celebrations

A letter to our dear sensory seeker

Our dear sensory seeking eight year old, how we love you so much.

You seek out love, hugs, contact & friendship with such openness; just like your appetite for food is varied and sometimes exotic. You are the one to take the craziest roller coaster ride, seek out thrills and push your body to the limit. You will plunge yourself into a cold pool and climb the highest tree you can find. You prefer speed and would travel around on roller blades everywhere if you could. You are always running, jumping, swinging off bars and dangling upside down. Your mind is always so busy, just like your body. You will talk to anyone you meet and love to engage new people in games.

Your laughter is intense and contagious. When you hurt yourself or feel scared or anxious you are equally intense, dramatic and just as loud as when you’re happy.

You feel everything with extreme depth. Sometimes we urge you to remove yourself from drama, but you are like a moth to the flame. No matter if something will scorch or hurt you, sometimes you cannot resist the sensory experience. Other times your instincts of fight and flight bring you crumbling to a halt. All rational thought can sometimes leave you and hinder you from trying something you’d like to do in your heart.

For a risk taker and thrill seeker you surprise us in your fears of some things that seem so mundane to others. You find structured classes or scheduled events hard to handle, as your spontaneous nature can’t hold emotions to a clock.

We find your company both exhausting and exhilarating; at times frustrating but mostly exciting. There is so much noise and movement around you. Your presence fills every room you walk into. We are constantly surprised, sometimes exasperated. We worry what will become of you, whilst at the same time trying to trust our instincts that all will be fine.

You are living and learning a path very much of your own forging. We are learning alongside of you, every step of the way – sometimes ahead of you; but quite often chasing your crazy tail!

Lots of love Miss 8. You really are an incredible, unique, special, noisy, energetic and vibrant young lady!

Celebrating your eighth Birthday by seeing the film ‘Frozen’, & celebrating with a ‘summer garden tea party’ afterwards, was perfectly befitting.

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You are definitely a girl who is full of passion, with a deep love for her family and sisters and will make a mark on the world around you. You make friends wherever you go and make people feel excited and encouraged to explore the world with heady enthusiasm.

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So, ‘Do you want to build a snowman?!’

Keep living life to the full beautiful. Keep feeling with all your emotions. I suspect you’ll leave the snowman building to your younger sister before long – whilst you take to the steep slopes and spin circles on the ice… But she’ll be catching up with you! And she is so fortunate to have your zest and energy as inspiration in her own life.

Hoping the rest of your ninth year is full of ample sensory excitement and happiness. You’ve done so well adjusting to life in California this year. We shall look forward to celebrating your ninth Birthday back at home in New Zealand.

Lots of love, Mum, Dad, younger sister Miss 3 (nearly 4!) and older sister Miss 10 & a half xxxx

Feeling Festive | The Photo Gallery

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It’s been so many years since we’ve celebrated the festive season in the northern hemisphere. It took me well over a decade to adjust to celebrating in the southern hemisphere – and just when I thought I’d finally done it… I went and jinxed it! Spending Christmas in Santa Barbara is a wonderful ‘best of both worlds’ place to be. The days are always sunny, the days – of course, being in the northern hemisphere, are shorter, the evenings cooler, but rarely freezing, and the lights – everywhere – are beautiful.

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It gets dark at 5pm and with little wind, or inclement weather, outdoor decorations are able to be on display without risk of failure. It’s glorious to be out in the evening and enjoy the festivities, of which there are plenty. Just this weekend there was a Christmas Parade on Friday evening and a wonderful ‘Festival of Trees’, where Miss 3 was awe-struck to see Santa ice-skating. She also had a jolly good go at it herself, as well as decorating a beautiful stocking.

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Of course my heart is still in the two places I love – my birthplace and home of some twenty-three years – the U.K. – and my ‘adopted’ country and place that welcomed my three daughters into the world – beautiful New Zealand. I miss the beautiful red, flower of the Pohutukawa tree in New Zealand – it’s bloom always arriving to welcome Christmas and summer simultaneously, and the long days and light to savour celebrations at ease with my family and friends. My heart is also with my friends and family in England (though, admittedly, I have less of a desire to be there, in the frigid conditions of winter, where it’s dark at 3.30pm and the days quite often grey and overcast – at least with children in tow – however I could definitely enjoy some couple time with hubbie in the many gorgeous pubs and strolling the lit streets of London town!).

But despite my heart feeling forever torn, there is enough room for it to feel happy in Santa Barbara this year. We are blessed with the excitement of having my parents visiting from the UK to celebrate the festivities and a wonderful house to call home for a year. It’s easy to make it feel festive, with a few twinkly lights and some adornments to remind us of a summer Christmas and our roots in the U.K. There have been a few additions to mark our time here in the USA too… Mickey Mouse couldn’t help but make an appearance!

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Our lovely landlady here gifted us some decorative delights, including red flowers that tie in both the beautiful Pohutukawa of New Zealand and the poinsettia, one of my all time favourite Christmas flowers. Our lovely New Zealand neighbours, that recently visited us, sent a gorgeous poinsettia as a thank you, which brings us so much love and happiness.

And, the lights, everywhere, lining the streets and shopping malls, are totally magic. So with memories of our recent visit to a Christmassy Disneyland  and the company of our New Zealand friends, we are feeling ready to celebrate the festivities and welcome in 2014!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! xxx

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Linking up with other lovelies on the theme, ‘Feeling Festive’, here…

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery