By PaisleyJade - Tuesday, December 01, 2015

The month of November has whizzed by, and we all know what that means don't we!? Christmas is on the way!

It's that time of year again when we have a million end of year functions and trips and school assemblies and meetings, along with that we squeeze in a few birthday celebrations and try not to each too much. Despite the 'crazy end of year' feels, I do love the warmer weather starting to creep in, the excitement in the children's voices as they count down to their last day of school, and how many sleeps there are until Christmas.

November has been a great month - here are some of the things I've been loving lately (keeping a thankful heart and counting my blessings!)...

Every year we have a family tradition of sitting by our city's main river, and watching the fireworks show across the river.  Always fun to set up the rugs, chairs and nibbles and wait for the show to begin - and it's always awesome.  So many others gather now to watch - this year I even spotted a family with their barbecue, and another with mattresses in the back of their truck for the children to sit in and watch the fireworks.

Symon recently spoke at an awesome church in Auckland (The River Church) that some great friends of ours pastor.  We loved catching up with them, as well as having some time to explore Auckland by ourselves.  Yay for couple time!

I'm loving the many different rose bushes that I am discovering at our new place.  While the gardens (and house) are in a bit of a state at the moment (think weeds, piles of dirt and wooden boards everywhere), I am so loving the roses as they bloom!  I'm planning to move some of them when the time is right and making my own special rose garden.

Loving our awesome church family!  So amazing that people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds can gather as one people, equally loved by God.  Hearing stories of hope and healing each week just remind me of how amazing Jesus is!

With the arrival of potato salad, jelly and lettuce salads to our household, I will hereby declare that it officially is Summer now.  Just thought I'd mention that to you all...

I turned another year older a few days ago, and can I just also declare that I have the best husband ever!?!! Somehow my guy had sneakily bought me a new sewing machine!!  He's such a bargain hunter and somehow scored this one for half price - and boy is it awesome!  I've so missed sewing lately, so be prepared for an onslaught of softies and other creations soon...

We caved in early and let the girls decorate the Christmas tree before December... my one rule was it wasn't to go up until after my birthday, so on the afternoon of my birthday, the requests to put it up began...

Yes, I let my children help me decorate our Christmas tree... and yes my perfectionist side struggles greatly... but just like Boo having tinsel put around her neck, I grin and try to bear it (and when they are off to bed I discretely tweak things).

I also do Christmas tree photo shoots for teenage boys in my spare time...

One of my girls (the sentimental one) has been a bit sad about their first Christmas in our new home... things won't be the same etc etc.  I've been reminding her that it's going to be fun making new memories in our new house.

So no matter what this Christmas time is looking like for you, whether you're alone, or part of a family, whether things in your life have changed drastically since last year, or whether things are the same, don't forget to make some new memories and fun traditions, and look for the blessings amongst the mundane and/or craziness.

For more Loving/Lately posts, go here.

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