Monday, November 14, 2016

Mont Rochelle

The day has been looming for months....when I agreed to this race it totally seemed doable but, alas, training got away from me.

This was, without doubt, the most challenging run I have ever done. 9kms up the Franschoek mountain and then a sharp, fast descent all the way down on very shaky legs.

There were tears. There was swearing. There was abuse. There was blaming. But I did it ....with the Hero by my side....quietly absorbing the hits and encouraging me in the darkest times.



Starry-eyed and unaware of the extreme challenge ahead.

Still able to appreciate the view (around 3kms)

One of the few runnable areas on the ascent

The climbs are getting real.



Beginning the descent and starting to feel my legs


All I am *actually* thinking is how fast I can get off that damn mountain. But, yeah, great view.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Watershed at Warwick

We almost did not make this outdoor music event. 

Our lives have been a bit chaotic and I just felt we should cool our jets and stay home for a bit.
Thank God The Hero managed to talk some sense into me .... 

Sunday morn saw us both diy-ing and doing kid/house stuff until about 1pm.

Feeling stoked with our domestic endeavours we  packed the car and headed to Warwick, leaving kids at home with plenty of food and promises to be home before bedtime.

We stopped for a quick bite along the way and arrived at Warwick around 3pm. What an incredible venue and a fabulous event. 

Left just after 6pm and snuck in dinner at Tigers Milk before I became edgy as it was getting late...Monday was looming I needed to get home!

But what an incredible afternoon - now safely stashed in the memory bank.


Good times always follow these two.




Getting my 'groupie' groove on with the band and the joke


Selfie time. You can never have too many.


The music was incredible, the company irreplaceable and the venue spectacular


These people add colour to my days. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Groote Post Family Day


You have to love Facebook for all the events that so easily slide into sight.
It has seriously increased our social life. The Groote Post run was in Darling - a bit of a trek - but we decided some time ago that it looked like a great family day out.

There was a 4km trail run/walk for the older kids, D was able to be entertained in a facility for younger kids while the Hero and I were able to run a comfortable 13k trail route.

The terrain was completely different to our usual mountain stuff. There were some challenging sandy bits and a few little hills (that felt enormous at the time but that was before Mont Rochelle taught me a lesson!)

We were mostly spoiled with view of tumbling hills and rolling wheat fields - a welcome reprieve from some of the highly technical stuff we have done in the past.

After the race there was much feeding and water to do for all the many peoples....my folks and brother joined us for lunch which was very cool.






Fit family :-)
Pre-race selfie with L who volunteered to the do the 4k so we could do the 13k.
And they are off!
Post race family time with my folks and brother.






Always make time for the selfie. Always


Because how often do you actually run through wheatfields? 


Beaut capture by The Hero.


Leading the way; he does it so well.

Fun times with T
The magic of windmills
The serenity captures me


Let the Adventure Begin

Groote Post 13km - Darling



Pain of my past has harvested my heart
It has tilled the soil of my soul
Prepared me to love you
The depth of this new love, a gift;
Redemption I do not deserve

In my darkest moments I shook my fist
Wrestled and rioted in anger

But in the end it was not the end after all
Instead a continued great story
Of life, love, loss and redemption

In the winter of change
the chill can freeze your bones
and the memory of summer
a fairtyale with little meaning

but summer, she always comes
despite winters' harshest arrows

so sit by the fire
and feel the aching burn
wait for summer and when she arrives
let her melt your sorrow
may it become one with your joy

a beautiful collage of a future uncertain
but perfectly predestined.

SMB


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nine Months


Silvermine
I woke up feeling extremely strange. I felt anxious and outside of my own reality. Stuff was happening around me; I was driving, talking and engaging but I was not present. I was almost in the third person.

I came home and considered taking a tranquliser which is not something I do; all the while trying to nail down WHY I was feeling this way. 

And then my phone rang and as I reached for it I noticed the date.

25 May 2016

And then I realised that my soul knew before my brain did. 

Nine months ago today I was coming home from hospice to tell my children their dad had died. 


Unthinkable. Horrific. The flashback hit me so hard. All of it. All at once.



The sound of Faith's scream when she saw my car pull up.
The image of Levi's crumpled frame on the couch.
The dark look of utter despair in Rachel's eyes as she reached for me.


I felt that I may scream and never stop. So I held my breath. I may even have silently prayed that I didn't lose my mind; that the images would just stop.

Your body knows. The soul tie is a real thing. It is not just a meme.

I did not need the tranquiliser. I understood why I was feeling weird; decided to ride it out, feel it and walk alongside it. 



I called my mom. I went to my favourite places, found quiet spaces. I wrote, I ran. I drank coffee. 

It was a good day.







Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life Captured


One never expects to raise your children with a person other than their own father/mother.

My over-arching response to losing my guy was to simply knuckle down and raise my kids single handedly. I could not even fathom bringing a man into their lives; or into mine.

Yet somehow this happened. It just did. Without me even trying to make it happen or gently introduce the idea. I still marvel at how easily my children have taken K into their lives and how he has poured out himself for them. 




Preparing an afrikaans essay

Watching a rather tense Sevens game

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Winter Came

The long awaited 'Winter is Coming' party arrived and it did not disappoint.

It was a night to remember and I will let the photos tell the story. 











*love*

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Of coffee, mountains and men



Coffee. In the mountain. With my bloke. Bliss.

With 6 kids charging around. Somehow coffee just makes everything slow down for a moment. 

I won't forget the conversation happening when Faith took this picture:


Hero " Did you slip some whisky into the flask before we left?'

Adventurer "Wish! I do have gin in the fridge....next time for sure!"


I love us. We share so much besides our common grief.  Our relentless pursuit of happiness and our shared humour is one of the pillars of our relationship. Few people will understand how imperative it is for me to be alongside humans who bring out light and laughter and good vibes. Sounds trite but it is truth.

This day was a very difficult one, in ways few would understand,  but we did it. 
There was beauty in the brokeness which will need to become a safe place for us. 

We will never escape the relative destruction that marks our past but we can be grateful for the beauty we have been afforded and we can choose to nuture this new season with a tenderness and grace that comes from walking through deep pain, often tinged with regrets.

We have many, many difficult days ahead of us as we blend our families but I do believe we can make it happen. 

Not just survive, but thrive, as a family.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mothers Day



I was not sure how to start this new blog.  There is no clear way to define Part 1 and Part 2 of my life. No neat little 'wrap-up' or clever bylines.

Somehow it feels like today was the line. It was crossed. Today I woke up in my bed on Mothers Day with not 3 little people to spoil me but 6. 

It was humbling and overwhelming. I was caught between deep gratitude and deep pain. I saw my children stumbling through their emotions as they endeavoured to continue traditions their Dad started with them all those years ago.  I watched K's kids give so much of themselves to me despite wrestling their own grief and sorrow as they miss their mom so much on this day.

Both K and myself both struggle deeply with anger at what our children have to face. Losing a parent is just not right and it never gets easier for us to watch our kids being brave; stumbling and then being brave all over again.




Sunday, May 1, 2016

Picture Perfect



There are so many things I love about this photograph. I am so grateful The Hero collared someone to take it.

I love the way D is holding my hand. I may have been restraining him....and he may have been trying to escape but I prefer my interpretation. ;-)

I love the way L is leaning into me. She is a slow burn and I am so grateful that she has slowly begun to take me into her confidence. 

Most of all I love the demeanour of my Hero. Squared shoulders, proud and powerful. I am not sure who is more impressive in this picture - him or Table Mountain!

To any passer-by we look like the picture perfect family and somehow that is totally okay with me.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

#8for8


We have spent many months together - living life and getting to know each other. 

Today was kind of special though as we hung out, as a family, all 8 of us. 

We watched Miss L play netball and then ventured into the city to take in the beauty of the promenade.

It is never plain sailing with 6 kids around but today was special because it was the first photo we have ever taken of the 8 of us together.


A landmark day. One of many more to come.