Monday, December 31, 2012


New Year's Eve 2012 was a great day spent kayaking, walking, swimming, reading, and playing gin with some great people at Matapouri.

To bring in 2013, we sipped strawberry champagne, played a hilarious game which was a cross of charades and articulate, roasted marshmallows, and dedicated our years to God around the fire. It was very nice and thought provoking.

Hearing people's prayers give you such an insight into where their hearts really lie. To pray is one of the most genuine expressions of a person's inner workings, and it's an honour to be let into someone's thoughts and hopes in that way.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


My life was like a movie sequence this morning when Lucy texted me to say her family were leaving for Matapouri in 20 mins.

I saw the text at 11, which was 25 minutes after she sent it.

I suddenly went into a flurry of movement. Life became double speed. Clothes were flung, teeth got a cursory brushing, nails had to stay chipped, and dishes left out. I didn't walk anywhere, it was a sprint to the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, car, front door, car, and I pealed out of the drive without so much as a goodbye to Manja who had witnessed the whole event with a very puzzled expression on her face.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Dinner at Kirsten and Jamie's was delightful as always.

They had this candle which smelled absolutely delicious. It was pear and maple or something similar, and it tricked me on more than one occasion that there was a second or third round of dessert going.

It was so yum!

Friday, December 28, 2012


Today I packed up my desk.

It's been a relatively unemotional road thus far, but taking my pictures, notes, and cards off the wall was a bit sad. Regina made a fantastic soundtrack as I read things over and smiled with nostalgia.

I can no longer call it "my office". I certainly will miss working with such incredible people and doing all the things that I love most.

But you've got to venture out someday.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


This whole time in dreaming of Korea, I've been sure that Seoul is the only place I want to go. Unfortunately, it's completely full with a waiting list 1000 strong. The waiting lists get shorter the further from Seoul you go, but Busan is really the only option left with 100 free spaces for keen teachers like me. Now it's just hoping and praying that they'll like me enough to pick me.

Busan is the very opposite of Seoul in terms of location. I feel like God is having a good old laugh at me for trying to pick the terms of my obedience.

I do feel much calmer now that I know at least the direction I'm heading in. The stress of applying has given way to the realization that I am one step closer to actually leaving, and that is scary indeed.


Boxing day is always a lazy day. There's chocolate to consume, new toys to play with, and turkey sandwiches to munch on. All of those things happened today.

I got a new housemate as well. Lindsay has come to stay to escape her host family, who want her to babysit in her time off from nannying. Not cool. But it's awesome to have her.

We started in the kitchen with those sandwiches, talking while we ate, then we moved to the lounge and chatted while HIMYM was on, we then went back to the kitchen for dinner, then the floor to play with Manja and talk, then back to the lounge for more discussion over a movie. We talked a lot! But it was great.


Christmas Day has been a great day. I hosted my family, Nana and Poppa, and the Lloyds at my housesitting house. It was a big deal! Everything went well, despite the food being really late. But that wasn't my fault. I made a roast lamb and veges and a salad. Yum! We also had turkey and ham and pavlova, sticky pudding, lemon meringue pie, and icecream. It was a lot of food.

Everyone kind of had food comas and some slept. Poppa was straight to the couch after lunch, snoozing with his mouth wide open. Manja woke him up by jumping on him and snoozing too.

It was a really nice day surrounded with family, and friends later on. It made me think of next year and what Christmas will be like in a distant land without them.


This morning I was such a klutz. I was dropping the vaccuum cleaner on my foot, and then the baking trays on my toes, I banged my head into the basin as I stood up from the toilet, and I don't even know how that was possible!

It would have been a bit tragic if I wasn't joined in the afternoon by some lovely friends. It's crazy how much being around people makes me feel good sometimes. It was just so nice to hang out and watch Louie Giglio's Christmas message together, and eat yum stuff.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


It's an incredible thing when you can see love written all over someone's face. Jacob just couldn't help himself as he looked at Bronwyn this afternoon. They were on the altar, about to say their beautiful self-written vows and he just could not stop looking at her, all doey eyed, with a grin on his face.

When he was standing there waiting for her, he couldn't stop bouncing up and down on the spot. He was so excited. It was adorable. What a special wedding!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


It was such an honour to be invited to Lucy's birthday dinner tonight. There were only a few of us there, plus her family, and it was very special.

I got to sit at the family end of the table, which I enjoyed very much. Her family is one of my faves. Probably the best apart from my own. We talked about Korea, future, Lucy and how cool she is, and I heard some outlandish tales from Paul and Prisco.

They are very special people. I've learnt a lot about how important family is from the Collinses.

Friday, December 21, 2012


For Poppa's birthday today we went to visit them and load him with all sorts of good food.

He loved the cherries, and ate way too many which triggered a bowel movement Nana had been praying for for days (excuse the TMI)!

Anyhow, she was sitting next to Poppa, devouring a cupcake Mum had made. It was so much fun to watch. She downed it in two humungous bites. In between them, while she chewed, she had her eyes closed and murmured over and over how amazing and "light" it was.

Getting old is quite amusing from this end.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Tate Stevens won X-Factor! I don't know what I think of it. I was a Carly fan, but he's just so much more likeable.

It was absolutely great to watch it with my brother and his friends (and Lucy). Boys are just so much funnier, and they are always having a laugh.

In the famous words of judge Britney Spears, "It was very entertaining".

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I introduced Lucy to Freaks and Geeks today and she loved it! It's always scary when you've talked something up so much that it could ruin the experience because it doesn't quite meet the high expectations.

Although, it's pretty difficult to do that when her favourite person, James Franco is in the show. She squealed whenever he came onscreen. It was hilarious.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Today I baked a cake for my last staff meeting at church. I'm not gonna lie, it was a good cake, and it felt even better to not have to go to another one!

I am definitely in the swing of the lasts. It would feel a lot more comfortable if I knew I had a definite job to go to in Korea. God loves to do that though. I must have foolishly prayed for faith at some stage recently.

Monday, December 17, 2012


This morning I had a great time just pottering around the house, drinking my morning coffee, and doing the general routine with Lucy here.

It's nice to have company and just go about life together. That makes it sound like we are a couple.

She walked the dog while I did the vacuuming.

Judge for yourselves.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


So many things were remarkable about today.

There was the feeling of walking in to church in a Summer dress, minutes before the service began, which I actually got to attend! It felt so nice to just go to church and be a part of everything.

Afterwards, Amy and I hosted a BBQ at the house I'm sitting. To sit and eat at a table full of friends is a great thing. I loved having them all there and pottering around. I will get better at timing things, making sure there's enough cutlery on the table, and remembering to take the sauce out of the fridge, as I have people over more. Hopefully there will be many other barbecues this summer.

Going to Northcote tonight was also fantasic. I love their worship. It's so chilled, but they're all very good musicians so it's such a blessing always. They also pick songs which are out of the ordinary which is very refreshing.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I had been waiting for tonight to arrive for so long that I had forgotten all about it when the day was finally upon me.

I was so confused as I answered a call from Yvette, asking about our dinner plans and telling me hers'. She must have heard the confusion in my voice as I mumbled an answer, because she said,

"Dinner... and then the show... Mary Poppins...tonight!"


It was indeed magical. There was not a single flaw in the entire performance. The children were amazing and so gifted. Mary herself was practically perfect in every way, and the other characters were all incredible.

The best scene was a tap dance in which they sang and tapped a flipping demanding number, with Bert upside down as he did a solo. I could not believe it!

Man, I wish I could be part of a production like that! Being on stage feels so good, especially when you're bowing. You could tell the cast just loved it. They couldn't hid the elation in their faces, even right at the end of their tour.

Friday, December 14, 2012


It's a strange feeling when you're in a crowd of strangers, but still have a sense of comradery and unity. That's what it felt like to watch Grease outside at Silo Park tonight.

There were a few hundred people there with blankets and pillows, to see the film projected onto one of the concrete cylinders. It was so much fun to belt out Hopelessly Devoted, Greased Lightning, and all the hits, and not be ashamed because there was a guy singing along so emphatically behind you.

It was like one big happy family, and I felt so proud to be part of it. Yay Auckland!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Lying underneath the Telecom Christmas tree is definitely far more exciting than looking at it from the outside. On this one setting, the lights would make their way in coloured rings up towards the star in the center.

If you stared at the stationary star for a few seconds, the rings made you feel like you were in a vortex, speeding along infinitely towards a destination that doesn't exist.

It felt insane. I promise I wasn't high. I'd only had a toffee nut hot chocolate (delicious!).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I moved into my housesitting house tonight. As I was packing up my things, it hit me that I'm leaving so soon. I'm in this house until the end of January, and then two weeks later I'm gone to the other side of the world.

It definitely felt odd. There was more sadness than excitement at this stage. I'm sure when things are more confirmed with a school, and when I have my flights booked, it will seem all the real and like an adventure. Right now there are more nerves and stress than anything.

I know that God is at work in and through everything. It will pan out exactly as He wants it to, and that will be the best way possible.

I was reminded of that as I drove up my road, with my car packed full of my favourite possessions for the next 7 weeks, and as I came over the verge of the hill, I was blinded by a brilliant orange and red setting sun, right at my eye level.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I went for my first swim of the Summer this evening, followed by dinner on the beach. Although it got a bit chilly after a while, it was an amazing feeling.

The swimming season is here! This marks the start of keeping togs and a towel in the car, just in case a spontaneous dip is in order.

Monday, December 10, 2012


I bought a freaking huge box of chocolates today! It's 1.135kg of chocolatey goodness.

When I was little, we used to have Whitman's Sampler boxes at Christmas. The toffee and caramel ones were my favourite. I've dreamed about them for a long time, and when Alysha texted me about this huge box, I knew I had to buy it.

I've never seen such a huge box of chocolates before in my life, and I wouldn't have bought one quiet this big if I had the option, but $30 is not a bad price to pay for so much nostalgia (plus a whole lot of chocoalte!).

They taste the same too!


Finally the last Kids' Church has arrived. It was surprisingly less emotional than I had anticipated.

There was a moment, after Debbie had said some lovely things, when I was thanking people, that I almost got choked up. The kids and leaders all filled in a diary with their birthdays and special messages for next year. I am going to love going through it and staying connected to them through it. It's very cute.

Now what's left is to pack up my desk and office, and finish up various things before I go, which will be a bit of a mission, and I will definitely shed a tear taking all the cards, drawings, and notes from very special people, off my wall.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Today I went and visited my nana and poppa. It was a surprise for Pops, who was having a bit of a nap. When he woke up I was there and the most beautiful moment happened. His face visibly lit up as we locked eyes. He grinned at me, which is not something that happens often anymore for him, and he didn't let go of my hand for ages.

It brings a tear to my eye, just remembering it. I haven't felt so special in a long time. Just me showing up had brightened his day. It felt incredible. We chatted and laughed all afternoon. I love hanging out at their place, and I really should go far more often. I think I am more blessed by their company than they are, mine. Especially now Nana can print off emails by herself.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Von made me smile a lot today, even when my ovaries were raging war within and my eyes felt like they were full of sand and the only reprieve was to shut them.

I like it when we hang out and just talk nonsense over a beverage. I also like sharing embarrassing moments with her, like going to pak'n'save, buying one packet of pads, then having to approach the customer service people, pads in hand, enquiring about candy for church. It was fun. We should have made the guy more uncomfortable though.


I do love Hannah a lot. I love that she's just her. There are the same protective layers like anyone else has, of course, but she's quite happy to tell you exactly how she feels in the bluntest way possible. I love it.

What I love most is that, for all the effort she puts in trying to cover up her soft side, it always comes through. We had the most terrible storm and torrential rain as I was leaving her house, and yet she walked me quite a way to my car under an umbrella. I owe her my hair!


I felt like a bit of a teenage girl again, squealing along with my life group, teasing Lee about her date in a weeks time.

At the ball she left her number anonymously on a heart shaped piece of paper for a boy and he texted her. It's quite hilarious because now she doesn't really want to go.

It was a lot of fun giggling over it with them and having her on. Sometimes it's great to be a female.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Today was our staff Christmas lunch and boy did I get silly. I had zero alcoholic beverages, and not even a whiff of trifle, so I do not know why. We played this general knowledge quiz and I was absolutely shocking at it. My brain kept producing the strangest answers, and even when I was right, I kept getting too excited to say the words properly. All that would come out was a huge jumble in an elevated tone. It was good fun though, even at my dignity's expense.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Tonight I absolutely crashed on the couch after work. I did not move for hours as I cropped and uploaded photos from the ball. In the same spot I ate dinner, laughed a lot at the pictures, had a glass of wine, watched a fishing show, and received some lovely messages.

I actually did not get up from the couch until bed time.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I am absolutely floored by the generosity of so many people today. The ball came together and was a success. The murder mystery worked out, we had our car and camera, and photobooth. It was amazing.

The team mucked in and set up all afternoon, then stayed after to pack it all up. Even until 12 after an exhausting day. I am so grateful that they'd do that. Human kindness is a truly remarkable thing.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


When I woke up this morning, the day before the ball, we still had no vintage car for the crime scene, or camera for the photobooth.

 By midday, and within the space of 30minutes, both issues were solved.

After all the time spent fretting, emailing and calling up chairmen of vintage car clubs, there was one right under my nose! The perfect car. A 1930s Mercedes SSK was sitting in the Elley's garage waiting for a chance to be put on show like this.

A text to the right person landed me with the best camera for the job.

I think God was just testing my faith a bit. He knew it would all work out and somehow the men would all be at church for the drive through working bee with the solutions.


Von brightened my day today by dropping off advent calendars for my brother and I while we were out. It was a lovely surprise and completely made me grin and get warm fuzzies. I really am a gifts person.

His was a Warriors one, and mine had Disney princesses on it. The note said, "Because you are a beautiful magic princess."