Quick post – a happy 2 year anniversary to my amazing husband!
Archive for the ‘Family’ Category
Tags: anniversary, Family, Husband, Love, Wedding
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.
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).
Tags: Daughters, Family, liv stirling, Photo Shoot, Photography, Photos, walte sisulu
We had a lovely photo shoot with Liv Stirling Photography and we got some amazing pics… Here are some of my favorites.
Tags: Children, Daughters, Family, imspiration, letter, Love, mother, proud
25 March 2014
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.
Tags: amore, baby, boyfriend, daily post, engaged, friend, Husband, Love
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…
Tags: baby, Family, hospital, Love, parenthood, procreation, so you think you can procreate
Having a baby, no matter by which method, is exhausting. You’ve been wheeled into your room and hubby is there and together you’re looking at your gorgeous bundle of joy asleep in his or her cot… By now you may or may not have given your baby a name and the family is starting to assemble in droves outside the maternity ward door. Some of them are allowed in, for an ogle and a cuddle, some stand peering through the port hole in the ward door… Everyone wants to have a look.
But without warning, the visits are gone too soon and you’re left in the ward with (or maybe without) a partner and little one wakes, it’s hungry and you’re about to become a cow.
Some women are fortunate enough to be able to breast feed, I do believe that it is the most nutritious way possible to feed your baby and if you’re lucky enough to do it, why the heck not.’? On the other hand, for the women who battle (I speak from experience as I was one of them) remember that modern technology is somewhat amazing. While not the most ideal, options like formula feeding and breast milk donation (yes, someone else can milk for you and it comes by door to door courier) are available to you.
With my first baby, I really battled. I blame it on my massive breasts, her laziness and the inability to latch. Laying in bed the bitchy matron rugby balled Hayley under my arm and before I could protest, a pillow was inserted underneath her as a wedge and suddenly a face was pressed against my nipple, ready for dinner. After a multitude of positions were tried and some persistence from me, the nurse and my daughter I decided that I would try to express instead. We didn’t have much money at the time so the best breast pump affordable was the manual one, looks a bit like a funnel. Don’t do it, it hurt like hell and eventually my milk starting drying up – within two weeks I had H on formula and finally was able to sleep at night knowing my boob wouldn’t explode.
Baby number 2 was very similar. Another bitchy matron (Are they all that way? I guess protesting mothers would do that to a person). Many tries and many tears later (From D and I), it wasn’t happening no matter how much I wanted it to. My breasts went rock hard with the onset of mastitis and instead of feeding my baby, I was having light therapy and cabbage leaves daily on my chest. By the second day the matron begrudgingly gave me the pill to clear up the milk and I went straight to formula, I was done. On the second night in hospital, Murphy’s law they came to wake me for a night feed even though I was no longer needed.
So while the advantages of breast feeding are many, you’re not a bad mother. Both my kids turned out fine and fortunately, I didn’t have to express to do all the midnight feeds… Getting a little help is pretty awesome!
Being in hospital is such a transitional period, halfway between surgery and parenthood. When people ask me what’s a good point to remember about having a baby, I say to them ‘Let the nurses do their thing, if they put your baby to sleep in the nursery and feed it for you (not by breast of course) then let them!’. So many people say that then they feel like they’re not bonding early on, nonsense. If anything, the midwives and maternity nurses are giving you the opportunity to rest, recover and prepare because in one to two nights time, you’re on your own. Experienced or not.
I found that with the first baby, I wanted her bedside the first night. Early into the evening I quickly asked them to take her to the nursery just so that I could get some sleep. I was free to go so her whenever I wanted and I was well rested when it was time to leave. I was a little wiser on the second baby and from he get go was quite happy to have her sleepover with the other babies until it was time to go.
Take advantage of this time… It may be a while before you get a full nights sleep again ;)
Tags: colleagues, daily post, Daughters, dont you forget about me, eulogy, Family, Friends, funeral, legacy, Love, pride, relationship, spiritual
As I walk on by, hear them call my name.
As I walk on by, would you remember my name?
La, la la la la, la la la la…
As an onlooker at one’s own funeral, butterflies in the stomach flutter at the reading of my own eulogy. What will they say? How will I be remembered?
I watch my children take the podium to read the ode’s they’ve written. Girls after my own heart with a penchant for the spoken and written word, I know I did something right. I know that the hours and days of reading and writing encouragement when they were young children has paid off. It cannot be said that I wasn’t a doting mother, filled with love for my children no matter how furious they made me. Would they remember this now over the memory of my lifeless shell in the wooden box beside them? Their own children looking back at them from the audience, my beautiful grandchildren, watching their mothers with pride and love. They married well, not without ups and downs yet they’re better women for it, now that they are both settled and well cared for by their doting partners, I was ready to make my move onward. I cannot help but stare at these glorious women that I brought into thus world, so amazing and yet so different in every way. They are so close, I hope that I’ve done enough that they’d always have each other until the end of their days, that angry words are said and forgotten and they hold hands forever more as they do now. I’m so proud, they are my greatest achievement, what aches the most to leave behind, my beautiful daughters.
It’s impossible to ignore the forlorn bald man to their right, seated behind them, shoulders slumped and head in hands. My best friend, what did I do to you? We never planned for this, my sudden departure from a lifetime we’ve shared. How I will miss his beautiful face in the morning, the way he looked at me and the intensity of his embrace. How will he carry on? Why did I do this to him? Tears well as only that morning I watched him break down before the mirror, contemplating his own future and unsure of where to from here. Our marriage was our most important asset and now I leave him without his friend, his lover, his confidante and his children’s mother. I leave him in the arms of my daughters where I know he will be safe until he is ready to pick up and move on with his life. I would love for him to meet someone who will take care of him as I did, though I know nothing will compare. We were power husband and wife, looked up to by all and admired by many. I’m uncertain of how I will manage without him, I cannot bear to see his pain any longer. We endured so much, we overcame each and every time. How do we overcome this?
So many people came to listen to my lifetime today… Friends, such beautiful friends. Close friends who each have a turn to stand and say a funny story, a motivational moment, an amazing memory. I will miss each and every person sitting there and I have no doubt they will miss me. They’re here to remember me as the supportive friend I was, ever the relationship counsellor. They think now to whose broad shoulders will be strong enough to take the place of mine. They will all be excited by the party I left arranged for them after the memorial, I stocked the bar that they can honor and celebrate my life instead of mourning my death and I look forward to watching that celebration from the sidelines, a first for me. Family, parents and siblings, all here to see me off… Though different, I was always accepted, the best sister or daughter I could be, flaws and all.
Years worth of colleagues join in the back rows, here to listen to my friends and family speak of the person I was in my personal life. I see so many who supported me through good and through bad times in my career, who watched me grow and flourish and who always had my back. There were naysayers who said I couldn’t do it and yet today, the business I opened flourishes and provides for my families and their families, the books I wrote will continue to feed their children’s children and my clothing line is everlasting, me embodied in fabric.
Thinking back on all of this, I missed all but the last line of the eulogy my daughters stand here to read, but that’s ok because I know what they will say. I know that they are proud of who I was and the legacy I left behind, I only wish I didn’t have to leave them along with it.
What was the last line you ask? A song from an all time favorite movie…
As Simple Minds once said, don’t you forget about me.
Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me
by Krista on February 16, 2014
Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEGACY.