Thursday, January 31, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

how to be alone*

looking for a quote on being alone, but not lonely.

think the video say it all.

enjoy xx

               andrea dorfman makes the most beautiful videos

Monday, January 21, 2013

the year 2012 in review*

Those of you who know me well will know that i love the start of something new.  i love the beginning of the year... the promise of possibilities and new adventures... it makes my heart sing! 

every year, when the sun rise on the 1st of January, everyone looks back at that previous year, wondering what happened, how it happened and how you could have done it differently.  Andrea has this new year ritual which helps you to look back and to really reflect on your life. you are welcome to do this as well... it's quite enlightening.

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2012? (What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)

mostly i want to acknowledge the courage it took to pack up our family and belongings and move to ASIA! Different cultures, temperatures, food, new people, a new home, new schools, new roads, new personal strengths that i did not know i have). i want to acknowledge how uncertain and scared i was to  create a new life, with children, in a new country. i want to acknowledge that i created a space for my husband and children to come home to, a safe place to fall when all the uncertainty and scary thoughts came crushing down, but also a place where they can marvel at their achievements, where we can build new memories and celebrate our life. i faced moving countries, being out of your comfort zone, with courage and strength. i have made the brave choice when moving here, to open my heart, wide wide wide, to invite new people, different cultures, into my home and my heart.  i've promise myself that i will stay open to every person i meet, i will stay open to joy and laughter.  i'm proud of the home i created for my family and that i too, am open and adjustable to such big change. i'm proud of letting the uncertain moments come and go, and trusting that everything will happen how it's meant to.

2. What is there to grieve about 2012? (What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)
there was not really much to grieve. it was more a process of being in it. of being open and vulnerable to this new life. it was scary putting yourself out there with such openness and it was hard to not take it personally when something worked out differently than you thought it would.  i forgive myself that mostly everything in 2012 was about my kids and that i did not make time for my dreams... its difficult to work on them when you are living your dream... i forgive myself for being so hard on myself, for wanting everyone i meet to like me.  i forgive myself for not looking after myself all these years and for not loving myself fully.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete? The next step is to say out loud, "I declare 2012 complete!" How do you feel? If you don't feel quite right, there might be one more thing to say...

i feel grateful for 2012, for the new things, for embracing family and life within our new environment, thank you for new perspectives and thoughts... thank you for new people who challenges my own believes and thoughts.  i declare 2012 complete! 

Some highlights and low lights include: 

- (the realisation of) packing up your whole life, (the happiness to do that with your immediate family) and (the excitement and fear of) moving countries
- the excitement of new things to come, of babies crawling and being brave to look life straight in the eye and say 'give me what you've got'.  

- the total high of being a mama to a 5 year old boy, who wants to learn how to do everything! who wants to braai and swim and play rugby and soccer and tennis.  a boy who is eager to learn new things and improve on those he already know.

- the joy of family and cousins and swimming with 'oupa'

- the knowing that you are loved and wanted. the feeling of being protected by something bigger than you can explain, the feeling of being held and loved and taken care of.

 - a lowlight was being in the unfamiliar, the scary bits of your thoughts, of not loving yourself fully, but celebrating that with seeing the light, *grateful!

-  the courage (because you need it!) to try new things. new foods, next to the road in a new country where everything seems different, but still the same.  the courage to pull over and say, let's eat traditional :-) (thanks Big Dad)

-  night swims, and an added bonus is night swims with family in another new country. (here we are swimming in Singapore :-)

-  being brave. trying new things. screaming of joy.

- being brave (again) trying chinese food from a restaurant with no menus' but the most delicious food. 

-  night drives, experiencing a culture so foreign, you know you are in a different country

- welcoming LOVE into our home... a love so pure it will blow your mind, light + love = heart full

 - exciting lowlights would be moving from South Africa, to Malaysia, into Wedgewood Residence for a month. Moving to The Nomad Residence for 3 weeks before moving into our home...exciting times!

- being courageous and brave and scared and uncertain. starting his learning, Year 1, in a new school, speaking in a second language and adapting within a month or two.  Getting up every day, even though he was scared, to go back to school to make new friends and to learn new things.

-  seeing and holding and moving between animals we have never seen/fed/held... brave brave brave and so beautiful! 

Follow only beauty, obey only love ~ Gibran 
(i have no words to describe the love i have for this woman xx) 

- looking up, to God, to love, to everything you know that will make you feel whole.

- two absolute delights are to have so many family visiting through out the year and to be able to swim every day of the year (we are talking about one-season-the-whole-year-through-weather...amazing).

- she packed her bags, got on a plane and lived with us for 3 months... some of our most treasured memories will be of her time with us... being courageous and brave and moody and funny... and LOVED! the highlight of her visit would be to be loved by her... on her.. and with her... the love she shared with our children - irreplaceable.

- naked walks... hehe... seeing that little girl growing... priceless

- we celebrated big birthdays. marcel turned 40 and his parents were here to celebrate with us! love this photo :-)

- watching and playing in the rain. one of the most enlightened highlights are most definitely the thunderstorms, followed by a down pour of water that you cannot help but to want to play in!

- family, their understanding, their love, their experiences of something new

- going for walks after the rain... pure magic

- the celebration of her life... our lives have been blessed the day she (& her brother) was born.  she is wild(!!) and funny and loud and soft and sweet and adventurous and ridiculously cute. she is a miracle.

i read the following this morning on Jen's website and it is everything i think of when i look at my children:

you were born great. 
you were born magnificent. 
you were born a miracle. 

believe it. 

- cousins, walks, cycling, fighting, laughing = family! 

- being a witness to him finding himself, learning what he loves. watching how much he loves himself fully, teaching us to open more and be kind to the parts we don't like. he is my biggest teacher. 

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” 

- a sad day was when fish-fish died... we had a ceremony celebrating his short life... and a perfect opportunity to talk about death and the life after death. i hope you talk about it... it's like breathing out.. speaking about topics that are 'taboo'.  you can start the process now. death can be beautiful.

- a highlight is sending a parcel to family in South Africa... or all over the world, teaching your son of the world, and different places and people... sharing in the expectation of a little baby girl to be born this coming friday!!! 

- friends and naked babies... love that!

- exploring what kuala lumpur has to offer with (angel) friends

- going on a road trip with these two beauties... kindred spirits... in every way possible! i love you xx

- arriving in our new 'home' country.. Malaysia... excited, scared, tired(!), happy and brave

- finding love everywhere

- leaning into uncertainty, embracing it with love...

- this beautiful photo, this moment,  was definitely a lowlight in 2012...flying out of cape town, into our future in a different country. we cannot wait to fly back into cape town... there is really no place like home. 

- highlight of the year? living in gratitude for this. the 4 of us. teaching and learning every single day to be courageous and brave, to surrender and love. living in gratitude for our precious life.

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

thank you 2012 - for all the opportunities, abundance, lessons, happiness and gratitude. xx

Saturday, January 12, 2013

memories & your handwriting*

you never really understand the depths of love for your child, whether through birth or adoption, until you hold that little one in your arms.  i remember absolute awe and gratitude, a feeling of a circle coming full... of the most amazing experience of my life... to hold that little one, look into their eyes and all that you feel is pure love...

then we all grow up and have this idea of the relationship we have with our parents.  i was sorting a box and came upon albums of photos when i was a baby...  photos of my mom and dad and me.. just the 3 of us...  when i was 6 days old... 3 months... 10 months... a year.

my mom passed away 3 years ago... i miss her every day.  i miss everything about her.
these albums were put together by her,
with her thoughts,
written in her handwriting,
the pen held by her hand.

the photos taken by my dad,
the thoughts behind the capturing of each of these,
the camera held in his hands.

i imagine their hearts bursting with happiness and love,
their relationship as husband and wife strengthening,
their love deepened.

 9 january 1975, my mom in the beginning stages of birthing me

my mom & i

i see the awe and gratitude, a softness in her gaze... 

my dad and i, camping

i'm going to make photo books for every year of our children's lives. i've decided today that i will keep the space where the comments must come, blank, so that i can write a caption, with a pen held in my hand, in my handwriting, for my children. my thoughts... my handwriting... which i know they will treasure one day when they have their own children. 

i've been writing letters to my children since they were born. i have a letter for that i've written to 'our baby' in october 2010... bellas was conceived in september... i wrote i could feel that she (had a feeling it was a little girl) was on her way to us... 

you should too. write letters to your children. not type. write. with a pen on paper and keep it for them.  

you should tell them in letters or short notes how much you love them.  one day when you have left, those are the things they will treasure the most. 

go write.