Finn & Rebecca

Finn & Rebecca

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gratitude for Time Out

Bliss...9 days is almost as if I had forgotten that we were going on leave for a week and suddenly here it is...I was looking forward to my weekend, but in fact it is a whole week and two weekends! Yeah yeah yeah! So thank you for holidays, long weekends, short breaks and long lazy lulls - a beat out of your daily rut!

I am so grateful for this week off and we are heading to Knysna for a week long celebration of birthdays. It is my mum's 61st on Sunday, my DH's 50th on Tuesday and my 37th on Friday! Celebrations here we come.

A week's worth of gratitudes will follow when I return...I shall be gathering them up everyday until then.

Thank you for my Time Out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gratitude for Wednesdays and Great Jobs

When you get to a Wednesday and the middle of the working week, the weekend seems so close. I know we shouldn't be wishing time away but I treasure my weekends so much that when I get that delicious weekend tickle on a Wednesday, I start to look forward to my two days of doing what I want to do rather than what I need to do. Mmmm...even though I have a great job and love most aspects of it, I wish my work could be something that I can't wait to do - that I jump out of bed every morning saying "great, I get to xyz today".

Does any job make anyone feel like that all the time or is there a degree of drag in everyone's work? Do we all rate our job happiness quotient in degrees? Sort of like, "I enjoy 60% of my work while the other 40% is a real drag!" I often have the feeling that while I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now, there is still some other career in my future that I am going to love even more and that will give me more satisfaction that I have ever had all in divine timing then. A small voice is also always saying to me "work for yourself, your land, your life" so hopefully that will fit into my future somewhere too.

For now, I am so thankful for my great job and yes....for Wednesdays.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gratitude for Medicine

Today is significant in that my mum is getting the results of her scans after 5 chemo sessions. She was diagnosed with terminal small cell lung cancer in July last year and has been doing so well and keeping as positive as she can. Without the chemo, her prognosis was extremely poor and so far she seems to have responded well to the chemo as at her last scan the primary tumour had shrunk. I can only pray that today, she gets news that will keep her going.

A colleague at work who has been feeding a somewhat neglected dog in her neighbourhood found him this morning after a dog fight some weeks ago and he has a badly infected leg. Without antibiotics, he wouldn't make it as the infection has spread too far. We are all chipping in so she can take him to the vet to get treatment.

And Haiti. All the amazing organisations that are sending over medicine, resources and doctors to assist with the thousands of injured survivors.

And of course...all the incredible medical assistance and drugs that help us become mothers and without which, we would never have any hope at all of ever conceiving our babies.

Without the miracle of antibiotics and other medicines, many would never make it. So thank you for medicine that helps disease and infection and restrains the spread of cancer, even if only to give us some more time with those we love.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gratitude for my Sharp Chef's Knife

I love cooking. But I didn't know until now how incredibly marvellous it is cutting with a proper genuine chef's knife! Wow. Even the most daunting tasks are despatched without any fuss. This knife slices through pumpkin skins like butter.

Yes, I am the proud new owner of a genuine chef's knife and loving it. Thank you for this wonderful revelation and for making cooking even more fun!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gratitude for Fresh Herbs

As I write, I have lamb shanks on the stove. The smell is driving my tastebuds wild. And thanks to the latest addition in our garden, a lovely herb garden right outside my kitchen door, I could take two steps and pluck handfuls of parsley, rosemary and thyme...mmmmm.

And oh wicked of all wickedness...I have been thinking about a recipe for banoffee pie for so long now - sounds a tad ridiculous, but I assure you it is the height of taste delirium! So I made one. Crumb base, layer of caramel, layer of sliced banana, topped with whipped cream with Baileys and peaked with shavings of dark chocolate! Basic yet unforgettable. Not sure why couldn't restrain myself and go for fresh fruit instead, but, I have it in my fridge. Clearly my treat barometer was shooting off the chart this afternoon and it simply had to be appeased.

This sounds more like my food blog than my fertility blog, but hey, thank you for fresh herbs and banoffee pie!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gratitude for Red Wrigglers

So today we started our worm farm! This has been a new years resolution for some years, so I can proudly tick that off the list. These little red wrigglers are just the most incredible creatures. They convert tons of organic waste into the richest compost, producing enzymes, vitamins, hormones and antibiotics which increase the immunity of plants against diseases and pests. They are about the best secret weapon of any garden and your plants will love you for their vermi-compost and worm tea!

These fantastic earthworms have many more incredible benefits to the earth, and our soil is in bad shape. So lets all be doing our bit to help the piece of soil we live on right now? And thank you for red wrigglers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gratitude for the Red Cross

So today our CEO came into the office and asked us to contact the Red Cross to see how we could participate in assisting the earthquake victims in Haiti. I have been feeling saddened but yet so removed from the disaster and so largely uninvolved. Then I saw the images on Google Earth. Suddenly it was so real, you can almost feel the pain and suffering through space. While I have been sending love and light to all the families dealing with such horrific conditions and losses, I was suddenly struck by just how lucky we are not to have been involved in such a massive catastrophe. I am so thankful that my family is safe and sound right now.

The opinion of many scientists and those working in the light is that these natural disasters will increase. The scientists with their theories and the lightworkers believing that earth is almost purging herself of all the strain humankind is placing on her. However, on the frontline of the reality of these disasters, the Red Cross is doing incredible work. The head office assured us that the time will come when they want to collect clothes, blankets and food however at the moment, they have absolutely no way of getting this to Haiti or distributing it as the airstrips are unsafe and planes cannot land. It will take 3 weeks to get mobilised and in the meantime, money is hugely welcomed. I see that you can make donations on Google direct to other organisations working to assist the poor people of Haiti. Thank you to the Red Cross and all the organisations working tirelessly to help people in need. I am sending my prayers and love and light to them all.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gratitude for the world wide web

Oh how wonderful...information at your fingertips, whenever you need it, whatever subject you desire, www whizzes it up in seconds - a host of sources you can wade through at leisure - factual or fiction, whatever takes your fancy. Suddenly everything is revealed and knowledge unveiled. I am so grateful that we live in this age of awareness and have no doubt that the internet is a manifestation of humankind's desire to be more conscious and aware - of sharing information and connecting with each other. It mirrors the reality that we are of the same source and closer to each other than we think. Suddenly boundaries defuse and social media links us all - interests and what we have in common bond strangers who may never have met. Imagine.

I connect with women everyday that I have never met and get real emotional support from them. They are my "tribe". We understand each other. Yes, me and my fellow "infertiles" or fertiles with issues as I believe we should say instead (let's put out positive intent rather than the label "infertile"). The internet is a vital source of information and comfort on our journey most of the time. So thank you for this amazing tool we get to use in our lives and for the cyber-relationships that are made possible.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gratitude for delicious food and porta pools

Oops...yesterday slid by and I didn't remember to post. However, we had the most delicious supper last night and I remember thinking, I really am grateful and thankful that I get to create and eat scrumptious food everyday. For life is too short to eat bad food.

And was 40 degrees. Cape Town hasn't been than hot in months if not years! It was like walking out into an oven after work. We had bought a very large porta pool last December and have spent so much time enjoying it - DH and I both love to swim and it is a true indulgence to be able to have a dip right in your garden! So thank you for porta pools on 40 degree summer days!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Gratitude # 4: Thank you for the team I work with

First day back at work. And the first thing that struck me this morning was how fabulous the women (and man) are that work on my team. I was welcomed back with hugs and kisses by some and genuine chats with others and I really felt missed and realised I had also missed our interactions.

So thank you for the great people that I work with - we spend more time with each other (and asleep of course) than we do at home with our loved ones! So it is pretty special when you enjoy the people you work with everyday. Let this be a great year for each of you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gratitude for Westerly breezes and warm summer days

So today, there was a slight Westerly breeze.

In a season of intense South Easterly winds that seem relentless sometimes, a soft Westerly breeze is a welcome change. Usually bringing with it overcast conditions but so be it. This morning, we awoke to a gentle day, a real Summery morning even though it was a little grey. The air was soft and heavy, feeling so delicious on skin. Languishing in bed reading a new book, I relaxed into what was promised to be a blissfull day.

And it was. I baked rolls and we ate breakfast in bed. DH had a morning swim while I lazed in the morning sun. We decided to head down to the beach for a sea swim. The sky looked darker and more ominous further along the mountain, but after lying on the soft sand contemplating the sea, we both went for a swim. It was icy fresh and green. Utterly chilling but oh so refreshing. Just after one, we headed to a roadside restaurant in Kalk Bay and feasted on grilled Yellowtail and prawns. So divine.

The remainder of the afternoon included languishing on the lawn looking up at the giant mountain, dipping in the pool, reading, drinking tea, snoozing...

Thank you for the most spectacular day and for the Westerly breeze and warm summer days.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gratitude for the animals in our life

Thank you for the animals in my life.

Savannah, our aging ridgeback/irish wolfhound cross alsation, Tallulah, our eldest cat (13 years), Pye, her daughter (12 years), Asia, our firey Foundation 3 Bengal (1 1/2 years), Persia, our baby Bengal (4 months), our various birds and our tortoise Neroli.

Animals give such unconditional love to you everyday, especially dogs who really just want to be loved and love in return. Our cats, each a different character, bring something unique to the relationship we have with them. Persia, still the baby, is quite the sweetest little kitten with an adoring pur and a spirited will for adventure. Here is the latest pic of her having a snooze on our bed...

The hardest part is saying goodbye and I know that time is coming for our dear old Savanah. It is simply the most heart-breaking moment and I have yet to be with an animal who passes away. So while she is still with us, I bless her and will appreciate her everyday - for protecting us so bravely, for providing us with company and committed love always.

I am thankful for the amazing energy each animal brings into our lives and look forward to the many years of connectedness still to come...

Friday, January 8, 2010

A year in gratitude

So I had a flash of inspiration last night. The thought came through very clearly so I have decided to act upon it. Instead of wasting time on my cyber farm and cafe, I need to commit to a more meaningful creative process. One that either produces thought and therefore energy or one that results in an actual project that I can feel with my hands. The thought that pushed its way into my consciousness was that I need to start a daily gratitude post on my blog. In addition to the ramblings of my fertility journey, (I think we need to stop using the work "infertile" - using the negative is not really putting out a great intent is it?) I will now be posting a daily "gratitude".

Having gratitude reminds us of all the simple things we take for granted. It moves us away from what we do not have to expose the blessings already in our lives. A pause. A moment to focus on what makes our day special. By simply saying thank you for something that gives you pleasure or helps you or makes your day easier, you stand in the now. It can be something simple like the smell of freshly baked bread or something big like the love of your partner. It grounds you and gives you perspective, changing a negative to a positive. So I will say thank you for something every day this year.

There is so much to say thank you for so I am not going to over-think this or make lists and lists, I will choose just one thing - the first thing that pops into my mind everyday.

So be it - my project for 2010.

And my first gratitude is for...

Freshly laundered crisp white sheets. The smell, the feel, the luxury of them. Thank you that I get to have a clean, fabulous bed. Thank you to the amazing woman that helps me in my house. Thank you to the washing machine for working so hard. Thank you to the warmth of the sun for drying the linen and to the iron for making them crisp....I love my bed, especially after a long day when I am tired and can slip into sleep between fresh clean sheets.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2009 under review...

A fellow blogger put this together so I decided to do it summary for 2009...

1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
Started blogging, went snorkelling in the Caribbean.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Mmmm, I really really thought 2009 would be the year I became a mother...but that's not really a resolution is it, so let's keep that thought as a wish for 2010. I also want DH and me to spend more weekends away - camping - at least once every two months. I want to keep my Personal Trainer and get more toned that I have ever been in my life and then I want to stay that way. I want to find my health balance - between food and exercise and keep it! I would like to knit more, scrapbook more, paint more, and start on all the creative projects that are waiting for me. I want to keep my food blog going because one day I may write a cookbook. Mmmmm...think that's enough for one year?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
2 Colleagues and one good friend. Torture each time even though they are the sweetest little sausages.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer but she is beating the odds and I pray she stays with us for much longer.

5. What countries did you visit?
We were lucky to combine a work conference in Florida with a trip to Miami and Mexico where we travelled all around the Yucatan Peninsula and saw the Mayan Pyramids, experienced the islands and stunning Caribbean. Part of me was guilty that we spent so much money that could have been kept for IVF but another part of me thought we wouldn't need it! Anyway, NO regrets! And this year, we want to do a trip from Richtersveld across to Southern Namibia, across and through Mata Mata to Kalahari and maybe even up to Botswana...but will have to see what happens...Of course, I would rather fall pregnant...but life cannot stop and adventure calls to me all the time.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Trust that everything will work out in divine timing. Positive thought which I find so very very hard considering all the hard knocks of disappointment. And, finally being pregnant with a healthy baby.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 12 May: Mother's Day as I would have been a mother three times already if I hadn't had such crappy fertility issues. 4 April: Our 11th wedding anniversary at Chichen Itza, Mexico, when my DH gave me the 12th charm for my anniversary charm bracelet and it was a tiny gold engraved penknife as a symbol of me to "cut the cords" to the little souls we have lost - he is such a special man. 26 June: My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. 3 August: My 2nd IVF cycle was cancelled. 4 August: I had an AHA moment of understanding which helped me process what was happening. 2 November: My 3rd IVF cycle was cancelled and egg quality questioned. 9 Dec: Prof gave me a prescription for hope. Gosh was a year!!!!!!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Loosing 12kgs! Becoming a shareholder in the company I work for. Winning an international marketing award for one of our (me and my team) initiatives.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not going away on more adventures with my DH - we are at our best when it is just the two of us in the bush or mountains or desert.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Had a killer flu for the first time in 4 years. Had toncillitis. Got an eye infection...twice! Had an infestation of ringworm from my kitten and had to take a course of chemotherapy for fungi - great! NOT. For someone who is pretty healthy...I had a crappy year healthwise - maybe due to all the stress!!!!!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new Bengal kitten, Persia....she is simply the most special little kitten ever.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Sharon has my vote too and I cannot tell you how very happy I am that she has little Ava right now and how it all unfolded. Also my DH for putting up with my suppressed positivity and sadness and disappointment - always with a hug, words of compassion and positive affirmations...he always has believed and still does no matter what...I aspire to be like him....

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Anyone who doesn't understand IF and makes frivolous comments about it. If you know someone who is having fertility difficulties, then go find out about it or ask before making silly comments!!!!

14. Where did most of your money go?
USA and Mexico trip....and two IVF's.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting my new kitten. My sister getting engaged. The trip to Mexico!!!!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
We are the People by Empire of the Sun.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer? a) happier (I am determined to stay in a good space this year) b) thinner (woohoo and I am determined to stay that way!) and c) richer (I am putting this out there as I need as much dosh as I can get for IVF's 4, 5, 6, 7... but hopefully I won't!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Just letting things be. Expressing how much I love my DH - yes exactly like that you naughty readers! Spending quality time with my mum. Having more adventures! Doing completely new things...

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying, complaining, criticising, controlling.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my mum and sisters for the first time in 5 years....very special.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes, with my kitten Persia. And with my husband again and again.

22. What was your favourite TV program?
Like SO Greys Anatomy (starting again Jan - YEEHA) and also Private Practice and Brothers & sisters!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word and I don't like using it.

24. What was the best book you read?
Definitely the Millenium Trilogy! And yes....I was also caught up and engrossed in the Twilight series!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Empire of the Sun and MGMT.

26. What did you want and get?
A chef's knife - my favourite xmas pressie!

27. What did you want and not get?
My baby...but he is coming...

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

Most definitely and undoubtedly it was AVATAR in 3D - WOW WOW WOW WOW - my first 3D experience and what a brilliant movie!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 36, reluctantly....really do not feel closer to 40 than 30! We went away to a private spot with a secluded rock pool in the Cederberg and spent most of the weekend kaalgat - bliss!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Agree with Mommyinwaiting...if my IF treatment had just worked so no more pain, sadness, money, emotions etc would need to be wasted...

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Tad hard to be keeping up with fashion when you have to wear a uniform to work in black and stone EVERYDAY! (our CEO's great idea...NOT). So my style leans towards jeans, t-shirts, cargo pants on weekends.

32. What kept you sane?
My DH. The great women on fertilicare and my good friends. My animals which bring such wonderful and unconditional love to us everyday.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Mmmmm....really can't think of one!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Try not to let politics stir me...but any cock-ups with health and education make me sad - seeing the state of the hospitals and lack of funding is absolutely shocking.

35. Who did you miss?
I still miss my old BF who hasn't made contact with me even though she lives in CT. I worry about her and think about her often but it seems she is leading a different life now and doesn't need our friendship. She has two kids. I have tried to get in touch but nothing really comes from it...very sad. I have decided to let her go. I also really miss my BBBF and cousin who I do not get to see often enough as she lives in Mossel Bay.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Didn't really meet anyone new but have made special connections with some of the amazing Fertilicare women - would like to meet some of them soon!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
That everything happens exactly as it should. Without believing this, I would go insane.

Thanks to Mommyinwaiting for the above...if anyone else reads this and decides to do it too, please leave a comment with your blog link so I can read yours xxx

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome 2010

Welcome 2010!

This is me celebrating with a pair of flashing lights 2010 "glasses" New Year's party trick.

We have just returned from 10 days in Knysna where we had a special Christmas with my mum and sisters for the first time in 5 years. We then spent New Year's eve in Gouna with the drizzle over the forest, our cousins and some friends. All the women went into the forest and beneath a 600 year old Yellowood, we did a special blessing for my sister Jen who was to be married on 2 January (more about this suprise below) The partial lunar eclipse was hidden by cloud but just as it ended, the clouds parted and the last blue moon of 2009 appeared.

2010 was ushered in with much hilarity and some distress caused by an unsavoury and rather sloshed character...however, I welcomed the year with my own reverence and peaceful sentiment. As I gazed out over the moonlit and misty forest canopy, I wished for...

A year of hope and positivity. Of trust and faith. Of progress and adventure. Of compassion and forgiveness. Of release and understanding. Of healing and rejuvenation. May we all be ready to bring new consciousness into our lives and to embrace the many challenges we are presented with this year. No matter what may come, let us be surrounded by the universes' love and light always.

The holiday had become rather eventful....and suddenly a wedding was on the cards! On the Monday, after taking my mum to the small chapel on the way to Buffalo Bay, where she stated that it was the place Jen and Nick would get married, my sister decided to go have a look as it sounded like a really special place. They returned agreeing that it was indeed the perfect place to be married. I mentioned that Adi had said it would have been so amazing if they had planned the wedding for this visit as everyone was here. My mum then turned to my sister and said, "Why don't you". My sister paused and smiled and said..."Why don't we?" !!!!! I became aka the wedding planner and we organised everything in 3 days flat! It was a very special day and mum gave Jen away which was extra special. Here are some pics from the day...

Here's to love and light always xxx