Trip down memory lane

Etienne’s about to sell his car, a white 1996 Toyota Corolla. The same car he has had since 1998.

1998 people, 1998.

I know, the man is a saint. 3 kids, a loopy wife and he has been driving the same car for the last 15 years. Granted, it has only needed to take him to Sanlam and back every day for most of that time (a whopping 7km each way), but the man is the most un materialistic person I have ever met.

When we started dating I coveted his car as I drove a yellow Opel Kadett, circa 1989, that I inherited from my Mom. I’m on my 3rd car from that Kadett and he just carried on with the Corolla, because he didn’t *need* a new car.

Tonight he cleaned out the cubby hole and came across a lot of papers from the last 15 years, so I’ll share a few with you that warmed my heart.

First off he found a receipt from Arthur Murray for dance lessons we had. We did the Tango at our wedding as a surprise and it blew all our guests away. We used the music from the famous Tango in Scent of a woman and it is one of my favourite memories from our wedding.


Then he found this receipt from our honeymoon. We took a road trip in the Corolla and the Cat Stevens CD got stuck in the car CD player for most of our trip after an unfortunate day on a gravel road.


As you can see, we went big at the bar with a whopping R24.50 after a shocking R36 spent on a bottle of Porcupine Ridge. Big spenders!

Lastly he found a receipt from Dr Paul le Roux, our Fertility Specialist from September 2005 confirming our pregnancy and ‘supervision of pregnancy’.


That one made me a little weepy. See, we might not drive fancy shiny new cars, but we are rich beyond our wildest dreams as we have been blessed with each other and 3 wonderful children.

Even though I had to ask the girls to stop jumping on our bed tonight and take the (play) teapot out of their panties. Oh the glamour of parenting.

Edit to add: The wonderful Sam Woulidge just tweeted me this link. Go watch it, it is marvelous.

Ps. That place we went on honeymoon? Those chalets are R1900 per night these days. How’s that for inflation?
Pps. Etienne’s Dad actually suggested we go there on honeymoon and sent us off with a visual of my brand new In-laws in a jacuzzi. You’re welcome.

Day 2 – Missing

When you’ve been with someone for a long time (13 years in our case) you have little things that have become habit.  I normally don’t notice the missing “links” in my day when Etienne is gone, but for some reason this year it’s harder than usual, even though it’s only for 5 days.

Not hard as in I’m-going-to-fall-down-and-cry-hard, just I’ve-noticed-it-more-this-year-than-normal-hard.  I’m wondering if it is because I’ve been taking him for granted or whether I’m just that little bit more in love with him than last year this time?  I’m leaning toward love.

For example:

Last night I was throwing an extra blanket over our bed and there was no-one on the other side of the bed to smooth it out.

Taking out the trash.  Not a job I normally do.  Not a job I would like to do on a regular basis either thank you very much.

I find myself wondering what we need from the shops, only to realize that I can’t ask him.  Not that he would care as he is stuffing his face with all kinds of meat he doesn’t ever get at home.

Not being able to spoon.  I love spooning.

I dialled his office number to tell him a funny story, only to realise he’s not there.  (that was a special facepalm moment)

I get to read to the kids every night.  I’m loving lolling around with them on the carpet, reading books in no particular hurry.  I’m wondering why I don’t enjoy it that much when he’s around?

I miss not setting his place at the table.  Dinner is always a big event at our house, it’s our family catch-up time.

Having at least 1 child in bed with me at night (Isabel, for most of the last 2 nights), being able to cuddle and then still have enough space to roll over to my side of the bed.

But most of all I miss my buddy, the person I most enjoy talking to.

Only 2 more sleeps!

PS: I’ve just realized that we have been together for a 1/3 of our lives.  Wow.

PPS: All this peace and quiet has given me the opportunity to try out a new granny square pattern.  I have made 16 of these squares and was almost done with this square last night and will make 16 of them too so that I have 2 fair sized blankets for the girls. (I found the website via one of  my favourite crochet websites, Attic24.)  Then to start with something for Daniel for his bed.  By which stage it will probably be December.

Etienne turns 40

Etienne turned 40 on 18 February and I wanted to make it a really special day for him so I had a couple of tricks up my sleeve.

Expensive gifts were not an option so I opted to shower him with love for the day.

We went out for an early breakfast whilst my Mom took care of the kids just so we could have a little time together before the day got manic and it was lovely to have him all to myself.  Along with a loud Australian chick at the next table that was curious to know whether South Africans also put braces on their teeth. But anyhoo.

We had a lovely morning at a kiddy party (with wine) and then off home for an afternoon nap.

I then presented him with a little project I had been working on for a while.  The idea came from Pinterest (duh) and you can click here for the original website it came from.  In a nutshell, I contacted Etienne’s old and new friends, colleagues and family and asked them each to send me a memory of him they hold.  The idea was to present him with 40 memories from people special to him on his 40th birthday.  The people in my office must think I am quite mad as I cried so often when I opened the messages at work as they were all so amazing and special.  He was completely blown away and may or may not have pecked a little tear himself.

The pile of envelopes

Thank you THANK YOU to everyone that participated in this, you have no idea how special it was.

Etienne reading his letters

We then moved along to Ke-Monate for his birthday bash with most of our favourite friends and family and it was a truly amazing evening.  The service and food was just perfect and the company was even better!  The restaurant is just outside Durbanville and literally sits between vineyards.  Perfect.

The table
Gift and name tag

The last little trick up my sleeve was Etienne’s birthday cake that was made by Angie, our favourite teacher.  He is a big fan of Lord of the Rings, so we decided on a LOTR cake.  In the end it was my favourite part of the day because of the expression on Etienne’s face when the cake came out.  He loved it!


Etienne with his cake (sorry, not the best pic!)

To my love:

I wanted to write you a “40 things I love about you” post, but we tell each other those things on a regular basis anyway and love isn’t about saying so once a year, it’s living it every day, which you do.  Love you madly.

The flowers in his table decoration opening up, loved them.

Captains Log – Day 1

Day 1 without Etienne as he left on a boys trip this morning and will be gone until Sunday.  (I know what you’re thinking by the way.  How fabulous that she won’t have to put out on Father’s Day! Heh.)

This morning went well under the circumstances: hectic rain, Isabel not wanting to get up, Daniel not wanting to get dressed, Mignon wanting to know where Daddy is etc etc.  There were no tears and we were only 5 minutes behind our normal schedule.  AND everyone’s teeth got cleaned before we left the house.  Bloody miracle if you ask me.  I still had time to fight with our (otherwise fantastic) live-in domestic lady Sylvia because she smoked in her room.

And now I hear you wonder what I was doing in her room.  Well, the story goes like this:

The wonderful Sally Cameron is driving a project to get people to knit/crochet hats for children with cancer and I vaguely recall being able to crochet and I really have nothing better to do for the next few days so I thought I would grab my old crochet books that happen to be in Sylvia’s room as her room used to be my office and all our reference books are stored there.  And the window was WIDE open, there was an enormous amout of air-freshner sprayed that barely masked the horrible smell (Yes, I’m a terrible ex-smoker.  So sue me.)

So, to cut a long story short, I will be attempting to crochet a hat or 2 this weekend.

I don’t see much of it in my future for tomorrow though as I have to collect our new doggy from the Animal Anti-Cruelty League and some super special friends are coming over for lunch and crowd control.  And then back to work on Friday.

Just as a side-bar, Mignon came home with a tiara from school on Friday that she wore the ENTIRE weekend. In fact, she came waltzing into our room at 06h00 on Saturday morning wearing the tiara.  When it came to Monday I promised to buy her her own tiara if she would return the other tiara.  And I’m such a wuss.  I stood in front of the tiaras and wands that were a whopping R9.99 and thought that I couldn’t just buy a tiara for Mignon, I would buy one for Isabel too.  Which meant that I also had to buy one for Daniel.

Here’s the result:

Another one for the 21st file..