35 Days until we get married!

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It’s been a whirlwind of a year. That’s pretty much how long it’s been since my last post. What’s been happening? Well, you know that we got engaged, and you know how that all happened- in detail. So, what happened next?

In February, whilst casually (??!!) looking at houses for sale, we put in an offer on the most adorable house. The offer was accepted and so we went through all the paperwork and now it is ours! We moved in April, and it became ours on the 1st of July! This was a huge life milestone. We have been loving our home, and have made it comfortable and beautiful and we still have lots we could do to improve on general decor, but it’s incredibly perfect. Funnily enough, the weekend before we saw this house, we bought lovely grey and yellow bed linen- and our little home is painted soft yellow with grey trimmings everywhere. A sign or what? Then, HIGH ceilings (I’d hazard a guess at around 4m high), lovely floors, a big kitchen and bathroom, a cute courtyard and a stoop in the front after you walk in the gate. So much lavender. So much sunlight. So much love. It was meant to be. Except for the geyser- we replaced the old gravity fed geyser with a new high pressure one, and traded in a sad shower for a glorious one.

Around this time, I applied to participate in a postgraduate course called the Neuro-developmental Therapy Approach, based on the Bobath Concept- to be held in Cape Town (AKA home) yay! I was accepted, and went on to complete 8 weeks of intense learning and practical sessions, being mentored by a handful of excellent therapists- a mix of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists from South Africa, the United Kingdom (Heather Holgate) and Australia (Sarah Foley). This was a huge learning milestone in terms of my career and interest in paediatric physiotherapy. I am thrilled. (More on this later!)

During all of this, we had been “planning our wedding” in a very nonchalant way. Basically, pinterest picture exchanges that were saved for looking at later. ‘Later’ was about 3 weeks ago- when we finally cracked down on everything. I think that we were more relaxed, because we had secured a venue, accommodation, a decorator and a lovely caterer. And here we are at 35 days to go, and we have sent out paper invites via post, and some have been received! (More on this in another post!) However, we have yet to begin the search for not one, but two wedding dresses EEEEK. Shoes- no sweat: hello converse in a chosen color. Food? sorted. Cake? It will be chocolate and delicious.

Through everything, our business has really taken off and has been keeping us busy. We have been making huge progress and this month have seen our business take action internationally in more than 5 African countries. We are so proud of everything. (More on this later!)

Mrs Poodle has also been doing her Masters in Adult Education course work, and is soon to complete her last course before going into her research and writing up her thesis. She’s been turning in A’s without a sweat. Talk about a powerhouse. Or is it the lady behind the lady?

We’re getting a puppy! Said puppy, ‘Bambino’, is yet to be born. We expect to see photos of her cuteness in the next 2 weeks when she enters the world! This means that we will have her in our arms in the first week of December. She’s going to be the cutest beagle bum, we believe, a perfect dog personality for both of us.

Through all of these things, big or small, our love and happiness has continued to grow and this October, when we marry, we will also be celebrating 5 years of love together.

Double gay marriage proposal: swoon!

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Firstly, Happy New Year, 2016! This new year follows on from a rather exciting 2015, and it will no doubt bring great happiness, and spice. As you can gather from my previous post: we are engaged!

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That’s us. The poodles.

Let me tell you more.

October 2015 saw us celebrating our 4 year anniversary- this, a really solid amount of time to have been together. I had a couple friends saying, “Come on! Just ask her already!”… but it was a little more complex than that. You see, firstly, we needed to buy the rings. We went ring shopping together because why not? Read: because I am extremely fussy (and you know, you are supposed to wear this ring, so it better be one I loved!)

So, we chose the rings. Then we walked around thinking about them, and then I somehow decided, that it wasn’t the one. So we went back; Mrs Poodle sighed heavily. I chose the better one. I was thrilled. This was it! We had them sent for re-sizing. This meant time to wait and more time to plan a proposal. Did I? NOPE. (She calls me ‘lazy will prevail’). Fast forward a certain time period, where we arrive to try on the newly re-sized rings. Err- not quite right. Sent them back. Waited another week WEEP! Any more planning? NONE on my part- her? Possibly. THEN- it was time to take our beautifully shiny babies home.

Now, it was time to plan. But I couldn’t do it the very next weekend due to a family lunch; so I waited. I had some vague ideas which I had been toying with. And, I had given myself approximately a week with which to execute it all. You’re probably wondering- why me first? Simply put, I wanted to ask first. I don’t know why. Possibly because I’m younger; possibly because: ego. I’m joking. Because I just wanted to. And anyway, I thought she’d whisk me away somewhere romantic and so the whole thing would culminate perfectly. I was, after all, proposing at home. Because: ugly happy crying in public is not her thing. Actually, because we love our home and it’s our happy place. One of, at least.

So, I spent this week crafting. I had gone to a place called merrypak- a large warehouse type stationery/cardboard box template store, where I sought out an assortment of boxes from large to tiny which I had hoped would all somehow fit one inside the other. My idea kind-of worked: I ended up with 3 sets of boxes, each set with its own large-to-smallest-box assortment. So, what? She opens all the boxes? NOPE. I had been emailing an email account I had created over a year ago, with funny phrases and sentiments and occurrences. I printed out about 80 of these emails, and folded them up as decoys into the different layers of boxes, for her to read on her journey to finding the last, smallest box, with the ring. I had also printed out 20 of my favorite photographs of us, and hung them up around the lounge.

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The craft room situation

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Box art. Yes, I painted this. 

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Another box painting.

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Boxes are difficult to paint.

 

BUT WAIT. I’m skipping a little ahead. She hasn’t known any of this yet.

I woke her up, and I said, “Today is the day!”- I went downstairs, and made her coffee in a cup which I had porcelain painted (Read: Will you marry me?- at the bottom of the inside of the cup) and some biscuits stamped with “Will you marry me?” SHE LOVED IT ALL. She thought that was it. But I said, you can’t come downstairs until you’re showered. She hurried along.

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Ginger cookies in the box! They say, “Will you marry me?”

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I baked these ginger cookies, and stamped them myself. This was more difficult than you think. I had a load of flops.

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The chosen mug.

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Inside of said chosen mug. It’s difficult to write on the inside of a cup! 

I had spent the night before all of this up until all hours of the morning, figuring everything out. How will they all fit? Is this what I did maths in school to figure out?? It worked out eventually.

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My thoughts at approximately 3 am: why did I leave this until the last minute?

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I ordered the smaller boxes neatly…

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And eventually everything fit inside these three boxes.

She came downstairs, and she was so excited. Basically, she saw three large-looking presents. SHE LOVES PRESENTS. Little did she know, there were so many. She started unwrapping them all. VICTORY! Will millions of hugs and kisses in between, about an hour from the beginning, she opened the last box. It contained a bauble, in it: a tiny bird cage- in it: a tiny box filled with pink and silver confetti, from which she dug and discovered the ring which now sits upon her finger. I asked (pretty mumbled, emotional in the moment),- I, in a matter of milliseconds regained myself, and I asked again (More assertively) and she said yes!

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This is how the room looked in the daylight the next morning (after being unwrapped)

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Some of my favorite pictures hanging around.

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The bauble…

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The box which was inside the tiny birdcage…

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The ring inside the tiny box filled with confetti…

She stared at me, and her ring, and her finger, and at all the photographs hanging up on the wall. We may have cried together; I cannot remember. It was a Sunday, though. And I am pretty sure we went to the mall that day. To have pedicures. Because, why not?

So now, she was ring-bound and I was ring-free and definitely jealous that I had to wait until she proposed to me. Luckily, this happened a cool 5 days later, on December 3rd.

I received a text, with a picture: The bag is packed, you need to read the instructions carefully. EEEP. My adventure had come. All I had to do was get home from work, and get started.

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The picture I received…

I got home, read the card: packed the bag into my car, and followed my interpretation of clue one: go to the place we love to dance. Beaulah. I drove there, parked at the closest garage and walked the rest- because parking on a main road is not fun for me. SURPRISE: two of our besties were there, ready for me with clue number two. I forget to mention, that within these clue envelopes, comes some sticky-note letters which I need to stick to a board to spell out a sentence. You can already guess what it needed to say- I did, straight away: _ _ _ _   _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _   _ _ ?

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My completed craft task

Clue number two: go to the place we had our first ‘out’ date… Primi. I sat in the Friday afternoon suburb-bound traffic, listening to Tegan and Sara. I casually took myself down to the right place, and couldn’t see who I was supposed to meet. People may have thought I was super confused. I felt super confused. Did I get the clue wrong? ALAS, no. There I found another bestie, waiting with clue number 3! This clue required me to go to the place we had our first ‘fight’. OH I KNEW THIS ONE. I always joke about how it was totally not a fight. We were in the frozen food/oven chip section; she asked me if I wanted “straight-cut or crinkly-cut fries”- I couldn’t make up my mind. That was back when I ordered toasted-cheese as my go-to meal. I waited around that cold, cold aisle, waiting for who I may see next. Eventually, another bestie popped up, giving me the last clue, and also it seems, something for store customers to oggle at: A girl having her photo taken with oven chips. ME.

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Frozen food aisle memories

I drove off merrily to my final destination: Kirstenbosch Gardens. I’d been nattering on about going here for a picnic, and it happened! I was really not sure where or how to find her inside the large gardens, and I was already overwhelmed with my day. Marriage proposals are not for the fainthearted! I FOUND HER SITTING SO SWEETLY. GRINNING. My cheeks were sore too! I sat down, sweaty, and with flat hair, and hunger, and she gave me cheesecake and looked at me, beautifully, and asked me to marry her! YES! Finally, my stunning ring found its way to me without me having to sneak-peak at it in her drawer.

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Me: wandering through Kirstenbosch Gardens

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True love and happiness! 

By now, we realized that we could not stay and picnic for very long. She had revealed that the packed bag was, along with us, heading to Franschhoek for a one-night getaway to Le Franschhoek Hotel. Here, we were whisked down tiny lanes in a golf-cart, giggling away. We had a lovely dinner, and the following morning a lovely breakfast at our favorite: Cafe des Artes. We then, to my surprise were meeting a lady (who is so lovely!) to look at her wedding venue. You want to know? The Conservatory. IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL THAT WE MAY HAVE OVER-USED THE WORD BEAUTIFUL. So, basically, we are getting gleefully married on October, 22, 2016. And now, it’s time to plan the actual wedding!

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Our final destination! 

 

I am engaged! 

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I feel ashamed to not have been writing. Since…. Weep! I can’t even say… 

I could write about so much. And maybe I’ll touch on some memories as I get back into this. 

BUT- let me tell you that we are engaged!!! 

It was a double proposal, a lovely and exciting time! I proposed first, and then she proposed several days later. 

I’ll write a post with more details soon! For now, here is a picture! Or two!

   
  
 

Love always wins 

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School holidays started around 12pm for me yesterday- a couple hours before the SCOTUS rulings were to continue (I had to figure out the time difference). I worked out that at 4pm my time, it would be announced- words which would change everything for so many people, and pave the way for the rest of the world. Obviously, love wins! 

The power went out at 4pm though, so as my iPhone disconnected from the wifi and was trying to fine tune its 3G, as soon as my Twitter feed reloaded at 4:05pm, I saw the biggest splash of Internet color and the happiest news! 

It’s no longer “gay marriage”. It’s just “marriage”. It’s beautiful. 

My country legalized this more than 10 years ago, but it is still overwhelming and extremely exciting to feel a part of this historical victory in the USA. I am so excited for friends and fellow bloggers- your lives have changed! 

People who don’t get what all the fuss is about don’t understand the depth of all this means. It’s respect and dignity and involves life and death and tax and health insurance and parenthood and finances and benefits which have always automatically and without hesitation been afforded to heterosexual couples. It’s more than just a wedding. It’s more than a ring and some approved PDA. Now, a baby can have two moms or two dads on their birth certificates without any hassle. 

It’s about respect for love. Because love is love, and people, regardless of their sexuality, deserve to be happy. 

I feel as though I am ranting now. 

Basically, WELL DONE TO YOU, SCOTUS and THE USA. You have finally learned to love freely. 

The trip of the month 

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This month has had me all motivated for the gym, up until after our Romantic date night, where I tripped and fell and bruised my knee- enough for me to go to the doctor and even have an ultrasound. Basically that was 5 weeks ago, and it’s only about 90% better. She always says that I crab-walk, but actually, I was convinced that we were going to turn right, and poodle thought we were going straight- so I fell, uphill, after tripping over her. This all happened on the busy bustle of Kloof street. People probably thought that I was drunk. All I had was some red grapetiser. Boo! 

I’m itching to get back into surfing, despite the winter weather in its full force. I braved the pool this week, and sadly saw how unfit I have become. It goes away too quickly. 

Today is our 44 months of love, nothing all that special, since we are awaiting the big 48- aka 4 whole years. But I surprised her with a card this morning, and she loved it. Which means that I have surely dropped the Granny-card-buyer title by now. 

Tomorrow, school closes- which means I’m on leave for 3 weeks! The first will be spent around Cape Town; the second one will see us in Plett; the third week will see me reunited with my dear friend T! Such exciting times. Time to blog, time to bake and time to just kick back. And gym. I always forget to gym.

Meet my first car!

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I am so excited! (As you can see!)

Mrs. Poodle is very excited too, since now we have a car each and now she has freedom and I have no gross and frustrating incidences with public transport, taxi drivers or the infamous gaatjies (sliding door operator, who whistles incessantly, calling people to get in). She is also glad that I am safer!

FREEDOM!

Say hello to this guy: a Ford EcoSport Trend 1.5 TDCi diesel, who we have named Tiggy/tigs, so he can match our other car, figgy/figs. 

  
     

Birthday business!

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The week of the 6th of May saw Mrs Poodle turn another year older- 27 for that matter. 

She tidied up, she was good, she said the birthday fairy would come if she was. 

I feel like I was the birthday fairy. Stashing away presents because I know she’d want to find them. I had to wrap them imaginatively so that when she felt them, she didn’t know what she got. I think I managed to do that with 3/4. 

She was over the moon! So much love from me, and at her work, she was bouncing off the walls! However, she showed great restraint in only opening one present in the morning (with her card, and with the Stevie wonder version of happy birthday playing in the background) one when she got home from work, one after dinner (we went to one of our favorites: the hussar grill in greenpoint) and one before bed! If it were me, I’d have opened all of them in about 30 seconds. 

Let’s not forget that I made her 40 cupcakes to take to work! They were mocha cupcakes with a hidden rolo centre and cupuccino and almond buttercream. 

I love her to bits!