Dave and I had the opportunity to do a lifelong dream trip back in March. We went to New Zealand. And oh boy, do I ever have so much to say about that, I don’t even know where to begin.

So after some contemplation, I decided to begin with this: some more one-on-one time. I talked about how I got Grace to myself a bit around Easter in my last post. But Lucy got Abby (and Murphy) all to herself while we were gone.

Lucy’s one-on-one time with Abby & Murphy

And THAT is a huge deal. For a few reasons:

  • Abby was SO nice to offer to be here. It is super tricky to leave Lucy not only because of her special needs, but because she’s the last one at home. No siblings around to hang with, to feel comfortable around. We want her to feel secure and loved and supported in all the things she is trying to do, and junior year is hard. Lucy wants to be so independent. She wants to be with people, but yet have her own time. So when Abby said she’d be willing to come we were so very filled up with gratitude. It was the perfect situation for many reasons. Lucy was looking forward to it with all her might.
  • I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but Lucy isn’t a fan of babies. I think it’s the unpredictability they bring to the table. And Lucy is a big fan of predictability. So we felt so grateful for this opportunity for her to be around Murphy more. It was pretty heart-warming to hear how she warmed up to Murphy in so many ways while we were gone. Oh I loved it so much!
  • Max got to come down for the weekend, and Lucy was over-the-moon excited about that too.
  • Dave and I felt so comfortable leaving…Abby is so competent and loving, even willing to give Lucy her shots. (YOW!) And oh, it was so great to be together.

So here’s how it all went down

These two arrived a couple days early to get things situated. I get so excited to be reunited with that baby it makes me laugh.

I mentioned before that these guys arrived right at the same time Eva was here, so it was fun to hang out with them all the day before we left.

Then we took off for things like this:

And this:


And this:

While these guys looked like this:

And this:

And this:

Oh yeah.

There were some down times for sure. The time when Lucy shut down en route from therapy for example. I’m sure there were times when Abby was wondering why in heaven’s name she signed up for this. Ha! But man alive over all these guys had the best time together.

Especially fun when Max was here too:

Not too horrible to be in the desert when it’s snowing up in Utah 🙂

My two favorite pictures Abby sent

This one:

I mean, how’s that for bonding with your ancestors? There’s a video of Murphy clapping at them too. Love it. I also have a lot more to say about ancestors from an experience we had in New Zealand. Coming soon.

And this one:

When these two decided to sit down and make some goals together. I think it was the sweetest moment. Lucy loves Abby so much and Abby is such an incredible nurturer.

What was the miracle I mentioned in the title?

It was this:

A big smile on Lucy’s face with Murphy right there next to her. Complicated to explain, but this is a true miracle. Made all our hearts swell.

When we got home

We had a grand reunion getting back home to all these people we love.

Lucy is not a fan of pictures these days, but just imagine a picture of the tightest hug in the whole wide world.

Max was here when we got back and it was so fun to hug him up too…poor kid’s allergies were killing him though with those itchy eyes!

We finally cleaned out Max’s whole childhood closet. Loved reminiscing together.

Went on a walk to see our favorite animals around the block:

Murphy turned into an orange queen, and got some special time with “Coach”:

Got to visit with Nana and Papa:

Abby and I harvested the rest of our oranges:

And then we bid a sad goodbye.

…Until we got to see them again up in Utah a couple days later for Spring Break. Hooray!

Thank you, Abby (and Murph and Max), for making this all possible.
Love you forever!

More about New Zealand coming next week, Happy Weekend!

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  1. I have to say you have the cutest granddaughter ever!! I have IWAN something fierce lately and that chunky baby only strengthens it! 😍

    1. Oh that’s so nice, and I feel the same way! Give me all the babies, especially this one. I have always encouraged my kids to spread their wings and experience all they can as they leave home, but now that there’s a baby involved I’m changing my tune lickety-split! I can’t stand how far away they are! Good luck withe the IWAN 🙂

  2. I live in New Zealand, and have followed your blog for YEARS ! Delighted to read this morning that you and Dave came to New Zealand, and will look forward to reading about what you did/saw.

    1. Oh I’m so excited to share!! I have so many pictures it’s taking forever. Man alive, you live in a GORGEOUS country!

  3. Kaituna River and Shotover Jet? I enjoyed seeing Max embrace our New Zealand tradition of bare feet 🙂

  4. The photo of Abby with your granddaughter, looking at that sweet, full-of-life baby with so much love and adoration in her eyes, is so incredibly beautiful. There is nothing in this world like the love of a mother, and what a treasure it is that you were able to capture that moment!

    1. Oh thank you for pointing that out, I do love that photo as well. You’re right, there is nothing in the world quite as magical as mother love.

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