Then and Now

Then…
…and now.

I woke on my own terms; refreshed, full of energy and ready to meet the day.
I wake to the dulcet sounds of Zulu indignantly demanding to be released from his cot as Alpha prises my eyelids open. I feel even more exhausted than when I went to bed.

I enjoyed my last morning in my parents’ home chatting about wedding stuff over coffee and a champagne breakfast.
My husband and I casually discuss the bowel habits of our offspring over cereal and coffee. Between us we manage to get what I assure myself is something resembling a healthy breakfast into both kids.

My hair was done in an elaborate up-do. It took 150 pins and a substantial amount of hairspray to get it all up.
I run out of time to wash my hair, so it goes up in a bun as usual. To mark the special occasion, I drag a brush through it first.

I sat patiently for what seemed like an eternity while my makeup was done. I felt like a doll.
I do my special “going somewhere other than the shops” makeup (tinted moisturiser, lipstick and mascara). I narrowly avoid blinding myself as I attempt to apply eyeliner. I feel like a clown.

I finally put on my wedding dress – the most expensive thing I’ve ever worn – for real. I was laced in and – thanks to the alterations – it fits perfectly.
I stand in front of my wardrobe and deliberate between jeans and a dress. Unable to decide, I yell downstairs for advice. The shouted reply is to wear something comfy. Based on the absence of unshaven legs and the presence of pockets, I choose the jeans.

I admired my three gorgeous bridesmaids in their dresses.
We wrestle our children into clean clothing. I muse that it would be easier to place two irate octopi into string bags in a sauna.

I carefully buckled my wedding shoes on my perfectly pedicured feet, then added the earrings my fiancé gave me for my birthday nine days earlier. The antique lace veil my soon-to-be mother-in-law loaned me completed my outfit.
Stepping into my everyday shoes, I ignore the very chipped nail polish on my toes. I add the necklace my husband gave me for my birthday nine days earlier. As an afterthought, I clip a fake flower into my hair. I silently place bets on how long it will stay there, and which son will be responsible for its demise.

We posed gracefully for elegant, effortlessly natural photos that I love to look at and will cherish for a long time.
At a later time I discover that one of my sons has taken a series of unflattering photos of me sprawled on the couch asleep. I briefly worry that I am stifling a nascent creative spirit before I ruthlessly delete the lot.

Everyone told me how beautiful I was.
Alpha gravely informs me I look very pretty.

I walked down the aisle and saw my fiancé smiling.
I walk down the stairs and see my husband smile.

Then.
Now.

I was his bride.
I still am.

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Food is love

It’s an old saying that may well be the cause of weight problems for many people, but tonight for me it takes on a new truth.

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Last night I cooked a meal for a family I have never met to show them they are loved and prayed for. Just before Christmas, one of the families in our community lost their teenage daughter in tragic circumstances. Our church has done what it can to support this family through this awful time by (among other things) providing a month of meals. Tonight is the evening I signed up for. Once I’ve finished my coffee (priorities) I’ll take them some spaghetti bolognaise. It’s not a flash meal – it’s comfort food. I hope it brings them some comfort and respite.

I took this photo while out getting groceries. Yesterday’s Fat Mum Slim photo a day challenge was yellow. I thought these guys looked pretty cool.

Sorry for the slightly heavier post! I’ll try for a lighter one later today.

Looking-glasses