26 February 2011

Things I learnt on holiday...The Final Chapter

And just when you thought it was safe to check back in...yet another holiday post. But it was that good that if I didn't record all the wonderful memories they would be lost in the recesses of our memory banks before long. Overtaken by the busyness and humdrum of everyday life. Sure, sometime down the track, a forgotten memory would be sparked by another moment, and you'd have this feeling of 'remember when......' but it would be fuzzy at the edges, and try as you might to focus in on the memory, it would remain ever so slightly out of reach, despite your best attempts to retrieve it.

And so, if for no other reason than this, I record these memories. So they are there for all time. Searchable, discoverable, and memorable.

1. You can have your cake and eat it too. 
A summer holiday AND good weather are not always mutually exclusive.

The good weather brought out an abundance of sea-life judging by the numbers of seagulls hanging out at the water's edge.

2. Sometimes a long and windy road leads to hidden treasure.
The Akatarawa road between Upper Hutt and Waikanae is not for the faint hearted. A one lane, narrow goat track at best coming from the Waikanae side. You have to stop every time you meet a car coming in the other direction. But it's the only way to get to Staglands Wildlife Reserve.

As soon as you walk into the reserve, the memory of the long and windy road to get there simply drops away.  Replaced by delight and wonder at the sheer beauty of it all.

I made a funny joke about 'two old goats' when I took this picture. Not sure it went down that well ;-)

3. With Mylo, taking a look never ends in just 'taking a look'
We just wanted to go down after dinner to check on whether the tide had come in enough to fill our hole. Nothing wrong with that right? But this guy, he wasn't at all bothered about whether he had the appropriate gears on. There was NOTHING stopping him getting in to fully explore the hole. And out again. And in and out. And then he figured since he was already pretty wet and dirty, he might as well just go for a complete kersplat.

But we were canny and learnt our lesson before attempting the same little 'look' the next night.

4. When you think outside the box, creativity flows. 
I built this camp completely. With my bare hands. I had a little helper, well for the first ten minutes anyway until something else more exciting proved too great a distraction. But I carried on until I had a structure I was proud of.

One day a camp.

The next a private saltwater spa pool.

A high tide had tickled the edges of the camp, tip-toeing water in with each new wave.  So I went about digging a giant hole and filling it to the brimful. Which I relaxed in for about ten minutes till all the water disappeared and I was forced to brave a proper dip in the sea to get clean again. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted!

5. Train rides never fail to thrill, whether young or old.

6. The setting sun makes already beautiful things appear even more so. 
I never tire of watching the light change as the sun sets. How its effect on regular everyday things can change from one moment to the next. And each moment a truly unique gift from the Creator.

Oh, and did I mention how the setting sun makes beautiful things appear even more so ;-)

25 February 2011

Things I learnt on holiday and more that I'm loving right now....

Part of me wonders if there will ever be a good time to sit back and reflect on the joyous and wonderful holiday we had last week. Not when there are people just a few hundred kilometres down the road from here with no food, water, power, or toilet. And they are the lucky ones. 

But by the same token, I am also not sitting here on my butt saying 'how sad' and doing nothing.  Yesterday I set up a sponsored walk: Welly Walks the Walk for Christchurch.

So far I have $450 and twelve walkers....whoop whoop! Thank you so much for all your support already. And keep it coming peeps!

It felt somehow right then to take the original holiday post and add to it the things I'm loving since Tuesday (in red)...

Things I learnt on holiday......

1. Feeling smug and virtuous is a likely recipe for falling flat on one's face
I felt virtuous after managing over fifty kilometres on my bike during the holiday. I was feeling virtuous for even taking the bike on holiday in the first place. I felt entirely invigorated biking along a beautiful coastline and barely noticed the kilometres clocking up behind me each day.

But.......I was not feeling quite so virtuous after getting sunburnt knees when I got too engrossed in a book one afternoon and completely forgot to apply sunscreen on my legs. Sunburnt knees and bike riding are not a very good combo. Owwweeeeeeeee!

Today I'm loving that I still have two legs to be able to ride a bike.

2. Treasure hunts are equally as fun for the maker as the partaker

Today I'm loving that I still have my children to play games with.

3. It's never too early in the year to start eating hot cross buns. 
I am a hot cross bun addict. So if Pak n Save want to start selling them this early, they'll have at least one happy customer. Toasted under the grill with melted butter = perfection with a morning coffee.

Today I'm loving that I can drive to the supermarket in five minutes and pick up treats. I don't have a journey that takes ten times as long because the roads are nearly impassable. When I get home I can turn on my power and grill hot cross buns to eat without even thinking. 

4. Little boys will never tire of chocolate milkshakes. Ever.

Today I'm loving that our favourite cafes are still standing. 

5. It is actually possible to find a self-tan moisturiser that doesn't stink to high heaven.
And after years of searching, it's all thanks to Dove!

Today I'm loving that I can even have a hot shower and apply moisturiser.

6. The Kapiti Coast could otherwise be known as Punch Buggy Alley.
We must have seen at least five VW Beetles every day last week. And on one bike ride, I even spotted two identical lime green punch buggies parked within about 200 metres of each other on opposite sides of the road.

The best 'spot' of the week according to Noah was the two old 'Herbies' (as he calls them) he found at Southwards Car Museum.

And the little guy couldn't have been more in his element either, surrounded by a roomful of cars. He got plenty of chances to practice saying his new favourite word that's for sure!

Today I'm loving that we were able to visit this amazing collection of vehicles, to see the history, when so much history has just been lost.

7. It turns out the sea can be warm enough for even ME to swim in. 

Today I'm loving that we could swim so carefree in the sea, knowing that dry towels warmed in the sun and hot showers awaited us.

8. Little tigers love pretending to be big tigers.

Today I'm loving that little boys have toys to play with that aren't buried under silt or water or crushed by falling debris.

8. Digging holes to China takes a really long time.
In the end we just settled for holes big enough to splash in.

And splash we did.

Today I'm loving that this little soul doesn't have a care in the world. He can roll in water and sand knowing that mum and dad will be able to clean him up with as much hot running water as he needs. He rolls around and splashes in this substance, which is not unlike liquefaction, but the difference is he does it for fun. His ignorance is bliss.

What have you learnt to love again this week?

24 February 2011

No going back...

Thunderbirds are go. Welly Walks the Walk for Christchurch is set up!

I'm half-pie excited, half-pie scared as heck. Thoughts currently running through my head right now are:

What if I'm the only one who turns up (to which I reply to myself who cares, it's just me doing my bit, it doesn't matter)
But what if hundreds of people turn up (do ya like my positivity?!)

Either way, I'm putting in His hands. All I know is I couldn't do nothing.

Walk with me fellow Welly dwellers. If you can't walk, tell others who can!

Friends and family around the world, support the cause by making a donation here.

Inspiration from Gail at Delightfully Diva-ish, so if you're in Auckland, you can get involved in that walk, details here.

Remember: every little helps.

23 February 2011

Every little helps...

Helplessness. It's been the most overwhelming feeling that has overtaken most of us since 12.51pm yesterday. Far physically removed from the destruction by hundreds of kilometres. But still.... wanting to help.

So far, the response has been amazing. A tribute to this country where every one of us is no more separated than 2 degrees it is said. No-one is unaffected. This reaches far and wide. Into the heart of every Kiwi.

Do let this bring out the best in you, fellow New Zealanders. Do what you can. A heavy heart can still be an open and productive one.

Don't let the overwhelming feelings of helplessness paralyse you.

Donate. Cash or belongings.

Make. Softies for children (like Leonie and others are).

Do. Open Your Home to the Homeless. Plan a sponsored walk (like Gail is).

Give. Your Time. And Your Prayers.

Think outside the box.


Don't give up.

Tonight our life group met. Especially to pray.

It's the least we could do. But we do know that every prayer that rises heavenward is heard. There IS power in prayer.

Practically, we also heard via Facebook about the truck that ARISE church in Wellington are organising to send to Christchurch. The truck will leave on the ferry tomorrow night. So at short notice tonight, from what we could get together from our own homes, we put together what we could based on the requested list of needs. Do you live in Wellington, could you help too? Here's the link.

It's only a little bit.

But every little helps...

And it's every little bit that will see this city restored and its people back on their feet.

Brick by brick. Street by street. Day by day.

Let's all be a part of making that happen.

22 February 2011

Do not go gently....

I had written another holiday post last night and was planning to post it tonight. But I just couldn't bear to. Not when my heart is filled with so much heartache and sadness for our country. Little old NZ has been through the mill these past few months. As if the Christchurch earthquake back in September and the Pike River mine disaster in November weren't enough for our small nation to cope with.

Today, news that no-one expected to hear. ANOTHER earthquake causing utter devastation and loss of life again in Christchurch. One of our largest cities. And it seems as if the total extent of the loss will not be clear for some time.

We Kiwis are fighters. We will fight back from this. This is a beautiful country, sometimes called Godzone for how amazing it truly is. Natural wonders, and a nation of incredible people with pioneering spirits. We pray that all those who are waiting to be rescued and those doing the rescuing are given the strength they need to keep on going. To see this through.

God be with you all tonight in Christchurch. 

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Poet: Dylan Thomas

21 February 2011

Seven Years and no itching...

And on this day seven years ago, we were once again at our friend's beach house where we have just spent the last week. Except the weather was nothing like the beautiful summer days we've just experienced!

Back then, we found ourselves braving cyclone force winds., Marquees were ripping, gardens were flooding, tent pegs were being re-staked, fire extinguishers were being frantically sought for unexpected fires in the lighting of the celebration tent. A wedding dress was so tight after the bridal shop made an error in the adjustment, the bride could barely breathe and had to ditch her bra before the reception so she could eat at all! For the full, entertaining story of our crazy wedding day, click here.

It turns out the most straightforward part of the day was actually saying 'I do.....'.

The anniversary card I made for my love this year

And for the record, I still 'do' as much now as I did then.

Happy Seven Year Anniversary Markie :-)

20 February 2011

Things I learnt on holiday...

It is safe to say I've learnt a lot this past week or so. And so, I share some of my new-found knowledge with you:

1. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong when you're trying to prepare for your holiday
  • The dishwasher kicked the bucket. Just when we have a much fuller house than usual. So have had to purchase a new one. Cha-ching (that's an old-school cash register sound!)
  • Two vital parts for the coffee machine got accidentally lost down the sink. So have had to replace these. Cha-ching!
  • The wireless router decided to stop working. It only (read great sarcasm here) took me 3 hours to fix it when I should have been packing for the holiday. But I did save us buying a new router. Phew...no cha-ching!
  • The upstairs toilet seat broke. My clever hubby fixed it so he did save us the cost of a new toilet seat. Also no cha-ching!
  • We woke up on the morning of our holiday to a little boy sitting up in a bed full of puke. Which meant two extra loads of washing and drying were required before we could even think about leaving for the holiday... 
So you can see why we felt completely frazzled by the time we got in the cars to leave!

And just in case we had gotten complacent whilst away on our lovely holiday, we returned home this afternoon, put on a load of washing and promptly flooded out the garage when the outlet hose mysteriously jumped out of the washing tub during the wash cycle.

2. Fireworks are REALLY loud up close

Technically, this was the night before we left for the holiday. Grandma, Noah and I headed down to the waterfront to enjoy a Kaffee Eis Gelato before settling in to some front-row seats for the fireworks show celebrating the Chinese New Year. Noah was pretty freaked out at the start but was getting into the swing of it by the end of the display talking about how the fireworks looked like wiggly worms in the sky.

3. It is actually impossible to eat Kaffee Eis Gelato without getting covered in it. But it is so worth the mess!

4. No matter where you are on holiday, a mozzie WILL find you
And likely bite you more than once when he does. And just when you finally stop itching three days later, he'll bite you a few more times just to keep you on your toes for the rest of the holiday.

5. Sometimes blogging DOES pay
Remember back before Christmas when I went to Ruth Pretty's Christmas Cooking school and had the most amazing Narnia-like experience? Well, I blogged about the day back then as you know. I wasn't really expecting Ruth Pretty to actually READ the blog though! She sent me a lovely email just before Christmas thanking me for my kind words. Which weren't that kind, just completely true about the amazing day I'd had! Anyway, as were were in the area, we took a drive out to the  Ruth Pretty kitchen shop this week and unexpectedly bumped into her in the shop. She remembered me from the blog, and was then kind enough to shout us all free coffees from her cafe. We sat in the lovely conservatory which was in the process of being all decked out for a Valentines Day High Tea that evening feeling rather grand as we sipped on our free coffees. I think Grandma and Grandad (and even Markie) were quite impressed at how even in the strangest ways, blogging does pay!

We didn't leave empty handed from the shop though. I'd had my eye on a few little goodies I didn't get time to buy on the day, including this amazing Apple peeler which makes apples taste about 100 times juicier. Why couldn't I have found this last year when I was peeling fruit by the gallon for pureed baby food. It sure has taken apple eating this week into a whole new dimension, as it peels, slices and cores the apple in about two seconds flat. Thanks to Grandma for shouting us the apple peeler! Check it out!

6. You don't have to go in for all the commercial crap to make Valentines memorable
Apologies to anyone who really loves roses and chocolates and the full nine yards. But for us, a walk on the beach, just me and my love on Valentines Day, with the gift of this sunset to share, far surpassed anything else we could have bought or given on the day.

And I've since realised all the things I learned are WAY too much for one post, so you'll just have to stay tuned for more in Part Two.......

16 February 2011

Be right back....

We are having the most AMAZING time.

Who: us 4 MNMs plus both sets of grandparents
Where: our friend's beach house at Raumati Beach. The scene of our wedding day almost seven years to the day (Feb 21)
When: for this week only!

So with barely enough Internet access to read a few of my fav blogs in google reader and check emails from time to time, I'm just gonna have to keep you all in suspense with the happenings till we get back!

Hope the sun is shining wherever you are this week cos it sure is here!

14 February 2011

Love is...

It's the day of love today...so what better day

To  share a few random thoughts that came to me on what

Love is.................

Making me a coffee when I need it most.....

Wiping bogeys from little green noses

Picking up the same toys from the floor a thousand times over

Seeing a new experience through your eyes

Putting aside the housework even though I'm only half finished 
To play 'hide the monkey' with you

Teaching you to ride your bike

Giving you the bowl to lick even though I love it too

Seeing you enjoy a special day out with grandparents

Calming your midnight fears and putting your warm snuggly body back to bed

Love is...all these things. And so much more. 

I love with a human heart. An inherently flawed and guilt ridden organ. 

Some days its beat is so strong it's pounding fair takes my breath away.  

On other days it barely registers a pulse. 

On those days I know that a greater love is flowing through my veins,

 even though I may not feel it. 

It's what I hold onto.

Knowing that even at it's strongest my love is but a grain of sand 

Compared to the vast and never ending shores of His love.
And There will never be a greater love than His son. No not one.

Love is the arms that are holding me.

Love will protect. Love always hopes. Love still believes when I don't.

When my heart won't make a sound. When it can't turn back around. When the sky is falling down. 

Love will sustain. Love will provide. His love will not cease at the end of time.  
Love is right here. Love is alive. Love is the way truth and life.

Love is the place I can fly to. Love never fails me....

Nor will it fail you.
All heart images from weheartit
Some words in this post from a song by Brandon Heath called Love Never Fails

Linking up with Sarah from CatchingtheMagic's Lyrical Sunday, with this week's theme of Love.



Related Posts with Thumbnails