It’s been two months since we got married, that is the reason for the decline in our posts of late and we are truly sorry for the appalling delay. Between the holidays and the wedding we haven’t had much time for anything else.
"I have found the one whom my soul loves" - Song of Solomon 3:4
They say that three of the most stressful processes in life are 1: Moving, 2: Getting married, and 3: Changing jobs. Well, this past year we decided to do all three at the same time. To be perfectly honest, neither of us found the getting married part very stressful, and the wedding itself went beautifully which was all to the credit of our families. This was particularly amazing considering the fact that our families only met three days before the big day... We are basically the same person with the same type of background and upbringing, the same beliefs, passions and it was so wonderful to see our two families join the way that they did.
However, like all weddings, the guest list was definitely a tricky point. Chris and I found ourselves questioning the reason for having a large wedding. Was it to impress people, or was it to celebrate a special day with those we love? As soon as we asked ourselves this question we realized that we already knew the answer and our list was kept to 58 people. Small and intimate and we wouldn't have liked it any other way. We knew that we wanted to spend time with each person there and that we actually wanted to enjoy a meal with them and not be pressured with unnecessary obligations and expectations that we put upon ourselves.
It was a complete family affair and everyone was absolutely incredible. Parents and siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins, as well as our friends, each of whom we can never thank enough, you are all amazing. We love you all endlessly and are forever grateful for your love and support and we are privileged to walk this road with all of you.
Christmas Eve arrived in short order, and we went from preparing a wedding to preparing for Christmas three days later. The Christmas season has never been a white Christmas in terms of snow, but rather a white Christmas in the way of beach sand, and to be honest, that is how we like it. Christmas day is a beach day for us and sometimes we are fortunate enough to have waves thrown in. What followed was table tennis tournaments, one bounce games, traditional Christmas Cricket and a mixture of left overs and braais. It is truly spectacular and involves everyone and everything we love most. More importantly, however, it brings our focus to the Guest of honour, the One who's birthday it is. We so often get side tracked with celebrations, family, friends, and gifts, that we overlook the real reason for the celebrations in the first place. Though we don't go to a formal church we have our own gathering at home, and we are honoured to be joined by Him. "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." - Matthew 18:20. We are reminded of what a privilege it is to be able to worship our Lord Jesus freely and what a blessing it is to be loved so passionately and so perfectly. I have found that to be such a comforting way to bring in the New Year. To end off the past year with love and gratitude for all that has happened, both good and bad, and to bring in the new year with thanks and joy, with hope, trust, and faith that He works all things to the good of those that love Him.
New Years Eve of 2017 saw us flying out to Seychelles once again. The first flight went by quickly and our following flight was a relaxing experience, apart from the chilli incident. I ordered the pasta and I thought the lovely green strip on top was a pepper (no the hot kind of pepper) so I popped the whole thing in expecting the usual sweetness. This was sorely missed and my lips started tingly and the beads of sweat started to form on my forehead. The air steward passed us with fantastic timing and I asked for some milk. This took a while to get to us so in the mean time I drank a liter of water in under a minute. This didn't do much for the fire that currently raged in my mouth. By the time I got back to my seat the milk had arrived and I tried to make it last and not down it too quickly. After about 20 minutes the hell fire stopped and the night carried on without a hitch. We arrived at the airport, found a taxi with a lovely driver named Rhon, and loaded our bags and boards into it. It was a 45 minute drive to where we were staying and the rain held off for most of it. In the dark I couldn't see all that much except the dense darkness of the deep green jungle that I knew surrounded me. I hadn't been here since May and the green and the rain are a welcome change. About an hour after we arrived, the sky finally broke and the sheets of rain made themselves known to us as they hit the metal roof. We brought in the New Year in a simple way, dancing under the stars (we could only see a few through the clouds) in the rain, in our underwear with G&Ts, courtesy of our friends back home.
The Seychelles has treated us well, as she has time and again and, between the thunderstorms, we have been blessed with a renewed appreciation for the warm water and perfect waves. Among other things we have done some really beautiful hikes and discovered the wonders of the cinnamon tree. Chris decided to try his hand at ice tea and, using vanilla tea, he has added freshly shaved cinnamon that we have found on our hikes. It’s absolutes gorgeous and smells heavenly!
We have also indulged in our new favourite snack, courtesy of Seychelles as well, Bread Fruit chips. As far as addictions go this one is pretty healthy and completely local and natural as you find Bread Fruit trees next to nearly every road. The massive trees produce incredible amounts of the fruit, and the mangos, papaya and cinnamon trees in amongst these just make it a paradise of fresh and tasty goodness.
Our first few days here were consumed with the beach. Not many waves, but plenty of sun and great reading. We built our own gazebo from palm leaves, tree branches and vines which worked really well, though our location planning could have been a bit better as our creation didn't exactly keep the sun out, as it was 9am and the sun was still below the roof, which was its original purpose...on the bright side (excuse the pun) it looked great!
Since then we have been blessed with barrels of both the left and the right variety. Having never really surfed a barreling wave before, this was a bit of an adjustment. Chris's help is a constant as we navigate these pieces of moving perfection together and I am slowly getting used to dredging take-offs in 1-2 feet of water and then getting dinged into the reef. I have sizable bruises to prove it. Chris is somewhat used to suppressing fear and hesitation and it is slowly starting to rub off as I watch him get shacked in the perfect green room with a grin spread across his face. I feel like a kid as the thoughts "I want one too" and "I want to do that" run through my brain. The excitement is starting to outweigh the hesitation.
In the past two months we have started to get into a bit of a routine with new years resolutions thrown swiftly out the window as usual. Not sure about anyone else but mine usually get thrown out in the first few weeks. So many things seem to distract from the purpose you had in mind at the start of the year. However, I have found that aligning your resolutions with things that you gravitate towards naturally, seems to be the way to go. I have found that in the past few weeks, instead of biting off more than I can chew, I rather think of goals I want to set in the areas of things that I already do and how to improve on those. So, speaking of such things, here are my 5, new, New Years resolutions.
(Wedding photos by Callum Tilbury)