The Block NZ favourites Amy Moore and Stu Watts are the first to admit they haven't had the easiest of romances in the two years they've been together.
"We have a very strong bond, but compared to most people, we've been through a lot in our short time as a couple," explains beautician Amy.
While their rough time on the Three reality series hasn't made things any smoother, the Gisborne pair's biggest challenge has been bringing together their children from previous relationships – Amy's daughter Nina, 12, and Stu's kids Flynn, 12, and Zoe, 10.
"With a blended family, you've just got to make it work, but it's difficult having this different dynamic encroaching on your life," says Amy, 39. "However, if you can make a blended family work and your kids end up really loving each other, you're doing alright.
"It was really important for us not to rush the kids and put any pressure on them to get along quickly or to all live together. Circumstances can change and it may not work out, then all of sudden they've bonded. If you rush into it too soon and it doesn't work, that's a whole other family that they have to let go."
But two years in, the family couldn't be closer and throughout the reality reno series, it's their kids who have been Amy and Stu's biggest cheerleaders, sending them letters from home and making trips up to Auckland for regular visits.
Stu, 46, is famous for his dry humour and carefree attitude on the show, but when the topic of his kids comes up, his tough exterior melts away and he can't help but smile. "I just love watching those roosters grow up and do their thing," he grins. "It's amazing being a parent."
Since returning home after 12 weeks of intense renovation, Amy and Stu have been spending as much time as possible with their children. And they're embarrassed to admit their favourite family activity has been watching reruns of The Block!
Amy laughs, "It's so sad! But we still hadn't seen some of the episodes, so we sat down and watched them together, just hanging out. The kids are so excited to have us back and we've been spending heaps of time with them."
Returning to Gisborne has also been a treat for the couple, who received a lot of support from their small town throughout the series.
Amy smiles, "Gizzy's like a family and I think we've done them proud."
Stu adds, "I was a little bit famous when I left for the show and now I'm a lot famous!"
Before they started dating, the couple had met a few times because "everyone knows everyone in Gisborne", says Amy. But the romance only started when she called in a plumber in 2016 and Stu showed up at the door. Not being one to muck around, he asked his client out on a date that night.
"I called a plumber and he never left," laughs Amy, with Stu chiming in, "And that tap is still dripping!"
A year later, the pair moved in together. Amy says, "I decided to rebuild my house, so we moved in with Stu while we did that, which was kind of like a trial period to see how it went. When the house was finished, they all moved back with us, so that was cool."
Now it would appear their time on The Block has only made their relationship stronger. Amy tells, "When things weren't going well on the show, your teammate is the only person you have, so you have to stay strong and we did that. Also, the things that you normally fight about at home don't exist on The Block, so we were actually really good."
As for their future now the show is over? "I'm already getting phone calls every day about interior projects," tells Amy.
"I'm definitely going to pursue that, for sure!"
Meanwhile, Stu is already back at work as a plumber, but after his taste of the TV life, he's starting to think a career in the spotlight might be his future.
Smiling cheekily, he declares, "I might give old Jeremy Corbett a ring and see if I can get on 7 Days!"
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