Rainy Days

So what do you do on a rainy Sunday afternoon?  Why, the promised scrapbooking with your daughters.  I have to admit that although I love that they want to do this sort of thing with me, and I am well aware that in a few years they might not … it would be easier just to do one page on my own 😉

One rainy afternoon, one sketch (from here) = the resulting three scrapbooking pages –

This is my one  (Josh when he was about 3.5yo – he was soooo cute back then!).







Charlotte’s page (for her little 8×8 scrapbook)







and Rhiannon’s one – we need to print out the pictures to finish it off – they are from her trip to Kapiti Island earlier on in the year.






All in all, a pretty good days work 😉 One of my missions this year is to do more scrapbooking, and trying to keep up with the sketch each week, is a good way to start.  The goal also includes using up lots of the papers and other “way too much stuff” I have!


Abide with Me

In the late 1950s, in the small town of West Annett, Maine, a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family, and his happiness in the wake of profound loss. At the same time, the community he has served so charismatically must come to terms with its own strengths and failings–faith and hypocrisy, loyalty and abandonment–when a dark secret is revealed.

Tyler Caskey has come to love West Annett, “just up the road” from where he was born. The short, brilliant summers and the sharp, piercing winters fill him with awe–as does his congregation, full of good people who seek his guidance and listen earnestly as he preaches. But after suffering a terrible loss, Tyler finds it hard to return to himself as he once was. He hasn’t had The Feeling–that God is all around him, in the beauty of the world–for quite some time. He struggles to find the right words in his sermons and in his conversations with those facing crises of their own, and to bring his five-year-old daughter, Katherine, out of the silence she has observed in the wake of the family’s tragedy.


I’m still not sure about this book, as I started it I found it difficult to read, it was written with a very “proper” or “flowery” narrative – you know, the sort of narrative you really have to concentrate with, not my best attribute when it comes to reading 😉 Once I got used to the style of writing it was a compelling tale, but with hidden depths which could be missed quite easily.  The 1950’s way of life and way of thinking came through strongly, I feel sorry for women who were trapped in that way of life, where image was everything, and a seemingly happy, perfect, home was so important – I know I would have struggled and felt trapped in that sort of environment! I’m not sure it was a book with a strong storyline as such, but did provoke strong feelings about that way of life.  I’m not sure I really can say I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but it did leave me thinking – so I would definitely say it was a good read, and well worth picking up.


110km … up and down … repeat 3 times

The details – if you’re interested 😉

The things I do for fun!  Later last year (obviously when I wasn’t blogging!) I bought a road bike … earlier on in the year after the London Marathon I got to thinking about my next challenge and couldn’t decide between the Auckland Marathon and the Taupo Challenge (160km cycle around Lake Taupo) – and got to thinking, well, why not both?  The Cycle Challenge was just four weeks after the marathon which meant training for both at the same time … but both were endurance so I decided that wouldn’t be a problem.  Anyway, I did indeed do both (Auckland wasn’t the best – 4:44 with lots of walking, Taupo was windy and a bit slow – but a great achievement – especially doing both!).

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed the cycling and plan to keep doing it, definitely plan to train for Taupo “properly” this year.  Next race I want to do is around Mt Taranaki (150km) on the 28th of January (probably won’t know until the 20th whether finances are going to allow it!), so I’ve been kind of training for that while I get my running up and going again (long story – lots of injuries, a break to strengthen the body etc).

So Tuesday’s cycle ride was a long training ride – probably the longest I’ll do before the 28th.  This is a great training block, big, steep hills and well, a block, which is always preferable (to me anyway) than an out and back, or loops here and there.  I’m still not the fastest cyclist around (need to work on that) but I’m pretty strong, I make it up all the hills … I’m a wuss going down and hang on to the brakes for dear life, need to do some training DOWN hills, rather than up 😉

This was a great bike ride though – its still holidays here so there was no rush to get home for anything (husband is still off work), it was a nice summer day, but a southerly so not too hot, traffic wasn’t too bad.  I added the Blue Mountain part to the normal “block”, and biking through Whitemans Valley was just bliss, slightly downhill, no cars, sun shining, lovely quiet farmland … just wonderful!  There are times like that that I wonder why I took so long to get off the couch and getting active and realise what I was missing out on 🙂

Today I’m planning on a shorter, faster ride – with a mile run straight after, I’m doing a couple of fun duathalons in the next couple of months and need to practice the getting off the bike and running thing.  I also insanely signed up to running a mile a day in 2012 – I already didn’t run on Tuesday (didn’t know about it then and I did the big bike ride), but I’ll just ignore that little detail!  But today’s mile will work in nicely with the bike ride.

In keeping with this being an “everything” blog – I’ll be back later with a photo of the card I made yesterday for a good friend’s 50th Birthday 🙂




One Summer – David Baldacci


It’s almost Christmas,

but there is no joy in the house of terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their three children.

Then, unthinkably, tragedy strikes again: Lizzie is killed in a car accident. With no one able to care for them, the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. Just when all seems lost, Jack begins to recover in a miraculous turn of events. He rises from what should have been his deathbed, determined to bring his fractured family back together.

Struggling to rebuild their lives after Lizzie’s death, he reunites everyone at Lizzie’s childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. And there, over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn to love again, and he and his children will learn how to become a family once more.


I’ve looked at this one in the bookshop a few times and thought about buying it, got to the library (as I’ve been trying to more often, rather than spending money on too many books!) and it was in their Best Seller section, so I grabbed it.  Pleased I did, the $4.00 for the Best Seller fee, was probably a much more comparible price than the $20-30 for a brand new book!

It was a good read, but nothing startling.  I definitely enjoyed it and there were a couple of nights I was flicking forward to see what would happen when I was too tired to read much further, but I wouldn’t call it a fantastic read.  There is the reminder there about being “present” with the kids, something I’m trying to work on – so not a bad reminder!




New Year – New Goals

It’s been a while … but then again, what better time to make new goals, new resolutions – including actually keeping a blog updated?

I’m not big on resolutions … but I am on goals – the difference to me being a resolution is more of a statement without anything behind it – a goal is an end point, with lots of little goals and a plan to make it to the end bigger goal.

I have a few, which I can hopefully break down.

Goal 1 – to finally get to my end goal weight, I’ve been talking about it for two years – the good thing is, I’ve kept to my top (WW) goal range for two years, but to run better, and to be just a little bit healthier … I need to lose that last 5kg (or 7kg, or 3kg … it fluctuates ;)).

  • Three Meals a day, and if I’m really hungry and need something inbetween – make it fruit – or a protein drink (depending on where my training is at).
  • No eating after dinner.
  • Weighing once a month … no more obsessive (more than) once a day weighing.
  • Try to consciously up the protein and lower the “bad” carbs.

Goal 2 – To be more organised – housewise, planning, Stampin’ classes/workshops, training

  • Tidy/pick-up every morning – even if it is only 10 minutes!
  • Less wasting time on the computer.
  • Run before breakfast wherever possible.
  • Aim for 1hr a day spent on stamping – whether getting ready for classes/workshops or my own scrapbooking/cardmaking.

Goal 3 – Stay injury free

  • Stick to cross-training (wisely).
  • Stick with physio/strengthening exercises.
  • Listen to body!!

Goal 4 – Pay off Debt

  • Wherever we can, start hammering at our debt … this one is kind of reliant on Husband earning the money – but no excuses, less spending, more paying off stuff!

… and be a good blogger – I want to keep track of my crafting finishes, what I’m reading, and general family stuff – what better place to do it than here?