Throwback: Australian Tennis Open - January 2015
We visited Melbourne to watch the tennis back in January 2015:
That year we stayed in a fancy hotel and I made sure to take a good few selfies in that place - haha!
I always catch up with my friend, Sarah when we're in Melbourne. I love that special woman!
That year I also caught up with my old University friend, Megan, and her family:
And here's my darling husband back in 2015:
We've been lucky enough to go to the Australian Tennis Open for a few years now and I still feel incredibly grateful that we get to watch such brilliant tennis live, at that amazing tournament.
Throwback: January 2015 Little Things
Grant's brothers and their families left in the beginning of January, just after Grant's birthday, so we had about a week back in Auckland after we got back from holidaying up north. One day we went into the city and had a walk around the waterfront - I love this photo that I took of our boys back then!
January 2015 was also the month we threw a baby shower for my sister, Colleen!
And Grant's parents only left in the middle of January, so they were still here to celebrate with us:
And we had a good few pool and beach days that year:
January 2015, over and out.
Queen's Birthday Weekend 2017
After hosting a cosy curry evening at home on the Saturday night of Queen's Birthday weekend, we drove up to Algies Bay on the Sunday morning, to spend the rest of the long weekend there with friends. I love long weekends! Also, we got super lucky and enjoyed the most spectacularly beautiful winter's day out on the water, before the grey weather arrived.
We started the day by doing some fishing in the gulf and caught over 30 fish, but sadly all of them were about the size of this little one above, so we had to throw them all back! Boo. But the boys had lots of fun reeling those babies in, so all was not lost.
And after a few hours of fishing, we pulled into Kawau Island to have a late lunch...
(I love this island life.)
(Check out this fun activity below, and spot the two little islands in the background of this photo - they each have their own tree! Crazy.)
... and we then cruised back to Snells Beach where our friends' boat is being moored...... and caught a gorgeous sunset after a glorious day out on the water.
The walk through the forest and the Kauri trees was absolutely stunning, and getting to appreciate the sometimes crazy art sculptures along the trail was a real treat. There was also classical music playing in the trees in one section of the walk which was a truly soul enriching experience and both the adults and the kids were totally transfixed by that. Such a great day. And weekend.
New Zealand, you're a very beautiful place.
Queen's Birthday Weekend, over and out.
Sarah's School Ball 2017
Besides all the family birthdays that we celebrate at this time of year, it also happens to be the school Ball season - and last weekend was a mad dash of activity and excitement, with Grant in charge of Luke's birthday party and me on Ball duty. Aw, just look how grown up this girl looks:
After her hair appointment, I dropped Sarah off at a friend's house in the early afternoon where she was having her make-up done, getting ready and celebrating with a few friends who were also there...
... and then we were off to a Pre-Ball function at another girl's house (which parents were also invited to attend). It's always so lovely to see how beautiful everyone looks dressed up, and get to catch up with the parents.
The kids hang with their friends, take loads of photos and then hop on the buses that were organised to take them to their Ball at a hotel venue in the city. Such an exciting evening for all of them!
And here are some photos that were taken at the Ball:
Sarah with her Year 12 water polo premier team girls:
And Sarah with some of her Mount Maunganui holiday 'squad':
And wow, well done for getting through all of these photos, guys!
Sarah had a great time that night despite having a sore, aching back (more about that soon), poor girl. She's at school with a lovely bunch of kids and I've so enjoyed getting to know so many of them over the years they've been together (some since junior school). Good friends are really important to these teens and I'm incredibly grateful that Sarah has some good people in her life, people who love and care about her and always have her back.
Ball 2017, over and out.
My Baby Turned Thirteen
Seriously, when your baby turns 13 (and your first born just turned 19 and you now have THREE teenagers at home), your bona fide adult card finally arrives in the mail. And I guess it's time. Those baby related issues are well and truly in your past, and now you're all about screen time, mobile phones, parties, hanging with friends, meeting up with friends at the mall/beach/wherever, and sleeping late.
And don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not bemoaning the fact that my baby is now 13 (even though babies are incredibly cute and I'm never going to have my own one again) because teenagers can be a lot of fun, exciting to be around and a great source of entertainment. Also, did I mention that they sleep late?
Anyway, my baby became a teenager. And I keep having to say that little sentence to myself over and over again, just to let it sink in fully, to let my whole being accept this crazy milestone and appreciate it for all it's awesomeness. And it is awesome, and amazing. And wow, you guys. I no longer have a baby!
So on the night of Luke's birthday, we did a family dinner out at the good old South African restaurant called the Spur. This was a little family tradition when we lived in South Africa - every kid's birthday would be celebrated with family, at the Spur! And not having had a Spur around for a good few years now, now that we have a Spur here on the Shore we decided we might resurrect that little tradition for Luke's birthday this year. Hah.
Sadly Sam, Colleen and Evie couldn't join us, but my mom and Geoff were there with bells on! Yay!
Unfortunately nobody was keen to have the Spur singers do there birthday song for us which was a bit disappointing for me because that would have been a real laugh, but apparently teenagers aren't that keen on the whole embarrassing singing thing. Who knew? ;)
Instead we headed home and sang happy birthday to our birthday guy there:
And then he celebrated with a few friends at the movies the next day - they went to see Wonder Woman and I was so jealous I couldn't go with them (and Grant who took them) because it was Sarah's School Ball that night so I was busy driving her around to a couple of appointments that day! (More about that soon.)
So our new teenager had a great birthday weekend filled with family and friends, and I'm so happy and grateful that I get to spend my life with this lovable, awesome kid. I love him to bits, to the moon and back, forever!