The simplest way to describe my upbringing, would be to say that it was very diverse. And it's a big part of what makes me the mother I am today. There's so many layers to it though, that I'll sum it up and leave the majority of it for a novel one day hahaha.

My mother and father separated when I was very little. My father is now a minister for the Salvation Army. And my mother is finally, through a lot of hard work, coming out the other end of a pretty rough couple of decades. These rough years of hers involved mentally, sexually and physically abusive partners; as well as poverty, lots of drugs and alcohol abuse in the home and mental health issues. My brother and I would stay with my father on the weekends and my mother during the week. My Dad moved to the South Island when I was 11, but I was fortunate to have a few outlets from all this heavy stuff during my formative years thanks to my grandparents, Hula practice and Husbands family.

Definitely some pretty heavy times in my childhood, but unfortunately, the reality is, I was still so, so privileged. Because I still had love, support and a way to escape from it all when I needed to. And I've actually been so fortunate to have this childhood, because it’s given first hand exposure to different cultures, poverty, mental health struggles and different ways of living. This allows me to understand, connect and communicate with people on such a deeper level than I feel I would have been able to otherwise.


  1. I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers, not including my in laws! Counting in laws would make that about 7 sisters and 10 brothers.
  2. Me and my husband are slowly learning to speak Te Reo Māori and have the ultimate goal of transitioning to Reo Māori as our main spoken language.
  3. My husband and I have been together since I was 15 years old and we met on Bebo.
  4. I have a massive sweet tooth.
  5. I'm ALWAYS down for a good, deep, passionate, thought provoking yarn.
  6. I think the most beautiful place in the world would have to be Aitutaki.
  7. I have a small blind spot in my right eye from hitting myself in the face with an elastic band at the gym.
  8. My dogs name is Ghost.
  9. I have two tattoo's. The first one is on my thigh and was a quote dedicated to my late brother in law. The second, on my left wrist is my wedding ring which matches with my Husband's.
  10. I was taught how to hula from a beautiful Cook Island family and used to perform alongside them at events.

Photo's on this page are from by Acacia Lilly Photography & edited by me