Saturday, 8 February 2014

Caving and Art...

Oh my's February! Where has the summer gone?? Lately, we have been pretty busy with TWO public holidays (love it!), BBQs, weekend adventures, and trying to enjoy as much as the sunshine as possible. The cloudy, rainy, cold weather will be here before we know it...sorry to be such a Debbie Downer :(

Ben and I heard from a friend about Friday nights down at Bethells Beach with live music, food, the we decided to head over after school on Friday and give it a go. luck would have it, it was raining by the time we got there so everything was cancelled. But, seeing as we'd never been before, we decided to brave the rain and explore! Down the beach there was this HUGE, awesome cave as well as tons of other smaller caves all around. We were also talking to someone last night who told us about another cave down at the other end of the beach we didn't explore. Must go back...when it's sunny!

 View from the inside looking out.

Yep, that's about as far in as I can see Ben wandering a little farther back...I was too scared!

It was really cool! I'd definitely love to go back with my flashlight/torch next time!

On Saturday, I went with a friend to experience the Matakana markets (YUM!) as well as the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail. No pictures from the markets but those would just be of me eating need :) The sculpture trail on the other hand was worth the drive! Here is my favorite:

From what I could understand of the informational leaflet, this sculpture was supposed to represent that art could be anything, so this artist created crumpled paper out of iron. There was another "piece of paper" down the hill a bit but I just loved the colors of all the pieces.

PAUSE My computer must have switched over to British spelling at some point because it is now telling me that I'm spelling favorite and colors wrong!!!!! I definitely did not change that... UNPAUSE

Another cool "sculpture" involved a trek called the Kauri Climb where you climbed up some steps and rang bells along the way. At the top, there were [what I would call] ear trumpets and they magnified all the tiny, detailed sounds of the forest! It was very interesting!

It was a beautiful day to hang out in a vineyard and explore some art! I even tried some of the grapes...SHH...don't tell! They did not taste like wine...

It has been a fun and busy weekend! Can't wait to see what Ben has up his sleeve for Valentine's Day....haha! Good joke Libbi.. 

the webers

Saturday, 25 January 2014


Glamping is a horrible name! Makes it sound awful and girly and unnecessary...

But anywho, Ben and I went glamping this past weekend as a late anniversary getaway! And it was ah-mazing! I started on Friday when my wonderful hubby sent flowers to me at school!! There's nothing better than getting surprise flowers...and I wasn't even mad at him! :) We stayed at Castaways about an hour south of Auckland and when we first got there, we checked in and loaded our stuff onto a golf cart buggy to make the 10 minute drive out to our secluded campsite!

Complete with outdoor bathtub, two hammocks, and a cliftop view of the ocean (and sunset) below! It could not have been any better!

Saturday, we ventured down to the beach and did a bit of hiking! We found a waterfall that you could hike up right next to this really neat rock formation! 

And below, you can see our teeny tiny little campsite from the beach!

Did you find it??

I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in a little bit of luxurious camping! It was so hard to choose just a few photos (can you tell?) so there are a bunch more of our "tent" as well as the beautiful sunset on Saturday night. You can find them HERE

Happy 4th Anniversary to my amazing, thoughtful, loving husband!
the webers

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Four Years

New Year Goals Update:
I finished reading The Hobbit! I have already completed part of one of my goals...woo hoo!

Equally exciting: Ben and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary! 

(Why do my teeth look so shiny??)

I can't believe that it's been four years...the time has flown by! We had a pretty quiet night. Dinner at home and we watched my new favorite movie: About Time. If you haven't seen good! Get your tissues ready! The next night we went out to dinner at a really good restaurant in town: Ortolana and then we got dessert at the Chocolate Boutique. Yum! We didn't do anything really big because I have planned a weekend trip for us in a couple weeks. Ben doesn't know where we're going and I love planning surprises for other people! You'll have to check back in a couple weeks to see where we went! :) 

Happy 2014!
the webers

Saturday, 28 December 2013

2014: This Year...

So, I found this little gem on Pinterest [where I find all my other little gems...]:

New Year resolution sheet

and I was thinking that I'd really like to keep something like this on hand to really hold me accountable for my New Years resolutions! (Yes, I know it says 2013 at the bottom...this is just a template) I'm not a hard and fast resolution kind of girl but it would be good to know what kind of goals I have for myself over the next year...and some of these are really simple!

A bad habit I'm going to break:
I am a planner. I like to plan where I'm going to live 5 years from now. I like to plan my next holiday as soon as I get back from one (or maybe even before that...). Sometimes, it's just planning a dinner that doesn't turn out exactly how I expect it to. If plans don't work out for me, I get really anxious and it ruins my day! I would like to focus on the "now" not the future!

Don't Waste The Season of Life You're In

A new skill I'd like to learn:
Oh, this will probably take more than a year but one of my bucket list goals has always been to learn a new language! Ben and I started going through the Rosetta Stone for French a while back and I have a little girl in my class that speaks/understands French as her first language AND I would love to live in France one day so...French it is! I have started to learn a couple of phrases but nothing dramatic!

A person I hope to be more like:
There's not any one particular person I can think of who does this but I would like to be the kind of person that follows through on things! I'm not very good at having an idea and then actually completing it! I am in a constant state of unfinished projects. I have this bad habit of starting to work on something, seeing something else that needs to be done, and then just shifting from one task to another without actually finishing anything!! I guess that means I need to be more like someone who has focus!

A good deed I'm going to do:
In general I would like to do more good'll just have to wait and see :)

A place I'd like to visit:
Oh my do I narrow it down to just one?? Some places I'd like to visit in 2014 include Fiji, Coromandel, Queenstown, Waiheke, Waitomo, Matamata, Hawaii and then maybe Thailand at the end of the year...but we'll see how that all works out!

A book I'd like to read:
I have so many books on my iPad that I'd like to read but for some reason just don't....I get caught up in another book or I'm just not into that topic for one reason or another. But some books that I'd like to read this year are: The Hobbit (got for Christmas!!!), The Book Thief (already started but having a hard time getting into...), I'd like to finally finish the Outlander series (on book 5 but having a harrrrrrrrrd time...), and then finally Emily Giffin's new book, due out May 2014!!!!

A letter I'm going to write:
I would love, love, love to write some more letters to our grannys as some of them don't really follow the email/internet scheme and probably don't know very much about where we are and what we're doing. I'd like to make that a goal in general: to write more handwritten letters!

A new food I'd like to try:
So many new foods to try! For the first time in my life (thanks to an amazing Christmas dinner at Tom and Rachel's :), I ate a whole baby octopus...head and everything!! This is what it looked like:

Although, this occurred in 2013 so I have to think of something else to eat in 2014...maybe a Marmite and Cheese sandwich! :)

I'm going to do better at:
...keeping in touch with family and friends. It's easy to be friends with your neighbor....but living across the globe as someone or even just across the city makes it so much harder to keep up with people! I want to be better at emailing, calling, texting, Skyping, Facetiming...whatever it is to keep up with family and friends!

We'll revisit at the end of 2014 and see how I did!! 
Happy New Year!
the webers

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The best laid plans...

Sitting here listening to some country music on Pandora! Makes me feel like I'm back in Texas! By the way, whoever figured out that if you put your phone in a cup, it makes a speaker, is a genius!!

I have been very productive this morning...

-Went to the grocery store first thing so Ben and I could have our traditional Saturday morning breakfast!

-Made some homemade breakfast sausage=yum! And then patty-formed it and stuck in the freezer! I mean I ate some too!

-I finished up a craft project that has been sitting in the living room for a while. I'm making a "coffee bar" of sorts so I made a pin board to hang on the wall behind all the cups and coffee-making supplies. Not hung up yet but you get the idea...

-I made some healthy cookies...I have been a horribly unhealthy eater since I got back from the states and I need to get back on the wagon. So why not start with cookies?? :)

Okay, I promised a Taupo recap. Ben and I originally went down south so that we could do the Tongariro Crossing, an all day hike that is supposedly the best one-day hike in new Zealand. But, unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. On the day we were supposed to do it, it was cloudy, rainy, and in the negative degrees :( On the bright side, we had friends who were in Taupo on the same weekend so we drove up there and hung out! We ended up doing a mini-hike to the Huka Falls

And then found a hot spring that was pretty amazing. There was a hot water river that runs into the Waikato (cold) and if you found a good mix of the two, it was perfect! There were little hot tub pools with waterfalls and everything! Definitely worth the hike! And all natural!!

Ben enjoying a soak in the hot pools after a [short] hike :)

 The waterfalls were pretty intense!

We are going to miss the Gold family so much when they move back to the States in just a few short weeks :( We have become very close friends and I can't wait to go visit them in New York City! 

Hopefully we will have some more adventures to share with you soon!

the webers

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year...why you ask?? Because....

1. It's a great excuse to go shopping several times a

2. I love decorating for Christmas! My most favorite activity is getting Christmas decorations on clearance and then using them the next year! What??

Christmas Tree 2013
It's looking a little more wilty now...and there is more than one present underneath! But I love a good, classic Christmas tree with white lights and burlap :) Also, our monogrammed tree skirt from Nutcracker Market 2011! 

In my last post, I totally forgot to mention that I made it to the Nutcracker Market this year while on holiday in the States! It is my favorite Houston activity and I am so glad I got the spend the day there with Rachel! 

Back to my list...

3. Christmas time means chocolate, cake, goodies, and treats galore! Yesterday at work we got brownies, a chocolate cake, and a box of cherries all in one day! Yum!

4. Time off work. Need I say more?

5. One of my favorite things about Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is the warm weather! It's so nice to have time off and to be able to spend it in our pool or at the beach, drinking margaritas! :) 

6. With the coming of Christmas, means it's almost our anniversary! Love celebrating another year with my husband...I have an exciting plan for our anniversary this year...but it's a secret, sorry! 

7. And last but not least, Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect on God's glory and the things He has done in my life over the past year! I know, without a doubt, that we would not be where we are without His love, guidance, and grace! 

So, we wish everyone a Merry CHRISTmas and a wonderful, safe, and happy new year! 

the webers

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Has it really been 3 months?? No...

Oh my goodness! Was my last blog post really in August?! So much has happened since then...

Biggest of all, we spent 28 days in the United States of America!

It was amazing to see all of our family and friends after 14 (fourTEEN...can you believe it??) months of living abroad. To start with, our flight to the States was awful...we missed our connection in LA and had to spend the night in Houston (with some amazing hostesses who picked us up from the airport with about 2 hours notice! I was literally calling to see if we could spend the night while boarding the plane!). Then we got on another flight the next morning, after a quick Target shopping trip to get some essentials, heading to Charleston. We didn't end up getting our bags until the next night!

I'm just surprised they made it to us in the end (all four of our bags ended up taking the originally planned journey to Chicago and Charlotte...and then back again...and then to Charleston)

Overall, it was just that five minute window that really screwed things up....other than that, flight from Sydney to LA (the long one...) was not crowded and we both managed to get some sleep.

We celebrated Ben's birthday about a dozen times (lucky boy :) and ate so much more food than I could ever imagine. I finally weighed myself when I got home and only managed to gain 6 pounds...not that bad :) I was expecting more!

Food Experience Checklist:
-Pei Wei
-Sushi (specifically, Yamatos)
-P.F. Changs
-REAL Mexican (aka free and all-you-can-eat chips and salsa)
-Crave/Sprinkles Cupcakes (managed to make it here multiple times :)
-ShyKatz Deli
-Good 'ole American, corn-fed steak
-Huge Thanksgiving meal with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and pie!
-Shiner Beer

The only thing we didn't eat, and didn't realize we didn't eat until we got back, was pizza! I feel like we pretty much ate from the moment we got off the plane until we boarded again in November (6 pounds heavier...).

Other than eating, we just did a lot of visiting with friends and family, laughing, meeting TWO new babies, and catching up on the past year. Our tour of the States went a little something like this:

Auckland (October 24th) --> Sydney --> LA --> Houston --> Charleston --> Columbia --> Greenville --> Houston/Galveston --> College Station --> Tyler (just me...) --> Austin --> Galveston --> Yoakum --> Galveston --> LA --> Sydney --> Auckland (November 21st)

Phewie! But I wouldn't trade any one moment of it. The flight back to Auckland was the easiest we have had so far. We talked about how it must get easier and easier each time you make that 30+ hour journey :) It was so good to have the time off from work and to be able to just spend time together! Already planning our next trip back. It will probably be during the summer. For some reason Ben misses the heat! Crazy boy...

The view from the top is phenomenal! Below, it was rainy and storming...above, is just a whole other world! This was on the way "home" to Auckland. New Zealand really has started to feel like a home for us, and I missed it while we were away! Our friends who have become like family to us, my babies at work, the amazing New Zealand scenery we are privileged enough to live feels good to be back! 

Next up...our visit to Taupo which did not go exactly as planned but we still managed to have a great time!!!