me Life and Times of the Fireflies: August 2014

Thursday, 28 August 2014

My Truths - Taming the Ego

The world seriously seems to have gone crazy! Wars are raging. Children are dying. People are killing people. I'm right. You're wrong. Off with their heads!! Rockets are flying. Words are flinging and hatred is clinging. Compassion is dying....have we all completely lost the plot??

We are all so ready to take action, to pick up our swords and fight. To make a stand and validate our plight through voicing our opinions in any way or form, but action will amount to nothing if we haven't paused to tame our minds. An untamed mind and an unchained ego only leads to more trouble I'm afraid.

At the core of all of us lies a seed, a force...In some of us, it is wild and raging, untamed and boisterous...and in some, it is a sliver of a shadow, but still present; whether it rears its head as anger and hatred, or whether it seems lost in the shadow, desperately seeking acceptance and approval; we all struggle to control our inner demons, our sense of self, our 'I', our Ego. The parts of us that reacts with the outside world...

Sometimes, facing adversity helps us to identify and unravel the effects of a troublesome ego. Had we not suffered and struggled at some point, we would never have reached the Now we are at. We would not have been able to chain those feelings at all.

Sometimes it takes a lifetime of practice to master the art of restraint...of refraining from succumbing to the impulse of emotion that reacts to hurt, betrayal, anger, sorrow. But every once in a while the Ego rattles the bars of the cage, Trying to break free. Our mission is to keep it contained.

Perhaps I'm too much of a thinker. Perhaps I'm too cautious...But I am always mindful of the effects my actions has on the outcome...The bigger picture. The ending. From my spot on the tiny hill of solitude, all I see is raging egos in a world gone mad!!

We are living in very volatile times, where horrific crimes trigger off our inherent human emotion. To indulge that emotion, only fuels the fire instead of dousing it. To overlook it entirely is a disservice to our cause. We need to dig a bit deeper. We need to find a middle ground. We need to find the hidden message in our plight!

Our greatest battle will always be with ourselves. How we overcome adversity is largely dependant on our ability to hold onto our inner stillness. When we are fighting for a cause, we must always make sure that it is just us, the individual, without the help of our ego, because no battle was ever won on the strength of the ego...but rather in our ability to contain it...


 
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Count On Me


Sometimes, while growing up, we think about the things we do not have, the unfulfilled dreams, the missing pieces of our puzzle; that sometimes we overlook the pieces of fabric that has created our unique little tent...our guard against the elements of the world.

It is true, the bond of cousins is something very unique...created through a common stream of blood...strengthened by endless hours of cheerful interaction, all piled up on a sofa, or a bed, or squeezed into a car; cousins share a family, share memories and secrets, share a life and a bond that is alike no other!!

But sometimes our stories, the fabric of our lives, are so intricately woven together, that the beginning of one thread and the ending of another is impossible to tell apart. Sometimes our stories are so closely stitched and over-locked, that the very seams of that bond is impossible to separate. Sometimes...a cousin transcends the bond of a cousin and becomes a brother...
 
Looking back at all the memories, the captured moments that are just fragmented pieces of the bond you share, that stretches way back to before the advent of digital photography...you kids have very rarely been separated or apart. From birth to pre-school, morning school trips and packing school lunches, to afternoon pick ups and weekend movies, Sunday cycles and Summer holidays....to days of complete and utter boredom, random jokes and teasing each other into a frenzy! You guys speak a language of your own.
 
Watching your bond blossom, being part of the journey and seeing you all thrive in this unique and extraordinary relationship has been rewarding to observe. It gives me hope, provides a soothing and comforting solace in a wicked world...that the ties that bind you, that draws you closer to each other will make the perils of the world very difficult to penetrate, as long as you stick together and continue to look out for each other as you always do.
 
I hope someday, when you look back on your life, you will remember your tent fondly...made up of different pieces...us...all stitched together tightly and I hope you will see the beauty in it all. Always together. Always united. Always committed to our bond!

 
 
  video
 
Happy Birthday Agu!
 
Forever a part of the fabric of my life...
 
Love Always,
 
JAAN :)

Friday, 22 August 2014

Family Time

When the older of my kids were young, things were harder, but easier...Having two kids a year apart, while still discovering who I was, was an extremely challenging time in my life. But at the same time, things were also easy. Doing things and planning outings and activities for kids the same age was easy. Managing two small kids the same age was NIGHTMARISH...but managing two small kids together seemed easier once they started to do things - EVERYTHING - together. Homework time, library visits, trips to the park, beach, aquarium, swimming...times were tough, but also simple!
 
In some ways, I wish I didn't wait six years to have my third child (gasp!). Sure enough, a lot of things came a whole lot easier. I was more settled and stronger as a person. I had a much better idea of where I was headed and what I was doing. I was a much more confident Mom...and the older kids settled into their older sister and brother roles instantaneously, which made things - dare I say it - Easier!
 
But having an age gap that is slightly larger means that interests differ. That their idea of fun will differ. The movies they may want to watch will differ. Their capabilities and skill - differs. Which in turn makes family outings, not difficult, but a compromise... little one being the one that compromises a little too frequently.
 
As a mom, it is important to me to strike a balance and be fair. All my kids need me and need me differently. The bigger two have an advantage of always being able to do things together. But it is also heart-warming to see that they both very much love to see their little brother happy too. And as much as Zaydaan compromised a lot when he was younger, the bigger two are returning the favour, often sacrificing things they really want to do in favour of doing things they all can be a part of.
 
We finally seem to have found some sort of balance. Dividing the time equally to ensure everyone's needs are fulfilled and engages everyone's interests. One that instils sacrifice, compromise and patience. One that strengthens the value of Family time...It takes a little extra planning, but is certainly not impossible :-)
 
With Cape Town really showing off with some glorious weather and seemingly in full bloom (kinda) lately, we finally made it back onto our bicycles, taking full advantage of our early Spring and fresh morning air! Zee is still not big enough to make the long trek with us, but our new balancing act made sure that he had enough fun of his own!!
 
Here's a few pics of what we got up to over the past two glorious weekends...
 

Cape Town has really been showing off lately.
 
 

My son came prepared with permanent markers!

Caring for him comes naturally to her...

Leaving our mark
 
My son left his twitter handle and a please follow me! hahahahaha Where do they think these things up!?
 
 
Well...this happened. No comment
 
Diet? What diet?YOLO right??
 
 
Besides...we worked it off  anyway!
 
 
The guys went for another cycle while us girls played with Zee

 


 Be back soon little brother.
 


 



 Too many park pics to post...trust me, we did everything!
 
Priceless...


 His smile says it all
 
One of his highlights...the blue train

Bigger kids not too big for a train ride

This park has undergone quite a bit of improvements! Will definitely pop in more often.

 
 
I'm a total fashion disaster...but at least I was winning in the mommy stakes :-)


Absolutely thrilled with this little adventure!

Cheering...and filming along. The perks of technology!

 

<3
 
Have a fabulous weekend everyone and thanks for reading!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Transitional Seasons


Although we are only midway through August and Winter is not quite over just yet, there are tell tale signs everywhere that Spring is well on it's way. The last two weekends we were blessed with  glorious Summer in Winter days here in Cape Town, and the trees in my garden have started sprouting fresh green leaves which make for a beautiful contrast against the grey-brown bark.
 
That doesn't mean we are completely over the dull weather just yet. Last week has proven that the rain will be pestering us on and off for a little while longer. Many of us are tiring of our winter wardrobes and as the sunny days start to frequent us, will be eager to climb into something a little less Wintery...but living in Cape Town means that a day can quickly change from sunny to windy to rainy without much warning. Transitioning seasons with regards to our wardrobe can sometimes prove tricky.

My sister and I recently teamed up with Larry English Photography for a fun, girly photo shoot and I thought I would share some of the images here over the next few weeks! It is always fun and exciting to do little things like this with my siblings. For a little while we get to forget about our mundane day jobs (okay, their jobs...not really mine haha) and have a chance to relax and have fun without the pressures of our grown up responsibilities!  
   
With Spring on it's way and Winter not quite over, I thought this look of Moon's depicted a transitional season outfit perfectly! As sisters, we all have our own personal style and dressing up has always been fun. Even though we often like the same things and shop the exact same item on individual shopping expeditions, the way we wear it makes each of our style unique ( but Moon always seems to style it better). Moon is one person who manages to always look trendy with ease, perhaps it's because she knows exactly how to dress for her shape...and also her flair for accessorising, which I haven't quite mastered the art of.
 
It was really difficult to do a picture selection, so I just included a few of my favourites.Take a look...I really love how they turned out :-)
 


 



 


 
 

 Moon's Look :
 
Jeans : Levi's  - Curve ID Jeans
Top : Forever New
Boots : Woolworths
Scarf : Street Vendor
Necklace & Earrings : Honey Jewellery
Accessories : Various

Thanks for reading today!

Peace,

NAMU :)
http://www.kimbalikes.com/wardrobe-wednesday/
 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Eid-Ul-Fitr 2014


This year for me, the month of Ramadaan has been one of my best I have had in years...With the kids being home during the month and no need for carting them around and sticking to a homework schedule, the atmosphere was more relaxed. More focused on our requirements and sacrifices. More spiritual. Added to that my mini kitchen strike whereby I cut down on extravagance, then I'd say we made a giant leap in progress. Progress I intend to fully build on...
 
But this year, in some ways, has also been the hardest. The raging war in Palestine has been a paralysing factor for my soul and I am struggling to come to terms with all the atrocities that currently consumes the world!
 
As a result, I have found it a bit harder this year to regain my normal routine since the fast has ended. Sure enough the kids are back at school, I've been back at gym, homework rush and cooking extra meals...but my heart and mind have been reluctant to get caught up in the pursuit of worldly affairs. I've been doing all the things I need to, but there's a certain detachment from the world that has enclosed my heart.

So Eid for me wasn't filled with all the usual  vibrance and excitement. We toned things down a lot this year in remembrance and solidarity of all those suffering around the globe. Nevertheless, Eid is still a celebration we need to honour and the kids earned and deserved it for their month of sacrifice! Plus the time spent with my family and extended family made me focus on and appreciate my abundant blessings!

Silly me forgot to clear my memory card of my camera and buy fresh batteries...but I did manage to capture the highlights of the day...mostly of the kids, a few of me, and my husband managed to completely avoid the camera, so none of him! LOL

Off to Mosque

 

So fortunate to be able to share these moments with our parents still...


A wonderful tradition of attending mosque with the head of the family.

My brother and his boys...so far yet very much a part of our day (and his wife of course)...thanks to Skype!

My handsome photographer off duty for the day.
 
 Sibling love...
 

Besties...cousins and friends forever

Mom and sons...
 

Always together...from now until forever!

 
 
Mother and son...looking more like sister and brother!
 
Beautiful Moon

Favourite son-in-law?

Precious moments

 
 
Love this vintage flower arrangement
 
Matchy matchy!

 

 


 

Mom and her favourite...yes that's me ;-)

 A bond that is priceless and timeless
 
Family is Forever
 
Thanks for reading.
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)