huia and whatipu

a chance to visit family and do some errands in auckland this weekend, found us in huia and whatipu, the beginning of the waitakere ranges and a place of raw beauty…

we started at the huia store, a delicious lunch and a similar atmosphere meant there was lots to sit and look at and the food was everything we hoped it would be. a winding crawl around the shore line and up and down a steep range, we found ourselves at whatipu, a remote beach on the most southern part of the west coast.

gran shared stories of visiting as a young child and my great great aunt having dance parties in the cave as a young woman (aunty dora was my great grandmother’s sister). my mum loves this place too and pointed out places they had visited before. isaiah and hubby explored further along and because the area has strict dog free signs, we stayed back to keep tarla company.

huia was previously known as te huia as the area is thought to be named after chief, te huia, who stayed in the bay and was so taken by the area that he remained there. i can completely relate and vowed we would return to explore further another day. it is a beautiful, raw place to visit and well worth the effort to get there.

:: holding on to the good ::

a place to call home

last week was a crazy one, no wonder our whole family {including the 2 year old} slept late this weekend.

we never would have expected to have so many things fall into place and end up with…
a new home!

we have been yearning for a place to call home and settle down for a bit. hubby and i were talking the other night and we realised we have never lived in our own home. we have some property and loved being somewhat nomads overseas but we are ready to sink our teeth into a house that has some do-up jobs and create memories as a family.

we feel so blessed and at peace with life here in kerikeri. it’s a beautiful spot of paradise, with lots happening and to get involved with.

so yeah, whatcha reckon?!

** photos used from the online advertisement, more to come when we move in!

:: holding on to the good ::

a reunion, auckland adventures and happiness

we are back home preparing for round two {term two} of the school year. we have had a busy, spontaneous and productive holiday, with a new car to add to the excitement. 
one of my highlights was having a special catch up with my forever-friend elvie and her hubby and gorgeous little boy… 

it was beyond incredible to get to sit together and have our family meet! we have been friends since we were eight years old, with lots of moments to reminisce over and i loved knowing we were adding this one too.

isaiah has always been fascinated by animals and knows many of their sounds. he loves to point them out as we travel the countryside and taking him to auckland zoo for the first time was a real thrill for me. i remember going as a young one with my gran and other family members, enjoying the beautiful surrounds and learning about the animals.

he was the bravest of the brave feeding zabulu, the male giraffe, he was not fearful at all and it was amazing to watch him enjoy his time up close with such a majestic animal {who was all about the food!}.

so true, and the ice cream has to be tip top’s passionfruit ripple… happy happy happy.

i really hope you have had a special time over the last couple of weeks, it’s been a bit quiet on here of late but i continue to write when i can and want to share with you soon. thank you always for coming to meet with me over in this spot.

:: holding on to the good ::

easter 2015

our family gathered in a local park to celebrate easter and spend time together. the cousins running freely, sharing hugs and cheeky laughs. it was a memorable time…

family together is all i wanted this weekend. these photos share moments of love. it’s said by many that children spell love T-I-M-E and when we’re spread out and busy busy, these moments matter and i am thankful and grateful for this time together.

this easter egg hunt was isaiah’s first and so entertaining! the uncles hid the rewards through a little forest of mair pack {where we had his first birthday!} and with little buckets they gathered their eggs.

it certainly feels like an endless summer and long may it last! what these photos do not capture is special times in ruakaka with the hubbard family and dinners and visiting with friends. the weekend was a wonderful time to remember what i’m most grateful for. 

including time with my family, for me, easter is about atonement and sacrificial love. an only son who gave his life because God so loved the world. the greatest gift for ever and ever.

how was your easter?!
:: holding on to the good ::

around our new surrounds

it’s said a fair bit around here {but especially in the summer season}, we live in a beautiful country and i can definitely vouch for that. especially after finding ourselves on the outskirts of the bay of islands and so close to the water after many years away. 
the great outdoors really grounds me and gives humble perspective on the blessings we all have, the grace we are offered so freely. i am so thankful for that… 

isaiah has suddenly started asking to go to the water and has swam nearly every day since being here. he is more than ever an outdoor boy and couldn’t be happier. we are recovering from our epic mission up and remembering that change takes time to adjust.

we now look towards the start of the school year, isaiah starting at a new early learning centre, meeting new friends and catching moments like these.

what is it that you love about your surrounds?

:: holding on to the good ::

holiday highlights

someone made the comment that this year we had a three day celebration for christmas – which was totally true!

with all the family we have around us, a {jesus’ birthday weekend} event was celebrated and was way better than any {queen’s birthday weekend}! as we have always been flying in and out pretty quickly over the christmas period for the last four years it was a stretched out occasion and one not to forget.

it was a great time and i wanted to share some snapshots here with you all.

christmas eve at the hubbard household

there is always a bit of fun to be had together and this year was no exception, except for the fact isaiah was not sure about the wigs and hats – or even the present unwrapping process – but he got there in the end and it was a fun day altogether {nearly! just the melbourne hubbard contingent were not here this year as a new babe arrives in late january!}

christmas day at home and then on to the stanbridge/cogle family gathering in whangarei

 have the little ones join in now is so fun, having fun running around the lawn and blowing bubbles. we missed nate, who is in aussie, this year so hopefully it will be a full house for 2015. the food was amazing and lasted all day!

and lastly we had a boxing day bbq at ours to finish off the festivities

isaiah got to try out his christmas pressie from us, a paddling pool with slide and was finally coaxed in by his daddy. i also tried something too, my very first pavalova and got the approval from my mum and gran who are clever in the kitchen.

it was a fun few days!

i hope your christmas celebrations were everything you hoped they would be.

:: holding on to the good ::

holiday highlights

someone made the comment that this year we had a three day celebration for christmas – which was totally true!

with all the family we have around us, a {jesus’ birthday weekend} event was celebrated and was way better than any {queen’s birthday weekend}! as we have always been flying in and out pretty quickly over the christmas period for the last four years it was a stretched out occasion and one not to forget.

it was a great time and i wanted to share some snapshots here with you all.

christmas eve at the hubbard household

there is always a bit of fun to be had together and this year was no exception, except for the fact isaiah was not sure about the wigs and hats – or even the present unwrapping process – but he got there in the end and it was a fun day altogether {nearly! just the melbourne hubbard contingent were not here this year as a new babe arrives in late january!}

christmas day at home and then on to the stanbridge/cogle family gathering in whangarei

 have the little ones join in now is so fun, having fun running around the lawn and blowing bubbles. we missed nate, who is in aussie, this year so hopefully it will be a full house for 2015. the food was amazing and lasted all day!

and lastly we had a boxing day bbq at ours to finish off the festivities

isaiah got to try out his christmas pressie from us, a paddling pool with slide and was finally coaxed in by his daddy. i also tried something too, my very first pavalova and got the approval from my mum and gran who are clever in the kitchen.

it was a fun few days!

i hope your christmas celebrations were everything you hoped they would be.

:: holding on to the good ::

our city escape weekend

moments captured from a long weekend escape to auckland, 2 hours south of our home town and the largest city in aotearoa. it was so nice to spend time in amongst a bustling city {albeit the traffic was not so enjoyable!} we stayed at my mum’s new house and enjoyed time together exploring some local markets, eating local produce and the beautiful areas out west.

when we returned to nz, my mum {my hero} returned to her roots, west auckland. she had an amazing opportunity to join a social organisation that was just what she had been waiting for but also be closer to my gran. i have always been hugely proud of my mum and the amazingly giving and encouraging person she is. so getting to spend time with her was special.

i love the tranquil view of the child’s swing hanging from a strong, healthy tree. we passed that property to travel down the road to my mum’s home nestled in the waitakare ranges. to me the moment right there is true tranquility. a nice reminder of childhood and the times i used to go and jump on our rope swing down from the house.

isaiah’s language is really coming along at the moment and i chuckle to myself because he refers to {meema} as mum. i think because that’s what i call her. we go through all the names of our immediate families and when I ask {what does meema say?} he always answers {mum!}. he is really bonding with her and was giving her lots of hugs this weekend.

welcome december! i hope you all had a relaxing weekend and are anticipating a great month ahead for our last one of 2014… crazy hey?

:: holding on to the good ::

our city escape weekend

moments captured from a long weekend escape to auckland, 2 hours south of our home town and the largest city in aotearoa. it was so nice to spend time in amongst a bustling city {albeit the traffic was not so enjoyable!} we stayed at my mum’s new house and enjoyed time together exploring some local markets, eating local produce and the beautiful areas out west.

when we returned to nz, my mum {my hero} returned to her roots, west auckland. she had an amazing opportunity to join a social organisation that was just what she had been waiting for but also be closer to my gran. i have always been hugely proud of my mum and the amazingly giving and encouraging person she is. so getting to spend time with her was special.

i love the tranquil view of the child’s swing hanging from a strong, healthy tree. we passed that property to travel down the road to my mum’s home nestled in the waitakare ranges. to me the moment right there is true tranquility. a nice reminder of childhood and the times i used to go and jump on our rope swing down from the house.

isaiah’s language is really coming along at the moment and i chuckle to myself because he refers to {meema} as mum. i think because that’s what i call her. we go through all the names of our immediate families and when I ask {what does meema say?} he always answers {mum!}. he is really bonding with her and was giving her lots of hugs this weekend.

welcome december! i hope you all had a relaxing weekend and are anticipating a great month ahead for our last one of 2014… crazy hey?

:: holding on to the good ::

Whangarei is 50

in 1964, whangarei, nz became a {city} of more than 20,000 residents. it was a great time for the region and in that year over 60 local events commemorated this achievement. to mark this 50th jubilee a parade and after party was organised on saturday. and what a fantastic opportunity to bring some local pride and celebrate the uniqueness of who we are!

the crowds was what struck me first. there were so many people dressed in the 1960s theme, clapping and cheering and bringing a positive and celebratory atmosphere.

it was a celebration of who we are and what stood out to me was the diversity that was displayed…

anticipating the next float

i love how different groups were represented as one community; celebrating our history. there were floats from the filipino, fijin, tongan, samoan communities, highland bands, sports clubs, churches – over 70 floats were registered!

young and older, families and adopted kiwis gathered together and having fun. the rain stayed away and it felt like nobody wanted to go home. we enjoyed some deliciously homemade fairs from the market for lunch and watched our kids dance to rock n roll. my favourite parts were bumping into long lost friends in the crowds, when you embrace that special person and soak up the {knowingness} of times gone by – it was pretty great.

thanks whangarei – love it here!

:: holding onto the good ::