Friday Joy

Especially on a day when people are likely to feel isolated, to be distant or anxious.

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Solo date ideas to look forward to

I read this post and remembered how pre-baby I used to take myself out on may solo dates and how I need to start doing the same so I came up with a few ideas. (Obviously once things return to normal)

Key Art Mile. I have never been, it would be lovely to do a #FirstThursdayor just a regular evening. I have been to Momo Kuroand LOVE the food.

Watch a movie. I regularly get invites on First Wednesday movies and next time, I should totally go.

Reading Dates. This is a book meet up that happens monthly. I should go for the next one. Just sit in silence and read my book and then after get to interact with other bookies.

Baking a Decadent Dessert / Cooking an involved Recipe.

Ballet. I always see posters advertising different shows(?) at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre. It would be nice to try it out.

 

 

A Year of Motherhood / Baby Turns One

In person, these feelings and reflections on the past year are mostly joyful but definitely extremely emotional. I cannot put into words what this year has been like but I would like to try.

  1. Motherhood takes a village. You can do it alone but it is so much better when shared with people you love and trust and with whom you can point your children towards. A pal of mine shared with me that you need four or five people that you trust enough to say to your kid if you cannot talk to me about anything, you can speak to ….. I definitely have those people, both in family and friends.
  2. Pregnancy takes a toll on you the mother and it takes a while for your body to adjust, both physically, emotionally, hormonally and just. Be patient with yourself also, don’t stress too much about your looks.
  3. A baby’s personality develops at birth, observe and work with that.
  4. A friend told me about a mothers’ instinct at my baby shower and I was doubtful. It is true that it does kick in and that I am the best person equipped to be her mother. No one can be a better mom than me.
  5. The dynamics of your relationship shift significantly. Talk about it, review where you both are/ how you are feeling and to discuss. Little people can otherwise impose a lot of pressure on your relationship.
  6. Having a baby helped me refine how much I love people. I also finally understood how much my mom loves me. If she loves me even a little of what I feel for her then I am loved. I also know what it means when I miss someone because I sometimes miss her so much my heart and body actually aches. How does my mom cope?
  7. I learnt that I can be efficient with my time. I commit better to things immediately. I can function with little to no sleep.

 

This could be our love story

Hey First Time Mama

A friend is waiting to have her first baby any time now and a popular blog I read often asks participants what advice they would give a first time mama and only now am I kind of ready to attempt answering that.

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  1. A birth plan is great, but don’t be too tied to it, things happen so be flexible.
  2. Have a plan for who you want to visit you once baby comes. Be clear what you expect and what you would like.
  3. If your mom or sister, or other trusted female relative can come, let them. In laws are great but for the first one its nice to have someone you are closely related to.
  4. Have someone who loves you look out for post natal depression. It’s  a reality.
  5. Little kids don’t need too much stuff and they outgrow stuff so quickly so don’t over shop it might all go to waste.
  6. If you have a partner, your communication will take a bit of a knock but resolve to work on it and adapt together.
  7. Babies cry. Soon you will develop a tough skin when they do. When you can’t settle them, give them a bath or strip them of their clothes for a little while.
  8. Lastly, you are the best mama for that baby. No one can do it better than you. YOU GOT THIS.

 

2020 Theme Verse

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;  for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:9 – 11)

Rest for me implies the absence of striving and making things happen on my terms but a quiet trust in who God is and His faithful promises to me.

It does not mean that I will not put in effort or work at meeting goals but rather it’s taking a step back to look at my motivations.

Rest for me this year is about serving God and attempting to accomplish my purpose in life, use my gifts fully and serve Him in all areas of my life.

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So REST, that is my word for the year and what I welcome you to also do this year. Rest in God.

Monday Motivation

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A little faith in the hand of a big God is Powerful!!

Sunday Reads

Wives also need to get Wives

Husbands/ fathers/ partners are good but we all need wives.

Sunday Listens (Podcast edition)

Over the holiday I got a bit tired of listening to the same subscribed podcast content so I challenged myself to listen to shows I wouldn’t normally do or I had heard but did not want to commit to full subscription just yet. So here are some of those fantastic episodes.

  • Young Love – Where should we begin by Esther Perel.
  • I felt my back stand up when I first listened to her views on infidelity so I wasn’t open at all but I liked it so much I listened to this other episode on sexlessness.
  • Radio Diaries’ Teenage Diariesrevisited. I love that kind of radio soooo much. I was hanging on the edge of my seat listening. Definitely subscribing.  As a teen I would have loved to participate in such an activity, to be honest, even now I would.
  • Other episode I loved was Thembi’s Diary.
  • BBC Woman’s Hour had a phone-in on Monday on #Megxit. Hot mess.
  • I love that Motherhood Sessions is back but jeez that first episode? Messy.
  • Borders Between Us by The Nod stressed to me how as parents we do the best for our kids and hope.
  • I have been listening to this podcast following three pregnant teens (ethics and judgment suspended) and in this episode we meet four generations of teen moms in one family. Give it a listen, it’s nothing like what you expect.
  • Still Processingdiscussed Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. JUST GO AND LISTEN. IT’S GOOD.

I know it’s a lot but do yourself a favour and just listen.

Three (maybe, four) thoughts on Grace

At Church we are covering a series on Grace and so far the study has reminded me of two things that I would like to share today.

The definition of grace is “unearned, unmerited and undeserved kindness and favour of God.” Grace is free and has all to do with God and His love for us a sinful, unfaithful and undeserving people.

Sometimes we forget this meaning and so it’s the third thing that we often forget and so I thought it wise to begin there. Now onto the things that I have actually learnt.

  1. No sin is bigger than God’s grace. There is nothing that we can do that will set us apart from the grace of God. Because if there were, it would negate the very definition of grace.
  2. We have to accept this grace on our own behalf. In that sense it’s personal but it’s also possible that you can reject it and miss out because we choose the penalty (death – the wage for sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ [Rom 6:23]) over and over again.
  3. Lastly, due to our nature, we can get very transactional with God. If you do this, I will ….  I thought I didn’t do this but I see that I quite often do this I still bargain and negotiate and try to “please” God so I am slowly learning to rest in His completed work and to be still.

I pray that I continue to meditate on these truths always.

21 books in 2019

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I read 38 books in 2018 but with the birth of my daughter I only made it to 21 last year which I am very proud of.

See the full list below.

Key: *** Highly Recommend ** Yeah, why not read it *Nah, only read if you have nothing else (No star) I have no feelings on the book

  1. The Believers – Rebecca Makkai ***
  2. Becoming – Michelle Obama *** I initially feared that the hype would be larger than the content of the book so I read it much later and I loved it. My only regret was by then all the book clubs had already met and discussed it.
  3. The Year that Changed Everything- Cathy Kelly. First of her reads and I loved it.
  4. It Started with Paris – Cathy Kelly.
  5. The Storyteller- Jodi Piccoult **Do terrible deeds define us or can we be someone else with time?
  6. Secrets of a happy marriage – Cathy Kelly
  7. Homecoming – Cathy Kelly.
  8. Dead to Me – Lesley Pearse. Love that it was about strong female friendships and personal endurance.
  9. Without a Trace – Lesley Pearse
  10. Just Mercy- Bryan Stevenson *** There is now a movie being made on this book, check it out.
  11. A River of Stars – Vanessa Hua. What a dud, don’t bother.
  12. Me and my Sisters – Sinead Moriarty
  13. The Secrets Sisters Keep – Sinead Moriarty
  14. Between Sisters – Cathy Kelly
  15. This Child of Mine – Sinead Moriarty. Skip it at all costs, this could have been a short story or a novella at best.
  16. Our Secrets and Lies – Sinead Moriarty
  17. Unnatural Causes – Richard Shepherd. This helped with my morbid fascination with dead bodies.
  18. The House on Willow Street – Cathy Kelly
  19. I owe you one – Sophie Kinsella
  20. Washington Black – Esi Edugyan. This was certainly an over hyped book, I wouldn’t recommend it.
  21. Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie ***  I simply loved it, check it out.

My book of the year was The Great Believers. This book deals with the burden of being left behind to confront the memories of a sad time. Also, just how far we have come since the first days of the AIDS scourge. Please do yourself a favour and also read it.

Notable mentions were: Home Fire: A Novel and Becoming.

Books I wanted to like but just.did.not: Washington Black

How many books did you get through last year?

Friday Jam

I jammed to this song so much in 2019, it was my highest played gospel song.

Enjoy!!

Sunday Reads

Recipes

Friday Moving Music

This song is giving me pause in this season of my life. God still moves, He still works, He breaks all chains and He can work even where situations seem dead and hopeless.

Love your job, whatever it is

This short film challenged me to love my work and to do it to the best of my ability.

Pins I am loving

I love window seats … they are so dreamy and this one has additional space at the bottom

There is something about wearing a jumpsuit to a wedding or on a wedding lineup

Jewel Tones: Deep Greens

I love the pink couch .. what a dream

 

There is something about this dress …. 

Podcast Recommendations

​I love podcasts and on my commute to work and back home, I have been catching up on some good episodes this week.

  • I love Ear Hustle and this week they had a Q&A session, I particularly loved the bit where they went round asking the guys what their prison theme song would be. If this is you first time, the boom boom room is definitely my all-time favourite episode.
  • This is Uncomfortable, a new podcast I got into was talking about class anxiety. Something that I can definitely associate with. Well, I loved how the lady in question just broke it down in a way that made me think of my own discomfort with money.
  • Aminatou and Ann also talked about all the money feelings we have. One of their subjects was saying how they sit with a group of their friends and everyone writes down their annual salary, they jumble them up and pick them out say them aloud so even if you do not know who earns that much, you at least know they are in your friendship circle. Mind-blowing, would love to see the same from my friends.
  • Woman’s Hour talked about period sex – the good, the dirty and freaky J
  • The Mr is left handed so this episode from Radio Lab hit me personally. The previous two stories were also quite impressive.

Happy Listening 🙂

Sunday Reads

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Recipes

Early Thoughts on Motherhood

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This being the last week of my maternity break, I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learnt as a new mom. Please share your own lessons in the comments, thanks.

  1. Newborns make interesting sounds right from the beginning. Leaving the hospital the little one giggled … we should have known she had grand plans for us later that night.
  2. They try to turn their necks from side to side initially, at least she did.
  3. They are your co-partner in breastfeeding. FACT.
  4. Breastfeeding makes you feel insecure – get a good lactation consultant on standby and attend a good birthing class that included breastfeeding lessons.
  5. It does take a village, first kids are naturally born resilient coz how do they survive with parents who don’t know what they are doing????
  6. but you should also control the type of visitors you get. In the early days I caught myself making lunch and teas for visitors, very very sad.
  7. Trust your instincts always. This took me a while to get used to but it does kick in, thank God.
  8. You fall in love with them coz they pin you with that intense penetrating gaze and then one day they just smile and you are captivated.
  9.  I will honestly admit to the fact that I did not initially fall in love, like day one. It took me a week or two but when I got there, I was fully in love …
  10. Newborns aren’t fazed by hiccups.
  11. They hate to bath, at least she did. It took three full months for it to become bearable.
  12. You are initially tired, lack of sleep and childbirth, but you soon learn to cope.
  13. The nature of the relationship with your partner will change. The most important thing is to talk about it and give each other some grace. Also, get some zzz when you can, lack of sleep exacerbates errrrthing.
  14. Baby breath and baby farts don’t smell at all 😀
  15. Changing dirty diapers is actually not the worst thing.

The best part of it all though is getting to know her an experience that I would liken to a slowly opening rose bud.