The Next Step: Wisconsin

Hi all!

I’ve actually been home for over a month at this point in time. I’ve been putting off writing this last post, I think because I was holding on a bit to my life there and this feels so final. But hey, you have to move on at some point right?

My last week in NZ was probably one of the toughest weeks of my life. After returning from Rarotonga I became extremely ill, I ended up having to go to an A&E clinic and found out I had an ear infection on top of the flu and cold I had. Not to mention, that on the Wednesday of that week the new au pair for my family was coming and I had to train her!

I finally started feeling better, but the new struggle of training my replacement started. I honestly think the three days I trained her were my hardest emotional days in New Zealand. My goal was putting the kiddos first so I was trying to have the kids go to her for any problems or things they needed. They were so confused by this and you could see how unsettled they were. I knew how important it was for their transition. As calm and cool as I looked on the outside in front of the kids, I was a torn up mess on the inside. I cried about eight times a day during my last couple of days, so clearly I had my shit together haha. The new au pair was understanding but also on multiple occasions told me it would be nice once I left, since the kids only come to me. My host parents were so lovely, always checking in and talking about how hard it must be. I got lots of extra hugs on those days. They were also trying to convince me to stay up until the day I left, if only!

Over the weekend I looked forward to some normalcy with my friends for my last two days. My two friends, Jackie and Kaela just absolutely went above and beyond. Normally when au pairs leave you just go get a meal together but no, they surprised me with a really nice lunch and a jet boat ride around Auckland. Funny thing was that it was just getting into NZ winter and it turned out that the jet boat rides goal was to get you soaking wet. So by the end our eyes were burning and we were drenched from head to toe, still makes me laugh.

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My last day with all the family, I had a brunch with big and little kids. Anna prepared the most lovely little speech and gave me the most perfect present. They got me a necklace, the stone in it means finding a new family and establishing a bond, how perfect.

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The day I left was such a sad one, you could just feel it in the air and in everyones mood. Unfortunately, the kids got the sickness that I got and were the most sick that I ever saw them. We went for coffee at Anna’s parents house and then headed to the airport. The goodbye was so hard for me because the kids were so sick at this point that they just wanted mom and dad, so I didn’t even get a hug from them as I left. They obviously couldn’t grasp that this was the final goodbye. I understood completely but it still pulled at my heart strings oh so much.

The first couple of weeks home were brutal. They are my family too and it is so hard knowing that I don’t know when I will see them again. That by the time I do see them, the kids probably won’t remember me really well. I still talk to Anna and the kids and Anna’s parents weekly. They are great about sending me pictures and videos of the kids.

I am so thankful for the experience I had. I was so lucky to meet and love the people that I did. As well as travel to all of the wonderful and foreign places that I did. I feel settled after my trip, I am now ready to move on the the next phase of my life. I move into my new apartment in a new city next week. I’m excited to see what comes next and I try to ignore the little twinge that comes now and then from missing my second family oh so far away.

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Raro-strange

Hi All!

So we survived the 11 nights in Rarotonga. Ahhh what to say about Rarotonga…honestly such a strange cultural experience. So I’ll start with the plane ride over. I think that no matter how prepared you are and no matter how much time you give yourself, being at an airport with toddlers will always be stressful. We gave ourselves four hours to get there and literally just made it to the plane as it was boarding. Once on the plane came the greater dilemma, they had very limited kids shows, We spent 3 1/2 hours trying to contain Stella as Jesse fell asleep on Richard cause he had the worst cold that would eventually creep its way into the depths of each of our bodies one by one over the next 11 days.

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We eventually made it to Rarotonga, the tropical atmosphere was promising with the sticky heat hitting us in a suffocating wave. We arrived quite late and and got the kiddos off to sleep pronto. We stayed in a really nice Bach quite centrally located, right across the street through a yard was the beautiful beach and the strip called Muri was a 10 minute walk, if that. I shared a room with Jesse during the stay there, which was surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. The strangest realization hit us over the next couple of days, the locals where unbelievably unfriendly to tourist and this was in a touristy area. What we came to find out is that the island has basically been taken over by the mafia, all businesses run through them. A very strange atmosphere to come into. The other downside was the fact that we literally had two sunny nice days out of the 11. The weather was downright cold, windy and cloudy the entire time.

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After 6 days we moved into the hills a bit further down the island, it was a really lovely place and the atmosphere at the local places was a bit better, although it could be that we just adjusted to the demeanor of the locals. It was pretty cool because while there Richard and Anna rented motorbikes and I rented a bicycle. Everything is so much more laid back there so if we went out all together, the kids would be strapped onto Richard and Anna on the back of the motor bikes and I would hop on behind. It was quite fun to cruise around on a bike for a bit.

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Despite all the downsides I really think that we made the best of the experience. The vacation was meant as a time of rest and recuperation, which I think it was just that. There was one particularly awful day that we were going to go get drinks so we all hopped on the bikes and the minute we were out on the main roads it started to downpour, we decide to journey on and hope it stops. It did not, and I was wearing a white shirt that became quickly see through, got quite the reaction from the workers on the side of the road, thank god I had my backpack, so I wore it on my front into this super nice resort. Honestly, its times like that I will remember, I love when you can make those awful situations into something hilarious and somewhat positive somehow. We spent the happy hour indoors in the rain instead of the beach, but I wouldnt change that or the fact that we were cry laughing on the way home as rain pelted us in the face, as Richard told Anna for the millionth time easy does it as we drove blindly.

I also learned that I could never vacation on my own. I already talk to myself a bit but it reached an unhealthy amount on this trip. There were lots of stray dogs on the beaches, I always had at least 3 with my so I guess I just became a stray dog whisperer during my stay.

We were very lucky to have two beautiful last days where we soaked up all of the sunshine. Then we headed to the airport where I was stuck with Stella who is not as flying prone as Jesse. I spent the three hours trying to entertain her and have her sit still. Mind you I was the unlucky last one with this monstrous cold/flu, so dealing with that and a toddler was not my idea of fun. Yeah so she basically went feral and then konked out as the plane touched the ground, I am not joking, literally that exact moment.

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Anyways, I am so so thankful for this trip with my second family. The time allowed me to come to terms with leaving and I think I did a good job of enjoying every moment that I had with these amazing people. So crazy I leave in a little over a week. This blog is nearly done!

SYDNEY

So lets talk about Sydney.

Dear Sydney, I am absolutely head over heels in love with you! Honestly, slight regretting my decision to come to New Zealand after visiting you. No, I love New Zealand but I just feel like my personality and interests just jive so much better with all that Sydney/Australia has to offer. OH WELL, trying not to be extremely depressed that I had to leave the wonderful splendor that was Sydney.

So let me break it down, we were only there for four days but we packed so much into each day that it actually felt more like a full week. Our flight over went very smoothly, actually the entire weekend went extremely smooth so so thankful for that. The first day we didn’t have much time once we got checked into our hostel. So we went over to Darling Harbour and saw some of the light show that was going on for the month of May. We also checked out the Chinese Gardens and fed ourselves some yum food in Chinatown.

The next day we played super tourist. We did all of the city things. We walked for at least 8 hours and my feet were some hurting puppies by the end. We got our butts over to see the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the Botanic Gardens. Then we went out that night.

The next day was my absolute favorite, we took the train out to Bondi Beach. Just another example of how I could so see myself living near the water, I am definitely my most happy self in that type of environment. So we spent the day brunching walking and shopping and then we headed back into the city for more touristy things and ended the night at the nicest little pub for some dinner and beer that I absolutely came to love.

Then this morning we took the ferry out to Manly beach, it was a bit rainy and we didn’t have much time but it was such a cool beach area.

A few things I want to talk about considering Australia:

One, there is this natural rivalry that seems to exist between Ozzies and Kiwis. Kiwis have told me time and time again how stuck up Australians are so I was well prepared for this type of person to dominate when visiting. I came to find out that this was the furthest from the truth. I did not meet one rude person my entire time in Sydney. I want to extend this and say that I think Australians are some of the friendliest people I have met. Renate and I just had so many wonderful/lovely encounters just about everywhere we turned.For example, before even getting off the plane, the man sitting next to us offered to buy us a meal onboard because he felt bad eating in front of us when we didn’t have anything. Things like this just happened over and over again, hard to not be in the best mood possible when people are this wonderfully down to earth.

Another thing was that Renate and I did not have any cell service so we ended up leaving our phones behind for most of the trip besides using them for a couple minutes with wifi at the hostel. I have to say I am doing this on every vacation. It was so nice to be so removed from everything besides our immediate situation and surroundings, really makes you appreciate the time more. I also spent a lot less time seeing these wonderful sights through a lens. I read a book recently that talked about how people are so focused on getting a great picture and consequently really forget to enjoy their surroundings. So I did snap a few photos but Renate and I spent a great deal of time just sitting in mutual appreciation of our surroundings.

Also, New Zealand is a very new country and consequently the buildings are relatively new. One thing that I learned I loved and knew I missed is beautiful architecture. I finally got a taste of this in Australia and oh how I have missed it. There were so many down right beautiful buildings. Renate and I are both big fans of architecture and history so we really took the time to explore all of these gorgeous sites.

If Sydney wasn’t so far from home I would move there in a heartbeat. It stole my heart completely and totally. So happy that I decided to mosey on over there because I don’t know if  would have gotten there after returning to the states. Here’s a handful of pictures from the vacation:

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Now back to real life…I only have five more weeks left here, so I am going to try and enjoy them to the fullest. Two more weeks and then off to Rarotonga with the fam!

Stuck Between Two Worlds

Hi All!

So crazy fact called I only have 52 days left here in NZ?!? Wait what, I am kind of in shock at how quick this second half went. I have really settled into a life and routine here. I am so unbelievably ready to see family and friends back home but as the time draws nearer I am just realizing more and more how I have a family and home here as well. Basically this has left me a jumble of emotions. Insight into how my mind is working right now: Talk to friends-get so excited for old traditions-reminded that means I have to leaved loved ones here-depression. This is happening at least 5 times a day.

Anyway, the weather is my absolute favorite here right now. It is fall here, which I mean who does not love fall?! There is something about that crisp air that makes me giddy. We haven’t had much rain and quite a bit of sun so it has just been so enjoyable lately. Makes me appreciate NZ in a whole new way. While I am feeling so positive about this gorgeous place I wanted to write down some of my favorite things about NZ so here we goooo:

-all of the amazing small cafes that are everywhere (America’s got nothing on NZ cafes..also reason I got fat so maybe its a good thing to leave behind haha)

-Living right by the beach

-Being able to see the city skyline and beautiful beach views every time I go for a drive

-Friendly transportation (You are RUDE if you do not thank the bus driver as you get off the bus)

-That you can get anywhere across Auckland in basically a half an hour

-Sunny Sundays in Ponsonby

Things I will not miss:

-Shitty wifi (Bain of my existence)

-Running out of data

-being 15 minutes from something and having to ride transportation for over an hour to get there

-bars banning alcohol the night before a lot of holidays(it is pretty much universally known NZ that you are suppose to let people get wasty pants to CELEBRATE holidays)

Anyway, life recently! The kiddos are just getting so big and creative and amazing!!! It makes me so sad to leave when they are just really coming into their own individuality and personalities. Some funny things that they have been saying lately that just crack me up… I’m not joking, sometimes I am doubled over in laughter, which could be me spending way to much time around kids but whatever…

So yesterday Stella was trying to build a fort with a blanket and it kept falling, she let out a few frustrated grunts and tried unsuccessfully to put it up again. She sees me watching and throws her arms in the air and says, “I just don’t understand!” Like what, where does she come up with such a statement?!

I had the flu/still have, which by the way to all of the mothers out there, you are wonder woman. Don’t know how you take care of children when you are seriously ill?? But I couldn’t get off the couch so I told Jesse he could get his and Stella’s afternoon tea from the fridge. He just thought this was the cats meow since he is quite the food swipper and usually isn’t allowed to help himself. Anyway, he brings Stella her yogurt and says quite like a tv host, “It’s got yummy berries, its got biscuits.. Mmm, it’s delicious!” and dips his finger in and licks it, “wow bubba, you try it.”…Of course Stella wasn’t having any of it because she had just woken up but I just looked at him in awe, with so much love in my heart.

Jesse is also quite ocd about things being organized and one day a few things were out of place in the lounge so he looks around with his hands on his hips and says, “What a mess? Clean up time, Kate!”

I was bringing Stella and Jesse to kindy the other day and they were cracking each other up, it was quite infectious as I turned back and looked at Stella she said, “oh my goodness Kate, I SO funny!” and slaps her leg.

As I was largely incapacitated yesterday I was laying on the couch and Jesse comes into the room in his spiderman costume and says, “Ya better watch out, I coming for you and my name is Captain Trouble wahaha.”

Sorry, if that was boring. Feel free to skip my ooing and ahing. I am just so in love with these little humans. Anyway, here is some pictures of life lately!

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Said goodbye to Max yesterday, so weird that he is leaving since we both got here at the same time! It’s getting real close people!

Off to Sydney in exactly 2 weeks, whoop whoop!

Enjoying Each Day

Hi All!

Some fun things happened the past couple of weeks. First of all, I SAW SAM SMITH IN CONCERT!! I can’t even begin to explain what a moving concert it was. Hands down the best concert that I have ever been to. He is such a humble and genuine artist, it was an amazing experience to see him preform live. Gahh, I just..no words properly describe these emotions. Plus, it was on a Wednesday night so my friends and I felt our age again doing a concert and being out and about instead of in bed at 9 o’clock. So happy we got to do this in NZ! Although, we all noticed how different the concert culture is from our home countries. The American and Canadians of us were screaming our heads off and going absolutely ape. Everyone around us didn’t even sing along or scream. Excuse me, what? No singing/screaming at a concert is just wrong.

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This past weekend we headed over to Waiheke Island for some wine tasting. It ended up being the absolute perfect day and the wonderful distraction that I needed. Plus, we felt extremely grown up. I now know the fruity and woody textures that are enveloped in wine. Just kidding, but I listened really well and used some of those words as I swooshed it around in my glass the appropriate amount of times before sipping the small portion in my glass. Had really great company and was such a lovely experience.

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The kiddos are doing great, they are at the absolute best age now! Stella is now potty trained and going to kindy full time. I have to say the next au pair will have it easy, the kids are just absolutely golden now. Speaking of new au pair, I only have 9 weeks left here in my second home with my second family who have such a hold on my heart. For quite a while I was getting restless here and so ready to get home and see friends and family. I am still so beyond ready to see friends and family but I have this new found fear and panic because I do not want to leave this beautiful place with so many beautiful people that I love. I just want the best of both worlds, is that too much to ask?? I have been extremely emotional lately because of all of this and yesterday I had both of the kids in the car when Jesse said the most amazing thing. We were chatting about something (yeah we can actually have full on amazingly quirky, funny convos now that they are older. They are just super adorable little buddies) and Jesse very matter of factly, with his arms behind his head in his carseat says, “Kate..I love you.” I looked back at him in the mirror in complete aw, my eyes immediately misting up. I mean to recognize that emotion and be able to verbalize it to me, I mean wow. Then to top it all off Stella looks at me in the mirror and says, “I love you too, Kate!” I mean heart melting 100%, I think they were confused by the amount of fuss I made over this. I just love them with all of my heart. I miss them after a weekend away, how I am I suppose to not see them again for at least a very, very long time. A time when they probably wont remember me anymore?! Gahh the life struggle is real.

 I am really just trying to take everything a day at a time and enjoy every single precious moment. Me and my host mom try to not talk about it that much. Some call it denial, we call it trying not to cry all of the time. Anyways a couple more weeks and then here we come Sydney!!

Easter in the Coromandel

Hi All!

I got back last night from a long four day holiday in The Coromandel. It was really beautiful, but I was by far ready to get home after a four busy days of hiking, exploring and being out in the sun! We were so lucky to have really nice warm weather the entire weekend, even though it is technically fall here now. The first day we did a few short hikes and ended up seeing the strangest pig farm. Well it really wasn’t even a farm, basically this homeless looking man calls these pigs his “friends” and he lives with them in an abandoned house. Sketchiest thing I have experience in NZ. Weirdest part of all is that he is in brochures, this guy is an attraction in the Coromandel…mind blown. We did a few short hikes our first day and planned for a full day of adventures the next.

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So the next day we went to Whitianga and then travelled to Hahei, which is home to the infamous Cathedral Cove, which is in movies like Narnia. I think this was one of my favorite parts of the trip, truly such a magical place. It’s a 45 minute hike to get to the Cove and just so so worth it, really magical there. Then we went to the hot water beach and unfortunately found no hot water because the stupid tourist that we were, did not know that you had to go before the tide came in. So we spent a bit of time digging for nothing haha.

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The next day we walked around Whitianga and then we headed over to New Chums Beach, which was really beautiful. There is no path to the beach and is about a half an hour hike. I have to say we were feeling the slightest bit like superior adventures. trekking through the jungle in our minds, even though it was far from it haha. Really another beautiful beach that we spent our easter on. Then we played some cards and ate cheese and crackers to celebrate easter and be fancy in our poor way of living.

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The next day we were meant to hike the pinnacles, unfortunately the world was kind of working against us yesterday so that didn’t happen. From being on the wrong side of the mountain to getting stopped by the police to ask if we were selling cocaine and gun and then finally not having enough gas to make it the last 10 minute drive to the pinnacles, we defeatedly retreated home after a few short hikes.

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A fun filled but tiresome weekend! Very happy to be home now. So crazy that I have under 100 days left here in NZ, I really feel like time is moving at a much quicker pace now. I am so torn because I can’t imagine leaving family and friends here but I am so beyond ready to be around my friends and family from home I can barely contain it!

Here’s one of my favorite pics I snapped last week of the Littles BOTH going off to Kindy, they are just growing up so much, ugh ❤

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Living Life

Hi Everyone!

So I am the worst, this whole keeping up with a blog thing is clearly not my forte. I probably wouldn’t be writing this if my best friend hadn’t told me that I am sucking at the updates haha. SO LIFE.. We have moved and we are all still surprisingly in one piece. Im not going to lie, it was not an easy feat with two toddlers. Jesse is very OCD and does not deal with change, so you can imagine how well the move went with him. I hit my low point when two days after the move I was driving home from the grandparents with the kids, got pulled over by the cops and had Jesse pulling out generous chunks of Stella’s hair. I got out of the car and burst into tears when my host parents came out of the house. Besides that we have been chugging along. The house is in some semblance of order and we are back to somewhat of a routine. ALTHOUGH, they have started a lot of renovations on this house, that are taking forever. So basically 6 months of my time here will be dealing with house renovations, can not say I will miss that. I would post pictures of the house but somehow I don’t have any and I am too lazy to get out of bed and take any.

Basically haven’t done any big trips because of the move and trying to save money for a bunch happening in April. So we have just been hanging around Auckland and such. We were so unbelievably lucky because my friends and I used to live quite far from each other but it worked out that we are now within a 3 minute drive from each other, so thank you world. We have met two other girls and really have formed a nice group. I am really thrilled about it because I think it will make a great last three months here. We went to some local bars in the bays and it is just so amazing living right by the water! Here’s us the other night, bays style…

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This weekend has been pretty busy. I did an overnight with the kids this weekend. Of course they were up far before the sun was shining at 5:45. I love them to death but I am more than ready to get away for the weekend after the move and everything it has just been a lot of togetherness. Although, I have to say how big the kiddos are getting. They just aren’t even any kind of little anymore. Jesse is now just such a boy. They are both growing so tall and beautiful and I am just so in love with them, I can’t imagine leaving them for more than a couple of days. I will save that perpetual meltdown for later though, compartmentalize, right? Here’s some pics of the kiddos as of late….

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Went to my first official rugby game today as well, what a treat. I have become slightly obsessed since I came here and was so excited to attend a game today. Such a fun thing to do, I think we will definitely be going again..

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Really looking forward to the easter weekend with friends in the Coramandel, its going to be all beaches, hiking and relaxation!

Here’s some other pictures from the long gap that I have been parted from the internet world

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Hobbiton/Mt. Maunganui

Hi All!

I had one of my absolute favorite weekends in New Zealand this past weekend. I went with my new dutch friends and Max down south a couple of hours. Prepare yourselves to be jealous. Our first stop was Metameta, this is a very small area but it holds something truly amazing, HOBBITON! Now I have to say I wasn’t a huge Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan (Harry Potter all the way) until I came here and my friends are all obsessed. So anyway we booked ourselves into the Hobbiton tour and we were off. Honestly, we were so fortunate to have the most amazing weather for the tour, I am so thankful for that. It was honestly the most amazing thing to walk through the Hobbit village. They had started to tear it down and in the end they rebuilt it for the Hobbit movies, later opening it up for tours. The pure detail that went into everything to bring the books to life was unreal. For example the tree above Balbo’s house is handmade with thousands of fake leaves sewn on. Everything felt so real, it was truly a magical experience. Here are some pics from one of my favorite days here so far…

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After an amazing day we drove the almost hour to Mt. Maunganui where we camped out on the beach. Have to say I am still not a huge fan of camping but I will not complain about waking up at the beach everyday. It is so nice because we have all done the major trips so all the places we go now are more to relax and enjoy. So we spent the next day hiking Mt. Maunganui and lying on the beach followed by a lovely Mexican dinner. Top notch weekend with amazing people in paradise.

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Have a great week everyone!

The Next Six Months

Hi people of the world!

I just have to say what good spirits I am in! I had that momentary fear of not making friends again for this second half of my trip and I was super freaked out. BUT finally as of last week everyone was kind of back from family vacations and such and life is getting back to it’s normal routine, which I am so thankful for! Routine is just so much better for everyone. Anyway I reconnected to two girls that I had started getting to know before the holidays and we have just hit it off so well!

So last weekend me and Max bonded over being the only two from our group left and we found out we enjoy each others company way better outside of the group. Last weekend war basically like New Zealands independence day so me and Max ventured out to Britomart and enjoyed all the festivities that they had going on. It was really so much fun, it reminded me of the 4th of July with the fireworks and warm weather so it was nice to have a taste of home! Here’s some pics of the day…

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Then this past weekend it was my friends birthday so we ended up going to Mission Bay for lunch (super hard for me to eat healthy out. Richard, Anna and I are on a 6 week healthy eating challenge but I persevered and got oats and fruit while everyone ate burgers, will power baby!) and then we went out on the town for Robins birthday. It was super busy cause the nines started their season this weekend so everywhere was packed! One kind of not cool but also super awesome thing happened too. My host family watches this god awful show, just such bad acting, but I spend a good chunk of my after dinner relaxation time watching it with them. Anyway, we saw the “bad boy” character at the club! So of course we had to take a creeper shot, pictured below. It is just so weird to me how all these famous nz people go out and about and just are among the population with no papparazzi, so different than the US. People really seem to respect famous peoples privacy here. Anyway, such a fun night with these girls!

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Lots of change coming up. Anna and I chatted during our six month catch up and we figured out my end date, so I will be home the second week of July!! I just already know how hard it will be. I have so many mixed emotions because I know that I want to go home but it really breaks my heart into a million little pieces to think of leaving my family. We thought we would have some time before ti seemed real but my teacher coordinator told us that Anna needs to start interviewing new au pairs now because they are contracting out as far as July already! Ugh, so not ready for this process. I already told Anna, I don’t know how their last au pair was so nice to me because I CAN NOT imagine being nice during interviews. Teritorial and inquisitive in a negative way, yes. No, I want them to have the best au pair after me. Needless to say, Anna and I are not looking forward to starting the looking process.

Here’s some other photos from this week, basically a week filled with Stella just being absolutely freaking adorable. We go to Mission Bay on Thursdays when Jesse is at Kindy and there is this fountain there that kids can swim in. It is perfect for Stella’s comfort level with water. So anyway we are in the fountain and she is the life of the party, walking around the fountain again and again with her arms in the air saying, “woo hoo” I was DYING!! Then to add to the cuteness she calls the fountain the mountain and anytime the mist from the fountain would come her way she would wave her hand at it and say, “No mountain! I don’t like that, please stop.” When the fountain would stop she would say, “aw thanks mountain” and wave.

I COULD JUST DIE FROM THE CUTENESS…

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Mangawhai Vacation Numero Duo

Hi y’all. Ahh there has been so little down time since I have returned from my south island trip. Two weeks ago was my last week with Jasmin. Lucky enough my host mom continued to be awesome and let me stay back from the family vacation for a few days and let me and Jasmin have the house. CAN I JUST SAY HOW MUCH I MISS HAVING MY OWN PLACE?!? Ah it was heaven on earth! We spent a majority of the time reading, eating, lying by the pool and watching movies. Such an amazing last few days together.

I have been struggling a bit since Jasmin left because I am basically starting over yet again, friendless. Well I have one friend left but I don’t count him because he isn’t the greatest friend and I don’t rely on people like that. I have decided that I am going to start volunteering at the hospital here. I have just really figured out that au pair friends are not my thing, so I am going to try and get involved in the community a bit. Besides that I would really like to take this time to get healthy and spend a good deal of time with my host family. As I thought, I am feeling a bit lonely, but that is just how it is during transition periods, aye?

After I said a sad goodbye to Jasmin I headed up to Mangawhai to join my host family, we stayed in Richard’s sisters place, she rents her house out for a living now. Such a cute little place. The only downfall was that due to the kids sleeping schedule and what not I was in the back den, which had really gorgeous views BUT it only had a sliding door. The kiddos loved this fact so consequently I would be woken up super early every morning. I can’t complain a ton because their little faces were just so excited hopping into bed with me for some cuddles, so adorable.

Here’s some pics of the house and my time with the family

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We spent a majority of the week at the beach. It was pretty nice because we would do half days, so I would have the other half to explore. It was actually funny because Anna’s whole family was up there and Richard’s family lives there, so it wasn’t much different than being in Auckland. I was able to do a waterfall hike, and hit a couple of beaches with a good book outside of watching the kids.

Here’s some pictures from around Mangawhai

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Now we are back home and the sadness at having to start over has set in a little more. Getting to know people and see if you’re a fit can be such a grueling process, man. Have to say even though I was having difficulties being in such a small house by the end of the trip (that’s just how it is with families on vacation isn’t it? 🙂 ) I really am just so in love with my host family. Had a great dinner with the older kids, they are all at fun ages as well (for the most part haha) tonights dinner went quite long and included a who is the fittest challenge, heres a pic from tonight haha all super focused and determined to win. How lucky am I to have landed these hilariously awesome family??

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