Maybe I’ve been dubbed “The Hat Lady” behind closed doors. To tell you the truth, I don’t even wear hats. Except, I suppose, the figurative ones we all talk about.

Hats aside, here’s a little bit about The Face Behind The Hats…

 

I am a P.K.

Don’t know what that is? Neither did I until I became friends with an M.K. I’m a pastor’s kid. (An M.K. is a missionary kid, in case you were wondering…) I have known nothing but one home and one church all my life. I think of the church as the other half of my childhood home and I know no different from having my dad as the minister. It had its perks – we got a lot of Christmas presents!! It was fabulous! It also had its downsides. From time to time, family time was interuppted because my dad needed to be with a family who had just lost a loved one or someone was suicidal. Often the lounge door was closed because of a counseling session going on. Sometimes, we would be woken to the phone ringing to say that my parents needed to go to be with a family because someone had passed away. And, people expected my sister and I to be perfect. (In later years, we realised that some expected that of my parents too.) It was hard to be put on the sinless pedestal sometimes. Some people say pastor’s kids go one of two ways – either they stick by what they were taught or they are they completely rebel against the system. I’d like to say that rebellion is not part of my nature…

 

I am a teacher

Being in charge (I’m a self-confessed “bossy boots”) and being surrounded by children are my specialties. And, naturally, teaching affords one both. I wanted to teach so that even when I stopped staying at home with our children, I was still with them during the holidays. For this reason, there was a big draw card to this profession from my teen years. I pursued my teaching career in foundation phase without hesitation straight after high school, not giving a second thought to the other fleeting career paths that had crossed my mind over the years. Being a teacher, however, is more than just taking charge and playing with a chatter of children. I wasn’t as much of a natural as I had puffed myself up to be. But, that said, I enjoyed the kids, the stimulation (although sometimes 24 voices all jabbering away and 4 of them conducting a cacophony around me was a bit much) and the interactions. But my patience was tested on every level – I’m by no means patient with anyone, especially badly behaved children and parents! My skills were stretched – turns out I had less skill than I thought (admin is not a strong point). It also wasn’t quite as “old-hat” as I believed it would be.

All that said, I’d do it all again. I get to play all day…c’mon…

(See more about my teaching experiences –  Hugs, Wee and Urinals.)

 

I am a Wife

My husband and I are childhood sweethearts. Well, at least he’s mine. We have been dating since I was just shy of fifteen. We met somewhere between school and youth group. He used to cycle to meet me at the gate each morning before school and give me a kiss. Then he was allowed to see me over 7de Laan (a local soapie) each day for half an hour. On the weekends, we spent every moment together that we could. We waited for each other for seven years (see my post on Good, Clean Sex). We got married a few weeks after I turned 22. It was a long, long wait. We were blessed to have first experiences throughout our lives with each other that many other couples seldom share. We watched each other grow up. We wrestled through many issues before rings were exchanged like my husband’s previous porn addiction. We’ve loved, fought, cried, laughed and dreamed our way through fourteen years. We’ve traveled together and built a house together. We are both stubborn and strong-willed. We are both chatty and wear our hearts on our sleeves. We probably would fail a compatibility test but our relationship works – most of the time. Although I am a wife, I am a pretty bad wife. I am pretty darn selfish! I criticise more than I praise. And “wifing” is probably the one thing I am the worst at. (I might give you all a good impression. I might be good at that!)

 

I am a Stay-At-Home Mom

I have always loved little ones – real and pretend. My dolls were my children. Although they were made of plastic and plush, I secretly believed they were semi-alive much longer than age appropriate. They slept in my room, had disposable nappies, donned real newborn clothes and were peppered with Johnson and Johnson powder.  I was drawn to babies at church. A mother with a baby had scarcely swung her legs out the car when I arrived at her side to play ‘mommy’. I thrived on babysitting and bathing babies for fun. One of my favourite books was about two children who secretly cared for a real baby they found in the woods one day. I longed for my mom to have another baby into my high school years. The church environment pandered to my adoration of children. I taught Sunday school. I led youth group. I directed Christmas concerts. I babysat. And I loved every minute of it!

 

My biggest dream was to be a wife and stay-at-home mom. Being at home with my children was a non-negotiable. And, come what may, I would do what I could to make the dream a reality. If nothing else, I would be at my children’s sports matches because I could leave work earlier than three if I worked hard. I could take holidays with my children and be with them when they were at home.

And, praise God, I’ve been able to be with my girls full-time since the day the eldest was born.

 

It’s darn hard work! Its demands rival most jobs and every level of my intellect and human ability is challenged every second of every day! It’s quite different to how I had dreamed it to be in my romantic mind. Being around my children all day means I see the good, the bad and the ugly. And so do they! We never have a break from each other and we often fight. But I wouldn’t give it up for anything! I know I’ve made the right decision. It has been a real financial sacrifice. No, we couldn’t and still cannot “afford” it. We’ve had to make some drastic financial decisions. It means a lot of sacrifice. But it also means a lot for my girls to have me with them. Sometimes I have wondered if they would be better off at a playgroup playing instead of trailing behind mom hanging up the washing and cleaning the house. But then little things, like my daughter helping me wash the dishes or seeing a milestone met in real life and not on a Whatsapp video, makes me realise that my children are learning and still feel loved even though they may not be enrolled in every extra-mural activity or playing with other little people every single day. The refining process I’m going through is also making me a better and more godly person (I hope!) So, win-win.

 

I am a Blogger

I have always wanted to write. It was a dream to author books as my full time profession. A bottom drawer in my house contains manuscripts of The Mystery of the Sunken Tugboat, Titanic and World’s Apart among other creative writings. I still have dreams of completing the stories I’ve dreamt up that are tucked away in the storehouses of my mind.

So when I started this blog, I couldn’t believe my fantasy was becoming my reality. I never thought I would ever have my jumble of words scattered across online pages. I never dared to dream that other people would actually read my writing. But here I am, after winning an award, with you lovely regular readers! You guys are legends!

 

I am also…

Not an avid reader…although I’d like to be. So, I love to write but seldom read anyone else’s writing. I love the idea of reading. I love stories. I just don’t read. Not books, not emails, not articles (I just open 90 tabs – no joke – of articles I aspire to read). I’m that sad person missing out on a lot of good stuff.

 

An epileptic. I was a late bloomer. My epilepsy kicked in on a car journey when I was eleven. I have been on medication ever since.

 

A lover of all things chocolate. I can forego many things but not chocolate. Except chocolate muffins.

 

A singer. In my dreams.

 

A collector of DVDs. I don’t collect shoes. I’d rather have a good romcom.

 

A summer person. Cold, dreary weather and I do not get along. Give me sweaty heat any day!

 

Not a dog person. I thought I liked dogs even though I definitely prefer cats. But then I met badly behaved, sniff your rear-end, snot-nose-your-clothes dogs and decided they’re not for me. Unless they lie at my feet in a humble ball. And don’t jump on the couch. Or on me. Or on anything.

 

Not a toddler person. Funny, I’ve always loved babies. And I love interactions with preschoolers. But I haven’t a clue what to do with other people’s toddlers and don’t have time for tantrums. I love my toddler. In fact, it’s my favourite stage of her life so far! I kind of know how to entertain her. But I am bad with other people’s kids. Not a natural in this age group.

 

A tea person. Each time I used to walk through the kitchen, I’d switch on the kettle out of habit. Now that I restrain myself and have cut down from ten cups a day, it is a treat to sit down and enjoy a cup of normal tea. I plan my tea time carefully!

 

A bargain hunter. Who doesn’t love a good bargain?!? But guys, I LOVE bargains. I shop-jump, scourer the newspaper ads and know my prices. I fight for the one rand I am overcharged. I will sit in traffic for a good bargain. I definitely have promo-fomo!

 

Food fomo. Don’t speak to me if there is food and I don’t yet have a piled plate in my hand. I’m probably not listening to you. I am acutely aware that the food is disappearing without me. I overeat. My varsity friends and colleagues used to laugh at me because I’d attend boring functions if I knew there would be a generous spread. I think the three Bible studies I go to each week make double because they know I’ll scoff half on my own.

 

Free stuff person. Everybody loves free stuff. But I like anything that’s free! People are throwing out the contents of their kitchen cupboards, bedroom cupboards and a random collection of useless items – I’ll be there!

 

Love murder mysteries. But don’t watch them at night. And they mustn’t be too gruesome. Some Sherlock episodes gave me the heebie-jeebies. I had to binge on America’s Got Talent afterwards to cleanse my mind.

 

Addicted to social media. It’s bad. It must stop. Maybe I would read more…

 

A lover of heels. I have always loved “clompy” shoes/old-school Barbie shoes/court shoes…call them what you like. (I put on a pair the other day for the first time in about a year and clattered about like a newborn giraffe.)

 

A Disney fan. I can finish the lyrics. I can name the movies. I love the princesses. I love Jasmine and Belle. Not Anna and Elsa. I want a fancy Disney princess 30th. I’m a Disney girl.

 

A lover of dress up. Always have, always will. I love 50’s dresses, princess dresses, dresses in general (I would wear one every day if I could), dress up parties and dancing.

 

A lover of jazz. I absolutely melt when I hear a smooth jazz voice sing the standards. Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole are in my collection. I love Michael Buble! I love New York, New York (why has Buble not done this one yet?!?) And I wish I had a big band as the soundtrack to my life.

 

Now that we’re better acquainted…

 

Hi. I’m Kate.

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