Thursday, December 31, 2009

new years eve....

There have been so many adventures this year..... overseas and here in NZ.

I feel incredibly blessed.

And yet - I'm praying that next year will be more.

I sat down by a lake today and pondered what it was I wanted to work on for the year 2010.
I know that I need to work on being gracious and merciful, but I was also thinking that I really did want to live a life of reckless abondonment.

I don't mean that I want to live a life not thinking about what it is I do - but I would like to stop over-thinking the things that I do do.

Those thoughts that we have where we feel totally alive and know deep down that this is something we have to do - that we were born to do. Designed to do.
I want to jump more than think.

I want to live and breathe the life that I was meant to live.

To give when I'm not feeling gracious.

To laugh when I hurt.

To smile at strangers.

To look on the brighter side.

To share all that I have with those around me.

And.... to look adventure in the eye and say YES!!!

Small things?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas...

Here I sit, Christmas Eve in New Zealand......

The Christmas music is playing in the background while I sip on Christmas tea, and all I wish right now is that it would snow!

After all these years it still feels incredibly wrong to be summer and Christmas. However, I am pleased that being in New Zealand does mean that I'll get to spend tomorrow with family and friends for more fun and madness than you could imagine. I'll even get the opportunity to defend my golf title that Tamati and I won last year.

It's been an interesting year for me, with quite a few big changes. The house I'd been doing up in Morrinsville has been finished and is now rented out and I'm back at the farm with mum, dad and Alex who moved back up from Christchurch a few months ago.

The farm is absolutely gorgeous and I do feel spoiled to have the space, animals and ideal location for adventures. At the moment we have 3 foals, 5 puppies and a number of chicks running around. All are amazing time wasters, though I find I'm often running around in any spare time I have.

I decided to try and fit in some university papers during the second half of the year, which was supposed to happen after I'd moved to the farm, but coincided badly with the move. I managed to get everything done and just found out the other day that I've passed both which means I have just two more papers to complete. Hopefully they'll be done by the middle of next year.

While studying I also managed to fit in a trip to Australia with my friend Jiljane. We met in Adelaide and drove from there through the Barossa Valley to Sydney. I had an amazing time learning more about wine and exploring some stunning countryside. I would love to get back there again sometime to see more of the wineries and of course try more of the wines.

There was also a trip to Rarotonga for my brother; David's wedding in May. It was an absolutely gorgeous ceremony and one of the most intimate and sweet receptions I've been to. We actually each gave a little speech which was quite special. While I didn't cope well with the climate, and was desperate enough to even try and return early - Raro is a stunning place to visit. It certainly cemented the fact that I'm a cooler climate girl!

Dave and Sara are now living in Victoria BC, Canada (Sara arrived there today!!) And I suspect they may be there for a few years?

After years of not traveling overseas at all - I managed to fit in two trips to lands unknown and find that the feet are more itchy than ever. We'll see where I end up next year.....

I hope this finds you well and that you've done more than just survive another year.

For now, have a wonderful, blessed Christmas and all the best for the year ahead.

Much love,
CJ xxx

Friday, December 18, 2009

beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

It is that time of year once more.....

The Christmas tree is up, and there are presents underneath all ready to be torn apart on the day, and I've been baking like a wild thing.

Most of my clients have received their gingerbread men, though I will need to do another baking stint this weekend to get it all finished.

This time of year seems to be more chaotic than typical, and I have to remind myself the reason for the season - which is NOT to stress yourself out and get all wound up about what you haven't done.

Before I know it - the new year will be here.....

For now, I hope I can catch my breath and enjoy the season ahead.

Hope you all do as well!

Be blessed.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Again.... another month.


I can't believe my trip to Australia was already over a month ago now. While I say that.... so much has happened since then.

My camera broke while I was in Oz, which caused some heart flutters. Th
ankfully I've just got it back from the repair agent, which is super exciting. :) Of course, over a month without a camera is quite something.
To celebrate I bought a macbook pro. Actually, I need to start calling it an investment into ME.

I've just scored the job of wedding photographer at my second wedding which is in December, and since I moved and sold my old PC, all I had was my work laptop, which really wasn't got to cut it for editing photos.

In breezed the beautiful mac.

I've hardly had a chance to sit down and play with it, so still getting my head around things. But so far, so good.

To celebrate - the photos are of Theo who came out to keep me company while I got a horse ready for a show the other night.

Theo and Rhapsody..... sharing the love.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Darling Harbour, Sydney.

I spent the afternoon wandering around the city. A tad overwhelming for the limited time i have. Now time to find a train and then pack. The suitcase is going to be a mission. :) at the airport at 6.30am. Wohoo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Barossa Valley

Had am amazing time tasting and have learnt so much about the different areas, people who settled here and the wines. It's been brilliant. I've got a silly sore throat so just Praying that will go away quickly. We get into new south wales tomorrow. Only 3 more days of driving. X

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome to the Barossa Valley

The first day of the wine tour today around the most amazingly beautiful vineyards. The weather was perfect and the wine and people that we met were so interesting. Tomorrow more driving and the next stop.

Welcome to the Barossa Valley

The first day of the wine tour today around the most amazingly beautiful vineyards. The weather was perfect and the wine and people that we met were so interesting. Tomorrow more driving and the next stop.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Walking down the main mall and there are there bronze pigs. This one is oliver, getting into the trash. Very cute. It's a stunning day. Must say that finding a coffee on a sunday morning is no easy feat. We're all coffee and good to go.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Melbourne airport

Sitting in the lounge waiting for my next flight to adelaide. Feels good to be somewhere different, but can't wait to get to the next destination and play tourist. To breathe. :) will try to post some ppp's as i go. The first an oz emblem. Qantas plane.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Erin with her latte

Beautiful sunny day in Hamilton with Erin having brunch at Jacks. :) the joys ofthe weekend. This time next saturday I'll be sitting in the airport waiting for my flight to Australia. Yipee!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

memory lane.....

Gosh...... flicking through some old photos and this one takes me down memory lane.

It's taken at Yosemite - in Tuolumne Meadows. Actually, this would have been the night of the bear I think?
10 years ago.

How time zooms by.

Who was I back then, compared to who I am now.

I'd like to think I've aged graciously. That I've learnt from my past experiences, and grown into a better version of myself. But then we are ever learning and ever growing. At least that's the plan.
Imagine if our growth became stilted, and we stopped striving to become more Christ like.

Actually.... I'm sure we all have moments like that in our life..... where we feel like we're in the dark, struggling to see and figure out what direction to go in.
It's almost like we're a seed in the gestation period..... if we would just keep looking up, soaking up the nutrients all around us, we'd grow towards the sun.

All just musings and mutterings as spring springs around me......

Life is good!


Wednesday, September 02, 2009


The wedding was an absolute blast, and I just feel so honoured to have been allowed to capture the day. In fact, I'm still feeling quite overwhelmed by it all.

Now the task of getting the photos all sorted out lies ahead of me.

Minor detail in the great scheme of things. I took all the photos as RAW images, which means I have 700+ photos that are averaging 5MB each. That's great, from a photographer's point of view..... but what I didn't give much thought to was the fact that my computer is just not capable of dealing with it all.

Quite funny really........

Thankfully the bride and groom have run away for the week, and I can deal with it in a turtle like manner, as well as get two assignments finished.

There are some gorgeous shots amongst them all, and I think I managed to capture the joy of the day. Hopefully they like them too.

So, wedding TICK
Assignments half done
House carpet goes in today
Holiday is a mere 1 and 1/2 weeks away.... wohoooooo!!

God.... good all the time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the weekend looms...

I've got my first gig as "wedding photographer" this weekend. (official wedding photographer that is!)


Of course nerves are starting to kick in, but I'm excited too.
I've been pouring over photographer's sites online checking out different ideas. I'm not sure that much has stuck...... and I have to keep reminding myself that actually I can do this. The more I try, the harder I make it, the worse the photos.

It's funny - having been to so many weddings, having been in so many wedding parties, I know how it goes, and yet I can't seem to just let go and trust myself.

It's going to be fun!!

So, hopefully I'll have some photos to post of the happy couple on Monday.


The day, it goes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I was listening to an interview with the lead singer of a "Christian" band the other day.

At the same time I'm reading "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell.

The part that I'd just finished reading was about how we like to label everything. What makes a band "Christian"? Should we attempt to label?

Just some questions....

But what I found more interesting was what this guy was saying in his interview. He was talking about being a Christian, and how this influenced his music.

Instead of talking about the music, he talked about how we as Christians were the biggest hypocrites. How we somehow mistook the role of "Christian" to mean that we had to portray ourselves as perfect. When in fact we should be out there showing the world that we're imperfect, but we have God's grace and mercy.

We should be the first to say Wops, made a mistake there..... sorry.

We shouldn't put so much pressure on the people who are in the spotlight. They too are human, infallible? I don't think so.

Anyway... all jumbled thoughts right now. But that struck a chord with me. I don't want to be one of those people who walks around "Hollier than thou", I want to be real with people - which I guess means showing my weaknesses. Showing I am human.

I hope I do that anyway.... but it's certainly something to think about.

It Just Takes One......

Years back the band Casting Crowns came out with a song about being the Body of Christ. For me, this song kind of takes it to a new level.
It just takes one to make a difference.... I think so often we underestimate the power of one person, one action, one moment.......

Just wanted to share.

It Just Takes One - Addison Road

What if we moved
What if we wandered
Took a reckless ride to the other side
of the tracks

What if we knew somebody's story
Would we write them off like a number
on a check

Or could we be the only souls
Who take the time to love and find
The beauty in a nameless face

It just takes one
It just takes one
To step out from the crowd,and show
what love is all about
One,it takes one
To change a life forever,touch the
world and make it better

So what if we moved with no
And learn to love the least of these
without reserve
Let's spark a change in this generation
And let our actions speak louder than
our words

And what if there's a world in need
of hope
That only we can bring
Brighter then the midday sun


Monday, August 17, 2009

backwards to go forwards.....

I need to learn to let go.

I have the funny feeling that I must be one of the worst people at this little exercise.
It doesn't matter how unhealthy I know it to be, I'll still cling for dear life.

And I do mean CLING.

I don't let people in easily, which in turn means I find it incredibly difficult to let someone go who has made it in. Even when I know it's for the best.

It feels like such a year of lessons for me, and most of them are hurting quite a bit right now.

I know that the sooner I deal with them, the sooner I'll be ready to move on to the big exciting stuff.... the stuff I'm just dying to get my teeth stuck into. :)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

~ James 1:2-4

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Breathe ~ Taylor Swift feat. Colbie Caillat

I see your face in my mind as I drive away
'Cause none of us thought it was gonna end that way
People are people and sometimes we change our minds
But it's killing me to see you go after all this time

Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm
Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm

Music starts playin' like the end of a sad movie
It's the kinda ending you don't really wanna see
'Cause it's tragedy and it'll only bring you down
Now I don't know what to be without you around

And we know it's never simple, never easy
Never a clean break, no one here to save me
You're the only thing I know like the back of my hand

And I can't breathe
Without you, but I have to
Without you, but I have to

Never wanted this, never want to see you hurt
Every little bump in the road I tried to swerve
People are people and sometimes it doesn't work out
Nothing we say is gonna save us from the fall out

And we know it's never simple, never easy
Never a clean break, no one here to save me
You're the only thing I know like the back of my hand

And I can't breathe
Without you, but I have to
Without you, but I have to

It's two a.m., feelin' like I just lost a friend
Hope you know it's not easy, easy for me
It's two a.m., feelin' like I just lost a friend
Hope you know this ain't easy, easy for me

And we know it's never simple, never easy
Never a clean break, no one here to save me, oh

I can't breathe
Without you, but I have to
Without you, but I have to
Without you, but I have to

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry

Saturday, July 18, 2009

winding path

I thought the photo suited the mood today.

I was thinking about destinations..... how we get to where we want to be.

For me I'm always driving. For work, for adventures with friends, for family......
I'm always in my car, and typically I take the most direct route to get to where I need to be. (Not always, as half the fun of these adventures is seeing everything along the way - but it's by choice.... except when I'm super lost!)

If only it were that easy with life.

To jump into some kind of machine that will put us on the path to where we want to go. Instead, I find myself weaving and winding down lots of different paths. Should I go through that door? Would that path be easier? Will the stones hurt my feet if I go that way?
And then half way down one path things get more and more difficult, and the idea of turning around appeals. Or maybe there is a fork in the road? There are always decisions to be made about where you're going and how you're going to get there.

I've had to sit down and write lists of what I want to happen this year. Everything on the list is something that I think will help me to get to where I want to go.
I'm not silly enough to think that I'll get everything done, or that it won't be difficult, but I want to make a start.

With my faith I'm always trusting that when I get on the wrong path that I'll stumble across a dead end or a massive STOP sign. Something will push me to change directions, to re-think my plans. I'm also always reminded that my problems are never too big for God to deal with.

In the photo you can see the road winding its way down the hill, and it looks so small. The cars are miniature in comparison to their surrounding - and yet we all know how big a car can look - especially when they're zooming towards you.
So I'm reminded that all the big deals and hard times are like these cars. They really are small when you look at them from a different perspective.
My mustard seed of faith is enough to make a mountain move when I speak in the authority that I've been given. So problems? What problems? (To have that kind of faith. woah!)

Sooooooooo....... I'm traveling down the road..... the road to finish my teaching degree, and I'm making some moves so that if my door opens this time next year, I can jump on a plane to head somewhere else.
Doors may slam..... but for now, the roads seem straight, and I'm cruising to some sounds...... remembering that nothing is too big for He who loves me and has created me for a purpose greater than my wildest dreams.

Life is really sooooooooooooooooooooo good. If I just remember to look from a different perspective, to remind myself, I know I'll be ok.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

slightly overwhelmed

I think I've managed to work myself into a tizz.

Part of it is that I do have a huge amount going on for the rest of the year.....
and part of it is there are things swimming around in my head and heart that I'm not doing such a great job of dealing with.

I know that God will never give me more than I can handle... I just wish he'd also show me how to handle the situations.


So, right now.... as my work day is about to end, there is a gorgeous blue sky day waiting for me and I wish I were able to just float away above it all.

Ride the on the zephyr, breathing in deeply, and letting out a massive sigh with everything else that's tangled up inside.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Crazy days!!

The Scooter in Rarotonga..... The absolute best way to get around the Island. Probably the only way to feel a breeze too. he he.

It was my favourite place to be.... exploring the island. Of course getting absolutely soaked riding it to the wedding just made it that much more of an adventure. :)

If I lived in a city... I think I may even be tempted to get one. (Yes, I want to be just like my brother when I grow up. )

Monday, July 13, 2009

so it begins....

My kitchen wall.......

A mass of cards, most notes from friends.... photos.... invites... and colour.....
When I do up the kitchen I'd like to actually make that wall a great big magnetic space. :)

For now.... I have to pack it all up, and wonder when it will all see the light of day again.

Packing in faith and in anticipation of this next GREAT season!

sign of the times...


I want to get off!!

If I could just have one tiny weekend to myself to do the things that I need to get done, that would be wonderful.....



*we'll be returning to your normal programming in just a few moments*

Sunday, July 12, 2009


It was Tamati's birthday last week... and Tess had organised a surprise party for him....

I was asked to organise a date night for Tam and I... it had been a while, so figured it would be quite easy to convince him of some mischief with me. Of course I didn't really give the night a great deal of thought.... I just knew that I would pick him up, and then I'd get him home around 7:30 for him to be surprised.
Lack of details there.... but I managed quite well.

We went and looked for my new ute that I'm apparently getting next week, with no real joy and then went to look at computers. I'm about to start studying again, and my poor old beast just isn't up to the job. he he. That, and I really won't have room for it either. I'm trying to look at the whole big picture right now... as far as getting a computer for school as well as for my photography and other things I'm getting busy with.
So.... dreaming of an apple. We're becoming a Mac family..... we'll see.

So... from the store we went for a drink and massive plate of curly fries. It was nice to just sit and chat about what's been going on with us. It had been a long time since we've just had time to natter away.

Of course from there I had problems....
"Lets go bowling?"
"Lets check out movies?"

And I could see him getting a little testy as I struggled to come up with excuses. It did kind of help that I've been sick all week with a chest infection.... so in the end I suggested we go grab some ice cream and go watch a dvd at him place.
He bought it.... and so eventually we made it home.

Got into the house and he opened the living room door to everyone screaming.
It was a beautiful moment. He was honestly totally clueless!!!

Tessa and I couldn't believe we'd actually managed to pull it all off without him catching on.
Tamati is always the one getting everyone else - so it was about time we managed to pull one on him.

Great job, and tons of fun!! And he totally deserved it all. Next weekend we're heading up to Auckland for a day at the adventure park... bring on the rollercoasters. :)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

a little raw

I was at a woman's conference on Saturday.

A great day with a room full of woman of all ages, stories being shared along with tears being shed. As one lady got up, she said - I don't know about you guys, but my bra is soaking wet.

What a thing to say and yet I could relate.

5 days later and I'm still a little raw from the things that were revealed to me. Actually, little may be a slight understatement.

And so, the things which have hurt need to be dealt with.

To top it all off, I'm now sick in bed with a chest infection.
I have to get out of this house and quite possibly this country. he he.

I've been reminded of my days working at the boarding school.... my passion for young girls. It all kind of ties together with what's been going on in my heart, and also the whole idea of going back to study.
I'm going to finally finish my teaching degree...

And I'm excited about it. A little confused as to why I'd get excited about something I don't actually want to do?! But maybe it's what I need to get back into a boarding school situation. While I don't want to be a teacher... I would love to be in a place like that again.

Which ties in with a few other things....

It's an interesting road.... interesting thoughts.....

For now... I just need to keep dealing with the raw stuff and get better.

Hope everyone else is feeling a little stretched. A little pruned. Alive!

"You make everything glorious and I am yours..... what does that make me?"
~ David Crowder.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

not so easy

He he... not sure what I was thinking.....

Moving is never an easy thing to do.

I'll get there eventually... for now I thought I'd put up some photos that have been waiting.

Monday, July 06, 2009

going AWOL.....


I'm in the process of packing up - not only my house, which really hasn't started to happen yet, but also this site.

Yes, all sorts of crazy things are going on here.

The biggest change though, is one of heart.

It's just too late and unfortunately, I'm feeling a bit sick, so I really wouldn't be able to do any of the story justice.

Instead..... a song.....

I've been singing it for the last 3 days, and would love someone else to be humming the same tune.

Living Rain

It's by one of the biggest NZ worship bands.

Really praying that everyone is doing well. I hope to sit down and catch up over coffee with you all soon.

This has been another thought running through my head lately:

"Go into the world and preach the gospel, and if you must, use words."

Wouldn't that be a beautiful world to live in.


Monday, May 25, 2009

The big wedding....

Dave and Sara tying the knot in Rarotonga May 8th, 2009.

Was a beautiful ceremony right on the beach. Stunning!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

can't sleep....

I've been tossing and turning.

My head is full of questions.... un-answerable ones, but that doesn't stop me from throwing them around in the dark.

Unfortunately none of them have stuck to the walls, or ceiling and they land right back where they came from. To continue the swim through whatever else has happened today.

Maybe they'll end up stuck to some question from a client about the amp rating required to run a specific motor? Or maybe to the the flight schedule I was trying to sort out tonight for the trip to Rarotonga for my brothers wedding.

I have plenty of things that I actually need to spend time and effort on - but instead the questions which keep me awake are the ones I can do absolutely nothing about. The one's that will probably be left un-answered, that we are left to let go of, or be dragged down by the weight.

How long will I carry them?

Perhaps it could all be compared to sin? We choose whether we carry it around, or ask for forgiveness. Most of the time we carry it, with our guilt thinking this is what we deserve. How could God forgive us when we do such terrible things?

But Easter is all about how that was changed. One man changed it all and he would have done it JUST FOR YOU.

By holding onto the sin and by believing that we deserve to carry it around with us, we're choosing to not believe that God did come to take it all away from us. To wash us whiter than snow.

So - we either believe in God. Believe that we are forgiven. Or, we believe that it's better to carry it around - there by dis-honering God and the amazing act/gift that was given to each of us.

I'm choosing God, and accepting what I don't deserve, but what he freely gives to me.


Lifehouse - Broken


The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though i still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain, there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

The broken locks were a warning you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead
I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for a purpose, they're still looking for life

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain (in the pain), is there healing
In your name (in your name) I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin')
I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm hangin' on another day
Just to see what you throw my way
And I'm hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will be OK

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way now, haven't forgotten my way home

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain(In the pain) there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'),
I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'),
I'm barely holdin' on to you

They used this song in the Easter production I saw while I was down in Christchurch. I've always liked it - the whole concept of holding on to Christ. Right now, it feels a bit like an anthem for each day. Just holdin' on. If that's all I can do, it's enough.


Does anyone have a quick remedy for a broken heart?

Is there such a thing?

A quick fix?

Will super glue work?
An antiseptic cream?
A soothing balm?

A hug would probably do wonders about now.

I'd like to be gracious through the hurt..... but honestly..... uhg.

I know that being tired is partly to blame right now. My allergies are kicking in again - so it's time to change the medication. 6 months seems to be the max that I can stay on any one drug before I get used to it and it stops working.
Mum is doing well, though I tend to worry about her too much.
There is the stress of the job and house.....

And the ever persistent question of... What am I still doing here?

I had hoped that this would be a better year, but so far, I feel battered and bruised.
I know I'm not alone..... but right now, its feels like the bottom has dropped out from under me.

I'll be diving into the bible tonight looking for some soothing words to carry me through this one. I suspect that David may understand how I'm feeling right now.

I actually picked up a Beth Moore study book - "Living Free" about praying God's word. Think I'll get into that after a trip to the gym.

Any suggestions are always appreciated. :)


The weekend....

What a weekend.

Emotionally, incredibly draining. Perhaps even that is an understatement? I feel like the littlest thing may just leave me in a heap on the floor.

Last year my birthday fell on Easter Sunday - which was amazing! And Jiljane came up to spend it with me. So, only fair that I should fly down to Christchurch to spend Easter with her this year.

I flew down on Good Friday night and left very early on Monday morning.

I don't like making tons of plans when I go away, but do try to have some loose plans with friends that I need to catch up with. I'd organised with most to have dinner on Saturday night, and to have brunch up on the hill that morning. Other than that.... it was a matter of trying to fit everyone in.

Flying in I was amazed at the feeling of coming home. Why did I leave again?
It didn't help that the weather was perfect. The sun shone all weekend, and while it got cooler one night - it really wasn't any worse than up here. The mountains were majestic, the trees a wonderful array of autumn colours, and everything felt crisp and ready for change.

Perhaps that feeling got into my bones?


Most of my friends down there are pregnant. Waddling around with their big tummies. Quite funny. It's funny how this has changed one particular relationship. Most of the friends I've only known while they've been married - and so our friendship developed around that.
Jacx and I are different.

We both arrived in Christchurch the same week. She from South Africa, and I from San Francisco. This is when God moved in a HUGE way.
We met through a family friend that I was staying with, actually at an auction. he he. We were both looking for beds, although neither of us got one. I did end up buying her a bedside table though. :)
After looking at a hopeless number of houses to move into, God put me into the house on the hill - which was just up the road from her. We quickly became friends.
I'd like to think that she needed me as much as I needed her.
We'd both walk up and down the hill to see each other. I was studying, and became involved in the church with her. While I was going through heartache, it was an amazing time of God growth.
There was Bible school, being part of the praise and worship team, challenged to be a leader... awesome times.

The next year she came back from South Africa, and I was a tutor at a private girls school, and as God would have it - another position opened up for Jacx. We lived in huge old houses which backed onto eachothers back yards.... so we'd pop through a fence to catch up.

The year after this.... I guess God thought we had been here long enough to build up other relationships. :) She moved across town and I moved a couple of blocks from the school into a house with 2 other girls and a guy. 1 of those girls was Danica - in fact, it was her parents house, the other was my friend Jackie... so God was in total control there.
Peter pumpkin and I still keep in touch from time to time as well.
But the relationship that I have with Danica and Jackie is pretty precious....

Anyway.... when Jacx got married (3rd stint as bridesmaid... there's a photo way back somewhere on here) things did change. I guess God knew that would happen - and he moved them 2 blocks away from me! We would have our chick flick dates, and the bond was solid.

Now.... things have changed again. I started this year off by writing her several letters spilling out my heart, and while we will always be close - it does feel like she's crossing into this new phase of her life without me.

I didn't get to spend enough time with her over the weekend - which was partly my fault - but I think I did it to protect myself as well. I don't want to really acknowledge the change.
I think I'll have to write her another letter this week.

I know that there are seasons.... and reasons for things to change..... but I'm not enjoying it.

And at the same time there are just so many other decisions which have to be made. A plan to be formed. I don't feel like I know which of the paths in front of me is the God given one.

I trust that He'll keep slaming doors on me when I choose the wrong one, but I'd quite like to find the right one and continue running the race.
The last few months have felt like way more of a roundabout than a path.

And I may be getting dizzy.

If you've managed to get to the end of this... could you please pray for me. That I wouldn't base my decisions on where my family is at, and learn to trust my heart.

I'm trusting that the desires of my heart are not going to be wasted, and that all the passions I have will be given a chance to grow and be used.
I just need to know where and when to jump.

Be blessed, friends. And really praying that your Easter has been a time of reflection at what has been given. LIFE.

Tons of aroha.

* I'm really loving the photo with the black background. Think I may have to get this one framed to put on the wall. :) Actually - think it may have to be for someone else. My walls are filling up. he he.

flight home....

I flew out at 7am, so had the early morning colours. Was a great flight - with some stunning scenery.

Story time..

Evie reading me a bedtime story....
So cute, and great reader too!!

The Easter Cake

This gorgeous creation was our dessert on Saturday night with the photo of the decorators above..... we all brought curry and stuffed ourselves. It was lovely. Hilarious conversation - but no game was played. I need to go down again!!!

the hills are alive with the sound...............

The view from Jiljanes house. I could quite happily sit outside and watch the ever changing picture - especially at sunrise and set. My first year in Christchurch, I lived a little further over on the hill so I had a view of the sea and the alps. It was amazing! I could lie in bed and watch the sun come out of the ocean in the morning, and then set over the alps.
Gordie and I joke about finding another house up there. Not the most perfect of houses, but he still declares I was the best flatmate ever. :) He wasn't bad either... even brought me flowers for cooking him dinner... was quite the deal.

Christchurch - Botanical Gardens

The Peacock Fountain - only, there are no peacocks on the fountain, and would
you believe the fishy looking creatures are supposed to be dolphins. Very creepy looking dolphins.


OK.... we were in Hagley park, enjoying the sunshine - and I thought I would try to get a photo of the three of us. Total silliness - but have to post it!

Jiljane, Jacx and myself.

Christchurch - JJ and CJ

Jiljane and I standing outside CUP. Managed to stop giggling long enough for this shot. :)

This is where I used to go every Saturday morning when I was living down there. If I'd had the week away, all my friends knew they could come and catch up with me there. The view is AMAZING!
It's been sold twice since I left, and is now a tad too commercial for my liking. In fact, if I still lived there I'm sad to say I would have to find another Saturday morning hide out.

Christchurch - Catherine and Kids

I met Catherine back when I was working at briscoes.... ahhh, the days. She has since become a wonderful and ever wise friend.
It was great to see her and the kids. Gorgeous!

Christchurch - Andy

Andy and I.... catching up at CUP on the hill. Candice was off at a rehearsal, so I was thrilled that Andy came anyway. We were up there for about 3 hours, and talked about way too much girly stuff for him. But it allowed him to put off building the new wood shed. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

up, up and away.....

It was the balloon fiesta this week..... and for another year I wasn't part of the festivities, which breaks my heart.

Ballooning is still the only thing I jump out of bed for at 5, eagerly.

Why do I let these things which I consider a passion, and yet I manage to let them slide on by.
It's sad and a waste.

So - how do I make life fit around the things which make me smile, grin, laugh out loud and better than that - mixing with the people who have a bounce in their step!!

I need more of that.




Saturday, March 21, 2009


I can't take any credit for this great shot. Katie Woo woo took it on my camera while we were playing the "Final" game in our Christmas golf tournament.
It was hilarious with so many balls ending up in the garden.

And yes, that is Israel that Tessa has firmly attached to her.

Monday, March 09, 2009

tiki tour

Alas.... while I took the picture the swing was empty - but as I walked over to enjoy it, some kids arrived and were quick to jump on.

I thought it looked like the most blissful place to spend some time.