Monday, December 31, 2012

As another year closes

My poor blog has been so neglected this year! But it's been a mad year! In fact I just looked to try and find my "end of year/new year" post from last year but there isn't one! How am I supposed to remember what I had planned for this year?? Well I think it's safe to say that whatever I had planned may not have happened but an awful lot of other stuff has!

2012 started with Tahu and I getting married on the 5th of January. It was a fantastic day, people still talk to us about how great it was! You can read all about it here and our vows here.

That first week of being married turned out to be pretty spectacular for us as 9 months later our darling son Knox was born. He is now 14 weeks old and fast asleep in our bed. He's full of smiles and laughs and is just the most amazing thing to ever happen to us. Cliche I know but so true. Every day, every hour even, we're always saying to each other "man our son is AMAZING!"

Tahu is halfway through his building apprenticeship now. He's working for a really great guy and actually enjoys going to work which is great! I am about to go back to work but only part time. I have been so fortunate to land a job that I enjoy, that pays well and that I could alter once I had Knox so that I only work 10 hours in the office and 10 hours at home. And my wonderful mum will look after Knox while I'm in the office. It has made a huge difference to our lives to have jobs that we enjoy!

Tahu's band is doing great things. He's currently at sound check for their new years gig at The Dux which is probably the best gig you could get in Christchurch. The Merchants of Flow have also just played at Rhythm and Alps and even featured on the TV One News. Keep an eye out for them in 2013. We have high hopes!

Last year wasn't all highs though. Two days before Knox was born I lost one of my best friends. She is missed every day. You can read about her here but there will be plenty more written to and about my amazing Meredith I'm sure. Two days after Knox was born we lost another friend Judah in a motor accident. It was a very hard week and sometimes it hurts me that the deaths of two fantastic young people are so closely linked to the birth of our boy but then other times I know that it means they will never be forgotten and their legacies can be continued through Knox and his story. I'll write more on that another time I think though.

So now looking forward, what does this coming year bring for me? Here's my hopes/resolutions:

1. Lose weight! I say it every year but this year I have plans for it and I am tired of feeling like this. Combined with this is that I want to start running again. Bring it on! First goal is running 5km without stopping, second goal is 10km.

2. Learn Te Reo - Knox is here now, no more excuses! We want him to be able to speak both languages and that starts with us learning it first!

3. Keep a journal - Tahu gave me a beautiful journal (that I picked in Melbourne) and I have missed writing so much and so I'm going to write in here more but also keep a journal again. It's good for me to be able to get out what I'm thinking but also to be able to look back and remember. And the first year as a mum is going to be a pretty important year to remember!

4. Pay off debt. Ideally all of it and save some money too but will see how we go.

5. Read more! I love reading, almost as much as I like buying books! (Sorry Tahu). This year I have either not been able to read cos was busy/sick or got stuck on a crap book (The Slap) and so couldn't move on! So this year, I shall read! Also good because I don't need two hands. I can do it while I'm breastfeeding!

I'm sure there's more I want to do but as Knox is awake now I shall have to think of them another time.

2012 was amazing. Yes it had a couple of painful moments but it was also a really great year for us. I am excited to see what next year brings!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

We have smiles!

Why I Do What I Do

This saying pops into my head a lot these days. I'm a new parent and I think I'm doing ok but learning more all the time.

I get given a lot of advice and I always give what I'm told two tests. Firstly, is it logical? And secondly, does it feel ok? What's my natural instinct telling me about this. And so I pick and choose what I follow and then I feel like if I have to explain it, it comes under the title: Why I Do What I Do.

And so I'll try and write posts so I can remember and learn and I'll tag them with that title so it's easy to find them. I've written my first one which is about breastfeeding in public. I'm sure there will be more!

Inspiration right when I needed it

I am incredibly lucky to be able to breast feed Knox. It was painful at first but so easy right from the first moments. He's a natural! Because of this I feed him whenever he needs it or if its been a couple of hours no matter where we are. My theory is that it's better to be breastfeeding in public then to have a crying baby! But I feel weird about it. I'm nervous of what people think and say. I worry! But if he needs food then he needs it! So I've fed him standing in a very long queue at the post office or on the chair for old people in the chemist and all sorts of unusual places. And I'm super subtle about it because I want you seeing my nipple even less then you want to see it! But I just feel weird.

So yesterday I was browsing Instagram and found this picture of a singer that I really admire (love!!) breastfeeding her wee girl in a restaurant in Paris. And I felt great. Like it's not just full on breastfeeding nazis that feed in unusual places. I'm ok. I don't have to worry so much. What a relief!

How strange though that a celebrity breastfeeding in a restaurant has done more for me then any other person feeding their baby in public!

Oh I'm also that person giving her baby a bottle as she walks around ikea!

But I think this is ok. I think it's great actually that Knox will feed and sleep anywhere anytime. As long as he has me we can go out anywhere. In fact I'm writing this post in Melbourne. At the tender age of 9 weeks he has already travelled to another country and he was an absolute star on the trip! Just grizzly from when we landed but he got over that easily.

So I will remind myself of Pink and this picture next time I feel weird. And I'll be ok!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

For Meredith

This year I have got to know a number of the girls from work, some have become my best friends. One of these girls that I had the absolute pleasure of sitting next to was Meredith. We talked and emailed all day (yes I know we sat next to each other but some things shouldn't be said out loud!), had our breaks together, got in trouble together, took on unreasonable old men together! Ok there was only the one old man but he was VERY unreasonable. I made no secret of the fact I was stoked to have a friend called Meredith Gra (hem-Bagrie). Those who are also fans of Greys Anatomy will understand this!

Meredith was beautiful, both inside and out. It's a cliche but it's so true. She was funny, honest and beautiful. She was talented, imaginative, intelligent. We had funny conversations, serious conversations, sad conversations, instagram conversations! We helped each other when we had bad times, celebrated together when good things happened. Meredith was someone everyone should have in their life. 

In January when Tahu and I found out we were pregnant we were so excited. After Tahu, Meredith was the next person I told. I wanted to tell my family and best mate but somehow I wanted to tell Meredith too. Over the next few months as my belly grew so did our friendship. When I came to work after finding out what kind of baby we were having Meredith was there, hovering at the doors, singing "what's your flava, tell me what's your flava". 

At the end of August Meredith and two of our friends organised my baby shower. It was so much fun! The girls did so well. Amazing games, food, PRESENTS! It was so special to me to have these women celebrating my little boy! 

This is a collage of photos Meredith took of the day:

I was allowed to go to one of the planning nights for the baby shower and it was then that the 3 girls got to feel Knox moving in my belly. They were so stoked and I was too. 

My belly and the girls hands:

Meredith was always Merebear (said Mare Bear) to me and she always called me JoJo. She had such an excited way of saying my name! I can still hear it. I convinced her to buy a kindle, she convinced me to try Shellac nails. 

On Monday the 24th of September when I found out that we were to be induced that afternoon I texted some family and close friends to let them know I was going back into hospital and that Knox would be arriving that week. When I text an iphone the message shows blue unless it can't be delivered, in which case it goes green. My text to Meredith went green and I thought that was weird but put it down to a flat battery. I drove past her work and considered stopping to tell her but was a bit anxious so thought I'd just talk to her later. 

It was that night, sitting in hospital with contractions starting, that we found out Meredith had left us the day before. It felt like my heart broke and like nothing was worth it any more. Needless to say labour stopped immediately. I can't put into words the pain I felt. I loved her so much, I couldn't get my head around it, it even crossed my mind that it was a joke. How could it be possible that I would never see her again? How is it possible she felt that way and I didn't know? So many emotions, questions, thoughts. All I could think to say was "no" and "Meredith" and "I loved her" over and over again. 

I cried all night. They gave me a sleeping pill but it didn't do much. By the morning I knew I couldn't get through the day, I couldn't deliver Knox feeling like this. I thought about where she would be, what she'd be doing. That day I kept the picture in my head of Meredith sitting with her dad, having a few cocktails, watching me in labour and cheering me on. I don't know where that image came from but it got me through. It still makes me cry thinking of it though. 

Knox had a difficult delivery, they took him to the other side of the room to work on him and then give him oxygen. For half an hour I couldn't see him or touch him and all I could think about was Meredith. I had been trying to think of a way to honor her and I realised the best thing I could do was tell her first that Knox had arrived, just like she was the first to know that I was pregnant. Tahu came to sit with me and I managed to get myself together enough to ask him if I could text Meredith before we told anyone else. 

I didn't go to her funeral. Knox was 3 days old, we hadn't even been home a day and that morning we found out another friend had been killed in an accident. We spent the afternoon at home talking and crying and just being with Knox. One day soon I'm going to drive down to where she is, with her dad, and I'll introduce her to Knox and talk to her and say goodbye then. I wasn't ready to say goodbye then, I'm not ready now, but one day soon I hope I'll feel able to. 

It's been almost 6 weeks since she left. Sometimes I can think about her now without crying. It comforts me that she knew I loved her. This week I've realised how truly lucky I am to have known her. I got to spend every day of the week with her for months. I got to know her and I'm so honored that we were friends. She was amazing and she was my friend. 

I miss you so much Merebear. I really wish you were still here. I hope you're still checking instagram and seeing the pics of Knox, and checking your emails cos I'm still emailing you. I love you and I look forward to hanging out again one day xx

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Baby Bill of Rights

Talk to me
Sing, hum, babble or even read the funnies to me! I don’t know exactly what you’re saying, but I need to hear you. And I do know what you mean, even if I may not know words. Like your voice tones mean “I love you’. Or when you yell, I hear “you’re a pest!” Unless you communicate with me how can learn? I learn from you.
Hold me

Everything is so big and new to me I don’t understand where I am. Or who I am. And I get scared. But when you hold me I feel better. Your warmth warms me. Your breath and heartbeat make me feel I belong. Belong here. Belong to you.
Answer my cry
I don’t cry to get you upset. Or to get you mad. I cry because I can’t tell you how I feel any other way. Maybe I’m cold…or wet…or hungry…or scared and lonely. Answer my cries. You’ll soon know what each one means. You wont spoil me. You’ll help me to be a better baby…and to make you happier, too.
Love me
Like me. Love me just as I am. Don’t expect me to do what I can’t do. Like being toilet-trained. My muscles aren’t ready yet. I know I’m messy. But I’m growing. Overlook my baby weakness. You’re the most important person in my world. I can’t make it without you. So get to know me. Have fun with me. And love me…just as I am.

Our son has arrived!

Knox Kautu ki te Rangi arrived at 3.19pm on Tuesday 25th September 2012. He weighed in at 6 lb 13 oz and 50 cm long. 

Knox is just the most amazing little guy. He's a whole month old today and we just don't know where that last month has gone! He got back to his birth weight this week - it took him a while but he got there in the end!

His names each have very special meanings:

Knox - my mums maiden name
Kautu ki te Rangi - this is the name of the paddle from Tahu's waka that came from Rarotonga. It also means "a gift from above". 
Hikuroa - Tahus mums last name. We have taken this name too. 

I could write for hours on how amazing he is, on how much we love him, but I won't cos I think you can imagine it! Instead I think how I felt when he was born explains it the best. I had heard a lot about the overwhelming feeling of love that a lot of people get but I didn't have that. For me it was like I realised the love that had always been there. All I could think was "Oh he's here". And it was like the complete and total love I felt wasn't new, it wasn't something I had to learn, it was something that had just always been there. It was like him being born turned the light on and I could see what I had known (felt) was always there. 

And despite what I had been told by numerous people, my loving Knox doesn't make me love Tahu or Roko any less. It's a different love. I love them all so much and one doesn't take from the other. 

Ok enough with the soppy stuff. For now. There's be more I'm sure!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The next chapter...

As I said in my wedding post, within a week the next chapter of our lives started but we weren't aware of that till our 3 week anniversary! Yes we're those people that get pregnant in the first week of getting married! Mum said to me "weren't you hanging out with us and other family all week?" Um clearly not the whole time mum! :)

So Oct 3rd we are due to have a wee boy who for now will be referred to as K.

Here's some pics from week 19 to week 29 (which is today):

Remember to click on the image if you want to see a bigger version

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Vows

Can you believe I forgot to put our vows in that monster post??

The Vows

My baby, I love you the bestest (Tahu)/mostest (Jo)

No one is perfect, but with all of your strengths and weaknesses, and with all of mine, together we ARE perfect.
Together we are better than we could ever hope to be alone.
You will ALWAYS be the best part of my day
and I want with all my heart, to be the best person I can be for you.

On this special day, I give to you in the presence of God and those we love,
my promise to listen to you with compassion and understanding
and encourage you to be who you are and to achieve all of your goals.
I will help you when you need it, and step aside when you don't.
I promise to love you without reservation,
when life seems easy and when it seems hard,
To honour and respect you,
to comfort and support you each and every day,
to laugh with you and cry with you,
to always be open and honest with you.
I will remain faithful to you and our vows
for better or for worse,
for richer or for poorer
in times of sickness and in health
As long as we both shall live.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our Fabulous Wedding Day!

I feel like I should warn you that this is going to be a long post! Very long! It’s all about our wedding and the details we put into it. Partly to remember it but also so others can see it who weren’t there. 

If you click on the images you will get a larger version

The Bridal Party + Others

We only wanted two bridesmaids and two groomsmen which made choosing very hard! In the end we went with Tahu’s brother Dan and his cousin Joey and my sister Shaz and my very best friend in the whole world Priscilla. We also had our niece Annie Rose and our (former) flatmate Madi as flower girls and our nephew Joshua as a page boy.

We really didn’t want the bridal party to be “exclusive” as sometimes happens with weddings and so we chose that we had two maids of honour and two best men instead of a maid of honour and a bridesmaid and a best man and a groomsman. We then went through the other people who we really wanted with us on the day and found other ways to have them involved. For example, my sister, friend and niece all did readings, my mum prayed for us and our dads did speeches. We had Tahu’s cousin Jamie introduce us at the reception and Johncliff (whose fault it is that we are together) was our MC. We had other friends of Tahus be “ushers” and then others were involved in various ways.

I really love that when I think of our wedding we had almost no one involved that we didn’t know. Flowers, set up, cake, hair, make up, etc etc etc, was all by our loved ones. And we won’t ever be able to thank them enough! 

The Dress

I had a fair idea what I wanted but needed to try dresses on so I managed to fit in a fleeting one night visit to Sydney to stay with my sister Shaz and we spent a few hours trying on dresses. Turned out what I really wanted looked awful so with better ideas in mind I found photos I wanted to explain the dress. Next mission was to find where to make it. Having one made in Chch was out of the plan as I didn’t want to spend $1000’s! I researched for hours to find a website for an overseas dressmaker. In the end I went with Fabulous U and I never looked back. For $450US he made my perfect dress. I sent him the photos and my measurements and he made it just perfectly!  It was so well made and just perfect.

I added on a belt that I bought from another website once the dress arrived. 

The bridesmaids picked their own dress designs so they would have something that suited them and they loved wearing. The flowergirls were outfitted in matching outfits from Pumpkin Patch. Instead of flowers or flower petals they were each given a teddy that had a matching outfit, down to the same tshirt as them! Josh the page boy had a teddy that matched his outfit too. I loved having something a bit different that they would get to enjoy long term!

The Jewellery

My amazing sister in law Eva made all our jewellery. She made a stunning multi strand pearl necklace for me and then pearl necklaces for the bridesmaids and flower girls. On top of this she also made 14 beautiful brooches, all with a lace/pearl/turquoise flavour, for the ladies in our families to wear instead of button holes. We gave one to all the women who had been instrumental in raising us including mums (bio, step, and might as well be’s), sisters (and in laws), nanas etc).

The Flowers

Now I love getting flowers but I was really put off by the prices for wedding flowers. Like $15/button hole at least and then more like $100/bouquet! And then what if you want flowers on the tables! You’re looking at well over $500! And then I couldn’t find anything I liked! Fortunately, Leanne (who is one of the women who basically raised Tahu) used to be a florist! So the day before the wedding I went to Aromaunga Flowers and bought a few I liked and lots of white roses and then I spotted some cool red flower which I have no idea what it was at a florist at South City and that night Leanne came over and we made the button holes and bouquets. I was pretty much in tears when we were finished. I’d spent months looking at wedding photos/blogs and never once had I seen anything I liked. I wanted a wild flowers kind of look but just hadn’t seen anything right but yet Leanne had sat in my lounge with me and made flowers that were more than perfect! I tied a strand of pearls around the handle of my bouquet to add a final touch to it.

The reason we had 14 buttonholes was that just as we had given brooches to all the ladies we gave button holes to all the men (dads, brothers (and in laws) etc). Again, we didn’t want the exclusive, we wanted those who were instrumental to us to KNOW they were.

Not only were our flowers just perfect…they cost us a whopping $100. For everything!

The Hair/Makeup

Our hair was done by my wonderful friend Leticia, including gorgeous wee curls on the flower girls. Our makeup was done by Tahus sister Lucy and she did an amazing job on each of us! It was really special having these two women involved in getting us ready as they mean so much to us.

The Venue

We had everything from the ceremony to photos to the reception at the one venue. It was a beautiful vineyard out near the airport that had a garden area where we had the ceremony, a seated area where we had the afternoon tea and then a marque where we had the reception. And of course a vineyard that everyone walked through to get to the ceremony and we had photos. It was by far the most perfect place for us and we wouldn’t change a thing. Except the management. For that reason we won’t be mentioning the name of the venue in case it’s seen as promotion and I would feel terrible for someone to have to deal with that management team because of my recommendation! Don’t get me wrong, our day was perfect, but that was despite all efforts by the venue to screw it up! 

The Readings

Some Things Go Together
Read by Chrissy (My niece)

Peace with Dove
Home with Love
Gardens with Flowers
Clocks with Hours
Leaves with Tree
And you with me!

Music with Dance
Horses with Prance
Hats with Heads
Pillows with Beds
Lions with Zoo
And me with you!

Pigeons with Park
Stars with Dark
Moths with Screen
Grass with Green
Sand with Sea
And you with me!

Franks with Beans
Kings with Queens
Moon with Night
Sun with Light
Sky with Blue
And me with you!

Falling in love is like owning a dog
Read by Deb (my sister)

First of all, it's a big responsibility,
especially in a city like Christchurch.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain't no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defence?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love!

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.

But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Love by Roy Croft
Read by Simona (Our friend)

I love you
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
for the part of me
That you bring out;

I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find
I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple.
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
I love you
because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good.
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.

We also had my Mum, Elizabeth, pray for us during the ceremony. She based her prayer on the following:

From "Goodridge Vs. Department of Health" by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations....Without question; civil marriage enhances the "welfare of the community." It is a "social institution of the highest importance." Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family.... Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition.

The Music

Walking In: Better Man by James Morrison

There was a time
I had nothing to give
I needed shelter from the storm I was in
And when it all got too heavy
You carried my weight
And I want to hold you
And I want to say

That you are all that I need

For you, I give my soul to keep
You see me, love me
Just the way I am
For you I am a better man
I said you are the reason
For everything that I do
I'd be lost, so lost, without you

Under the stars

At the edge of the sea
There's no one around
No one but you and me
We'd talk for hours
As time drifts away
I could stay here for ever
And hold you this way

Signing: Stay With You – John Legend

We've been together for a while now
We're growing stronger everyday now
It feels so good and there's no doubt
I will stay with you as each morning brings sunrise
And the flowers bloom in springtime
On my love you can rely
And I'll stay with you

Oh I'll stay with you through the ups and the downs

Oh I'll stay with you when no one else is around
And when the dark clouds arrive
I will stay by your side
I know we'll be alright
I will stay with you

Though relationships can get old

They have the tendency to grow cold
We have something like a miracle
Yeah, and I'll stay with you

Oh I'll stay with you through the ups and the downs

Oh I'll stay with you when no one else is around
And when the dark clouds arrive
I will stay by your side
I know we'll be alright
I will stay with you

And there will be heartaches and pains, yes it will

But through it all, we will remain
In this life, we all know
Friends may come, and they may go
Through the years I know
I will stay
And in the end I know that we'll find
Love so beautiful and divine
We'll be lovers for a lifetime, yeah
And I'll stay with you
I will stay with you

Oh I'll stay with you through the ups and the downs

Oh I'll stay with you when no one else is around
And when the dark clouds arrive
I will stay by your side
I know we'll be alright
I will stay with you
Everything will be fine
And I will stay with you
Through the end of time
I will stay with you

Walking Out: Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder

We picked this song because it was fun right from the start! And we added our own touch by secretly choreographing a dance for us and the rest of the bridal party! So we started walking out and then after a few beats we all did a dance. Was so fun and looked awesome! 


There is a video of it somewhere which I’ll have to add another time. In the meantime there’s some pics. 

First Dance: You Got My Heart – Chong Nee

Something bout the way you smile,
Makes me wanna smile too,
This is us baby
All I know is when you walk in the room, baby, you got my heart
Something bout the way you cry
Makes me wanna cry too,
All I know is when you walk in the room, baby, you got my heart

Listen, you know there's been a lotta the times, there's been a lotta pain

I would not change that for nothing, cause i know that you still here with me, today

I love the way you make me smile, makes you wanna smile too,

All I know is when you walk in the room, baby, you got my heart
You got my heart, you got my heart
Something bout the way you cry, makes me wanna cry too
All I know is when you walk in the room, baby, you got my heart
You got my heart you got my heart. 

We then had Tahu’s band, Merchants of Flow, play for the reception. They were awesome of course!

The Tables

I wanted simple for the tables so we had hurricane lamps with some stones and water and a tealight candle floating at the top. Then around that were larger stones and red wire love hearts. The stones were all collected by Mum, my nephew and I at Hakatere Beach which is just out of Ashburton and is where my mum grew up. I loved that everything had meaning, right down to the stones we used coming from my mums beach! 

For the bridal table we had Mr & Mrs letters along the front.

We had another table where people could sign the guest book and was just generally a pretty table. On it we had XOXO in large scrabble letters and a birdcage that people could put cards in if they wanted. 

The Favors

We had love heart chocolates that we hand made. They had a koru design and the word Love on the chocolates too. I then got brown paper bags and stamped them with a red heart bunting design. We used turquoise ribbon to tie on tags that each had a quote about chocolate and love.

On the back part of each tag I put 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 in different versions. Some similar, some different, each just beautiful. I’m sure everyone knows it but just because I loved having the same thing said in lots of different ways, here’s what we used:

“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first," doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end”. – The Message

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Love will never end”. – Easy to Read version

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance”. – New Living Translation

“Love does not give up. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not put itself up as being important. Love has no pride. Love does not do the wrong thing. Love never thinks of itself. Love does not get angry. Love does not remember the suffering that comes from being hurt by someone. Love is not happy with sin. Love is happy with the truth”. – New Life Version

“Love takes everything that comes without giving up. Love believes all things. Love hopes for all things. Love keeps on in all things. Love never comes to an end. Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. Love is eternal”. – Good News Translation

The Cake

Tahus sister Danni made the cake and it was easily the best wedding cake ever. The top layer was carrot cake and the bottom layer was RAINBOW CAKE! The outside was cream cheese icing and so it was plain white and then when it was cut there were this vibrant colours! It tasted a lot like heaven too. I still think about it! On the top we had a lego bride and groom as requested by Tahu and a wee love heart that I made the night before because the one I’d ordered didn’t turn up until the day after!

The Food

We self-catered the afternoon tea by creating large platters of crackers, cheeses, ham, olives and dips. I also made millions of mini red velvet cake cupcakes that had love heart sprinkles on top. We had pink punch and everyone drank out of jam jars with striped straws. I thought it would be more for show but proved very popular and disappeared super fast!

Tahu wanted BBQ food for the reception but when I found a place that catered within our price range we found we could get more food for the same amount if we did spit roast instead. And so we did! We went with Country Feasts ( and cannot recommend them enough! The food was amazing, the price was fantastic ($27/head), they provided all the service and the girls were lovely and friendly and then packed all the food up that was left over for us to have the next day!

We also self-catered the desserts. We went for a mini theme again so mini choc caramel tarts, lemon meringues and berry crumbles, meringues, brownie, bowls of cream and raspberries and then a sundae bar which had ice-cream, cones, sprinkles, nuts, choc chips and choc sauce. Was so easy to do and hugely popular! I didn’t even get any!

The Photographer

We had the super talented Paul Tatterson as our photographer. He was the first one that we met up with and we got along with him so well we had no doubt by the end of the coffee that he would be perfect for our wedding. He was easy to talk to but we knew he wouldn’t be pushy or in our faces on the day. And we were right! One thing we really wanted was to have beautiful photos that we were in, not necessarily beautiful photos of us. So we didn’t want super posy or clich├ęd photos. And we wanted photos of those with us as we will probably never get all these people together again. He has a photojournalist style that really suited this. So here’s a few of our favourites that haven’t fitted in other parts of this post.

The Guest Book

We bought a Polaroid camera and then got an album made in our wedding colours that had slips for the same size Polaroid photo. I got the camera from Amazon, the film from EBay and the album from Etsy. It stretched my online shopping skills but was well worth it!This meant that people could take a photo of themselves and then write us a message. It worked so well and we have a really special book of messages now.

The Rings

My ring was two bands, one of diamonds and one plain to go with my engagement ring and Tahus is a maori design. We couldn’t find what we wanted and so had both our rings made just for us.

The Gifts for the Bridal Party

We had cufflinks made for the guys and necklaces for the girls. The guys ones were maps of Hawera where the boys are all from the girls are maps of Christchurch where we are all from. I searched a long time to find just what I wanted and couldn’t believe how perfect these were. They were made by a lady from Felt.

Well I think that's everything! It was really the most amazing day and we wouldn't change a thing. I wish I could thank everyone who helped us because we really couldn't have had the wedding we had without help. A couple of others that I haven't mentioned yet would be Dad, Jeremy, David, James, Reuben and Ginette. The help that you guys provided will never be forgotten. If I've missed anyone I'm so sorry! 

So that's another chapter closed...but within a week our next chapter started...but that's for another post!