Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I miss you every weekend
miss your faces every day
miss it when you are naughty
miss all the little things you say

I miss seeing you in the morning
miss brushing your hair at night
miss begging you to brush your teeth
miss fighting about the light

I miss how cute you can be
Miss seeing your big toothy smiles
Miss you being grumpy
Miss all the moments that you’ve cried

I miss everything about you
Miss just being your mum
Miss how you smell, touch and feel
Miss everything you’ve done

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss you
Not a day goes by that I don’t see
the emptiness that comes with
You not being with me…

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Admittedly, my poor husband does not get enough credit. In the lead up to my trip to the UK without him, my nightly insomnia is fuelled with the worry that without me, he just will not get anything done. A visa in the pipeline, multiple passport applications to be done and the next few months of being a single father, that husband of mine has his work cut out for him and despite his numerous attempts to quell the beast that is my OCD, I really cannot let it go. So what does one do when one has far too much time on one’s hands and enough anxiety to push an AA meeting to vodka? One makes lists of course. To do lists. Checklists. Bucket lists and blacklists. If it can be listed, I will list it somewhere – Suddenly excel and I are on amazing terms and short of detailing the number of breaths I have to take in a day to survive, all of my daily tasks are documented. So why the lists you ask? I can tell you for certain, it is not because I think my husband is incapable of doing as I ask, it is more a case of me worrying that I will forget to nag about yet another task I have given him to do.

One of the incredibly difficult things for me to deal with about our impending move is the fact that I just do not have control. I am in control of the basics, the finances, the movement and the choices we have made, the rest is in the hands of government departments and others. I can only do so much and for me, with the kind of anxiety that I am currently suffering, that ‘so much’ that I can do is just never enough. With my move happening far sooner than that of my family, I am forced to relinquish control to my husband for many of the things that I would normally handle and have been in charge of handling up until now. When I leave, he has to make sure he obtains everything required to apply for his visa, all of the documents needed for the girl’s passports, taking over the duties of looking after my children and making sure that everything runs as smoothly here as I hope to have things running over there, ready for them to come over as soon as possible. With all of these things that he has to do and arrange, I have sat night after night typing up to do lists and trying to get as much done before I leave as humanly possible – Driving this husband of mine absolutely bloody moggy, not because of his inability to do this without me, but because of my inability to just let go.

A spiky marshmellow is what I have been called by those that know and love me, or so they say. I tend to portray this tough, hard exterior and yet right now I am melting on the inside. I found myself waking up this morning thinking that today was the second last Sunday that I would spend in South Africa. I struggle to think of what it is I will miss about this country, barring family and friends of course, yet I know the day draws nearer to when I have to get on that plane and wave goodbye to my children and my husband for what will be a lifetime until they arrive. ‘I love you three’ will be something that my three year old says to me over Skype without the accompaniment of a snake love (It is a hug on steroids with the constriction of a snake of course, totally normal). Glee will not be in on in the background of my home while my husband pretends it is on for my 8 year old and that same 8 year old will not be coming to me to help me with her homework, or reading her stories to me while I am in the bath.

The universe has a funny way of giving us what we thought we wanted when we did not want it at all. Before you misinterpret that, understand that I am not referring to the England move as that is something that we want more than you could possible imagine. What I mean is that in getting what we want, we are faced with a separation that no one would ever have asked for and yet subconsciously, as a mother, there are times when my inside voices have screamed for solitude and peace and quiet. I have never been ‘on my own’, when I moved out of home it was with the father of my daughter and thereafter it has always been H and I, I have never had to be alone no matter how many times I frustratingly wished I could be. I have of course, always done everything backwards so it makes sense that the universe has decided that having a husband and two children means it is time for some ‘ME’ time – I am about to be alone for the next few months, whether I like it or not.  Trust me, I don’t like it but I will be damned if I don’t make the most of it – I am going to enjoy this time on my own, by hook or by crook and when my family arrives they will be more appreciated and loved than they could possibly understand – SNAKE love all around.

Making lists seems to be a way of taking my mind off of all this pressure, the fear of loneliness and the worst case scenarios that as a realist, are firmly cemented in my mind. All I can think about is what if the girls do not get their passports (Most unlikely, in fact improbable but still a thought), what if my husband does not get his visa (Again, improbable but realistic), what if things do not work out the way I have so cautiously planned and what if all my list making is in vain and no one bothers to follow my lists. What then? The fact that my lists could go ignored has me needing to make a back up list for myself, just in case.

I sound like an absolute nut job right now, I get it. If you were about to endure what I am going to be, you would be a nut job too. Nut job or not, I have to believe that my lists will be read and my OCD will not be in vain… Add control freak to your list of judgements for me, at least you can tick it off – Ticks always make the list look better.

Off to tick a list…

Happy anniversary!

Posted: July 28, 2014 in Family, Personal
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Quick post – a happy 2 year anniversary to my amazing husband!

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Eating in silence.

Posted: July 11, 2014 in Family, Friends, Random

Sitting at a restaurant for dinner last night, it was hard not to notice the apparent over usage of mobile devices in a social environment. I have always advocated social media and the use of technology, I am in fact an addict and find it very difficult to sit and do nothing when there is a Facebook news feed to be read. That said, I know where to draw the line and one of those lines is drawn at dinner where I choose to have actual human contact and engage in conversation – Surely that is common sense? Alas, it is less common to interact with your dinner partner and more acceptable to eat with your fork in one hand and your other hand scrolling through your Twitter updates.

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Out with the girls, we had our phones out, obviously. We spent some time playing with the camera’s and taking selfies, air brushing our skin after a long day at work and accidentally taking pictures of the diners at the next table which prompted some friendly conversation and quite a few laughs. It was easy to see that we were the most social table in the section, surrounded by human beings devoid of any human interaction or emotion. The saddest part of it all – a young couple behind us having dinner that I spent much time ogling (In a non stalker way – I hope). They sat down shortly after we did, each with their phones on the table, one hand scrolling and the other hand being used for refreshment. The couple did not share one word, not one look, not a nod or a grin for the entire time they sat there. It was obvious they were scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram accounts from the time they sat down, pausing to order from the waiter and not so much as looking up when the food arrived. They continued to peruse their mobile devices as they ate and after they were done, all the attention was once again devoted to their social media.

Excuse me, but when did it become acceptable to leave the house with someone but not say two words to them because whatever is happening on your phone is far more important (For over two hours!). I ask you, with tears in my eyes, what is the actual point in leaving the house? You are probably better off ordering take away dinner, staying in doors and giving each other the silent treatment in the comfort of your own home – Without all of the restaurants patrons judging you?

I have said this many times before – I love social media. I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I do update my Facebook status at least once a day, I have occasionally tweeted about bad service I have received, I have Instagrammed a pic or two of dinner, I have a Pinterest board for my cats and like to update LinkedIn on more business related topics. I do it all and I am proud of it – I am just as proud, if not more so, of the fact that I understand when enough is enough. I know that when what is happening on my phone is more interesting or important than what is happening in my life, a change needs to be made. Life was not made to live through a device – By all means, share what you do with those you love but as my good friend mentioned in his recent blog:

In my opinion you should be posting about experiences with friends, not experiencing posts with “friends”! – Chris Huntingford

(Click here to read Chris Huntingford’s full blog on Social Media)

This brings me to another sore but pertinent point, social networking and gaming – the destroyer of relationships.

When Candy Crush came out, we all downloaded it. We played it until we were ill. We sent numerous requests on Facebook for extra lives and bonus sweets to see how far we could get. Candy Crush morphed into Pet rescue, despite how much we all moaned and groaned about Farmville. Then, if you’re like me, you went and blocked every game app on Facebook to stop receiving requests and invites and made sure that all the games had been deleted from your devices… The phase was over. I realized that I was spending far too much time ‘playing’ these online games that it was actually taking away from my day to day human interaction. Hours would pass in the quest to build my Ice Age Village (Which I was mighty proud of after many hours of hard work) and it was only a matter of time before my dragons were levelling up in Dragon City – Then I sat back and realized how absolutely absurd that all sounds when I have far more important things to do like spend time with my family, converse with my husband or get my chunky ass to gym (Like I am always complaining about).

In a world where we already battle to separate home from work, where we constantly struggle with living to work versus working to live, how did we think that we were so evolved and mature to incorporate yet another split to struggle with – Quality time versus Game time. Well, that is exactly my point. Unless your life is perfect and you can balance every aspect without fail, stress or anxiety… unless your family gets enough quality time and you give your all in everything you do (lacking nothing), the last thing you should be doing is spending hours each night on your phone levelling up. When are you giving life a chance to happen?

I have had to ban the use of mobile devices for game purposes in my home from Monday to Friday. Though my husband will not admit it, he is addicted to social gaming (The latest being Hearthstone or something like it). When did I realize he had a problem? When he got up and walked to the kitchen to make me some hot chocolate and took his laptop with him – he continued playing while the kettle boiled, while he poured the mug and after bringing it to me he quickly raced back to the kitchen to see what was happening. The tell should have been the fact that he upgraded from his cell phone to his laptop… that’s commitment.  While annoyed with me for the ban, he will eventually see the point when we are interacting as a family more and worrying about the games less. When instead of coming home to him couch bound in front of his laptop gaming, perhaps a conversation will take place instead.  He wont get snippy retorts over the work or personal work he cannot get to at the expense of his gaming habit and he will value the weekend game time he has more so than the brief interludes he was getting midweek – The love affair with online gaming. The social mistress.

I have only one request… consideration. Be considerate of those around you when you are staring at your phone or device. Be considerate of your family when it is interaction time and you’re fiddling on your phone. Have some consideration for yourself and the valuable things you could be missing out on – Life is short. Too short. Don’t be remembered for the amount of time you spent online, be remembered for the amount of time you didn’t…

It is all about balance, balance takes practice and practice makes perfect. Don’t be upset with those of us implementing bans, we only want more of your time.

(PS. Thank you to my husband for inspiring a portion of this blog)

(PPS. Here is hoping that somehow, that couple at the restaurant gets to read it).

 

We had a lovely photo shoot with Liv Stirling Photography and we got some amazing pics… Here are some of my favorites.

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25 March 2014

Dearest daughters,

No doubt that each day that passes you morph into beautiful little people. Sometimes I make the mistake of allowing you to age faster than you should, sometimes I try to keep you in a cocoon and most of the time I hope that you’ll grow up to want to be like me even when I actually want you to be individuals, happy with whoever you are.

Despite all of this, you are my children. My daughters. You were not given the easiest mother, but you definitely didn’t get the toughest either. You were born into a place of love and are continuously showered with affection and possessions so that I know you both have everything you desire. Perhaps some would say you are spoilt, others would say entitled. I choose to call this fortunate and as long as our family is in a fortunate position, it is my duty to ensure you have all you need and much of what you want. I am certain that having me as a mother may be difficult, I am not wired to always show you affection, it is not what I’m used to and so perhaps you yearn for it. Know that I make a conscious effort to try, to be that physically affectionate parent you may or may not want… Before I know it, you’ll be the ones pulling away and it will be too late.

When I frustrate you because I ask that you keep your rooms clean and tidy, it isn’t only because I have OCD but because I’m trying to instill a sense of pride in your possessions and the value thereof.

When I hound you to look neat and tidy before we leave the house, it is not only because I would like beautiful looking daughters (which you are) but because I’d like to teach you to have pride in yourself and your appearance at all times. You will only understand the importance of this as you mature.

When my expectations of you are high it is not because I’m unrealistic about what I want for you, it’s because I want you to expect the very best of yourself.

When I give you grief because of untidy homework or little interest shown in schoolwork it’s not because I want to relive primary school, it’s because I want to make it possible for you to achieve all that you desire.

When I nag you constantly to eat your fruit and vegetables, it is not because I want to see clean plates but because I want you to be healthy and happy, that I have that much more time with you in the future.

When I fuss over you going to play outside it’s because I want you to enjoy the sunshine, not just because it keeps my house tidy. You have the gift of fresh air and a garden, I want you to use it!

When I get frustrated with you for doing something age appropriate, I am in the wrong. Remember that motherhood didn’t come with a manual, what I haven’t already learnt I’m still learning from both of you everyday. Know that I love you both and I too am human, I make mistakes and I will always apologies to you if I’m in the wrong.

I love watching the both of you grow into yourselves. I see your individuality in the clothing you wear, the toys you play with, the books you read and the movies you watch. The relationship you share is a bond for life, never to be broken, treasure it and work on it because you will always be each others best friend. I see now that your age difference doesn’t allow you to be as close as I’d like, instead it’s a mother / daughter relationship, but with time that gap will narrow and you will need each other more than you know, especially when you’re frustrated with me!

My wishes for you remain unchanged, all I can hope is that you are both happy and grounded children. That you grow in a home filled with love and laughter. That one day you will look back and call me your role model, thus pushing me to always do and give my best in all I do. I look forward to getting to know the little people that you’re becoming and hope that you remain as individual and as odd as your mother and not care for what anyone else thinks. I already see you coming into your own by dressing a bit eccentric or watching movies that perhaps most children wouldn’t enjoy, listening to music beyond your years and understanding mature topics because of your inquiring minds… I love the small humans that you are, continue to break moulds and walk away from trodden paths, those things are what make us who we are.

Many things are coming your way, there is nothing tougher than growing up – trust me, I know – but never forget that every step of the way I will be at your side because I love you and am eternally proud of you.

Forever yours
Mommy

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Think of your longest relationship: describe how your love has changed over time, did you go from the giddiness of infatuation, to mad passion, to deep respect, esteem, and friendship? Tell us about your love story.

I do miss him already, this best friend of mine, that’s amore right? Working shifts sometimes means that we can completely miss each other in the day and so I haven’t had a conversation with my husband since Monday (it’s Wednesday). The sacrifices we make :)

I met my husband the old fashioned way (ok, maybe not quite old fashioned) via Facebook. Mutual friends had decided that we were a definite match and took it upon themselves to introduce us over social media thinking we’d hit it off immediately. I added him on Facebook and, as you do, began stalking his Facebook profile, needless to say I was extremely irritated with my friends (and him for his questionable morals) when I saw that his relationship status was still set to ‘Married’. Why on earth would my friends think that I would have any interest in a married man?! Insult much? I did however note that he was pretty good looking (I imagine him chuckling as he reads this) and we had extremely similar tastes and likes in music, movies, books and pretty much everything else we talked about.

I then decided that I was in a time of my life that the more friends I had, the merrier and why not befriend someone new? How could it hurt? We then started off on the occasional status like and eventually I was commenting on all of his lyric quiz statuses, getting them all right (obviously). He had asked a question on Facebook regarding ‘ol Blue eyes’ and who he was and I replied that it was Sinatra of course, this is how we started chatting. We started facebook messaging / emailing each other and the first question I asked him was why did he add me as a friend if he was married? I was quite happy to hear that though he was still legally married, he had been separated for a little while and was out to meet new people (the stories of his previous relationship not for this blog purpose), he also told me that he was adding as many people as he could – enough to make any girl feel special (he has since done a considerable facebook cull). For 2 weeks we chatted on and off and got to know each other really well, it was an exciting time and we clicked almost immediately yet I withheld my expectations for fear of being hurt (after a still recent and damaging break up that I was getting over).

At the time I was portraying a rather hardcore exterior, not interested in love or a relationship and most definitely not marriage. I was adamant I didn’t want any more children, I’d become accustomed to being a single mother of a 4 year old and was happy to settle for that. Despite all of this, there was something about this man that intrigued me and even though I hadn’t met him yet, I knew that this was not the be all and end all of our friendship. I decided that I was ready to meet him and with my sister’s permission I invited him to her birthday party at ye olde Corner house, it was a public place so if he was a psychopath, I was assuming I’d be somewhat safe. I worked in Fourways at the time so we decided that he would pick me up and together we’d drive down the road to the pub, not awkward or unsafe at all.

He arrived at my offices in a red uno, with a matching red tie and brand new shoes, I will never forget it. Funnily enough, I happened to be wearing a red and black outfit myself so without realizing it, we matched :) Turns out our mutual friend had schooled him before hand about my infatuation for shoes and to ensure he impressed, he bought new ones. We drove awkwardly down to the pub and spent the night chatting about anything and everything, he met my entire (massive) family in one night and all my closest friends without flinching. At one point, we stood together and I overheard him say ‘I’m bailing’ and feeling a bit upset I didn’t want him to leave, so by force we had our first kiss in the hopes he wouldn’t leave. Turns out all he’d said was ‘I’m failing’ thinking he wasn’t winning with me… Clearly I showed him he wasn’t failing and got the first move out of the way. We were the last to leave that night, somewhere around 2am, he dropped me home like the perfect gentleman he is and all I wanted was to see him again. It was a Thursday night and we’d made plans to go away to a metal fest that weekend with our mutual friends, I was too excited!

Friday came, I went to my friends, we all went in the same car and what a downer that festival was. He was very cold, barely said two words to me and by the time we got home on Sunday he didn’t even say goodbye when they dropped me off… Talk about confused! On Monday I came into work to a very long email explaining how much he did like me and we could be friends but couldn’t date, it wasn’t right because his divorce hadn’t been finalized even though he was separated and he was extremely guilty. Thinking that was it, I didn’t imagine to hear from him again so imagine my surprise when the calls started and I saw him everyday for the next week, dinners and movies etc. By Saturday he had gotten over himself, he made it official and we were dating (September).

The following month was my birthday and an awesome roller coaster ride of a new relationship. Three weeks after my birthday and barely 2-3 months after we started dating, he hadn’t even moved in yet, I found out I was pregnant! Oops! Scariest but best time of my life, I met the in-laws, his divorce was finalized, he moved in, treated my oldest daughter as his own and finally we got our own place… Mere months away from our daughter. Anyone will tell you a baby will test a relationship and, D definitely did. We had to learn, in a very short time, what we both wanted in life, what our goals were and if this was the real deal. We had to be there for each other through great and horrible times and yet, here we are, out on top. In October, 3 months after our daughter was born, he surprised me with a proposal over breakfast and of course, I said yes! 8 months later, just after our daughters first birthday, we were married – One of the most amazing days of my life. This year we celebrate our second wedding anniversary and 4 years together… A turbulent but triumphant 4 years with many more to come.

When you know, you know. For all the uphill I give him, I love him immensely. We have had a roller coaster ride together and so many things happened so quickly for us, but that’s ok. We can weather any storm together and have two beautiful children and an amazing family to show for it. He is my best friend, my worst enemy, my confidante, the person who sees me cry and the man that wipes away my tears. He is supportive in everything that I do and makes sure that our family has the life we need. I want for nothing and everything my heart desires is given to me. He puts me on a pedestal and often forgets about himself, reminding me just how much he loves me, every girl should know that feeling. He makes me feel like I am the only girl in the world. He knows all my secrets, shares my dreams, walks beside me and is the true showing of what a husband should be. He never complained about changing nappies nor does he complain about cooking dinner. While I make it difficult for him with my fussiness, he never stops trying to be romantic. I am so grateful everyday to wake up with my best friend and my imperfectly perfect family…

Thank you Frank Sinatra (and Rory), look what you had a hand in…

Shevy

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