New Zealand skies, rollerbladers, and Skype dates (#275-#321)

Seems I’ve taken a vacation from counting my blessings. I was reminded of this tonight after a comment from a sweet friend from home. Three pages back in my posts, I realised that last time I blogged this topic it was Thanksgiving. Over three months ago. Surely, I’ve encountered loads of blessings since then…. like: Christmas (#275), taking a friend vacation in Kauai (#276), moving to the land down under…. (#277), joining the most expensive gym ever (#278)…

Yes, I have much to be thankful for. More times than not, my Starbucks mug is overflowing with God’s good grace.

(What I wanted to say next, and began typing, was “In New Zealand it is no different. Grace and blessing are clearly before me and I’ve found myself swept up with joy like I haven’t felt in awhile.” But the truth is…) In New Zealand, it is soooo different. In ways, subtle blessings have been my saving grace at our home away from home. But most of the time, I can’t help but feel like half my blessings are still at home. (I’ve attempted to think of less selfish, less homesick, less languishing ways to say that statement, but in the end, all I could find myself to write was exactly the way I feel).

So this post is my teacher. It’s my reminder that blessing comes packaged in different ways — sometimes in the form of a gift, and other times in the form of a good cry or a new story.

*          *          *

On Sunday, we sat on the beach in a suburb area of the city called Mission Bay. It was beautiful and sunny (#279), a perfectly weathered wedding day for the two brides we saw on their way to their vows and new husbands. Reminded me of my little sister at home busy with mom planning her own wedding. It will be an equally beautiful day in July when I get stand beside her while she exchanges vows with the man she loves.

We got up in the morning too late to go to the gym and decided it was a better idea to have brunch instead. Turned out to be a great decision. I ate New Zealand style Eggs Benedict (#280) and Colin had some sausage/potato thing he thoroughly enjoyed.We grabbed coffee to go before laying our towel out on the sand near the water.

Around me, this is what I saw:

Counting my blessings | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

Mission Bay park.

Gorgeous, clear, soft blue skies (#281). A shining, sun that welcomed you with it’s warmth (#282). Green, green waters (#283) that were cool and slow with the sea-shelliest beach I’ve ever been to. This is exactly where I’d bring my nephew if he were here.

Counting my blessings | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

A childhood beach heaven: sea shells everywhere.

People laying out in their suits, tanning in the sun. Kayaks, paddle boards and kite surfers (#284). Little doggies out for the Sunday, too (#285). Picnics, bbq’s, and family gatherings (#286). Bikers, rollerbladers (#287, watching serious roller-bladers is always a treat), and skateboarders.

Counting my blessings | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

1 of 20 rollerbladers we saw today.

We spent a majority of the afternoon basking in the sun (#288). I was hoping to soak up enough to see a real color difference in my face by tonight. We waded knee-high in the chilly water (#289) to cool down when we got too hot. We talked about family, work and good governance (not sure how we got on the last subject). At our mental 5:00 we walked to the Mexican Cantina and got a few drinks and some chips and salsa to munch on (#290).

Counting my blessings | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

Crosswalk to the Cantina.

We walked ourselves back to the grass where we witnessed a strange beach-side happening: A group of salsa dancers mingling and spinning around themselves that, I can only conclude, must be part of a class or something. A class that practices publicly at the beach. Four sets of dancers rotated themselves on and off the imaginary Latino night club dance floor while we watched. Eight songs later, we called it a night and headed back to our apartment.

I had the best Skype date that night with mom, dad and Ryder (#291). Ryder sang me his three new songs: You are my sunshine, Itsy bitsy spider, and Ring around the rosie. I cried while he sang. He told me, “Gingy, you are beautiful” (#292), which was a message I desperately needed to hear after a rather tragic bang-trimming incident last night. He told me about his new batman hat from poppa and I saw the face he makes to Jax now when he’s trying to teach him to say “momma” (#293). I saw his smile (#294) and heard his laugh (#295) and he said he missed me (#296). Before hanging up for the night, I asked mom if Ryder truly remembered me when he couldn’t see me. She said the other day he came over to her house and said, “Where’s Gingy. She’s my best friend” (#296).

I’m thankful for a family that loves and misses us (#297) and reminds me every day (no matter how far we are from one another) of the goodness of God’s love (#298).

More we have to be thankful for:

  • Picturesque morning sunsets (#299).
  • Finding a lovely, more permanent apartment downtown (#300).
  • Instagram jam (#301).
  • French markets (#302).
  • Discovering mexican food (#303).
  • Uncrowded beaches (#304).
  • Bottled cider (#305).
  • Quiet, friendly workplaces (#306).
  • Finding a decent car in the price range we wanted (#307).
  • Five episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” (#308).
  • Having money in our New Zealand bank account (#309).
  • The Facebook Messenger App that lets me “text” family every day (#310).
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (#311).
  • Tim Tam slams (#312).
  • A washer that doubles as a dryer that we thought we broke but has magically resurrected this evening (#313).
  • The orangest most flavorful eggs ever (#314), except we find it quite odd they don’t need to be refrigerated.
  • Learning that “Quay” is actually pronounced “key” (#315).
  • A cell phone bill that is $35 USD less a month than my old cell bill (#316).
  • Flat whites (#317).
  • Anne Lamott on my iPad (#318).
  • Roll dining room chairs (#319), but we are happy to give them up for our next apartment.
  • Two dollar and one dollar coins (#320).
  • Avocado… lots and lots of avocado (#321).

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Counting more soon….

From the beginning: Starting today… on my way to 1000 gifts, Counting again (#27-#72)Breaking past the first 100… (#101-#132) The Zumba booty pump, weddings and strengths finder… (#133-#195)… – POG, pancakes and beautiful sunsets… (#196-#244, Maui edition) – and A chicken stir fry Thanksgiving (#245-#274).

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