Tomorrow is Wedding Day! (not mine, guys. I wish)

I’m struggling to contain my excitement for my friend Lisa’s wedding tomorrow. This special lady doesn’t even live in South Africa anymore and her and her soon-to-be-husband came all the way back to South Africa to tie the knot. Yesterday we had our final pre-wedding celebration – the kitchen tea.

My own kitchen tea was actually the first one I ever went to. It’s hard to say objectively whether you enjoyed it or not because hey, you’re the bride and everyone is throwing attention and presents at you. But since my own I had been to a handful of kitchen teas ranging from sweet – average.

We actually used a range of ideas that were done at my own (I can’t take the credit, I was just the bride at that one, but Lisa and I do share friends/bridesmaids) and the afternoon went down without a hitch. We tied a string of balloons which each had a questions inside that we had asked Shlomi – and Lisa had to guess his answer. If she got it right she got to open a couple of presents, if she got it wrong – forfeits ensued! These included mild things like putting on an apron to more intense ones like cutting an onion (Lisa hates onion!) and bobbing for pieces of chocolate in a bowl of flower (we were so considerate of her eyelash extensions, we even gave her goggles).

Being a Bridesmaid can really go either way, whether you’re friends or not you never know how you might click or work together. I’m so happy to say it was such a special afternoon, and I just can flipping wait to celebrate the real special day tomorrow.

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You never know how much something means to you until it’s gone.

I turned 21 not too many years ago. I happened to be running a school camp, possibly not the most ideal location for turning the big 2-1, but I was with all my friends and Greg, which was what counted. As a side-note, I also turned 21 wearing braces – true story. Anyway, I digress.

I got from Greg the most beautiful charm bracelet. I always had a thing for charm bracelets. I even had a charm styled watch until I lost it. He wrote me a beautiful letter to go with it, explaining why he had chosen each of the charms – a heart, a dolphin, a strawberry, a “chai” (it’s a Jewish symbol meaning “life”, I think) and an oval charm with our initials “LL & GG” engraved on one side, and my 21st birthday date on the other, with a heart cutout. I don’t actually have a picture of it, as it was before the time of smartphones, instagram and over-sharing our lives. But it was beautiful.

Now I’m not a girly-girl. I don’t wear or accessorize with jewellery. I’m the type who has certain (sometimes meaningful) pieces they just stay put, and I don’t take off. These include: the aforementioned bracelet, my engagement and wedding rings, and a necklace which has my name in Hebrew. Even the bracelet Greg bought me for our 1 year anniversary I don’t wear every day – I have the tendency to take it off while I work, and I’m just too scared of losing it.

We went out to friends on Friday night for dinner, it was great and so was the company, as usual. I was getting changed before going to bed – and my right wrist was bare. My bracelet was gone. My right wrist is never bare. My heart broke. Literally it felt like it was cracked in two, and I moped myself to sleep. Poor Greg had to deal with a very sad Lee-Ann.

I’m happy to say that this story has a happy ending. It turned out that the clasp had come undone at dinner. My friend found it on the floor under the table and gave it back to me at shul the next morning. I literally almost cried from happiness when she gave it back to me. The sigh of relief, the weight lifted off my shoulders. I was about to ask Greg whether he could replicate it for my birthday coming up. Goodness was this girl happy. We’re going to get the clasp fixed/replaced hopefully this week.

I’m not the most sentimental person. I don’t think I’d ever thought how I’d feel if I’d lost this little piece of metal. When people ask what you would run back in to salvage if your house were burning down, I always thought it would be my harddrive. I mean, aside for the series etc there are just so many pictures. Dating back to 2005. Pictures from holidays, from school, from my gap year, all our years of dating, our wedding… Greg’s harddrive crashed recently. He lost over 100G of magic DVDs (the guy’s a magician, this is a big, big deal). He was so heartbroken. When we realised it would cost about R8k to recover the data and buy a new one, we gave up. I don’t know if the giving up helped him get over it, or if he realised he could get a lot of it from friends.

Memories are the things you can’t replace. I guess if I lost my harddrive with all my photos, I’d be heartbroken too. I’m trying to make photobooks every year (our “2012” book is still 95% finished, as it’s been from about February), who knows, maybe that could replace the fear. Or maybe I should kick it old school, and back stuff onto DVDs.

So I know that in the grand scheme of things – this may have been only a bracelet. It really means a lot to me, and goes beyond the memories of the day. I mean, what is turning 21 anyway in South Africa. I am already legal to drink, as well as drive a car. It doesn’t mean anything but it was a really special present. If I had lost it, who knows, maybe I would have gotten over my sadness, and Greg probably would have replicated it as best as he could for y birthday next month.

But I’m so glad he doesn’t have to.

Some non-gushy Valentine’s crafts. If that’s your thing.

In all the years we’ve been together, I don’t recall Greg and I ever celebrating Valentine’s Day. I suppose like all skeptic’s we don’t feel we need a special day just to say “I love you”. We’re also a particularly UN-mushy couple (well most times, allow some mush for our 1 year wedding anniversary coming up).

The reason we are all so hyper-aware of this “holiday” is due to the clutter on sites such as pinterest (my poor feed), and don’t get me started on the red, pink and white explosion at the party shop downstairs. Blow, some gushy Valentine’s crafts a la Pinterest:

Excuse me while I barf. It's like a heart explosion.

Excuse me while I barf. It’s like a heart explosion.

Yet if Valentine’s Day is your thing, but you try to find things that aren’t mushy or gushy I found some really great crafts to spice up your gifts. It’s all about presentation anyway, right?

Printable wrapping paper. It makes me want to buy gifts and wrap them in the cutest, tiniest little boxes.

Printable wrapping paper. It makes me want to buy gifts and wrap them in the cutest, tiniest little boxes.

 

If you don't have a box, put your little gift into this quirky one.

If you don’t have a box, put your little gift into this quirky one.

 

This is a nifty little card. It has geek written all over it. I'm I'm totally ok with that.

This is a nifty little card. It has geek written all over it, and I’m totally ok with that.

I still don’t know how I feel about Valentine’s day, or if I would ever adorn our flat in pink and white hearts, but I must admit that these little guys are something I’d consider. Best thing is – each of these have a printable template so you can make your own! You can thank me later.

Sources: (1), (2), (3)

“You can only go away if you bring back presents.”

OK, I really didn’t say that.

Greg just got back from a two-week trip to Israel. He was taking a group of this year’s matric and for many of them this was their first time in Israel. You can imagine a trip with a bunch of matric teenagers (note: they also flew out on New Years Eve), let’s just say it was pretty fun. Well, from what I heard anyway. Israel is a really fun place to visit, going to markets, tours, museums, ancient sites and the best part of their trip – SNOW! Israel isn’t usually a snowy place, hence the extra excitement about it.

But after 2 weeks, I’m really glad that he’s home. We’re not the mushy couple type who cant stand an hour apart. (I was actually the one who pushed him to apply for the program). I’ve been away for a month at a time running camps in December, and we managed to survive (thanks to my 8hrs of free minutes I’d manage to save up each year). But it’s different when overseas. Luckily, he had a great cellphone deal that allowed him to call international landlines for free, but only had access to internet (ie. whatsapp) in wireless zones. The calls home every night were great, but it was difficult not having the small messages throughout the day. That was different.

But he’s back. And that what counts. And who would be allowed back from a foreign country without presents? (Again, I’d never really say that. To his face. And mean it). I luckily got as spoiled as could be. There were many other things I would have bought myself, but when you’re on a tour, time isn’t really your own.

Presents from Israel!

Presents from Israel!

Play: Greg bought us this really cool game called Set. It’s somewhat hard to explain. Basically, you have these cards, which are in different variations of shape, colour and opacity. About 9 get laid out on a table and you have to visually spot the different “sets”. Whoever collects the most sets, wins. I actually really suck at this game, so I’m keen to get some extra practice.

Eat: As a Jew living out of Israel, and keeping kosher, you may not return from the Holy Land without edibles. I was very lucky to have received yummy shuk sweets (a shuk is a market.) They’re really just gummy sweets. But they’re kosher, hence the excitement. He also brought back my favourite pastries. They’re kind of like roggelach, a pastry swirled/wrapped in chocolate. These are my best, from this little stall at the shuk my friend introduced me to on my gap year. Absolutely chocolate heaven-in-your-mouth. He bought them Friday, so by the time he got back yesterday (Monday) it was still totally delish. Who am I kidding, I would have eaten them in a heartbeat regardless.

Smell: I always love receiving perfume as a gift, and luckily Israel always seem to have some great sales. Greg bought me the very yummy DKNY Be Delicious. When we go in June I plan on coming home with no less than 2 more perfumes.

Along with that he also bought me a couple of scarves, these nuts we like, a beautiful artwork and a Havdalah candle. I’m glad he had a good time, but I’m even more glad having him back home 🙂 There will be plenty more shopping in June when we go again!

welcome home