10 Years ago…

Today, 10 years ago….we became Mr & Mrs ❤️ To be joined together as one.

The one phrase that stuck in my head since 10 years ago is “They are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” Matthew 19.6 (Dude seems comfused. As if this is the first time he hears this verse…was he not at our wedding😂)

We have grown so much…it amazes me. We have so much to be grateful for and we are most definitely abundantly blessed. We even gained 2 beautiful sons in our marriage.

Dude is sitting next to me as I write this post this is what he just said…”Our marriage is like our tortoise…slow and steady wins the race”.

Cheers to us. To a lifetime of us. Always and forever❤️

Spirited Mama

P.S. The resident alien arrived on 24 January 2017. So in celebrating our 10 years of marriage, we also celebrate the resident alien being 10 days old today.

 

2016 the year that has been…

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(image sourced from google)

As I picked up my proverbial pen to start blogging again, I had a renewed sense of “me”. It was my calm. It was and is my outlet. It is my CANVAS.

This year has at times been trying. It’s been rough. It’s been busy. It’s been great too.

We have lost loved ones…and in turn gained new family members too. It is also the year that we found out that the Spirited family is growing.

As we prepare to create memories of the festivities for 2016, we also prepare for the imminent arrival of a New Year. A new CANVAS. A new baby. A renewed sense of “us”. 2016 is the last year that we are a family of three. We said goodbye to a stalwart in my family “MAMMA”. We have had way too many CANCER diagnoses amongst family and friends. I have gone back to working my half day JOB and frankly I think if I didn’t may have lost my sanity…

Slowly but surely I am accepting “me” for me. I am enough for me. I can only do so much. I too am only human. I found that I have sort of strayed away from God, not intentionally, but I just don’t think I purposely made a great effort to affirm my faith. I am working on restoring my faith. I am taking stock of life and counting my blessings, as we have been abundantly blessed. We have helped some family through trying times but I also think that it’s time to cut myself some slack and let it go. God will take care of it now as I cannot make them do what they need to do.

We had some great holidays and even managed a trip to Hong Kong this year. We are super proud of Dudie for completing Grade 1 this year. For all his achievements in academia and sports – this kid really did work hard.

So cheers to 2016 – the year that has been. You are etched in my soul. Looking forward to 2017! To less worrying and more time for making and creating memories…

Spirited Mama

Memories

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Some days I find myself sitting quietly and reflecting and savouring my happy childhood memories. It wasn’t all moonshine and roses but I chose to remember the good old days…

I remember that fresh baked bread smell and warm biscuits smell coming from Mamma’s kitchen. Stealing half the cookie dough that was left to “rest” when Mamma wasn’t looking.

Some of my best memories were created during school holidays when we went to visit Ma, Mamma’s mom, on the farm in the Cederberg. There is nothing quite like running out in the wild, diving into God made rock pools and picking your fruit straight from the tree and collecting your veg from the garden. There is also that other side, the one that freaks me out a little, about having to slaughter your own meat. I never ate freshly slaughtered meat. Just couldn’t stomach that meat. Don’t get me started on seeing a headless chicken running around the tree – it’s great fun at the time but then they expect you to eat it. No can do.  Up until today I still don’t like freshly slaughtered meat, fresh milk and fresh eggs – it is just too rich. Nothing quite like picking those cherries from the tree – I love cherries – and I used to eat it to my heart’s content. These days they just don’t taste the same…Picking Almonds from the tree. My pockets were always filled with cherries and almonds and you would generally find me sitting on a big rock watching the pigs paly in the mud. We used to love feeding the lambs and billy goats their milk bottles.

I remember Ma making me rooibos tea, not a teabag from the shop. This was pure rooibos from the tea field complete in her home made little bag and all. And of course those “harde koekies” she used to bake. It wasn’t ginger but I’m also not entirely sure what they were.  I distinctly remember her last batch she made for me, she was in her 80’s and it was just before I moved to Gauteng. She came to visit Mamma and as we stood in the kitchen waiting for her to unpack her basket she said to me “ooh jchent “meaning kind or child” maak tog vir jou moer koffie want daai koekies is so hard en moet gedoop word. And believe me it was moer hard. I ate them with the same conviction as what I always ate those cookies. I didn’t want her to be disappointed…but fuck knows why that batch was SO hard.

Ma also had a puffadder, yes a real live snake, living in the big tree in front of the house. like right by the gate -you need to pass the tree to get to the front door. She called him Oupa. He used to slither on the stoep to wherever he went during the day and come back at night. And this was whilst Ma and the dog would sit on the stoep. They never bothered each other. They had a mutual living arrangement. I shat myself thinking we used to sleep on that stoep, in summer under the beautiful starry skies. Where was Oupa all that time… Probably sleeping on the bed next to us…

After I moved to Gauteng I used to have weekly Sunday afternoon calls with Ma. I just wanted to check in on her so to say as she lived by herself. I could hear the excitement in her voice every single time as this was as important for her as it was for me. She always said that I must come visit her cos she will NEVER get into an airplane. And she never did. If there was a storm MA would end our conversation so quickly because we cannot possibly use the phone during a storm. She would close all the mirrors and the tv with a blanket because of the lightning. Before they got “Telkom lines” they had an operator system. How each resident knew whose call it was, was beyond me but apparently everyone had a different ring tone/number of rings. But let me tell you those old people were naughty – they used to listen in on each other’s conversations all the time. Sometimes we had a few calls during the week too.

Ma passed away in 2010, just before her 94th birthday. Someday we will take him back to the Cedarberg again, as he was only 5 months old when we went to the funeral. I miss those good old days. I miss her cookies and I miss her rooibos tea. I miss her cuckoo clock – this thing was the most fascinating clock ever. I even miss those rogue geese and ram that used to chase us ALL the time.

I miss Ma.

Spirited Mama

 

Stop and play with the bubblewrap

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Sometimes we get so busy and forget to just enjoy our present situations and be grateful for our blessings. Dudie and I are in a foul space. We are constantly bickering and quite frankly I’m not sure why. I am concerned that it may have something to do with the impending arrival of the resident alien, who is due in 13 weeks. Could it be a result of him not wanting to share my attention? Could it be that I am talking about the baby more and more?

Dude started painting the baby room, we had a slight mishap read here if you missed it, but thankfully that is now fixed. Soon we will no longer be 3 but 4 humans in the Spirited household.

As much as it is an adjustment for the adults, I cannot even begin to imagine how my 7yr old must feel. Suddenly, there will be a cute, cuddly and sweet smelling person in our family ALL the time. Suddenly, he needs to share his mom and dad with a sibling. It must be rough.

I am hoping that Dudie and the resident alien will become bosom friends and that they will share a love and connection so strong that nothing and no one can ever break it.

As for now, it is finally Friday. It feels like this week has taken forever. I am tired and my feet are swollen, #27weekspregnant .

I received a package the other day but I will share that news another day. My Dudie was way more excited for the bubblewrap in the box. Even the dog got into playing with the bubblewrap. Dude wanted to throw the bubblewrap away and Dudie protested. As pictured above even the dog went to lie on the bubblewrap to keep Dude from throwing it away.

It’s the small things, like watching Dudie and the dog, find their joy in playing with bubblewrap that fills my soul. I too have a love for bubblewrap. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I NEED to slow down, not because #Iampregnant but because I will miss out on the best patts of life if I continue to rush through it.

Happy Friday!

Spirited Mama

P.S. We had a freak storm last night and again at 1am this morning.

P.P.S I am taking the morning off to feed my unborn baby butter biscuits and lie in bed, whilst Dudie is at school.

Mamma….you know I love you

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Image found at http://www.w-dog.net/wallpaper

Mamma, YOU abandoned our ship. (in case you missed it CANCER WON Mamma lost)

Remember how excited you were to plan our September holiday? Remember how excited you were when I called with the news about the resident alien? Remember how excited you were when you decided we should go on a boat cruise to Namibia? And we were planning for 2017 because we had to wait for the resident alien to arrive? I remember the very first time we drove, me being the driver, on the N1 highway in Cape Town. I was the learner driver, you were the licensed driver – although you never drove. That was just the start of our many drives and adventures. Just the two of us. I miss those drives – which never really had a particular destination.

Then I moved to Pretoria. And we stayed in touch via the phone. Since 2015 you even started using whatsapp – I was so proud of you – keeping in touch with me and technology. You visited and often stayed for 3 months at a time. It wasn’t perfect but we loved you nonetheless. We argued/disagreed/fought but still remained true and loyal to one another. Nothing and no one could break our bond. Our droves continued in Pretoria.

Then started my morning peak hour drive conversations with you. Almost daily we spent an hour talking whilst I was in transit – don’t worry you were on “speaker phone”. When I changed my job to work 7kms from home that hour long conversation was still an hour –  only difference is I used to sit in the parking lot finishing my conversation with you. So many times I was late for work – not because of traffic but because I had to finish my conversation with you. And it was SO worth it. Our random ramblings, some things trivial and some so important and meaningful to us.

Well things have changed. “Life happens when you are making other plans… John Lennon” My LIFE has changed. YOU are no longer here to physically share it with me or my family. We miss. I MISS you. Always! They say that grief gets better with time. I say it doesn’t. We just find ways to live and/or cope with the grief.

Who knew that our holiday in April 2016 would have been our last one together. That this was one of our last breakfasts together.breakfast

That week was so special. One week of just the two of us alone at night, once more sharing a bed. Much like the last week before you became an angel. Just the two of us. A game of Checkers we played – And YOU won. A game of Putt Putt we played in the afternoon rain. And then you chickened out of our night swim that you requested. Was it because you were scared I would see your lump?  Our last supper – your infamous roosterkoekdinner

We talked and laughed so much that night that we hardly slept. The boys came knocking on our door to wake us for breakfast the next day. Those memories are forever in my heart and soul.

Losing you was one of the hardest things that I have to deal with. You are forever etched in my heart, mind and soul. I am a part of you as much as you are a part of me. Your last message to me was cryptic. I still don’t understand but perhaps with time all will be revealed.

Thank you for what you have done for me. But also for what you have taught me. I will do that Namibian boat cruise for you. For us. 

Love and miss you ALWAYS!

L

Spirited Mama

P.S. I sometimes wonder now that you are an angel are you spending time with my resident alien?

 

Mabalingwe…is why I was off the radar for a while

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I was beside myself… I was literally trying to sit still as I typed this. I have anticipated this holiday for months. Along with the excitement it also brings great sadness that Mamma isn’t here to share it with us, well physically that is… She was the one who called me up in January and said “I really enjoyed spending my birthday with you guys (Dudie is on the 1st of October and Mamma on the 2nd) so I was thinking I want to spend my birthday with you guys again”. I said cool I will find a place for us… And I did. Mabalingwe it was. I booked and confirmed that we would the last week of September at Mabalingwe in anticipation of their respective birthdays…We arrived 26 September to beautiful chalet surrounded by the bushveld and nature. We did send Dude into the chalet to check that there were unwanted pets/wildlife/snakes in the chalet…Yes, we waited in the bakkie until he came back out to give us an all clear…One day I will tell you about how my Guess watch saved me from a Mozambiquan spitting cobra…I shit you not. True story but for another day.

Well you may or may not know that Mamma is sadly no longer with us as she was lost a very short, well from the time of diagnosis for the family, we really don’t know how long she knew about it, 8 day battle with CANCER! you can read about it here. I miss her dearly. I wish she was here.

We haven’t been to Mabalingwe since I was 7 months pregnant with Dudie, which was more than 7 years ago… I am really not sure why though but I do know that we had loads of fun the last time we were there. Like Dudie’s godparents probably conceived their first child there. LOL. We went up Vodacom hill, yes with me being 7 months pregnant and I even went on a game drive to the Lion Camp, all whilst I used most of the Chalet’s cushions to pack all around my pregnant self….However, this past week I was very lazy and very cautious NOT to have extreme activities….We spent the week just lazing around and enjoying the heat. Cooling off at the pool with some refreshing drinks and too much ice-cream…

It was a happy but also sad and emotional week as there were many moments where I caught myself staring out blankly and just having a quiet cry for Mamma…we saw lots of animals, loads of birds (OMg I am so impressed with Dudie who knows how to navigate through the bird book. This kid is damn good at spotting birds, and finding the correct bird in the book).

It is sad that Mabalingwe, like many places not just in Limpopo Province is suffering due to a lack of rain…the water levels are so low. The dams actually look empty.

Do you remember the old Castrol(Boet & Swaer) Ad? They made this ad at the Kalahari Oasis aka Bush Pub at Mabalingwe.

We discovered the BushPub on a previous visit and it is definitely a MuST stopover every time we are at Mabalingwe. This time however, we etched our names into the walls and forever left a little piece of ourselves there. They have scheduled game drives but you can and really should drive yourself through the bush as well. I find it very exhilarating….except I shouldn’t be the actual driver…

God willing we will be back to soak up some Mabalingwe again…

Spirited Mama

P.S. Some elephants went roque trying to break the water pump or filter or something to get some fresh water. They actually also broke into a private home to steal some food… The sound of these elephants approaching is insanely scary and yes it was pitch black outside as they decided it would be best to do the deed at night. SO we’re sitting on the porch and Dude is about to braai when we here the commotion…Dude says “It sure beats the hell out of PnP animal cards and sound readers…this shit is real….this is what the actual sounds are.