A Little Here A Little There

Well, it’s been a few weeks since my last entry¬†and my mom texts me every few days to ask where my next blog post is, so I’d better get to it ūüôā

A 1 Year Old Klettke

October 17th was Joel and my anniversary. We have been married one full and fabulous year, and I figured it’s only appropriate to reflect on this a little bit-particularly as we’ve given nearly half of this year to New Zealand.

Just over a year ago now, the Friday before our wedding- in and amongst moving my stuff to Joel’s house (soon to be ours) and trying to get as organized as possible for our big day- I was blessed to have been treated to nails and some quiet time with some of my favourite ladies.

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Allison, my sisters in law, my mom, mother in law and Oma were all getting their nails done, too (though not pictured) and it was a grounding time to enjoy.

Being nearly 12 000km from some of my biggest supports has been tough at times, but having technology to bring them into our living room via FaceTime, SnapChat, Instagram and Skype (and even just flipping through old photos) have all been true blessings.

Both Joel and I had such a fun time on our wedding day, and it was largely due to our amazing family members, friends and especially-our wedding party. We didn’t raise a finger unnecessarily that day. We had decided- hey, today is not worth the grump and freak-outs… we can’t do anything about it now, so let’s just roll with it, and our crew rose to the occasion and made sure things were stress-free.

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Now, the day wasn’t without fault, of course- but much of it was shielded from us, and honestly… I feel it was also covered in prayer.

The morning of our wedding I woke up with a pinch in my back that grew to a bigger problem- I had tried to stretch it out and then attempted to walk around the block to loosen up, but quickly realized that wouldn’t be happening.

For maybe the second time ever in my life, my back was completely out. I couldn’t walk without my leg buckling. I cried-despite holding it together *fairly* well before this, I let is allllllll out.

My cousins and friends who had stayed over with me the night before went into Mama Bear mode and made sure I had everything I needed- massages, back pain pills, coffee, food, a hot bath, prayer… anything necessary¬†to get through the day!

That morning also included 1 particularly grumpy flower girl (G and I attempted to cheer her up by singing “The Wheels on the Bus”) and forgotten flowers, but we were all able to make it to the church in time for another round of prayer before a few deep breaths and a walk down the aisle.

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The day was beautiful, warm (which is crazy, because there was snow on the ground this year) and full of the best kind of support. We are grateful to have laughed a lot on that day and were blessed beyond words to just… be. What a gift!

I always say that I knew Joel was sweet before we were married, but somehow afterwards I got to see a whole new level of this. Joel is extremely caring, very loyal, funny, sometimes inappropriate, but always a great teammate to have (whether you’re a family member or friend- I’m sure you’ve gotten to see his phenomenal character).

Bringin’ Folks Together

One of the coolest things about this year has been watching two families form one.

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I grew up with 2 of the best big brothers anyone could have asked for, and this year I got 2 sisters that I couldn’t have dreamt to be better. I’ve gained so many more aunts, uncles and cousins, a perfect niece and some exceptional¬†in-laws.

In laws who actually like hanging out with my parents, and both sets of parents will often text me pictures of their shared adventures (out for dinner, plays or concerts together). Both Joel’s and my parents will be coming to New Zealand, when we- all together- get to adventure for a month, pretty sweet.

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[The Lindoff’s got a ¬†formal shot here because this is the only¬†time we’ve all been in one place for¬†maybe¬†2 years now]dsc_9845

Here’s¬†Uncle Joel in action:

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Whatta Year

It’s been amazing to see the things you can fit into a year.

We were able to chopper over the Jurassic Park Falls in Kauai *while listening to the theme song*

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Joel and I both learned that feeding mouldy bread to goats brings him great joy (we’ve since learned that feeding New Zealand chickens¬†has the same effect)

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Joel’s face forever changed when he had to get glasses (the blurry vision wasn’t just from swimming with eyes-open too often in the saltwater lagoon at our hotel in Hawaii like we thought, ha)

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We were able to attend a couple’s retreat within our first 2 months of marriage- probably a record ūüėõ

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We have already accidentally dressed the same

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We’ve gone to some hockey games and figured out how to live together having been raised a Flames fan for him and an Oilers fan for me…

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We had birthday parties at our place…

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And watched our house come together for Christmas

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We even hosted some special guests for the holidays, and they gifted Joel with his first pair of all-his-own skates!

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I got to teach some grade ones about my (new) family

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We made our very own gelato flavour (My Chubby Valentine was the stuff of dreams)

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We discovered the diner in Austin, TX that ruined all other breakfasts for us

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We saw some of our besties get married AND we were both part of the wedding (ah… fun!).

[Bonus: I got to re-use my wedding headband]

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I lost some teeth and gained extra respect for my husband who took care of me while we were trying to pack up and move 12 000km away

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And then, well I mean… we moved waaaaaaaay far away with a couple of real cool people.

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Where some friends came to visit

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Joel started shaving his head

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I learned to crochet some silly little baby booties for our niece

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We’ve met some wonderful friends (who Thanksgiving-ed with us)

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And we have just been having lots of fun exploring.

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A Spring Anniversary

It’ll likely be the only time we will celebrate our anniversary in the springtime, and we took advantage of the weather and sunshine!

Our anniversary ended up being a real low-key weekend at home while our housemates were on the South Island.

Sunday morning we were up early to take half our group to the bus, so we decided to hit the beach to watch the sun come up. We then grabbed some breakfast, walked around the mount and hit the early service at church.

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We ate well (and oh, so German) that evening and walked on our¬†beach…

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…before having¬†our first taste of the classic kiwi, ‘jelly tip’ ice cream treat [it’s¬†essentially a Revello, but the top half-ish of the bar is made of berry jelly- very tasty]. Soon after we feared we would have to eat the whole box as¬†our house lost power for several minutes.

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The next morning Joel gifted me with a lovely necklace and we made a big breakfast before the loooooooong walk to the mount for lunch.

Ever since we moved to our Papamoa house, we’ve looked over to the Mount and figured it would be a good idea to walk there some time- all along the beach. So Monday, mid-morning, we headed out!

We started out with big smiles and high hopes… that after about hour 3 started to fade a little. Haha… thankfully we persevered and Joel has had a year to figure out how to manage my grump ūüėõ

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It took us 4 hours of walking and we travelled an estimated 17 kms that morning. We were blistered, exhausted and a bit sunburnt by the end of it, but were able to re-charge on burgers and shared a milkshake to recover.

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Just like on our honeymoon, our anniversary was spent sharing ice cream (here’s us then)…

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…and buying¬†matching shoes. In Hawaii, last year, we both bought some Nikes; this year we got some NZ kicks- Allbirds! I think¬†we’ve started a tradition ūüôā

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It’s been a full year. Lots of ups and downs, but I’m grateful to have my teammate, Joel, to weather the storms and celebrate the sunshine with.

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