Things I’m Loving – Holiday memories connecting to our everyday lives…

❤ I’m slowly getting back into the groove of multi-tasking madness that is family life, but with plenty of post holiday memories still lingering on…

Family breakfast at Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara

It’s not only me that’s still reflecting on all we did – even young Alice is a chatter of her holiday memories. As we made our way downstairs the other morning she stopped to admire her older sister’s artwork on the wall. This led to painting – before breakfast (before anyone else was awake). Painting, whilst I got a load of laundry on the go – naturally.

She reached for a crab and started painting it, chattering on, “This is a decorative crab, like the one at the aquarium on holiday, the one Sophie and Mummy held…” (she uses a startlingly rich vocabulary for a child that’s not three for another four months!).

Sophie holiday a decorative crab

When her Daddy woke up she couldn’t wait to show him, and give him a very special hug (as he had to head away for a couple of nights on business).

❤ Alice’s artwork of a whale & a decorative crab…

Alice's whale and crab

❤ Earlier in the week we had stopped to admire moon-jelly fish in Wellington harbour, doing their pulsating dance and seeming to change in colour with the light, which brought memories of our visits to the large aquariums in London and San Francisco and the smaller, more intimate ‘Ty Warner Sea Center‘ on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara.

Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara

Sophie and Alice couldn’t resist the usual temptation to create big splashes by throwing in rocks nearby… trying to AVOID the jelly-fish (I hoped!).

Splash go the rocks - watch out for the jellyfish!

Whilst I watched on, with Dan by my side, (it wasn’t a great Monday morning for me, so he very kindly accompanied me to the doctors and gave me some time to pull myself together before he returned to work) I thought about our future and where we’re headed. One thing is for certain, our hearts will always be strongly in New Zealand – and our feet for a large portion of our lives. After over ten years of being permanent residents, we’re going to finally complete the paperwork, pay the dollars, and go sing the NZ National Anthem with pride, to gain our proper Kiwi passports and become full citizens like our three daughters.

Dolphin watching after breakfast in Santa Barbara

❤ In the kitchen the girls have been making homemade lemonade and orangeade. The first I knew about their escapades was walking in on Charlotte squeezing lemons by hand (and wearing a pair of swimming goggles to stop the juice getting in her eyes!). They’ve also been filling jugs of water with sliced cucumber, reminiscent of the chilled drinks they devoured on holiday in balmy Santa Barbara.

❤ Out and about I’ve been mindful of the interconnectedness of all living things. Whilst being thankful for our spring, I’ve been conscious of the cycle of life and my thoughts have been close to friends and family in England where the cold and darker days of winter are approaching (if not approached!). Simple things connect us – a latte, presented with love from my hubbie to me one morning over breakfast, had a fern carefully created on top. As I drank my coffee the fern stayed intact, until the very last sip. The ever lingering spirit of life.

From my hubbie with love over breakfast one morning this week

❤ Wednesday was a special one for me, as Sophie, Alice and I reconnected with the local ‘Natural Learners’ group that we are becoming more acquainted with. We met at the wonderful ‘Otari Wilton’s Bush’ for a fantastic session, learning about shelter building in the bush – led by Steve and Jenny of ‘Human | Bushcraft & Wild Living‘.

Sophie at Otari Wilton's Bush with the Natural Learners Group

The session reaffirmed for me that Sophie is not yet ready for the environment of a formal school. After we returned from our holiday away I was all for integrating her into formal school next school year – but this past week, reconnecting with other natural learners, I’ve softened again. She isn’t suffering the anxiety that she was in the past, but she still doesn’t like being away from me for long periods of time – though she is very articulate and chatty to everyone we meet – and the first to make an enquiry at museum, cafe or place of interest. She’s certainly not shy – but just more comfortable in her own environment.

But – if I’m to stay happy with her being at home, then I definitely need to make more time for me to have my own head-space and exercise too (as well as some one on one time with young Alice and my oldest daughter, who I really admire for her independent spirit).

❤ This week, whilst Dan has been away for a couple of nights on business, I was so grateful we could afford to have an extra pair of hands on deck (thank you Frances!). It’s little moments like this – on a Friday morning after I dropped Charlotte off at school – that make things a lot easier all round (and allowing me to recapture a moment of that holiday feeling before it’s completely evaporated!).

❤ Friday morning of sunshine, over-sized sunglasses, latte and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ – actually morning tea at the Chocolate Fish in Shelly Bay!

Friday morning moment of bliss

Joining in with…