Monday, May 30, 2011

30 Day Photo Project

DAY 30

A picture of someone you miss

(sorry about the photo quality)

For more 30 Day Photo Projects see HERE

Saturday, May 21, 2011

30 Day Photo Project

DAY 29

A picture that can always make you smile.

This was a hard one because there are A LOT of photos that make me smile. But when I was going through this one jumped out at me. This is my most favourite wedding photo. I love everything about it and when I look at it it reminds me how I felt that day, how amazing and magical and fantastic. How much Jason and I loved each other then and how much more we loved each other years later.

For more 30 Day Photo Projects go HERE

Things I'm Loving

As hard as this week has been I thought it would a good for me to join up with Paisley Jade this weekend because .....

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is.

People who go over and beyond the call of duty and then become good friends ... Thanks so much for EVERYTHING Trish xxx

More people who blow me away with love and pampering and kindness and make the BEST cake in the world that totally represents my husband. Although I still say he has too much hair!! And this amazing woman also made me cry with her blog post HERE Danielle you are a beautiful (yet slightly evil) woman!! Love you long Time xxx

Catching up with one of your favourite people in the world AND going to the zoo!!

Crafting get togethers with awesome friends!!!

I am reminded of a Maori Proverb that was spoken at Jason's Funeral ....

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!


Monday, May 16, 2011

1 Year ago Today ....

I was sitting in the Hospital holding my husbands hand as I watched his chest stop moving, his heart stop beating and his life end.

Right now I am at Spring Hill Corrections Facility, where it all happened, opening a Memorial Garden that the prison has built in honor of Jason. And giving a speech.

Ever since Jason died I have let everyone speak for me in public and I thought today was the right day for me to finally speak for myself.

Here is my speech for those of you who can't make it, and for those of you who did and I cried too much for you to hear it!

Today is the mark of a very long but also quick year.

I have only been here to Spring Hill 3 times, before today.
The first time was when I came to Jason’s Graduation. I was so darn proud of him and to be honest he was pretty darn proud of himself. It was awesome to see him achieving a major goal for himself. And see him in a career job he was actually happy to be in. I watched him walk up on that stage and he gave me one of those big cheesy grins of his.
The second time I came here was the last time I saw Jason alive. The kids and I had dropped him off at work. We all got kisses goodbye, I even got an extra one. We waved and watched him walk down the path to work. I wish that my last memory of him alive and whole wasn’t one of him walking away from us. But I can still see him waving and again giving us his big cheesy grin as he walked away.
The 3rd time I came was the moment where my life changed forever. We came in the staff parking area where Jason had told us to wait for him. There were a lot of guys hanging around, not unusual I guess, having a chat after work I thought. Someone asked me who I was here for. I said “Jason’ and he said ok and then I heard him say something about Gavin and the word urgent over his radio. I thought “darn I am going to get in trouble for parking in the staff car park” and in my head I starting going over the ways I would abuse Jase when he got to the car about getting me in trouble. It didn’t register in my head that this guy seemed to know who I was talking about when I only said Jason rather than Jason Palmer. It didn’t register in my head that anything could be wrong. When I saw Louise and Gavin striding up the path I thought, ‘ gee that lady has a bag exactly the same as Jase’s how weird is that’ not once did I register it could have been his bag. My heart jumped in my throat when Gavin asked me to step out of the car, and again I started cursing Jase in my head about getting me in trouble. I didn’t even begin to imagine the amount of trouble I was really in.

The last 12 months have been very hard. Sometimes excruciatingly hard. Jason was my whole life and to suddenly have him not around I feel a little like I’m drowning. I have had 365 days of pain and sorrow and heartache. Getting through day by day and sometimes even hour by hour. All the firsts the kids and I have had to go through, birthday’s anniversaries, Christmas. Every day reminds me how much he isn’t here because he was such a vibrant and active part of our every moment. I know that Riley, Abbey and Myself were the most important things in his life. He put us first in everything. For that I am blessed and incredibly grateful.

Jason didn’t always make the best first impression. He could be arrogant, rude, pig-headed, and hardly any of his jokes were funny. But when you got to know him he was loving, kind, generous, funny and incredibly loyal. He certainly wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me. I never quite understood the passion he showed in some things but I believe that was more of a cultural difference than a personal trait. He was fiercely American to the day he died and that was something I both loved and admired about him. I have been blessed to have had the time I had with Jase. I am a better person for having him in my life. He was a unique individual who made an impression, whether good or bad, where ever he went. I thank him for choosing me and leaving everything he knew to come to a strange and unknown place to start a new life with me. I thank him for giving me the two most beautiful children and for giving me his heart.

They say that every cloud has a silver lining. I am at a stage now where I can see those silver linings shining through the dark clouds and I am grateful for them. All of those silver linings are people. In the first few months I joked about starting a Rock Collection, the few people who came into my life who I depended, on, lent against and let take over for me.

The first people I want to thank are my Mum & Dad. You guys don’t even begin to fathom how much your continuous support and unconditional understanding and patience with me means. I love you both to the Moon and Back.

Uncle Fred, you were my eyes and ears where I couldn’t face to go, you supported me through EVERYTHING, making sacrifices I never even knew about. I can’t even begin to thank you for all you have done for me, I am incredibly grateful for you and ALL you have done.

Aunty Val, you were my first port of call on the way to the hospital and you are a continuous rock in my world. You made your home Grand Headquarters and have made huge sacrifices for us too. You became Mum to Abbey and Riley when I couldn’t and I am forever grateful for that.

Raymond, the biggest rock in my collection. I miss hearing your voice on the end of the phone everyday but am thankful that the time has come where I don’t need to. You helped me make some tough decisions, and told me a lot of stuff I didn’t want to know, but you did it and made me feel ok about it all. I can’t even begin to let you know how much I appreciate what you did for us.

Gerry and John, you guys sorted out a lot of the hard, complicated and stressful stuff for me and I just nodded most of the time. I am so blessed to have had you guys in charge of that and have you either side of me as huge supports

Gavin, You have been a constant Rock over the last year. I feel like you are a part of my family and your support through all the things we have had to deal with is amazing. I feel like you have gone over and beyond what you needed to and I can’t say thank you enough.

To the Department of Corrections, Jason’s ITC class, his Unit and all those other Corrections Officers from around the country, and overseas. Your constant support has been amazing. I have been blown away with it all. I feel like I am a part of a huge family and know that where ever I go I will have a family member dressed in green.

To the rest of my family, brothers, sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, cousins, nieces & nephews, you all know who you are and I love you ALL. I happen to have the BEST family in the world.

To all my friends, old and new. Every single one of you has helped me, or is continuing to help me get through every single day. Whether it be a phone call, email, chat, visit or meet up it is all helping me get by with the every day of living without Jason and you guys are to me like gold. I treasure you all for loving me.

I thank every one of you for been here today, to support me … again! Life without Jase is a journey - not a destination. Some roads are harder to travel, and some easier, but while I make the journey I am comforted that I am not alone.

Thank you

Here's hoping that today goes well for me, and all involved and I can walk away with another milestone in my new life without my love.

alwaysforeverandeternity baby, that's how long I will love you xxxx

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Auckland Sky Tower

My kids LOVE the sky tower ... every time we drive through Auckland they get excited to see it and for the longest time I have been promising to take them up it. Well the Easter holidays I finally made true of my promise.

We met up with our good friend Taryn and her kids Adam and Madison, and away we went.
First you had to go down a BIG escalator to get to where you buy the tickets and go up the Lift. Children under 5yrs are Free so we were pleasantly surprised by that! Plus if you pay an extra $2 each Adult ticket you can go up again during the day so we did that since we were only an hour away from our booked lunch date.

The lift goes up FAST and has a bit of glass floor, plus seeing out the sides every so often. The Kids LOVED looking out the glass floor to watch the Lift go up and down.

We were lucky enough to get a spectacular day with beautiful blue skies and the view at the top was AMAZING. I've been up the tower a few times but I don't think I'd ever get bored of the views! Stunning!

The kids wandered around, looking out windows, standing and walking on the glass, I took as many photos as possible!!

We went back down the tower for lunch at the Fortuna Buffet Restaurant, which I HIGHLY recommend by the way!

I have had the pleasure of going to the Fortuna three times now, once with the wonderful Jenny and once with Beautiful Nic. All three times the food was amazing and the prices for the kids was amazing! Abbey cost $3.50 and Riley only $6 - totally worth it for the amount they ate!! (after looking for a link to this restaurant I see it has closed while they build a bigger better one!! Opening In August 2011! How exciting!)

After lunch we went back up the tower for another browse around and more photo opportunities

All in all it was a great day out! I wouldn't be doing it again in a hurry because Adult prices are $28 but you can get a years pass which is totally worth it if you were in Auckland alot or lived there. The kids had fun and so did I!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

NZ Music Month

Time for an Old Classic NZ Song!! Gotta LOVE 'Poi E'

Check out what's happening in NZ Music Month HERE

May Challenges at Better Scrapbooking

Not so many entries in the April Challenges, Here's hoping for more in May but there were still some winners!!

Photo Challenge - Perspective, perspective, perspective.

This was one AWESOME photo!! Congratulations Jenny!

Project Challenge - Create a fun Easter Basket

Oh Congratulations ME!!!

And now for the May Challenges

Layout Challenge - Layering Embellishments. This is one of the trends in scrapbooking at the moment, layering. You may like to layer a flower over some chipboard with a stamped imaged layered on top of the flower. Let your creativity take flight with this one and see what fun things you can layer on a layout.

Photo Challenge - Reflections. Take a photo of a reflection, it maybe in a mirror, shopping window or like April's winner in the sunglasses.

Project Challenge - Tribute to Mum. With it being Mother's day this weekend why not extend it out to the rest of the month and show how special your Mum is to you by creating a tribute to her, it might be a canvas or mini album or something else.

Card Challenge - Waterfall Card.
Create a Waterfall style card. A waterfall card has about five decorative card squares that are mounted on a sliding strip. When the tab is pulled they open like the leaves of a book.

All entries to the online gallery challenges need to be uploaded to the online gallery at Better Scrapbooking before the 31st May. If you are unable to upload your photo feel free to email it to Megan at and she will upload it for you.

All entries go into the draw for a fun scrapbooking prize from Better Scrapbooking Ltd. I look forward to seeing your entries!!!

Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

30 Day Photo Project

DAY 28

Something your afraid of

Bees ... to be honest this photo totally creeps me out in a major way!

I have what is called Apiphobia which is the correct term for Bee Phobia.

Years ago when I worked at Three Kings Kindercare every year we would get a swarm of bees which always seemed to settle in one of the trees close to the playground. All the kids would be banished indoors as there would be hundreds of bees swarming around until they settled in the tree in a big clump and we would have to call in the Bee Man to come take them away. I will never forget one day when I got back to work from my lunch break, the centre director Jodie was standing at the bottom of the driveway waiting for me. She said put your head down and walk with me. Confused I did what she said she put her arm around me and walked me up the drive about half way up I heard them bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz when we got into the building I looked out the window to see I had just walked under a MASSIVE swarm of bees. Jodie said she had to meet me at the drive because she knew I couldn't have come back to work if I saw them!! She was totally right!!
I'm not sure why I feel this way about bees but my brother recently informed me of an incident that happened to us as kids. I cannot remember it AT all so it must have been so traumatic I forgot!

For more 30 Day Photo Projects see HERE

May Is NZ Music Month!

I LOVE music. I LOVE NZ Music!! So through out the month of May I'm going to share some of my favourite NZ Bands, Songs and Artists. Sorry to say I might actually show my age a bit throughout this as there more than likely won't be many new songs, bands or artists on my list! Yay For NZ Music Month!

This first Band is one I have been lucky enough to see Live! Yeah for Live Concerts!!


And here is my Favourite Zed song, a song that has been blasted from my stereo many many times!

What's your favourite NZ Band? Song? Artist?

Check out what's happening for NZ Music Month HERE