03 January 2012

2011 - All the Smiles

I hadn't realised what a full and fantastic 2011 we had until I put these collages together. So without further ado, our year in review!


January
We made our annual pilgrimage to the Festival of the lights at Pukekura Park, and came home to a garden full of flowering pohutukawa, and wineberries ready to eat. We filled our weekends with face painting, crafting, dress up parties, and the long awaited arrival of Grandma and Grandad from the UK.


February
Within days of their arrival we were eating out in style with Grandma and Grandad at St Johns, exploring the South Coast on the weekends, and embracing all the fun of the Chinese New Year celebrations. And then one of the highlights of the year for me, a simply amazing week away on the Kapiti Coast with both grandparents where the sun shone every day, the water was warm, and we made so very many happy memories. In the midst of it all, we celebrated seven years of non-itchy marriage.


March
We helped our lovely UK parents celebrate an early combined 70th birthdays, while the old dishwasher box proved a hit with the boys. We made and consumed that seriously naughty brownie, and watched our monarch caterpillars growing bigger the day. Mark entertained us all with a remote control helicopter and I enjoyed a luscious unlikely midday nap with my poorly boy. I also organised and walked the Welly Walk with 30 others raising $2,500 for the people of Christchurch after February's terrible earthquake. It felt good to do something.


April
We took to the waterfront for the first time ever on croc bikes, visited Government House's reopening, and for my birthday I received my first ever DSLR camera and started snapping pictures like a crazy Japanese photographer (to be honest I haven't really stopped since!) We took a fun roadtrip to the Naki for Easter and marvelled at the beautiful autumn colours everywhere.


May
We tripped to the duck pond at the Botanical Gardens which made for a special Mothers Day morning, took a walk in an Enchanted Wood, and braved a cool autumn day across the seas on the ferry to Eastbourne. We watched in awe as our 3 monarch butterflies spread their wings, and farewelled our dear Nikki as she did the same.


June
We caught the setting sun at Makara, got up close and personal with some of our favourite zoo animals, and discovered a use for all those buttons thanks to my first foray on Pinterest. I spent hours staring at my gifted lava lamp, and we took another road trip to the Naki enjoying a stunning early morning walk on the walkway.


July
We made our famous doughnut muffins using it as an excuse to have a birthday party for Noah's toy monkeys, celebrated a mid-winter Christmas with friends, and got out and about to the park and the ducks. Mark enjoyed a boys weekend away in Auckland, and my brother came to visit us for a day where we eked out all the fun we could in just a few short hours. Preparations began in earnest for the party of the year with the creation of the Death Star Pinata being a labour of many hours love.


August
This was one of my favourite months of this year, despite work being pretty horrendous at the same time. We celebrated Noah's 5th birthday in full Star Wars style, and he started and took to school like a duck to water. For the first time in 25 years, we had SNOW in Wellington, it was such a novelty. We made crazy milky explosions with milk, dishwashing liquid and food colouring, and I had an incredible weekend to remember meeting some of my lovely bloggy friends in real life in the big smoke. Rounding out the month, I was treated to the WOW World of Wearable Art Awards show, and it truly was wow!


September
We all flew up to Hamilton to catch up with my brother and meet the love of his life amongst the most gorgeous colour spring could possibly have offered. We took a walk on the waterfront soaking up all the atmosphere of the Rugby World Cup starting, managed to put up the new trampoline without divorcing and bounced our hearts out on it, and celebrated Mylo turning two amongst it all.


October
We walked the Petone pier in brilliant sunshine early one Saturday morning, the boys and I spent some time in the Naki for the school holidays, we took a trip through the looking glass at Capital E, made pebble angels at Te Papa, and a boy suddenly gained the confidence to lose his training wheels. I also turned out with a few thousand others to welcome our winning World Cup team through the streets of Wellington.


November
I got a sudden craving to craft, craft and more craft, we enjoyed the annual Wellington Santa Parade and a quiet Guy Fawkes celebration at home. My new 35mm lens got a good workout, and I had a day straight out of Eden at the Ruth Pretty Christmas Cooking class.


December
There was more crafting and gift making, trips to the Telecom Christmas tree, boys in Santa hats looking as cute as cute could be, mulled wine made (twice!) and candy cane icecream made and inhaled in a few short days. And then before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head away on the best Christmas holiday yet!

Despite being first and foremost a mama committed to her boys as well as working mostly full-time, I found the time and inclination to blog more than 200 times, committing these memories to be remembered here for all time.

Looking back over this year makes me appreciate all the more that I have been blessed with an amazing husband who is truly the carrot to my pea, and two beautiful boys who despite being utterly unique and quite different, are each the perfect complement to our family.

I am also grateful for a wonderful extended family despite the fact we are scattered across the globe, good health, great friends, a spacious house that is safe and warm and still standing, and stimulating and rewarding work in an industry that makes a positive difference in young New Zealander's lives.

Thanks be to Him for the many blessings contained in these 365 days just past. For making each and every one of those days possible.

Lord, enable me to see and embrace the blessings in each new day that unfolds in this new year.

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