I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.
So somehow life got totally in the way of blogging this week, and I felt like I really needed to dig deep to even get this post written. I had a never-ending to-do list to get through in the evenings, topped with some fairly major dramas at work, and on top of that I've been feeling rather under the weather so it's taken me the entire week to go through the photos from last weekend to write just this one post. So this week's Loving is a collection of our greatest loves from the magic that was last weekend:
This beach break away is the first time I can remember properly playing cricket with the boys - they are now at the age where they 'get it' and have the co-ordination to actually connect with the ball too. We must have spent several hours over the course of the long weekend in the backyard that was just the right size for giving it a go, including learning all the hand signals for 4 runs, 6 runs and the obligatory bat acknowledgement of the crowd at 50 runs!
Being on the beach
Isn't the beach such great, free entertainment?! I love how easy it is to make your own fun - whether it's jumping along a homemade hopscotch, drawing Hogwarts (Noah's rendition of the famous Harry Potter school), doing handstands, driving dump trucks full of sand or just building a sandcastle with a giant moat. Even finding what was quite possibly the smallest crab in the world was a source of great excitement.
I will never tire of seeing a bubble wand producing the coolest shapes and reflections. Magic, I tell you. I love the way Mylo is staring this one down - and that it looks a little like a lopsided heart. Faery Sarah seemed to think the one Noah had below looked a lot like a leg of lamb - and I think I'd have to agree!
More room for readingLove how a mini break like this just seems to give so many more opportunities for lazy moments on the couch or in the garden curled up together reading. Last weekend's favourites: Where's Santa? - there's about 10 things to find on each page - Santa, Mrs Claus, reindeer, mistletoe etc and darn it, if some of them aren't pretty blooming hard to find! We also rediscovered a classic Kiwi read - The Lion in the Meadow by the late Margaret Mahy. The first time I ever read this was to Noah right here at the beach house, so it is always lovely to rediscover it when we come again.
Treasure hunts with new friends
Loving the little treasure hunt Grandma dreamed up for the boys plus our friends' Linda and Andrews' kids when they popped over for a cuppa and hot cross buns one morning. Despite the fact they don't know each other at all, the kids (especially Noah and Oli the older two) played so happily together for ages - it was lovely to see!
Can I just state for the record how much I love Instagram for sharing what we are up to in real-time. I know I have a tendency to over-bomb Facebook, but as I recently said to a friend's husband who was complaining - if you don't like it, feel free to un-friend me! As random as some of the photos may be - like my obsession with taking photos in interesting cafe toilets, the delish special donuts brought back from Auckland by Mark, and Noah managing to sneak in a photo of me finally being brave enough to christen a new itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny black polka dot bikini - and if I heard that famous song once over the weekend I heard it a hundred times!
The ever-changing view from the beach house is one of the reasons I love it so much. Each day, and sometimes every hour you look upon it, it is different. I could never ever be bored here.
Taming the tiger
This giant tiger lives at the beach house. And since we've come here quite a few times now in our children's lives, they know him so well that it's the first thing they ask to go and find as we walk in the door.
He's pretty cool in my books too, although has a tendency to give us rather a fright when we walk back into the room and we've forgotten he's there!
Where oh where to begin? Three nights, and a totally different scene each time. The pull of being on the beach at sunset was simply irresistible, as was having a camera at the ready to capture the ever changing view.
Loving the liquid silver and gold water
Loving this flock of birds soaring overhead
Loving seeing my love enjoying this moment
Loving how kind this golden hour is for capturing soft light
And ripples upon ripples
Loving a sunset that on the last night promised so little to begin with....
but as a golden orb broke through the clouds
it delivered a magnificent encore
And if those glorious sunsets weren't enough to love, I finally tried my hand at capturing some silhouette shots. I'd been dying to try it out for ages, but as you need both a beach and a good sunset, this was my first real opportunity to do so. I am in love with the results. You might have already noticed that one of these has made its way onto the blog header.
There are the odd yes! moments in this photographic learning journey and this was one of them! I was actually surprised at how easy they were to capture - we metered the light from the sky and used a 35mm lens (best in low light) and away we went. Although the out-takes below show it was a case of trial and error before we perfected it!
If you would like to know more about how to create great silhouette shots, here's the post I used as a guide.
And, if you're still with me for what has turned into a very length Loving post, great effort!
Here's how you can join in this week:
Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!