It happened so quickly…

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Friday 14th April

I have been periodically looking at the stationary caterpillars this morning and was away from them about 20 minutes when this amazing transformation had already taken place. ¬†We have one left to make the change into a chrysalis and I’m hoping to capture it on film…we’ll see if it manages to happen when we’re paying attention.

I honestly cannot believe how quickly the caterpillar shed it’s skin to become this capsule of green.

Saturday 15th April

The more smooth capsule photo was taken (3rd image down) after 24 hours. ¬†The golden markings are quite beautiful and it’s simply amazing how delicate and yet ornate it is.

This morning we went to a little boys first birthday. ¬†We’d wrapped a few books as gifts and were getting ready when I decided it would be nice to also gift him a monarch caterpillar with some swan plant leaves in a mason jar in the hopes that it too would transform for him and become a butterfly. ¬†We were at the part enjoying the good food and company, when it came time to open the presents. ¬†The mason jar was unwrapped and quickly a hush fell on the crowd. ¬†The little boys father looked at me and said “My grandfather passed away one year ago, he bred butterflies. ¬†My son Te Ahorangi was named after him’. ¬†He had the faintest smile and it was apparent he was feeling sentimental…almost emotional. ¬†It was a beautiful revelation.

It’s later in the evening on the same day – and Mike and I still are baffled as to the sheer coincidence and connectedness of the universe. ¬†We have been pondering the odds of this happening…

Hopefully when the butterfly emerges we’ll be ready! ¬†I’ll be posting more images as the week progresses. ¬†I think we should have 2 butterflies emerging in approximately 6 days.

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Thursday 20th April

So far there have been little changes in the pods – the lines of the wings can be seen more clearly and the top end of the structure appears to be getting darker… this could mean maybe tomorrow we may see one open? ¬†Finger crossed!


Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.59.02 amScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.58.14 amScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.57.47 amIf you’d have asked me a year ago if we’d be in Australia again in 1.5 years time – I would have shaken my head firmly and reassured you that we were going to be in New Zealand forever. ¬†We both thought that was what we were committing to upon arrival. ¬†We were here to stay.

Now a year on, our little boy is growing and we’ve settled in but are more flexible with where we need to be. ¬†Mike was offered a position back in Western Australia that honestly was too good to turn down. ¬†He’ll be flying over next month and in 4 months time Wesley and I will follow over to join him. ¬†Just like that everything changes.

This is a conflicting decisions as we’re not too happy to be parting with family; however it does open up an opportunity for us to buy land now in New Zealand and eventually be able to set up our own little business. ¬†I’m just in the process of submitting paperwork for another 5 year visa to stay and work within Australia, and when that’s all secured we’ll be ready to go.

I’m sure many of the readers here are shaking their heads. ¬†How many times have we moved over the past 7 and a bit years?

We have moved from 6 locations: Banff, Melbourne, Eneabba, Coorow, Perth, Palmerston North… ¬†I think we probably travel more than military families at this point.

Some more family is waiting in Australia for us in Adelaide and Melbourne so we shall be flying more often to see them as well, along with our network of friends which will be nice to see them more often (a few of them have had babies too) but it’s truly with heavy hearts that we made the call to leave New Zealand for now. ¬†The only solace is that it’s not permanent.

I’ll be applying for permanent residency by this Christmas and hopefully that will make transitioning to and from a bit easier.

After we buy land, there will be developments that we will need to tend to, so you shall be seeing more of us again int the near future. ¬†Wesley has his own little New Zealand passport and I know we’ll be back often for family visits as he continues to grow and turn into a little independent person.

Side note: ¬†Wesley stood all on his own yesterday for nearly 30 seconds. ¬†It was pretty incredible to watch. ¬†We’ve also just planted a small winter crop of veggies that should hopefully be ready in a few months.

So I guess, if you’ve not had the chance to see us in New Zealand, you’ll have to come and check out Australia!

With love,

Holly, Mike & Wesley

Ps: The photo of Mike was taken during a very special time when we were camping in the South West of WA. ¬†We were whale watching and embracing the somewhat unconfirmed news that we were very likely travelling with the beginnings of life in my belly. ¬†I’m really hoping we can show Wesley the area…it’s magical!

The first crop of onions.

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-37-50-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-33-16-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-01-at-9-04-17-amscreen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-27-13-pmTo put a seed into the soil is to believe in the future.  You trust that earth, water and time will bring you nourishing food.  Time has brought us 8 red onions and a random white one.

They grew in rather close quarters, and a tiny lesson has been learned.  We must plant them at a greater space to allow for bigger bulbs next year.

I’ve trimmed them and foolishly placed said onions onto the mantle in our kitchen. ¬†Now, I am airing out our whole home from the intense perfume of fresh onions.

Another novice mistake.

Now they sit on the porch airing out for a few days before I store them in the cupboard.

Do you have a recipe that features onions that you love? ¬†I’ll probably need to get through these red ones rather quick! ¬†

We’ve been misted today in a dainty almost microscopic rain. ¬†You know the kind that lightly falls on your face and skin, it feels refreshing? ¬†Eventually it saturates you to the core, and yet at the same time is lovely because it is warm. ¬†Summer rain, is so pleasant.

This constant rain has made New Zealand’s soil fertile and created an optimal growing season in many regions. ¬†Palmerston North has had one of the wettest summers on record. ¬†We can only help but flash back to our struggles in Eneabba trying to grow our food in the hot heat of summer. ¬†We watered it endlessly. ¬†Many of our plants died. ¬†Here, we hope for some more sunlight to help ripen our green tomatoes. Though, I’ve heard they are good fried green anyway!

Taranaki, to close 2016.


We’ve just returned from a few very nice days up in the Taranaki region at Kerry Lane (which is a charming little resort). ¬†Mike’s brother Rayden had entered a tennis tournament so we travelled up with him and his partner Fredrik to watch him play. ¬†Mike and Rayden also played a wobbly doubles match, and in between matches we took in the local scenery.

There was a really charming antiques shop that I managed to find a heavy cotton blanket (it has a gorgeous checked pattern in a cornflower blue with white as a base) that will be perfect for cozying up in the winter. ¬†The blanket, I’d expect to pay somewhere between $100.oo-$200.00 as it is a luxurious heavy cotton. ¬†The store offered 25% off and I scooped it up for a measly $12.00. ¬†It’s hard to find quality in modern goods, so I was pretty stoked!

Whilst Fredrik and I browsed the store, Wesley began to squawk/talk to someone. ¬†I turned and couldn’t help but laugh. ¬†He was “talking” to a very creepy doll. ¬†Minutes later the same thing happened as I approached another doll on the other side of the room. ¬†Thank god, they didn’t talk back. ¬†Though the woman who owned the shop joked she didn’t know what the dolls did at night when she left… I inwardly¬†shuddered.

Taranaki country is quite hilly, and is spectacular to look at whilst driving around. ¬†It’s located on the edge of the Western side of the country. ¬†The mountain is an inactive volcano that is covered with walking trails and waterfalls. ¬†It was here that we found my most favourite of favourite things. ¬†Several species of native orchids were sprouting from the earth. ¬†Actually Mike found them, just to be clear. ¬†He’s getting quite good at it.

The images of the mountain were taken at dusk and dawn…and again during mid morning before our hike.

On the way home we stopped at our friends dairy farm and enjoyed a nice relaxing meal and played with the kids.

We travelled homeward, settled in, and rested.  The last night of 2016 we all tucked into bed for a much welcome sleep.  That is until Wesley woke and partied all night with his dad.

Today we rise to 2017. ¬†We’ll all be another year older soon, and I can’t wait to see what this year brings. ¬†Hopefully… just hopefully it brings a little more sleep.

We’ve just gotten word that some friends from Western Australia are booking last minute tickets to New Zealand for a holiday, and we’ll be seeing them in about a weeks time…2017 is kicking off to a good start!

We hope you have all made it through 2016 with fond memories too.

Holly, Mike & Wesley

Ps: ¬†A couple of the photos of Wesley with family are some images from Christmas Day. ¬†We had a really nice lunch at Mike’s mums which is just a short walk up the road.