Our Curious Life: Week 4




Ok… so I am slowly getting the hang of this weekly blogging thing… I am still a little behind in terms of publishing, but so far I am really enjoying it.  So how did week four pan out… well let me tell you.

Week four started with some goodbyes… our NZ fam headed back across the ditch.  It has been so nice being able to catch up with them over the last couple of weeks.  They remind me why family is family, we can go years without seeing each other, with just phone calls, emails and of course good old facebook, but when we do catch up it is easy and lovely… it’s the way it should be.  It’s been really nice to watch them with Isaac… the beginning of the next generation of George… and it has shown me that there is a heck of a lot of George in him…seriously… just check out these four…

On Tuesday Dave went back to work and I got to re-try being at home with out him… and I am pretty proud of how we managed… yep it has only been three days because Friday was a public holiday… but it feels very different from the end of term four last year.  There have been no phone calls in tears wanting him to come home, Isaac has been feed and changed and I have pumped, showered and eaten successfully all three days which feels like a win to me.  Of course it also helps that he is a little more interactive this time, and I had 6 weeks over summer with an extra pair of hands to help me get used to it and build up some confidence.  But I am not as terrified about this coming week as I was this time last week.

We got spoilt on Thursday with the worlds cutest vans, delicious bakery treats, flowers and cuddles and good chats with our friend Pheebs… she is a winner and a half.

And on Friday I didn’t struggle with Australia day as much as I usually do… I still feel the same about it and we should definitely change the date… but I think the fact that I didn’t have the day ‘off” as a holiday, it didn’t feel any different from other days, so I could let my self relax as I wasn’t ‘celebrating’.  We did use the day to swim in the pool at dad’s again… and this time I remembered to take a photo, so I was able to officially cross it off the list!

Oh and this week I also added Isaac’s hand and foot prints to my necklace… no. 72 on the list.

So there you go, week 4 over and out.

Our Curious Life: Week 3




This third week of 2018 has continued to be filled with friends, family and the good things about summer… and just like last week it has also been another good week for the list.  This week also brought the return of appointments for Isaac and one last effort to get things done before Dave goes back to work.

I am still getting the hang of how to write these blogs without them sounding like a lame diary entry… so this time I think we will start with the list items that were achieved… This week we managed to cross another 3 things off… but only one of them has photos ready to go…  We had some family photos taken (no. 6) which I actually wore non-maternity jeans for, which is technically crossing no. 20 off as well, but they were only on for the photos and I am definitely not committed to making it a regular thing… maybe in winter, so we will leave it on there for now.  I wore something other than a black t-shirt for the whole week… yep… I did (no. 98).  And most excitingly, this week we finished Isaac’s room (no. 63) and I am really happy with how it turned out.

When Isaac was born, Dave and I were very unprepared… because Joshua was only 24 weeks old when he was born we were desperate to make it to 26 weeks with Isaac.  At 24 weeks mums and dads have to make lots of really hard decisions, decisions about treatments, resuscitation, viability and quality of life… things that no one ever really thinks about when starting a family, and decisions that they are not really emotionally prepared to handle when they are asked at such an awful time… when you realise things are not going as you planned…  At 26 weeks, the babies are what the doctors term viable… that means they are more likely to live than die… it still doesn’t factor in quality of life… but because they can live, the choices are usually made by the doctors, rather than the panicked mum and dad…  So 26 weeks became our goal… but given our recent experiences, I was not willing to plan for him or make room for him in our house until after the 26week mark because I didn’t want to have to pack it away if we also lost him.  So… when Isaac decided 26weeks exactly was his cue… we had nothing… well not nothing, nothing, we had some clothes and nappies that we had been given or brought in preparation for Josh… but we had limited ‘big ticket items’, and the ones we had purchased were still in boxes in the garage.  We had a flat packed chest of draws and a chair… we had no cot, no change table, no car seat, no pram… nothing we actually needed when coming home from the hospital… Isaac’s room was still full of stuff… the overflow of our house… and I had not yet removed the old wall decal from the previous home owners or painted over the green and purple walls… we were not ready, because we thought we would either have no time… or lots more time.

So between hospital visits we brought the items we needed, cleared out the room, painted and then started putting it together… and then he came home from hospital… and it still wasn’t quite done… He has now been home for 66 days… and we have finally added the finishing touches, his shelves and the wall decal… and it is now my favourite room in the house.  I often just wonder in and look at it…  It makes the whole house feel more complete and in a small way, having this finished, feels like the proper end to waiting to bring home our baby chapter… that we can now really embrace life with him… because he is here and he isn’t going anywhere.

My favourite bit of the room is his bookshelf… I don’t know why I love it so much… but I really really do…

This week we also had to say goodbye to K as she headed back to London… we always hate doing this.  But we did get to spend some more time with our NZ fam before they head back this week… so this weeks been bitter sweet.

Oh and in Isaac news, this week we continued slowly weaning his oxygen yay!… but had to go and buy some bigger clothes, because he has a new accessory for a little while… a hip harness… but to make him (and by him I mean mummy) feel better, we extended our Disney book library…

Yesterday we finished our week with a garden engagement party for my little brother Jake and his fiancé Amy-Ruth… which is a pretty nice way to end a week. They had the garden looking magical… and what is not to love about love?

So there you go… week 3…

Our Curious Life: Week 2

Week 2 has been a week of friends, family and the good things about summer… It has also been another good week for the list.  In fact, even Isaac was able to cross something his first list.

We started this week with great food, beautiful sunshine and good friends as we learnt how to barefoot bowl at my sister in law’s Hen’s… and despite having a few family members that are quite good at bowling… my skills left a lot to be desired.  We then continued to celebrate Ness and our new skills (even if they remained poor) at a roof top bar with delicious tapas.  And… seeing as Dave was a Bridesman, our whole family was able to spend the afternoon together… it was a pretty great way to start a week.  Learning a new game also meant that we crossed no. 39. Play a Game of some kind, off the list.

I fully embraced the fact that my bestie has been home for Christmas, so we made the most of her presence with walks, dinners and a delicious brunch at our favourite local Half Half.   At brunch Isaac got to cross his first thing off the list as he hung out with his ladies and loved every minute.  He also got to wear his new jeans which match his Aunty K’s.  (I also got to brunch with my besties and given that one of them is hard to brunch with living in London… we both got to cross this off on the same day, so Isaac’s picture is with K).

We won a donut wall to use to celebrate Isaac’s birthday later in the year… so keep an eye out for that…

We hung out with family for take out, afternoon tea and post holiday catch ups, making the most of the pre-wedding celebrations and hanging out with family that have flown across the ditch from NZ.

We finished the week off with Ness’ wedding.  The wedding was the perfect nod to her and her partner… now husband, relaxed, fun and a little bit surprising.  There is no one else I know that could have embraced a torrential downpour through your whole wedding as well as these guys did.  Not only did they just go with it, but the enjoyed it and helped us to enjoy it to… because who would have a thought that a wedding in the middle of January could be quite that wet.

We also made he most of the glorious… although occasionally way to hot weather, with lots of family walks… the fit pig is back… but I think I need to do a few more walks before I can actually cross it off the list.  So there you go week 2… a little bit like a primary school diary entry… but I will get better at it.

The 2015 List Wrap Up

Ok… so with the end of 2015 it’s time to check out what actually came of the list… the full run down. Once again there have been heaps of times this year when the list has been on the back burner while life went on. Which is good, because it means that life is actually full of heaps of fun stuff.  So much fun stuff that it’s February and it’s only now that this blog is being published… instead of it’s usual December appearance… I guess all that matters is that it is here now.  2015 was another full on year and you can get a better recap of all that happened here.  But what happened with the list?  Good question… and you are in luck because it is all here for you to read about below…  Just like all the other years those that have a blog of their own have a hyperlink so you can just click it and read all about it… and the ones that don’t are all listed below with either an explanation of what did or didn’t happen…

  1. Visit Hobbiton – completed: 01/01/15
  2. Make my own dumplings
    No excuses really… I just ran out of time.
  3. Do another Pinterest craft – completed: 13/02/15
  4. Make my own hot cross buns – completed: 05/04/15
  5. Follow through with the 2015 date box again – completed: 22/12/15
    All done and dusted for another year… once again we had to sneak a few into November and December, but they were all done and quality time was enjoyed.
  6. Paint Something – completed: 15/08/15
  7. Eat something I have planted – completed: 27/01/15
  8. Buy lunch at work no more than twice a week – completed: 23/12/16
    This year I got much better at taking my lunch… there were still a lot of lunches out, but there were less… and no more than two in any one week.
  9. Go to two weddings – completed: 21/02/15 (wedding 1, wedding 2)
  10. Order fish at a restaurant – completed: 06/01/15
  11. Try again to embrace home cooking
    This one I struggle with and I don’t know why… I like cooking… I am just not good at actually doing… maybe next year?
  12. Have a weekend away – completed: 26/04/15
  13. Go to some carols by candlelight – completed: 14/12/15
    We actually did a few carols by candlelight… starting with the ones on the 14th and finishing with the ones on Christmas eve at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
  14. Work as a classroom teacher – completed 13/03/15
  15. Make the most of my gym membership
    I could have done more… let’s be honest.
  16. Run 5km without walking
    Not yet… there is still hope… 5km is a fairly comfortable distance now which is good, but I am not running the whole thing.
  17. Do some trivia – completed: 17/01/15
  18. Learn another song on guitar – completed: 20/12/15
    Hello “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum
  19. Have a picnic in the backyard – completed: 22/12/15
    We should do this more often… it is nice
  20. Start collecting and sorting photos of Dave and I’s family history – completed: 20/12/15
    The collection has started… it probably needs a little more structure, but it has been started… and that’s all the list required.
  21. See some black sand – completed: 02/01/15
  22. Put some new photos up around the house – completed: 11/04/15
  23. Blow some giant bubbles – completed: 05/12/15
    An excellent Family Christmas BBQ activity for the whole family
  24. Ride a rollercoaster – completed: 09/04/15
  25. Play mini golf – completed: 08/12/15
    It was only one hole… in works put put comp… but that still counts right?
  26. See a movie at the drive-in – completed: 14/02/15
  27. Build a sandcastle – completed: 01/12/15
    Thank you December Date Day
  28. Buy an ice cream from an ice cream truck – completed: 12/12/15
    Is there a better way to celebrate seeing Taylor Swift live?  I don’t think so
  29. Take a selfie with the selfie stick fully extended – completed: 10/01/15
  30. Go to the beach at least 5 times – completed: 26/01/15
  31. Stargaze while lying on the grass – completed: 13/11/15
    I should do this more often too… the night sky is pretty incredible
  32. Watch the sunset from a beach – completed 01/12/15
    Again I say… Thank you December Date Day
  33. Rent a bike and go on an adventure – completed: 03/01/15
  34. Stay at the Langham – completed: 07/01/15
  35. Go Hiking – completed: 03/01/15
  36. Take a last minute road trip – completed: 01/10/15
  37. Make a playlist for each season (Summer and Autumn; Winter) – completed: 03/12/15
    And finally I give you Spring: :
    – Open Heaven (River Wild) – Hillsong United
    – Tommy and Krista – Thirsty Merc
    – Unashamed Desire – Missy Higgins
    – Different Worlds – Brittany Cairns
    – Head to Heart – United Pursuit
    – Midnight Clear (Love Song) – Chris Tomlin
    – He Shall Reign Forevermore – Chris Tomlin
    – Adore – Chris Tomlin
  38. Bake a cake for someone
    No excuses really… it just didn’t happen.
  39. Buy a stranger dinner (e.g. pay for someone else meal at a restaurant)
    Also no excuse for this one…
  40. Learn a greeting in a language I haven’t spoken before – completed: 07/11/15
  41. Give a heartfelt surprise to someone – completed: 10/08/15
  42. Dance in the rain – completed: 20/12/15
    This is pretty self explanatory… it rained and I danced… it was summer which made the whole thing a lot more comfortable.  
  43. Plant a tree – completed: 22/09/15
  44. Knit a scarf – completed: 30/05/15
  45. Read a book on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose – completed: 08/06/15
  46. Fly a kite – completed: 17/01/15
    This actually happened way back in Jan… rather unsuccessfully… the kite strings snapped in the wind…  but for a brief moment it flew.
  47. Write and email/call a company from which I received excellent service
    This one just didn’t happen either… I am not sure why… probably because when it comes to things like this… I am all talk
  48. Go on a romantic getaway – completed: 13/11/15
    Dave planned a camping trip, just for a night and just to help me cross things off the list… that’s pretty darn romantic.
  49. Help someone in need – completed: 20/12/15
    I probably could have done more… but we did feed a community with the help of Just Salvos
  50. Learn something in sign language – completed: 08/06/15
  51. Wear fancy dress to something – completed: 29/08/15
  52. See two oceans meet – completed: 05/01/15
  53. Go in a sea vessel… kayak, canoe, paddle boat, regular boat… whatever – completed: 06/01/15
  54. Play a board game with friends – completed: 11/07/15
  55. Write at least 3 letters to my prayer pal
  56. Go fruit picking – completed: 08/11/15
  57. Swim 20km across the year
  58. Do another boot camp – completed: 04/12/15
    It wasn’t an official bootcamp, but I did work hard thanks to my trainer for the day Rachel
  59. Do another fun run – completed: 02/12/15
    You should all go out and sign up to next years Santa Run… it is fun… and ridiculous… but mostly fun
  60. Walk/run 400km across the year
  61. Go camping – completed: 13/11/15
  62. Walk 10,000 steps more often than I don’t – completed: 31/12/15
    I don’t think I got there every day, but I certainly walked 10,000 steps more often than I didn’t.  
  63. See some fireworks – completed: 13/12/15
    Carols by Candlelight are also excellent places to see fireworks.
  64. Eat a Feijoa – completed: 16/04/15
  65. Go on a luge – completed: 03/01/14
  66. Swim in a thermal pool – completed: 02/01/15
  67. Cook all meals at home for a fortnight (no going out or lazy take away)
  68. Take a photo everyday
  69. Play Super Mario Bros
  70. See a Musical – completed: 07/02/15
  71. Read 15 books – completed: 27/10/15
  72. Try four more local cafes in search of our new breakfast spot – completed: 21/11/15
    I still haven’t found a new favourite… but the search is continuing… 4 down, plenty more to try.
  73. Try Inverloch’s ‘Red Cup’ equivalent – completed: 25/04/15
    It didn’t end up being the cafe I thought it would be as this one opened first and ruined the others plans… but this one was good.
  74. Have a mocktail – completed: 17/02/15
  75. Finish unpacking the last boxes
  76. Visit a country town I haven’t been to before – completed: 01/10/15
  77. Put up some outside lights for Christmas – completed: 25/12/15
    We got some new outdoor Christmas lights for Christmas… so Christmas night we tested them out… that still counts right?
  78. Keep getting closer – completed: 31/12/15
    There is still a long way to go, but I can honestly say that I am way better off than I was at the beginning of the year and it’s been a long time since I could say that, so it feels good.
  79. See Big Hero6 – completed: 30/05/15
  80. Use a remote control toy
  81. See a live music concert… or 4 – completed: 26/09/15
  82. Do some colouring – completed: 08/05/15
  83. Go to a live sporting event – completed: 08/01/15
  84. Have a hot jam donut – completed: 14/12/15
    The may have just been from Coles… and they may have been mini… but they were good. 
  85. Have High Tea – completed: 07/02/15
  86. Cook something from each of my Donna Hay Mags
    If I had embraced no.11 better, this might have stood a chance… but unfortunately neither have been done.
  87. Learn a new skill – completed: 10/05/15
  88. Make a photo book of our New Zealand Adventure – completed: 27/12/15
    It isn’t finished, but it has been started… I think this one will also be on next years list.
  89. Have at least 5 different groups of people over for dinner – completed 07/09/15
  90. Ride a push bike without tears – completed: 03/01/15
  91. Complete my sentence a day book for 2015 – completed: 31/12/15
    Again… this one is pretty self explanatory, but I have really enjoyed doing it… I am really looking forward to what will change in next years sentences.
  92. Make a teepee or blanket fort and watch a movie in it
  93. Go to a farmers market – completed: 26/04/15
  94. Go through the alphabet of foods/restaurants/cuisines – completed: 19/12/15
    This one ended up being a little different from what I imagined too, but here is the list:
    A = Apple Pie, B = Broccoli, C = Carrot, D = Donuts, E = Eggnog, F = Fries, G = Gingerbread house, H = Homus, I = Ice Cream Slice, J= Jam, K = Koren BBQ, L = Lamb, M = Massaman Beef Curry, N = Nectarine, O = Octopus, P = Peachy Keenie Custard, Q = Quince Paste, R = Raspberries, S = String Beans, T = Tea, U = Unsalted Nuts, V = Vermicelli, W = Watermelon, X = Xanthan Gum, Y = Yogurt, Z = Zucchini.
  95. Do something handy at home – completed: 14/02/15
  96. Walk the dog once a week
    Sorry Dex 😦
  97. Set up our outdoor furniture and eat at it – completed: 19/10/15
  98. Actually read through the New Testament – completed: 19/12/15
    The whole thing… a little each day, but the whole thing. 
  99. See a wild swimming animal – completed: 06/01/15
  100. Touch a volcano – completed: 02/01/15

Ok… So there you go… that’s the list wrap for last year… 82 out of 100… I think that’s my best year yet!  Bring on 2016!

Halfway point 

Just like every year, this year is flying and without really any warning at all we have reached July… which is the halfway point… so what better time to do a quick list update.  I think the list is actually traveling along quite nicely… but I will let you decide for yourself.  Like always, those list tasks that already have a blog or a picture of their own have a hyperlink, so you can go back a read all about it… but I have included the ‘official’ list picture too, just for some fun.  Oh and any that have been completed but seemingly flown under the radar you can read about here…. ok, here we go halftime update.

1. Visit Hobbiton – completed: 01/01/15

3. Do another Pinterest craft – completed: 13/02/15

4. Make my own hot cross buns – completed: 05/04/15

7. Eat something I have planted – completed: 27/01/15
The veggie patch is still going strong, although I think we have enough chillies to last a life time.

9. Go to two weddings – completed: 21/02/15
(wedding 1,
wedding 2)
Two beautiful weddings I might add, the first our friends Ben and Annie and the second my Mums. 

10. Order fish at a restaurant – completed: 06/01/15

12. Have a weekend away – completed: 26/04/15

14. Work as a classroom teacher – completed: 13/03/15
Yep it’s happening, at the moment it is just emergency relief teaching, but it is teaching in a classroom all the same.

17. Do some trivia – completed: 17/01/15
Ok so it wasn’t quite the trivia I had in mind, but there were several rounds of buzz and it is a trivia game, so it is off the list. 

21. See some black sand – completed: 02/01/15

22. Put some new photos up around the house – completed: 11/04/15

24. Ride a rollercoaster – completed: 09/04/14
Winner birthday inclusion from 1 Dave George!  It may have just been the scenic railway at Lunar Park, but its a coaster of sorts and was enough fun to warrant crossing this off the list.

26. See a movie at the drive-in – completed: 14/02/15
What better way to celebrate valentines day than at the drive-in?  There is none, seriously I don’t the drive-in will ever go out of fashion

29. Take a selfie with the selfie stick fully extended – completed: 10/01/15

30. Go to the beach at least 5 times – completed: 26/01/15
Split over 2 countries in the once summer means 5 different beautiful beaches.

33. Rent a bike and go on an adventure – completed: 03/01/15

34. Stay at the Langham – completed: 07/01/15

35. Go Hiking – completed: 03/01/15

37. Make a playlist for each season
Well we are now into our third season this year… so two playlists are done.

– Burn Like a Star – Rend Collective
– My Lighthouse – Rend Collective
– Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
– Style – Taylor Swift
– Out Of The Woods – Taylor Swift
– Blank Space – Taylor Swift
– Welcome To New York – Taylor Swift
– I Am Australian – Travis Collins
– Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson
– Ever Be – Bethel Music

– American Honey – Lady Antebellum
– Forever – Bethel Music
– Wasn’t Expecting That – Jamie Lawson
– Trouble (feat. Jennifer Hudson) – Iggy Azalea
– Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
– Sexual Healing – Hot 8 Brass Band
– Marvin Gaye (feat. Meghan Trainor) – Charlie Puth
– You’re The Voice – John Farnham
– How Can We Be Lovers – Michael Bolton

44. Knit a scarf – completed: 30/05/15
Hand knitted… as in… with my hands… as the knitting needles… and it turned out ok…. but took a lot longer than the 30 minutes the YouTube I watched told me it would.

45. Read a book on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose – completed: 08/06/15
This year I have been part of a new bookclub… which I mention breifly here… and I love it, I have read 3 books now that I probably would never have read without prompting and one I chose.  2 of the 3 were books that I would have read if recommended to me, but probably would other wise not come across and one was completely not on my raider.  I had heard of it… mostly because it’s title is my name… but it was in a genre that I just never really got into.  I think probably because I found them more challenging to read, and couldn’t do it as a little mind escape… it took effort.  But May’s bookclub book… which turned out would also become June’s as well was Emma by Jane Austen, a classic.  And even though I would have never chosen it myself… I am glad Kirsten did, because it does share my name and once I got used to the style of writing I actually loved it.   So time well spent and no. 45 off the list.

50. Learn something in sign language – completed: 08/06/15
So I have always had a fascination with Auslan and how incredible it is… so I popped learning some of it on my list this year.  Conveniently one of my besties recently did an Auslan course and shared some of her knowledge with me… and we made a little video.  Click the link to check it out. 

52. See two oceans meet – completed: 05/01/15

53. Go in a sea vessel… kayak, canoe, paddle boat, regular boat… whatever – completed: 06/01/15

64. Eat a Feijoa – completed: 15/04/15
Delicious and sweet… I really don’t understand why these don’t take off here.  Seriously they are delicious

65. Go on a luge – completed: 03/01/14

66. Swim in a thermal pool – completed: 02/01/15

70. See a Musical – completed: 07/02/15
January date night at Once with Davo.  Quite different to the musicals I usually go to, but still a winner, let’s face it musicals usually are. 

71. Read 15 books
Ok so it isn’t quite completed yet, but it is on it’s way… I’ve read 10 so far, 5 to go, but here are the ones I’ve read to date:

    • The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult (finished 26/01/15)
    • Still Alice – Lisa Genova (finished 09/02/15)
    • Leaving Time – Jodi Picoult (Finished 22/02/15)
    • Wild – Cheryl Strayed (21/03/15)
    • Divergent – Veronica Roth (02/04/15)
    • Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith (10/04/15)
    • Useful – Debra Oswald (05/05/15)
    • Emma – Jane Austen (08/06/15) 
    • The Burnt House – Faye Kellerman (18/06/15)
    • If I Stay – Gayle Foreman (25/06/15)

74. Have a mocktail – completed: 17/02/15
Thanks to a fun hen’s night for my mum this is now off the list!

79. See Big Hero6 – completed: 30/05/15
We didn’t see it on the big screen like I thought we would, but we did see it in the comfort of our lounge and it was wonderful as all disney movies are… seriously I can’t think of an animated dud.

82. Do some colouring – completed: 08/05/15
Apparently adult colouring is a thing now… just another thing that I seems to have been into before it was cool… so much before that I was uncool… but now I can embrace it… seriously embrace it because its a thing… a real anti-stress thing. 

83. Go to a live sporting event – completed: 08/01/15

85. Have High Tea – completed: 07/02/15
Celebrating mum as a bride to be also meant that we got to have high tea, and as all high teas are it was beautiful and delicious. 

87. Learn a new skill – completed: 10/05/15

90. Ride a push bike without tears – completed: 03/01/15

93. Go to a farmers market – completed: 26/04/15

95. Do something handy at home – completed: 14/02/15
Now that we have our own home we can change it whenever we want… so at the moment we are preparing the backyard for a deck, so far I have drilled, hammer, shoveled and use some power tools I don’t actually know the name off, but it is fun… and you’ll get to see some pictures when it is done. 

99. See a wild swimming animal – completed: 06/01/15

100. Touch a volcano – completed: 02/01/15

New Zealand… The Land of the List!

I am currently sitting in Sydney airport waiting for my flight to Melbourne trying to work out two things…

1. How to recap all the amazing things we have seen, done and experienced while we’ve been away and

2. How to overcome this sinking feeling that life starts again tomorrow… Reality is about to smack me in the face.

Now I know that most of the time good holidays have to come to an end… And that life isn’t actually that bad… It’s just not the unrealistic holiday life you get used to… So I thought that I might just spend some time reflecting on the trip and updating the list… and maybe, just maybe it will start to squash my super Monday blues

The list was a little loaded this year, in that I put quite a few things on my list that I knew I would cross of in New Zealand… Some planned adventures that also made fun list additions.  When I made the list I had guessed I would complete about 10 things while we were here… But it turns out I managed to squeeze a few more in.  And to be honest, I think this is the best way to work through some of my highlights from a pretty jam packed and incredible time away… Ok so here’s what we crossed off…

IMG_45491. Visit Hobbiton – completed: 01/01/15
This was a super fun way to start the new year.  I have to admit The Shire is about the only thing that I loved about The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit movies… I like the idea of homes and villages just for short people, where everything is in reach and there is always food!  So, while you can do lots of tours throughout New Zealand for both movies trilogies, the only one I had any desire to see was this and it was the best! 90 tiny houses with tiny windows, chimneys, jars and clothes… just perfect! Oh and we got have a drink at the green dragon which was pretty cool too.  I think what helped me enjoy this even more was the fact that we saw the final Hobbit movie on Boxing Day… And the day before we had jet boated around the rapids from the barrel scene in the second Hobbit movie… So I was in the Tolkien zone!

IMG_4547100. Touch a volcano – completed: 02/01/15
So it turns out that we bookended the list in the first two days of the year! That, I didn’t plan… It also turns out that touching a volcano wasn’t that difficult to do in New Zealand, although the one I used for the list was a bit of a turbulent trip. What I had forgotten when I popped this in as number 100 was that New Zealand is pretty much lots of old volcanoes stuck together… In face the whole city of Rotorua is in a dormant volcano… Seriously New Zealand is pretty much a massive death trap!  During a cultural dinner we went to the guide tried to convince us that Rotorua was safe because it had geysers… Places were boiling water and steam spew from the earth… Because these released pressure… I am not convinced that that volcano couldn’t blow the whole town to Australia if it wanted to… No matter how many geysers they have.  But nevertheless thats were we lived for a couple of days… in a town, in a volcano… crazy!  Anyway, I have been side tracked… I did also travel out to an active marine volcano called White Island, as while it isn’t a lava spewing volcano it was still pretty crazy! It spews steam, mud and sulfur and smells pretty bad, but it was pretty amazing to walk around, get pretty close to the main crater and live to tell the tale!  Although I did feel like I might die from the sea sickness I experienced on my way to the island.

IMG_454821. See some black sand – completed: 02/01/15
On the way home from the volcano we stopped at the popular North Island costal town of Ohope for a swim… And the beach had black sand… I don’t know why this fascinates me as much as it does, but it really confuses me. Apparently it is a west coast trait… And I have no idea why the sand is black and I don’t really care… I love it… Although it gets pretty flipping hot!



6IMG_48756. Swim in a thermal pool – completed: 02/01/15
The second of January was a big day… And what better way to finish it then to have a spa… A natural spa… In a thermal pool in Rotorua…




33IMG_4870. Rent a bike and go on an adventure – completed: 03/01/15
90. Ride a push bike without tears – completed: 03/01/15
Riding mountain bikes through the redwoods in Rotorua was Dave’s only request for the trip… And it almost didn’t happen as we almost couldn’t get bikes… But it did and I survived… I won’t lie, as much as I try to like riding bikes and even sometimes pretend that I do, I just don’t really enjoy it… And I was almost 100% sure this trip would end in tears, literally, that’s why these were both on the list… But I rode my bike through the Redwoods and a there wasn’t even a single tear. In fact, by the end of it I was almost enjoying myself… Almost

IMG_486735. Go Hiking – completed: 03/01/15
This one wasn’t planned, but it was great. Dave and I took a quick road trip out to see the blue and green lakes in Rotorua because they were listed as ‘things to see’ in one of our travel books, but on the way we passed The Buried Village and because I am a sucker for a tragedy I made Dave stop.  The little museum is basically the remains of the town that was there over 100 years ago that was destroyed when a volcano blew… The volcano also destroyed some natural terrace thermal pools which would have been pretty awesome… Anyway, as we walked around the grounds we found a little optional trail which turned out to be a little hike to a pretty awesome waterfall… Well worth the spontaneous stop and detour from the path.

IMG_486865. Go on a luge – completed: 03/01/15
Ok… So maybe it wasn’t just the second that was a big day… The first three days of the year crossed 8 things off the list… That’s a pretty big start!  The luge was heaps of fun, it wasn’t quite the lying down, no breaks, concrete death that I had imagined, instead it was more of a glorified go-kart and it was great.  And while I did try to go with out the breaks for a little while, I had to start using them again after I had my cart on one wheel… I didn’t want to smash my face!


5IMG_53002. See two oceans meet – completed: 05/01/15
When we were planning our trip I was told that at the top of New Zealand you can see the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea crash into each other because they don’t mix.  Convinced it would be epic, I asked Dave to change our plans so we could go and see it. These were my holiday requests… The Hobbits and the oceans crashing.  In anticipation for the trip I googled it… And I was a little disappointed… in the pictures they just mosey on together… Meeting but almost ignoring each other… Not quite what I had in mind.  But the trip had been changed and we were heading as north as you could go so that I could find out first hand that they meet, high 5 and go on there merry way… You can see the colour difference and it’s still pretty cool… But there was no crashing…

IMG_573353. Go in a sea vessel… Kayak, Canoe, Paddle boat whatever – completed: 06/01/15
I could have crossed this off on the 2nd when we headed to White Island, but because the boat part of that trip was so yuck I didn’t want to taint the list with it… And I knew were doing this cruise, to a place called ‘Hole in the Rock!’ So this time armed with artificial ‘sea legs’ I enjoyed a boat cruise around the Bay of Islands to the Hole in the Rock and while we were there I also got to cross number 99. See a wild swimming animal as we stopped to watch some Dolphins playing

10. Order fish at a restaurant – completed: 06/01/15
I know this seems kinda lame, but even though I enjoy fish, I always wuss out when I am out. I always panic that I won’t like it, or it will make me sick… That’s why this made it on to the list… And thanks to some salmon I chose at a waterfront restaurant called 35degrees south it’s now off the list.

IMG_602434. Stay at the Langham – completed: 07/01/15
Just before Dave and I got married we entered a competition to win a trip around the world to all the Langham hotels by having the worlds most romantic proposal… And we almost won… We got in to the top 10, and then didn’t quite get our second video up to scratch because we were too busy enjoying our honeymoon… Anyway, we decided that if we could, if were near a Langham we would stay even for just one night… So thanks Langham Auckland for being our first international stay… Your beds and pillows are just as good as the Melbourne ones!

IMG_616983. Go to a live sporting event – completed: 08/01/15
This was another unplanned New Zealand adventure… But when your hanging out with family and they offer to take you to the tennis you go… Seriously, who wouldn’t?




IMG_639829. Take a selfie with the selfie stick at full extension – completed: 10/01/15
I know selfie sticks are annoying and perhaps as the Wanganui paper described ‘the most narcissistic present this Christmas’, but Dave and I became the proud owners of one and used it with pride! This was no ordinary selfie stick either… It extends 4feet and is operated by remote and it helped us capture some our and New Zealand’s finest work!

So that’s the list contributions… There is so much more of our trip to tell, but I think maybe I will save I that for another day, as I will be surprised if anyone actually made it through this far… But the list is well underway thanks to New Zealand… And our families who gifted us some of these adventures and some of the cash we spent on making them happen! Monday you can still happen tomorrow… I know you will anyway… But you can’t kill my holiday joy that easily!