The weather treated us to everything from days with clear skies and teal-coloured seas, to wild wind and horizontal rain.
We visited fabulous museums and galleries and even a bookshop dedicated to textile arts. The Brian Brake photographic exhibition had me wondering "what if..." with photojournalism being the career I had planned long ago.
We went to the Weta Caves, where magical stories are woven.
Christmas lunch with family and friends was so delicious that some of us needed a good lie down afterwards...
We went to Kaitoke Regional park, where the elves of Rivendell once lived...
There was even a Gypsy market by the seaside to visit. I had visions of a decorated caravan of my own to drive up, all prepared, to markets with.
On fine days we met the local birds and played games of hide and seek...
...and had some short walks in the forests.
It was a great break, lovely time with our little family of three and my parents, a time to refresh, a time to take in new sights and sounds.
And now, all too quickly, the new year is upon us. 2010 wasn't the best one for us, much of it filled with treatments and a (stem-cell) transplant, with doctors, diagnoses, drugs and new diets. But I prefer to look at it as being the year we needed to start getting our family healthy again. It was a year filled with kind words, kind gestures, love, compassion and generosity.
There were some big moments in the year. In March The Man was declared to be in remission. That month I also shaved off most of my hair to raise $5200 for the Leukaemia Foundation thanks to the generosity of people around the globe.
In April, the little one, at eight and a half months took her first steps. From that moment on, nothing was safe.
In July we celebrated the little one's first birthday. All through the year we delighted in watching her grow, watching her blossom into a little girl. A girl that knows her own mind and is sure about the way things should be. A girl that just loves giving people cuddles to random people and to blow kisses. A child that delights in exploring and figuring out how things work.
In August I participated in my first trade fair. It was a huge learning curve and a great experience. Since then it's been another child for me to nurture whilst it grows and blossoms.
In October, The Man's treatment was declared successful and completed. He had another checkup just before Christmas and all is still well. As the particular cancer he had (Burkitt's Lymphoma) was so aggressive, it means that once gone, if it hasn't returned within a year, he is considered to be cured.
New Year's Eve once again found me in bed before midnight but this time it was due to my body still thinking it was in the New Zealand timezone.
And now here we are, at the beginning of a new year. I have lots of creative plans, plans to travel to Sydney and hopefully Japan and plans to get back into top physical health and some resemblance of fitness. I'm eager to continue to develop my business, to be more social and to have more dedicated family time. I can feel that 2011 is going to be big.
And to everyone, I wish you the same. I wish you a truly amazing 2011 filled with dreams and their fulfillment.
"Wishing you always...
Walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire"
An Irish Blessing