Valentine’s Day Pictorial Review-2015 Edition

Hello faithful friends and followers.
If you note the date of my last post you will note that I’ve been absent for the last 3 months or the entire duration of the time I’ve been in South Africa. 
I apologize for nothing.
If that seems very rude or should I say, badass it isn’t,  I wish it were but it’s not.
I was feeling very apologetic and ashamed loserish about dropping the ball in terms of communication with the world at large but in the words of Amy Poehler in Baby Mama, “B*tch! You don’t know my life!” Does that seem hostile? It’s not. Well maybe it is, but the hostility it just self directed. I’m only mad at myself.  I’ve just been feeling so much totally self induced PRESSURE  for so long to do so many things (including being a brilliant blogger) whilst going through so many things (good, bad and just weirdly different and unexpected) and today I realised how irritated I am with myself for that.  As my friend Cindi would say, “I’m done with all that”.
My sister Shona, pointed out to me this week how my addiction towards being EXTREME in all things is really very, very self defeating.  Lately the messages I’ve been drawn toward are  ‘'”be fearless, dream big, go big, go extreme or go home suckahs. And the corollary:  If you don’t seize your opportunities and work your butt off  every minute of every day you are lazy and don’t deserve success” and while I’m all about dreaming big, the truth that no one can refute is that almost always, big dreams come true by way of consistent baby steps. Nobody can go full steam ahead all the time without overheating and burning out. This is a lesson I am slow and stubborn to learn.  See I’m not content with that. Which is why I seem to repeatedly burn out on intention rather than actual action which is unfortunate and makes me feel really badly about myself.  Sure lots of people have done way more with way less and my life is easier than 99% of the world’s lives and yadayadayada, but I’m not 99% of the world, I’m me and I’ve been pretty damn emotionally exhausted for the last 3 months.
I had SO MANY grandiose intentions for the minute I stepped foot in South Africa. And you know what? Stepping foot in South Africa with five kids in tow is grandiose enough. Being a single mom for months on end after never doing something like that before, is a big deal. Lots about this little adventure has been a big deal without me feeling bad about not doing a boatload of extras and falling into bed in a blind exhaustion every night feeling like a failure because I didn’t. I am so irritated by myself. I can’t even tell you. Anyway.  Here’s a blog post.  The first in 3 months.  Because I had lots of down time today and I felt like it. Go me.
This Valentine’s Day finds the Sayer clan separated. Me and the Ellsy bells on this side of the world, in Cape Town and Aaron and the four big kids in freezing Ohio. So that’s different. I’ve always felt like our snowy Februaries in Ohio were the perfect backdrop for the deep crimson of Valentine’s day and I missed our cozy traditions there a lot (especially the cozy people I did them with)  but to my delight, I found the sunny pinks here equally enchanting.
The last couple of days have been our first sort of dreary ones in the last 3 weeks of blissful Cape weather but it ended up clearing up beautifully and we spent Valentine’s afternoon on the fairytale grounds of a hotel close to home. The Cellars-Hohenort is in Constantia.  These iphone snaps do not do it even close to justice. Such a gloriously pretty and idyllic place.  Ella was especially impressed. The girl knows what she likes, and she likes the high life.  Anyway here’s a giant photo dump in no particular order cos that’s how I roll these days m’peeps.
We find a secret little garden courtyard. I turned on some music and Ella was moved to bust some moves..
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Hydrangeas might be my favourite flower. They have this hedge of hydrangeas there whichh goes on for about a mile. Perhaps not quite a mile but close enough. It is the stuff my dreams are made of.   We had afternoon tea and scones. as we do. If you look at the little plate furthest away you will see the adorable duck cookie (erhem BISCUIT) isn’t it almost too cute to eat. (Almost).
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I’m assuming the duck cookie is in homage to the cutest most Beatrix Potter ducks I have ever seen roaming the grounds. The building is in the Cape Dutch style. And nothing makes a Cape Dutch look better than a South African blue sky in the background. South African Sky Blue is an official colour you know.  I’ve decided.
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Ella and Auntie Shona being adorable and Valentiney
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Stopping to smell the flowers….
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On Friday were preschool valentine festivities. And omigosh how freaking adorable is this preschool? It looks like a little fairy cottage in the woods to me. As you will see when I post my blog post which I wrote 2 weeks ago and never posted but will after this, I was really sad and stressed about Ella’s rough start there but she adjusted quickly and beautifully and is very happy now which makes me hugely relieved and happy. Are preschool teachers the best or are preschool teachers the best??
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We went to the scratch patch earlier this week which is basically an outdoor courtyard completely covered in semi-precious stones. You pick up the ones you love best and take them home in a little cup. I’ve loved this place since I was a kid and it was so much fun to introduce Ella to it. I spent my time there in a very therapeutic manner. Making these little stone hearts in a shallow stream for Aaron’s Valentine’s “card”.  I had to take Ella to the loo mid-way and I actually found myself singing to Logan (the little guy you have been seeing in lots of our photos if you’ve been following on instagram) “don’t go breaking my hearts!”.   He replied with “I couldn’t if I tried”. He didn’t but that would have been cool.  Ohhhhh…..flash mob at the Scratch Patch…Ok moving on.  The other in my Valentine’s breakfast. I’m trying to be a little more healthy these days. Plain yogurt with raspberries and pomegranate. You do not miss the sugar. This I solemnly swear.
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I have such good friends in Ohio! My one friend Claire dropped these off on the doorstep for my kids and my friend Carolyn braved the brutal cold to take my cookie order for my loves at home to the Cookie Jar in person. I miss those guys. All of them.
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The day ended in cousin mayhem and caped dancing. And a little something from my sweet guy.
Hope you all had a happy love day. Even if it didn’t look the way you’d hoped or envisioned or thought it should, I hope there was something beautiful and loving to be found within it.
Lots of love from me!

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Sharon Day said...

Well, I think my fist comments got erased. But I am with you on doing until we drop. Why do we not ask for help. Maybe because our Mothers did. Not ask for help. These last weeks have taugh me so much. The human body can only do so much, and than be put to the limit and drizzly out. I know from experience. I love yor blog. If not of this makes spence I am sorry. It is 4 am and can't sleep and the words are so small I can't see. I pray for you and your family all thetome. Love you.

Anonymous said...

Your Valentine's day looks beautiful. Also so glad that Elsie is happy at school