18 March 2013

The packing starts

We are off on holiday soon! At the beginning of last year we decided that one of our values was to take family holidays at LEAST twice a year. In fact, the day after we returned from the Garden Route in September 2012 I booked for our trip this year.

On Wednesday we head up to Plett and will spend a week at Moonshine On Whiskey Creek. Our plan after that week is undefined...we may spend a few nights in Vic Bay enroute to Mcgregor where we will finish up our holiday with my folks. It has been way too long since we visited!

Much excitement as I begin the task of setting up music, movies, games, art supplies and booking various outings as well as planning some hikes in the area.

Only 2 more sleeps!

The Acid Test


With the whole family.

I love these special times but this trip I will want to train daily and that is new adjustment for us all. I hope to include everyone and to keep it fun. 

Jillian Michaels is accompanying us on my ipad with 3 workouts including kettlebell and yoga. Each session is a heartstopping 30minutes but at least something gets done and the rest of the day is free to adventure and live large.

I hope to run at least every second day and have settled that going out for 30minutes will be just awesome. There is a apparently some awesome walks up the mountain to some falls so i am sure to explore them.

Signing out until early April!

17 March 2013

Weekend Roundup

I have spent many hours with my new toy but I am not the only one having lots of fun with it! 

Photo Booth makes for awesome entertainment

This little lady surprise me! She gave me a list of ingredients and then proceeded to BAKE A CAKE! All I helped with were showing her how to measure out ingredients. The cake was delicious - am so impressed with her. Bizarrely she seems to love the whole kitchen scene. I am encouraging this relationship.

Our little baker in the making

This is the scene I woke up to on Saturday - just too sweet. 

Levi and Honey share a moment

After a particularly busy Saturday I really felt the need to get out and run. It's been a week and my body was aching and moaning at me. True story. I needed to run. 10kms in I stopped to take this image - truly magnificent. I do realise that some reflective running gear should probably be on my list soon!

Coming up Black Hill drive

What better way to spend time on a Sunday than with all my kids and my nieces - we paid a visit to our favourite ice-cream parlour....yet again...this could become a tradition!


This little guy had 3 parties this weekend but only managed 2. A bit like his mom....overcommitted and then had to bail on one of them! This one was a survivor theme and it was super-cool watching all these little dudes get there survivor on!

Boys and sticks = hours of fun

Still doing my best to encourage Rach to run with me. It is not something that she would choose but I am insisting. I still strongly believe that (especially) at her age she needs to be more physically active. There was some negotiating.....

"you wanna watch a movie on Sunday arvie? Sure! Run 3kms with me first!"

She calls me a bully. ;-)  I have promised her that if she hasnt fallen in love with running by the time she leaves home she never has to do it again....The eye-rolling that followed was pretty stellar.

Off to earn the movie!

I have to tell you that once I had her 'wired' with my run playlist and endomondo cheering her each km of the way she got really into it and was so amped when it was done. She took a cold shower and came downstairs glowing. (told you so....but I didnt say it!)

And just in case you guys are thinking 'overzealous mean mom' I am only asking her to run twice a week...hardly a chore!

I will confess that I do harbour the dream of having a family that runs. That we will go on holidays and weekends away and find awesome unchartered territories and RUN. We shall see.....

15 March 2013

Levi's First Sports Day

Today had been eagerly anticipated by Levi and kind of dreaded by the girls. They all feel very nervous before Sports Day but Levi more excited than anything else.

For the first time ever, I had to miss the first hour of events. Of course, in this time both Faith and Levi ran victoriously and my phone was pinging and dinging as my friends gave me blow by blow accounts...accompanied by photos! Good friends hey?

I won't tell you I wasn't gutted. HOW ON EARTH did it happen that I could miss his first sports day? Argh, horrible.

Thankfully, the boy that he is, is not deterred by my absence and not once has he even mentioned it.

Faith striding to victory

Levi pinching victory in the closing moments

By the time I arrived, rain had delayed sports and all the kids were transported back to school to finish the team events in the hall. Thankfully the dreaded parent races have been replaced by a mixed team (moms and dads) relay - which we won for the Green team. I was dreading the moms race as my kids EXPECT me to win each year and I just did not feel like running this year.

Happy lad!

I had to laugh when we came home and he was sticking his Gold (firsts) stickers in his book and he remarks :

"Next year I need to make sure I come in first, second and third so I can get gold, silver and bronze"

Truly in it for the fun and not necessarily the win. 

14 March 2013

Giraffe House

Today Levi's class had an outing to the Giraffe House, about 20km outside Stellenbosch. It was a long long drive for little (and big!) people. Add to that the fact that it was not far from 40 degrees and you begin to see the possibility for all kinds of discomfort!

My mom was kind (and brave) enough to accompany me on the journey, I really felt I would prefer some adult company along the way and it was really great to have her along...although she severely regretted her clothing choice (jeans and a black T) and spent most of the time safely in the shade of the lapa. (as did many of us!)

I did decide to finally just hold a snake and get it done. I am known to feel very uneasy, sometimes light-headed around these reptiles but today I just felt it was time. I was not afraid however I can safely tell you I am still utterly revolted by them. But not afraid.

The guys giving the talks to the kids about all the different types of animals were highly amusing, even the adults were in hysterics. These guys MADE the outing - without them it would have been hot and dull and lifeless.

The giraffe is known to run along the fence with the kids but she was having none of it today. Just too hot.

The lapa in the background where we spent most of our time.

I am so grateful that I am still able to be available to take Levi on outings and get to know his class like I have with both girls. Even though I bemoan giving up many of my days to drive far and wide I wouldnt have it any other way!

13 March 2013

Feels Like Home

On Monday the internal painters finally finished. They had a big messy job to do and they took their sweet time. I nearly did my head in watching them work. Seriously - I could have done it myself in the time it took 6 of them to finish. Fortunately I have learnt the skill of deep breathing - these last months have taught me that losing my temper is not going to help in any way.

Yesterday I spent the better part of 5 hours re-ordering the lower level of my home. I still have a ways to go as all the pictures need to be re-hung and that alone is a huge job.

Carnage. And this was taken an hour into clean-up.

I focused on sorting out the kid-zone. I put all their stuff away - stationery, games, art supplies, books - all in places they can FIND exactly what they need. I set up the wii and dvd player again. Everything HAS and is IN it's place.

The kids were like different people yesterday. Calm and kind to each other. I forget the toll this has taken on them. I can only see now, in retrospect.

We still have no floors. The battle continues with MES insisting the floors are dry and CREST floors insisting floors are not. Our insureres are the monkeys in the middle refusing to make a decision.
The Browns are going on holiday next week and quite frankly, are just happy to be in an orderly home. The battle can recommence again in April.

This morning I treated myself to an hour on the couch. With tea. And Suits. And I dont even feel a little bit guilty. Well, no more than normal. ;-)

and yes, that Is a milk crate the tv is on.  usually covered but havent got that far yet.

12 March 2013


It has been 3 years since I discovered the world of Apple; a good mate bought me an iPod Touch. This was my introduction to Apple and the technology astounded me. I did begin to tiptoe around the edge of MacLove.

The transition was interrupted as I embarked on a brief flirtation with an Android phone until sanity prevailed and a year ago I upgraded to an iPhone.

We now are Apple Lovers. Our technology 'sings' in unity in our home. I use the term 'we' lightly as Russell is a Mac-Hater. It certainly is testament to his infinite love for me that he has dipped into our resources to satisfy my technology desires. :-)

I have been patiently waiting for the stars to align to acquire the Big Daddy of all, ....and it arrived on Saturday afternoon. My 40th birthday present, slightly delayed, much anticipated and GREATLY appreciated!


11 March 2013

Weekend Running

Weekend in Review

I did get to run on Saturday. But not a trail. And not with the man. But any run is better than none, yes?

We headed down to the wetlands area near our home and we all (me, the man and my 6yr old son) ran a couple of loops - roughly 3kms - it was very hot and even though the little man is highly motivated I did think that was enough for him!

The boys drove home and I decided to run the 5.5kms home as a tempo run. This run 'jargon' is all new to me but I think a tempo is simply running a faster pace than usual? I basically aimed at running around 5.30 per km and then slowing down for a minute and picking up again for another km.

My phone battery died before the end of the run but I was still able to see most of my splits and I was happy. Pretty damn tired but happy.

Weekend with a difference

Both girls decided to go on a camp, run by the local Baptists,  in Noordhoek this weekend. It was Faith,s first camp and there was much excitment tempered with a healthy dose of nerves. Arrival was not good as kids had swopped dorms and she ended up in a dorm with 6 girls she didnt know. She was totally ready to come home with me (I dont blame her!) but I was assured all would be sorted out. She ended up staying the whole weekend but came home in two-minds as to whether she will attend again. (her mothers child...)

Rachel, on the other hand, had an absolute ball. She is all about her friends and getting away from home. As it should be at her age I think!

Levi was LESS than impressed that he was not able to go - I could have probably sent him but there are plenty of camp years ahead for him and I was just not ready yet. I promised him a weekend to remember and he made sure I delivered!! >_<

Friday evening the boys watched HUGO while I escaped to watch something that I cant remember....ahem.

Saturday morning we hiked up Elsies Peak - a simply breathtaking morning and a hike I haven't done before.

Holding tight to my lightweight in case he blew off the peak!

Came home and chilled - watched some of the latest season of Biggest Loser which I LOVE. Even Levi got quite into it! Of course, loafing around for too long is not what he considers 'a weekend to remember' and his greatest desire was that we take him for a run. (really, I am not making this up)

There were moments of walking...but very few.

We headed off to the wetlands area and ran a couple of loops - 3.3kms in the heat of the day but he loved every minute of it. The boys then went off the mall to get cardboard for his rhino project while I ran home.

He is going to make a steller running companion very soon!

The evening was spent watching Life of Pi - what a movie. If you only see one this year - Life of Pi should be it.

Sunday was the Argus which meant nothing happened here. The rhino project was completed, a few episodes of BL and we fetched two exhausted girls from camp.

09 March 2013

No run? No problem!

I no longer check facebook when I wake up.

I check Endomondo to see who the lucky buggers are that get to run first thing on a Saturday morning!

Flowrs is doing the Constantia Alphen 15 km. And F* is doing her last long training run for the Two Oceans half marathon.

I was supposed to do a 10km trail this morning with my bloke as both my girls are at camp and the lad was to sleepover at Granny ... but alas it all fell apart. I had a severe case of runner-envy when I woke at 630 and found this on Endomondo.

My little guy was so amped to go on a hike so we packed coffee and snacks and decided to go hike up Elsies Peak instead. Perfect way to start this beautiful weekend - with my boys!

I may get lucky and run later....or tomorrow....here's to hoping!

06 March 2013

And now what?

I only realised how much head-space this race absorbed once it had passed. 

I woke up on Monday; obviously not planning to run and I felt a bit lost. 

Like, okay, now what?

So I did what was necessary - I phoned my good friend, Farn, and we went to the Mugg for coffee and a post-race debrief. She is running the Two Oceans in a couple of weeks time so was keen to hear all the nitty grittys of my experience. It was good to have someone to talk to that I knew would not get bored by yet more 'run talk'.

From there I headed on home and did chores. And pottered. Weird.

Tuesday morning I decided to go to the gym, I needed to find routine again but was not keen to hit the road just yet. I did some half-hearted strength training and then headed to Builders Warehouse to find hinges for some windows that are falling apart.

Had a date with my Mom for breakfast and a catch-up. Not living there anymore (!!!) means we have to schedule time again; she is doing some fun stuff in her art journal which is inspiring me to get cracking again.

This morning I took my February photos to be printed and am doing my best to keep our 2013 photo album up to date. I am using the Project Life binder but not doing the scrapping part. Just photo and memo style. 

I also found 2 new cushions for my couch, tiebacks for my curtains and new drinking glasses. Haven't done a mall crawl in a while and it felt good to pick up these items which have been on my 'must buy' list for ages.

We are spitting distance from getting our floors. At this stage the painters are due to come in next week to repair all the wall damage. Once that is done the flooring guys will come do their bit. Am tentative to even think about it as I have been here before - expectant - and then had it all fall apart.

Now to gear up for a very busy afternoon with tap, vocals and a cricket match - all starting at 3pm....of course!

04 March 2013

Milkwood Half Marathon

 430am. On a Sunday morning. NEVER did I think I would see the day that I would leap out of bed (well, not quite but almost) to get ready to go run 21.1km. Never.

The Milkwood half marathon must be one of the most spectacular races in the country. I can honestly say that the views took my breath away. We ran a very steady and comfortable pace which left us plenty of space to absorb our surroundings.

I did my fastest 10km to date and was feeling really strong at that point. Revoltingly, I got a stitch around 13km and had to push through that horrid pain until about 16kms when it miraculously disappeared. The going was good again until the 18km mark where my legs started to hurt. Like a lot.

I was getting that "OMISHATTERED NERVES" feeling just after the 20km mark when I spotted my sister and niece (they ran the Fun Run much earlier) standing on the sideline waiting for me - I was not expecting this and was so overwhelmed with delight. Their cheering and support carried me over the finish line looking strong! (but the hammies and glutes were singing a tearful song)

My niece and my sister - so enjoy having them as part of the run scene with me

Flowrs and I crossed the line together at about 2hrs23. We started running trail together just short of a year ago - this 21km was never a goal but we both spontaneously entered at the last minute and just did it - so proud of us. For me, a first, for her a re-entry into half marathons after a 7 year absence from running.

Could NOT have pulled it off without this special chick!

Chilling after the race - am in MIGHTY PAIN in this pic - those legs are burning like FIRE
My stauch suppporters who are convinced I can do anything !

My family has been amazing; supporting me every step of this journey. Levi did express some concern that I may die while running 21.1km so I do think he was exceptionally pleased to see me at the end. This was shortlived though when I refused to share my Coke with him. (seriously? i was thirsty people!!!)

This was a pivotal day for me. I could not wipe the smile off my face all day long. To have committed to something and actually followed through is a big deal for me. I suck at commitment but maybe I don't anymore! ;-)

01 March 2013

Our Imminent New Normal

A special guy, as each year passes I appreciate him more!

Our lives are going to change shortly. Russ only has 10 working days left as a salaried contractor. For almost 20yrs he has been (for want of a better word) a business analyst of sorts. Contracting to companies all over the world and bringing in a steady, very comfortable income. 

Alongside this fulltime position, he has been building his own business. His days start at 430am when he goes to gym. He gets to his office by 630am. He works until 330pm and then comes home. He spends time with us all, we have dinner and then his nights are spent building his own business until the wee hours. This has been the pattern for the last 2-3 years.

As a couple we decided last year that he would leave his contracting position and pursue his passion in the area of renewable energy. Ruach (which means New Breath) was born a few years ago with the help of a business partner in PE and it has shown real potential. The time has come for Russ to throw in all his efforts to ensure its success.

On 20 March, the school breaks up, he works his last day and we leave on holiday for Knysna. When we come back we start a new normal. One where he is home and can take kids to school in the mornings. Where we are not bound by the 'curse of the hourly rate' ; where he can go watch cricket matches and dance rehearsals, he can help with homework and outings. 

The 'unstructured' feel of this new normal will obviously have to develop into something more structured as time goes on. For now though we are feeling some trepidation but mostly just excitement at this new phase of life.