The Silent Celebrant

Thursday, February 27, 2014

My eldest child gave me these gifts...
I don't know when it stopped but I can't recall when last I threw a birthday bash.

I'm pretty sure that I celebrated quite a bit when I was young (before I hit puberty), like maybe about 5 times, but by the time I was in my teens, I had already forgotten what the meaning of the word "party" was. I probably had 2 celebrations in my teens (17, 18). Maybe once in my 20s and once in my 30s?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I don't mind not throwing a big celebration. Sometimes I like the quietness that gives me time to reflect at reaching this milestone in my life. I normally have a little lunch or dinner or both with my immediate family on the day, and that is enough for me. I consider these small intimate celebrations my best birthdays ever.

Being the silent celebrant that I am, I never confirm when my real birth date is. I normally get greetings from my friends all throughout the week. Some remember, some don't....but all good wishes are welcome. I'll graciously accept gifts for me as well, if you have any :-) I've learnt that this way, I seem to be having a birth-week instead of a birthday.

I also had a very humbling and funny experience with my youngest daughter on my birthday this year. My youngest and I were at the mall, shopping, and I asked her to greet me (for my birthday). To which she quips, "Hello, mommy." And that was that. My greeting. Serves me right for thinking I was so important to her that she'd remember my birthday, LOL....

But now that I'm fast approaching another decade, maybe I should plan a big one to last me till the next decade. What do you think?

Golfing with the Dinosaurs

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
From this website
I think I did mention that Clifton Hills is definitely geared for kids.
One of my youngest's request whilst we were in Clifton Hills, near the Niagara Falls region, was that we treat her to a game of putt-putt.
We went down to the Dino Mini-Golf course and putted away.
The golf course was kitted with multitude of life-size dinosaurs (it is after all known as the Dinosaur Adventure Golf). It even has its very own erupting volcano at the centre. Really felt like Jurassic Park.

Never one to miss a photo op, I went around like a crazy mama-razzi (was there ever another kind?) and started taking photos of hubby and Missy while they were playing their round of golf. With the dinosaurs, of course.

The hour whizzed by and before we knew it, we were on the 18th hole, wondering "How the heck did we get here so fast?"

For more info about rates and operating hours, visit here.

Niagara Falls, Canada

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
After our trip to Victoria Falls last year and really enjoying our time there, we wondered what it would be like to get up close and personal with the Niagara Falls.

We got our chance last spring when we finally made our way to the Niagara region. We decided to stay in Clifton Hills overnight. Clifton Hills is right smack in Niagara Falls. The actual falls is about a 15 to 20-minute walk. Along the way, on the actual street leading to Niagara Falls, you have Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Guinness Book of Records, Dino Mini-Golf, Skywheel, etc.

There are a lot of things to do around the region and I’ve found that a day and a half is not nearly enough to see and experience everything that the area offers. Clifton Hills is geared towards kids and what they love, so a lot of the Clifton Hills attractions cater for them.
After deliberating what attraction to do on a limited budget and an even more limited time, the family and I decided to experience the falls firsthand. We took the Maid of the Mist, which is a boat trip of about 30-40 minutes, taking us close enough to the Falls, both the American and the Canadian side of it all.
Similar to our Victoria Falls experience, we got splashed. With Victoria Falls, we got wet while we were atop the other side of the Falls. This time, with Niagara Falls, we got wet while we were on a boat at the foot of the Falls.
It was a great experience but not one for the non-water resistant camera. I managed to sneak a photo of the Falls just before all the wet madness started.
Niagara Falls from the Maid of the Mist

Newcomer Stories: First Year

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
I am thankful that by some great design, our first year in Canada went by unassumingly quiet. It arrived softly in the morning and blended in with the stillness of the night as it left. There was no big hurrah or feast. Just a pat in the back (from me to me) that said "Hey, you made it".

Our first year was not without its challenges. There were many adjustments made with work life, school life, home life. I cannot stress enough that our life is not the same as what we had in South Africa. Canada certainly had its alluring qualities. However, now after a year, it definitely was showing some of its cracks.

But we are not here to differentiate between South Africa and Canada. There are differences, yes. Stark differences. But comparing is not the purpose of why we celebrate our first year. I would then have to throw sticks and stones at both countries that had and has been good to us, which I am not prepared to do.

The other thing, of course, is that if we wanted the same things, we would not have made the move in the first place.

The truth is....I feel glad having lasted a year. I am hopeful that I will get to my second year, and my third, and fourth until I lose count. I feel content enough that we've made the right move. I appreciate what we've accomplished during our first year so far. I look forward to more achievements in later years. I feel blessed that there are still those who continue to pray for us and our success.

You see, there will always be the good and the bad...and in between, is what we make of it.

Here's to my family and may the future shine brighter than ever for us.