Things I'm Loving: Christmas!

"I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is."

Linking up with Meghan - check out what others are loving this holiday season! 

Me, Mr Ed and Miss G on Christmas afternoon. (We are all hot!)

I'm loving we spent Christmas with good friends! It was 31 degrees (88F) and 85% humidity here in the Manawatu. Yikes! But, it was an awesome day to spend with friends. The kids spent a good portion of the day in the pool. Even Santa visited! Miss G was definitely NOT keen on him... 

Loving the HOT Christmas with friends! 

The girls! 

Trouble! Miss S and Miss G cruising around the yard! 

Auntie Abbey taught Miss G how to go down head first - she was so INTO that!
I'm loving the fun-filled Saturday we had with my sister and her family just before they went up to Northland for the holidays (lucky!). The cousins love to get together! We even SKYPED with Gma and Gpa in the USA! 

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! 

Look what Santa brought me!?!? 


Boxing Day - what is it?

Today is Boxing Day in New Zealand - what is that? Well, let's find out!

As an expat American, living in New Zealand, this holiday baffled me - what is it really all about?

According to WikipediaBoxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors.

Here in New Zealand, Boxing Day means for many people -SALES and Boxing Day races!

So, hopefully that semi-answers my American friends and families questions! :)

Did we do either? Well, no... The Mr went fishing this morning, Miss G had a sleep in, and I enjoyed some yummy coffee while reading my next book...

Then we all enjoyed some time in the much loved pool - Miss G had a BLAST!

And, we are ending this HOT (29C/84F) and HUMID (87%) day with a lovely BBQ. Gotta love summer Christmas! :)


Book Club: The Blind Assassin

For December's MRS READALOT'S BOOK CLUB - I am reviewing The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

I'm going to be honest, it was super hard for me to get into this book. But, once I was, I could hardly put the book down (much to Mr Ed's annoyance)... I was drawn into Iris' and Laura's lives - the book moving between segments of their lives - and back into 'present day'. It was very exciting and extremely captivating. I would definitely add this to your 'to read list' - and read it now!! ;)

Further description of the book:

The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist. Brilliantly weaving together such seemingly disparate elements, Atwood creates a world of astonishing vision and unforgettable impact.

Grab the link - and join on in! Review The Blind Assassin - or join in with a book you love! :)

Mrs Readalots bloggy Bookclub


Things I'm LOVING

Well, I am *nearly* finished with nursing school for the year - I am going out on my community placement on Monday for 6 weeks, of 40 hours/week. Really looking forward to it, it should be quite good fun! I was meant to go out last week, but my placement was unexpectedly canceled, and thankfully my lecturer found me another one. It is in a neighboring town, but should be quite fun and a good experience nonetheless...

So, Miss G and I have had THREE weeks together! Talk about fun times - we've been getting into all sorts of mischief and fun! Riding bikes with her little mouse, playing beauty parlor with mom, changing tires with dad, photo shoots and well, then I found her with her bike on the bed! She was getting ready to jump it off... Needless to say, bike is an outside only toy now...

Linking up with Megan for Things I'm Loving - head over and see what others are loving as well. :)


Dandy Handy

How cute is this? Seriously. Such a good 'helper' for daddy! And, she's fully into the grease and definitely not afraid to get dirty! She is definitely not a 'girly girl'!! Love it!


Book Club: Winter Rose

Linking up with Mrs Readalots Recent Reads...

(Want to join in? Click HERE for details!)

I have recently read The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. Actually, I just finished it today. It is the 2nd book in a 3-part triology - of The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose. It follows the story of the Finnegan family siblings - a poor family from East London who lost their parents and baby sister drastically, their individual rise to success, and the books detail each of the siblings finding true love.

The book really captivated me, and I really hated to put it down. The Winter Rose focused on the middle brother, Charlie, or Sid as he have become known - and how he finds, loses and finds his love again... The book brings you around the globe, and in such detail, that you feel as though you are there.

I would highly recommend this trilogy to anyone - it's such a captivating and delightful read. I find myself a bit sad that the story is now over... (I have already read 1 and 3...)

Good stuff and happy reading!


Things I'm Loving - early October!

I am totally loving the 2012 Capture Your Grief project for infant and pregnancy loss I am participating in memory of my Angel Degen. It is extremely difficult, emotionally draining, heartbreaking ... but so rewarding. Love. Take a peek up - and you will see my tab  that I am updating daily with photos. :)

Loving that little Miss G, Miss K, my friend Ner and I all went to the Polkadots concert together. It was so cute to watch the girls dance and really getting into it. Loved the excitement on their faces... So adorable!

Loving that my first essay in my nursing programme - FINAL year - came back with excellent marks. Woohoo!!

Loving that I have a forced break this weekend from school - as the server is being updated. Yipee- what kinds of mischief can we get into this weekend?? ;)

Have a great weekend everyone!! Linking up with Megan at...


Day 1 - Sunrise

Please follow me as I link in with CarlyMarie for the 2012 Capture Your Grief awareness project - I will be updating my page  - 2012 Capture Your Grief daily. xo


Things I'm LOVING - FIRST of June!

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for...no matter how simple it is. 

Linking up with Meghan for 'thing's I'm loving'...

I'm loving that my 2nd year of nursing school is nearly wrapped up... 
It also appears that I will have straight A's... WOOHOO!!! :) (waiting on 2x marks)

I'm loving this cute girl! 

I'm loving the cousin love between Miss G and Cousin K! 

I'm loving that Miss G and I are headed to the USA (and to summer!) to visit friends and family soon! Can't wait!!! :)


Thing I'm Loving - 4 May 2012

I'm loving that Palmy is such a generous city! The Child Cancer Foundation - Manawatu /Whanganui branch raised over $13,000 in one day with the Big Rigs! 

This is a fun day for kids - the CCF kids (either kids on chemo, or their siblings) ride into the city in a Big Rig to start the day. And, then for the remainder of the day, anyone can jump in for a lap in a big rig for a gold coin donation! Awesome day! 

Here are two videos from the day - Mr Ed was wonderful and donated his time to drive a truck all day for the cause - and huge thanks to the owner of the truck!  

All the rigs coming into town in convoy...

Giving rides - Mr Ed is around the 4-minute mark. 

Posing by the truck - Mr Ed, Miss G and Miss B! 

Linking up with Paisley Jade for Things I'm LOVING


Things I'm Loving - Mangahao-Makahika Track

Linking up with Paisley Jade for this week's edition of Things I'm Loving...

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is.  

Plans changed a bit for us this Easter last minute and unfortunately we were no longer able to get away.  So we decided to turn it into an opportunity and had an amazing 'stay-cation' being tourists at home! 

I headed into ZING YOGA on Friday morning for a bit of re-energizing and re-aligning. Perfect. Love Nat. Anyone in the Palmy area - should definitely visit Nat for all of their yoga needs. Amazing. Miss G had a fun morning playing with her friend Sophie and Mr Ed was out with the boys for the day.

Saturday, we decided to get out into the bush and explore some more of the amazing country we live in! Tramping boots on and off we were! The Te Araroa Trail, The Long Pathway, is a 3,000 km trail stretching from Cape Reinga in the far north to Bluff at the bottom of the south island. We jumped on the trail just behind Shannon, and hiked 2 1/2 hours of the Mangahao-Makahika Track. Love

Miss G and Mr Ed all ready to go at the start of the track! 

A beautiful fantail followed us for the first few minutes. LOVE.

So adorable! 

Amazing scenery! 

Had to get a photo of Pixie and I! 

On the way back down! 
 It was a very fun day, and we decided not to take advantage of the beautiful scenery - we need to get out more! We aren't planning to be here for heaps longer, so really must check off some more of our 'must-see' list! So, hopefully we will find some more 'dog-friendly' tracks to explore in the next couple months! 
Loving the perfect days we've had to do so! 

Easter service started our Sunday -  fabulous church service - followed by a lovely lunch on George Street. We then took in the NZ Model Trucks display and enjoyed seeing all the hard work people put into their great models. Love. Easter dinner was quite festive for us - 2nd annual dinner with good friends. Awesome time with all the kids and friends. House was again packed, but it was lovely to spend together. 

Today [Monday] we got rolling mid-morning, and split another load of firewood. Our sheds are PACKED with wood - which we are loving. Must stay warm in the winter! 

So all and all, we had a fabulous stay-cation. Loving the weather, loving the meaning of the season, loving spending quality time with good mates and loving seeing some more of the countryside. 

Happy Easter everyone! xx


Procrastination 101

I have 3 essays and 1 big exam looming... And, I really *should* be writing the said essays, but instead I am finding so many other projects that really MUST get done! ;)

Procrastination 101:

4 kilos of tomatoes soon to be pasta sauce... 
Sewing projects that just must get done...
Birthday parties that must be attended... 
And, pages that just must be colored! 
See we are FAR to busy out here! Hope the start to your week has been a good one!


Things I'm loving on FRIDAY!

Linking up with Paisley Jade for Things I'm loving... on Friday!!

I'm loving that Miss G was a bit unsure of New Zealand hunting legend and Swazi founder Davey Hughes. I bought his book Untamed for my brother Dan, who is also a bit of a hunting guru ... Take notes Dan - keep a journal.. and grow your hair long! ;) PS the book is hilarious - great adventures! My husband knows Davey from back in the day (pre-Swazi), so we had quite a fun visit with him.

Myself, Miss G and Davey Hughes
I'm also loving the hat I bought for $5 at the Central Districts Field Days (as above)... 

Loving spending a couple quiet days at home with Miss G. Had lots of fun baking in our aprons! Yummy banana muffins, cookies, etc. Yum! 

Miss G is loving her baby - and basically all babies she comes in contact with. Sooo cute! I think we are missing our cousin, Miss K!! ;) 

What things are you loving today - take a peek at Paisley Jade's list and join in the fun! 


Things I'm Loving - 1 March

Linking up with Paisley Jade for Things I'm LOVING on 2 March!

LOVING the photos that Morwenna @ Keepsake Photography captured for Miss G's first birthday and cousin Keira's 4-week photos! Of course, we had to sneek in some photos of all of us girls! Aren't they great? LOVING them!!
Miss G 

So Big!! Me and Miss G! :)

Me, Miss G, Gma, Baby K and Sissy

LOVING that Gma spent 2 months with us in New Zealand! Loving that she takes the opportunity to leave a Minnesota winter and come visit us girls in the New Zealand!! Miss G LOVED having Gma stay - and so cool they have so many fun memories together now! Yay!! LOVED having her here and we were all super sad to see her go home yesterday. But, looking forward to visiting the USA this summer! :) 

Check out what others are loving at Paisley Jade


Baby K's Baptism

This Sunday, 26 Feb was my sister and brother-in-laws first wedding anniversary! This was us a year ago - what a fabulous wedding! So fun - and very friends and family orientated - it was a great day to catch up with loved ones!

Dad, Mom, Jen, Sam, Miss G, Edan and Dan

To celebrate their one-year anniversary, they decided it would be very special to have Baby Keira baptized in the church they were married in - by the same pastor - one year later. It was very appropriate, being the first Sunday in lent, with the discussion being about baptism into the church.

Proud Godparents - with Baby K and Miss G

Parents and Godparents - Loving Baby K! 

Manic Monday

Well, my mental health essay is DONE and handed in! I finished it in the wee hours of the morning. Okay, it was 12:45am when I got to bed. So, really not classed as an 'all-nighter'...  But, still. Phew, done and dusted! Brought it into school this morning and then had coffee with a couple other fellow nursing friends. I had two back to back 6-week placements (surgical and mental health), so we haven't been in class since October last year! Shesh! Back in class on Monday, 5 March - over half way to becoming an RN!! yipee!!

My next two papers/classes - are on ethics in nursing practice (always interesting!) and healthcare in the community/world/country. Should be interesting - although they have quite close essays for assessments... Must not procrastinate!

Now I have the rest of the week off to relax, hang out with mom, sissy, Miss G and baby K up in Taupo! Good times! Mom flies back stateside on Thursday (boo!) so it will be great to have a couple days of 'girl time' before she heads out.

Last week, Jen and baby K came down for a visit - we had such a good time. Did some shopping, walking, visiting and laughing! It's great being on maternity leave!!

Trio of backrubs - Gma, Sissy and Miss G
SKYPE'ing with Gpa! Jen and baby K!
Dad must be a bit dull for baby K! 


What I'm Loving this week...

Once again, linking up with Paisley Jade for Things I'm loving...

Loving that Te Kawau netball season has started up - looking forward to another great year!! And, really loving the fitness aspect! Go Greens!

Loving how the 2012 Rangitikei District GirlGuides is shaping up - we have great leaders and awesome girls! Looks like it will be a fun year! Get ready for BISCUITS! Coming out 1 March - yay!!

Loving having this week off to spend with my mom, sister, niece and fabulous Miss G!

Miss G sporting her American swim style!
Loving the fabulous wood shed E built for the winter - now we won't run out! It is now completely full - fantastic! :)

Loving that Miss K's baptism is this weekend - really looking forward to being her godmother! *More pix to come! She's a gorgeous wee poppet!!


Things I'm Loving - 21 Feb...

Things I'm Loving on 21 Feb 2012... 

Linking up with Paisley Jade for Things I'm Loving... Check out some of the others if you have time - fabulous lists!! :)

Loving this cute girl! On the beach at Napier for the Art Deco Festival last weekend! Yay for great weather, fun costumes (on others), good fun with family and cheeky monkeys!! :)

Loving that Grandma (my mom) has been here in NZ for 2 months! Yay for escaping Minnesota winters to come visit her daughters and granddaughters!!

Loving that we've been using our pool! Miss G loves the water!

Loving that I just finished two back to back placements - 6 weeks in surgical and 6 weeks in mental health. Loved them both! Now, I have an essay due next week to get done RE: mental health, one week off and then back in class! 54.16% on the way to being a Registered Nurse!! (Thanks Amanda!)