what are you grateful for today?

Recently there’s been this “7 day gratefulness” challenge going around Facebook. I wasn’t nominated (thank goodness) but it was quite interesting reading my timeline, seeing what all of my friends were grateful for. Most of them were grateful for their health, families, jobs etc, and it got me thinking. I know, me, thinking? That in itself is a rather scary thought!

What am I grateful for? I have so much negativity going on in my life right now, that it is sometimes difficult to see the positivity that I DO have in my life.

1. I have the most gorgeous daughter (no I’m not biased at all) who fills my life with love and laughter, stress and frustration, and who loves me so genuinely and innocently that she just makes all of lifes stresses seem like nothing.

2. I have a roof over my head every night and every month, even though the rent isn’t always paid on time. Our landlord is so understanding, and in this day and age, it is difficult to find an understanding landlord. Now if he would only fix the door frame, and 2 broken windows, and…

3. I have the most wonderful friends, who out of their kindness of their hearts loaned me their spare car, whilst we try and sort out our car mess. No it’s not a fancy car. It makes me miss my Merc every day, but it’s wheels, and it’s getting M-L and I from A-B. THANK-YOU.

4. With all of the stress that I’ve been under in the last 7 weeks, I still have had an extremely healthy pregnancy so far; the doctor is so happy with the twins progress; they’re big and healthy and everything is just perfect! I’m in excruciating pain because of them, but THEY ARE HEALTHY. That’s all any mama could ask for.

5. I have a mom who is just the most wonderfully amazing mom there is (again, not being biased). She can come across as so cold and uninterested at times, but I know her, and all she ever does is put me first. Thank-you mommy.

6. I have the most INCREDIBLE family in the UK, who have gifted L and I with some money to go out and buy car seats and another pram for the twins. I’m sure that we would have made a plan somehow, but knowing that this is just 1 less thing that we have to worry about, is such a weight off of my shoulders, and I am eternally grateful.

7. The SAME family in the UK, have shown me nothing but the most AMAZING support, in both my pregnancy with M-L, and now with the twins. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart.

8. My father-in-law, who comes across as this all-business-and-no-play kinda guy, but has the biggest heart of gold, and is always willing to help if he can. L and I are so blessed to have you in our lives.

9. My siblings. They all drive me absolutely insane and up the wall most days, but wouldn’t life then be so boring if they didn’t?

10. My husband. We have had some serious downs in recent months, but together we have the strength to work it out. Thank-you for fighting for us, every time that it feels like the light is getting dimmer and dimmer. I don’t need all of the money in the world, because I have you.

Sometimes it takes someone to give you a virtual slap (in or some people’s cases an actual one) for you to realise that HEY! – my life actually isn’t that bad!

So, what are you grateful for today?

G

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i’m a milk cow

Remember last year, when the husband told me that I should have gone up a dress size?  Well today’s conversation, totally tops that.  Please make sure that you read the linked post to understand the hilarity in today’s conversation.

Husband:  “Are you and M-L still going to the animal farm tomorrow?”

Me:  “Yes.  Please could you transfer Rxxx into my account for entrance fee, food etc.  (He gets paid on the 18th, me on the 25th.  He’s been paid already.)  I really hope that I make some money on Sunday;  all the money that I made last weekend is finished.”

Husband:  “What happened last weekend that you had such a flop with the amount of tables that you served?”

I then told him that the waiter that I was sharing my section with, ended up serving 3/4 of the tables that sat down, because he doesn’t know how to share, and that he needed a crash course in what rotation actually meant.

Me:  “Yeah, I’m not helping any waiters out this weekend.  I’m going to focus on my section, as I need to make money.”

Husband:  “Absolutely.  You’re there for you to make money.  Just remember, you’re a milk cow in a horse race in that place.”

Silence.

Me:  “I’m a what?”

Husband:  “I didn’t mean it like that!”

Me: ” I’m a what?!”  By this stage I couldn’t contain my laughter;  I’m cool like that 😉

Husband:  “I really didn’t mean it like that!  What I meant is that it’s cutthroat and you need to only worry about yourself and your section, not the other waiters and that you’re older than them and that you have to be careful and…”

Me:  “This is just like last year when you told me that I should have gotten a bigger dress, only this time I’M A MILK COW!”

Husband:  “Shut up!  I didn’t mean it like that!”

I know that my husband wasn’t calling me fat.  But the visual of a milk cow running a horse race absolutely cracked me up, and I could hear him blushing on the other end of the phone.  I handled today’s faux pax just as coolly as I did last year’s;  it honestly didn’t faze me and I really do see the funny side of it all.

Plus it makes a totally funny blog entry 🙂

G

the bff dilemma

Yesterday’s Daily Prompt got me thinking; BFF’s. This can be a tricky topic, because even if you believe a person to be your BFF, they might not see you as their BFF.

I have 3 BFF’s. 2 of them reciprocate, and the 3rd treats me as a phenomenally good friend. But I know deep down that I’m not her BFF. And that’s ok 🙂

BFF #1
V – We met on the 14th of March 2007; the first day of my new job. This fantastically strong and amazing woman has shown me what true strength lies within us. She does not beat around the bush; she says it like it is, every, single time. She is the first one to come up with solutions to any challenge, and she does not view a door closing as the end. It simply means that a window has opened elsewhere, and we just have to keep looking for it. We have laughed together, cried together, plotted against one another, not spoken to each other for 2-3 months due to a stupid fight and we are there for each other, always. We have had many a very late night WhatsApp chat, BBM chat; she’s my tv series buddy (pssst, I need more episodes of The Originals and The Vampire Diaries, thanks 😉 ) my pizza and wine buddy, my jolling buddy and my sister.

Thank-you for showing me that independence isn’t such a scary thing after all xx

BFF #2
J – We became best friends in 1997, the day that we left for a school trip. I was 11 and she was almost 12, and even though we’d been in the same school for a while, we’d never really noticed each other. That day the universe decided to introduce us, and that was that! We were inseparable; we were typical pre-teen girls; fighting about shaving our legs (I even held her razor hostage after a fight!!), fighting about boys, going to disco’s, who looked the cutest, whose house were we sleeping at on the weekend, which movie was better, Titanic or Titanic and just silly little girl stuff! And boy oh boy did we have some crazy fights! I have never made friends very easily, so when we had a fight, J would go off and make friends with other girls, leaving me alone, which hurt something awful! Ah, to be young 😉 When high school came around, I moved which was heartbreaking, as J was my best friend; I didn’t know what I was going to do. As it was, I only really made friends halfway through high school, which made for a very lonely 2.5 years (enter BFF #3 – more on that later). J and I stayed in touch via letters – remember letters?! I remember checking our postbox almost everyday, waiting for a white envelope with bright funky writing on it, as it meant that my bestie had written me! Over the years we didn’t write each other so often, and I really wish that we had. We had the odd phone call, but we did go through a patch of a year or so where we had no contact at all. That was one of the loneliest periods of my life. I managed to fly to Cape Town for her 21st in 2006, and she flew up to Durban for my 21st in 2007, which was so special for both of us.

My friendship with J has shown me that even though we weren’t with each other almost 24/7 like when we were in primary school, our friendship transcends through boundaries and limits; I’m the person that she messages at whatever hour that she needs me, and she’s one of the first people that I share any news with. It has been difficult, and I especially have had to work at our friendship, purely because I am a lazy cow, and J actually called me out on that a few years ago, and told me outright; if she is going to continue to do all of the communicating etc, then she’s ending our friendship. It must be a 2 way street. I was so petrified of losing her as a friend, I slapped myself into action, and even if I just send her a message once a week or once a month, I try. I never want to NOT have J in my life; she is my twin sister that I never had.

Thank-you for teaching me the value of friendship, and for showing me that true strength lies within all of us. And that picking up the pieces, and starting all over again is not the end of the world. It’s the start of something new and exciting xx

BFF #3
N – We because friends halfway through Grade 10 (2001) in high school; we had been in the same school since Grade 8, but for some reason we only clicked in Grade 10. Most likely because I was a total loner who was utterly miserable for the first 2.5 years in high school! N and I were the ultimate partying buddies; late nights, far too much alcohol, loads of laughter and pregnancy tests (don’t ask) and to this day we are still friends. My friendship with N is similar to that of J’s in that we can go weeks, months and even years (!?) without speaking, but when we do it’s like we saw each other the day before! With N I am always laughing, always being rude (in a naughty way 😉 ) and just enjoying life! The reason that I call N my BFF and she doesn’t call me hers, I think is down to the fact that she has so many BFF’s, she doesn’t classify us as BFF’s. She just has loads and loads and loads of friends. It’s hard not to be N’s friend; she’s genuine, heartfelt, funny, beautiful and just an amazing person.

Thank-you for showing me that just because we live in different countries, and hardly see each other anymore, it’s ok to pick up right where we left off xx

So let me calculate this:

V – almost 7 years of friendship
J – almost 17 years of friendship
N – almost 13 years of friendship

That totals almost 37 years of friendship! The fact that I’m only 27, and I have these 3 amazing women in my life; I think I’m good hey 😉

G

PS: for all of those other wonderful women in my life; I know who you are and I love and appreciate every single one of you! xx

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the greatest blog post in the world

Is not this one.

My mom and I were chatting yesterday evening after I’d stopped by at her house after work and fetching M-L from creche, and our little routine is that she carries M-L to the car, buckles her into her car seat, and then we end up chatting for 2mins, 5mins, sometimes 10mins. She stands outside the car, next to M-L, door open and I sit in the driver’s seat, and we just chat. Sometimes about random stuff, sometimes about important stuff, but it’s mostly venting or ranting or just arbitrary nonsense.

But yesterday, she gave me such a great blogging idea, an idea so immense, that I have totally forgotten what it was. I literally forgot in the time that it took from driving from her house to my house, which is 7km away, and takes me generally about 5-10mins, depending on my mood which ultimately determines my driving style.

I could absolutely kick myself; I sometimes really struggle to find a decent topic to blog about and then when I do, I either duff it up by stumbling through it, or forgetting it altogether.

It’s crazy; I can remember lines in a play, recite poetry by heart, remember lyrics to a song, but I cannot remember something that I was discussing 10mins earlier. This short-term memory lapse thing is really crap! My hubby has been going on about it for years, but now that it’s starting to frustrate me, I kinda get the steam pouring out of his ears when he asks me what I think about something, and I turn around and say “about what?”

I have been told so many times to write stuff down, but that’s just not who I am. I used to be able to have our weekly production meetings, and type out the minutes afterwards purely from memory! I can recall things discussed in last week’s meeting, or even the meeting from 2 months ago, just don’t ask me what we discussed this morning. I haven’t suffered a head injury (that I’m aware of!) and the only thing I can think of is the dreaded, sometimes fictitious ‘pregnancy brain’ but c’mon, it’s been 4 years already! Almost 5 if you include the pregnancy!

Ay, I dunno. I tend to remember things when I see someone else blog about it, or talk about it, or take a picture of it, and I’m like damn, that could have been me.

One day 😉

G

the princess turns 4!

It's Stuffy mommy!

It’s Stuffy mommy!

So Saturday has come and gone, and oh what a fantastically wonderful day it was! It started with me getting up at 04h20 on Saturday morning, to finish the treasure maps, as I had printed them out of Friday, but was just too tired to complete them on Friday night. I gave up with staining the maps with tea bags as the pages would have never dried in time, so I stood in our kitchen, burning the edges of the maps with my hubby’s lighter, destroying my poor thumb in the process, as well as killing my hubby’s lighter. Oops?! Brightspark (excuse the pun ;)) over here then had the INCREDIBLE idea to burn the edges of the maps with our gas top, I mean duh! It seems so logical! A candle would have also sufficed, but I’m not that logical… So I rolled 30 maps, tied them with ribbon, and then almost set 26 of them alight.
It's Doc McStuffins! (And as excited as she was, that's actually a yawn that I caught her in!)

It’s Doc McStuffins! (And as excited as she was, that’s actually a yawn that I caught her in!)

That took me to about 06h00 or thereabouts, and I then decided to go and have a shower and get ready for the party, as I still had to go through to the shops for breadrolls and gold coins 🙂 Hubby woke up M-L at about 06h30 and we then gave her her 2 presents; 1 from us and 1 from her Nana and Kulu in Port Elizabeth.So after the presents were unwrapped and the princess and I dressed in our pirate gear, I made my way through to Hillcrest to get the last minute items. And of course my list of 2 things became 10 things, and I ended up buying things like polystyrene cups and paper plates for the adults which weren’t even needed, as the venue provided crockery for the adults, but in my mad panic I forgot this little detail…
My beautiful sister, the pirate princess and me :)

My beautiful sister, the pirate princess and me 🙂

I wanted to be at the venue at 08h00 as the party was starting at 10h00 and I still needed to decorate and I was seriously worried that 2 hours was not going to be long enough. That’s me, always in a panic, especially when it comes to my daughter’s party. Thank goodness it only happens once a year… Anyway, I got to Akimbo just after 08h20 and started setting up, and was ready to go at 09h40, 20mins before the party was set to start.
Arriving at her Jake & the Neverland Pirates party :)

Arriving at her Jake & the Neverland Pirates party 🙂

I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day; the weather forecast had said all week that it was going to be raining on Saturday, so when we woke up to blue skies and scattered clouds, I was one very happy mama! Some of our guests even got sunburnt! As a contingency plan, hubby and I had asked my mom to bake 3 dozen cupcakes, and then we were going to get the kids to ice and decorate them. That I think, should win party planning award of the year. It was such a success, with kids making 2 and even 3 cupcakes! It was just so much fun – thanks for baking the cupcakes and making the icing and organising the sprinkles ma!
The kidlets icing and decorating their cupcakes

The kidlets icing and decorating their cupcakes

My awesome mom had even organised a jumping castle for the princess, and as I had promised her one months ago, that was just perfect 🙂 Hubby made swords for the boys, and we both made fairy bags for the girls, and then we ended the party off with a treasure hunt. The treasure hunt almost didn’t happen, but as there was about to be a riot due to the fact that I had cancelled the treasure hunt, I very quickly put it back on! Thank goodness I had gone and bought the gold coins, and they ended up being the treasure, instead of my original plan of ‘Captain Hook stealing the party bags’. Oh me and my impulsive decisions!
Notice the beautiful blue sky ;)

Notice the beautiful blue sky 😉

As there were supposed to be close on 30 children at the party, we had organised 2 cakes, but as only about 15 children arrived, I now have cake coming out of my ears! Both cakes were absolutely stunning, both to look at and to eat! Yes, cake IS on the menu in my house for this week 😉
Bucky the pirate ship cakes :)

Bucky the pirate ship cakes 🙂

It was absolutely wonderful having our family and friends there, celebrating my little pumpkin-pie’s 4th birthday party, and out of the 4 parties that we have thrown her, this was by FAR the very best. It has rained on all 3 of her previous birthday parties, plus this year her party was on her actual birthday 🙂 Everything just ran so smoothly, from the goodies from my aunts in both the UK and USA arriving last week (we were seriously stressing that they weren’t) to the catering coming together to the decorations, everything just worked out. There was a minor glitch in the preparation; at 06h34 on Saturday morning the photographer cancelled on me due to car trouble. I just stood there, speechless. I had no idea what to do or say. Hubby came through and asked what was wrong, and through my tears I told him that we no longer had a photographer. He immediately phoned his dad, who let us borrow his AH-MAAAAY-ZING digital camera (the quality is so good, that the minimum picture size is 10mb!) plus I had my bestest friend V and my mom happily snapping away. So crisis averted 🙂 Between the 3 of them, I’d say we got about 600-800 photo’s so I’m certainly not complaining 🙂 The princess was thoroughly spoilt by all that came to the party, and for that I’m so very grateful.
Just some of the 'haul' ;)

Just some of the ‘haul’ 😉

It’s crazy how 7 intense filled months of planning, were done and dusted in just over 2 hours. But you know what, I wouldn’t change a single thing. M-L had such a fantastic morning, and I loved watching her interact with all of her friends and it was really great to socialise with my friends outside of work, and also my family outside of home! The hugest of huge thank-you’s to my wonderful mommy, who without her levelheadedness and calmness, I would NEVER have been able to pull any of this off. To my hubby for constantly putting up with my insanity, spending splurges and ever present calmness – THANK-YOU. And to every single person involved in making Saturday morning happen – THANK-YOU!
The birthday pirate princess!

The birthday pirate princess!