Two years Dad…

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Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair that time has erased your presence from my mind. When days go by and I didn’t stop to think of you. Memories that seem so distant, moving into a space that’s hard to reach.

I have a playlist of songs that holds special meaning to me. A few belong to you. They are impossible to sing for every line is laced with emotion. So what if I cry in traffic, for a brief moment the world has stopped turning and I’m with you again, remembering your goodness, wishing for another chance to say I love you.

They say time heals all wounds, I think it makes it easier to forget how much it still hurts.

“And I can’t breathe without you, but I have to” 😦

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Seven years of sobriety…

Many people have the perception that alcoholics are bums living on the street, drinking alcohol from a paper bag, begging for money at robots, aimlessly walking around with no purpose. This is so far off the mark…

Alcoholics thrive in families, working environments, social gatherings, homes, isolated or otherwise. They are normal people; there is nothing bad about them except an obsessive nature to have a drink or thinking of consuming more alcohol. They were once social drinkers; could have fun without getting drunk but due to having perfected the art of drinking, they excelled to a level of compulsive and addictive drinking.

Family genes play a substantial role in addiction. Many vow never to drink like their alcoholic mom or dad, yet they are unable to prevent it from happening as they believe they have it under control or can stop at any point. Willpower does not exist in addiction, it may work for other people, but it certainly doesn’t work for those with addictive personalities and obsessive disorders.

I learnt this the hard way through my own drinking. I wished to be one of those ladies who nursed a glass of wine the entire evening, chatting and looking chic. Sadly, I passed that stage a long time ago, having progressed to a master’s degree in drinking. I would consume the entire bottle and calculate how to get the next. Brendan Behan said, “One drink is too many and a thousand not enough,” is how I summed my addiction.

Alcoholics can go for days without drinking. This was me. I was a binge drinker. I waited the entire week for Friday to roll around for the party to start. Once lit, I continued until Sunday morning when my body was soaked in alcohol, too sick to get out of bed. I sustained many blackouts, unable to piece together the events of the weekend, too afraid to ask others to fill in the blanks for fear of the worse. Shame and remorse, my constant companions. I promised God countless times that if He could just get me through the pain and discomfort, that I’d stop drinking. But these were empty promises because when the weekend arrived, I was cracking open a bottle; and the cycle commenced.

Heavy drinkers know they have a problem, people convey it to them, yet they deny they are alcoholics. I knew my drinking was out of control, yet couldn’t contain it through sheer willpower, cutting back or wishing it away. I tried everything possible to get rid of the addiction, but nothing worked. I researched the AA, called them anonymously, wanting to find out how they managed to keep members sober. The lady replied, “Meetings and living life one day at a time,” and still I wasn’t close to the answer.

They say the most courageous act for an alcoholic is to own up to their addiction. As much as I couldn’t fathom that I was an alcoholic, I couldn’t deny I had a severe drinking problem. I built up the courage to go to my first AA meeting, fearful of what to expect, unsure if I would survive one. Yet the group was friendly, warm and put me at ease. They said “keep coming back” at the end of the meeting and though I had no intention of returning, I found myself going back and haven’t stopped attending meetings.

In addiction one needs to surrender before rehabilitation takes place. I couldn’t admit that I was an alcoholic even when I was sitting in meetings. Only once I was able to take off the mask, learnt to let go of the shame, got down on my knees and asked God to take the obsession of alcohol away, was when the miracle happened. I was able to admit I was an alcoholic for the first time and a mountain lifted off me. No longer was I held captive by alcohol, I felt alive for the first time in my life and there was a glimmer of hope I was going to make it.

AA is not a religious program, but members forge a belief in a power greater than themselves. I was never close to my religion and still don’t feel a connection to it. When I joined the AA, I learnt through fellow members and my sponsor that I needed to put my trust in a Higher Power. I battled with this as I didn’t have a relationship with God. He was only called upon when I was in trouble, so how was I going to befriend Him now? But I had no alternative, only He could quiet the fears and cravings I felt during my first year. The more I asked, the more I received, the more I prayed, the more serenity flowed. I found I was becoming spiritual, that I had a belief that anything was possible because I was staying sober, building confidence and positive changes were transpiring.

A recovered alcoholic prospers in a supportive and loving environment. My husband and children accepted that I needed to attend meetings to maintain sobriety. They afforded me the space to find myself, to make the necessary changes to live a balanced life. They loved me unconditionally and continue to support me every step of the way. My sponsor was instrumental in my recovery. She listened to my fears, freely gave advice, taught me how to place trust in God. I have many AA friends who have turned into an extended family due to the close bond we share. A small circle of friends keep me grounded and make me smile.

One day at a time turned into seven years and I am immensely grateful to have been afforded a second chance to get it right. I no longer live in fear or shame. I’ve blossomed in sobriety, fell in love with exercising, developed an assurance about myself and am passionate about the life I lead. God has become the best friend I always longed for,  opened countless doors, believes in me when I forget to and only wants the best for me.

Impossible doesn’t exist in my vocabulary, for I know I am capable of so much more than I thought possible.

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Family and Friends at my Thanksgiving 🙂

The Queen of my Heart…

My Mom is my Queen. She is the first person I want to call when I have news to share. She is the one I want to vent to when things don’t go my way. She brought me into this world, held me in her loving arms, sang sweet lullabies and vowed to protect me for the rest of her days.

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My beautiful Mom ❤

Every fond memory I have has my Mom in it. From my first day of school, wedding day, first flat, the birth of my daughters and countless celebrations 🙂 She encapsulates all the joyous moments of my life for they wouldn’t have been special without her presence, her touch and the magic she weaves.

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We are so different, my Mom and I. She is a great talker, utterly kind, forever helping, cooking up a storm, taking care of the young ones, with a welcoming smile and always adorned in a colourful sari. To be in her company is a treat for you know you’re gonna be spoilt with great company and definitely too much to eat!

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My Mom and Sister ❤

The past year has not been easy on my Mom, having lost my Dad. Even through her darkest days she never let on how tough it was. She continued my Dad’s work, taking on the stresses, never complaining or feeling sorry for herself. She remained determined, strong, loving, caring and upheld my Dad’s name and his memory burns bright wherever she goes.

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My parents ❤

Today I celebrate my Mom. She is my inspiration – she is everything I wish to be and more. All the I love you’s in the world can never be enough to say how much she means to me, the irreplaceable role she plays in my life and the wonderful memories we share. I promise to always be there for her, to ease her worries and take care of her troubles the way she’s done for me.

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I cherish and adore my phenomenal Mom and wish her the happiest Mother’s Day. She is and always will be the Queen of my Heart ❤

A year without my Dad…

The 19th of March was never a day consequence, it wasn’t a loved one’s birthday, it isn’t a public holiday, it held no special importance and yet it’s become a day forever ingrained in my life. It’s the day my Dad left this world and joined his creator.

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My beloved Dad ❤

My Dad was a colourful character. He had a flair for fashion and you’d always find him dressed in his finest. He had a wicked sense of humour, teasing my Mom incessantly from morning till night. They had a rock-solid marriage spanning 50 years. When my Dad spoke of my Mom it was always with a twinkle in his beautiful brown eyes. A striking characteristic he possessed was a heart of pure goodness. He loved making us happy, went to great lengths to please us, even running errands for all he knew. I recall him being very strict when I was growing up, but as the years took its toll, he mellowed and his grandchildren got to see another side – a calmer, kinder, loving grandparent.

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Beautiful memories with my Dad ❤

When my Dad fell ill, he suffered immensely. He spent nineteen days in hospital in the intensive care unit. During that harrowing period I watched his health deteriorate, his organs slowly fail and him finally conceding he wouldn’t return home. I was powerless – constantly praying for a miracle but knowing deep down he was tired of suffering and couldn’t fight anymore. When my Dad passed, I wasn’t there, I’d returned to Cape Town three days prior for work purposes. Once the call came to say he had a few hours left, I knew I wouldn’t make it on time. This is the biggest regret I carry, not being at his side during his final hours.

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My Dad’s one year prayer

I recall the funeral as if it was yesterday. The neat temple hall with white plastic chairs lined up. My Dad’s treasured Ganesha statue decorated in marigolds standing tall at the altar marking the spot where he would lay. My Mom sitting forlornly comforted by my aunts. My sisters huddled together anticipating the moment my Dad would arrive, my brothers chatting to the priest on the proceedings. As my Dad was wheeled in it seemed as if he was taking a nap, looking dapper in a pink shirt and pin stripe suite. A hush fell as quiet cries from my Mom and siblings peppered the room. Customary tamil songs filled the hall and a sea of family members approached paying their last respects. Two hours flew by, the priest chanted a prayer and the family offered their final blessings to my Dad. When the time arrived for him to be taken away to be cremated, it finally sunk in that I would never see him again and I was broken.

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Shree Ayyappaa Kshetram temple in Pretoria

I returned home to Cape Town soon after the funeral wanting to feel the comfort of my home, wishing to resume my life. Unfortunately, that was not to be. The world was moving swiftly along while I was trapped in a whirlpool of emotions. Grief is exhausting – it has a way of consuming your existence for months on end. I couldn’t write, didn’t feel like reading, running didn’t bring me joy and all I wanted to do was stay in isolation.

 

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An offering to Lord Ganesha

During this time I reached out to my family. I knew the pain I felt, my Mom felt a thousand times over and I wanted to support her as much as I can. I booked tickets for her, my sister and brother to spend the Easter holidays in Cape Town. It was a blessing having my family around, exploring the city and just enjoying each other’s company. Most importantly we spoke about my Dad, keeping his memory alive and together we helped each other gain strength.

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Apies River, Pretoria

Months passed and the regret I carried waned. I realised I had done everything I could to be with my Dad, that I was not meant to witness his final moments, that I had said goodbye to him many times and voiced my love at every opporunity. I had to forgive myself, let go of the bondage, and once I did, acceptance came.

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My family ❤

My Dad has become a driving force in my life. He has reached the status of my Higher Power. When I pray and meditate, they spring to mind. I’ve asked for their guidance, I’ve cried when I felt the world was ganging up on me and I truly believe they’ve worked in unison to pull me to the other side – wiser and stronger.

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A one year ceremony was held in remembrance of my Dad on 7 February 2016. I was not keen to return to Pretoria, I didn’t want to relive the memories I had of my Dad and his passing. My Mom was adamant that she wanted me there and I abided. My fear was unfounded – I needed to go back, needed to be with my family, needed to honour my Dad’s memory. My Mother went all out and arranged a beautiful ceremony. The prayer marked the moment when my Dad’s soul is set free to rest in peace. I was fortunate to visit the location where his ashes was scattered, the breath-taking Shree Ayyappaa Kshetram temple in Erasmia, Pretoria. The prayer blessings and a lit clay pot was released into the Apies river by the priest and I bid my Dad a teary farewell. I was glad I’d returned home, the experience was spiritually uplifting and brought closure, especially for my Mom.

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My Queen, my Mom ❤

I’ve stayed in contact with my Mom as I always do and I’m in awe of her never-ending strength, courage and positivity. There has never been a time when I’ve seen her down or even reveal how tough life is without my Dad; she just soldiers on day after day. I have immense love and respect for this matriarch of our family; she continues to inspire me with her unconditional love and kindness.

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My Sisters ❤

My sister and I are very close. She’s the one my Dad called when he needed to be rushed to hospital. She’s the one who was there in so many ways, the one who drove and sat at his bedside during every hospital visit. She collected me numerous times from the airport without complaint, taking me to see my Dad, keeping me updated on his condition. She was the one he chose to express his final wishes, the one who was present till the very end. She took my Dad’s passing hard, understandably so, but in the same vein she was highly trusted and few receive such a blessing from a parent.

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A year on and the 19th of March 2016 was marred with another loss in our family. My beloved uncle passed away on the 18th and his funeral was taken on the 19th of March in Pretoria. It was a tough day for my family having to relive the death of my Dad and saying farewell to a beautiful soul. My heart bled for them. I spent the day remembering my Dad, sympathizing with my cousin, praying and meditating. I patiently waited until 10h45pm, the exact time my Dad passed and with tears streaming, I expressed my undying love.

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Dad, your passing has forever changed me. I didn’t realise how losing a loved one could cut like a knife. I wish I’d had more time to spend with you, that I could have erased your pain, that your health and life could have been prolonged. I miss you so much, more and more with the passing of time. You’ve taught me the valuable lesson to show those I adore how much they mean to me at every encounter, to always do good and do everything in my power take care of my family. Your memory burns bright, you will never be forgotten and one sweet day we will reunite ❤

 

 

A birthday wish to my Sweetheart…

When your birthday rolls around, I am reminded how absolutely blessed I am to share another year with you. 365 days of looking forward to waking up in your arms, to be on the receiving end of that gorgeous smile, to crystalize our hopes and dreams for the future, to seal it with a warm hug and share a delicious smooch (and I melt) 🙂

20 years on and I am still so in awe of you. I’ve never seen you grumpy, moody or bitter, as a matter of fact it’s hard to tell whether you have bad days for you’re always Neil – the easy-going, happy, smiling, kind-hearted, friendly, great-listener, dazzling guy I fell for all those years ago 🙂

Your greatest quality has to be your role as a one in a million Dad. From the moment we received news I was pregnant with Zhané, you stepped up to the plate and grabbed hold of the reins our life was headed. Even though I may not have been ready for motherhood, you assured me all would be fine and we’d raise our child together. And true to your word, we did – without the support of extended family in Cape Town, you helped raise our beautiful daughter, never complaining for midnight feeds, changing nappies or rocking her to sleep. Even with Lakeisha’s arrival, you doted on her with the same unconditional love, care and kindness. Every day I get to witness a super-dad in action – your never-ending patience to shuttle the girls around without a moan, your joyful attendance of school meetings, a genuine concern for their school commitments and an unwavering support of the aspirations they pursue. Our children have blossomed into fine young ladies because of your goodness and serene presence in their lives.

The beauty of our relationship is that I married my best friend. The one who instinctively knows when I’ve had a bad day just by the drop in my voice or a glimpse of my face. You always know exactly what to say to allay my fears, to soothe my soul and guide me along the path of reason. You go out of your way to please me, whether it’s shouldering household chores, cooking up a storm, accompanying me to gym or running beside me. You are my biggest motivator, supporter and caretaker in every venture I dive into and I wouldn’t have succeeded without your positivity and endless love. I live in a safe and steady world because you exude peace, harmony and happiness.

Your birthday is the most precious day of them all. It’s the perfect time to thank you for everything you do, to say it doesn’t go unnoticed and I treasure the sweet soul you are. Today and every moment of this magnificent life we share together, I endeavour to shower you with love, never take you for granted, go to the ends of the earth to please you, ensure you reach your dreams and treat you like the King of our Kingdom 🙂

I adore you Sweetheart, always and forever ❤

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Reflections on 2015…

My post is rather late considering we’ve sailed into 2016 already; however I can’t help but reflect on the latter year and everything that transpired.

2015 began full of promise, I’d recovered nicely from a double bunionectomy, celebrated my fifth year of sobriety, was looking forward to getting back to work and exercising again. I put up my resolutions and had to admit some of them sounded far-fetched, but heck I was full of ambition and believed anything was possible with hard work and good planning.

All was going well until I’d received news in February that my Dad had suffered a massive heart attack and was rushed to hospital. From this point on, my life turned upside down as I boarded an emotional rollercoaster ride. I travelled to Pretoria every weekend to visit him, hoping and praying for a miracle. He didn’t make it and passed away on the 19th of March 2015. I couldn’t be with him when he left and it’s something I regret dearly. His funeral was the toughest day I’ve encountered, saying goodbye to a loved one broke my heart and shook me to the core.

Returning home I was overwhelmed with grief. I battled to find normalcy, couldn’t write, didn’t enjoy exercising and needed time and space to accept reality. It took a few months before I emerged from the shadows, taking back the reins of my life, one day at a time.

Then we received news that Neil’s granny had passed away at the age of 87 in Pretoria. Her health had waned for some time and there wasn’t much they could do for her. As she’s of muslim faith, she was buried the same day and Neil didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. Her departure affected him badly as she’d helped raise him and he was very fond of her. I tried to comfort him the best I could, with the knowledge that grief is a personal journey and only time can mend a broken heart.

I returned to running in May after a sojourn of six months. I kind of thought I could pick up where I’d left off and immediately packed on the kilometres and training, running my first 10km race within a month! I continued to train and run more races, setting my sights on a 21km race in October. The warning bells were screaming, I was taking strain and before long I was struck down with injury. I had to pull out of the race and couldn’t accept that I’d pushed too fast, didn’t listen to my body and placed myself in this predicament.

I was also turning 40 this year. With everything going south in my life, I contemplated whether I ought to celebrate this milestone. Then I recalled a conversation I had with my Dad before his illness, and how he’d joked about my age and enquired how I was going to spend it. I knew that I wanted to do something special; however I didn’t know exactly what that was at the time. The more I thought of it, the idea of throwing a party surfaced. I love music and dancing and wanted to combine these elements to create a club party in the confines of my home (with a DJ on the decks)! And so the planning unfolded and I enlisted the assistance of my creative friend, Candice Sonnenberg to brainstorm ideas and set the wheels in motion. What I learnt from planning such an event is that as much as you wish for a perfect party, things go horribly wrong on the day and you have to go with the flow and smile through it – even though I wanted to throttle the DJ for not sticking to the playlist!

Neil and I marked 20 years of marriage on 13 December 2015 and I wanted it to be a momentous occasion, one that would stay with us for the rest of our lives. I wished to renew our vows, but Neil wasn’t playing along and I had a tough time trying to convince him otherwise. I persevered though, roping in Candice to assist with the photography and a friend from work to officiate the ceremony. Even though Neil had reservations, he pulled though on the day and enjoyed himself to the fullest. The idea and planning came together in the span of a month and I was incredibly grateful that we had the opportunity to tie the knot again in a beautiful beach setting with my family by my side and love all around.

2015 was a mixed bag of emotions for me. I didn’t expect to lose my Dad in such a short space of time and I wasn’t prepared in the least. Every day without him reminds me how precious life is and how we sometimes don’t get a second chance to make things right. It’s taught me to seize every moment, to celebrate milestones like there’s no tomorrow and create a truck load of memories along the way.

To those who lost a loved one recently, my heart goes out to you. I hope your pain eases in time and you find your way back, albeit slightly changed. I hope and pray 2016 will be kinder to us all.

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We renewed our vows…

On 13 December 2015 Neil and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary! I’ve been toying with the idea of renewing my vows for a while and even shared it with my family, who for the most part thought it was a joke, considering we already married.

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20 years ago Neil and I didn’t have the elaborate wedding; in fact it was small and intimate with only family and friends. I was never one of those girls who dreamt of a fairy tale wedding, all I longed for was finding my prince charming and I found him in Neil. When we tied the knot we were only too eager to carve out a life for ourselves and rear our children.

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I’m incredibly blessed to have an amazing husband. He has been the foundation of my happiness from the moment our paths crossed, loves me unconditionally and supports me in every venture I undertake. When I reminisce on the love we share, one thing crosses my mind over and over – that I would marry him in a heartbeat again. And that was my wish for our 20th anniversary – to take the plunge (again)!

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I relayed the idea to my creative friend, Candice Sonnenberg just over a month before the anniversary and she thought it was idyllic and was eager to assist. My heart was set on a beach wedding, with just our girls, Candice and her husband and Esmeralda and hers to officiate our vows. Once I got the buy in from them, I found the nerve to discuss my plans with Neil.

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Needless to say Neil wasn’t impressed! He is a very practical guy and in his mind, we’ve already married and couldn’t understand what the purpose of a vow renewal would serve in our marriage. He is also an extremely private person and does not like to be the centre of attention. Even though I explained till I was purple in the face that it would be a few people, he was not happy with my plans.

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Doubt started creeping in and I had to go back to the drawing board and consider the reasons why I wanted this vow renewal in the first place. Pondering over our anniversaries I couldn’t recall many of them as they’d become mediocre as the years rolled by. An anniversary should be a commemoration of times shared together, an appreciation of struggles your partnership faced and celebrated in an intimate and spectacular manner. But in reality, with the busy lives we lead, most married couples just head out for a quick supper and the day is easily forgotten. I didn’t want that to happen on our 20th anniversary – I wanted it to stand out as an unforgettable day, one that would stay with us for a long time to come.

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I gave Neil some space and then stated my case. I could sense he still wasn’t completely convinced, but his resolve was cracking and I took it as a small victory to continue my plans:). I booked hotel rooms for the girls and us at the Cape Milner in Tamboerskloof on the special day. We scouted around for beaches that wouldn’t be full of tourists, a tall order considering it was December, finally settling on Noordhoek, an isolated, open and quiet beach – perfect for a vow renewal:).

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At this stage Neil was still apprehensive but he was preoccupied with work and gave me carte blanche – much to my joy. Candice and I were putting the finishing touches to our ideas and as the countdown began, I was bubbling with excitement.

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The 13th of December 2015 commenced on a quiet note as we awoke in each other’s arms, whispering “happy anniversary in unison”. I was ecstatic this day had finally arrived but also felt a tad nervous – as if I was getting married for the first time! We had written our own vows and were going to recite them at the ceremony, something we hadn’t done the first time and I had a few butterflies fluttering around.

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By lunchtime, we’d checked into the hotel and were taken aback by the hospitality we received. I’d mentioned that we were celebrating our anniversary and they spoilt us by adorning our bed with rose petals and created a towelled heart in the shape of two swans. They also laid out a delicious platter of sweet treats, juicy strawberries and whipped cream!

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We chilled for a bit and enjoyed the comfort of the room. Soon the frenzy of getting ready began as Zhane curled my hair. I sought an understated look as we had flower crowns to adorn our heads and bridal bouquets to hold. Since the wedding was being held at the beach, I chose a white goddess dress with gold trimmings, Zhane opted for lace and Lakeisha complimented us in a summery one. Neil looked dashing in a casual white shirt and sandstone skinny.

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All prepped and preened we journeyed to our destination. It was a beautiful sunny day to take in the sights and sounds of the gorgeous mother city, Noordhoek beckoning in the distance. As I embarked out of the car, a gust of wind flung the door open and my wish for a perfect beach day was crushed! My just-styled hair flew wildly, sea sand slapped us and my expectations were sinking as we searched out our wedding party.

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Candice and Esmeralda had already found a cocoon between the rocks that kept the wind at bay. As time was of the essence, Candice photographed us before the sun could set. Our ceremony proceeded promptly at 18h30 with Peter playing the guitar and Esmeralda serenading the “Power of love”. I was overfilled with joy – the intimate setting of our party, the crashing waves, the love of my life and our girls beside us, it is a moment that will stay with me forever.

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Esmeralda began with the solemnisation of our vows as Neil and I clasped hands. Zhane was called upon to say a few words on her first-hand experience of our relationship. Her words were poignant, brought tears to my eyes and I felt incredibly proud to have such a beautiful soul in my world.

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The moment of reckoning came when we had to utter own vows. Neil was first up and although he was uneasy, he bravely conveyed a message that brought tears to my eyes. My turn arrived and drawing in a deep breath, I shared my vows with the man I adored.

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Esmeralda took the reigns and continued with the final leg of the ceremony. Lakeisha was called forward bearing our rings as we expressed our commitment to each other. We were pronounced man and wife and sealed the moment in a kiss and I was floating on happiness.

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We danced to our wedding song “through the years” by Kenny Rogers. As Neil swirled me around, he whispered “thank you my love… I love you,” and I was glad I’d thrown caution to the wind and commemorated our 20th anniversary.

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Our vow renewal will forever be engraved in my heart:).

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Photo’s by Candice Sonnenberg

Our Christmas…

We’ve never been big on Christmas, mainly as we’re not Christian and don’t have extended family close by.

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Our Christmas tree

However, Neil and I always made it special for our children from an early age. We’d set up the Christmas tree in December, sneak out and buy gifts, wrap them in an array of colours, hide them around the house, much to the excitement of the girls. I’d fine tune my menu for weeks, searching high and low for ingredients, ensuring we have a sumptuous meal on the day.

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My beautiful family

If I thought November was crazy, December was hot on its trail! I worked until the 24th and had very little time to get my shopping done, choose gifts, set the menu and spring clean the house, all before the 25th!

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Lunch is served

This Christmas was a laid back affair for us. We awoke late for a change and I prepared a breakfast of french toast with lashings of honey and coffee. We gathered around the Christmas tree as the girls ripped through wrapping to reveal their gifts with smiles all around. Neil spoilt me with an infinity necklace and I was beaming.

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My Sweetheart

With the assistance of the girls I adorned the table and got to work on lunch. The menu consisted of a delicious slow cooked leg of lamb, spanish rice, egg and potato salad, sweet and sour tomato chutney and for dessert – chocolate waffle cups filled with fresh fruit and vanilla ice cream – yummy.

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Neil carving the leg of lamb

We enjoy dressing up for Christmas, although I must admit Lakeisha wasn’t co-operative this time around. It probably has a lot to do with the adolescent stage she’s swimming in and as much as I get annoyed with her tantrums, I take a deep breath and say this too shall pass.

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Zhane and Lakeisha

We sat down to a quiet lunch, just the four of us, savouring the meal, reminiscing over prior Christmas celebrations, amidst laughter and indulging far too much. After the washing up, we settled down to watch movies, something we rarely find time to do as a family.

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Just me

This Christmas may have been low-key, but it was everything and more I could have wished for. It was quality time spent in the company of my beautiful family who love me unconditionally, who understand when I’m frazzled with too much to do and still support me every step of the way. It was a priceless occasion to show love and appreciation to the ones who light up my life.

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Sending love from the Singhs’

Forty and Fabulous Party…

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do for my fortieth birthday and two things came to mind – music and dancing. Neil and I loved clubbing in our hey-day and music remains a constant in our lives.

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An idea was brewing in my mind to throw a club party with a DJ on the decks, in the confines of my home surrounded by family and friends. The more I pondered over it, the more it felt right in my soul and that’s when the planning process took off.

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My party planner, Candice Sonnenberg was instrumental in bringing my idea to life. We spent countless hours going through the finer details on how I wanted the party to unfold. Nothing phased her and I knew my party was in great hands.

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As the big day drew closer, my home was a hive of activity. I was lucky to have my Mom and Sister arrive in Cape Town to assist me with the party. I know I certainly would not have been able to cope without their help.

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On the big day, all I pretty much did was get my hair and make-up done. Yet this ate much of my time and when I got home, my ordinary garage was transformed into a plush club. I was bubbling with excitement, everything was falling into place and I could not wait for the evening to begin.

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I changed and got ready for my party. Very soon, guests started trickling in. Colleagues from work, running buddies and long standing friends took time out to spend the evening with me.

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Announcements started promptly at 8pm. The MC was my work colleague, Evadne who had us in stitches. Neil was called upon to say a few words and everybody sang Happy Birthday. I was handed the mike and I spoke for some time. There was so much I wanted to say, so many people in my life who helped me along my journey, who meant so much to me and assisted to make the evening possible. My wish was for guests to eat, drink, be merry and let their hair down.

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After a successful speech, the party went into full force. The DJ played some awesome beats and we got down and danced the night away.

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My party was everything and more I could have hoped for. I thank God for gracing me with another year, for the opportunity to spend it with the ones I hold dear to my heart, for helping me to embrace my forties and to look forward to the next chapter in my life 🙂

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Happy Birthday Lakeisha…

Fifteen years ago my youngest daughter, Lakeisha graced me with her presence. I vividly recall her entering the world with eyes wide open, not wanting to miss a moment of her new life. As I held her in my arms, doted over her, I had no idea of the impact she would have on my life.

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Lakeisha is a quiet, sweet child. She has an uncanny ability to connect with everyone as if they are her best friends. With her enquiring mind, she poses all sorts of questions getting to know your likes. This information is tucked away safely and called upon when you’re in need of cheering up. She doesn’t possess a selfish bone in her body, has a never-ending supply of patience and is the greatest helper around the house.

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The relationship that Lakeisha shares with her older sister is a sight to behold. From an early age they’ve been inseparable, forming an unbreakable bond. Lakeisha idolises Zhané, she is happiest in her company and needless to say, cannot do anything wrong in her eyes. I am reminded on a daily basis how beautiful the relationship between sisters can be for they glow when they’re together.

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Sisters 🙂

Lakeisha is a typical Virgo. I recall a time when she was four years old and Neil was teaching her how to tie her shoe laces. She was becoming increasingly frustrated as she couldn’t master it and he suggested she take a break and give it a go another time. She refused – with tears streaming down her cheeks she persisted until she got the knack of it. This pretty much sums Lakeisha’s personality to the T – she is a perfectionist, if handed a task, she does it to the best of her ability.

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I am in awe of the young lady Lakeisha has become. In her own understated manner, she has helped to change my outlook in life, making me realise that I want to do better in her eyes, to mend my ways and provide her with every opportunity she desires.

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I look forward to Lakeisha’s future, for I know she is destined for greatness 🙂