Looking Back At 2013

Going through my 2013 photographs for this post has brought back so many great memories for me! Last year truly was a good year and creating this post made me realise just how much we manage to fit into our lives within a year - and just how fortunate we are to have experienced all that we did. I appreciate every part of the past year - the good and the bad - because through all these experiences, I have grown.

Here are a few of our highlights from last year:


January was an incredibly busy month - all go, go, go!

We were lucky enough to have our good friends from Cape Town, Mike and Shelley, come and visit us, and while they were here we spent a fun few days down in Queenstown together. {All my posts about Queenstown can be seen in the "Places in New Zealand" page at the top of my blog.}

We also celebrated Grant's birthday up in the Bay of Islands with family and two sets of Cape Town friends. That was a really special celebration.

We also did some camping in January...


February saw us visiting the annual Auckland Lantern Festival for the second time.

And Luke went on his first away school camp! {Looking back at these photos, it's amazing to see how much this kid has grown this year.}


Grant's parents visited us in March.


And we spent a week over on Waiheke island in April, while they were here.

Sarah and I also flew down to Wellington to watch Jessica play in the Premier Girls Water Polo Nationals in April. Her team did so well and they won at least three prizes at the school sports prize giving ceremony.


In May, Jessica turned 15 and had a big party at a local tennis club to celebrate.


In June it was my birthday and I bought myself this book. :)

Luke turned 9 in June. And 2013 was the year of Lego for Luke!

Luke qualified for his second Inter-schools Cross Country race and did very well.


In July I helped at one of Luke's school field trips to MOTAT. The day out included a ride on the tram.


In August I had feature walls painted in the children's bedrooms and their downstairs TV room. This photo was taken before I'd put Luke's pictures back up on his wall.


Grant travelled extensively during 2013 - and September was a particularly lonely month for the kids and me.

I wasn't the only one who missed him desperately!

We went to watch the Springboks play the All Blacks at Eden Park with our friends Durk and Helen - on one of the weekends when Grant was in Auckland.

Sarah went to AIMS in September, with her Year 8 water polo team.

September was also the month of the school formals for both Jessica and Sarah.


October brought with it our first holiday in Noosa, Australia - and what an awesome holiday that was!

We also did our annual Halloween party again this year and the kids had a great time dressing up and going out into the neighbourhood.


During November, I experienced my first "Festive Home tour", we created our first Thanksgiving Tree, and Luke performed in his school production, Sleeping Beauty.


In December Luke participated in his school athletics day and ended up winning the 9 years and Under Boys Athletic Champion Award at prize giving after coming 1st in the 100m, 1st in the 400m and 1st in the long jump. 

He also trialled for the North Harbour Touch Rugby U11 team and was selected as a member of the U11 Mixed Elite team! A great achievement seeing that he's only 9. Sadly he will probably miss his main tournament with his team as he broke his foot two days before Christmas!

Sarah was also a North Harbour representative this year - she played in the U14C Girls water polo team that won bronze down in Tauranga at the Nationals Championship in December. Again, a great achievement for a then 12 year old.

Also, Sarah celebrated her 13th birthday in December and now we've got two teenagers in our home!

So on the whole, 2013 was indeed a very good year for us. There were definitely some not-so-good parts too, but every part and each experience is what makes us grow and learn, isn't it? 

I now look forward to another great year in 2014. May this year bring new friendships, deeper friendships, glamour, good food, fun trips, many sessions on Skype and Face time, good health, good fortune and the experience of pure joy, often.

I wish you all the very best 2014!

Be happy. x

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