12 January 2016

Who in their right mind moves 3 days before Christmas?!

Ah yes, that would be us. Not in our right minds clearly!

Back in April when we were first considering building a new home, it seemed like a far away thing, something to look forward to but something tantalisingly out of reach.

We were lucky to find a rental to tide us over for six months while the build was happening, and even better that it was just down the road from where the new house was being built. Family rentals in Cambridge are a rare thing so to be able to take the first one that came up and for it to have a great backyard for the kids was a great bonus.

When we knew the completion date was set for the week of Christmas, we weren't convinced we would actually get in before Christmas, but Generation Homes guarantee their build times so as time went on we could see it becoming more likely.

Unlike our move from Wellington where Allied Pickfords did all the hard work for us packing and moving, we'd made the decision to do it all ourselves this time - luckily we would have extra helpers on hand (aka Poppa and Uncle Nic) and a truck, super shuttle van and trailer to use for the day (thanks to Poppa and Uncle Sam). Plus we'd kept all our boxes and packing paper from the last move so that would be a big help too.

We managed to pack everything up gradually over the course of several weeks amongst the busyness of school finishing, performances, prizegivings, cycling events and the like. Luckily we'd also sold some furniture before the move so we it meant we had less to shift this time round too.

Gelato's in town make a quick break from packing the day before moving

The night before the move Mark managed to pack up the truck with one full load so we were ready to rock and roll first thing in the morning. One of the brighter ideas we had while packing up (thanks to a mama friend at school) was to gladwrap the Christmas tree so we could just move it as is and enjoy some Christmas festiveness in the new place. Surprisingly it all arrived at the other end intact too ... result!

We'd been watering the garden with 2 sprinklers for the 5 days leading up to the move to try and get the grass well underway. It was pretty cool standing across the street the night before the move (whilst waiting for the sprinkler to do its thing) knowing that come tomorrow this would finally become our new home.

And so it began - waking up the morning of the move - and knowing it would be the last morning looking out on this view.

Our official handover was set for 9am - we drove over with a car full of stuff - not wanting to waste a trip. It felt strange and exciting to finally walk into our house and know that it was ours.

Waiting for us on our arrival was a lovely bouquet of flowers and a basket of goodies from Generation Homes to enjoy - a lovely welcome! The flowers were from Petal Passion - a local florist who is a mum at school - I must say I was SUPER impressed with how long they lasted - 2 weeks in the very hot weather we had over Christmas was pretty good going!

I didn't have a whole lot of time to take photos but snapped a few as we walked around with my phone.

Spare room                                              Main toilet

Main bathroom

Hallway                                             Mylo or Noah's room 
                                                        (they both look the same)

Our bedroom looking out into the garden 


Ensuite                                               Walk-in wardrobe
(late decisions to tile the shower and put built in wardrobes in were good ones!)

Dining room looking out onto courtyard


Dining room towards entranceway


Lounge looking out to the street

In the end it took 2 truckloads, 2 trailer loads and a few car loads and we were done. We'd made the wise decision (I think) to pay someone to clean the rental for us. We had to get the carpets cleaned anyway due to having a cat so it made sense to pay the same person to clean too - it meant once we left the house we could just focus on unpacking in the new place - much more fun!


Murphy surveying his new kingdom and waiting for the chance to be let out - it came a few days later

Although we did manage to unpack a few boxes in the kitchen - enough to find a few glasses to enjoy a celebratory bubbly with dinner anyway - pizzas were declared by far the easiest meal for the hungry troops.

We all slept very well that night - not hard to imagine after such a big day. Waking up the next morning to my new bedside view was one of those 'and we've finally done it.......' moments I'd been waiting for.

I must say it was extremely tempting to lie there all morning but there was no way the house was going to unpack itself!

Stay tuned for other photos and stories as we gradually get the house looking ship shape and can share more ...

08 January 2016

Round and round the garden...

When we lived in Wellington, one of the places on our must-visit list every trip to the Waikato was a walk through Hamilton Gardens. It didn't matter the season, we would always head there for a stroll among the now award-winning gardens, admiring every new addition over the years.

So it was rather ironic that since we moved to the Waikato we hadn't visited once. Until our lovely family from Australia arrived for Christmas that is. We agreed to meet up at Hamilton Gardens for a picnic first and a walk afterwards.

For the first time we had another little cutie Maia walking with us - she was most insistent that it was the 'boys' who held her hand and nobody else.

We had the best weather for the day - blue skies and warm temperatures.

On a warm day there's nothing like little snippets of water here and there to keep one cool.

Or you could just get in boots and all?!

'Statue bro?' (reminds me of a bad Maori joke - it's meant to be the way Maori's would say 'is that you brother?)

Someone couldn't help cracking a smile - not very statue like at all!

Kim and Maia were busy spotting fish in the Japanese gardens - but the water was pretty gunky and no fish anywhere to be found.

 I made do with a few candid portraits in the lovely dappled light.

Little feet don't like hanging in one spot too long so it was onwards to the English country garden.

 This is quite possibly my favourite shot of the day capturing the cheeky personality of Maia.

And around the corner, more water. Surprisingly there were actually a few fish to be found in this pond.

A three leaf clover makes a pretty good resting spot for little legs.

Blue skies made lovely reflections of the pagoda and round wall in the Chinese garden.

By the time we made it to the American modernist garden all and sundry were ready to go for a paddle.

After the simplicity of the American garden, the Indian garden is a crazy explosion of the senses - almost to much to take in.

And for the grand finale our last stop was at the brand new Tudor garden - it's impressive in it's orderliness - very English and even cooler that the house is modelled on a similar one at Montacute House - which is literally minutes down the road from where Mark grew up in Somerset.

A wonderful family afternoon walking round and round the gardens - no teddy bears were caught by the end of it though!


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