Browsing Category: South Africa

5 ways I’ve put my kid in danger in the car – You might have, too

5 ways I've put my kid in danger in the car - You might have, too

Two years ago, I joined up with #CarseatFullstop. I was inspired by Mandy’s passion for the project and wanted to help save a kid’s life. I figured that parents just didn’t know better. You know, like I obviously already did.

Harley always rode in a car seat. ALWAYS. But part of being in this campaign means that I’ve learned even more. I thought that I was always doing everything needed to keep Harley safe, but I was actually wrong. I’ve done a number of things that could have been catastrophic. I’m not telling you this as some form of guilty self-flagellation, but to hopefully help you to not make the same mistakes that I have. Continue Reading

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A year in the States – A year since we emigrated from SA

A year in the States - A year since we emigrated from SA

(Photo credit: LeeAnn Stromyer with LeeAnn K Photography // @Leeann_K_Photography)

A year ago, we left South Africa. One year ago, we got on a plane with 3 suitcases while 10 boxes were making their way to us on a slow boat. We had our essentials, leaving a country that was our home for about 10 years to make a new life in the States.

I can’t decide if a year is a long time or not. I suppose I have to stop saying that we are new in the country, or recently emigrated. Continue Reading

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How I’m using social media to build real friendships

How I'm using social media to build real friendships

I’ve talked before about how moving is hard and making friends takes time. Whether you’ve lived somewhere for a long time or you’re new in an area, forging new social connections can be scary, complicated and totally daunting. I know a lot of you appreciated my advice on how to grow meaningful connections, so I thought I’d share a little about how I’m using social media to build real friendships. Like, actual burgeoning connections and stuff.

To be honest, before we left for the States, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Facebook. It was just so cluttered with crap, and most of my day to day friends weren’t on there much. I preferred twitter, and I still do, for news, silly interactions and fun quips. I was trying to get into Instagram, and it’s still something I’m trying to do more of, but it just feels like a serious time sink for me. It feels like you have to be on Instagram ALL THE TIME to actually see anything worthwhile. But my social media game changed a lot by moving. Continue Reading

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Mixed Emotions on the 4th of July

Mixed Emotions on the 4th of July

(Image credit: Photo by Cory G on Reshot)

This was our first 4th of July since moving to the States, and my first one on US soil in about 10 years. I’ve got to say, I had some mixed emotions on the 4th of July, and I wasn’t the only one. When I was growing up, we weren’t big on 4th of July celebrations, but it did take on some significance being overseas.

In Holland and then in South Africa, I was one of only a handful of Americans in social circles. As a result, I was the one who had to mark the occasion. It also meant that I was something of the arbiter of truth for all things American – a bit odd, but still fun. Continue Reading

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Things I wish I knew before we emigrated

Things I wish I knew before we emigrated from South Africa to the USA

I am finally in a really good place. I mean that literally and figuratively, it seems. After some rough months, I’ve been feeling more and more settled. I didn’t realize just how settled I was until Dean’s parents came to visit and I was able to confidently show them around… and even feel disrupted by sharing space (in the best possible way). That’s gotta be proof that we had a routine and were used to our space if I actually felt like things were different from normal, right? I mean, just to have a “normal” is awesome after having emigrated and changed our whole lives.

I am happy and things are going well. It still isn’t even a year since we moved, so I figure we’re on a good trajectory. I’m sure there will be hard days again, and even better days, but for now, I’m pleased with how things are going. We still need to meet people and make friends, but that always takes time. It will come. There are some things I wish I knew before we emigrated, though. Continue Reading

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