One Year in One Post

You know it's been way too long when you have to Google your own blog to find it and then you can't remember how to write a post!

Sad times indeed, even sadder that it is 12 months since I last posted. Doesn't that sound like I am in a confessional booth?  Anyway, I have noticed I have a tendency to post at Easter of each year. Clearly Easter is symbolic to me and blogging.

To be honest I have been thinking about updating this blog for such a long time but couldn't decide if I really wanted to or just give it away completely.  I have been a spasmodic blogger since 2007 and if I delve really deeply into why I blog (as I have many times before) I guess it is because I am creating a legacy of sorts; a journal to leave behind for loved ones and for whatever reason, strangers who are interested in what I have to say.

A big part of why I haven't been blogging is because I have felt like I have nothing worthy to blog about. That is silly though, because when I do blog, in that moment it is for the purpose of expressing myself and to record memories for me and my loved ones (maybe), so of course it is worthy.

With that in mind I have whole year of memories to record. I summarise best in list form so here it is, my confessional:

Easter 2015
The Princess spent it with the Wasband and I spent it with my gorgeous twin nephews in the far North where my Mummy and Poppa have relocated to. My Mummy was actually on a cruise (as you do) so the twinsies and I hung out at 'home' with Poppa and Auntie Illy, with some sightseeing in between. Riley and I discovered a mutual love for Four Squares shops ;-)
Twinsies who used my phone A LOT for their selfies, as I found out AFTER the holiday.
Winter School Holidays
The Princess, Gracie who is one of her besties and I went north again to Rawene. This time my Mummy was 'in residence'. My youngest brother Marty was also there. The big mission was wallpapering the Rawene home with a stunning textured midnight blue paper.  I helped a little bit but mostly Marty and Mummy did it. Each night we hunkered down in front of the fire playing Yahtzee while Uncle Marty terrorised the girls with his made up stories of Uncle Len and his four daughters and Mangrove Jack. He later shared these stories with our niece and nephews in Weipa which made for interesting conversations prior to them visiting Rawene at Christmas time.

The Princess and Gracie at Tane Mahuta
School
I completed the school year with the same class for the entire year (prior I have always started a class midyear). It sure makes a difference having a class from whoa to go. They were a gorgeous bunch of heart- stealer kids. We did some really cool things during the year such as a fabulous unit on Anzac, creating Bags for Syrian children and making papier-mache Chinese lanterns for the local village my school is situated in who were having a Chinese New Year celebration. I felt I really grew last year as a teacher and not only that but I graduated from being a baby teacher to a fully registered teacher (once I got around to submitting my form for full teacher registration).

I love a good wall display in the classroom...
Home
The Cowboy and I did lots of homey stuff last year (and this year too). We bought a little chest freezer which was very exciting, oh yes it was! The Cowboy lined our double garage with carpet tiles, our garage is fancy! I started painting bits and bobs of furniture and finished nothing. The Princesses room got a big makeover. She got a new bed and desk and we completely we redecorated it. I love that she is totally into design like her Mama, both her Mama's actually.

Outdoor furniture our neighbors put out for collection, we collected, repainted and popped out front in our newly fenced front yard.
Pets
Sabrina and Mack, the two kittens we adopted grew into their personalities. They do what cats do, which is rule, us and the roost. Sequin or Sapphire, not sure which one, passed away in its tank. RIP Sequin or Sapphire. You did well to last the four years you did with us and our lack of attention to detail, namely providing you with a spic and span home at all times.

This is when they were new, terrified of us and lived under the bed, oh how times have changed, now they kind of like us and love on top of the bed...
The Princess
She had a super year. She played netball on Saturdays for the first time. The Wasband, myself and the Cowboy would all attend her games. So normal to us and so confusing for others. I loved Saturday netball, rain or shine, even if it meant getting up early. The netball parents all started off very quiet and by the end of the season we had bonded and supporting on the side line was hilarious. The Princess whilst maintaining her core group of 3 friends that she has had forever; Espe, Grace and Cheetah, developed a new friendship group at school of Ange and the two E's. Her friends are all lovely girls, 3 of the parents are also teachers so no wonder the girls are lovely ;-) But seriously, I am really proud of her friendships, her friends are all positive influences in their own ways. And I am so proud of the Princess, she is still sweet, still funny, still clever, now taller than her Mama and is a teen!

The Princess and the swing - Rawene 2105

The Cowboy
Well he is just...The Cowboy is lovely. I can't put into words how well he looks after us. He is there for us always, not just me but my Princess too. He tolerates a lot, as any partner of a teacher will identify with! Cowboy, I love you with all my heart and am so blessed that you came into our lives.

Great Gatsby Ball - Remuera Primary School 2015
Christmas 2015/New Year 2016
My brother Phil, his wifie Nik and the three little Johnston's came from Weipa. The twinsies came from Rarotonga and we all decamped to Rawene. It was great. A proper family Christmas with a TURKEY. My mum will get that bit!  We did family stuff, activities with the kiddies, day trips, no trips, walks, games, amazing food (thank you Mummy), a hangi (thank you Poppa), New Year at the local pub haha, New Year's day jigsaw (thank you Cowboy for driving Nik and I on an 80 km round trip to get one), target practice on Phil's rifle range (the tea towels and kids shoes on the clothes line) and so much more.  I loved it all.

Cousins in the surf with Nana
Summer Holiday Break
Whilst Christmas and New Year  was fabulous, underlying it all was my Auntie Illy, my Poppa's sister. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer over the last Easter when the twinsies and I were in Rawene. Over Christmas and New Year she had been progressively going downhill. Auntie Illy and I had a special connection so I spent the rest of the holiday break (apart from a few days on tour with the Cowboy) going backwards and forwards from Auckland to Rawene. Auntie Illy slipped away at the end of January. She died with the utmost dignity and style which is how she had managed her cancer since her diagnosis. It was a privilege to be a part of the Pou Whanau in the mourning of her passing and the celebrating of her life. She is gone but not forgotten. Auntie Illy I love you and miss you.

Auntie Illy making pudding Rawene, New Years Day 2016 xo
Three Day Tour
The Cowboy and I stole a break just after New Year and did a round trip of a whole lot of the North Island. We went from Auckland to Napier, Napier to Wellington and Wellington to home. How many people do you know can encounter two major road closures on two major highways in the space of three days? Well we did!  Closures aside, it was fun. He drove, I looked, we talked, we ate, we drank, we did some sightseeing and it was just us. Oh and I caught up with my uni/teacher friend Jenna, in Napier. We both live in Auckland but could not manage a catch up there!

The Cowboy and I going up a mountain on a gondola, as you do in summer.
Here ends the confessional.

There you are, my life in 2015 and the beginning of 2016. It's funny because I thought last year was fairly quiet and uneventful and yet as I write I realise how full it was (and I have only covered snippets of it) but also how very blessed I am.

Until next time - hopefully not next Easter!

Rachael xo



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