DOWN THE ROAD

In so many ways we lucked out with our little rental – not only is it comfortable and serves our needs as a family of five, but its super central to the local shops, playgrounds and schools (not our kiddo’s school, which is closer to our new build, but an intermediate and college are both within easy walking distance).

We were gifted with a gorgeous warm and sunny winters day a couple of Saturday’s ago, so we pulled the bikes, balls and Dita’s borrowed pair of Heely’s out of the garage and rolled down the hill! We headed to explore the college’s open concrete spaces, perfect for riding and skating and a spot of soccer, and then back to the intermediate’s large confidence course for some swinging and climbing!

It was so nice to be out making the most of the sunshine after a cold couple of weeks, and as you can see in the photos, the kids took no time to shed their layers and bared as much skin as possible to the winter rays!

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SUNRISE AND SUNSET

Since we arrived in Wellington we’ve consistently been amazed with the incredible sunrises and sunsets we’re gifted down here. I’m not sure why they seem so much more vivid than the Auckland ones we remember, but there have been many evenings that we’ve snuck outside to stand in awe and admire the sky.

The other day I wanted to make sure I preserved how much the sunrise and sunset colours our day, so made an extra effort to have my camera handy at the right times of day. I love what resulted.

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RECENT DECENTS

Sometimes I just take photos and they don’t necessarily fit into a single blog post, so here are a few recent images from our daily lives, maybe not adventures as such, but important for me to capture and log them here ❤

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DITA MEETS THE BLACK FERNS

Dita was given the awesome opportunity to watch the Black Ferns train here in Wellington, along with the other girls in her rugby team – despite her deciding that actually playing the game is not for her right now, we are still very much part of the kids club and it has been so wonderful how we were still included in an exciting outing like this. Something that hasn’t changed is D’s enthusiasm for the game, and she was thrilled to see how hard the ladies at the top train – this inspired her immensely, and now Dita is really looking forward to seeing them play against Canada on Friday night!

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PETONE BEACH AND A BITE TO EAT

Ezra and I decided to get out of the house to enjoy the gorgeous winter day we’d been blessed with. We made for Petone foreshore, with an awesome playground and excellent driftwood collection on the beach, its somewhere we’ve stopped in quickly before, but never had a proper chance to explore.

While we were stick hunting a lovely lady and her three dogs came wandering down the beach, and her lovely old chocolate lab, Koda, desperately wanted to befriend Ezra. She said that for most of his life he’d been climbed all over and sat on by the children of Eastbourne, so welcomed Ezra on for a ride! E’s face said it all, he was in dog-lovers heaven ❤

After a play and explore, we popped into a Petone cafe for a coffee and juice, where Ezra regaled me (and the rest of the cafe) with his amazing selection of facial expressions. He was in fine form and had me seriously cracking up.

We’ll definitely be heading back to Petone with Martin and the big kids in tow next time – I know we’ve only just scratched the surface of things to be done and adventures to be had in Lower Hutt!

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SPACES OF JOY IN OUR HOME

It’s been a while since I’ve given any update on our new build, and theres a reason for that – there’s not much to update. We’ve made all the exciting decisions, the slab is laid and ready (and a thing of beauty!) but now we have reached a point of wait, wait and wait some more before further progress. Deep breaths.

This was a big source of stress for us and I kept finding myself doing a sneaky drive-by the section most days, fueling the frustration that things weren’t moving forward. Martin was well tired of listening to my rants about things completely out of his control, and I was sick of thinking about how slow going it has been.

This week I decided I needed to reframe my thinking, instead of focusing on what isn’t happening with the build I could instead appreciate our current living situation. Our little rental is quirkily lovely, with lots of character and more space than we’ve even been used to. We have quickly made it our own and filled it with noise, mess and love. Taking the time to capture the little spaces that bring me joy was an amazing exercise in gratitude and understanding that our home is where our heart is – one day our home will be our lovely new house on the hill, but right now our home is right here.

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MOTHERS DAY

I was royally spoilt for Mothers Day this year. A sleep in, coffee delivered to me in bed, along with three littles proffering handmade cards and gifts, and the promise of a day ahead with my best people. Martin packed a bag with snacks and drinks and we rugged up for the brisk morning outside, then headed to Avalon Park in Lower Hutt – we’ve driven past it a few times and it looked epic, so had been on our must visit list for a while.

An enormous playground, bike track, skate park and duck pond greeted us. The kids didn’t know where to go first! They loved the flying fox and all the climbing walls, along with the water play area where they had to work as a team to get the water from one end of the system to the other. The bigs had brought their scooters along and zoomed off to try out the huge bike track, while Ezra had his first turn on the little skateboard he got for Christmas – I think his favourite part was spending time with Dad, while he helped him get his balance and stay upright.

I always ask Martin to get some photos of me with the ratbags on Mothers Day, since I’m usually the one behind the camera – while we were getting the snacks ready I took my opportunity and love how it turned out. This is always the best gift I could get, tangible memories of me being their mum, for me and for them in years to come.

We had a quiet afternoon in the lounge enjoying the heat pump before we layered on plenty of clothes and ventured out again to experience the amazing Lux Exhibition down on the Wellington Waterfront. The kids absolutely loved the interactive light exhibits, and it was really fun being out with them at night for a change – the whole area looked completely different at night, it was both magical and surreal and I’m so glad we made the effort to get down there for it.

Thank you so much Street’s for giving me the very best Mothers Day I could have wished for. I feel so loved and appreciated, and incredibly grateful for my lovely family.

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TRAIN, WATERFRONT, SHAKES, HOME <3

After a big week back at school and kindy, and our first Saturday morning of rugby for the big kids, we were lucky to have some unexpected free family time when Martin didn’t have a game on Saturday afternoon. We decided to use our favourite Wellington transport and catch the train in to town for a quick wander around the waterfront and just enjoy being all back together after the school holidays!

We didn’t have a plan, but that is often the best way to go with three kids who get tired, grumpy, lose interest or start fighting with one another. Any plans are liable to be quickly discarded anyway, so we just headed in the general direction of the waterfront and went where the kids led. There is always lots to look at in the city, and this weekend was no different – they were setting up for the Lux Exhibition, a festival of lights that takes over the city, Frank Kitts playground is always a must do, the markets were on where we snagged some dumplings, and since we were in the area we detoured to Te Papa for a quick dinosaur dig and visit the colossal squid.

Since everyone managed so well with all our wandering we thought a treat was in order – Crocshakes are all over my Instagram feed and I thought it was about time we sampled their amazing selection of treats. The bigs loved their shakes, and Ezra enjoyed his ice cream until he saw the size of the milkshakes he’d forgone and had a great whopper of a tantrum on the concrete outside. Thankfully we’re old hands at three year olds losing their minds and could laugh off the stares we were getting, and Ezra got on with finishing his delicious ice cream while vowing he’d wait for a milkshake next time.

Then it was a quick train ride home, finishing off a big afternoon of adventure and family time. We were all exhausted and landed firmly on the couch for movie night and easy dinner!

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AUCKLAND ADVENTURES IN APRIL

So we made it! To Auckland and back to Wellington, in the car, me solo with three children. In my opinion it went far better than I could have ever anticipated – the kids were incredible on the long drives, and generally pretty well behaved despite all the traveling circus type moving around we did.

I wish I’d photographed our adventure more than I managed, but the thought of getting through hundreds of personal photos on top of the thousands of client images I was taking felt incredibly overwhelming! So I shot when I could, when I remembered – some huge chunks of our time in Auckland are missing, but we have all the lovely memories tucked up in our brains, so its ok.

I think we figured out a lot of things we’d do differently in future trips (Martin joining us at some stage for example, two weeks was way too long away from him) but for a first time I’m really happy with how it went. I hope all the grandparents who kindly put us up, fed us, did our washing and babysat, are all resting up and feeling a little more relaxed now we’re safely back in Wellington! Thank you all for your incredible hospitality, I know that the holidays will always be a very anticipated adventure in our house and that the memories you helped to create for us over those two weeks will last a lifetime for these three ratbags.

Without further ado, here is a small selection of our Auckland holiday…

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ARLO’S BEDROOM INSPIRATION

Even though it feels like we’re not making much progress on the house right now, I’m trying to mentally sort out the way we’ll be decorating and furnishing the rooms so I can get rid of things we’ve needlessly held on to and keep an eye out for bargains to tuck away for when we finally get in. The last week or so I’ve been musing about Arlo’s bedroom…

Like the rest of the house, the walls will be Resene Half Black White, and we’ve chosen some gorgeous linen-look roman blinds for the kids rooms that will mimic our lovely real linen drapes in the master and lounge (except be harder wearing and easily pulled out of reach of grubby little hands!). Arlo has plenty of amazing toys that will add lots of colour to his room, so I think this neutral base will work beautifully – I’m aiming for an eclectic mix of old and new, a gallery wall of special art and the treasures he’s collected, and a desk for homework, lego and plans for world domination. He’s been promised a new double bed when we move, which will lend a bit more of the grown up feel that I know he’s yearning for after years of sharing with Ezra.

Here’s some of my current favourite inspiration pictures for Arlo’s room in the new house…

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  1. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118392814550/
  2. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118394398666/
  3. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118396134170/
  4. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118393951759/
  5. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/AQ9dOvGU-sP6HialkzDvCgYzMjiK6wDFSR_A8V-dQDJ_v-aC6ovPxos/
  6. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118394061037/
  7. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118394078384/
  8. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/AcREHP75x8ESDf2So0fHU-K0XyikAoXKryAuHhpri-gDy1-NHG4d9gM/
  9. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118393951774/
  10. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118394613104/
  11. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118393951785/
  12. https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/79587118394443183/