Magical Moment

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We are just finishing a very busy period of events and have a day break before we have guests in for the next 6 weeks straight.

One of the best events we’ve ever held here at the House was the recent fundraiser for Gabby’s Starlit HOPE

Gabby’s mom Sarah put her heart and soul into the event.  Her dad and grandparents worked tirelessly on all of the beautiful details.  Friends of Gabby’s were there volunteering, and modelling.  The community came out to support with donated goods, services, goodie bag inserts and even MCing.

As the day arrived, it was bucketing down with rain.  But the spirit within the walls of those marquees was full of love.  It was magical and sweet and it made me cry on a number of occasions (like now.)

Our ability to play even the smallest of parts in a day like this is a part of this business that comes solely from our hearts.  That day enriched my life and goes beyond the walls of this House.  It makes me love what I do for a living even more.

Random Acts of Kindness

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One the most surprising, rewarding and life-changing events since we’ve opened our doors was meeting a local girl, Gabby Devine who bravely battled cancer.  We are dedicated to giving a percentage of our rooms nights to local charities, and offered these to the Little Fighters Trust.

The Little Fighters invited Gabby, her mom and dad and a few of her friends for a sleep-over originally.  We put the call out and our friends dropped off plush pink robes, packs of activities for the girls to do, a local restaurant offered to have them for dinner and they had their makeup done.

I was so very nervous, way more nervous than for any bride to arrive to meet Gabby and ensure her night was perfect (and anyone who knows me, knows how seriously I take brides arriving at the House.)  Gabby quickly put me at ease, and even brought gifts.  One of these is a sweet white ceramic angel that graces our breakfast lounge.

We were so blessed to get to know Gabby and her family a wee bit and to welcome them again.  I knew that Gabby was ill, but didn’t know the extent, so when I heard that she lost her valiant battle with cancer, I was and still am, truly gutted and distraught at the loss of this amazing girl.

Gabby was not only a sweet, beautiful young girl but she was wise and generous beyond her age and in spite of being very sick.  She created her own charity Starlit Hope to provide boredom boxes and Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) to children in New Zealand’s children’s hospital, Starship, and our local children’s ward.  Her acts of kindness extended throughout our country and little community, even providing gifts for mom’s whose children were in the hospital on mother’s day.

The community has taken on Gabby’s charge since her passing, and has continued on with RAKs in her honor.  I was treated to such a gorgeous gift last week.

I have been personally struggling recently with something stupid and time wasting as my weight and body image.  We are heading to the beach in a few weeks, and even though I’m working out a lot and trying to watch what I eat, the bikini is still terrifying.  I was having a really bad day, and craving a piece of something decadent.  I kept telling myself that I am healthy, and relatively in good shape and should celebrate the strength of my thighs, not the size….but it wasn’t working, i was having an awful day.

It was almost dinner time, and Rodney walks in with a beautiful box, and sweet card.  My very own RAK – a gorgeous, amazing carrot cake.  My favorite!  My mood brightened instantly, and I laughed while enjoying every morsel knowing that Gabby would be laughing at me – grinning in my kitchen eating cake.  She’d tell me to smile more.  This act of kindness reminded me to put things in perspective, enjoy gorgeous simple things in life, like a great piece of cake, and to celebrate.

I passed along some of this kindness to volunteers at work – and just know that RAKs are truly a gift from Gabby, and god.

Our Community

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We live in a truly generous community. Due to this and the local support we’ve encountered since opening, it is a part of our business plan to give a percentage of our room nights to local charities that are dear to our hearts.

We aren’t to the point yet where we can give cash to many charities that we’d love to support but do what we can to give back in our small way.

We were delighted to receive this thank you from the St. John Bosco school recently.   It will take pride of place in our guest book!

With thanks…

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Thank You
The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

There are so many people who have contributed to the making of this House.  Our families with love and financial backing, our friends who understand when we say ‘we can’t’ due to a check in or breakfast service, our vendors and builders who supported our vision and dream.

We have recently hired a wonderful cleaner who comes once a week for a few hours to help us out.  Our sweet friend Melody kept ‘gifting’ us her service after we hosted events.  Wendy would show up, saying ‘Melody sent me, she said you might need help this morning.”  I am a proud person who doesn’t like to ask for help, even when drowning, but our dear friend knows that, knows us and knows what we need.  Now Wendy comes and just takes care of what needs to be done.  She jumps right in, never checks her watch, and always spends more time than she’s hired to, to put this House in order.

I cannot tell you how much this bit of help truly means to me.  It gives me a bit of breathing room in the midst of some long weeks and is amazing to have someone taking such good care of us.

Friends that step in and don’t just ask what you need, but find a way to take care you and do something to take away your burden are very rare, but oh, so very wonderful!  Thanks my friend!

Honor

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Sorry for the lack of posts in the midst of a month long blog challenge. We’re blessed this weekend with 2 brides getting ready here, and 2 sets of brides and grooms staying here the night of their wedding.

It is such an honor to be present in these moments – just a fly in on the wall, but I get teary seeing the bride for the first time, always make a point of checking on the mom and dad to see if they are OK, and just love chatting it up with the happy, joyous bridal party.

Thanks Brooke, our first bride who choose the House for her bridal party – you took a chance on us and I will always be thankful.

Regular posts to return ASAP once I get a morning in pajamas, or an early evening with a glass of something beautiful.

A Fine Summer

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We are in the midst of a fine, hot, sunny summer.  The House has been completely flat out-full, we’ve had our first of two weddings in the garden and have some really exciting things coming up for the year.

We celebrated the success of the wedding with a night camping on the beach in Oakura.  A night swim and a lovely glass of Pinot Noir watching the sun set was the ultimate way to pause and reflect on how the House is going.

We are about to open the House to two sets of brides and grooms this weekend and just in the midst of my preparation (which includes stocking up on the sparkling wine,) we received this beautiful review on Trip Advisor entitled “best in the west”:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowUserReviews-g255112-d3879004-r254815250-Hosking_House-New_Plymouth_Taranaki_Region_North_Island.html#review254815250

The kindness of our guests who take the time to share their thoughts on their stay makes all the effort, energy and parts of our lives and selves that we put into this business a pure joy and pleasure.

My days do not feel like work.  They feel like caring for people and I delight in the beauty of this great old House and the stories our guests leave with us.

Summer 2015 is an epic one already.