October 11th, 2015.

We were heading up to Oamaru to visit Tim's family for the day. We'd been meaning to go for weeks and weeks and this particular weekend was going to finally give us the chance to make that hour drive up the coast to spend time with the Gonzales clam. We hit the road at about 9:30am after a stop at Starfish on the beach front for coffee (a road trip essential) - the sun blazing down so persistently into our car that we needed the air conditioning on even at that early hour of the morning.

As we headed north, Tim realised that his family would be at church till about 12:30 at least, and suggested that we "may as well make the most of this incredible day" and take a cruisy trip up. "I packed a picnic for brunch, lets find a beach!" he said.

We pulled over past Purakanui Beach, took a foreign dirt road and drove around to a little beach we'd never been to before... only seen from a distance. We still don't know what it is called. We walked through a forest of lush green trees... sand at our feet, a galaxy of greenery above us. It was magical.

As we walked through to a clearing in the trees we began to hear the waves and saw the white sand multiplying in front of our eyes. All of a sudden we were on a beach with no-one else around.

We set out the picnic blanket, took off our shoes and lay down in the sunshine. We listened to the soothing, crashing sounds of the waves, harmonising so perfectly with the sounds of Sleeping at Last, Jon Foreman and Kodaline that were playing from one of our phones. We stuffed our faces with strawberries, croissants, apple juice and chocolate. We enjoyed each others company.

We sat in silence for a while. I was taking in the incredible beach that we had somehow so accidentally stumbled across, and was pondering how we'd never discovered it before. I turned around to say something to Tim and there he was... on one knee. Holding a little black box open towards me that held the symbol of what was to be the most life-changing response I'll ever have to make.

It's a blur from then on. I remember crying, screaming, shaking, freaking out (having a panic attack, ha) and then endless and endless amounts of laughter. I remember Tim laughing at me in response to my reaction. He tells me that he did actually say the words "will you marry me" but I genuinely can't remember it. He also claims that I said YES before he even had a chance to get the words out. I don't remember that either.

It was the craziest moment of my life.

I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with this man. He is my rock, my best friend.
The perfect person for me.

western australia

For the first week of this month (which was ages ago I know, sorry!!!), Tim was lucky enough to be whisked off to Western Australia for a work trip. As he works in the travel industry, his work trip consisted of going across the ditch to experience some of Australia's coolest tourist activities and spending time liasing with Tourism Western Australia (basically everybody's dream work trip!). He spent 7 days exploring Perth, Broome and Cape Leveque, all whilst experiencing a hint of intense summer heat before it hits our shores down here in New Zealand.

To say I am jealous of the sights he got to see and the things he got to do is an understatement. His photos make me swoon, and are a huuuuge motivation to get my spending under control and start seriously saving towards another overseas adventure!

*All photos taken by Tim Gonzales

through rain or shine

It is not unusual for Jule and I to take a drive on a Friday morning.
In fact, it has almost become routine.
Yesterday, our Friday drive took us out the peninsula to a little place called Hooper's Inlet.
The rain came suddenly and left just as quickly. As did the snow.
The sun broke through the surface of the hovering black clouds and danced across the water, glistening with joy as if it had been there all along.
We talked about life, boys, marriage and our interpretations of it and giggled about the man who caught us admiring his architecturally-divine house.
We enjoyed both the simplicity and the complexity of nature, and I silently marvelled at how He is the most incredible and creative artist the world will ever know.
Tim face-timed me from Broome, Australia, whilst riding a camel along the shores of a beach I can only dream of setting foot on one day.
It reminded me once more what an incredible time we live in.
A time where we can speak to our loved ones with the click of a single button regardless of the miles between us.
It was exactly what I needed.
A change in outlook, a flip in perspective.
To really appreciate what I take for granted every single day.
PTL for Friday drives.

the gift of new friends

As I'm getting older, I'm realising how difficult it can actually be to meet new people and make new friends as an adult. Without school, without after school sports, without clubs - making friends is a much more intentional thing. Friends don't just fall into your lap, you have to go out and find them yourself.

I'm so thankful for Timothy and his constant eagerness to try new things. He took a jump into the deep end of the pool earlier this year and started playing ice-hockey. He couldn't skate to begin with, and didn't know a single person at the Dunedin club - both things that would stop me from even thinking about starting a new sport. If I don't have someone there to brave the scaryness of a new environment with me, I won't do it. Turns out I need to take a leaf out of Tim's book.. he is always showing me that stepping out of your comfort zone is how the best things happen.

Tim met Jaime and Adele through ice-hockey and they are two of the most chilled out, laid-back people I have ever met. They live in a cute little house half an hours drive out of the city, with their two dogs and the beach right on their doorstep.

On Saturday, we drove out to Blueskin Bay for coffee and a picnic. We love exploring places that we've never been to before, and this was one of those days. Jaime and Adele showed us one of their favourite spots to hang out just around from their place, and we spent the afternoon laughing, chatting, climbing, relaxing, and watched the most beautiful golden hour happen before our very eyes.

It was peaceful, isolated, and a perfect way to kick off my week of holiday.

I live for days like these.

summer in the winter

A little slice of summer amongst the dreariness of winter.

Pictured: Long Beach, Dunedin & Jule Barth
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