January: I'm grateful that Andel and I have employment
This was a good month for us. We celebrated Andel's birthday, and I started my new job as a lecturer at eta. I remember being very nervous, and feeling much like a 6 year old on her first day at big school. I was welcomed with open arms though: me and my preggie belly. And only once did I overhear a student ask "is that lecturer a bit fat, or is she maybe pregnant?".
|A low key celebration, and a home-made birthday cake|
February: I'm grateful that I was not full term during the hot summer!
It was really hot. I remember wondering how Ash was coping with Ethan still in her belly, and a sweltering average of 30 degree heat. Andel was on leave for this entire month. He spent most days cycling around the peninsula (on his then 1 month new bike), or hitting some balls at the driving range. I on the other hand, started my 2nd semester of education studies. It was during this monthly checkup that we found out that our little Peanut was a boy.
|At Ash and Ethan's baby shower|
March: I'm grateful for the those who became parents before us, who help, advise and support us.
After waiting what felt like an eternity, Ethan Izak du Plessis finally arrived. Andel and I got a quick dose of instant parenthood while babysitting Jorja, and frantically took notes as Ashleigh and PJ looked after their newborn. Andel also got a big promotion, and started in his new position at his own club.
|Ethan Izak du Plessis, just one day new|
April: I'm grateful for the luxuries I've been afforded this year.
Andel and I went on our babymoon. We stayed in a luxury tree house in the winelands, and enjoyed a pampering of note. It was my one and only massage of the year - how sad!
|A well deserved pampering, I think|
May: I'm grateful to have finished my studies, and done well in them.
Over the course of this month, I had numerous appointments I kept praying I would make before Peanut arrived. I was blessed to have 2 babyshowers, and finish all my exams with any major incident.
|How cute are these yummy baby-inspired treats?|
June: I'm grateful for our little boy, and all the joy he brings us.
Despite being relieved of my teaching duties, I worked up until the last Friday of the term, and on the following Monday morning our beautiful boy, Zac James Klaasen, exchanged womb for world amidst much excitement and drama. He missed the opportunity to be his dad's father's day gift, but gave us plenty other reasons to celebrate.
|A little after 08h13 on Monday 18th June 2012|
July: I'm grateful for the ways in which God has provided finances, in even the tightest situation - we have never been without.
After some very last minute arrangements and miracles, Annie was on the flight to Las Vegas. Despite some horrendous travel experiences, including being stranded at Heathrow Airport for 2 days, she had a once-in-a-lifetime dance experience, and a really wonderful time.
|Annie: a little jet lagged but still smiling|
August: I'm grateful for family, and the unconditional love that accompanies them.
Zac had his first sleepover when he went on his first annual Hendricks Weekend Away. Despite being ill, he loved having the whole family around, and we enjoyed the break. Zac also became a big cousin when we welcomed Gabriella Ava Klaasen into the world.
|Six week old Gabbi with aunty Shantel|
September: I'm grateful for my life and my salvation.
This month I celebrated my last twenty-something birthday, and tried to savour the last of my maternity leave, and enjoy the spring sunshine. We also dedicated Zac to the Lord, and celebrated his life with our friends and family.
|The dedication cake I made for Zac|
October: I'm grateful for the flexibility at work that allows me to maximise my time with Zac.
This month was bitter sweet as I returned to work full time. I was excited to get back into some kind of human routine, but found myself really sad at having to leave Zac to go back to work. Zac took to daycare like a duck to water, and while I missed him terribly, I had - and still have - the best reunion with him in the afternoon.
|At Hillcrest Berry Farm in Stellenbosch|
November: I'm grateful for my marriage, and for the husband and father that Andel is.
On the 21st Andel and I celebrated 3 years of marriage. In some ways it feels as though we've been married longer; we've been through that much together. I'd like to think though that we're only at the beginning of an adventure that'll only get better. We don't get much alone time these days (I doubt we will have for a good number of years yet), but we did manage a dinner at a local restaurant, and a toast to the future.
|At a function earlier in the year|
December: I'm grateful to have seen another year: to have experienced and learnt all that I have, and to be given the opportunity to see in 2013...
We've just celebrated our first Christmas as a family (see previous post), and I'm currently enjoying 2 weeks' leave with Zac. Even though Andel is working through the season, we've managed to have some good family time in between, and are looking forward to seeing in the new year together.
|Zac's first Christmas|