Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hatches & Matches

It's been wayyyy too long since my last update.  So much has happened! Most importantly is the addition of not one, but TWO new babies.
Claire gave birth to Cullen Jack Bryan Lethaby on 21st January.  What a gorgeous wee tot he is!  Now he's 8 months old he always has lots of smiles for his adoring Aunty.  He loves being around his people and is quite content just sitting and watching his CRAZY big brother Quinn. 

The newest addition is Lara Therese Bartlett, born September 12th to Catkin and Gavin at home in Queenstown.  Another gorgeous daughter to add to their beautiful collection.  Gavin has sent through a picture and Aunty Apes and Aunty D are planning a trip down to Queenstown for Labour Weekend (end of October) to meet her.  Nana (Mum) is presently down there on Nana duty.

Welcome to the family, Cullen and Lara!  We're so lucky to have you.

I too have a new baby, a four legged kind.  Nine year old Baxta has come to live with me for his retirement.  He's been here for nearly 3 weeks now and it's working out beautifully!  Way better than I expected.  He sleeps in his bed in my room all night and doesn't get up until I get up.  He LOVES visitors - although he barks initially to let me know, and to let them know just how fierce he is (yeah, right).  He snores slightly which I think is cute and my favourite thing about him is when I come home he is by the door, hunched down, shaking with excitement, little tail wagging.  Currently looking for a guy who gets THIS excited to see me. 


It's been an eventful year so far.  Mum, Dad and I purchased a house together which is brilliant.  A place for them to base themselves when they are down here, and a home for me.  They have PROMISED me it is a win/win situation for all parties.  I moved in on the last weekend of March which just happened to coincide with a visit from the Clouston's (Kathryn and Alan) as luck would have it!  And much to their delight, I am sure.  I had the A Team helping me move and we were done by 10.30am.  Result!

It's a unit - one of two - with single garages in between.  Two double bedrooms (real doubles too!) and a single room/office off the back of the garage.  A small outdoor area with a patch of grass.  Lounge, dining room, kitchen, laundry, bathroom, and separate toilet. Perfect!  Very warm and has two heat pumps for extra warmth when needed.  I know I'll be very happy here.
I had a friend renting the spare room during the week, while working in Chch, and heading back to her home in Ashburton on the weekends.  It was the perfect set up.  But her tennents moved out and she has 3 small dogs so had to move back home and commute.  Leaving me flatmate-less. I love living by myself but the extra money is handy.  So my ol' mate Eru talked me in to Airbnb.  If you haven't heard of it before, have a look here
The perfect solution to be able to rent out the room but also have it available for when anyone comes to stay.  So far I have had two couples come to stay, both for a week.  The couple currently here are from Perth, Scotland so of course I can fluently converse with them in Scottish.  Ha!  AND they are keen to stay on a bit longer after they return from their trip up North.   So far it's working out brilliantly.
Mum and Dad have both been down for visits this year.  Mum was down in July for about 10 days.  Always so nice to have her close.  And Dad came down at the end of August for 6 days so help me (and when I say 'help me' I mean 'do it all himself') fix up the yard.  I am VERY impressed with the outcome.  So much better than expected AND we added things to the list as we went. 
So I now have a shed, vertical herb garden, clothesline, small and large raised garden beds.  VERY happy.  Dad did a brilliant job.  And managed to have quality Grandad time with his grandsons too.


I'm totally in love with having a washing line!  Sad, but true.
Had a lovely visit from the Southern Barts for Queens Birthday weekend in June.  So lovely to have them here and they got to meet Cullen.  Annabelle wasn't very well unfortunately, but we had a great time even though the weather was pretty miserable.  The weather cleared up on the Monday, the day that the Southern Barts were leaving.  Typical!  It was a great weekend full of gorgeousness.
A big shout out to Averil/Aunty Apes/Mrs Metcalfe who is Team Leader of her syndicate this year and is doing an amazing job!  Woop Woop!

My marriage celebrant work has been going really well and I love it!  I have my 7th wedding next weekend and 8 booked between now and March next year.  Yay! I've been doing a course this year to learn how to write ceremonies.  I have done two modules and have one more to do in November and then will receive a certificate in Celebrancy. 
I have a visit to a crematorium on Sunday as part of my personal development.  I am not currently doing funerals (because I cry like a baby, even if I don't know the person, and that's not a good look for a celebrant) but I am interested to know the procedures.
And that mostly sums up our year so far..... I think.... Hopefully I haven't missed out anything.
Tune in next time.... which hopefully won't be so long next time.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Cheeky Wee Roadie

Averil and I packed up our troubles in our old kit bags and headed to Queenstown for the long weekend a few weeks ago. It had been a whole year since we were last there!  So Friday morning I picked up Averil nice and early and we hit the road just after 7.30am - hoping to make it in time for Annabelle's school assembly at 2.15pm.  The drive was great.  Averil had prepared 6 hours of stories and chat to keep us entertained as the CD player in my car was not ejecting the current CD but was still playing it - which would get very boring very quickly.  And the radio only works until Ashburton and then gets static. It was a beautiful day for a drive. 
We managed to make it to Queenstown, and to St Joseph's School with 10 minutes to spare.  Annabelle's class sang a few songs and Annabelle got an award for 'Getting Things Done Quickly'.  I was so proud I clapped... no one else did.

Then we got a tour of Annabelle's class (by the award winning student herself) before heading home for some afternoon tea. 

Saturday morning we went with Annabelle to her ballet class.  She decided to just watch this time and perhaps join in the following week.  Aunty Apes and I both decided that all the things the other little girls in the class were doing Annabelle could easily do.  So hopefully she did join in the next time.

Saturday afternoon was a bit chilly (for us Northern folk, at least) and drizzly so we watched The Sound Of Music - the sing-a-long edition.  Annabelle knows all the words.  And everyone knows how I like a good sing-song! Hazel fell asleep within the first 30 minutes.  Just like Grandad.  And apparently Mummy.  Poppy watched a little bit and then did her own thing.  We also realised how similar looking Hazel and Gretl von Trapp are!

Then we made pizzas for dinner.  Yum yum!

Gavin was busy all day Saturday working on the new deck (which I got no photos of sorry!) and it is looking great!
As always the weekend went far too quickly but was lots of fun.  Those wee girls are not so wee anymore and are growing into, beautiful, independent little people.  Such a joy to be around. 
So after lots of drawing, reading, and cuddles we headed off just after 9am on Sunday morning to head back to Christchurch.  Another stunning day for a drive.  And 6 more hours of chit chat for me and Averil!  I think if one of the catagories at quiz night was 'Things About Averil' we would definitely win.

Thanks Southern Barts for another great weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy Birthday To My Best Big Boy

Today is a very special day!  The cutest big boy in Christchurch turns 2 years old!  How did that happen?  Time certainly flies when you're having fun!!  Congratulations to Mummy (Claire) and Daddy (Scott) for being fabulous parents and creating this loving, funny, mischievous, clever, beautiful, little man.  He fills my heart with such joy and is an absolute pleasure to be around. 

We had a little party at home for him on Saturday with family which was fantastic.  If you don't already know, Quinn has a slight fixation with horses (neigh neighs).  He was very spoilt on Saturday and got some NEW neigh neighs as his original favourite has only 4 half legs - very much loved.  It was a great afternoon and Quinn was a trooper.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

40 And A Half

I've been 40 for 6 months now and feel like I've been set up. In that 6 months I have come up with a list of things that nobody warned me about. I guess it's my duty to forewarn those who are yet to reach this milestone so you can go in with your eyes WIDE open.
Here goes - some are good and some not so good

1  Hair dye needs to be applied more frequently
2  I need to use spot control AND wrinkle cream
3  When people say 'middle aged' they might mean me
4  I can't wear sequins for fear of looking like a sparkly mutton dressed as lamb
5  Waking up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet (at least I'm waking up!)
6  Always so tired
7  Wishing I had taken naked photos of myself when I was 25
8  Sitting in a waiting room I reach for Home & Garden magazines rather than Cosmopolitan
9  Realising I'm probably never going to be a Solid Gold Dancer
10  Going out without make up on is a crime against humanity
11  The 'me' in my head is like a foxy younger sister of the 'me' in the mirror
12  I choose comfort over style... always
13  Have finally realised that life is NOT like an 80's movie
14  Other than the royals and the Kardashian's I don't recognise anyone in the tabloids
15  Ages 31-39 feels like one year.  I'm scared I'll blink and be 180!
16  The 'Real Housewives' are the same age as me
17  I still think 20 something year old guys are hot... and they're like 'Mum?'
18  I get a hangover just looking at alcohol
19  And hangovers last for 2 days
20  The next milestone birthday is 50
21  I walk into a room and forget what I went in there for, only to remember as soon as I return to my starting point
22  I've given up believing that I will one day get into a size 10
23  No tolerance for teenagers
24  If I bought a turtle it might out live me
25  EVERYTHING has to be written down
26  Tea is my drink of choice
27  I'm half way to 80!  HALF WAY!!
28  I've finally learnt to say no and not feel bad about it (this is awesome)
29  My metabolism died with my 30's
30  The state of the planet makes me furious
31  People ask me for advice - and I feel able to give it
32  Meeting new friends and then realising I'm the same age as their parents
33  Hearing about school friends becoming GRANDPARENTS
34  Dating website match criteria age is now 40-50 (but they look 50-60!)
35  Being older than ALL the All Blacks
36  Sitting on the couch has become preferable to basically every other activity in life
37  I don't worry so much about things I have no control over
38  Spontaneous girls nights out have to carefully planned weeks in advance
39  The people in my life are there because I want them to be (this is a good thing)
40  Not getting asked for ID every time I buy wine at the supermarket (this is both good and bad)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I'm Baaaaaack!

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It has been 16 MONTHS since my last blog update.  And in that time I have.....

Big apologies for the massive delay in updating.  Thanks for all your prompts to keep writing (Mum).  So, over a year has passed. Bare with me and I will cast my mind back to find the best bits to report. Possibly in an abridged form.

Right, let's see. Let's start with the Southern Barts.  Annabelle turned 5 in January and started school.  She's such a big girl now.  She sounds like she is enjoying it and even catches the bus there some days. She is riding her bike now WITHOUT training wheels.

Hazel is a big 3 year old now and is such a good big sister to Poppy.  She has moved over to the big room at Montessori Preschool and is doing really well. I love her cuddles and she is always a real character.
Poppy is GORGEOUS!  She has grown so much and is walking, or should I say RUNNING around to catch up to her big sisters. 

The SB's went on a holiday last year to the UK - the first time the girls had been there.  Lots of catching up with Grandad Bob, Nana Sue, and Grannie Annie, as well as the girls cousins, and meeting new people.  Gavin flew back home after 4 weeks (I think that's right?) and Catkin and the girls stayed on for longer.  Gavin and Catkin are doing a fab job of raising their 3 gorgeous girls.  Gavin had shoulder surgery in August and is recovering well.

The Lethaby's are doing well and, in exciting news, are expecting a little addition to the family in February.  Exciting!!  Quinn turned 1 last November and will be a brilliant big brother.  He is a cool wee guy and makes me laugh every time I see him.  Claire is back at work for 3 days a week and is able to take Quinn with her - he is in the nursery and she is in the preschool, which works perfectly.  Scott is busy with his own Farrier business and is doing really well. 

The Metcalfe's (or as I like to call them, the Metty's) are busy and well.  They have taken on a foster pup, Lulu, who has slotted into their family nicely with their two older dogs, Hippo and Tank.  Averil is a top notch teacher who works hard to do the best for her class and Eru is studying and working part time. 

The Mama's and The Papa's haven't yet migrated to the South Island!  Both have turned 65 this year (sorry Mum, I mean 21!) and are still working hard.  They had a lovely mid-year holiday to Norfolk Island in July this year and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Mum is still enjoying work, although I personally think her favourite job is being a Nana.  And she is soooo good at it!

The Clouston's are still in Auckland and have just adopted two fur babies.  Mouse and Scrappy are their two little kittens.  Bless.  Moos (aka Alan) resigned from Barter Card and is setting up his own business and Kitty (aka Kathryn) is working hard in marketing.  Always nice to see them when I go North!

 And then there was one.  I have had a bit of a roller coaster year (FYI I am NOT a fan of roller coasters!).  I resigned from my job at Carter Holt Harvey after 8 years.  It wasn't a particularly nice situation but one of the managers was a complete 'twit' (this is the word Mum used to describe him, I'm not inclined to be so polite and use words that rhyme with banker, stick, and trucker!) and in my view was a bully and made it almost unbearable to stay.  So, with my head held high, I left at the end of January for pastures unknown.  I took 3 weeks to put myself back together and started working part time as a merchandiser for Wattie's in February, which I'm really enjoying.  The mornings are early starts but I get to finish early which I love as I get more time for me.  I am also still doing Intimo which has been going alright but there is ALWAYS room for improvement, and I have just become a marriage and civil union celebrant.  Exciting!  My first firm booking is on January 3rd.  Eek!
I also turned the ripe old age of 40 (still a little hard to say out loud) in April and decided to celebrate with a shindig.  It was fantastic!  Lots of fun and people really made an effort to come which I was very humbled by. 

I took a holiday in June to Rarotonga - if you haven't been and are looking for a real 'Island Holiday' I can highly recommend it.  All we did was sleep, eat, drink, swim, and sit in the sun.  Eight days of bliss!

In other, not so nice news, our dear Uncle Bryan (Mum's oldest brother) passed away on August 3rd of this year.  Such a gentle, kind man who will be sorely missed.  Averil and I flew up for the funeral, as did the Southern Barts.  So although the circumstances weren't very nice, it was lovely to see and catch up with family.

So now you are up to date.  You're welcome!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Welcome To The Hundy Club!

This is my 100th post - so I had better make it a goodie!  What better way to mark this special occasion than by welcoming my third wee niece to the family.  Gavin and Catkin had another successful home birth on the morning of May 2nd.  Poppy Mae weighed in at 7lb 11oz and is gorgeous, so relaxed, and is happy chilling out with her older sisters around. 

I am lucky enough to be in Queenstown for two weeks helping out where I can with the two older girls who are fun and funny.  Annabelle is now 4 years old and is very good at writing and counting.  Hazel is 2 years old and is very determined and hilarious! Her favourite song is 'Row Row Row Your Boat' but the way she sings it makes her sound like a football hooligan! They are quite different but compliment each other nicely.  Hazel is starting to look a lot more like Annabelle now.  When we were in The Warehouse on Friday a nice couple commented on how beautiful 'my daughters' were. Yes, I did correct them.
We've been doing all sorts of fun things - colouring in, reading stories, and drawing on ourselves (the girls, not me).  Annabelle and Hazel go to Montessouri Preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I have been trying to use my down time productively.  Last week I cleaned the kitchen and the fridge.  Today I cleaned the inside of the windows. 

Mum was down in Christchurch for a week during April which lovely.  She spent a week at Claire and Scott's before heading down to Queenstown for a week and happened to be on location for the birth of Poppy, much to everyone's delight.
While she was in Christchurch I turned another year older - it is the big round number before another big BIG number.  I find it hard to say it out loud.  It was a lovely day and we had a nice lunch out at the Raspberry Cafe in Tai Tapu.  I was very spoilt and felt the love. 
Mum loved spending time with her wee grandson, Quinn, who is such a happy little felly.  I have been missing him since being in Queenstown so Claire has been sending me through photo updates daily, which I LOVE.

I managed to get up North for the weekend just gone.  My bestie Kristine was having her 40th birthday party in Warkworth and, as we all know, there's no party without Punch!!  It was good to get up there after what feels like AGES (November was the last time I was in Warkworth).  Mum and Dad swapped with me and spent the weekend in Queenstown so I was on hand to feed Mum's fur babies.  The party had a 70's theme and was fantastic.  Lots of fun and catching up. 

I also managed to get to see Aunty Mary, Uncle Fraser, and Heather, as well as Uncle Bryan and Aunty Bev which was lovely.  Unfortunately I ran out of time to see Uncle David and Helen but hope to catch up with them next time I'm up. 
Now I'm back in Queenstown for the rest of this week and will be driving back to Christchurch on Saturday, back to reality.  I have really enjoyed my time away from the office and realise how EASY my day job is! I will miss the knocks on the bathroom door and little voices calling out 'Aunty D!' and my little wriggly alarm clocks coming into my bed in the morning.  But mostly I will miss the cuddles and the 'I love you' that I've been getting lots of so I'm going to get my yearly quota over the next few days to get me through til I see them again which may not be until Christmas.  Sob sob.