Monday, October 31, 2011


Yesterday a friend's Blackberry status said, "Everyone dies, not everyone lives." The ironic part is, Johan's grandfather, Oupa rather, passed away yesterday. At 92, this man had lived. He'd been a farmer most of his life in the Eastern Free States of South Africa, but he'd traveled the world, seen two World Wars and inventions like the telephone and first heart transplant, all things we take for granted.

I wrote about our last vist to Ouma and Oupa here, when Ouma had fallen and we went to visit her in the hospital. Only three short months ago and now Oupa is gone. I remember the day I first meet Oupa, at Johan's cousin's wedding. From across the lawn I heard a shout, "Where is that American girl? I want to talk some English to her!" I spent the next hour or so with him, hearing about his travels, telling him about my home. He flirted with me like you wouldn't believe. At 89, he was still charming the ladies. 

I love how she is holding his hand - big tears!
My most vivid memory of Oupa is from our last visit. I wrote this in To Ouma We Go:

Ouma lay in her bed, thin, pale and weak. When she saw Oupa she started crying, she had thought he was dead. Lying in the hospital is making her lose her mind a bit. Oupa touched her face and told her she was silly, he wasn't going anywhere. I thought I saw tears in his eyes. He probably won't go anywhere. He will loose her, before she looses him. As I watched them interact with each other my heart swelled up. 

She is still in the rehabilitation centre and he was at the nursing home. Fortunately, she has gotten better. Unfortunately, we lost him to pneumonia. When Johan's Uncle broke the news to her, he said it's like she already knew. I think she did. 

Everyone dies, not everyone lives. Johan, Ava and I have a lot of livin' to do. 

Speakin' of living, we've been super busy lately. Celebrating friend's 30th birthdays on the Vaal River, baby showers, Ava turned 9 months, won her first gold medal at the school sports day and much more. Here's a few pics of what we've been up to. 

The Vaal makes me miss Lake Wateree/Norman and the many, many good times had there.

Ava and her Oupa

Sports Day 2011 - Mommy and Ava, taking up the lead!

Ava trying to eat her first gold medal!

9 Months - YAY!

Loves her new pool!

~live life to the fullest~


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nighty, night

It's almost 10 pm and the rest of the Scheepers family is sound asleep. Lucky ducks. Mom's iPad addiction, has made her Internet addiction much worse.

Before Ava was born we always said, "No way, she'll never sleep in our bed!" And here we are, almost 9 months down the road and the little princess hogs most of the bed, 99% of the time. At the moment, she's asleep in the camping cot next to my bed. Sometime before sunrise, I'll sneak her into our bed. Not once has she slept the night in her own room, in her own, proper cot.

Maybe I am actually a lazy person and haven't realized it? I honestly don't know how other mothers put their tiny little babies in the next room and still manage sleep?

Just now, little miss woke up crying, I leaned over and handed her a bottle and she went right back to sleep. I didn't even get out of bed.

I am sure if we had been following a sleep training course, she'd be sleeping through the night by now and in her own bed, in her own room. But how much fun would that be? It's not her whose not ready, she sleeps alone at school every day. It's me, I am the one who needs her close. Any suggestions on how to get her out of our bed and into her own room?

So right now, I am wide awake, waiting for her to wake up, so I can put her in bed with us, playing Words with Friends, pinning on Pinterest, reading Reader's Digest and day dreaming about taking the Gautrain into work tomorrow.

Really excited about the Gautrain. If it is quick enough, my whole life will change. I'll save money on my commute. I'll lower my stress levels by not having to deal with bad drivers. I'll get at least an extra 30 minutes with my family every morning. That's 2.5 more hours a week. Life changing people! I'll let you know how it goes.

Nighty, night.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Left Behind

I just put my grandmother Kernodle on a flight back to the US. She has been here for a month now. Two weeks with me, two weeks at my sister's house. When she was with me, I was super busy with work and didn't get to see her much. Just knowing she was spending the days with Ava was enough. Grandma is 86 going on 70. You wouldn't believe her age if she told you, she is so busy all the time. I know I'll see her again. Her and my grandmother Thomasson. They'll both be there when I get home next December. I know it. Knowing, doesn't make it easier to say goodbye.

When I decided to move to South Africa, I honestly didn't think I would stay long. Neither did my family and friends. We all thought I'd come over for a year or so, travel around, then come home. A short adventure that turned into four years, and counting. 

At 25, I was heading out on my own adventure, not thinking of what I was leaving behind. Not thinking about the people whose routines would stay the same, just without me. Never realizing the emptiness felt by those I left behind. 

Johan's older brother Charl and his wife moved to New Zealand this time last year. For those of you who don't know, it's freaking far from South Africa. Like really far. Plus the time change is super annoying compared to America. They are going to sleep when we wake up. 

When they moved, only then did I realize what it felt like to get left. For someone to embark on their own adventure, without you. Every Tuesday night we eat dinner at Johan's parents house. All the kids and their kids. It's a bit chaotic, but it's so wonderful. Every Tuesday night, we are reminded that Charl and Lee are far away. It's become the norm now, but it doesn't make it easier. 

They are home now for a short visit. His first since the move. She's pregnant and super cute, of course. Due the same day I was due with Ava. Their having a boy. I don't know when we will get to meet him, as we don't have any plans to visit them and they haven't planned further than this trip. So I am left to day dreaming about him and little Ava, defending themselves against the other Scheepers' trio. 

We will all be together one day, I know it. 


Newest addiction, other than my iPad, Instagram. Love it. 

Della Mae behaving!

Playing by herself

Ava behaving!

Dear Apple,
Please put a better camera on the next iPad.
Blair Scheepers

Ava Lou, I love you!

Me, Grandma and Ava

My loves

MIL and Lee

Ava and her Oom Charl

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We are going to the States!

The Free State! Actually we went last weekend. Johan loves saying that we are going to the states! The Free State!

The Free State is a province in South Africa. Provinces are sort of like our states, but not really. Johan's parents are from the Free State and most of his uncles and cousin still live there. I wrote a post about visiting his cousin Charl and his family, plus we saw his grandparents. Ooh and played with lions, you can read about it here.

This weekend we headed to the FS for one of Johan's cousin wedding. The venue was gorgeous and the bride breathtaking, of course. Greta always looks beautiful, so it was no surprise that she'd made a stunning bride.
The venue

The Scheepers
Me, Greta and Ria
Ava and her daddy
I always get a laugh thinking about the time we were invited to his other cousin, Ria's wedding.

Johan and I at Ria's wedding. 
Johan and I were only dating at the time, and he asked if I would like to join him to his cousin's wedding. I agreed and asked where it was, Paris, he said. PARIS?!? For a wedding?!? AWESOME. He gave me a look like I must be crazy. I even called my sister Amanda to tell her the good news. Me, Paris and the love of my life, for a wedding? Sounds perfect. I asked how much the plane tickets would cost... Then the laughter began and I was afraid he'd never stop. Not Paris, Parys in the Free State. Lost in the accent.

The good news, is that the bride and wedding was just as beautiful and fun as if we had been in the real Paris.

I actually love the Free State. Whenever we are driving there or through there, I get the same feeling I get when heading up I77, past Statesville, toward Hamptonville. It's a feeling of belonging and yearning to stay forever. Unfortunately, it's not my family we go to visit but, if I had to choose anyone else, it would be Johan's family.

Ava turned 8 months last week. She is so close to crawling, that I think she actually made one tiny movement forward tonight. She is, however, a pro at moving in circles and backwards, rolling over and falling over. Ava definitely does not like to sit in her car seat or highchair.

Her daddy went out and bought the cheapest highchair made (without mommy), so I like to blame him for her not wanting to sit in it but, we have a Peg car seat, which isn't cheap, and she hates that as well. So there goes my cheap theory. Don't tell Skip. I need someone to blame for my child's misbehavior.
I can't choose which picture I love the most.

Maybe this one...

The sweetest thing!

Did I tell y'all I got to meet Al Gore? Yeah, the first year I was old enough to vote, I voted for him. It was awesome. I'll probably tell you again at a later date.

Al, if you're reading this, you're the man.

In case you didn't see it...

Skip, if you're reading this, you are my favorite man. And I won't let you forget that you promised to take me back to Clarens or to the real Paris.

Blogger, if you're reading this, get a new iPad app! It's almost 2012, bru!

On the way there. I just love Instgram.

Night ya'll,


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