a few things

For my birthday, Ryan bought me a website! Did you know that was possible?? Now you can find my blog at:

I feel so famous already :) Also, we will be gone for the next 10 days or so at winter conference, so I'll check in with you then!


Great India

One of our favorite places in Wellington. After church we can usually find some students that are up for the lunch special at Great India.

A few weeks ago Max's family was in town and joined us.

Because Student Life staff have frequented Great India so much over the years, we have actually built relationships with some of the waiters. It's fun, they usually come to expect us a couple Sundays a month.


My birthday - Zealandia

My birthday started by waking up to a delicious breakfast! Ryan made some French toast and then told me I had a few calls I was going to be taking. Little did I know he had set up several phone calls with friends and family from home. It was so fun!

Afterward, we went to a local attraction, Zealandia. It is a nature sanctuary nearby that is trying to bring back the original plants and animals in this region. They were having $1 days, which conveniently fell on my birthday.

Of course we saw a lot of wildlife. Beautiful birds and plants.

After soaking up the beauty, we walked home and made a delicious dinner. We celebrated my birthday the previous night with friends and teammates here in Wellington by getting dessert over at Strawberry Faire.

Thank you to everyone for a great Golden birthday!!


Seals at the Red Rocks

The start of my birthday weekend! Saturday was another sunny day, which we are learning you must take advantage of. Especially in the winter. So, we decided to walk to the red rocks and see the seal colony. But, to make it an absolutely perfect day, we stopped by Starbucks first for a birthday treat :)
(I'm not sure why my head looks so small in this picture, but notice my green jacket?? That's my bday gift from Ryan)

Can you see the snow peaked mountains in the background? Ha, we think that is the south island. We were trying to think through our limited New Zealand geography knowledge to figure out what these peaks were. Jury is still out.

After walking about 5kms, Ryan was standing at Devil's Gate. Right through here is where you find the seals.

Do you see them? I thought I would point for you. The seals come here to sun in the winter when they are finished mating on the south island. Normally seals can be pretty aggressive, but they mostly slept the entire time we saw them.

And they were everywhere!

It was a great adventure. It's still crazy to me that you find these beautiful spots that are still completely natural so close to the city. Just lovely.



Ryan and I took a few days off this past week to relax. We've had a pretty full on month of June so far for work, even with classes being out for a few weeks. We've been preparing for our summer (Nov/Dec) trip to Thailand as well as the winter conference which starts this week. We decided last minute to head out of town to ensure that we didn't do any work on our days off :) Since our "office" also doubles as our bedroom, sometimes it can be hard to turn everything off and not work. Anyway...we went to Plimmerton, which is only a 20 minute train ride up the coast.

We rented an old boat house that has been converted into a little cabin. Since it was used to actually house a boat, it was right on the water and at high tide the waves would actually crash into the front wall.
This is where I sat most of the time with a blanket, cup of tea, and a book.

It rained for most of Thursday, but it cleared in the evening, and we could see a little bit of the sunset.
On our last morning, it was sunny! So we went and explored along the beach. It was such a lovely morning, and honestly around here you really can't find a bad view. We were even able to see the South Island in the distance.


Team Retreat - Napier

Last week our team took a short trip to Napier to spend time together and "bond", and we worked so hard throughout the first semester. Napier is four hours north of Welly, on the East coast. Napier is interesting because in 1931 an earthquake leveled the city and it was completely rebuilt in art deco style. When we arrived, we headed into town and walked around to see the buildings.

(Sarah in town)

(the team by the water)

We rented a house which was right along the water. There was a great running path and park area across the street. The weather was beautiful! Napier is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand, so it was a nice break from the gray and wet Wellington winter.

(Ryan and Max played some frisbee)

(the beach!)

The next afternoon we all took a tour of a local winery, so pretty!

That evening we celebrated Max's 23rd birthday!

Enjoyed the sunset...

On the last morning we met our boss for brunch, who also happened to be in Napier. And after grabbing a cup of coffee, we hit the road!


some new decor

We picked up these posters when we visited Martinborough earlier in the year (here) and I just love them. They are from their annual wine and music festival, but I think they are just lovely :)


Kaffe Eis

Everyone's favorite place. Gelato and hot drinks!

Ryan and I stopped by for our date night last week and ordered hot chocolates. Only, they were HUGE. and yummy.

And we were back again to celebrate Sarah's birthday last weekend! Only we enjoyed gelato this time :)

Did you notice Cody's hair is a nice new blond color? Yes, he lost a bet...


We are going to Thailand.

Check out our semi-big announcement over here:



FUSE birthday par-tay

FUSE, our monthly Friday night get-together, was birthday themed! There are a lot of June birthdays, and to avoid missing anyone's birthday throughout the year, we celebrated them all! Happy birthday everyone! Party hats, streamers, balloons, noise makers, and fish and chips!

Nikki and Harriet

Becca, Sarah, Shalita and Joane

Adam and Will

Sarah, Glenn, Zoe and David


Women's Retreat

Spa night 2011! All of the girls met over at Pip's flat and we went through 6 treatments. Starting with face wash, then an exfoliater, toner, a face mask made out of eggs, hand cream, and foot soak.
Pip (one of the girls I disciple) putting on the egg/honey mask

Kimberley and Amy (two new girls in my bible study I lead) and their masks

We had A LOT of delicious snacks as well - this is why I keep gaining weight here!

Joane and Zoe wash the feet of Sanny (a girl that is exploring Christianity for the first time)

Becca and Sarah wash Shalita's feet as well

Throughout the evening we had some of the ladies that are leaders in Student Life share a little about what purity means to them. Even though we were focusing our spa treatments on cleansing the outside of us, what really concerns God is our cleansing on the inside.

To end the evening, some nice gentlemen came and sang to us! Sorry the picture is terrible. Ryan, Glenn, Cody and Adam serenaded the ladies, and they loved it.

All of the girls huddled around the window...

It was a great time of fellowship and getting to know some new ladies. If you might be interested in some of the recipes for the treatments just let me know :)


a taste of home

Sometimes you just need a taste of home. A rainy Saturday spent at Sbux :)


Need coffee now??

Even at the hardware store (think Lowe's or Home Depot) you can find a cafe to get coffee. Addicted much?