Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Sunday

What better way is there to spend Easter than with your family, marveling at God's amazing handy work?

Skip, Ava and I, along with my parents and brother spent Easter Sunday driving along the Panorama Route, in Mpumalanga, a province here in South Africa. I don't have many words for what we saw. And I promise the pictures below don't do the area any justice. You will just have to come visit us and see for yourself. Absolutely amazing.

Good morning sunshine! 

Uncle Jimmy

The boys stocking up on some biltong for the trip. 

My super hot husband!

Grandpa and Grandma doing what they do best, shopping!!

Mac-Mac Falls

Ava and her Grandma

"Whatchu lookin' at Willis?" 

Our little family!

The Pinnacle  

God's Window

Bourke's Luck Potholes

She loves to look at her daddy.

Almost home!

My big brother is in town for the next two weeks. I told the Skipper I feel like a vulture every time someone lands from America. I circle around their suitcase like a vulture waiting to feast on it's meal. When Natalie was here, it was the same. Surprise gifts from friends and family. Lots of clothes and books for Ava. Toys and sunglasses. A new bird house. And like always, an awesome care package from Stacy. Who knew you could get so excited over plastic cups? With Jimmy, our new "fancy" camera and my double Medela pump! Thank you Medela for giving me back a mere 30 minutes of my life, here and there. A pair of Rainbows! Can't buy those here in SA and we can't live without them.  Plus eye contacts for a year! Pays to know the doctor personally.

More importantly than the gifts, of course, is having Jim here. His energy is invigorating and his humor and wit, delightful. It's a shame we live so far away. But we've made a pack to get all the cousins together for vacations. I wonder what Ava's accent will sound like? Southern American like her mom or Southern Africa like her dad? Will little Lucien think she sounds funny? Will he sound funny to her? I like day dreaming about them playing together, along with Della Mae and Isabella. Bailey will be hanging with the adults of course, I mean, she's more mature than some of us...

This beautiful country, my gorgeous Ava, the love I share with my husband, and bond I have with my family is all proof of God's grace. And for that, I am the utmost grateful.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blonde or Brunette?

Every winter I get this itch to darken my hair. Almost like I will feel warmer with dark hair. I don't know where it comes from.  Nor, have I actually been brave enough to go dark. Last June was the darkest I've ever had my hair and it was still quite blonde.

When we found out I was pregnant, I decided I needed a change, so I went a bit darker and got bangs (fringe). Worse haircut of my life! I can't blame the stylist, she did exactly what I asked her to do. I just hated it, and felt so blah. The bangs were a terrible, terrible mistake and the color a bit mousey. It's almost a year later and I am still growing out the bangs. Skip had vetoed the whole idea from the beginning, should have listened to him.

Here we are at winter and I've got the itch to dye my hair dark brown again. I decided to look up celebrities that have gone from blonde to brunette and see if they can give me any guidance. I found these pictures on Glam.com, they have a nice list of ladies who made the jump.

I actually think all of these women look better as a brunette. Of course they each had a stylist and make-up artist to help make them even more fabulous. But still. They look more mature, but yet softer. There is the saying that blondes have more fun and brunettes have more brains. So if I switch to a brunette, but am a natural blonde, can I have both??

Out of the eight women on Glam.com's Blonde to Brunette list, six had gone back to being blonde. Maybe that should tell me something. What do you think? Should I go for it? Have you ever made a drastic change to your hair? My appointment is scheduled for this Wednesday. Let me know what you think. And yes, the Skipper has vetoed the brown hair already...

For your enjoyment, here is hopefully the only existing photo of my terrible haircut... Just TERRIBLE!
Here is little Ava sporting what we call her "Mad Scientist" hairdo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Wardrobe

In preparation of going back to work, I have completed the weekly closet update that started as I gradually rounded out with Ava. Each week I try on my clothes to see what still fits and move what doesn't to the back of the closet. Unfortunately, I am now at the point, or should I say size, that nothing fits. The maternity pants sag in the bootie and the part that goes over your belly makes me look fatter than I am. I have tried to stuff myself into my BA (before Ava) clothes and that's just not happening. I'd make a perfect post for People of Walmart with my buttons 'bout to pop off. And that's the few pants I can actually get over my thighs!

Thankfully the husband has given me the green light to do a little restocking. Mainly because it's not appropriate for me to wear sweatpants to work, like it is to the grocery store and everywhere else I venture to these days. Seeing as all day shopping sprees just aren't feasible with small babies, I have decided to make a shopping list before I hit the shops.

If you know me, I am not the most fashionable girl out there and would definitely not be voted best dressed. If I could wear a white tee shirt and jeans every day, I would. My closet now and always has consisted of mostly black and white items. I love to shop but I am not so good at buying. And I am always a year late on trends. But not this year. This year I am going to try and stay with the trends. I have a huge fear of turning into a boring mom, wearing "mom jeans" with baggy shirts. The bad news is I have Country Road tastes and Mr. Price pockets. Or for those in America, JCrew tastes with Old Navy pockets. Not that Mr. Price or Old Navy are bad, I just would rather have Country Road. Plus, I don't have the patience for Mr. Price.

Here is what I'll be looking for: A new pair of brown boots, they never go out of style. A red pair of loafers since red is "in" this year. Some gray pieces, since it's also "in", or so I've read. New jeans, a pair of black pants and a few shirts/sweaters. Yes people, your teacher lied to you, it gets cold in Africa.

Below are some outfits I found online. I would just die to have all these outfits, but will only spoil myself with one or two (or five) of the items below. Oh Country Road and Trenery, how I love thee!
I love this cardigan. With a belt? Cute!
Black wool pants. Must have.

Red corduroys, need I say more?
The boot I was looking for, but think I must have all of it... How fun is this outfit? Would love to rock this out to a good live show. Drink a few good beers. Relax a bit.

Something gray and awesome!
This outfit looks comfortable and sophisticated. When does that happen?
A girl can dream, right??

The girls walking on the wooden floor are from Trenery. The girls on cement Country Road.

*Update: Just returned from Menlyn (the mall), and the story of my South African life: none of these in my size or they are completely out of stock. This always happens to me here, especially with candy. If I like it, they take if off the market... Will try Woodlands on Thursday. Fingers crossed!

Whilst organizing my closet, I also decided to discard the items that I no longer wear. Only to make my case to the Skipper that much stronger. All ladies know the argument, "I have nothing to wear!". The mother, and then years later the husband, "Then what's all that?". We all know we won't wear it but A) it has sentimental value or mostly likely B) you just feel better when it looks like you have more clothes in your closet. For example, this lovely Piggly Wiggly tee shirt that is 6 years old. I just couldn't give it away. Thanks to a suggestion by my friend Tracy, it will now become apart of a tee shirt quilt along with many other too good to throw away, but not good enough to wear shirts.
I'm Big on the Pig!
Ava's waving bye, bye!
Seeing as I don't have an iphone and am so jealous of everyone with one and the instagr.am program. My same dear friend Tracy has instagr.am a few photos for me. This one is my favorite. Thanks Tracy!

Bye, bye!
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