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 deeds...you'll just have to wait and see :)

A place I'd like to visit:
Oh my goodness...how 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!
love,
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!

love,
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 week....day

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! 

love, 
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
-Barbeque
-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 in...it 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!!!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Five on Friday

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Okay, so I know it's not Friday technically Friday but it's pretty hard to mesh up Friday in both the US and NZ! So...here I am!

For Five on Friday, just just tell five fun things that have some sort of relevance to your life! Easy peasy!

ONE

Until the fall shows start up again, I will be watching Pretty Little Liars and Keeping Up With the Kardashians....my two guilty pleasures! Currently watching one as we speak...

TWO

In exactly 2 (!!!) months we will be flying in to Charlotte, North Carolina! Woo hoo! Ben and I could not be more excited to see family, enjoy a (four week...what??) vacation from work and enjoy some Aggie football (i.e. tailgating)! :) 

THREE

We have a new addition to our family! A couple weekends ago, Ben bought a sailboat! 


Which actually looks more like this...


It's a work in progress but hopefully will be done by the time summer gets here! She needs lots of love but Ben is enjoying having a project to work on!


FOUR

Ben and I are going to the night markets tonight...can't wait to eat some delicious food, hear some live music, and do some shopping!

FIVE
(It is surprisingly hard to think of five random things to say...)

The Color Run is coming to Auckland in January of next year! I am so excited! I was so excited to do the one in Houston and then we moved...womp womp! I am so glad I'm at the point in my life where 5K doesn't really seem like a big deal...definitely hasn't always been that way! Will definitely be registering!

Anyone want to join??

So that's my "five" for today! Until next week.....


Friday, 16 August 2013

Firsts...

I found a new blog that I'm loving and she did a "Firsts" blog post as well...so I thought I'd copy :)

First thing you do when you wake up in the morning:

Look over at Ben and say, "Coffee, coffee, coffee, please!" Haha...it's a little morning ritual.

First thing you reach for when you open the fridge:

Hmm...I tend to open the fridge and just stare aimlessly and then close it again! Maybe some red grapes if we have 'em!

First thing you do when you get to the gym:

Put my bag in the locker room! And then head to the treadmill for some running!

First thing you do when you get home from work:

Ideally, I would love to dump my stuff and go take a bath! That only happens every once in a while though...in reality, I probably just jump on the couch and watch something on TV!

First car:

My first car that was a 1998 Ford Explorer Sport, 2 door! I will never again buy a 2-door car...it was the most hassle ever! I had it for about 3 years before I totaled it the summer after my Sophomore year in college working at a summer camp! :(


First accident:

Funny enough, the one above was not my first accident! Although totally not my fault, and in no way avoidable, I got hit while driving Ben's car by a guy who ran a red light. I was just sitting there minding my own business, when he comes and slams into us...I did not have my license or any shoes on so I called my Mom to bring me both items before the cops showed up! 

First thing you wanted to be when you grew up:  

I wanted to be a pediatrician until I realized how much work going through Med school was going to be. So I just work with kids in another way :) 

First choice beverage:

Oh my goodness, I love to drink (haha...not that way). I would much rather drink than eat, any day of the week! My favorite beverage would probably be a nice hot cup of coffee since the weather outside has been chilly and rainy! Fave alcoholic beverage would be Rekorderlig...a fruity cider that is DELICIOUS! Too bad they're like $15 each at a bar :(

First choice breakfast:

Hands down...french toast! E're time!

First choice dessert:

Hmmm...this is a tough one! I'm such a sweet person that it's hard to choose.. Probably a Crave Cupcake :) As long as my BFF is sitting right there next to me having one too!

First song that comes to mind:

Ben made me the Taylor Swift CD as part of my birthday present so I have been jamming in my car all day running errands! Specifically that "22" song! Even though I'm 25...womp womp

First major purchase:

When we bought our car here in New Zealand...


And then totaled it...and bought another one!


Which we have named...

Sybie!
(rhymes with Libbi)

Because Ben's friend, who I have met loads of times, kept calling me that thinking that was my name and then we just had to have a Sybie in the family! 

First job:

I was babysitting starting when I was about 12 but I would say my first real job was working in the nursery at First Baptist Church in Galveston! This doesn't include the pity jobs that I got from my dad working in his office! I got paid, yes...but probably wasn't an essential employee :)

First time you flew on a plane:

Goodness...I can't even remember! All of our early vacations consisted of us driving to Florida to see my Grandma but I can't remember a time when we flew there! Our first big vacation as a family with a couple of family friends was when we went to Croatia after my Junior year of high school. I was 15 and and didn't really do anything touristy! I had a crush on a boy that we went with so I'm pretty sure I was obsessed with him the whole time! :) It was pretty awesome vacation where we took a boat trip to some nearby islands and I wrecked a scooter and scraped up my leg so bad. I was a baby for the rest of the trip and on the flight home! Hurt so bad...

I would love to go back to see if it's any different 10 years later! (whatttttt???)

After writing this, I'm seeing a trend...I need to work on my driving skills :(

Hope you enjoyed! :)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Craft Time

It's time for a craft update! Since the dresser, we have worked on a couple other little projects around the house that I'm loving and make us feel more at home...

1. Bedroom Canvases


Ben's sweet Mom sent us some Styrofoam sheets with some ideas of what you can do to spruce them up and decorate your home. We decided to go out and look for some fabric to make "canvases." I really like how they turned out and they add some great color to the room (it looks red in the pictures but its more of a coral color in real life)! The fabric is so "us" as well...passport stamps!

The hardest thing about this project was trying to figure out how to hang them. The first command strips we used (Styrofoam=super light) had them falling off the wall in the middle of the night! After we got some "poster" command strips, they seem to be holding up much better! None have fallen off so far...

2. Bathroom Towel Hooks


Ben drives me crazy hanging his towels on doors, door handles, bedposts, etc. so I have been dying for a place to properly hang my towels for some time! I looked all over the city for something that I liked but everything was either way out of our price range, or not quite what I was looking for! So, I decided to make one myself! Ben was making a tool bench out of pallets so he had a spare board for me to use and I ordered the perfect hooks online! I love how it turned out!! And hopefully there will be no more wet towels hanging all over the house!!

3. Coming up next...

Now that I've done something for the bedroom and the bathroom...the kitchen is next! As usual, it will probably take three times the amount of time it's supposed to take but hopefully I will have it finished fairly soon!

I've been getting into a spring cleaning mood lately! Hopefully our house will start looking more decorated because of it!

love,
the webers

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Passo 2.0

I have been in a blogging funk lately! Sorry for my fans who haven't gotten to read anything in a while...haha, who am I kidding?

Many of you know that we lost Passo a couple weeks ago :( He was our first right-hand-driving car and we loved him very much! Enough sadness...we have moved on to....



who is better in every way! :)  

It's a Honda Civic and we got an amazing deal on him! We took a little mini roadtrip just to test him out this past weekend and went on a hike. The hike was good and muddy! My pink tennies will never be the same :( Looks like I'll just have to buy some new Nikes when I'm back in the States! ;) Which if you didn't know...will be for four weeks in October/November! We are so excited to see everyone we have been missing and to meet some new faces!! Ben and I will have a new nephew and my BFF will be a mom by then!! :) Some of our must-see/do's include:

-Fightin' Texas Aggie football! Whoop!
-Mexican Food...mmmmm
-Shopping!!
-Nutcracker Market...the most wonderful time of year :)
-Visiting friends and family
AND
-Early Thanksgiving!

Any name suggestions for our new car?? We can't think of anything good...

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4537985/?claim=34fegw2ybt6">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Friday, 14 June 2013

End of an iPhone era

So, this past week, I decided I needed some Wicked Soundtrack to hype me up for my morning workouts. When adding music onto my iphone, I ran out of room and had to choose between music and my 243,270 pictures (okay, not that many but I love them and keep them all for a reason)! They begin when I got my very first iPhone for College graduation (Thanks Mommy and Poppy!) and go all the way up until last night! So...I took a page from Rachel's book and uploaded all of them to our SmugMug account! I had to hide one or two here and there :) But if you have the time and energy...you can relive my last 3 years! Here are some of my faves (not in chronological order...):

One of my summer school kiddos drew this wonderful depiction of me...I gotta big head!



Ben and I were driving around Katy one day and we saw this bad boy parked outside an auto parts store! I wonder what kind of parts they needed...


Ben used to come over to help me watch Kyle...here is the beginning of his helpful pictures...

Haha! Little elf...


Sleeping...


More Sleeping....


Thanks bud! :)

The next two pictures, we are at a pawn shop and Tyler found some legi chain mail in a box. He then decided to try it on...


And then he couldn't get it off...I think I laughed so hard I peed a little during this incident! Poppy had to come and help him get it off! PS-it cost $400!!!!


My last weekend in the States, Kyla, Kayla, and I went to most of the bakeries around Houston and had a cupcake taste off. We had about 2 dozen (big/mini) cupcakes and my ultimate fave was Crave!!!! This was not a unanimous decision though....


Hahah! Karmia...gotta love snapchat :)


Beautiful Karmia with her face mask...bleh...



Haha! I sent this picture to Rebecca H. originally because we were looking for a Ken doll to put on Kathryn's bachelorette party cake! It is very hard to find a Ken doll with moveable arms and legs...but I was successful!! Sexy!


This is another gem from watching Kyle! The Wii asked me this one day while I was weighing him...


And last, but not least, in my first grade class, we used shaving cream to spell words, math, etc. and I let them have a little play time when we were done. One of my babies wrote this for me one day! Love it!


If you want to see the rest of my 700 picures you can go to our SmugMug account...I bet you can find one of you!! :) 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Fun in the Snow!!!

Post #50! Woo Hoo! Here's to another 50!

Everytime we go somewhere new, I declare that it's my "new favorite place"! The problem is everywhere we go ends up being my "new favorite place!" Well, this weekend we went to Ohakune with some friends from church and got the chance to play in the first big snow of the winter.



We also did some hiking, eating, Carrot Festival-ing, and just relaxing! It was a great weekend. Since Ben and I have never been south of Auckland on the North Island, we decided to hit up multiple spots on our wish list! I have read reviews for and been wanting to go to Te Tiro in Waitomo for some time but we just hadn't managed to make it there.


Cool, entrance huh? Well, we finally did for one night and it was amazing! We stayed in our own little cabin overlooking the countryside, which was so quiet and peaceful! 


The B&B also had it's own glow worm grotto which is was so cool to see! Waitomo is known for its glow worms and caving so it was nice to have our own little private display! We definitely want to head back to Waitomo (and Te Tiro) during the summer to do some blackwater rafting!

Also while we were down in Waitomo we did a little bit of hiking to a really cool natural bridge!


I have to admit I wasn't quite sure what a natural bridge was to begin with but I am amazed...and a little scared to walk underneath! :) It was a really fun weekend and having a Monday off makes for a wonderful 3 day week!! 

It's officially Winter!! With love from the snow,
the webers



Friday, 10 May 2013

Gertrude's Saddle

Okay, I promised a part two of our Fjiorlands (correct??) trip! But first, I have some exciting news...we got a dryer!!!! I can't even think of the last day we have NOT had rain so it was kind of a necessity! I had even forgotten what it's like to have fluffy, soft towels! I don't know if I'll be able to go back to the outside drying hangy-thing when the rain lightens up...but, our electricity bill is high enough as it is, without the added dryer! So, we'll see what it's like this month :/

Okay, back to trip pictures! Here are some of my favorites!

Last you heard, we had just arrived in Queenstown and done the gondola and luge (so fun!). The next day was supposed to be the ONLY day with sun/no rain so we decided to make that our Milford Sound/hiking day! We woke up and drove 4+ hours to Milford Sound. It would have taken less time if we didn't stop every second to take pictures of the amazing scenery! Pictures don't even do justice to the amazing landscapes and mountains surrounding us! Just the drive there was worth going!


We found this waterfall going under one of the bridges and you could climb all the way under it! Very cool!

We finally made it to Milford Sound and had lunch. There was a hike around Milford Sound but it was closed when we got there :( Too bad because it looks super cool! 


 After getting some recommendations from someone who worked around Milford Sound we decided to change our plans and head out to find a different hike, Gertrude's Saddle. This one was a LOT more intense and much longer than the original 3 hour hike we planned to take. We were first greeted with signs like this:


Good thing it was Summer (ish) and no snow around! The hike was pretty tough and I can't say that I made it as far as Ben and John did but it had some amazing views! 


We found this perfect pool of water (it looks deceptively small in this picture). If it wasn't freezing, I probably would have jumped in!!


I'm told this is a lake at the almost-top of the hike. I didn't make it this far... :( I was enjoying sitting on a rock and contemplating how I was going to hike back DOWN! 


In this picture we have climbed pretty far up! You can see by Ben's wrist is the carpark where we started! And the hike started by following that riverbed on the left. I wish it was just a little less bright :(


And I'm pretty sure I posted this on my last post but this is my favorite picture from the trip! The clouds dripping down the mountain...this was on our way back out of the hike...It almost does the beauty justice!


And last but not least...a reminder of our accomplishments as "fit and experienced trampers"! 

I'm off to get my hair done today...it's going to be cute!! Keep a lookout :)

Saturday, 27 April 2013

New Zealand Holiday Recap (pt. 1)

It has been almost a month (but not quite...) since my last blog post! But the last month has been a blur! We did so many exciting things, had a week off of work, travelled down to the South Island (loveee), and just relaxed! It was so nice to have both Ben and I's parents here to visit! It has been 8 months (!!!) since we moved to New Zealand...time flies! We have been blessed with so many good friends but it's hard to replace your family. Especially a family that we lived with for 14 months prior to our big move :) Thanks Mommy and Poppy! :) They were here for almost 2 weeks and we got so much good stuff packed into those two weeks! In Auckland, we explored Cornwall Park, hiked to the Kitekite falls (which John and Ben climbed to the top of!) and watched a sunset on Karekare beach! We took advantage of the sunset to take some funny pictures! I laughed so hard I almost peed! Here's some of my favorites :)
Virginia and John

Our "W" for Webers!

After the "W"...Ben is being so sweet while John beats up Virginia :)

"N" for Nixons! (This is where I almost peed in my pants :)

Heart :)

After a couple days in Auckland, we headed down to Queenstown, which is my new favorite place! We had a great weather while we were there. It was only rainy for small amounts of time and it was warm-ish up until the day we left! Perfect! We rented a house which was absolutely amazing and had the best views. If anyone needs a recommendation of a holiday house in Queenstown, let me know! 
Our first day there we rode the gondola up to the top of a mountain and did the luge! It was so much fun! Mommy, Poppy, Ben and I all did the "beginner" luge and then Poppy and I went back and did the "adventurous" one! 

View from the top! Our house was on the backside of that peninsula

Poppy beat me :(





Another view from the top! Isn't Ben such a great photographer!? 

Okay, I have so many more pictures but you are just going to have to wait until the next blog post...I promise it won't take me a month to write! If you want to check out our pictures from the trip in the meantime head over to our Smugmug