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  1. OK son, so learning Maori is not so easy. I have all the basic sort of sorted. Working on my kupu hou. Biggest problem here is trying to prioritise my time.

    I think the best way to learn Maori in my opinion is to keep talking Maori as much as you can. When you don’t know a word find it straight away. Write it down and keep using it.

    Will let you know how I go! Ive an idea, I will write my next comment completely in Maori!


  2. Such a wonderfully inspiring post and a great reminder to us all to live in the present moment. And what a wonderful site this is for your son, beautiful.
    I look forward to following the journey and reading many more of your posts.

    1. Thank you Victoria. We wanted a way to make sure that our boys would know all the things that we have learnt over our years. What made us who we are. And what we valued as a whanau (family).

  3. I’m so sorry to hear that your home was flooded. But I’m happy to hear that you were able to find some smiles in the situation. It looks like a great park!

  4. Sorry to hear of this at a time that you didn’t need to have it happen. Good look on soon arrival of another life into this world. Look forward to the next post.

    1. Hi Chris. Thank you for taking the time to read our post. Still waiting for our next life to arrive. Can’t wait.

    1. Thank you John. I’ve got no doubt your daughters will. Love your blog. Don’t like the new toy craze that become a hair accessory.

  5. We often visit small towns with our family. And better away from busy highways. There you can find amazing places for family holidays. I think you had an interesting day.

    1. It’s great to seek these little places out. We’ve decided to do a whole lot more of it as we explore our backyard.

  6. This is such an inspiring post. Sometimes we get so busy thinking about the past or work or other stuff that we forget about what is really important. Thanks for the reminder.
    By the way, I like the concept of your blog – ‘for your son’.

    1. Thank you. Appreciate that you have stopped in. It’s so important to appreciate the moments we have.

  7. Wow. What an amazing post to read and what a wonderful story! I am so glad to read that your son was okay and his name is so fitting! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment. We have a new one up now for the naming of our son Haeata. I hope you like that as much!

  8. I could really feel the sorrow and pain you felt when you wrote this. I can tell you are someone who feels deeply. Never change. You are wonderful

  9. Thank you Natasha, really appreciate you stopping by and leaving such wonderful words on our site! Thank you

  10. It really was nice, and only a short trip down the road which we really needed at that time. Thank you again for finding the time to comment Natasha. We really appreciate it!

  11. What a lovely meaning…I can attest that the second one does come a lot faster! I am glad that both baby and wife are doing well 🙂

  12. Wow what an amazing story, and a wonderful one to share with your boys as they get older and understand the meaning behind it all. I’m sorry for your difficult and painful births, but so glad you have two beautiful sons to show for it. I am also sorry to hear about the flooding. I hope you have the help and support you need. Thank you for this perspective.

  13. What beautiful names your children have x We found that both our children decided for themselves when they were ready to say goodbye to nappies. We foolishly ‘tried’ before the children were ready – really stressful!!

  14. Great tips. Travis is at the age now where we are trying to get him familiar with the toilet/potty and trying to teach him about ‘pee pee’ so hopefully he will learn to tell us when he needs. We aren’t forcing it either

  15. I remember climbing trees when I was younger with my dad standing below waiting to catch me if I fell. Thanks for the memory.

  16. Love this! Ive never climbed a tree but Ive made sure my son has! Also a great memory for your boy to reminisce on later down the road!

  17. When I was younger we had a weeping willow tree in the front yard, it was perfect for climbing and had two branches side by side that made the perfect seat. It was definitely my favorite tree ever and favorite place to just go be by myself.

  18. I love when you share the meaning behind your boys’ names. Its so neat to hear about it, the meaning, the reason behind it!

  19. I do agree that even a single time of a day spending to a workout is truly good for us, So slice a time for a workout to keep us alive and healthy all through the day

  20. This is a lovely idea. Music is so much a party of our family history, but over time we often forget the songs. It’s often only when we hear them again by chance that the memories rush back. What a nice idea to have a blog post to record them and what they mean to you.

  21. We get out kids involved in fitness. They both love doing pushups, although their version of pushups is quite hilarious!

  22. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve never heard of some of these apps. This is very useful information for any beginner or someone that’s been doing it for years!

  23. great article! I agree with everything you have said in growing your followers.

    Post great content, engage with your followers and followings and build a community around your theme. I had no idea how good the instagram community would be when I joined up. You can find like minded people and share the love of your life and look at theirs too.

    Keep going man, you’re doing a great job.

  24. I just can’t wrap my head around follow/unfollow. It’s such a cheap move. I would add posting frequently helps quite a bit too. I see an increase when I post more than once per day then when I skip some days. But life happens right? Keep up the good work.

  25. This has really helped me to grow my followers! I’ve been really going for it with the hash tags, now going to work towards tagging others. The follow/unfollow app is a great tool too. Looking forward to seeing your updated post!

  26. I really like this. I love how you made him a box of books he could reach. We tried the same with our son but even until this day he tries to eat the paper. He had some beautiful books he ruined which makes me sad. I am hoping to show them to him again soon and hope he loves them as much as your son does

  27. This is wonderful. I, too, loved reading to my little girls. Even as infants, I would rock them every night and read them a book. I have several books I read at the same time. I go to the library everyday, they know me by name. Great post!!

  28. Aw, I love this! We have always had books available for the kids, but my oldest two never took to reading until the last year or so. Now, you rarely find them without a book near them. They read all the time! Personally, I hated reading up until a few years ago so I don’t pressure them, but I definitely keep books of interest around so they hopefully develop their own love for them!

  29. What a great message! I was not into books as a child. I read because I had to. I loved building and figuring out how things worked. I love math and science and those were always my strongest points. Now that I’m older, I wish I had a love for books. So now, we have books everywhere! I read to my kids all the time, hoping to instill a love for books that I didn’t really have.

  30. I love books too. I remember there were days when I was going up to my room and reading until my sight becomes blurry. Unfortunately I do not have the time to do that anymore.

  31. I have books from a child, Little Women was a favorite. Am I showing my age? No matter how hard I tried, my son just didn’t get into reading. Now trying on a mask like in your picture, that was him.

  32. Tears are streaming down my face. Wow Rakeiora! You are an amazing little warror and an absolute delight. I have to agree with your Papa; being a mother certainly does suit your Mama and she absolutely glowed throughout your little brother’s pregnancy.

  33. I love this way of parenting. I think it is the best way to do it, why make the little ones upset trying to force them to learn something, or enjoy something. There will be something they are willing to learn right then and won’t need forced to do it

  34. Now I feel a lot better about letting my son learn certain things at his own pace. He do love books and he loves to count but now it’s time for me to start stepping in a lot more because I’m noticing that he’s wanting to learn new a lot more things now. He’ll be 2 next month. Thanks so much for this post!

  35. What a beautiful story of strength and tradition. A name is so important to a young person. It’s nice that you put so much weight behind choosing the meaning.

  36. Such beauty in a father helping his sons know the strength and beauty in both genders and roles. Love to your family!

  37. Such a great message to teach your boys. People really are the most important, and it’s easy to get caught up in your own, busy life sometimes. I also have to remind myself to no to try and control every situation. If it’s not my way, that’s ok! Great article ❤️

  38. I have a tendency to get so overwhelmed with everything else that I have going on that I tend to let that come through in how I respond to others, especially those I love. This is such an important reminder to us all. Thank you!

  39. This isn’t such an important thing to teach the young ones. I myself have to stop and slow down often when it comes to how I treat people. I’m also impatient and like to be in control so I have to remember to be considerate of friends and family around me. I have to remember that I’m setting an example for my toddler. He learns from my words and actions and I want him to always remember to respect and appreciate our loved ones.

  40. A very true message. We all should stop and consider our treatment of others more often and work on showing love in a greater way. It’s just an awesome way to improve as a person. Sometimes the best reward is from loving and doing for another. You sound like a great mom.

    … But the greatest of these is LOVE. (1 Cor 13:13)



  41. Youre an incredible mom… feeling jealous for your boys hahaits very truth than we have to appreciate others because they can hear us after they’re gone…

  42. I love this message. It’s so easy to get caught up in this busy mama life and forget to be nice and appreciative of the little things that matter. Some days we need to just remember to snap out of it and be kind because you never know what life will bring

  43. Such a lovely post and something we don’t do often enough when life is busy. People can be taken away so quickly it is so important to value and appreciate family. Thanks for making me thing about it too. xx

  44. This is beautiful. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we forget about what really matters. What a great lesson to pass on to your babies. I’m sorry for the loss of your dad. I lost my mom when I was 20 and I know how tough it is. I have no doubt that your dad is watching over you and your family. <3 xo

  45. Great thing to teach your boys. I am definitely am impatient person, trying to work on that. And just calling people. I rely heavily on my blog to keep people up to date in my life but really I need to make more phone calls. I live too far from home and worry about letting too much time pass.

  46. Great reminder! Sometimes we treat the people we love the most the worst. I agree that it’s important to be more conscious about how we treat and speak to others. Thanks for the post!

  47. This is such a great message to your boys and a good reminder to all of us. What a sweet topic and great blog idea! So beautiful!

  48. This is such a sweet post and important message. I remember losing my grandma back in high school and it was so heartbreaking. Thinking about how my daughter will never know her great grandma now saddens me. I wish I had made more of an effort to travel and see them more often.

  49. Such a great reminder and something that my son does well too. I can definitely learn from him and this post to be ever more intentional about it myself.

  50. This is spot on the way I’ve felt for a very long time. I’ve been practicing minimalism for about a year now and even though I’m not an extreme minimalist, I’ve seen the benefits of what having less feels like: more time with my kids and husband, more space, more freedom, more money. In fact, I just got rid of 4 full boxes of toys. It was the greatest thing I ever did.

  51. This is so true! Love your perspective on experiences over things. It’s so much better to have a few special things than a room full of junk.

  52. More absolutely isn’t more. And with more it just gets exhausting. We are in the middle of a giant purge and it’s been a great catalyst for discussion about contentment.

  53. My son is SO spoiled ! We rarely buy him toys and such but it’s his grandparents that just can’t stop buying him gifts …. he has more toys that me and my two sisters ever had combined ! :/

  54. What a nice sentiment! I look around at kids (my own too) and see them so indulged- they hardly know what to play with! I am getting better but it is a struggle to remember this especially during the holidays.

  55. I am really trying to get my husband to get on board with this. He also loves to give what he didn’t get as a child. He comes home every day with a little something- a car, a bouncy ball etc. I understand but I want to teach our kids the same lessons you’ve outlined here. I’ll have to share this with him!

  56. I really resonate with you. I’ve actively tried to buy less and be less in my journey of parenting. Motherhood has shown me just how much stuff kids need/have and how little you can do without. It’s been a journey, but you don’t need it all to be a good mother.

  57. This is so heartwarming. Those three little words are words to live by. No matter what mood I’m in (frustrated, happy, sad, or mad) I make a point to tell my son and my husband I love them.

  58. This is so sweet and so powerful! It is so important that we take the time to appreciate those around us that we love most. So beautifully written!

  59. I think about this often too – how any moment could be the last moment you share with someone, and it is so important to share that love you have for them. We try to tell our kids how much we love them all the time, and I hope they will grow to do the same. Thanks for sharing ❤️

    1. I think it is something as a parent it seems to become more of a reality. For us it’s about appreciating each other.

      Thank you so much for your comment Casey

  60. So right – everything can change within a moment and you never know when that moment will be! It’s so important to appreciate each other and not take anything for granted <3

  61. This a great message to pass along to my children. Sometimes I feel that we get so wrapped up in our own lives and our own minds that we take people for granted. This is kind of like a reminder to let those people who are truly important to us know they they are loved. A Great Message

  62. So many of us take so much for granted each and every day that we often can overlook the importance of appreciating those we love and being grateful to have them in our lives. This is a great post to remind us that we should always express our love and appreciation to those who are closest to us.

  63. So important to remember to tell your kids you love them and to protect them.but also let them know about he world aroundthenmoment important to live in the moment and remember how special if really is.

  64. I was just talking to my husband about how we truly don’t know how much time we have. I try to show my kids everyday how much i love them so they’ll always know that!

    1. Thank you Sarah. I think it is a conversation we all have as parents. I think we know what life is about when we bring these little gifts into the world.

  65. Too many people take life & loved ones for granted. I’ve had a lot of grief in my life and I realize how important it is to constantly tell others how much they mean to you.

  66. That was a great reminder. We often take the people will love for granted and we need to stop doing that.

  67. This is so true! Values are important and the fact than our kids understand that sometimes you cant get everything you want prepare them for life… God bless you

  68. I tell to my son that I love him like thousands of times per day:P also I like to tell it to my husband. I can’t imagine going to sleep without saying it

  69. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing. It really is such an important 3 words! I will def remember this and remind myself to say it more often to my loved ones! Thank you!

  70. Such a good reminder! Tomorrow is not promised us and we need to make our days count. It can be so easy to be caught up in busyness and not appreciate the people right in front of us and to forget to tell them how much we care.

  71. I love that! Its so great to see parents who enlighten their children by exposing them to other cultures. This will definitely make your boys open minded, which in this day in age is a virtue!

  72. You are creating such a magical life for your children. I never travelled as a child and it’s so important to me to expose my son and daughter to different cultures and experiences, even if it’s on a smaller scale than I’d like ($$$!) Thanks for sharing your insight!

  73. Sounds wonderful! We always say if we had the money we would totally travel with kids. Even tho kids aren’t always fun to travel with, that experience for them has got to be one of the best for them to look back on! Plus who doesn’t want to have all those new experiences with their children?!

  74. Wow this is simply amazing and so heart felt! Almost teared up a bit lol. I really love your family’s ideas! You are blessed!

  75. My thoughts are that life experience is much more important. Travelling creates memories that your kids are going to have forever.

  76. I love this and I commend you for doing it. I know I myself have always giving excuses as to why we can’t travel with kids, but look at you, doing it! I wish we were as brave as you and able to take our 3 kids traveling. We’ve talked about getting a smaller house so we could afford it, but it’s always just talk. Great post, and I think you are doing a great thing!

  77. This is so amazing that you are able to do this and provide this experience for your children! I envy you!! My parents traveled, but never out of the U.S.! LOL!

  78. 1) Love the names of your children. Do you have a specific meaning/reason behind choosing these names?
    2) My husband traveled to NZ a few years ago and it remains one of his favorite countries. I hope to get to Aus/NZ soon.
    3) Loved the message behind this post. So important to let children experience the world to the best of our affordability. Nothing else opens up the minds more.

  79. Thank you for sharing, I couldn’t imagine how this must have felt for you. The title alone is very deep and reading this I could feel the emotion in your words. A great writer indeed. Wish you the best

  80. Thanks for sharing! I try to teach my son that everyone is a person, no matter what they’ve done, and that we should always try to help them. I pray he continues to be compassionate to those around him!

  81. I think it’s admirable and courageous that you travel with the kids!

    We’re on number 1 (and want 4) and we’re on the child rearing for 5 years then return to traveling! But it is really nice to know that having kids doesn’t have to mean not exploring the world!

  82. First What a wonderful inspiring story about the struggles you had having children! So special that your kids have seen and experienced so many different parts of the world. Thanks for sharing! Definitely makes me want to try traveling more with my kids.

  83. I love that you talk about experiences Boeing more important than things. I have tried to make experiences be a priority in our house but it is not always easy. We don’t have a lot of money to travel so I need to really plan and be smart about things.

  84. I love staycations! I’m glad you and your family had a good time on yours. The hotel, activities, and food looked fantastic!

  85. Wow looked like an awesome time in the city. New Zealand is in our bucket list of places to go. And I loved the video at the end.

  86. That looks like a cool city to visit!
    I’ve never been to NZ but an ex college mate of mine lived there for a long time and she would post beautiful pics all the time!
    Would love to visit someday along with Australia, beautiful countries!!

    1. I think New Zealand has a lot of natural beauty. Auckland is one of the towns that reminds me of so many cities that we have travelled to, but it has its own special flavour.

      We travel with our boys everywhere so being close to everything is so important. I think that is what made this trip really great.

    1. I think the place that you are staying makes such a big difference to your trip.

      That is one of the reasons we started writing our adventures so that other families could see what we loved. It is such a great way to look for great places to stay.

  87. This is so so sweet! I can feel the love you have for your babies. Love reading posts by Dads! And I agree — we are trying so hard to travel more often. Those experiences are never forgotten.

  88. This looks like an excellent staycation!! I’ve never done one, but if I was to, Auckland would be on the list. So beautiful and looks fun! Thank you for this idea!

    1. Hi Sarah, you should definately see more. Auckland is such a great place to visit. There are so many parts of New Zealand that I love. Queenstown is one of them.

      We are hoping to travel the whole of New Zealand this year. Lets see how it all goes!

    1. We have always loved using booking.com. Especially the ability to see other families reviews. It really is so important for the hotel to be family friendly.

  89. It is so fun to play tourist in your own area. We often talk about what we would do in the “big city” if we were in from out of town and laugh that we’re fifteen minutes away and take it for granted.

  90. Looks like such a fun time! Love all the pictures you took. It’s easy to take the city for granted when you live right by it so it’s nice to really explore it like you did now.

  91. What a fun little outing for you and your family. I love exploring my local area & of course, enjoying it with your littles is the best part. Way to go Mama on getting out and about with them! Cute photos too 🙂

  92. Sounds as if you had a fabulous “staycation”! I have to admit, reading about your food adventures and seeing the lovely pics of that part is my fave part/is making me hungry right now 🙂 Funny how exploring familiar places with your kids changes everything, huh?

  93. I love the idea of a staycation! A fun time without all of the extra stress is great. I always say when you have a baby it’s like you have to pack everything but the kitchen sink I also love that you had a great breakfast – we don’t usually prepare big breakfasts for ourselves either! Glad y’all had fun!

  94. What a nice post and something that I CAN totally relate to. I have two boys and I want them to see everyone has a unique person and to love that about every one person they meet! Love these adorable pics! So cute!

  95. It looks like you all had an awesome time, I love staycations. I think it leads to great family bonding and just exploring areas you don’t get to see that often. The Corwne Plaza sounds like it was really nice!

  96. I love the Crowne Plaza too. My family stays at their properties all the time here in the States. Now I need to go stay at the one in Auckland. Looks lovely!

  97. I’ve never been to Auckland, but you certainly make it sound like an adventure! It is always wonderful to have a staycation! Being a tourist in your own city can be a blast!

  98. I love this. It’s so true! This is something that I try and teach my girls as well. The world needs more mamas like you x

  99. What a heartfelt post! I couldn’t imagine the stress and worry you went through those days! The emotion really comes out in the body of your post. I can see how his name is a reminder everyday of the things you need to appreciate!

  100. Great tips! I often think about putting my coffee money straight into a savings account, time to out that one into action! Did you know most good travel insurance policies will cover your rental car excess? Which means you don’t have to fork out for the excess reduction!

  101. I love these tips! I’ve really been trying to make traveling a priority. I’m glad you mentioned opening an experiences account, because I actually have one! I never had a name for it, but I have a separate bank account specifically for travel. That’s awesome that y’all get to travel so much as a family!

  102. Great advice. I love the putting money you would spend on not great habits into the vacation fund. Instead of going out to eat as a family we could do a campfire at home and put the money we would spend into an account. Love it!

  103. These are really great tips. We also have a jar that we put our gold coins in throughout the year. Really starts to add up and comes in handy.

  104. What a read. Have thought of you guys often. Much aroha to you. I love that you’ve still continued to leave lessons for your sons through all of this. What a journey. Kia kaha. xx

  105. The most refreshing article that I have read in some time, these are some great tips that I surely will keep in mind. already started saving up for the next big outing with the kids.

  106. I always want to travel but can’t make time for a long trip to fully enjoy with the family. After reading some of your points I think i’ll try a bit more to get some free time.

  107. I like the idea of writing to your children for their future reads. I’m going to consider following you. As of the moment, what I do is I send them notes and letters to their own email addresses (I made them their own emails when they were still babies. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That’s a great idea of sending them an email too. A treasure trove in their inbox when they’re older. Love it. Out of interest, did you go with a generic email platform? Thanks

  108. Try tracking your family’s recurring expenses over a period of one month to see what areas you can easily cut back on. For us, we limit spending on mobile phones and car expenses.

  109. I hope my sons can live their lives happy and true to themselves. I love your decision to take your son away from the devestation of the flood rather than step directly into hard reality.

    1. Thank you. I feel like sometimes we forget this amazing power that we have to change the course of our world in one decision. We have come to embrace this and we show it to our boys in as many ways as we can. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Is this a similar to how you see parenting?

  110. This is so true and something I have really tried to remember recently. You see certain people who seem to have it all together and can accomplish so much, and it makes me feel really inadequate. But just like you said we ALL have the same 24 hours. That mom who seems to be so put together doesn’t have more time in her day than I do! It really comes down to mindset and prioritizing. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I think it’s so normal to feel inadequate. But in reality only we know what we do. I know for us a real defining value was the investment that we put into anything that we do. Each moment we give value to something just by engaging in it. We have chosen to put that investment into our boys. It’s so amazing when you reflect on this. We all get the same 24 hours and each moment we invest in something. Thanks for investing in our blog and as such validate what we do every day for our boys. We appreciate your investment, time and we hope we might see you again. Thanks Katie

  111. This is so true and something I have really tried to remember recently. You see certain people who seem to have it all together and can accomplish so much, and it makes me feel really inadequate. But just like you said we ALL have the same 24 hours. That mom who seems to be so put together doesn’t have more time in her day than I do! It really comes down to mindset and prioritizing. Thanks for the reminder!

  112. Very well written piece… Each day, each 24 hours keeps coming and going. It’s really we who decide how we make use of it…

  113. Spending time with family is the best gift and teaching we can give our children for this will be treasured in their memory even when they are on their own. That family matters and should always make time for. With this in mind, regrets can be lessen as they will for sure always make just decisions. this is a good read.

    1. Making time for family is so important. You are completely right Nessly. Sometimes like everything we can lose perspective, or something else is more important on that day. I think living without regret is sometimes about reminding yourself what’s important every day. I remind myself every morning of the things that are important in my life. Would you say the same?

  114. You made some great points here. Family time often takes a back seat in this day and age – so glad you pointed out how important it is here.

    1. Thank you. I think so much of what we choose to value is dictated by what is happening in our world. By recognising what’s happening we can ensure we live by our values. Thanks so much.

  115. AHH! This is so sweet. What a great reminder of how we are all human and the importance of remembering what matters most in our lives. Children a sweet gift that we do not deserve!