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Our Next Big Adventure

26 Jun

I am a self-proclaimed professional! I’ve been up in the Highveld for the last six years and I have moved FIVE times already and this does not include the initial move up here!!! Sourcing boxes, finding newspaper or bubble wrap to pack the millions of things I own (read hoard) and finding a way to get it all there without any casualties is all part of moving. We haven’t moved yet and its unofficially official but I do need to air my thoughts so hang tight with me and feel free to give me your advice.

I’ve got to be very careful in what I say because you never know who’s watching out. I am by no means that popular that anyone would want to know where I live but the process has not started yet. Yet in true Corinne-style, I love to dissect issues and make a bigger deal of them than they are so that by the time, that actual event comes around, its’ not that big of a deal anymore.

Here goes. My handsome, charming and very smart husband got a great promotion and with that we have been offered a place to live in and it is just over half an hour away from where we live now. In Joburg terms, that makes a very big difference when you take into consideration: traffic on its own let alone the routes that one must navigate to reduce the traffic (because there is NO getting away from it); petrol allocation that goes with how far you live from where you work or in my case study; the time you’ll have to leave home and when you’re MOST likely to get back; the location of the nearest stores and so forth.

Understand that I LOVE WHERE I CURRENTLY RESIDE. Yes, full stop. I envisioned us one day buying a home in that area to raise our family and entertain to our heart’s content. But I’m not the only one who lives with me and that means that I have to consider my family as well. The area that we are moving to would have never in a million-gazillion-catrillion years been a consideration, here’s why – IT’S OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE…. The Bundus! The Sticks! Rolling hills! Where horses run wild! Oh there are horses, they’re just not mine. You could call it a farm but it’s not actually. The beauty of it is that there is plenty fresh air and a ton of space for Sunny Bunny to run around to his hearts’ content. Another plus is that my helper will finally be able to come live with us and that is truly an answer to prayer.Slide1

In all honesty, I don’t know. I don’t know that I want to move that far. I don’t know how bad, bad really will be with the traffic from there. I don’t know that I want to be that far away from my parents who are literally ten minutes away. I don’t know that I want to be even further from my church, although I see that a few churches a stone’s throw away from the new place. I don’t know that I want to be more than 15 minutes away from the nearest mall – yes I am that shallow, I do love to window shop! And I don’t know that I want to awake before dawn actually cracks!

I do however want what’s best for my family. It’s not permanent or set in stone and I have to remind myself that I am not moving to another city, or country or known universe! Come to think of it, I might just start a little vegetable patch of my own while I’m out there.

And my only condition, which is non-negotiable, is that there be constant internet access because heaven forbid I cannot Pin, Search, Tweet or blog being the social media junkie that I am.

 

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Asking for more

24 Jun

I enjoy eating fish but I never buy it fresh because I don’t know how to fry/grill/spice it well enough for it to taste like I bought it. There is nothing like a mean piece of grilled salmon with baby potatoes and a green salad right? I can almost taste it… and before I forget, this is not a sponsored post, if it was, trust me I’d blab about the freebies I got to try.

Let me say that I am by no means a domestic goddess of any kind. I love Nigella Lawson basically because she’s a big girl who loves to eat rich food, oh  and she can cook. In my early months of marriage, I would try to impress my new husband as any wife would. I googled Jamie Oliver recipes and found a particularly interesting recipe called Chicken In Milk. It looked pretty simple, cook the chicken in milk with the veggies and lemon rind, the lemon would curdle the milk and create a sauce. You cannot believe how tender chicken was, talk about falling off the bone. Sad to say that’s not what my rural, coloured, can’t-do-anything-except-fry-beans-then husband was worried about. All he could see what that the chicken was in milk and not a curry!!! That began the journey into my culinary-shell, so to speak. It’s still a running joke in my household and the only time I ventured to try anything new with abandon was when Sam started eating solids. Back to the story.

I’ve had my fair share of “boxed fish” and the crumbed kind haven’t really tickled my (our my husband’s) culinary fancy but going against my better

judgement I decided to buy the I&J Flame Grills and I have not been sorry. On Wednesday evening, I knew I wanted to make a fish dish but had no idea what I was going to throw together. As I was reading the instructions, I noticed the recipe also looked quite simple. Well let me tell you that Sam enjoyed his “noodles” (and fish), Lester took some to work as lunch the next day and then ordered me to make that meal again for lunch on Sunday. Even I was blown away by how much my family enjoyed a simple meal that took about half an hour to put together. Yes, I said put together because there was very little to cook, or very little cooking to do, you know, my kind of cooking.
For other simple meal ideas for everyday cooking check out this I&J site, you’ll be amazed.

2013-06-20 17.50.15

 

What’s in your whole heart?

15 Jan

Well Hello 2013… so far it’s been good! I have so many posts in draft talking about stuff that happened in 2012 that I needed to get closure on and I’ll get to that. I didn’t want to start my first post for the new year on a downer. The start of 2013 has been so amazing in a small kind-of-quiet way the there is no such thing as co-incidence, for me. There have been a post or two explaining how I feel followed by Angels and  Coincidences but what I’ve come to find, is that there are people placed in your life that speak those deep and quiet things of your heart back to you. Like when you feel something so deeply and things change, you sometimes put aside what your heart desired and locked up that little place in your heart without anyone knowing. While the subject may come up in company, we put on brave faces and pretend like what we felt didn’t matter anymore, even to ourselves. And then one day, things just click, like someone somewhere was holding a key and with a few insignificant words, that locked up little place was opened. There are no words at times to explain but there is a beautiful peace that makes you okay with that part of you.

Let me explain. I know my husband is gong to kill me for this post. Having another child is a big decision for any couple who hasn’t been caught out, so to speak. It’s a daunting task of note because it involves finances, emotions of all kinds and a lot of consideration in general. Back in the day, big families were the order of the day and people were frowned upon for choosing to have less kids. As time went on, couples had fewer kids in pursuit of a better life and today it has greater economic ramifications than emotional ones. Parents with unplanned 2nd pregnancies have had no choice but to deal with the situation before them; but to actively decide to have another one can weigh heavily on one’s heart. Before having kids, I think we were both happy with the idea of having two (for me) or three (for him). At some point in our marriage, I felt  that it was time to have a child. Funny story that! Whenever someone asked us when we would have kids, our magic year was 2010 – for no reason other than it seemed way out there, like it was a long time to come. So along came 2009 with a deep yearning in my soul to have a child, I prayed about it, sought advice and just cried some nights because we were nowhere near ready financially to have a child. Lester finally gave in and seven months later we were pregnant. Now let me just say that it was a hard decision for him, not because he didn’t ever want to have children but because as a Provider, the weight of not being able to care for your family for a man rests heavily on their hearts and manhood and rightly so; it’s why I chose to be with him, knowing that one day he would do what he could to be a good Provider. Sadly, I think that I’ve made it hard for him. He’s put up with carrying a wife with two financially unsuccessful practices and now studying full-time – we’ve had to put A LOT of goals, dreams and endeavors on hold because we live from hand to mouth. For a long time after Samuel was born he blatantly refused to entertain the idea of having another child ever, like ever! As painful as it was for me to hear that, I knew that his heart still carried the heaviness of being responsible for a family and so I quietly closed off a part of me. Now you’ll hear me talk about how things are cheaper having one child and I’ve made plans in my heart for family holidays and varsity fees and the like all for one child. The argument in my mind went something like this -1. the age gap will be too big because I’m studying for another three years, must find work and then work long enough to claim maternity benefits, it would be another five years and Samuel would be like seven already. 2. Samuel would be independent and then I’d have to start all over again with the sleepless nights. 3. Kids are expensive so I need to get a job! 4. I would have got rid of all his bottles,cot, baby stuff and the to start all over from scratch would be expensive.

Secondly, there’s the boobs!!! I have never been silent on how much I’d love to get them chopped off, I swear I’d lose 5 kgs INSTANTLY. I’ve even gone as far as to find a plastic surgeon to consult with to relieve my agony. Photos are my worst, I’m never closer to the camera because they are magnified, yes worse than in real life. Sleeping on my stomach is still a pain. They really aren’t that attractive at all and I’ve just about found a range that comfortably holds these boulders.

Now for the point of all my blubbering – the two stories have a connection. Someone that I’ve only met on Twitter had a “heart-to-heart” with me and she didn’t even know it. She posted a pic of her two boys walking in the sand, hand-in-hand; what she later explained was that there was a 6 year gap between them. Number one was planned and in her mind that was it but now that little number two has come along, unexpectedly, their entire family is so much better off for it. A few days later, Lester shared a conversation he had with a cousin of his. He said they were talking about kids and he was on his usual rant about Samuel being the only one and then she began to share part of the ethos of the church she attends, which is to build faith and pray for the growth of families and to trust God for the finances to take care of the families. We place so much else before God in prayer, why not add this to the list too right? What’s been amazing is that we don’t know when and how BUT we are open to the possibility of having another child. The age gap might be bigger than we want it but it’s not a deal-breaker or the end of the world.

Connected to this is that if I do have number two, I most certainly want to breastfeed and that won’t happen if I have surgery. It might not be a big deal to most since we have the invention of formula but it’s close to my heart. A very dear friend of mine (who also has Udders) made me feel like it was okay to be me (with my girls) more so because breast-feeding was/is so important to her too.

There were no fireworks in the sky, no earth-shattering quakes but a still, quietness that said that those things on your heart are important as insignificant as they may seem to even you. Don’t ignore the infinite possibilities and all that God so wants to bless you with TO BLESS OTHERS. Open up those little places in your heart, they are a part of you and your dreams, they deserve the chance to find their way into your reality – you just might be way better off for it.

Here’s to a whole-hearted 2013 and all the whispers, meetings, angelic visitations and glorious acts of God’s goodness to come.

 

This week marks the first anniversary

27 Mar

It was only just yesterday that I realised that it will be the first anniversary of the closing of my chiropractic practice. As I type, I’m trying to figure out how I feel about the enormous change that has taken place in a year.  I’m still very sad about it. My practice represented the hard work and many years that went into attaining my first degree but also the kind of lifestyle that I wanted. Alas, it was not meant to be.

I loved the flexibility that came with being your own boss but definitely not the stress-induced ulcers from not having enough money for running a business. I really enjoyed building relationships with patients that spanned a few years; that was priceless. Having somewhere to be and something meaningful to do with my day and making a little difference in someone’s life definitely made me a better mother and wife.

That practice would not have been at all possible or feasible without the help of one of the most generous people I know ON THE PLANET, my dad!!! He has been so good to me, generous with his business advice and great as my “cheap” accountant. Words will never be enough to convey my gratitude to you and mum.

My husband was (and still is) a really wonderful pillar of support when days seemed dark and my biggest cheerleader when friends seemed few, thank you my love, you are a treasure.

The post-mortem is still stings. Could I have done things differently? Did I really do enough? Did I give it enough time to grow? Is it my entire fault? Am I cut out to be in business? And so many more questions arise about my capabilities as a person to the point where I was borderline depressed from constantly ruminating on the situation. And added to that was that I couldn’t find full-time employment for close to a year!

Is my life where I had hoped it would be? Certainly not! Do I have a hand in the way things have turned out? Definitely! This shouldn’t make me give up or throw in the proverbial towel. I have been so blessed to have made a friend on campus that is in the same place as me – married with kids and starting again at 30! She reminded me not to compare myself to anyone, ever! We are where we are and we are trying to do the best we can with the opportunities we’ve been given (which not many people have been afforded) so for that we must be grateful and plod on!!!

God IS good. Life is to be cherished. Children and family are meant to be enjoyed and as for the motto of my blog: remember, no matter where you find yourself, the journey is more important than the destination. Good luck on yours and may you find happiness where ever you go because life is what you make of it – regardless.

The Heavy Burden of a Mother’s Guilt

23 Jan

“Maybe there’s more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time.”  ― Veronica RothDivergent

Why is it that a mother feels so pressured, compelled, obligated and stressed to be everything to our kids, partners and bosses; lose our minds, hearts and sometimes for the most part we lose sight of who we are in the bigger scheme of things??? It’s not okay but neither is it easy.

I feel guilty when I wake up in the morning and my husband has left without me making his lunch (I used to when we were a childless married couple but can’t/don’t because I’m so tired)
I feel guilty when my son wakes up next to me and after a few cuddles I reach over to my phone and check out the range of social media networking (bbm’s, whatsapp, FB & tweets) I need to catch up on or reply.
I feel bad that when I go downstairs to greet my helper that she’s the one who feeds, cleans, dresses and entertains my son (most of the time).
I feel guilty that I don’t stay at home with my son because I’m selfish, suffer from cabin-fever and need a break from the hum-drum of where my life is at right now.
I feel guilty because I’ve spent the first year of Sam’s life with him everyday and yet I don’t want to be a stay-at-home mom.
I feel guilty because I’m typing this from M&B when I should be home with my baby boy.
I feel guilty that I don’t physically discipline him when I should because I’ve said no for the 20th time in 2 hours.
I feel guilty that I’ve given him medication to make him drowsy just so that I could sleep for more than a 4 hour stretch.
I feel guilty that he’ll read this one day and somehow hate my seeming distaste for being home with him (and it doesn’t help that his separation anxiety has worsened, IMMENSELY over the last few days).

The sad truth is that I feel guilty for having a failed practice because that was the one thing I had planned everything in my entire towards so that I can be home with him in the afternoons to do homework and extra-murals when the time came; and that makes me feel like a total loser at the core of who I am!

I don’t want to feel guilty. I don’t want to feel depressed. I don’t want the heaviness that it brings. I don’t want my guilt to affect the time that I do get to spend with him.

When I’m with him, I make sure that I’m focused on him (for half and hour at least) and make sure everyday that he gets lots of hugs and kisses because I love him with all of me and not because I’m feeling guilty.

I plan his meals a week in advance to that he has home-cooked meals that are nutritious and made with love, even if they are epic fails, and yet he’ll still eat what I give him.

Samuel is such a good child and I honestly have nothing that I should be complaining about.

I love that he climbs into bed with us in the middle of the night and we snuggle close for me to secretly make up for the time I don’t spend with him in the day – and I make no apologies for it but a king-size bed would be better.

And I insist on and I’m pedantic about using natural remedies when he’s ill so that he’ll have as no harmful side-effects while recovering.

How can guilt not lead to depression? Yes motherhood is intense and I do not by any means have it all figured out by now but I want to leave the burden and heaviness that my guilt brings and focus on the smile I get when I open my eyes because he’s in my face; tickling that little body to hear him laugh; watching the pleasure on his face when I read his one-word-a-page books to him for the umpteenth time; holding him in my arms as he falls asleep at the end of his day; wanting me to comfort him and kiss his boo boo’s or watching him run into my arms when they’re open wide. It’s so important for me to stay in that happy place so that I don’t get robbed of the now-moments that happen right in front of me.

Time is one of the most precious and scarcest resources of the twenty-first century mom. We can’t be in a million places, doing a million things all at once. I may never get to all the practices or games, or tuck him in every night but I can promise to make a conscious effort to be present in the moments that we do get to share.

Samuel, know that I love you more than life itself and that no sacrifice would ever be too big for your dad and I to make for you and provide for your future. You may never always understand the decisions we make but know that they will always be for your greater good. Life is hard, things may not turn out the way we plan and we might not always get our way but your dad and I will always be there for you and we’ll always have your back, you can count on that – I promise. Know that there is nothing you can ever do to make us love you any less or think any different of you EVER!!!

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”  ― Aldous HuxleyBrave New World
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