I’m not sure I know how to summarise 2014. I keep thinking of it as one big transition with so many huge life changes happening all at once. I’m looking forward to a little more stability and grounded-ness in the new year.

January: Welcoming in the new year as a little family and being lucky enough to meet the world renowned street artist Roa and watch him work. Miss 10 (then Miss 9) was absolutely enthralled!

February: We officially became ‘parents’ to a school going child. I don’t think we realised what we were in for. School became a full time job for both Patrick and I, as well as Miss 10. I was caught up travelling not too longer after she started school, so I didn’t feel it right away.
March – April:  These two months after school started was really lost in trying to understand the routine of school (and extracurricular activities) and adjusting to what was required of us. Patrick and I spent a lot of time doing what came naturally to us – reading books on parenting. March-April was a little fashion heavy too. Miss 10 designed the dress I’m wearing below for her school fashion show and we also took her to her first fashion show, the Dunedin Fashion Week show and events around it.
 June: Miss 9 turned 10. We were planning a birthday party but in the end we decided that a trip was so much better – for all of us! (Miss 10 and Patrick also surprised my sister on her birthday in Fiji). Miss 10 and I supported Patrick at the launch of a report that he had worked on exploring young people’s democratic participation in Fiji. It was a busy time with launches, interviews and presentations. We got away to a beautiful resort for a few days and re-grouped as a family.
 July: If I thought June was hectic, I was wrong. In July I had the pleasure of working on a project on youth advocacy in Fiji. It was a week long training program at the beginning of which I promptly lost my voice (naturally)! During this time Miss 10’s mum came to visit her in Dunedin, New Zealand and then we all went to Canberra, Australia to celebrate my birthday and my PhD graduation. I wasn’t sold on going but it ended up being the most meaningful trip filled with lots of love.

August: Patrick travelled for work leaving Miss 10 and I with two weeks to ourselves. This was probably the hardest two weeks of my life. Partly because I hate being away from Patrick but also because co-parenting is tough. Patrick was away during his birthday but Miss 10 and I definitely made it up to him by throwing him a surprise party when he got back – complete with a rastafarian coloured cake.

September – November: I spent these months either travelling or preparing to travel or recovering from travel. I did Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia. Most of it was work/conference related which brought with it work, formalities, engagement and of course meeting Princess Anne in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Over these three months I was fortunate to have the opportunity to engage with people at various levels of society. From the grass roots level to national, regional and international leaders. I also did a number of presentations on my work, being able to talk about what I’m passionate about to various audiences I feel is the soul of my work. The really fun part!

December: School came to an end, Miss 10 left for Australia to spend time with her family, and Patrick and I, we got the alone time we’re so accustomed to. Many people thought we’d get up to hugely exciting things without the little one but we’ve simply enjoyed our home, each other and some quiet. We’ve spent the last few weeks working on our individual projects and making plans.
A lot happened this year that’s left us physically and mentally exhausted but I don’t think we’d change any of it. Even the time that we spend away from each other. It’s tough but it’s lending itself to so much growth – personally and professionally. We don’t have a glossy perfect life, but we have a life that’s perfect for us. It’s one that we’ve created for ourselves and it’s pretty good. So here’s to enjoying, truly enjoying, what we each have!

2015 on A Life Un-Styled is going to be a lot more hands on, engaged and will see me giving back to all of you a lot more. I can’t wait to share it all. Happy New Year everyone! Bring on 2015 which I just know will be amazing for all of us.

Much love,

7 comments on “Year In Pictures: 2014”

  • Sounds like you had a very rewarding year. All the best for 2015 xx

  • Rita says:

    This is a great way of wrapping up the year. And I agree with you: tough times are not pleasant but they do help us achieve clarity and strength. I wish you all a great 2015 xo

  • Sarah says:

    It sounds like it was a wonderful year, and I know more lovely things are to come in 2015. Enjoy your quiet time!

  • Marina says:

    I believe you have a wonderful 2015 ahead! Thank you for such a lovely blog 🙂

  • Kristian says:

    What a big year- I've been impressed with all the traveling and conferences you've been doing as well as learning to be a parent to a school-aged child! Hope 2015 brings good things to you.

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