I would like to pretend that the lack of festive pictures was some sort of intentional commentary about social media in our lives or something equally thought provoking and insightful. The reality is that its actually a testament to the fact I’ve not picked up my big camera in months and I snap the odd (badly composed and often fuzzy) picture on the iphone more often than not. Even my instagram was quiet. It has made me ponder whether I move entirely to the small squares, but at the same time I really like blogging, I like the intention of writing a post. Of having more than just the odd snapshot.

Last year we plunged into the world of Chatbooks as a way of making Instagram work better for our family, and I have to say I really like it. I do take time to collate the pics, not all make it as far as the books as sometimes while I like a picture in the moment I don’t need it in a book (video covers, coffee pics, bored gym mum sat in a car etc). We do one for the kid as well and she loves getting books a couple of times a year too and I like that she has her special memories and events recorded (easily!) in one place.

Christmas was a lot of fun, we had hubby’s brother staying, did lots of day trips and all ate, drank and received a massive amount. The kid had a brilliant time, she adored her uncle and was spoilt rotten by all the family. She got a KiwiCrate subscription for her birthday and that’s been wonderful for activities to keep her busy, as well as her Christmas present of Nintendo Labo and board games.

The school holidays have flown past and we have been trying to savour the last few weeks while also filling the days with swimming, gymnastics, walks and meeting friends. She’s drawn, played, practiced and relaxed. It’s been full and fun and makes me miss having her at home all the time. The kid on the other hand, while having loads of fun on holiday, is looking forward to school starting again and seeing all her friends!

8 times around the sun.

I won’t wax lyrical beyond saying she had a fabulous birthday and she’s pretty damn awesome, I love her.
She’s bright, cheeky and a bit of a know-it-all, unfortunately with that she’s also often right so I can’t even shut her down with a ‘but mumma knows best’. She asks questions 1000x a day and wants to know and understand EVERYTHING.
I think 8 is going to be great!

Our break up to Wellington was the juxtapose to our ski staycation. The drive to the ferry in itself was nearly 6 hours and that was before a 3h lunchtime sailing and 45 mins on the other side.

The weather was mixed but it was a lovely break away with my people. We were last in Wellington when we came over to visit NZ before we emigrated which would be close to 10 years ago so it was good to re-visit. Even if our original opinion (wet, windy, crazy traffic and awful parking) still help true! We did the city centre and tourist parts and enjoyed the Air B&B right by the beach.

We drove the Kaikoura highway both ways and it was amazing to see what they have done to get that road re-opened given the devastation after the earthquake in 2016. It’s slow going in parts, understandably but it meant the drive up to the ferry was a little tense at times, but on the way back we were able to relax and enjoy the views.

A trip down south. A couple of night away and such fun. A breath of fresh (wintery) air.

Hiking in the shadow of our amazing countries tallest mountain. Icebergs on glacial lakes. Sunsets over snow. Steep climbs leading to big views. Swing bridges and handstands. Autumn colours and steep moraines. And a sneaky pic thats got me in it.

A new year! Is it weird that I believe that even years are luckier than odd years? i have nothing to substantiate this claim, and in fact it’s possible to infer from the years of blogging that odd years may have actually been marginally better. Or may be there are all the same really, with each having its fair shares of highs and lows.

Anyway! It’s an even year and I’m happy about it. I don’t have any huge resolutions. Predominantly because history has taught me I’m terrible at ‘resolutions’ and making changes in general. I start string and about 3 days in give up and refer back to older stronger habits.

So this year I’ve got intentions (resolutions by another name?) They mostly revolve around being calmer and more present, loosing 15kg and getting fit by running and walking more. So, same as every other year really.

We started strong with bike rides and hiking in the hills and going to the library to get out books to read in the evenings rather than web browsing and surfing social media. I have ordered chatbooks for both my own and the kids instagram accounts and my goal is to be mindful of the pictures I post so the albums become pleasantly collated records not a random mumble jumble of images.

The house is clean, I’m on top of the washing (shock!) and we are putting the phones, laptops and tablets down for more engaged time over puzzles and board games. So far so good. It is only day 8 of the new year tho.
Failing so far … still eating far to much chocolate. Blessings … the bakery is still closed so at least I can’t eat to much cake.

Blogging in 2018. My intention for this year is deceptively simple. I want to blog more regularly and take many many more pictures. I will keep up the 12 Monthly Photos of the Kid, and I am hoping to do 12 Months of Adventures – I think it’s my attempt to be mindful of the passing months and not to miss out on doing something, however big or small. Hopefully by the end of each month I’ll have a couple of adventures to choose from. May be. That’s the idea anyway. Call it work in progress.

January started on a high with a trip to Akaroa to have a walk, wander about and eat good food.

We are lucky that half way through the exhausting final few months before christmas the weather gets warmer, the days get longer and lighter and there is even a public holiday that coupled with a teacher only day at school (a new thing for us!) we turned into a 4 day weekend.

One of those days we headed to the beach and enjoyed paddling, drone flying and a walk along the cliffs. Embracing summer and taking time to make the days special.

We had a lovely trip over to the coast a couple of weekends ago. We went primarily as the kid had a gym comp over there but turned it onto a nice couple of family days and walking and exploring. Pictures in reverse order as thats how they loaded and I’m to lazy to move them about. All off my phone as well as we both forgot to take cameras with us! Oops.

The drive over was lovely and went nice and fast, it’s a gorgeous drive although twisty and bendy in parts and requires a lot of concentration. We stopped off at Hokitika Gorge, the beach and then the Air B&B. It was the sweetest little old school villa but warm and cosy and comfy and close to the town centre (and competition gym).

We ate supper at a old school pub with the cutest friendliest pub cat and after we saw glow worms in two seperate grottos – they were amazing! Its like looking at a starry sky, but your staring at a earth bank! After a successful competition we headed to an amazing tree top walk (so high, so very very high) we headed home and stopped at the kids favourite spot on the way for a walk and fresh air.

So lovely to be back in our familiar spaces

Our last days in Norway were spent in Geiranger and Bergen. I didn’t get any pics of Bergen. We just had a quiet walking and exploring day and because it was a bit overcast the camera stayed in the bag. It is a beautiful town, full of little nooks and lanes as well as a great place to walk, eat and relax (and buy reindeer skin – if you’re me anyway)

Geiranger was probably our most favourite place of the whole trip – magical. It was another foggy morning when we docked but by the time we had got up out of the village and into the hills it cleared into the most beautiful day. We hiked up to Storseterfossen waterfall – it was a steep steep hike but great fun and well worth it. The views were magnificent. On the hike back down we stopped off at a little farm and got ice creams and drinks before descending the final few km’s to the village.

Leaving through the fjords was spectacular – none of the pictures can capture the scale of the waterfalls, hundreds of feet tall, plunging into the fjord, straight down the cliffs. One un-captured but magical moment was seeing a ice dam release at the head of an almost vertical glacier further up the fjord and vast quantities of water snow and ice cascading down like an enormous waterfall. Only to vanish minutes later.

It’s not a bad life – Norway was definitley the highlight of May.

We had a wonderful trip up the English Channel to Norway – smooth calm seas and most of the travelling done at night. Our first stop was Stavanger and we headed out of the town to hike the Manafossen waterfall. It was a short but steep walk up to the top to view the falls but well worth the effort. Lots of scrambling up steps and rocks holding a chain. The kid was delighted! We didn’t really venture into the town much – towns aren’t really our thing, and drizzle and decreasing temperatures meant we headed inside for hot chocolate and crepes. had a wonderful trip up the English Channel to Norway – smooth calm seas and most of the travelling done at night. Our first stop was Stavanger and we headed out of the town to hike the Manafossen waterfall. It was a short but steep walk up to the top to view the falls but well worth the effort. Lots of scrambling up steps and rocks holding a chain. The kid was delighted! We didn’t really venture into the town much – towns aren’t really our thing, and drizzle and decreasing temperatures meant we headed inside for hot chocolate and crepes.





Our second stop was Skjolden – a tiny little village at the end of a long fjord. We woke to thick and uninspiring fog which cleared delightfully into a beautiful sunny blue skied day. We walked up into the hills to look down on the village, following a small track back through the woods along the lakeside. After a ice cream break and stocking up on water we followed the other side of the lake to go and look at some more huge waterfalls. There were a lot of waterfalls on this trip – half way through the kid announced “yes mum, its a waterfall, just like all the others!”

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