Thursday, February 28, 2013

baffling my mind

something that really baffles my mind is that people don't want to read happy, good news. people want to read about grief and death and infertility, grieving and sadness. or so it seems to me. the only conclusion i can come to is that if more people are honest with themselves, more people will be able to work through their own sadness, so that they want to read the happy news too. why are we pretending to be happy when we are not?

important things i've learned on my journey:

1. you are allowed to sit with the feelings of sadness
2. you don't have to push them away and never speak about them
3. you are allowed to cry about it
4.  every single day if you wish or need to
5.  write about them, talk with someone, blog about it, get it out - which ever way works for you
6.  don't keep it in. it will hang around (and pull you down) until you acknowledge said sad feelings
7.  embrace it. the sadness. the infertility. the loneliness. the grief. welcome it in.
8.  you are allowed to be angry. write about it and burn it. it is empowering
9.  talk to someone who can acknowledge what you are feeling. (i only needed 2 sessions with a counsellor  6 years ago to talk about things that i remembered when i was 7.  the only words i needed to hear was: 'it sounds to me as if she was a very sick woman').
10.  then let it go.
11.  breath deep... and let.it.go.
12.  stand up and move on.
13.  keep on moving
14.  and choose to use this chance on earth that you have to really be who YOU are!

no comparisons.

no excuses.

just you.

be you.

open your heart and be who you know you are.

just be you xx


Friday, February 22, 2013

gratitude for simple things*

i was going to write a post on connecting with your babies/children before you have met them after reading this beautiful written post by Stacy...and then i thought maybe that is too much for a friday. 

what i can say, is that the other day i was reading in Romans and God said: 'if you believe in Me, I will not disappoint you'.  this is the promise i'm holding on to until we meet our other children. i believe in God and prayer and would like to invite you to pray with us that we will find our way to our children. 

the first post was about connecting with them, moving onto adoption, moving onto very very deep thoughts... but let's rather enjoy this beautiful day in simple ways... enjoying these two silly things with a heart full full full and literally flowing over.

running to the park... 


bella wants to run to the park... on the side walk, very close to the road...she likes to challenge (me) herself and see how far she can go before i strap her up in the stroller... and kellen... he just cycles on and shows us the way...


they know the path to the park and are showing me where to go...
(notice bella is still running..hehe)


she is a little tree hugger... walk with us on the day that she decides today every tree along the road will get a hug...it takes for ever...but with every hug, she gives a huge aaaaaaa... as to really show her love.


one of these days i will have to pay him to smile at the camera...


the two of them...they have my heart. they are best friends. when they wake up in the mornings they look for each other first... hugs and kisses.... he is definitely her favorite person on earth... and she does everything he does...


when we play 'tag' (when last did you play tag? help me... )... this is the face i get when i cannot catch him... he thinks the fact that he is faster than i am, is hilarious.


we played hide-and-seek in the park (when last did you play hide-and-seek?  most amazing experience to see the joy on their faces...) bella does not get the whole hide-and-seek thing yet..she giggles and jumps up and scream and then falls down again... never hide with bella close to you! this was her face when she jumped up to give her 'hiding place' away and i told her she was suppose to be quiet...she was hiding in the slide. quite clever.


when did this happen. this baby girl climbs onto the see-saw and stands on top of the seat, trying to balance standing without holding onto anything. i could only take the first photo because my heart nearly stopped when i realised she is trying to stand on the seat


she looks at the camera and say 'cheese'...


he has such a soft and kind heart.... when meeting new friends he gets a bit quieter and just smiles...


but he is a fierce tree-hugger!


ummm... yes. you can't catch me! (she does everything her big brother does).


and when they are tired, they literally just fell down, lie on their backs and rest! he calls it 'telling cloud stories mama'.

happy weekend!

Monday, February 18, 2013

holding space & moving on*


this is the most amazing man on earth...

i met him when i was 17 and he was 20. 
we went out for 3 years, broke up for a year, got back together for 4 years, got engaged for a year and a half and in 2000 we got married! 20 years with this guy...it feels like yesterday! 

he is...
considerate, 
kind, 
soft, 
honest, 
open, 
quiet, 
sweet, 
caring.

yesterday he took the kids so that i could sleep in (woke up at 11am)... he let me be... he asked if he could grate the cheese... he fixed the washing machine... he did not ask questions of 'what's wrong' or when are you going to talk..he just let me be. 

yesterday,  i grieved. for the mom that i lost too early. for all the things i still wanted to tell her. for the many times i picked up the phone to quickly call her, and realised she is not here anymore.  i grieved for my children who will never know her funny ways, who will only experience her only through our stories, i grieved for friends who lost loved ones too and prayed that God will keep us healthy and safe so that we can one day meet our grandchildren. 

last night, after i pressed published on the post of my mom's birthday, i went down and thanked him. i thanked him for keeping space and not asking questions. 

and today? today is a new day. it's a beautiful sunny day with endless possibilities. today i'm being assertive and getting this adoption thing on the road again. please pray with us. 

ps: i'm one of the lucky ones...to be married to this man?! biggest gift in the world! xx

Saturday, February 16, 2013

happy birthday Mom*


"You will lose someone you can’t live without,
and your heart will be badly broken,
and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp." 

— Anne Lamott

today is my mom's 4th birthday in heaven.  there are no words to describe the loss and sadness one feel.  then, with every thought of not being able to hear her voice, or to touch her face, or to hug her, the vey thought of her not being alive, gets so overwhelming, i turn to the photos.... the physical proof that she was in fact, alive. to only realize, that she was indeed, gone, because we will not have new photos of her... every time we look through the photos, it is the same photos...of years ago...and the latest of 4 years ago... and you don't know how it all happened.. you don't know how you got through these 4 years of her not being here... you cling onto these memories, forever etched in your heart and the knowing that she was here. she was your mom. 

here are 35 photos with 35 things about my mom.... a little trip down memory lane for me. 

happy birthday mom xx


she was a beautiful, elegant woman who, for those who knew her, 
wore her heart on her sleeve.  :-) 

she was creative. she used to make track suites and pajamas for the 3 of us... every year. 


gardening was her muse, her meditation. she used to get up at 5am to work in her garden and my dad had to install spotlights so that she can continue her gardening when it gets dark. 
she LOVED it... we would always find her in the garden planting something, changing something, adding something... and she would always have a smile on her face...






 she met my son. i'm so grateful that my mom got to meet kellen.  she came to visit for a few months but the two of them had quite a rocky start :-).  i love this photo, it is one of 3 i have of the two of them and this day was the first day that he went and sat next to her.  i love the light behind my mom... in a way it reminds me of where she is... 


 she was not afraid of Leo.  everyone is afraid of this dog, but not my mom. she used to let him come into her room and lay with her. she would put her head right next to his and talk with him. 


she loved her glass of wine


she was adventurous.  the last 7 years of her life she and my dad lived in slave lake, canada and she did ice-fishing, with one arm (her left arm was broken in 2 places)...but nothing could keep her from having fun! 


she loved to sleep. whenever we went on a road-trip, it took her about 5 (five!) minutes to get us all going, then she would make herself comfortable and sleep the rest of the journey. she loved that. she also always put in lunch for a picnic along the road. in this photo she literally just woke up, ate a sandwich and went back to sleep..hehe... 



she knew how to cuddle/snuggle.  and we got our 'morning hair' from her..hehe.. 


she was funny. here it was 1am one evening during our december holidays and she decided she wanted to play golf... 


she loved her husband. (and gifts).  this was taken on xmas holiday. it was easy for her to show affection.  about the gifts part.. she preferred many small gifts...but never one big one. she wanted many little things to open and would always get so excited about each gift.  one year, we each gave her a flower vase and after opening the 4th gift, and it was done, she looked at us, hands folded and asked: 'ok, where is the rest?" 

another time, at 12am, it was just the start of mother's day. she came walking down the steps and called: cooeee-ieeee... it's mother's day, you can bring the gifts'... 


she took care of herself. she always had a little bottle of cream in her handbag. 


she came prepared. this was the content of her handbag, which i unpacked and photographed after her death.  she always had gum, sweets, her camera and cream in her bag. 


she loved flowers.  she always had fresh flowers in her home.  always. you could brighten up her day with any little or big flower. you could see her spirits lift when she looked at them. 


this is Saartjie, her one cat in canada.  when my dad went to work in the mornings, she would get the cats with her in bed, one cat in each arm. then they would take there morning nap. my mom loved sleeping in. she would sleep until 11h45, get up, shower and get dressed, just in time before my dad arrived at home for lunch at 12. then she would tell him what she was busy with 'the whole morning'... acting as if she got up with him. 


she was fond of peace and home.... when i was 7 years old, we lived in piketberg. at the annual show that year, she gave me R2 to buy something with and i remember taking all my money to buy her a plant like this, because i knew how much she loved them... 


she was very curious. she could not wait for her birthday/xmas/mother's day..she wanted to know beforehand what gift she was getting... so curious...and made that we had to hide her gifts... her wedding ring got stolen and on this day (above photo), my dad gave her a new wedding ring and went on his knee and ask her to marry him again. they were such an inspiration for the 3 of us... 


 she was excellent with sleeping in, and cuddling... this is Trompie, her other sleeping partner. 


'daffie-duck' my mom's nickname was daffie-duck, her christian names johanna helena elizabeth, but every one called her daphne...yes, go figure. hehe.. 

 she was involved. she was involved/part of every child/grandchild's birthday party, any family celebration and was usually the middle of attention or more laughter as she would make jokes. always trying to be funny. 


these are called 'daphne-dils'.  in 1995 my mom got very ill and was diagnosed with myelodysplasic syndrome, a type of leukemia. right in the beginning when we did not know why she was so ill, i stayed with her overnight and on my return home, one of these beautiful daffodils was lying on my pillow with a little note from my brother saying: 'these are 'daphne-dills', but this one is for you. thank you for staying with mom'. 

my mom had a bone-marrow transplant and lived another 15 years! she celebrated all 3 her children's 21st birthdays, all 3 her children's weddings, the birth of 2 of her 6 grandchildren and life in-between all that celebrations. blessed, blessed, blessed to have had her for another 15 years!  


 she was an amazing granny. here she is sitting with morgan, whom she looked after for the first 2 years of his life. he is the only grandchild who would really 'remember' her and her funny ways... 

below:  
she was an amazing mom
she was not the easiest of people to lived with, but despite that, she was an amazing mom! 







 she loved to make fire... she was fiesty and all fire(d) up to fight for what she wanted or believed in... 

 she was funny...and would almost always pull a face when we took photos. 


she was a proud grand mom...



doing laundry was like a meditation... she did laundry every.single.day.  worked quite on her nerves when she was at my house and i had loads of laundry...hehe... i used to giggle when she got all upset that i don't do laundry every single day.. 


she was a very involved mom... she was always at our sport practices... you could say a true 'soccer mom'. i appreciate that of her... she taught me what it means to support your children no matter what. 


i love her...this face, this smile, the wrinkles, the tiny eyes...  i love her! 


always game for sports... if anyone would ask: 'who wants to join me in 30 seconds" (or any game for that matter), she will be first...



she loved to write letters... (and smoke). she used to write postcards and letters to us every 2 weeks/month and send packages with too big shoes in for the kids...or paper cut - outs of interesting newspaper articles that we would want to read... i miss that! post with her handwriting on it... i miss that. 





















































she loved surprises, birthday cakes, candles... she loved life! this photo was taken with her last birthday on earth... 63 candles on a 'melktert'... 

happy birthday mom. we miss you. xx

Friday, February 15, 2013

(celebrate today) #fridayfavs

Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. 
~Rumi

I'm joining Rachel in her favorites for fridays post where i will be sharing some photos of the week... enjoy them! it literally is blessings that drops into my heart...every.single.day


snuggles and giggles with kellen and his two little dragons. they go everywhere and have the most               interesting conversations.
listen to everything they say.


every morning i drive the same road to kellen's school. every morning i stop at this traffic light, looking for the washing mama. every day she is hanging clothes on their lines to dry. every day i wonder what her life is like... is it hard... is she happy... how many grandchildren does she have...are they healthy...but mostly... is she happy....
look for the beauty around you.


these curls? wild & crazy.  happiness live here. in them. with them. 
be wild...don't try to tame your spirit...you were born wild


grateful for our healthy children. for them meeting their physical milestones. for being able to jump and run and fall and to get up and try again. so grateful for health.  
try again, stand up and do it again. it does not matter if you are successful or not...just try! 


little polka-dot dresses... sweet girly legs who carries herself with such pride. 
be proud of yourself. YOU are awesome.


love...to be able to show and tell them every day how much i love them. teaching
them what love is through loving themselves.  yes,
loving yourself first. say it: 'i love myself'.


signs everywhere i go.  a daily reminder of what really is important in life. play more


leaves...grateful for leaves. to jump in. to throw up in the air. to watch them fall. leaves to keep for our nature table. in a country where there are no seasons, leaves are huge...
appreciate the seasons.


them. together. next to each other for more than a minute without one running away.
 (secret: give them ice-cream..heehee)...
  capture 'them'.



bedtime-stories & giggles* bella joins us for stories now in bed and then tries to fall asleep with us...not so successful.  she can lie for about 7 minutes and then she starts jumping around and giggling.... which means it's time to go back to her room...
be patient, embrace these giggles and stories... 


my little pout* she started to realise that she can tease me with that mouth...it instantly makes me want to kiss her from top to toe, and she knows that... teasing me with her little cute mouth...i want to eat her. 
nibble on them.


no routines*  we are quite good with no routines. saturdays are one of those days where everyone does what he feels like, as you can see in the photo...bella is eating chips for breakfast, on the floor... 
let go of routine/structure...


sibling love*  i think they are each other's favorite person.
capture their love...


 living in another country*  chinese new year celebrations... Gong Xi Fa Cai


magic* lights...millions and millions of lights that remind me to look for the magic... 
look for the magic..


heat. humidity. summer all year round. love every minute of the heat.
appreciate your weather.


possibilities*  please pray with us as we enter the world of adoption again, opening our hearts and home for more children... we trust in God xx


this boy* he teaches me to live in the moment. to be here. now. he made me a mama. 
the most amazing thing on earth and how honored i am to raise him and have him call me mama. 
be here now. 


good luck* faith* clementines are a sign for good luck in the Chinese culture. during chinese new year everyone gifts clementines to everyone. good wishes. the chinese children receive a little envelope with some money in, which they get until the year they get married. the older ones especially loves that. 
believe in something. good luck for your year. believe in God. 


go grab a piece of paper, a journal, your computer... and write down your blessings... it is the little things..the smile..the running towards  you... the waking up and seeing the sun... hearing the rain drip on your roof... your dogs wet nose in your face... write each of them down and feel blessed.