Announcements & arrivals

My family, like any family I suppose, is unique in its habits, traditions, language and quirks. The very special brand of craziness that makes my ‘tribe’ what it is did not come overnight, oh no - it took years of lovingly and sometimes not-so lovingly living together to develop.

And here’s a compliment for Justine, Callie (my siblings' other halves) and my husband: it takes a bit of courage to marry into it.

But here’s the thing: our family structure has basically remained the same for thirty years. Sure, the kids have gone off and married, but that just starts new families. My own family – my dad Rian, my mom Adlene, sister Elanie, brother Neel and me– we’re like a tree that has grown deeper roots, that has stood through its share of summers and winters, balmy afternoons and stormy nights. A family tree that bears on its bark the scars of life’s attacks, but that bears in its branches the fruit of many years of labour.

But now, suddenly, in a way that did not seem that noticeable when Daniel arrived six years ago, the earth around our ‘family tree’ is sprouting with life. Of course, some four months ago, Emma made her first appearance. Last night, with a speed that astounded everyone including his parents, Auguste Adrian Ettienne Potgieter arrived to join us. 

I am also bursting with excitement and love to be able to tell you that Elanie is today 12 weeks pregnant with her and Callie’s firstborn.

Arrivals and announcements. The blessing of children being brought into the craziness that is this life and my family. It’s more than just the next generation. It’s a legacy, a monument to my parents being written not in the stone of a plaque, but in the smile of a boy, the first cries of a baby, in the tiny sonar heartbeat of someone we have yet to meet. It’s a whole new chapter in the story, the tree being turned into a forest before our eyes. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

Lovely Lavender

A while ago I read the beautiful and elegantly written debut novel ‘The Language of Flowers’ by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. The book is about a young woman’s gift for using flowers and the language of flowers to change the lives of others around her. Meaning has been attributed to flowers for thousands of years but it was in Victorian England that the interest in floriography soared. Armed with floral dictionaries, Victorians used gifts of floral arrangements to send coded messages to someone else, allowing the sender to express feelings which could not be spoken aloud in Victorian society. 

This past weekend my mom stayed over and to decorate her room Daniel helped me to cut lavender flowers from our garden. The garden is a bit of a sad sight at the end of winter and I wish the rains would come and allow the bare garden to blossom. So, taking into account the (lack of) diversity of flowers available to pick in the garden, I do like the message of lavender. In the language of flowers, the lavender flower’s most common meaning is love and devotion but it is also associated with purity, silence and caution. It represents luck when given as a gift and offers the promise of new adventure.

When in Paarl ..... The Goatshed at Fairview

Usually, pregnant women are advised to avoid soft cheeses. (Just in case you were wondering why: the moisture they contain can be the ideal environment for the listeria bacteria, which are normally not dangerous to the mom but can be life threatening to the baby.)

After that depressing lesson, let me tell you that staying without the good stuff makes for a very long nine months. On a much more positive note, what a better way than to “get back on the horse” than having one of Fairview’s famous cheese platters at their restaurant, the Goatshed. They offer 25 different cheeses, made from both cow’s and goat’s milk. It is served with an array of fresh breads, baked daily on the premises. Add a glass of their Goats-do-roam wine and the miserable weather outside turns from an enemy to be faced into an ally who co-conspired to give us an excuse to have an amazing lunch!

You can visit their website here or like their Facebook page.

When in Paarl .... Frater Square

As I said yesterday, this last week was all about nasal sprays, fever meds and sleepless nights. Not really bloggable moments! So today I am taking you back a couple of weeks in time with a quick detour to the weekend Emma and I spent in the Cape to celebrate my granny’s birthday (see here). 

My parents, my sister and I were all together on the Saturday. With very cold, miserable weather in the Cape we decided to have lunch at Fairview just outside Paarl. With an hour or two to kill before lunch, we stopped at Frater Square in Paarl for coffee and window shopping.

Built in 1845 as a pack-shed for fruit and farm implements, the lovely old building on the main street in Paarl has now been transformed into a lifestyle mall. In there you will find a deli, an outdoor shop, a baby boutique (we were just in time for their Sticky Fudge label sale!), a lingerie shop and a clothing boutique.

I liked two shops in particular: Daffadowndilly and Blanc de Blanc Living. Blanc de Blanc is an interior and decor shop and as the name says, their offerings are in beautiful shades of white.

Walking into Daffadowndilly was a treat. The vintage inspired gift and décor shop is beautifully merchandised and they have lovely items. I loved the wooden crates but flying back with a baby, her pram and car seat did not really allow for any more hand luggage :-(

You can visit their website here or like their Facebook page.

Image credits: Nani Kornelius and Elanie Fourie

My week in Instagram

I recently upgraded my phone and almost the first thing I did (after my husband did all the boring set-up stuff for me) was to add Instagram to my phone. Now, a week later, I am still figuring out which filters I like best, if I like the borders or not and how to compose pictures using my phone. I just love it and seem to have a compulsive need to check for new pics on my feed every few minutes. It is a wonder that I get anything done with so many online distractions!! 

Here are a few photos from last week:

1. Emma received this charming night light from her French aunt who tells us that this bunny is in every cool Parisian baby room. 2. It’s been a very tough week at home with colds and flu. Daniel spent four days at home and I had to play more than one round of snakes and ladders. 3. Emma could not escape the germs, but she still manages to smile! 4. The love between the two siblings is beautiful. Daniel calls her his “baby girl”.

You can follow me here:

Spring Festival at Garden World

Here are a few more pics from our Kirstenbosch Chelsea exhibit excursion (see here). It is currently the Spring Festival at Garden World and they have 11 designer show gardens on display. It turned out to be a great outing for our boy. Daniel had a wonderful time exploring and running around and he loved the children’s gardens (especially the miniature box gardens).

Butter in Berario

From time to time the youth group at our church has cake sales to collect money for their activities. We usually make a beeline straight to the carrot cake baked by Janie Visser. So when we heard that Janie, together with her husband Pieter, opened a new coffee shop, showcasing her baking skills, this amounted to big news.

Butter is located in the small Berario shopping centre. The shop offers freshly baked cakes, including that famous carrot cake, breakfast quiches and daily specials as lunch offerings. The shop’s décor is charming with bright red enamel buckets as light fittings, colourful bunting and a fantastic wall feature with wallpaper depicting the multi-coloured houses of Burano.

On Saturday morning the four of us, in search of a decent cup of coffee, went to Butter. It has a wonderful neighbourhood feeling to it - the customers greeted each other and chances are very good that you will have had a chat with the owners before your cappuccino is done. For us, the decision Janie took to follow her dream after being a stay-at-home mum for 16 years means that we don’t have to wait for church events to have access to her talents, and that means that life is just that little bit brighter as a result.

Butter, The Bake Shop
Berario Shopping Centre
179 Arkansas Drive