Left Behind

I just put my grandmother Kernodle on a flight back to the US. She has been here for a month now. Two weeks with me, two weeks at my sister’s house. When she was with me, I was super busy with work and didn’t get to see her much. Just knowing she was spending the days with Ava was enough. Grandma is 86 going on 70. You wouldn’t believe her age if she told you, she is so busy all the time. I know I’ll see her again. Her and my grandmother Thomasson. They’ll both be there when I get home next December. I know it. Knowing, doesn’t make it easier to say goodbye.

When I decided to move to South Africa, I honestly didn’t think I would stay long. Neither did my family and friends. We all thought I’d come over for a year or so, travel around, then come home. A short adventure that turned into four years, and counting. 
At 25, I was heading out on my own adventure, not thinking of what I was leaving behind. Not thinking about the people whose routines would stay the same, just without me. Never realizing the emptiness felt by those I left behind. 
Johan’s older brother Charl and his wife moved to New Zealand this time last year. For those of you who don’t know, it’s freaking far from South Africa. Like really far. Plus the time change is super annoying compared to America. They are going to sleep when we wake up. 
When they moved, only then did I realize what it felt like to get left. For someone to embark on their own adventure, without you. Every Tuesday night we eat dinner at Johan’s parents house. All the kids and their kids. It’s a bit chaotic, but it’s so wonderful. Every Tuesday night, we are reminded that Charl and Lee are far away. It’s become the norm now, but it doesn’t make it easier. 
They are home now for a short visit. His first since the move. She’s pregnant and super cute, of course. Due the same day I was due with Ava. Their having a boy. I don’t know when we will get to meet him, as we don’t have any plans to visit them and they haven’t planned further than this trip. So I am left to day dreaming about him and little Ava, defending themselves against the other Scheepers’ trio. 
We will all be together one day, I know it. 
Newest addiction, other than my iPad, Instagram. Love it. 
Della Mae behaving!

Playing by herself

Ava behaving!

Dear Apple,
Please put a better camera on the next iPad.
Blair Scheepers
Ava Lou, I love you!
Me, Grandma and Ava
My loves

MIL and Lee

Ava and her Oom Charl

We are going to the States!

The Free State! Actually we went last weekend. Johan loves saying that we are going to the states! The Free State!

The Free State is a province in South Africa. Provinces are sort of like our states, but not really. Johan’s parents are from the Free State and most of his uncles and cousin still live there. I wrote a post about visiting his cousin Charl and his family, plus we saw his grandparents. Ooh and played with lions, you can read about it here.

This weekend we headed to the FS for one of Johan’s cousin wedding. The venue was gorgeous and the bride breathtaking, of course. Greta always looks beautiful, so it was no surprise that she’d made a stunning bride.

The venue

The Scheepers
Me, Greta and Ria
Ava and her daddy

I always get a laugh thinking about the time we were invited to his other cousin, Ria’s wedding.

Johan and I at Ria’s wedding. 

Johan and I were only dating at the time, and he asked if I would like to join him to his cousin’s wedding. I agreed and asked where it was, Paris, he said. PARIS?!? For a wedding?!? AWESOME. He gave me a look like I must be crazy. I even called my sister Amanda to tell her the good news. Me, Paris and the love of my life, for a wedding? Sounds perfect. I asked how much the plane tickets would cost… Then the laughter began and I was afraid he’d never stop. Not Paris, Parys in the Free State. Lost in the accent.

The good news, is that the bride and wedding was just as beautiful and fun as if we had been in the real Paris.

I actually love the Free State. Whenever we are driving there or through there, I get the same feeling I get when heading up I77, past Statesville, toward Hamptonville. It’s a feeling of belonging and yearning to stay forever. Unfortunately, it’s not my family we go to visit but, if I had to choose anyone else, it would be Johan’s family.

Ava turned 8 months last week. She is so close to crawling, that I think she actually made one tiny movement forward tonight. She is, however, a pro at moving in circles and backwards, rolling over and falling over. Ava definitely does not like to sit in her car seat or highchair.

Her daddy went out and bought the cheapest highchair made (without mommy), so I like to blame him for her not wanting to sit in it but, we have a Peg car seat, which isn’t cheap, and she hates that as well. So there goes my cheap theory. Don’t tell Skip. I need someone to blame for my child’s misbehavior.

I can’t choose which picture I love the most.

Maybe this one…

The sweetest thing!

Did I tell y’all I got to meet Al Gore? Yeah, the first year I was old enough to vote, I voted for him. It was awesome. I’ll probably tell you again at a later date.

Al, if you’re reading this, you’re the man.

In case you didn’t see it…

Skip, if you’re reading this, you are my favorite man. And I won’t let you forget that you promised to take me back to Clarens or to the real Paris.

Blogger, if you’re reading this, get a new iPad app! It’s almost 2012, bru!

On the way there. I just love Instgram.

Night ya’ll,


Life Update

At the moment Johan, Ava and I are on the way back from dropping my mom off at the airport. She is heading home to the US for two months. Johan and I are so jealous. Would love to be boarding a plane right now, destination Charlotte.

Yep, writing this post on my brand new iPad! Love it. I should say Johan’s iPad as he uses it way more than I do. We definitely need two.

My big work event is FINALLY over and we can finally get our life back to normal. (I met AL GORE!) However, it has been so great having my mom and grandma at my house this week. But now, back to normal.

This weekend we were supposed to have family photos taken, the weather obviously had different plans. If I tell my sister it’s warm in Pretoria, by the time she gets here, it will be raining or freezing cold. Shame.

Thankfully the sun came out and today was beautiful for Ava’s baptism. She was such a doll in church. When the preacher placed the water on her forehead, she gave the biggest smile of her life. It was almost like she knew what was happening. My heart swelled up. There aren’t words to explain how happy and proud I was of my little family today. And that my grandmother could be there to witness Ava’s baptism, made it even more special.

For my wedding dress, I used my mom’s wedding dress and had it updated a bit. With the left over fabric, the dress maker made a baptism dress. Della Mae wore it first and now, Ava. My mom bought a blanket and stitched each of the girls who used the dress name onto the blanket, so we have now created our own heirloom. Very special.

This week has been hectic to say the least. Monday I started an events management course online. Not sure why I thought because it was online it would be easy. Ha. Wednesday was the event. Thursday Amanda and the girls arrived. Friday Ruben arrived! Saturday is rained out our plans. Today the baptism… Like Johan says, I need a weekend.


New Wardrobe

In preparation of going back to work, I have completed the weekly closet update that started as I gradually rounded out with Ava. Each week I try on my clothes to see what still fits and move what doesn’t to the back of the closet. Unfortunately, I am now at the point, or should I say size, that nothing fits. The maternity pants sag in the bootie and the part that goes over your belly makes me look fatter than I am. I have tried to stuff myself into my BA (before Ava) clothes and that’s just not happening. I’d make a perfect post for People of Walmart with my buttons ’bout to pop off. And that’s the few pants I can actually get over my thighs!

Thankfully the husband has given me the green light to do a little restocking. Mainly because it’s not appropriate for me to wear sweatpants to work, like it is to the grocery store and everywhere else I venture to these days. Seeing as all day shopping sprees just aren’t feasible with small babies, I have decided to make a shopping list before I hit the shops.

If you know me, I am not the most fashionable girl out there and would definitely not be voted best dressed. If I could wear a white tee shirt and jeans every day, I would. My closet now and always has consisted of mostly black and white items. I love to shop but I am not so good at buying. And I am always a year late on trends. But not this year. This year I am going to try and stay with the trends. I have a huge fear of turning into a boring mom, wearing “mom jeans” with baggy shirts. The bad news is I have Country Road tastes and Mr. Price pockets. Or for those in America, JCrew tastes with Old Navy pockets. Not that Mr. Price or Old Navy are bad, I just would rather have Country Road. Plus, I don’t have the patience for Mr. Price.

Here is what I’ll be looking for: A new pair of brown boots, they never go out of style. A red pair of loafers since red is “in” this year. Some gray pieces, since it’s also “in”, or so I’ve read. New jeans, a pair of black pants and a few shirts/sweaters. Yes people, your teacher lied to you, it gets cold in Africa.

Below are some outfits I found online. I would just die to have all these outfits, but will only spoil myself with one or two (or five) of the items below. Oh Country Road and Trenery, how I love thee!

I love this cardigan. With a belt? Cute!
Black wool pants. Must have.
Red corduroys, need I say more?
The boot I was looking for, but think I must have all of it… How fun is this outfit? Would love to rock this out to a good live show. Drink a few good beers. Relax a bit.
Something gray and awesome!
This outfit looks comfortable and sophisticated. When does that happen?

A girl can dream, right??

The girls walking on the wooden floor are from Trenery. The girls on cement Country Road.

*Update: Just returned from Menlyn (the mall), and the story of my South African life: none of these in my size or they are completely out of stock. This always happens to me here, especially with candy. If I like it, they take if off the market… Will try Woodlands on Thursday. Fingers crossed!

Whilst organizing my closet, I also decided to discard the items that I no longer wear. Only to make my case to the Skipper that much stronger. All ladies know the argument, “I have nothing to wear!”. The mother, and then years later the husband, “Then what’s all that?”. We all know we won’t wear it but A) it has sentimental value or mostly likely B) you just feel better when it looks like you have more clothes in your closet. For example, this lovely Piggly Wiggly tee shirt that is 6 years old. I just couldn’t give it away. Thanks to a suggestion by my friend Tracy, it will now become apart of a tee shirt quilt along with many other too good to throw away, but not good enough to wear shirts.

I’m Big on the Pig!

Ava’s waving bye, bye!

Seeing as I don’t have an iphone and am so jealous of everyone with one and the instagr.am program. My same dear friend Tracy has instagr.am a few photos for me. This one is my favorite. Thanks Tracy!

Bye, bye!