Every year, I say that I’m not making cliche` resolutions. I always make the same lame joke about how I’d just be happy to write next year’s date. Then I make some comment about how it would probably be nice to lose some weight but that it is not a resolution because it’s something that never needs a start date and it just a part of me.

Well, this is the look you’re probably giving me right now.

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Yup, that’s me. Well, it was me. I’m very happy that I’m a healthier person than I used to be but I have a long way to go.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m turning 30 this year, maybe it’s because I’m finally sick of not accomplishing things I set out to do, or maybe it’s because I finally have a deeper understanding of what I’m capable of achieving, but I’m finally going to make some resolutions this year. Especially since the ONE “resolution” that I made in 2013 didn’t really happen since my weight didn’t change at all. (And in 2012 all I did was gain weight.)

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I have been a bit down in the dumps lately. The holidays are a rough time for me since I haven’t fully adjusted to living in another country at this time of the year. The holidays for me have always been very much grounded in traditions and family. It’s hard to suddenly be on the other side of the world from everyone I’ve always celebrated the holidays with and completely new traditions. Josh has been really supportive since we moved to New Zealand. He understands that the holidays are a bit rough for me and he tries his best to make the holidays a nice time.

I woke up last Thursday and realized that probably about 2 people that I’d see during the day would even know it was Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful spring day. Summer is just around the corner (another thing I’ll probably never get used to). I walked across to school deflated and missing everyone. I had no Thanksgiving plans. I felt pretty alone.

There was a card on my desk.

Untitled

It was from my friend Aly. She’s from Canada and she has been teaching at our school for most of this year. She has become a really good friend and that card meant the whole world to me.

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Averaging about 1 blog post per month is definitely not ideal. It’s not what I wanted. It’s not me. Have I really become so busy that I don’t have time to sit down and blog or has it just become lower on my list of priorities?

Life has been pretty crazy recently. When I don’t blog for this long, I never know where to begin. I’ll just start talking.

Halloween is as good a place as any.

Halloween isn’t a very big thing here in New Zealand. I had zero trick or treaters this year compared to the TWO that I had last year (one of which was a family of Canadians and another was a student who lived across the street). I had some people tell me this year that they “don’t believe in Halloween.” I guess it’s just a culture thing, but it doesn’t make sense to me to say you don’t believe in Halloween. If I asked further as to why or what they didn’t believe in, there was no other answer.

So I had a Halloween party with my friends. You can take the American out of America but you can’t take the America out of the American. Or something…

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Mother's Day

Dear Mom,

For all my blood-curdling years of my adolescence that you had to endure, I promise to always keep your electronics functional even though I live on the other side of the world. And I promise I will let you know when my plane lands even though we both know that information is readily available to everyone. Thanks for being a wonderful mother and always supporting every decision that you ever made for me. You’re one of my favourite parents! Thanks for providing me with love that is as never ending as your voicemails!! Also, thank you so much for bringing me into a world where love can be expressed electronically! I love you!

Your favourite daughter, (I love how neither of us have to even say that I’m your favourite. We both just totally know it!)
Caitlin Ann

PS: I hope my mediocre attempts of gratitude that I express at your birthday, Christmas, and Mothers Day make up for the 362 other days of my smug ingratitude! Thanks for not putting me back up for adoption!

PPS: I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my mommy you’ll be. <3

Josh and I were planning to have a boring, quiet evening in for New Years. I had to work from 6-4 on New Years Eve and figured that I wouldn’t be up to much (and to be quite frank we still don’t really know many people around here so we didn’t really have anywhere to go).

So we thought.

I got home from work and Josh told me that he got a text earlier that day from Matt who he worked with on the orchards for a while inviting us to a BBQ and asked me if I was up to going. Of course I was! I was so happy to be able to actually have something to do on New Years even though a quiet night in would have been lovely, as well. Josh and I each made a token dish – I made a cous cous salad and Josh made his epic tossed salad and we bought some beers and ice cream and we were on our way!

When we pulled up, the first thing I saw was this tiny kitten! I knew that the night was going to be epic when I saw her.

New Years Eve 2011

She was the cutest, most playful little kitten that I have seen in a long time and she reminded me of Moko, my cat back in New York, so much. She filled my kitty void that I didn’t even know was so deep and hurting!

New Years Eve 2011

She had so much life in her and was such a friendly little cat. She went from climbing a cactus to jumping up in your lap and going to sleep. I was dying of the cuteness ALL NIGHT LONG.

New Years Eve 2011

Here is an example!

New Years Eve 2011

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It is that time again to sum up my year in thoughts and photos.
You can also check out last year’s post: 2010: What a long, strange trip it’s been.

January
365 [Day 13]365 [Day 3]365 [Day 19]Relaxation
- I ate my first crayfish.
- Donated blood in NZ for the first time.
- My greenstone pendant was found. Josh gave it to me the first day we met.
- I moved back to New York.
- I was happy to see Moko again.

February
My new waterbottle.More progress pics.I hate Zumba!Rose
- Got my camelback watter bottle and became addicted.
- Joined my gym.
- Went to my first spin class.
- Hit 30 pounds lost.
- Tried zumba and hated it.

March
NYC March 2, 2011Mom's 55thnailBaylee and Me
- Finally went to the Museum of Natural History after living in NY all my life.
- Actually spent some time in NYC and didn’t hate it for the first time ever.
- Mom’s 55th birthday!
- Got my first manicure and pedicure ever, haha.
- Started taking Baylee for walks.

April
New Haircut!!Visiting KaylaEaster!Erika and Rocco's Wedding
- Got my hair cut.
- Hit 40 pounds lost.
- Easter.
- Erika and Rocco’s wedding! <3

May
Holtsville Ecology CenterScreech OwlMother's DayNorth Shore Bike Tour
- Had an awesome trip to the Holtsville Ecology Center with Kierstin.
- Got addicted to Doctor Who.
- Helped my dad run a booth at a green energy convention.
- Mother’s Day
- My 27th Birthday!
- I reached 50 pounds lost on my birthday!
- The North Shore Bike Tour!

June
A man and his dog.3 PoundsNew PhoneBFF
- Hung out a lot with my family.
- Did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, haha!
- Got my new phone. DROID!
- Had my going away party with my friends.
- Moved back to NZ.
- I missed our anniversary because I got stuck in Sydney. :(

July
uscottagelittle fiatFrench Pass
- Josh and I are finally back together again, yay!
- We moved into our little cottage.
- We went on adventures in our little Fiat.
- Went fishing at French Pass for the first time.

August
- I still didn’t have the internet.
- I borrowed a bicycle from Josh’s boss and biked into town.
- It was still winter so I was cold and still adjusting to the cold weather.
- Lack of internet = no pictures.

September
Josh's haircut!Josh's QuestTrying to SteepReflections
- Josh cut his hair.
- I got my job at the supermarket dairy.

October
Stuffed MushroomsWatching the RWCTrip To HokitikaMapua
- I got my teaching job which starts in January.
- The Rugby World Cup! New Zealand is victorious!
- Went to Hokitika to visit Josh’s dad who was working on a dairy farm.
- We got a hand blender.
- We cooked a lot.

November
burgerPotted Plants!math books:)
- Josh’s Kick Arse burgers are perfected.
- We keep trying to grow our garden with little success.
- I took a trip to my new school for a week and loved it.
- Finally reached 60 pounds lost.

December
Our BBQChristmas 2011SunriseMy Christmas Presents!
- The first BBQ of the year.
- Josh’s Birthday!
- My second NZ Christmas.

No Wordless Wednesday for you this week – you got plenty of beautiful pictures in my Christmas post to last a whole year’s worth of Wordless Wednesdays.

I got a lot of great gifts this year. It made me feel really bad because Josh and I couldn’t really reciprocate any of the gifts given our current financial situation. I can’t wait until my new job starts because then I can actually afford to do be a little bit more financially stable if something comes up and I want to be a bit more generous. Next Christmas, I’ll be able to actually buy people presents and I am already looking forward to it.

My family back in the states decided to pool all their money together and Western Union me the money to get myself a bicycle. My uncle, my grandparents, my grammy, and my parents all send me a nice chunk of cash that will get me a really nice bike. I am really excited to get a bicycle. It is something that I have been wanting for a long time ever since I got addicted to spin classes at my gym in New York all those months ago. I decided I am going to wait until we move next month to buy my bike since it’s one less thing to bring with us.

My Christmas Presents!

My mother in law got us an awesome BBQ! We love it so much and have already used it multiple times. It can even be used as a smoker and Josh even smoked some bacon and chicken in it for his work mates on his last day of work on the orchards before the Christmas holidays. We love it!

My Christmas Presents!

She also sent me a beautiful planner and a matching pen for 2012 which will really come in handy with teaching and keeping track of everything being that I plan on being a busy little bee once we move!

My Christmas Presents!

My mom saw on my blog last month when I was talking about cool things I saw on Pinterest and mentioned this clock. Well, she wanted to get it for me so she asked me how to order it online so I told her and she got it for me. :)

My Christmas Presents!

My sister sent me this nice bag since I’ll need something fairly nice looking to carry all my teaching books. She also sent me some nice shirts which she hid inside the bag.

Presents!

My brother in law and his girlfriend got us these awesome hand towels and also a beautiful bowl and serving spoons. However, I used the bowl and spoons and haven’t done my dishes and I’m not taking a picture of my dirty dishes for you. It shows you that I love the bowl though! They also sent us the most amazing fudge (also not able to be photographed because it mysteriously disappeared into our stomachs) and some jeans for Josh.

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My amazing internet friend Saskia who I’ve known through myfitnesspal and blogging (and now dailyfratze) asked for my address a while back so she could send me something for Christmas. I figured that she wanted to send me a Christmas card since some of my online friends had also done the same thing. However, she sent me these beautiful hand made ornaments! I remember her talking about them on her blog and she sent me some of my own!

My Christmas Presents!

I love them so much! :D

I also got a year’s Flickr pro account from Shannon. I have the best online friends ever! Now I can have space for all my pictures for another entire year.

My Christmas Presents!

Josh and I decided we weren’t going to exchange gifts this year because we couldn’t afford it but when I got home the other day, I saw that I had this new gaming mouse at my computer. Josh had been planning to get it for me anyway. I felt so bad because I actually didn’t get him anything but I decided that I would give him the mall vouchers that I got as a gift from my work for Christmas so that he could go buy some new shirts for himself because he needs and wants them. I was going to buy them for him myself but he likes to buy his own clothes so I figured that giving him the mall vouchers would mean more to him than me buying shirts for him.

He told me that all he needed for Christmas was to spend it with me and for me to always love him. Even if that is true, I still feel bad that I couldn’t give him the world on top of that, too. Maybe after my first paycheck I can get him a “I wanted to get this for you just because I love you” present. He deserves one of those.

What was your favourite gift from the holidays?

Things have been quite busy in our neck of the woods lately which is probably evident by my lack of blogging recently. Josh and I had a very exciting Christmas though and I finally have a moment to talk all about it!

The plan was to go spend Christmas with Josh’s dad who is working as a DOC (Department of Conservation) worker at the moment at the Abel Tasman National Park but we were nearly heartbroken to hear that the road in there was washed away in the recent storm and flooding.

Christmas 2011

Where there is a will there is a way especially for these kiwis. Josh’s dad decided he would just come pick us up for Christmas on his boat and so that’s what he did instead. Some silly washed out roads weren’t going to wreck our Christmas!

Christmas 2011

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It’s Thanksgiving.
I miss my family.

All day, I tried to think of things I was thankful for. I made a huge list inside my head and every time I got sidetracked feeling sorry for myself being so far away from my family on Thanksgiving, I went back to my list. I didn’t even know I could think of so many things that I was grateful for. It really helped me get through the day. Josh was really good to me too. At first I got all emotional and upset at him because I thought he forgot about Thanksgiving but he went behind my back trying to plan all these big surprises for me. Then I felt pretty awful for just assuming he was ignoring me or being forgetful about Thanksgiving. I guess we’re all human sometimes, aren’t we?

It is Halloween here in New Zealand. I almost forgot. Apparently Halloween isn’t really a big thing here yet. Whenever I try to talk about it to someone here, the general response is “oh yeah, Halloween really seems to be catching on here – isn’t that cool?” Well, yeah… except I’m already used to it and I sort of want my candy and awesome Halloween costumes, you silly New Zealanders.

*pouty face*

That’s okay. I decided that I am going to buy myself some candy and eat it all by myself. I guess it’s kind of cool that I won’t have to worry about trick or treaters coming and knocking on my door after all because now that I think about it I can’t really afford to buy them candy too.

I hope that all of you are having a great time eating your candy and dressing up in your fun costumes. I will be dressing up as a New Zealander and pretending to be one this Halloween in case you’re curious. I think I have done some pretty good research and I will be believable. Chur.

Here are some Halloween videos for you of some Halloween lights in California. I thought it was awesome. I sent it to my mom already thinking I would absolutely WOW her with it since she’s the least tech savvy person that I know and never sees anything before I do but she had already seen it on some strange foreign thing called the five o’clock news. Imagine that. Well, perhaps some of you haven’t seen it yet.

…and last year’s show because it was pretty awesome

Happy Halloween!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day

I have a pretty great Mom. :)

Mother's Day

Here’s my mom with both of her lovely children.

Mother's Day

My Grammy even came over so we had even more moms in the house!

Sephora

I got my mother a bunch of nail polishes from Sephora. She is always getting her nails done and sometimes she brings her own colours. Also, she’s got an entire bucket of nail polishes because she does her own toes in the summer time. I thought it would be a great gift now that summer is coming.

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day! What did you do for your mothers? What did your children do for you?

Today is the first nice day we’ve had in a while. I actually can feel Spring coming. This is a good thing because I hate winter. I am a warm weather type of person. I wish I could live in Spring, Summer, and even Autumn all year round. Winter just isn’t for me.

I have my windows open and some natural breezes and light flowing through and it is amazing what it does for my mood. I just feel so much better. Moko agrees with me. I think she is a Spring cat. I opened the window and it was as if she said, “Well finally, human! Thank you!” She went and sat on the windowsill and purred with contentment while having staring contests with the birds.

Window Cat

I hope everyone has a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day. I won’t be doing anything special – just going to the gym and tutoring later. I was invited to go out with some friends to go see someone they know play in a band but unfortunately it is far away and since I am tutoring I won’t make it in time.

I have to admit, I always think St. Patrick’s Day is on the 18th of March. I don’t know why but every year I mix it up. My friend Kierstin laughed when I told her this the other day and said, “Caitlin, just because your birthday falls on the 18th of a month doesn’t mean every other holiday does!” I replied that it is just hard being that last holiday, Valentine’s Day was just February 18th. I kept a straight face for a few seconds but then I started laughing!

Are there any holidays you always mix up?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss

I had the opportunity to read a very special book for Earth Day today – The Lorax. If you haven’t read it, you really should. Here is a movie that was made that illustrates the story but as always it’s much better if you read the story yourself. Enjoy!

What do you think the boy hearing the story will do with the Truffula seed that the Once-ler tosses to him? Do you think the seed symbolizes something else? Something bigger?

Have you done anything for Earth Day?

Personally, I think every day is Earth Day but I wanted to post something special today.

365: 004 (by caitysparkles)

If you celebrate it, I hope you had a nice Easter. I did! Josh and I went to my parent’s house and had a really nice time. It consisted of playing some fun games with Easter eggs, getting some nice gifts (including candy – yay for my mom reading my latest blog post – and a reed infuser from my grandmother), and me winning the “guess how many jelly beans are in the jar” contest. Apparently I could have somehow cheated being a math major by doing some crazy math formulas with circumference and jelly beans in my head and winning. Ha!

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We all love some sort of candy, right? I used to love waking up on Easter morning and running downstairs to find my basket full of Cadburry Creme Eggs, milk chocolate bunnies, and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Having been a vegan for almost nine months now, however, my tune has changed a little bit.

cupcakes (by leighish29)
This photo is by by friend Ashleigh. She makes the most beautiful cakes and cupcakes that I will always want to eat even if I’m vegan forever (even if I can’t)!

I bet you’re wondering what I can eat on Easter this year being that all the favorites contain things I don’t eat anymore. Well, I decided that I would make a list of all the common candies that are vegan for you. You know… in case you wanted to buy me or some other vegan an Easter present!

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