Our Blessing Way Baby Shower

23 Jul
Photography by JoGo

Photography by Jo Go

To be clear, I don’t know that my baby shower resembled a Blessing Way, other than that it surely was a way we were blessed at the outset of our new journey. I was very apprehensive about having a baby shower for a few reasons, some of which were :

a) I didn’t want to put people out by having them schedule a Saturday away from their preferred down-time

b) I didn’t want to put people out by adding an expense to their budgets (for travel, a gift etc)

c) The idea of being the center of attention in a celebratory setting always feels strange to me, until I redefine it for myself

So when it became clear that my Darling BFF would not let up about hosting a baby shower for me, I set about figuring out what I would love from such a celebration, redefining what I thought it to be so I was comfortable with having one thrown for me.

Photography by JoGo

Photography by Jo Go

My wish list included these fundamental nonnegotiable’s :

a) The loved-ones throwing my party would not feel strain putting the party together (financial or otherwise)

b) I would not be outfitted or dressed up as a baby or in anything other than my own grown-up clothes

c) Gifts were not to be the centre of the party, were not to be a prerequisite for attendance and would not be ceremoniously opened and discussed

Photography by JoGo

Photography by Jo Go

With my conditions met, I began to feel excited about my upcoming baby shower! I had visions of my loved ones and I gathered in the name of the celebration of new life.

Photography by JoGo

Photography by Jo Go

To say my baby shower surpassed all my lofty wishes would not do justice to the account. It was one of the best days of my life. It was so so so special. Why my baby shower was the best I’d ever attended :

1) It was held on the same weekend as our wedding four years earlier and was the first time many of my loved ones were all gathered since.

Photography by JoGo

Photography by Jo Go

2) Everyone was glowing in white and I wore my chosen birth colour of green, symbolising light, purity and life.

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

3) A large number of our loved ones travelled from far, wide and near to be there with us

APOS Baby Shower

Photography by Jo Go

4) Loved ones that were unable to attend sent their best wishes and gifts anyway (this really meant an incredible amount to us, how thoughtful our friends are)

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

5) The incredible gifts we received set us up beyond our wildest wishes

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

6) The programme was super relaxed with the only ‘formality’ being each guest presenting me with a lit candle while they shared their blessing for me, our baby and our birth.

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

Our friends and family reduced us to tears, not only with their heartfelt blessings, but by the gifts we received! We wanted for nothing when our precious Baby N arrived and I cannot express enough how incredible this was for us. In conclusion I humbly emphasise with a grateful heart, just how important these kinds of events are. To look around at my life and see the love in gifts and blessings beaming back at me is something I wish for every new parent.

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

 

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

Photography by Jo Go

Maternity Leave

11 Apr

pinchosalt.wordpress.comMaternity leave is under-rated. Since going on maternity leave, I have been able to sort important things out, emotionally and physically, ahead of our Little One’s arrival. The beauty of it is that it hasn’t really been a mad rush to do it. It started out that way, but after enough people told me to “take it easy”, I finally listened. Part of the problem was, I didn’t know what they meant, or rather, what that looked like. Does it mean reading books all day, sleeping all day, watching TV all day, being off my feet all day? A wise friend advised that it was simply going with what felt right and restful for me at the time. So some days it’s me sorting through items that are leaving our home to make space for the clutter free, simple environment we crave and are working towards. Other days, it’s cooking and listening to a podcast. Sometimes, I spend the morning gathering items for baby and I, grab a hearty lunch and nap then veg in front of the TV. It is literally whatever I am drawn to do and whatever brings me peace at the time. It’s been a real gift. Today, after Mr. N left for work, I got back into bed and only resurfaced at 11am! That’s how easy I’ve been taking it. Moment by moment, as I am prompted, and it’s been glorious.

Things are Lining Up for ol’ Liz Lemon

4 Apr

The title of this post is borrowed from one of my favourite shows, 30 Rock. It’s something I say at the end of a wobbly or a ‘storm’, both of which I have just surfaced from. Without getting into it, because, it’s a long story, I’m over it, it’s behind me and I do not care to spend another minute in that space, it has been a bit of a tough past two weeks. Baby N and I were thrown the most incredible Baby shower that I will share soon, because our awesome party throwers hired a talented photographer to capture the day :) so thoughtful! Again, without any detail, the two weeks following the shower have been less than ideal, but, I am thrilled to be on the other side of it! People, pregnancy hormones are real.

The past two weeks weren’t all bad. Two positives were a visit to my wonderful chiropractor and a cool creative business workshop I attended.

So, how have you all been? I’m now 38 weeks along in our pregnancy and looking forward to meeting our newest member.

A Surprise Perk of this Pregnancy for me

17 Feb

APOS - Beginning of second trimesterCompared to the way I felt at the beginning of my pregnancy, I am thrilled and relieved to be where I now am. Pregnancy, whilst not easy, is treating me fabulously. Thankfully, apart from the extreme exhaustion and constant hunger, I don’t see how I could be happier. With my growing bump, my relationship with Mr.N and wonderfully, my body! I am loving my body! I have literally never loved my body as much as I currently do. Through it, I am a mother. I have great appreciation for the work it is doing and the changes it is undergoing, without any prompting from me. My beautifully expanding midsection is currently my favourite feature of this wonderous body of mine.APOS - Beginning of third trimester

Although I have gained weight, I am exceedingly grateful that I lost my excess 20kgs when I did, because I am totally all about embracing the changes, instead of fighting them. Even if I am left with a little extra weight when all is said and done, I know that I am capable of losing what I need to and how, so I am not at all concerned.APOS - Midway through third trimester

So thank you beautiful body, for housing and nurturing our baby. I am ever so grateful and look forward to working with you to bring this blessing into the world and breastfeeding for as long as is right for us. Thank you for showing me I can count on you. You can certainly count on me!

Simple Wedding Crush – Beth and Brent

8 Jan

2013-11-30 07.25.48When I started on this journey of sharing and celebrating healthy alternatives, I expected there to be many more people interested in better ways. Better weddings, better habits, better marriages, better births. It has since occurred to me that mostly, people like following a model, no matter how rigid, taxing and uncharacteristic it is for them. That is why when my smart and beautiful friend told me that she and her fiancé had decided that their initial idea of a wedding would bring them more strife to pull off, than a simple celebration, I was pleasantly surprised and shouted for joy.

Beth and Thina - APOS

They were doing their planning for a wedding that was to take place in Durban, South Africa from Beira, Mozambique, where they work and live. The couple, taking their personal set of circumstances, values, vision, hopes and priorities into consideration, decided that the task of planning a more traditional wedding for their own celebration didn’t suite them and wouldn’t line up with their priorities. So started the journey towards their wedding.

APOS Simple Wedding Crush - Beth and Brent

To say it was a phenomenal wedding would be a gross understatement. It truly rocked my world. Everyone blessed to have attended agreed, one of the best spent days of our lives.

2013-10-24 11.15.41

We were invited to experience who this magical couple were, interacting authentically when their loved ones and celebrating everything they hoped to become.

APOS Simple Wedding Crush - Beth and Brent

It was simply fabulous.

APOS Simple Wedding Crush - Beth and Brent

We haven’t featured a real wedding in a long time, so I will be uploading this inspirational brides commentary and pics as soon as I receive them because we need more examples of the way it can be done.

APOS Simple Wedding Crush - Beth and Brent

We’re having a baby!

1 Jan

Pregnancy AnnouncementI am pregnant! We are still amazed by it and I am surprised most times I catch a glimpse of my changing body.

I’d been very sick for about three weeks and none of my trips to the doctor helped. One busy Friday afternoon, I stood up from my desk, determined to get to the bottom of my poorly state. I had a feeling it could be pregnancy but when I first saw my doctor, she’d said it would be too soon to tell.
It being two or three weeks after that first doctors meeting, and a few days after my cycle was meant to start, I peed into a container and the pharmacy doctor dipped a stick into my pee :)

The moment the doctor told me two lines means I’m pregnant and handed me the stick, still evokes a smile when I think back on that life changing afternoon. I just laughed and laughed. Couldn’t believe I had a baby growing in my uterus #swoon. It feels world’s away even though in some ways, it feels like yesterday. So very much has happened. I have journeyed from shock and denial to frightened, panicking despair to a place of immense gratitude filled elation and excitement. And it’s only been 25 weeks!!

The first trimester was challenging with all its nausea, fatigue and general ‘getting used to the idea’, but I’m doing much better now and wouldn’t trade it for anything, except maybe an easier first few months :)

We’re going to be parents #swoon – Hooray 2014!

Still Here

30 Oct
Durban Sunset

Taken by Mr.N

Friends, I am still here.
It has been one great big adventure that I am looking forward to sharing with you when the time is right. In the meantime, Joanna from A Cup of Jo recently had a cool post about wedding night sex that made me laugh out loud. The bobby pins! Thought I’d share for those that hadn’t yet seen it. Our wedding night fell into the ‘spoke about it before and knew we’d be exhausted so we removed the pressure’ category. Thank you for checking in, hope all is well on your side xo

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