Cigna Round the Bays Half Marathon event, which I ran on 19 February, in under two hours.
When our oldest started back at school, beginning of February, in Year 10, I commenced the new school year with my home educated ‘Year 7’ and ‘Year 3’ daughters. The summer weather we’d been hanging out for in January saved itself for February and our late summer, early autumnal weather has been blessed with many more sunshine, calm days.
February has seen us celebrate hubby’s Birthday and our six year old turned seven. She had a fun Pokemon party with her neighbourhood friends.
I can’t believe how much this year is racing. It’s mid March already! Life is so full and busy at the moment, but all positive. I’m off to see my dear folks and sister, in the UK, in mid April – just for a 10 day, solo trip. It will be very special to see them and to celebrate my Mum’s 70th Birthday too. I’m very grateful to hubby for giving me the opportunity to go and for looking after our three daughters over the Easter holidays.
Well, that’s a quick update for now. Daily updates are on Instagram.