December 2016 Little Things

December was a busy month for us - the end of the year always is, I guess. We had Jessica's Graduation Dinner right at the beginning of the month. You can read all about that here.

And on the 2nd I went along as a parent helper to Luke's school Community Service Day at Mahurangi Regional Park. We helped the rangers distribute mulch around all the trees and shrubs in the camping and beach front areas. It was strenuous work, but so rewarding. I did this with Jess and Sarah when they were in Year 7 too - it's a great feeling to be doing some community work, especially at this time of year.

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of us lugging the bucketfuls of mulch (too busy working), but I took these next two photos during our lunch and down-time afterwards, when the kids got to swim and relax after all of their hard work.

Our Cape Town friends who now live in Nelson, came up to Auckland at the beginning of December to catch the Coldplay concert and they came to stay with us.

We started off our Coldplay evening out with dinner at an awesome restaurant in Ponsonby, called Azabu, which "combines Peruvian Japanese Nikkei flavours with more Tokyo-style dishes" (according to it's website). Wow, the food was delicious there! We tried a variety of meals - small plates, tostada, dumplings, tempura, main plates & sides - everything was mouth-watering. Seriously. I can't even separate out which was my favourite dish of the night - it was all so good.

I got this next photo from our friends (thanks Helena) after we'd all arrived at the Coldplay concert (they were not sitting with us):

It was so great to get to spend time with them again now that they're living in New Zealand. It would be even better if we lived in the same city, but I'm not complaining because Nelson is just a short flight from Auckland so I'm sure we'll get to see a lot of them. (We're even getting their daughter, Jessica's old school friend, coming to stay with us in a few days time.)

One of the highlights of a Coldplay concert is always these armband goodies which light up when the concert starts and flashes in time to the music, with certain colours flashing at certain times. Always a hit.

Poor quality night time shot (one day I'll take awesome night time photos):

And here's a little music snippet I put up on my Instagram: Coldplay.

That was such a fun night out! And also a fun weekend with our Cape Town mates.

Then we went to our good friends' son's 21st birthday party the next weekend:

Congratulations, Liam! 

Then it was Sarah's birthday - you can read my post about that here.

Luke and I visited Grant in the city one day and I took this cute picture of my boys when we stopped for a coffee break:

Luke also continued playing summer football during the holidays:

December was also filled with lots of water polo - Auckland hosted the World Junior Women's Water Polo Championships and Sarah and I went to watch quite a few of those awesome games. The level of water polo was phenomenal and we got to watch the USA, Russia, China, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and a few other awesome teams. It was a real treat to get to watch that calibre of play right here at our local pool. 

The Tri-Nations Water Polo Championships (NZ, Australia and South Africa) also took place in Auckland this December (the week after the World Champs) and we watched even more water polo then!

An old Cape Town bookclub friend and her family came over to watch their son play in the South African U18 team in the Tri-Nations tournament, and we got to see quite a bit of each other at the pool during their stay here. It was also wonderful to have them over for dinner one night. It's always so lovely to see old friends from SA here in Auckland.

Sarah also had a New Zealand Water Polo 5 day camp in December - so it was go, go, go with all the Water Polo because she was also doing table duty during the Tri-Nations tournament.

And later in the month, Grant and I celebrated our wedding anniversary! We went out for dinner at a restaurant called Tok Tok and enjoyed some very tasty food there while enjoying some quiet time before the Christmas rush began.

And then it was Christmas - more about that over here. And after Christmas we had a couple of days of relaxation and tidying up before we headed off to Mount Maunganui for a few days. I'll write a separate post about that little getaway soon.

December 2016, over and out. x

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