November Little Things

The last two months of the year tend to fly by in a flash because there are so many end-of-year activities happening at this time. School is coming to an end, there are assemblies, prize-givings, parties, the Year 13 Graduation Walk, rowing regattas and oh yes - exam preparations!

On the morning of the Graduation Walk, a group of girls (and their moms) got together for a breakfast celebration before school. It was a great opportunity for the girls to take lots of photos and for the moms to catch up on everything that's been happening and everything that's still to come. (So much going on - it's a jam-packed year.)

And it was an incredibly fun morning but I felt a keen sense of sadness too because it was slowly dawning on me that these lovely friends were not all going to be together for very much longer. 

Sarah has made some lovely friends over the nine years that she spent at her school and while she is ready to move on to the next phase of her life now, she will certainly miss the amazing school friends she has made over these years.

Sarah started at this school when she was nine years old (when we moved to New Zealand). She spent two years in the Junior School, then moved to the Middle School, and eventually finished at the Senior School. It was a wonderful journey and she made many amazing memories during that time.

 After breakfast, we went to school, and the kids did their Graduation Walk from the Junior school, through to the Middle School and finishing on the Senior School campus. Along the way, they were 'farewelled' by all the school pupils. It's such an emotional tradition, this. Sarah also got some hugs and flowers from the little kids in the Flippaball team that she coached - which totally melted her heart!

Here's when she spotted me along the walk. Sweet kid. Love her so much!

These photos were sent to me by a friend of mine who works at the school (thanks for taking these photos and sending them to me, Robine!):

I felt a bit sad after leaving school that day - as it really is the end of an era.

And then it was onto exam prep and lots of studying before finals...

Meanwhile, Grant and I managed to squeeze in a date night dinner and walk at the beach one evening...

And before we knew it, the time had arrived for Luke to go off on his school trip to NASA!

He agreed to have these photos taken because he knew that he was going away for 11 days - and I'd be missing him so much!

And boy, did he have a great time on his trip! Wow. They not only got there the day after NASA had landed on Mars (!), but they did a tour around that fascinating place and had five days at the Kennedy Space Center doing their Space Trek Programme. The boys got to make rockets, look at rockets, watch movies about rockets and (hopefully) learn lots about the Space programme during their time there. Lucky kid.

They also went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando, drove to Boggy Creek for an airboat ride to see the alligators, attended an NFL game, went to the Volcano Bay Waterpark, flew in an indoor wind tunnel, did some shopping and took a quick sightseeing tour of Los Angeles on the way home.

Luke didn't take any photos while he was away - and part of me is kind of sad because I'd love to see what he saw (from his perspective), but another part of me is so happy that he simply enjoyed the experience and wasn't tied to his phone all the time. Luckily the school teachers had a Facebook page and updated a tour blog about their daily adventures so we were able to see what they were doing and catch a glimpse of our kids having the time of their lives.

And while Luke was away, Jessica and I did a Mother and Daughter Trip to Australia! We divided our time between Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast and Byron Bay, a little town further south. It was so lovely to spend some good time with my eldest again. I will do a separate post of our trip across the ditch. (Coming soon.)

And then I jetted back just in time for Sarah's Graduation Dinner which was held at Eden Park Rugby Stadium. This special evening is when all the graduates get awarded their graduation certificates, yearbooks and a school pin. And it's another incredibly special and emotional occasion.

Here's a little video of when Sarah went up on stage:

November was a good one - with many extraordinarily happy moments (and a few sad ones), full calendars and lots of family time. Despite all the craziness and chaos, I love this time of the year.

I hope you're all having a relaxed, well-organised end of the year so far. Remember to make time to simply sit and 'be'. I'm trying my best to be ahead of the game so that I'm not doing any last-minute rushing around this year. 

This is my favourite time of the year and I can't wait to put my feet up and listen to Christmas music while nibbling on something yummy! How about you?

November, over and out. xx

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