Day 159 8 June – sweet sixteen

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My gorgeous niece turned 16 today!! Honestly, where has the time gone? This photo was taken at my wedding in 2003. She was one of our flower girls and was such a precious poppet. Clearly the day was too big for such a little person.

Sweet 16

Rosy cheeks baby girl,

sunflower headband and carefree giggles,

you crept in my heart ever so gently.

Soft blush cheeks teenage girl,

nail polish, fishnet stockings and boyfriend kisses,

you are finding your place in the world.

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Day 156 5 June – family

Aunt

My sister made the most of her time here with us by taking the kids out for a morning shopping spree. It is that quality time that no material gift could replace.

My sister and I have a close bond with each other’s children. My sister is 4 years my senior and got married and had babies in her early twenties. I was still a university student and when she had her first daughter, I stepped in (almost as a surrogate mother) for the times when my sister needed some t.l.c and when she returned to work I looked after my niece several days a week.

When her second daughter arrived 16 months after baby #1, I was there more than I can count. I loved watching both the girls grow up and discover the world. They were a handful together, but they surely were a whole bundle of love.

By the time I had my first daughter my sister was so excited to finally become an aunty and while I was on maternity leave we spend many a day shopping, talking, having tea treats, taking the kids out and just enjoying each other’s company. I think we both knew that this time will not only fly pass in a blink of an eye but we may not have these opportunities soon as life tends to throw us all curve balls.

We both had 1 more child each (both boys), so when these monkeys get together, it is a wild-roller-coaster-fun-challenging-memory making occasion…even if 3 of them are now teenagers.

I love being an aunty!

Day 154 3 June – cheers

It is the LONG weekend, celebrating Queens Birthday. And what best way to spend it than having my sister come for a visit! And as per our family tradition dad took us all out to dinner at the Five Stags in Whitford. It is your typical steakhouse and has a lot of personality. And the food and drinks are top notch, although this time we did wait a very long time for our main meals. We did however receive 5 complimentary drink vouchers as an apology for the delay.

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Cheers to the long weekend!

Day 147 27 May – gone fishing

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My family discovered a new bonding activity…fishing. Although it is not the best time of year to sit outside for hours on end by the waters, they decided to give it a go.

My son received a fishing reel for free. He was SO excited as he had always wanted to try fishing. Today was the first time they went fishing and all three of them used the one reel, taking turns.  There is a lovely spot out at Kawakawa Bay. They were on the pier for several hours and I was certainly impressed that my son was interested enough to not start complaining  or wanting to go home. They only arrived early evening, with new memories and stories to tell.

I do not share their excitement for this activity but am grateful for the time they get to spend, away from technology and indoors cave living/.

Day 134 14 May – mother’s day dessert

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the amazing mommies out there!

All I ever want is:

  • to have a sleep in (I wake up SUPER early so to be in bed anytime after 7am is a winner in my eyes)
  • breakfast in bed and by that I do mean a warm cooked meal, more specifically eggs benedict
  • flowers, any flowers!

I do appreciate any gifts from my family but it certainly isn’t what is important to me. Being with them, relaxing and enjoying a ‘day off’ is what me heart yearns for.

Today I was able to lie in bed for some time before being asked to join my husband and the kids in the dining room. Spread across the dining room table were presents, lots of them! None of them wrapped, no surprises there. From a large white porcelain container to keep the flour in, to a new re-usable piping bag with nozzles from Jamie Oliver, to a ramekin set with blow torch (a hint that they want me to make more crème brulee), to a blue canvas print with a love quote on it…oh and chocolates, how can I forget about the chocolates. I felt so spoiled! These were all such thoughtful and practical gifts. I was overwhelmed by their generosity!

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The afternoon was spend with my parents, where I was able to spoil my mom with gifts and a home baked dessert. Mom loves a baked pudding so I made a Feijoa & Apple Crumble as that is what I know how do to best.

 

Day 126 6 May – Nala

 

No, not the lioness from The Lion King, but worthy of the name none the less. Nala is my good friend’s dog. She is a rescue, a pit-bull cross and an absolute darling. My friend and her 2 boys were looking for a new family member after they lost their beloved family dog a few years ago. Unfortunately the laws in New Zealand now prohibits pit bull dogs to be adopted due to their ‘violent’ nature. My friend was very fortunate to have met Nala at a time when these laws were still in discussion. Nala came from a harsh background where she received no human interaction, was kept outside and probably seen as a guard dog. She is anything but! She is the first to meet you at the door with kisses galore. She is still young and is learning, but she believes that all visitors are there for her entertainment. She LOVES her belly rubs and is very active. My friend takes her on walks twice a day. She is highly inquisitive and wants to make friends with anything and everything that moves. She is the type of dog I yearn for.

I for one am an advid supporter of rescued dogs. If you find the best suitable dog for you and your family they honestly make the best pets. They have so much love to give and thrive on attention. They often require additional training and patience but they are absolutely worth it. It is as if they are thankful for the opportunity to receive a second (sometimes multiple) chance of a loving home.

*Nala is sometimes listed as being a feminine name of African origin and meaning “beloved”*