Monday, December 30, 2013

My First Memory.

My beautiful Ladybug from my dear friend Alex.
My very first memory of my father is at our home in South Africa. I am standing amongst the flowers in front of our house and on the Fennel plant there is this tiny red and black bug. My father reaches out for it and it climbs on his finger and he shows me the bug and says "This is a Ladybird" and he gently transfers the Ladybird to my finger.

I am quite the Ladybird (Ladybug to Americans) collector. My husband has spoiled me the most by creating a vast collection over the years. Whenever I see a Ladybird I always think of my Father. As many of you know that follow my blog, this is a horrible time of the year for me and I spend the December days with the what ifs flowing through my head. 31st December will be 12 years since my Father was murdered. I wonder if the people who chose to take his life ever think of him on this day?

My father wasn't perfect by any means, but he was that person you wanted on your team. He was the first to volunteer to help and never complained when people took advantage of him, I bitched, but he would just smile and remind us all what the purpose was.

My very first car my father bought me was a Volkswagon Citi Golf. The original colors were Red, Yellow and Blue. I got the very first pink one. I loved that car until I got a phone call from my father one morning saying "So you were at the Hard Rock Cafe until 2am yesterday." Everyone knew who the car belonged to and reports were fed back to my parents on my whereabouts. My father was smart.

I loved this car. 
Being Portuguese we are all about entertaining and when we were in high school we had the best sleepovers with the most amazing food. My father would always provide prawns from Mozambique or the largest Crayfish (Lobsters to Americans) and would stay to help us cook them and we would feast as if it was our last day.

My Father and I cooking at one of our many sleepovers.
To say my father is missed is an understatement. Whenever I see a penny on the ground I will always pick it up because I believe that it is my father saying hullo. It is those little things that get me through some days.

My biggest regret is 12 years ago on Christmas I wanted to call my father and my ex-husband refused to let me call saying I could call on New Years. Costs to call South Africa back then were high. I didn't argue and New Years Eve my father was kidnapped. I have an immense amount of guilt that I didn't stand up to my ex-husband and tell him that I was going to call.  The lesson I learned is to never let a day go by without telling those close to you how much they mean to you.

While my heart aches at no longer being able to hear my father's voice, hear his laugh or see his beautiful hands, my heart rejoices that for 35 years I was lucky to have this amazing man in my life and who I had the privilege of calling Daddy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ten lessons I learned from a 14 year old boy.


Dates don't matter. You can celebrate any holiday any time.

Having a pink mohawk can brighten a challenging day.

When things get overwhelming find some Lego and build to your hearts content.

There are truly amazing, caring people out there.

Every day is a gift to be unwrapped with excitement and wonder.

Everyone faces challenges, it is how you choose to deal with them is what makes you soar.

Family is everything.

The love of your family pet is magical and makes those grey skies become clear and blue.

You're never too old to wear a bear costume.

Never stop smiling.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wonder Woman.

My cousin QUALIFIED for this. 
I think I should dedicate my blog for the next while to people who inspire me and lift me up. Today I am dedicating this blog post to my amazing cousin, Gorgeous.

When Gorgeous was born she stole a piece of my heart. Her huge big blue eyes, perfect features and just all around adorable. Gorgeous always aimed to please and to be the best at whatever she did. Recently I found a letter that she had written to me while I was in hotel training school and I really should scan it and share with you all. It personifies her perfection and love.

I moved to the States the same time my cousins did and for many years lost contact, but through social media we have once again found each other and I am in awe of my cousin.

She is a Mom to the most adorable little munchkins. They are so polite, kind, loving and very rarely do I witness any sass. The only time I do see Adorabalicious ping off the wall is when Grandpa has snuck him a candy.

Gorgeous is a pharmacist so she is wicked smaht (pronounced in a Bostonian accent) and having a pharmacist in the family when you're feeling crappy and don't know what to take is a major bonus.

In between being a Mom, wife, daughter, cousin and pharmacist, Gorgeous also has time to run friggin marathons. She is up at the break of dawn running while most of us are still drooling in our pillows. She qualified again for the Boston Marathon next year. Someone asked her, upon hearing she runs the Boston, what charity she runs for. I bitched slapped them on her behalf.

My cousin is one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. She encourages me daily, motivates me, sends me texts that make me smile and loves to give hugs. She is helping me train for my very first 5K. It will be a while, but I will get there because of her amazing support.

I count Gorgeous amongst my greatest blessings and this past year could not have made the steps I have without her love and support. She makes me feel I can climb the highest mountain (but not without a lot of bitching), conquer my demons and soar to great heights.

Now if only I could get her to wear the required Nubian cheerleading outfit would she be 100% perfect.

My Gorgeous Cousin

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Blogging Blessings.

Blogging Besties

In 2010 I started following a blogger Mrs. Small Soldiers aka Brooke. We would read each others blogs and comment and a friendship was soon in the making. Brooke was originally from Oregon so we had lots to talk about and her husband was deployed and with my ex Navy husband I fully understood that time apart and angst.

In 2012 Brooke and her two small soldiers make the trek back to Oregon to begin a new chapter in their storybook and it was our opportunity to finally meet. The husband was away either counting woodpeckers, snails or whales, I forget, so it was a great time to have a girls sleepover. Brooke brought wine. I fell in love.

Brooke is one of those girlfriends you know will always be at your side no matter the storm. Brooke is one of my blessings that I give thanks for daily. I recently saw this friendship quote on Pinterest and it reminded me of Brooke.


Who knew that when I started blogging years ago I would come across another amazing woman to add to my circle of cheerleaders. Sometimes you never know where that curve in the road is going to take you and who you will end up meeting.

Blessed. Loved. Grateful.