Tag Archives: Family

Thoughts on the night before Christmas 2016

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I’ve been wanting to write some words all day. I haven’t been writing much the last few days, enjoying my time on leave instead. I’ve been playing Stardew Valley, Watch Dogs 2 and finishing up some odds and ends of Final Fantasy XV, as well as watching The Crown on Netflix. I’ve also been playing with my kid, running errands and finally sorting out her American citizenship (which I promise I will write about soon). It’s been a lovely time away from work, time in my own head, and time with two of the people who mean the most to me in the whole world. I’ve been thinking a lot though as we head into this holiday, about where we are and where we are going. I recently wrote a post about what I’m thankful for, so that’s not exactly what I want to do here, but I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts into a discernible order. So, instead of putting them into order, here they are in all their chaotic beauty.

My heart is heavy when I think about the world at the moment. Whether you believe the story of the nativity is truth, or a parable, it feels rather important at the moment. Mary and Joseph were fleeing persecution, and no one would let them in. Finally, a kind person let them into their barn, where Mary ended up giving birth. It’s a story that is meant to remind us that even in our darkest moments, light can come into the world. That even the most poor and desperate people can bring something beyond value into this world. It’s a reminder during the dark days of the Winter Solstice (which feels odd when we celebrate down here in South Africa seeing as it’s summer) that light and warmth and goodness can return to the world. Continue Reading

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A family holiday

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I am currently on holiday. That’s right, as I type this on my iPad, we are driving down the N1, heading to Knysna. By the time you read this, we will there and I will hopefully be on my way towards an oyster overload.

Early on after moving to South Africa, I was told that I’d have to visit Knysna. I was promised whales and oysters ( one to see and one to eat), and I was pretty much sold. But Dean and I often get so caught up in life that we don’t book these things. Thankfully, his friend Kris arrived from Iceland and gave us the best excuse. Continue Reading

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How much does it cost to feed your family?

cost to feed your family

I came across an interesting blog yesterday. In it Hayley asks if everyone else is spending a fortune feeding their families, and she described her monthly shopping. It sounded almost exactly like my shopping, and I’ve been wondering the same thing – Dean and I live a comfortable life, but I keep finding that our money is getting tighter and tighter and the majority of our spending seems to go towards food. I’ve been paying closer attention because of an article I’m going to write as part of Harassed Mom‘s series called “What we ate this week” (I promise I will answer your questions soon, Laura!). We really spend a lot just to eat these days.

Part of it is, yes, takeaways or going out to eat. But surprisingly, that’s not as big a thing as I imagined. We might go without cooking once or twice in the week, but for the most part we cook our food. Plus, I like to think that I’m pretty smart with how we shop. I tend to buy our meat once, or maybe twice in the month online from a fantastic butcher who delivers. Their prices are really reasonable and the quality of the meat is great. Plus, I order all the things in 500 gram or 1kg portions, so it’s already nicely divided – just throw it in my deep freezer and pull out what I need, as and when I need it; just the right amount for dinner at night and my breakfast and lunch of leftovers. The rest of our food usually comes from the two local stores – PicknPay and Woolies. Continue Reading

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Where do extended families fit?

extended family

I grew up without any contact with my extended family. I obviously knew that my parents had parents of their own, but that those relationships weren’t good and my brother and I didn’t know them. I have aunts and uncles I’ve never met, cousins I don’t know names of and whatever other forms of relatives that are somewhere out there in the world, and I’m okay with that. As an adult, I got to know my great uncle and meet a few relatives through that line, and while it’s been fun to see what my extended family is like, it hasn’t really changed my life or how I see myself.

Dean is much closer with his extended family. He grew up knowing his aunts and uncles, playing with his cousins and at least knowing his grandparents (although I’m not really too sure how close he was with them before they passed on). Of course moving overseas and then returning to South Africa changed those relationships, and it’s not as if he’ll pick up the phone to call his cousins, although he’s generally quite happy to see his various family members during special occasions. Since getting married, our relationship is “immediate” family, with everyone else sort of extended families, right? Can you tell that I’m confused by this? But ultimately, my question comes down to raising Harley, of course. Continue Reading

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