Goodbye Auckland, it was real.

If you are reading this now, that means the Cotter’s have departed Auckland (well hopefully). The 1990 Honda has hit the road and is making our journey back to Christchurch via Tauranga for a quick weekend race.

These past 11 days have been FULL. But not just full of training, friends, etc. It’s been FULL of LIFE. It’s taken a whole new year to realize that but THANK GOODNESS we did.

Below you will tidbits of Auckland. The friends we caught up with, the meals we feasted on, holidays we celebrated, and the beautiful land we explored via bike and foot.


The Gluten Free Burger Gods


Our running and biking trails.


Auckland Harbor and Fish Market


But what you didn’t see cannot be captured through a lens. It’s called rekindling a marriage. Discovering that after 4 years of marriage, we are not perfect but we are perfect for each other. Remembering that love isn’t about being the best wife/husband on paper, it’s about loving that person for who they are and occasionally laughing at each other along the way.

I strived to be the perfect wife for so long, but it wasn’t until this trip (this time of renewal) that I discovered my husband doesn’t need or want a perfect wife, he wants ME……..his side kick, his flirt, his number one fan. Smile

Now why didn’t I realize this 4 years ago? haha! Life is about learning, yes?!


What did you re-discovered this past week?

See you next week! Hopefully from the South Island.




A huge thank you to Mary (a merry life) and Kepa for taking the time to meet up with us for coffee. What a great way to end our time here in Auckland, with new friends!

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  1. Awww…sooo cute! Yay, love rekindling marriage story, it warms my heart! <3 And dude, burgerfuel rocks – we went there and I got the vegan one…so cool! 😀 Happy travels! xyx

  2. you summed up the key to marriage so well – being each other’s #1 fan!! Not to say we don’t drive each other crazy from time and time, get incredibly annoyed, and sometimes think the other might have screwed up, but we are each other’s #1 fan. Some never figure it out.

    You both seem to have great hearts and sweet spirits. That goes a long, long way toward being happy together.

    Safe travels!!

  3. I love this lindsay.
    love love love.


  4. This is beautiful! You know I know exactly what you mean. I am so tired of trying to be perfect. In the end, that just turned out to be more tiring and less rewarding. Being with someone who loves you for you (even at your lowest) and doesn’t care if you can’t do everything really is so much more amazing (and less exhausting) than the other. The friendship you have with your spouse makes life and its journey so much more fun! Love you guys! Have a safe trip back and good luck this weekend! xoxo

    • and you really are a PERFECT match for tony and vice versa. I have gotten to see (read) how you two have overcome so much and it makes me appreciate LOVE and Marriage even more. xoxo

  5. Love it! What a wonderful experience you guys were able to share :)

  6. Lindsay, I think you’ll like this reading from a friend’s wedding:

    We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. It isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems — the ones that make you truly who you are — that you’re ready to find a life-long mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person — someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”

  7. “Discovering that after 4 years of marriage, we are not perfect but we are perfect for each other” <—– YES absolutely love this my friend!!!

  8. awwww, loved this! such a great marriage perspective! i need to remind myself of this every once and a while!

  9. Linds I am SO HAPPY for you two! happy you are able to spend time and rediscover and learn! you two are a perfect pairing and that makes me happy.

    best of luck on the race this weekend – I’ll be thinking about you!

  10. I LOVE this post! (I feel like I say that ALL the fricking time!) I love that you are rekindling and rediscovering each other and realizing that perfection isn’t marriage, you two together is perfection…imperfectly. If that makes sense. Have a safe trip and good luck to James!!!

  11. Such a sweet post! Not only does it make me miss Auckland, but who doesn’t LOVE love?

  12. Lindsay – so is James running the 1/2?? How’s his knee? praying for you guys!

  13. aw, brought a tear to my eye LC! this week i have rediscovered that you have to take a step back sometimes in order to move forward in life!

  14. Beautifully said! Loving your spouse for who they are is key!
    Sometimes when I have certain expectations for my husband I have to take a step back and remind myself that I don’t want him to have expectations of me, I just want him to love me!

  15. You make me want to get married. Except for that whole finding someone, and having to change my schedule….what? Me? Selfish? 😉

    So glad you are having such a great time down there. Bring me a cute Kiwi back!

  16. Thank you for your reflections on marriage. I just got married in the summer of 2011 and had the ‘perfect wife’ syndrome raging for a little while. Thanks for the reminder just to be myself :)

  17. What a lovely post. And what a way to begin 2012! HAppy new year to both of you lovelies!

  18. Awesome, you guys! Love what you said about marriage and man is NZ ever beautiful! Cheers to this weekend’s race; keep honoring Christ in all things! Love you both.

  19. I’ve been married 16 years and I will tell you you will rediscover each other over and over. Marriage is a sacrifice for each other and so many don’t understand. You two are so beautiful together! Wishing you all the best!! xxoo

  20. I say marriage is not having the perfect partner but being the best you can be for the other- which is exactly what you do for James…. I also say that a great marriage means picking someone whose bullSh*t you can put up with- Both are equally important- one just sounds so much better!! xo

  21. AWWW!!! SO SO SO happy you two are doing all sorts of rekindling!! I love you guys!!!

  22. Thanks for your blog. This was the first thing I read on my Friday morning. And I learned a lot! 1. I must try Burgerfuel in my lifetime. 2. I need to plan a trip for me and my hubby to Aukland to rekindle our marriage. 3. We’re super struggling right now due to outside issues. Since #2 is next to impossible, I did start the morning by asking him what he needs from me. I know, why I need a blog to remind me to ask simple questions is beyond me :-) But never turn down free advice, right? Best of luck in the travels and on race weekend. Looking forward to hearing how that goes.

    • thats great! Just what he needs, just to know you care. Which you do! Its about what you can do for him and vice versa. I am sure he would love just a hug and kiss.

  23. What a beautiful message! Like when you said “husband doesn’t need or want a perfect wife, he wants ME”. We don’t get married for perfection, rather for love. Enjoy your NZ adventures and your trip back to Christchurch.

  24. Loving this post. All too often we fall into the trap of trying to be someone that we might not necessarily be. Granted, striving to be a perfect wife is commendable, but forgetting to start the dishwasher before bedtime really isn’t going to kill anyone; even if you think its the end of the world 😉 Luckily we have husbands that think the same way, eh??

    Burgerfuel looks amazing. Every now and then I crave a HUGE, loaded burger… I’d get a Bastard Burger, only because the mango on it sounds like an interesting addition, with a side of Kumara fries. Yes, I looked at the menu. Is that so wrong?? Haha!!

  25. beautiful pics!!! and such a great message dear friend. i hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  26. What an awesome sentiment, it’s so easy to get caught up in how we think we’re supposed to be instead of just being ourselves and loving each other unconditionally. Glad you’ve had some time to renew during the trip so far.

    And good luck to Team Cotter this weekend!!

  27. This is beautiful! I may have even choked up a little bit! 😉

  28. Love this. I so appreciate, when in the midst of craziness, you take a step back, really look at eachother, and realize how perfect life is…and how perfect you are for eachother. Cheers!

  29. This was so beautiful, Liz. Brought tears to my eyes!!! What you said is so true – esp the part about your hubby not wanting a perfect wife – but wanting you. Your trip sounds amazing – good luck to your hubby this weekend!! Hope the race goes well =)

  30. Full of life…now that is beautiful. I want those bike/run trails so bad and I am glad you got another burger, one more reason to come out and visit you:) Travel safe!

  31. Wonderful post! I can tell from your renewed spirits that you are embracing life and I love that. So so incredibly happy for you and your husband. Nothing makes me happier than hearing that a good friend is happy and full of life. :)

    Good luck to your hubby at his race this weekend.

  32. AWwwh this is so so sweet… what a beautiful post!!

    It’s so true to about not being the “perfect wife” love it, glad you guys are so happy!!

  33. I’m so glad to realize this – I love reading about a happy relationships, but I love reading about a healthy one more – which means honesty and ups & downs. I’m glad you are re-discovering that!

    My discovery isn’t complete yet, but I feel like I’m re-discovering my appetite.

    Oh, and ice baths… post scheduled for Sunday!

  34. Rekindling?

    Stroke those fires…lol.

    PS- You’re not perfect? *winkwink*

  35. The worst times in my life come when I try to be “perfect” (whatever that is) instead of just being me. Great post!

  36. So true, live and learn. And in my case bike and learn too. :-)

  37. A relationship is an evolving journey in itself! It’s so fun to discover and re discover things about oneself and one’s partner along the way.

    So back to Chch huh? You should check out the Herb Centre for a legal LSD 😉

  38. What an amazing way to re-kindle your marriage and fire!! Love it!! Glad you had a great trip!

  39. Ahhhh big smiles just thinking about the love you guys have for one another, and this awesome time to develop new fun feelings together! I think it must be a 4 years thing… Alex and I are in a similar state of relationship re-awakening… rediscovering what we love and cherish about one another… it’s a beautiful thing! <3

  40. What a beautiful post! Every marriage takes work and remembering why we fell in love with our significant other is so important!

  41. Looks like you’ve had a wonderful time. Congrats on 4 year of marriage, I’m happy you’ve found each other! 😀

    Have a safe trip back and a safe stay in ChCh!

  42. It was so great to meet you while you were here!

    Lovely message about marriage that I’m going to remember. I hope in four years we are doing as well as you guys. :)

    Have a safe trip back to Christchurch!

  43. Awww I love it!! First of all, Auckland looks and sounds awesome. Second, You guys are adorable. No wonder the whole anniversary thing was no big! I hope I find a relationship like that one day. I really hope to be able to explore the world with someone who loves being active and loves me for who I am!!

    • that i know WILL happen with you Tara. Your passion will be shared, embraced, and explored with a perfect man FOR YOU! And when it does, can i come to the wedding? hehe.

  44. you two are soooo cute! and yes rediscovering what love and marriage is all about is so true. I feel like that with Gary even though we are not married being together for 9 years we have had our fair share of challenges but in the end we are perfect for each other :) oh the lessons life teaches us!

  45. Ooohh.. I love your honest in this post. Thank you for sharing! Our anniversary is coming up in a few weeks.. it’s always a great time to reflect, right?

  46. Ooohh.. I love your honest in this post. Thank you for sharing! Our anniversary is coming up in a few weeks.. it’s always a great time to reflect, right? If we learnt everything from the very beginning it just wouldn’t be as fun 😉

  47. yes my dear…life IS about learning.
    every single day. It can be about you or the others around you or about things you dont know. I cannot say that I have tried to be the perfect wife (poor my husband) but I do my best to be a good one. I am guilty of trying to be the perfect mom….now that is impossible. It is exhausting, depressing, can ruin the whole experience I took me a while to let go of that and now I do the best I can every day. Some days my best is not great but my intentions were good and I know now that it is OK to not be perfect.

  48. i love two things about this post: the fact that baracouda is spelled with a “t” in NZ and that you referred to yourself as your husband’s “flirt.” :) it’s so important to keep the nudges and winks alive in a relationship!
    oh wait, i love three things: you’re spirit! as alway, so bright and calming!

  49. Aww, Lindsay, I’m so happy that the romantic fire was re-lit between you and the Hubbs! That’s what what happens when you eat delicious gluten-free burgers on a regular basis! 😉 Hehe. But in reality, the flames can be attributed to you and your outlook: we’re not perfect, and the people in our lives realize that. Those who matter love us for being us–quirks and all!

    Happy weekend, friend! xoxo

  50. You are so right! Perfect for each other .i must remember this :) safe travels girl :)

  51. So GLAD to hear you came to this awesome realization Lindsay. I think you’re pretty dang awesome as yourself as well :)
    Safe travels, dear!!

  52. “Discovering that after 4 years of marriage, we are not perfect but we are perfect for each other.”

    I love that. So much. It took me a long time to realize that about my relationship with my husband as well, but it really makes everything make so much sense now! :)

  53. I’m so happy for the both of you!!! I have this perfectionist type personality and it takes me a lot to remember that i just need to be me. Don’t need to be perfect. hope you have a safe journey back home :)

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