Okay, so I'm a little late, but we just arrived home from our holiday in Napier with family and friends, and although there is internet there, we're usually too busy having fun to do such mundane things as update blogs ;-)
This Christmas, I have to say, was definitely one of the better ones. We drove down to Napier really late on Thursday night, arriving at about 2am Christmas Eve. Phalumphed around for the day, dropping off the various presents and catching up with family. Christmas day was awesome! The boys were very well behaved for, I think, the whole day (quite a miracle I must admit). Breakfast at mum and dads with my sister, her partner and their kids. All the presents were opened and loved on sight (yay!!), then played with for a while, until we all had to pack up and move on to the next location.
In our case, that was Deane's mum's place, where we commenced the preparation and organisation for Christmas dinner and the following dessert. Mmmmm, roast turkey and lamb, yummy veges, crackers popping left right and centre, laughter and clinking glasses continuing throughout the meal. The only dampener to the day was Deane's allergic reaction to... we don't really know...
From the time he woke up that morning he was puffy-eyed and stuffed up. Over the course of the day he took several anti-histamines, one or two pain-killers, and a few glasses of alcohol. Not a good mix. Straight after dinner (at about 4.30pm) he fell asleep on the couch. We managed to move him down to the spare bedroom at about 6.30pm (not that he really woke up for that event) and he missed dessert (half of which he'd made) and 'Silly Santa'. Luckily we'd opened all the main presents before we had dinner, otherwise he'd have missed that too!
I managed to wake him up enough to get him to the car at about 9.15pm, in order to drive back to mum and dads for bed (don't panic, I drove!) and he went straight to bed as soon as we got there. He didn't wake up again until after 10am on Boxing Day. And he was still tired. On the up side, he was feeling much better :-/
On the 27th we were lucky enough to have a night without the kids (X stayed with his cousins, T stayed with his nana) so Deane organised an early anniversary outing. We went to the Black Barn Open Air Cinema, and stayed at Te Mata Lodge Motel for the night. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Deane had bought tickets for the movie, even knowing that Eclipse was playing!! It was awesome, and just before the movie started, he presented me with my 10th wedding anniversary present, a gorgeous ring he'd designed and had made, with 36 mini sapphires, 30 mini diamonds, and a big black star sapphire from Thailand, that we'd bought in Chanthaburi while we were there in March. He even set the main stone himself, with a little help from a jeweller friend. Bless him. When I can get a good picture of the ring, I'll post it so you can see how lovely it is. I'm rather besotted with it, snatching glances of it numerous times throughout the day. As I was unaware of the early anniversary plans ahead of time, I didn't have Deane's present to give to him that night, but he was given it the next day - a voucher for a one hour trial flight at the North Shore Aero Club. He's always wanted to learn how to fly, and this was something I've wanted to give him for quite a while now. I think he liked it, but did warn me that I'd probably just opened a rather expensive can of worms. Yes KJ, if you're reading this, 'you told me so' ;-)
As if that wasn't enough, on our actual anniversary we managed to have a kid-free evening again! So we swung by the supermarket and loaded up on supplies, then we headed to the beach for a mini bonfire dinner, and toasted marshmallows. Once the sun had completely disappeared (about 9pm) we headed back to mum and dads for a relatively early night.
On New Years Eve we headed to a friend's place for a barbeque dinner once the kids had gone to bed at their nana's, and got to see in the beginning of 2011 watching the fireworks on the Napier waterfront, from a fabulous viewpoint up on Chaucer Road. They were good this year, lasting about 20 minutes - twice as long as previous years. We headed off to bed about 1.30am, knowing we had to pick the boys up fairly early so their nana could go to work.
On the 2nd January, the whole family - mum, dad, my sister and her family, and us four, headed off to White Pine Bush for a meandre through the woods, then on to Lake Tutira for a picnic lunch and a swim - with a few insect bites thrown in for good measure.
The 3rd saw us enjoying a chauffered tour around several of the Bay's wineries, and the Te Mata Cheese Factory - a Christmas present from my MIL's partner, Robbie. It was a great day out, ending in dinner at Cafe De Laos with another couple we'd met while on the tour. Not to mention we purchased a few gorgeously yummy bottles of wine and some cheese for later consumption. My SIL Shahn had the boys for the day, taking them to the local pool for another afternoon of swimming.
Somewhere in the last week we took the boys out to Waipatiki Beach, but I can't remember what day it was. Deane and the boys enjoyed swimming at the beach, and the wee lagoon next to it, while I read my book and knitted. Maybe next Christmas, I'll remember to pack my own swimming gear so I can enjoy the fun a little more!!!
This Christmas/New Year, we managed to visit everyone we wanted to visit while in Napier, including meeting up with some school friends from Wellington at the Napier Aquarium - they were calling in on their way through to Gisborne, so it was really great to see them. The boys were so excited to see each other, I'm so glad we managed to arrange the little get-together. It gave me a chance to catch up with their mum, one of the friends I'd made while in Wellington. Another friend from Wellington, one of my knitting friends, was staying with family in Hastings, so again I managed to have a good catch up. I'm hoping to be able to arrange a trip down to Wellington around Easter, but as Deane's birthday is during the Easter weekend this year, it may be a little difficult. We'll have to see...
An altogether very enjoyable week-and-a-half, and now that we're home again, I must get to the gym to work off some of that wonderful Christmas food!!
I hope everyone had a good break :-)