Can you believe it’s 2016 already? Heck the last year has gone so fast! We spent our New Year’s on holiday visiting friends and family that we haven’t seen in years.
We spent time with my sister whom we haven’t seen since Blake was a newborn and time with my oldest brother who we hadn’t seen since Dani was a baby. We spent time with my niece and nephews who we hadn’t seen in just as long if not longer for some of them. Nana even got to spend time with my oldest niece and nephew, one of whom is so reclusive she hasn’t seen since even before we moved from Auckland.
Hubby even mader steps to restart relationships with his own side of the family that he stopped talking to. It’s baby steps and nothing is completely settled but it’s a start and a good one. Mending bonds is not something that heals over night but he’s made good progress in trying. It is a good step to healing the anger and hurt that he has felt over the years. Meeting his nieces and nephew for the first time helped with this. It’s hard to resist the beautiful smiles of 3 gorgeous children meeting their uncle and cousins for the first time. I am really proud of the steps he made.
Our children really enjoyed meeting family that they hadn’t before or seen in a long time. Celine especially enjoyed re-getting to know Aunts and Uncles and cousins that she hadn’t met in a long time and really took to the cousins she hadn’t met before. Dani was a big surprise to a lot of them because she has a different hair colour to the rest. She is the spitting image of my sister and niece though so the shock for them was how much she resembled them.
Our first day in Auckland we had lunch with one of my friends that we hadn’t had seen since we moved. It was our only chance to catch up with her since she had to fly out the next day for her own trip. Then we had dinner with my sister when she bought Nana back to the motel after spending the day with her from the time she flew in.
We spent New Year’s Eve at the beach with my sister and dinner at her place. We left after dinner but it was nearly midnight when we got back to our motel because Nana’s Restless Leg Syndrome caused her to need to walk a lot. Not a particularly easy task on the Auckland motorways. Traffic is a lot more hectic there than where we live.
New Year’s Day was spent mending bonds with Hubby’s sister and meeting her three beautiful children and then we went to my brother’s place for a bbq/party for New Year’s/his partner’s birthday. This was the only time we managed to spend with my brother and his family as they had work the rest of our trip and we couldn’t work out a time when everyone was home.
Saturday was the day we saw Hubby’s mother and her husband. This was the hardest part of our trip as this meeting was the make or break on how his relationship mending with her would go. It was a little tense but everyone was mostly on their best behaviour. She enjoyed seeing Celine and meeting the grandchildren she had never met. She hadn’t seen Celine since she was 2 (we moved out of Auckland when Celine was 3 & a half) so it was a big shock to the system to see how she had grown in real life rather than the few photos she had seen over the years. This relationship will be the hardest to rebuild for us. There is a lot of water for us to push under the bridge so to speak.
Nana had lunch with her other grandchildren while we were doing this. The day ended with us all having dinner with my sister and her son and his partner at a South African restaurant we last went to just before we moved. The food was as delicious as ever but the service wasn’t quite as good as it was in the past.
Celine and Spot our new puppy
Our last day in Auckland was spent again with Hubby’s sister and her family in the morning. We played indoor mini golf with them. It was really trippy since the indoor course was a glow in the dark one. The girls found it a little easier than the boys who had a couple of minor melt-down but all had a good time. We then went for lunch together before heading off to meet my sister again for a little shopping and then heading up to meet one of my best friends from the age of 5 where we had dinner. Nana stayed back at the motel because of her legs.
My sister picked up mum again the next morning so she could stay the night with her before her Tuesday flight back home while we left in the car to make the long journey home. On our way home we picked up a new family member, Spot, a border collie/blue heeler cross.
Everyone was glad to get home though and I bet Nana will be too when she arrives. It was a pretty fast paced trip and everyone was exhausted. We didn’t quite make an early night for bed but we did get an earlier than during our holiday bed time.