Oh, What A year!

Last year this time I was sitting on a beach in Port Alfred, admiring my 5 month swollen belly and dreaming about just what this year had in store. One year later I’m sitting on my couch in Johannesburg rubbing my still fat post baby belly and thinking back on the year that was.

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Birth. Our life got turned upside down, inside out and every other direction with the arrival of our baby, Carter James. I remember the 5th of May like it was yesterday. Watching them pull you out of me changed the way I view the world forever. Words just cannot express how loved you are, and how much you have completed us.

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Job. After a long 2 and a half years I was given a promotion at work. A promotion that I busted my lady balls for, and still do. I am exceptionally proud of myself. Any working mom knows just how hard it is to manage both a family and a career, and harder still, managing people’s expectations of you in the work place. I cannot tell you how many times I was met with comments such as “don’t worry about that issue sweetie, think of your beautiful family” or the “half day?” chirps when I left at a decent time to go fetch my baby from crèche. I have a long way to go, and women in general have an even longer way to go, but this is one small step for mom, one giant leap for mom-kind.

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Everyone stayed alive. We had no deaths in our family. Everyone is living and well and that’s pretty much the greatest result to a year that one could hope for.

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Balance. Like an athlete with an end in sight, I refused to lose myself amidst the madness of baby, career, family and friends. I feel I did a pretty awesome job at juggling multiple balls. As with all circus acts, someone will always get eaten by a tiger, and I’ve lost a few relationships along the way – but it was bound to happen. I feel better for it.

People. With loss comes gain and I have met some rather superb mommy friends along the way. Ladies I can drink wine with and talk about pureed chicken and green poo without fear of the pained eye roll from my non mom friends. (And that eye roll is perfectly Ok might I add, I still do it, often)

Money. I made none. But I also made no less, which is something, right? Right??

Body. 2015 can’t be all peaches and fluff now, can it. I may not have lost myself emotionally, but physically I’m a big fat wreck. My body has not recovered from having a baby, despite the gym, despite the eating and despite the pleas’ I make with the devil, I still hate the way I look and the way I feel. 2016 is the year of sorting out whatever issue is holding me back from (still) fitting in to my pre-baby clothes.

Marriage. Having successfully ticked off our 2nd wedding anniversary in style, I can happily say that marriage gets easier, and with a baby to boot. My husband, he can stay. (Plus, in my eyes, he’s father of the year).

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Clifftop Lodge Relaxing

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Skills. I took it upon myself to undumb this brain of mine and completed a photography diploma as well as a digital marketing diploma – both with a 99% pass rate. So whilst I still leave the tap running, and put the milk in the cupboard and the coffee in the fridge, I cling to the fact that there is still a brain hidden in there, somewhere.

Travel. Nothing to see here. Moving swiftly along.*

You. Rupert Approves readers. You’ve helped me grow this little blog project into something that’s actually something. I don’t think I will ever not get a little thrill whenever someone mentions my blog or I see my posts shared across the interwebs. Thank you for putting up with my offensive language and brutal honestly about tampons and stretch marks. You’re all fucking lovely.

Happy Christmas, Merry New year and everything in-between. I really cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store, for us all!

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The Top 14 of 2014

As is blog tradition with Rupert Approves, at the end of each year I like to recap the highlights for the past 365 days. As is also tradition, I tend to do this at the 11th hour in a flat panic.

Here goes:

1. I turned 30. And even though the actual birthday and celebrations around it were average (note to self – LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS) turning 30 hasn’t been as scary as they say. In fact, it’s been downright lovely.

2. My friendship groups solidified. The good ones grew better and the not so good ones… Well, they are non existent. Life’s to short to waste your fun on less than amazing people.

3. We celebrated 1 year of marriage. The first year was bloody tough. We did it. Yay us!

4. We bit the bullet and bought our dream home. Things have been progressing slowly from there but progressing nonetheless. I fall more in love with my space and garden each day

5. Work is good. No dramatic news in the office space, but to be happy and fulfilled in a place where you spend 40% of your life is an achievement in itself.

6. My family stayed healthy and happy for the majority if the year. The older one gets, the bigger this blessing becomes

7. We took a holiday for the first time in over a year and spent 8 brilliant days in Port Alfred. Sea, sun and (virgin) cocktails were just what the doctor ordered.

8. I bought s new car. Traded in my fuel guzzling out of warranty SUV and got a smaller zippier runaround that I love driving each and every day.

9. I ate my first ever chocolate brownie and fell.in.love.

10. I learnt to control my anxiety and went from A type to A minus type. Baby steps, but I’m getting there. I can now leave the office at 5 pm without a shred of guilt and am learning to make more time for me. See, age does have its perks.

11. I had a great year of blogging. Still not where I want to be, but I’m constant,y delighted with the feedback and messages I receive from people around the world – people who have laughed, cried and celebrated with me on this very open and honest journey.

12. My dog babies get more wonderful as the days go by. As I lie in bed typing this (sipping on a Christmas edition chocolate mint Nespresso – can that be considered a bonus point 15?) they are lying with me, intertwined in my legs. Ones snoring, one farting with enough power to destroy a small country, and both filling my heart with the most insane amount of love.

13. I ran my longest ever trail race with one of my closest friends, and absolutely loved it. It was a reminder of just how much trail running has become my number 1 exercise love. As soon as this baby is out I’m going to take it up again. Which leads me to my final point…

14. I fell pregnant. One of the most insane, scary and exciting things that has ever happened to me. I am so lucky to have had the worlds easiest pregnancy, and apart from the fuck me scale reading and the occasional constant craving for wine, I have been so blessed. In 5 months we meet our baby boy and I couldn’t be more excited.

How was your year? If it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, then there’s a whole new one waiting for you in less than 24 hours time.

Wherever you are, make it a good one. Be safe, be happy and be good to yourself.

Thank you for all your support on Rupert Approves over the past year – you guys warm my heart more than a toasted sandwich, and that’s a lot!

Xxx

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The Top 13 of 2013

Last year on 12/12/12 I wrote this. Unfortunately there is no such date as 13/13/13 so 19/12/13 shall have to suffice for me to recap on the 13 biggest (baddest, bestest and saddest) things to happen in 2013.

1. We got married! Yay!

2. I left a job where I was being bullied and harassed by management and started a new job where I’m treated with kindness and respect by my superiors (let me tell ya what a difference that has made to my self esteem)

3. I took part in and finished my very first Half Iron Man!

4. I traveled to Malaysia with my hubby for the words best Honeymoon. You can read about that here and here

5. My mom in law suffered a stroke and pulled through like an absolute champ.

6. I had my heart broken by a friend and learnt how to pick myself up and carry on (sort of)

7. I came 2nd in a night-trail race and beat my PB by 3 minutes.

8. I learnt how to forgive and forget past hurts

9. I changed my surname. Rankin Rankin Rankin (Apparently the more I say it the quicker I will get used to hearing it)

10. Our beloved ‘Tata’ Mandela passed away and caused the entire world to become proudly South African. 

11. My brother got married and I gained a new sister and her fabulous family.

12. I landed a huge voice over and TV deal

13. I gained some new friends who I cant ever imagine my life without. 

To everyone who has made this year the rollercoaster ride that it was – thank you.

What are your Top 13 of 2013?

XXX

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The January Resolution

I’m not a huge one for New Years resolutions as ultimately my ideas are too ambitious for my brain and I end up failing most of them before the month year is out. This is not to say that some resolutions aren’t valuable; a mate of ours has been waking her hubby at at 4 am every morning to go running (she’s been eyeing out those skinny jeans), a colleague has finally taken the plunge and decided to start his own company, another friend of mine has decided to do the Half Iron Man in 2013 (hopefully inspired by my buff bod in a tri suit hey Tash? – I joke) and Barry, my fiance has decided to start studying to further enhance his skill set. And to make loads of money and buy me shiny things.

All very do-able goals, and ones which I approve of. But what about me? I find lately I’ve become that person who gets home and grumbles about the bad stuff – traffic, deadlines, workload, horrible people and taxis and I’m beginning to think that if I had nothing to complain about, I wouldnt speak much at all. I realised that a resolution doesn’t have to be something huge – it can start with the smallest action. So, with that in mind, here are several of my 2013 resolutions that I would like to achieve and stick to, not only in this year, but for all the rest.

– Do one good thing a day. It doesn’t have to be donating a hefty sum to a charity, or volunteering your time at an orphanage – although thats really good), it can be something small such as replacing the toilet paper for the next person (I have a habit of folding the loopaper into a little triangle, hotel style), bending down to retrieve something that someone next to you has dropped, letting someone in, in traffic – even though you’re already late, complimenting a stranger on their perfume/top/smile. Returning your food purchase to the shelf when you decide you dont want it anymore, instead of leaving it the trolley, starting a conversation with the bank teller, even though you hate the bank, politely declining a telesales call or reminding a friend about another friends birthday (instead of wanitng to take the friendship credit for yourself). Not huge things, right? But all (hopefully) guaranteed to bring a smile to the recipients face.

– Do something physical every day. I have realised, I am a grumpy b*tch when not full of endorphins, and even though it’s hard to hit the treadmill seven days a week, it’s not hard to walk the dogs, clean the house (jokes, thats very hard), play with a toddler near you (in a non creepy school drive by kind of way) or plant in the garden. Keep moving, Keep happy.

– Cook more (interesting and new dishes) then invite wonderful people to come over and eat them whilst drinking good red wine.

– Buy an SLR and learn to take magic photos. Then learn to edit them

– Learn design and actually make what I pin (personal PR – follow me on Pinterest here)

– Save money.

– Dont let bad habits rub off on me. Someone I know snaps at me when I make a comment or a suggestion. What do I then do? I snap back. I’m going to train myself how to smile and be the bigger person. I THINK THIS IS THE HARDEST OF THEM ALL

– Lastly, ask more questions, get more involved and be curious.

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What’s on your to-do list for 2013?

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