After a nap, we (including Jackie) headed to the zoo. We continue to stand by our theory that the best time to visit the zoo is late afternoon, as we were thrilled to see so many of the animals out and about. We had an amazing encounter with the tigers who were right up at the fence and prowling backwards and forwards in front of us. We can go the zoo time after time and not see them as they're pretty good at keeping hidden away, so it was a real treat. The chimps were also outside monkeying around and making lots of noise, which was entertaining.
Then it was home for fish n chips and burgers for dinner, and some more Guitar Hero and sports games on the Wii. Saturday was our big day out at the wedding in Masterton, and it sounds like a great afternoon was had by Jackie and Noah at the park and indulging in takeaway pizza for dinner. The weather in Masterton was gorgeous and we also took the opportunity to pop in on Sarah and Paul to meet the latest addition to the family, Thomas who is now 5 weeks old. The story behind the how the bride and groom met at the wedding we went to is rather unique and deserves to be retold. Meredith (who used to work with Mark) embarked on a fundraiser for child cancer (CureKids) which involved racing from Auckland to Queenstown any way possible on only $10. After making it across the Cook Strait, Meredith (and her friend Lucy) managed to con a truck driver to let them hitch a ride in his cab (even though it was against company policy) to Christchurch. Well the rest as they say is history, even though it did take Scott a few months to tell his parents (the owners of the transport firm) about how he and Meredith met. It certainly made for some highly entertaining moments during the evening's speeches, and seeing the bridal party arrive at the reception in the cabs of 3 big Vowles Transport trucks with horns blaring was very unique too. I found it very hard to stay awake and drive the 1.5 hour drive home but found blasting the air conditioning at my forehead the most effective way to keep sleep at bay.
Sunday morning, Noah (dressed appropriately as a pirate looking for treasure) enjoyed an Easter egg hunt around the garden, and then all of us (Jackie too) headed to church for the Easter Sunday service, before enjoying more hot cross buns and coffee together. Later in the afternoon, Mark and Noah headed to the pool for a swim whilst Jackie and I took the opportunity for a nice long walk to work off at least some of the excesses of Easter.
This morning, we headed down to the ducks and play park at the gardens, before pumpkin soup for lunch and a drive out to Pukerua Bay to drop Jackie home. It has been so heavenly to have a long weekend here at home just relaxing all together, and weekends like this aren't that common in our household so that made it all the more special.
The other news in my world which I can at least talk about openly now is the potential sale of M-co (the company I work for) to NZX. The news was announced publicly on Tuesday, and all the due diligence and preparation work has been taking up a fair bit of my time over the past few weeks, and being part of the integration team working towards aligning the two companies is bound to keep me busy for the next few weeks and months at this rate. The feeling is pretty positive around M-co so far, but there is much work to be done to ensure it remains that way through the next unsettling period of change. I guess by now I should be used to change at M-co, things are always changing, it has only been 18 months since the managers bought out the company, and my team has always been changing around me (generally getting smaller and smaller till now it's just me). So I have to also embrace this as a new opportunity and remain hopeful that the end result will provide new growth and development opportunities for me as well as for the company.
I am also rather thankful to be in full health again to have been able to enjoy the Easter break, after a nasty couple of days with a tummy bug last week. I couldn't take any time off work due to all that was going on with the sale, plus I was suddenly short staffed and had to cover for my student unexpectedly taking time off Tummy bugs wait for no man when the monthly payroll needs to be processed and paid!It was a little worrying as I had a couple of days of stomach cramps, which resulted in a trip to the after hours doctor and getting a blood test as a precaution (thankfully this came back clear of all the nasty infections you wouldn't want in pregnancy). After spending most of Wednesday night up and down to the toilet (that's more than enough detail I think!), I felt much better on Thursday. Thank you to all those who I know were praying, and to Jesus for your protection over me and this little life that is inside.
I hope that where ever you, your family and friends were this Easter, you were all able to celebrate and remember the real reason for Easter. As much as it is lovely to indulge in the fun of Easter egg hunts for the children and copious hot cross buns (my vice!), we also should never forget that the reason we celebrate is because 2000 years ago, Jesus did what no other man before or after him has been able to do, taking the sins of the world to the Cross, and laying them to rest, so that we might all be reconciled with God, and able to enjoy a real and personal relationship with Him if we choose.
We've gone a little more upmarket on the photos for this blog - slideshow instead! Credit to Sarah Lee of chezlee.co.nz for the great idea!