Life Lately // Summer in Auckland

The first day of the year, yo guys!

It’s few hours past midnight and 2018 has officially started. Well, at least in this part of the world. New Zealand is probably the first pictures you’ll see online to welcome the New Year. We’re two hours ahead of Sydney, Australia, five hours ahead of the Philippines and Singapore, and almost a day early of United States. Can you imagine that? The different time zones and seasons still amazes me.

Fresh start, new goals, hopes, and possibilities. Are you excited for what 2018 will bring? I AM!

auckland sky tower
Happy 2018!

December, the last stretch of the year, has always been a festive month for me. With my birthday, our wedding anniversary, Christmas and New Year’s Eve all packed conveniently in this month, there’s something for us to celebrate almost every week.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened offline. I’m using Instagram photos because I’m too lazy to edit in Lightroom right now. It’s the New Year guys. :)

Day trip to Coromandel

A week before my birthday, we went on a day trip to Coromandel – about 2.5 hours’ drive north of Auckland. It was an endless view of green fields and hundreds of binging sheep and cows. We climbed Mount Paku Summit and hiked down Cathedral Cove. Both were not an easy feat but the end destinations are stunning!

Celebrating a birthday for a girl who doesn’t really celebrate. ? #introvert – I admit I had birthday blues. Thinking about big questions like what on earth am I here for (kidding!). I’d be lying if I say I had life already figured out, because honestly I sometimes still doubt where I’m supposed to be at this point, and wonder what I should do. But I’ve come to accept that it’s how we grow. ? Thankful for this confirmation, “Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there”. {MSG 1 Corinthians 7:17} I may have worries but I still am very grateful for all the blessings and love coming my way (sometimes it feels selfish to ask God for anything more). Every experience cultivates us when we allow it to. And it’s nice to be reminded that in times of trouble, it’s not happening ‘to’ us. It’s happening ‘for’ us.. ?? – PS. Yes, I’ve reached that age when I better stop counting after this one. Happy Monday, friends! ? #goodforyoursoul

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Birthday Brunch Date @ Mondays

On my birthday, we had a brunch date celebration at Monday’s because the day happened to be on Monday! Pun intended. :)

I had eggs benedict with plant-based hollandaise and ruby latte. Ge had strawberry waffles with salted caramel and hot chocolate. All are fresh, seasonal and free of additives. Yeah guys, healthy food. So not me. :P

Anniversary Getaway to Devonport

We strolled around Devonport to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was only 10 minutes from Auckland Central via ferry. The Victorian bayside village is lovely and filled with historic buildings turned into restaurants and shops.

We hiked the North Head Summit and Mount Victoria for gorgeous harbor views of Auckland CBD and Rangitoto Island. This is when I really appreciate the uneven and elevated nature of Auckland ground. Yay!

Christmas and New Year in the City

Christmas and New Year here in Auckland were the quietest thing ever! Haha! The Christmas markets and events are rather scattered around the nearby towns so it’s hard to get by without a car. The city is almost empty; people are probably somewhere overseas enjoying their summer holidays.

We waited and watched the Sky City fireworks to welcome the New Year and it was over in five minutes! There’s no wow factor (at least in my opinion) and onlookers were silent the whole time. In both the Philippines and Singapore, the new year is celebrated with loud music, long fireworks display and a lot of screaming and jumping. Here’s it’s all about intimate family time. :)

2017 has been a year of crazy life changes and toughing it out emotionally for me. It was filled with so many overwhelming feelings, ups, and downs, lots of tears, love, longing and personal growth. A whirlwind of so many things I honestly don’t know what to make out of. I realized that the good and the bad in life really does coexist – it always comes in both ways. No matter how good things are, there’s always something bad to work on. And no matter how bad things are, there is always something good to thank God for.

That said, I’m generally an optimistic person and prefer looking at a glass always full (half with liquid, half with air or even when it’s empty, it’s still filled with air). The past year was by no means easy, but I won’t invalidate the fact that I was still incredibly blessed with lots of other things.

Happy New Year guys! I’m grateful for every one of you. xoxo