Thursday, February 28, 2013


Lately it's become a thing for everyone to migrate to our house during the day. It's something neither of us would have enjoyed before, because we appreciated our privacy. Talking about family stuff with Jeston today, we came up with a few traditions to start. Now there are three of us back here, four if you include Tyler who is more like a sister to us than the niece that she is, it's nice when we just get together.

We decided that Sunday lunches will be spent together after church. FHE on Mondays will be together weekly. Each family will have a week to prepare the lesson and on the 4th Monday of the month, we'll invite a family from our ward to join us. Once a month we'll get together with our cousins in the area and their families to have dinner. This will all be done at our house because all the other houses aren't suited (neither is mine, but it's the better option).

My brother said he knows when they overstay here at home somenights (most nights) that I get all anal and impatient with everyone. 4 months ago yes, but to be honest ... the noise and mess takes my mind off of everything wrong in my life even if it's just for an hour or two.

I kinda need them.
All of them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


The child has a dummy habit that I can't rid her of. The last three nights it's driven me insane because she'll wake up and cry until I go search for it under the covers at 3am, 4am and 6am. When we broke Rome of her dummy habit at 3 years old, we cut it in front of her and she cried for a good 30 minutes before she got over it .. and she did.

I tried to cut the binky today and I was attacked by a 2 year old who threw a shoe then bit me.

Then theres the TV watching. I don't know where she picked it up from, but TV is her everything at the moment and it came out of no where. For the last 2 weeks it's been everything TV. "I want to go home to watch TV", "Everyone needs to go home so I can watch TV", "I don't want breakfast, I want to watch TV". The only thing that comes before TV is her binky.

She is a defiant little animal and apparently it's my fault.

I need a Dummies for Motherhood or something because my only other option is making a piñata out of the monkey.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tender Mercies.

Immigration story in the NZ Herald this morning.

Now that the Associate Minister of Immigration is not the same one who overruled our case, I think it's safe to share her reasons for doing so.

Two reasons.
1. Because I had fought so hard to that point.
2. Because he must have been of great worth if the church was willing to help.

I wish I had advice for this mother, but I really don't because as you all very well know, it was pure miracle that kept Larry here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Joy doesn't come until after the pain.

Uncle Darrell is my mothers brother just above her. They were close, so when he died it came as a shock to her because she thought her older brother would live forever. Not as great as the shock that came from his love, my Aunty Gabriel.

If I had ever related to her before, there was no other time than when you died where that was taken to the ultimate. During hugs, and there were plenty, she'd whisper in my ear and tell me everything was going to be alright. She told me that I had a good family to support me and that she would be there whenever I needed it and that in time, things would get better.

After the funeral, she was one of the last to stay behind that Monday night and I knew she was waiting for me to be free from everyone so she could talk to me.

8pm that night when she finally stood up to go home, she gave me a hug and whispered in my ear that it was going to get alot worse before it gets better and then she reassured me that joy won't come until after the most unbearable emotional pain.

I am at that point and I have been for a few days. I'm unbelievably sad that you are not here. You don't know where to turn because nothing is satisfactory enough to ease the pain. I thought I could find hints at church today, but all I got was a heavier heart.

Hoping for a better week.

Aunty Gabriel did it, why can't I?

3 months.

There's a Ben Folds song that sums it up.
I'm coming up for air.

There's a Frou Frou song that explains it.
I'm high enough from all the waiting, to ride a wave on your inhaling.

But the Jackson 5 song says it all.
I want you back.

My world is pining.

I'm not entirely sure who took this photo (I'm thinking "JJ"?), but it was in Vegas.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

God and Rugby.

In the last 3 months, I've had an array of mountains to climb. Some I looked at for a couple of days and decided I wasn't going to climb them then moved on to the next one. As I did this, it felt more and more out of my control that I didn't care anymore.

Over the last 3 months I forgot how to trust God and how to put my faith in him that everything was going to be ok. I figured this out Thursday night when I tried to open a fast and I didn't feel it when I prayed. It felt empty and not sincere. I tried again a few minutes later and it didn't feel that much better. I fasted anyway.

Our Stake was given the challenge last week to read the Book of Mormon over the next 100 days. Everyone got a little time table booklet that tells you what to read on what day.

Yesterday was Day 1. I read things I hadn't remembered reading before despite that I'd started the book a few times in my life, but nothing stuck out for me enough to apply to my issues besides a vistation from a heavely messenger. I would love one of those right now .. a certain messenger who knows Lightwave.

When you've had someone for 12 year to go through all trials with you, it's a knock in the face when suddenly you're on your own with all these things to deal with.

I'm working on it, but somedays nothing looks promising.

.. and then the Highlanders go and lose their first game in Super Rugby lastnight to the team on the bottom of my Super Rugby NZ list, The Chiefs.

Crusaders - Highlanders - Hurricanes - Blues - Chiefs.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mountains to Climb

Photo searching.

"She look like you, but she white like him" - is what a Chinese lady said to us one time when we entered her shop with Hubba.

I showed Hubba these photos this morning and she got scared and said it wasn't her and screamed 'No!'

9 months here.

You and 2-pie Tyler.

Evil Snow White (Rome).

It's going to be a lazy slow Thursday.

I had just finished hitting publish on this post and I hear a knock at the door and two little feet run up the hallway towards the room. I go and inspect and 2 policemen are standing at the door.
"Are you ok? We got an emergency call with no answer".
The baby found my blackberry and couldn't get by the password so it brings up the option to ring emergency, which she clicked yes for.

She hid in the hallway and when those big eyes eventually peeked around the doorway, I told them to take her to jail.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oh, Life.

The first thing I thought of, when I heard the car making noises that weren't familiar, was Google. Lights came on that have never come on before in the 3 years we've had the car. It made me sweat driving back from town and seeing the lights, hearing the noises and psychosomatically smelling fire in the oil thingy or a burning engine - neither of which I've ever smelled before.

It's kinda like that Paula Abdul song when she takes two steps forward and three steps back.

Thanks to google, I ran a test on my car that required me to start the engine, yank off the positive line from the battery and see what happens.

What happened was the whole car shut down confirming that it's the alternator - so says the google test.

... and I was having such a good day.

Big Wednesday was 7.5 million tonight and I didn't buy a ticket.
I just need 1 not 7.5!

Wish you were here to tell me that everything was going to be a-ok. I'd be happy without a car and walk barefoot to Pluto and back if you were here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

School and other stuff.

Dropped 3 papers this week because I already knew what they were teaching me. I'm not a PhotoShop fan to start with, but the paper was basic basic stuff like getting use to the interface. The Graphic Design for Photoshop paper was just as simple. I know how to clone and the first 3 weeks in that paper has been removing power lines from a farm scene. On top of that .. I did everything in Corels Paint Shop and not PS. This is a fine example of not thinking about something before signing up.

Continuing with Auteur Photography.

Bokeh means blur. It's pretty common in photos, but there are degrees of it. The assignment was for coarse bokeh. 105mm at f/2.8


After the next 15 weeks .. I think I'm officially done with schooling for the rest of my life. The nursing buzz comes and goes, but it helps that I still can't look at the Hawkes Bay Hospital without wanting to play Scotty and beam the place into orbit and onto the direct route of a very large asteroid.

Yesterday I watched Madea's Family Reunion (2006). I don't typically enjoy the work of Tyler Perry because his storylines are all over the place, but there was something in the movie that stuck with me for the whole day yesterday and made me appreciate Tyler Perry 5% more than I did before the movie began.

"I have had the opportunity that few people ever get on this earth. God has blessed me to share time and space with a man that he designed himself, just for me. I have not only been blessed, I have been devinely favoured".

That 10 second scene made that 1 hour and 47 minutes bearable.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Looking through photos. Day 86

I love this picture .. not because of sister holding balloons, but because Jeston standing in the background who, for 3 days, could not believe that his Uncle Larry had died. It's a perfect example of how he was those 3 days we had you at the Parentals. He'd stand at the window and look in at the coffin in disbelief, walk away and then come back again and look.

I get all emo when I come across photos of you in folders.

Her new addiction is Wonderpets.
Linny, Tuck and Ming Ming too .....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stake Conference.

They always say in the church that when you go to a Stake or General Conference, go with a question or two in mind because you'll hear something that will answer your question.

Two things were said today that stood out.

It's not nice on that side.
Bro. Stephenson a convert to the church 2 weeks ago.

All you need to get through every trial in your life is obedience.
Andrew M. O'Riordan - Area Authority 70.

My question was answered.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Laundry day.

When someone you love dies, the last thing you want to do is get rid of things that belonged to them. It's been that way for me. I've slowly let go of things over the last 3 months, but one thing I couldn't do was wash pillow cases and sheets because your scent was still in them.

When I first came back into the house, 2 weeks after you left, I slept with the lamp and TV on all night with Radio ZB blarring from the iPod dock. I did this because quiet time always made me think and thinking always led back to you and I hate thinking about your last few days. This leads me to thinking up things I could have said or wondering if there were things I said that I wish I hadn't. It all led to sadness.

Overtime, I turned the light off and left the other 2 on.

Last night I turned the TV off and lay in bed waiting for all those thoughts to come to me. They didn't. The only thought that came to me, in your voice, was:

"Mills, you seriously need to wash these sheets. It's been 3 months".

So I did.
The great thing is .. you must have always smelled like Surf laundry detergent and clean linen, because they still smell like you.

I still listen to ZB.
It's the only thing that reminds me at night that I'm not the craziest person in NZ. The weirdos come out at night and ring talkback.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

School: Week 2 - Blossfeldt.

German artist, Karl Blossfeldt, used a homemade camera that had the capability to magnify objects 30x it's actual size. He had a thing for nature and by magnifying, was able to reveal details in plants the normal eye would miss. He believed plants were a beautiful architechtural structure. Tell that to the Agapantha's in my garden that just won't die despite my attempt to gasoline them.



It's the dry season.
I couldn't find beauty here if I accio'd it.

Valentines 2013.

It started off a little like this.

Then the neighbours go and do something amazeballs that ended the day better than it began. (Thanks to The Henry's!)

Tyler got her patriarchal blessing today.
Everything is going to be ok despite what I tell myself sometimes.

Happy Valentines.

I've been up since 2.30am because I know what day it is today. Laying in bed with itchy bites because some lucky mosquito managed to get through the mist of fly-spray earlier in the night, my mind always wanders back to you and 12 great years.

Valentines 2001 - our first - was spent at Best Taco on Magnolia in North Hollywood. I wasn't keen on Mexican yet and barely got through the Buche Taquitos, which I later found out was pig esophagus.

2002 - Sushi in Ventura, CA.

2003 - I made cookies .. back in my "Make cookies from purchased pre-shaped cookie dough" phase.

2004 - I mastered the Reds for Valentines.

2005 - Wing Stop! Romantic.

2006 was the year you forgot. I followed up on that accordingly.

2007 - Roses.

2008 - Sugar Free chocolates.
This year you learned that if you are going to give a woman chocolates, it's better they not be sugar free.

2009 - Inca Hot Chocolate.

2010 - In NZ .. Donuts.

2011 - Tamales!

2012 - The last Valentines with you. You were at dialysis and I spent all day working on this. I'm glad I did. Not knowing it was the last one we'd spend together, I'm glad I put effort into constructing it and dropping F-Bombs when something broke. It was worth it and you appreciated it.

I miss you every day.
Today is going to suck.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 80

Turns out, life without you sucks and the best part of my day is when I eventually fall asleep and forget about it for 4 - 6 hours. It does go on though, just not as great as before 80 days ago.



Parenting 101. One of my goals this year is to get her potty trained. It took Nick Jnr, a lolly-pop and threats to cut her binky up for her to get this far. She didn't do anything in it, but Friday she refused to even look at it.

So despite life sucking, there are brighter parts of it that keep it interesting.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 1 of School. (Last week).

Eugene Atget was a french photographer who found creatvitiy in shooting photos of everyday Paris. Schools assignment last week was to take a leaf from Atget's page and find creativity in something you see daily in your life .. which is Everyday Rural.

It's funny what your natural eyes take for granted that which is picturesque through the lens.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 77

Auckland Sunset.
Taken with the point & shoot on max zoom. It's getting more attention than the DSLRs lately.

Missed you all day today (and every day since Nov 24, 2012).
Visited your grave to be closer to you.
6 feet closer is as good as it gets and I'll take it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Phone calls from Heaven.

That old white phone of yours we bought back from the USA? The one you had for years? It sits in our dining room on a small table. I only use it when the power goes out because it’s one of THOSE old phones. The baby always picks it up and says “Clarry, come home! We miss you!”. Today she held it to her ear, said hello and looked as if someone were really talking to her. She’d nod and say “Ok” followed with the usual, “Come home tonight Clarry! We miss you!”.

I picked it up this afternoon hoping to hear whatever she was hearing.

I wish it were that simple considering the veil is that thin.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


When it came to bedtime at my sisters house, everything went downhill. Hubba cried to come home, both nights, and the room she and I slept in was the same room we lived in for 12 weeks during your private dialysis days, which has since become Larells room. I think that's why I wasn't too fond of this Auckland experience. Love being with my sister and family, did not love that all the sounds of her house - screams and footprints on wooden floors - reminded me of a time in our lives when we needed eachother the most, when you were at your worst. A time when I discovered you were my "right" person and you found out exactly what I had to offer ...

... It was my all, and there's more of it to give.

Hubba's glasses from Tyler.

Stopped in Hamilton and visited my old Alma Mater .. Church College. The place is eerie and it's quite sad to see it since the church actioned it's closure some years ago. Gates were closed, classrooms empty and very little human activity. It's sad, but apparently the school served it's purpose and I'm glad to be able to say I was apart of it when it was alive.

View from Mission Way from the Library up the classroom blocks.

Art Block from the wharekai.

My dorm, Audrey. Dorms are now used for accomodation for Stakes on temple trips.

The temple.

Dress Mart in .. Onehunga or Otahuhu .. has a decent fast food sushi bar. They sold these sushi sandwiches. Fail. They lost me with the lettuce.

Sister made a passionfruit no-bake cheesecake. I do not like cheesecake, but this one was superb.

Niños traviesos.

Glad to be home.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Talked myself out of turning around and going home from Napier to Taupo. We left 2 hours early so I could catch the Superbowl and because I'd been up since 4am. Double shot of the guarana beverage V tastes like what I imagine fish juice to taste like after half a can.

We made it.
Superbowl is still going and it's been nearly 5 hours.

It feels like Samoa in Auckland.
Hubba is already fighting with her cousins.

My compadre's are the worst to travel with. Both slept most of the way.

Larell & Tyler.
Miss you mucho.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day 70

You've been on my mind the last few days. That happens when I have too much time on my hands. I get an overflow of memories of your last 2 days and it's like a dagger to my being all over again.


So tonight when the baby fell asleep in her bed all by herself .. I left her there for an hour before I put her back in my bed for the night.

It helps.
It's not a good solution, I know this, but it helps.

Speaking of depression .. the All Black Sevens lost to Kenya. KENYA. I have to commend Kenya though, they've always been great at running, but their ball handling skills were perfection at it's best and the ABs really did deserve to come off second in that game. I applaude coach Mike Friday for that one. Unfortunately, Kenya lost to England in the finals. If only that ref called the knock-on in the 5 minutes extra time. Bastard.

Superbowl on Monday.
I'd love to stay home and watch it, but I'm supposed to be travelling to Auckland that day ... unless ... (winks at sister).

Speaking of sister ... 7 missed Facetime calls on my recents list just today.
There's something wrong with you.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Voted off the island.

Guess who got evicted from my bed because she was a worse sleeping companion that you ever were. So I went and got the bed from The Livians.

She can cry all she likes .. she's staying in her own bed from now on.

It's all a part of growing up.

Update: 12:28am
There is such a thing as too much crying.
Epic fail.
We'll try daytime naps in the bed first.

Summer part 2

Nessa envisioned this shoot with my nephew Ellis. They pulled it all together very well. Hubs was supposed to be in it, but got stage fright...