2018 in retrospect

As I sit here and stare back over the year that was 2018 I can hardly believe that all of 12 months have passed. It’s been a crazy whirlwind of a year. It’s been an insane mixture of good and bad and crazy moments stitched together. But we made it! We survived! And while I know that most people had a really hard 2018, mine for the most part, has been good.

  • Firstly, and perhaps the most extraordinary part of this year, was the fact that I married the love of my life. On 30 June 2018 on a beautiful Northern Natal guest farm, we promised each other honestly, love, support and to stick by each other even when things got hard. It was the most perfect day. Literally nothing went wrong, and we were super chilled. I did pretty much everything myself with the help of my family (old and new) and even my dress appealed to the sentimental in me…it was made by my mother dearest. It really was the best day in the history of forever!
  • My brother, SIL and my two gorgeous nephews came for a visit (especially for the wedding) and I got to spend a week with them before the wedding. It was so lovely to have them!
  • We spent an amazing two weeks exploring Italy as part of our honeymoon!

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  • I obtained my international certification.
  • I spent the first 5 months of the year traveling up and down between SA and Namibia and planned most of my wedding from my hotel room and the hotel’s skybar.

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  • My husband (yes I still love the sound of that) spent the bulk of the year traveling to Cape Town for a few days each week…let’s just say this got exhausting eventually.
  • After the wedding we moved in together and attempted to merge two completely furnished homes. It was easier than I thought and there were literally no disagreements. We spent ages beforehand discussing which big-ticket items we were keeping and which we will be getting rid of…I honestly believe this helped.
  • Husband attacked a second degree (which he plans to finish in 3 years max despite working full-time) and passed his first year cum laude (ALL THE PRIDE).
  • My parents retired and will be moving away from my hometown early in the new year to start a whole new life as adventurous retirees. So excited for them.

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  • Saying goodbye to my hometown (I will probably never go back there as there really is no reason to) was harder than I thought it would be and it made me a little sad.
  • There were some health scares in the family. I don’t want to go into this in detail, but it’s been a bit scary and plenty sobering. Every single day is a gift by grace…truly.
  • I said goodbye to friends who moved overseas. I find rather than easier this becomes harder every single time.
  • I became godmother for the second time!

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All in all it’s been a crazy beautiful year with some unexpected twists and turns. I am grateful for each moment, each lesson, each adventure, each blessing, each memory and each day we receive as a gift by grace.

Bring on 2019!

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My Dearest Cuz

So I realise it’s been more than a month since the wedding, but with being on holiday and then trying to get back into routine and work and everything else, I haven’t really had a chance to write about it.

So, on 10 August 2013, my cousin (and for all emotional reasons one of my 3 younger sisters) got married.  The engagement and all the planning had been a long process, but the day had finally arrived and we were all terribly excited:) I was Maid of Honor and had worked my butt of with various things including organizing the dresses, the bridal shower, to name but a few. But on this spectacular day my main objective was to make sure i had a solution in my magical suitcase for any problem that might rear its ugly head (this included everything from extra bras for the girls, to glue, to needle and thread, to a knife, to a first aid kit, to champagne and food for the bridal party and the make up artist…amongst other things) and most importantly to keep the bride calm.

My dearest cuz, you made the last part pretty hard. Not because you were super stressed or anything, but because you were so excited that keeping you still long enough to let the hair dresser and make up artist do their magic became nearly impossible.  You had a few severely emotional moments, a few moments where the stresses of the day got hold of you, but mostly you were just excited.  Helping you to get dressed along with your mother while the photographer did her thing left me with a tear in the eye….the day was finally here and you looked so incredibly beautiful.

The ceremony was very special and very “you” and we all had a giggle as you, like the tomboy you are, did a bit of an airpunch when your groom took hold of you and gave you a passionate kiss, claiming you as his wife:) The  tables were beautiful and we all had an amazing time catching up with family and friends alike.  And then your dear husband caught me totally off guard when, after finishing his entire speech and all the thank yous, he asked me to stand and gave me my very own, long thank you speech. I was reduced to tears for the second time that day. It wasn’t necessary, your smile and the happiness that oozed from your very being was thanks enough to be honest, but it was mightily appreciated. And even though some things had cause me lots of frustration and work I would do it again in a heartbeat:)

Love you long time my cuzzy:) xxxxx

P.S. I’m adding some of the pictures taken with my camera and my phone on the day. There weren’t a lot of the bridal couple, but if my cousin lets me i’ll post some of the photographers pics as soon as we have them:)

Posing with the bride before getting ready. Her hair had been done here but nothing else was ready yet:)
Posing with the bride before getting ready. Her hair had been done here but nothing else was ready yet:)
There had to be an awkward selfie as I am the queen of the awkward selfies:) Also, it kinda shows my hairpiece...which is technically an extra lapel piece that we changed to a hairpiece:P
There had to be an awkward selfie as I am the queen of the awkward selfies:) Also, it kinda shows my hairpiece…which is technically an extra lapel piece that we changed to a hairpiece:P
The beautiful bride, dressed and posing with her ring bearer:)
The beautiful bride, dressed and posing with her ring bearer:)
The bridal party....and no i have no idea what i was doing here. But aren't my two cousins (a.k.a. younger sisters) gorgeous?
The bridal party….and no i have no idea what i was doing here. But aren’t my two cousins (a.k.a. younger sisters) gorgeous?
The bride post ceremony making a funny
The bride post ceremony making a funny
How unbelievable are the colours of these orchids used in the decorations?
How unbelievable are the colours of these orchids used in the decorations?
The bride's parents (a.k.a the replacements) finally getting a chance to rest:)
The bride’s parents (a.k.a the replacements) finally getting a chance to rest:)
Mister and Missus cousin enters the reception
Mister and Missus cousin enters the reception
Cousins!!!! The one in the middle traveled all the way from Umkomaas to be there:)
Cousins!!!! The one in the middle traveled all the way from Umkomaas to be there:)
Posing with the father of the bride...a.k.a my other dad:)
Posing with the father of the bride…a.k.a my other dad:)
With the parentals:) I have no idea what i did and why i'm laughing so much and my dad is giving me a strange look...but I just adore this picture of the 3 of us. Love these two people so much:)
With the parentals:) I have no idea what i did and why i’m laughing so much and my dad is giving me a strange look…but I just adore this picture of the 3 of us. Love these two people so much:)

Dear Baby B

As with yesterday’s post, I can’t believe it’s been a year.  I can’t believe that today a year ago was when you finally showed us your gorgeous little face. Happy first birthday little man:) I wish I could be there to give you a big fat hug and to see your excited little face as you get to tear paper and bash cakes:)

I never thought it would be possible to love someone you’ve never actually held this much. My closest physical interaction with you was when I visited your Mom and Dad a year and 5 months ago and I got to hear your little heartbeat and feel you kick. Lucky for us we live in a world of technology and we have been able to interact with you and see you grow via Skype. Seeing how you’ve started interacting with us via Skype brings happysad tears to the eye.

So happy birthday little man:) I look forward to seeing you (hopefully) later this year, to watching you grow (even if it is via Skype) and to be a part of your life.

Much love
Aunty Ruby
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P.S. I’m adding one or two pictures so you can all go awe and agree that he’s gorgeous!

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Dear HQ Sandton

I would just like to pop you a quick note to say thank you for hosting my party on Saturday:) Throughout the process I was assisted by competent and friendly individuals (specifically Riaan and Bruce) and their advice and help was highly appreciated.

The food, as always was divine and my only complaint involves one of your staff members breaking the stiletto shoe on my cake *sulks*. Other than that I am one happy and satisfied little customer.

I’ve included a few snapshots of the night…I have so many pictures, but sadly I can’t put ALL of them here.  I’ve included only a few with some of my friendsters.  Thanx again!

Ruby
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Poutypants

My dearest Gran

Happy 86th birthday!

As I sit here writing this wee little blog post I can’t help but shed a tear, give a little sob and just cry.  My heart is just so full when I think of you and all that you are and what you have overcome that I don’t even know where to begin.  Less than two months ago we were all convinced you wouldn’t ever come out of the hospital, let alone walk around the house with only a walker as aid. You’re a little miracle all on your own:)

You’ve overcome so much in your 86 years…fighting and surviving aggressive breast cancer, the loss of the love of your life, the death of a son, a hip replacement and heart failure to name but a few.  And yet here you are…a fighter, a survivor, a never-ending source of wisdom and love and teases and hugs and one of my closest friends.

There is so much I can write here to say what an amazing person you are and how much you mean to me and truth be told I’ve written and deleted this post about a million times…because no matter how I try the words just don’t come out right and they sound hollow and don’t do justice to you.

So instead I will offer you just this.  Thank you for being such an amazing grandmother, mother, sister, child and friend.  Thank you for loving us so much that it feels like our hearts will explode. Thank you for teaching me how to make traditional ginger beer and how to bake bread.  Thank you for being the perfect example of child like faith in the midst of darkness.  Thank you for being a fighter and for showing me where I got that pig-headed tendency from:P Thank you for believing in miracles and sharing them with us.  Thank you for believing in us.  But most of all thank you for the role you played in my life.

With more love than I could ever explain

Ruby
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