2012

For the first time in years I sat on New Years Eve not wishing away the last few hours of the year past, looking eagerly for a fresh start come the first of January. 2012 was different, a very welcome breath of fresh air for our family. A good year.

Tara came from San Diego and spent three perfect summer weeks with us in January. We took her camping in the wilds of The Far North where Dave and Ethan made sure we had enough fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Kauri Forest Hike

Big Snapper

Tauranga Bay Hole in the Rock

February brought with it the start of a new school year for Ethan. He made short work of school swimming sports winning every event he entered, received a Principal’s Award in the first week of school for excellence in writing and continued to excel academically throughout the year. He played a great season of rugby, played in the Barbarians tournament for his school and continued on to the summer touch season with his awesome rugby mates. Term 4 saw Ethan head off to camp without so much as a look over his shoulder at me as I dropped him off! He had an amazing time trying his hand at every outdoor pursuit that was on offer. He followed up on his successes throughout the year with a stellar report and won the Literacy Award for the third year in a row. Ethan does school so very well.

Strawberry Picking Lovely Boy Learning the Trombone

The end of February caught us by surprise as we purchased our first home with Mum; I was so excited about getting that damn mortgage, it still makes me so happy to see those repayments decreasing our debt each fortnight instead of appearing as “rent” on our bank statement.

March saw Dave’s contract extended by another six months, we began packing up our little house for the move just a couple of streets over, Ethan and I attended an awesome Sustainable Coastlines art workshop, and I became the NZ Mummy Ambassador for the Milo Play Movement.  We had the best day at the Kumeu Show where we all braved the sickening rides – never doing that again!

Te Atatu Cycle way

Kumeu Show

Kumeu Show

After the Easter Show in April we moved house, which I timed perfectly with a full foot tattoo (wtf was I thinking?), I completely ignored my birthday and spent lots of time with E before winter set in.

Muriwai Beach

Riverhead River

Foot Tattoo

Moving House
In May we began the house redecorating and renovating in earnest. We survived months of living under drop cloths and amongst sanding dust as every wall in our concrete palace had to be replastered, sanded and repainted. Looking back it was a lot of fun as the house was literally a blank canvas for whatever we wanted to make of it. Rugby began and we all got caught up in Saturday mornings at the fields, this was an interesting season as J5 began to highlight the differences between the forwards and the backs and kids actually began to realise this too.

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June and July seemed to pass in a wintery blur as we were all looking forward to our holiday in Chicago and Florida where we would get to see my brother Hadyn marry his beautiful fiancé Joanna.  While we passed the time Ethan grew crystals, went to Clip n Climb, there were lots of Family Game Nights, skate sessions and the renos continued.  I started {and finished!} a feature wall which I love.

Crystals Rennovations

Winter Frost

Scootering

Feature Wall

After a few hiccups (visa problems for yours truly) which resulted in the boys flying without me and me meeting them in Chicago a few days later, we were all stateside and ready to enjoy an amazing holiday.

We were in Florida in August when Dave found out that his contract had been extended again, this time for 12 months and………….that he would be going to Europe for 6 weeks after only a week home in NZ. We made the most of our time together and spent every minute we could with Dave’s family in Florida and Georgia.

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September saw Ethan prove his most testing as with Dave away he was spinning like a top and pushing every boundary he could find. In the end I just cried. He wore me down. Thank god my mum was here. I survived the marathon of the Auckland Boat Show and then the countdown was on until Dave returned home.

While in Europe Dave visited and worked in Frankfurt, Rome, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, Lyon and Geneva and we all managed to survive! Ethan sorted his shit out and the last two weeks before Dave returned were actually quite lovely.

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Dave’s 36 hour commute home was celebrated by Ethan with a Disco Party he planned himself. Limbo-ing with jet lag is top of every weary travellers lust I’m sure! The rest of October was quiet as we all adjusted to being back together again and some big decisions were made for our family.

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We visited Paihia in November, something we have been able to do for the last three years by combining a work trip for me with a lovely family weekend away.
Ethan turned eight and we celebrated with a bang. Dave hired a kick ass gorilla suit and we hosted a Big Foot party for our little Sasquatch. It was so much fun, 8 big boys filled with bravado headed into the bush where upon glimpsing Big Foot they turned into 8 little puddles of mush!

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December felt rushed and hectic. Our whole drainage system was dug up, replaced and we connected to town wastewater in the middle of the tornado that hit.  The build up to Christmas always feels frenetic as it comes so soon after Ethan’s birthday. Hadyn and Joanna surprised us all with tickets to Mary Poppins, Dave and I celebrated our eight year wedding anniversary, on Christmas eve we told Ethan he was going to be a big brother (!!!!!) and this year we hosted our entire family for Christmas dinner. A rainy Boxing Day was most welcome by us all as we cleaned up and relaxed, then enjoyed some glorious sunny days at our fave spot up north.

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2012 we needed you. Our home with Mum is perfect and couldn’t have worked out better for everyone, we worked hard, enjoyed our time off and are so happy with a belated decision to grow our little family.

Thanks so much to everyone who reads along, I love reading your blogs more than I love writing this one, but your fabulous posts and creativity keep me {somewhat} motivated.

Happy New Year!

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Melissa

I live in rural Auckland, New Zealand. Two boys, one big, one not so big and 2 boy dogs belong to me and I them. I love Coca Cola in all of its sugar-less forms and I love you internet. I take way too many pictures of my kids and collect them all here. This is what I am doing when I should be cleaning or cooking or doing other 'useful' things.

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