Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Memories, Dreams, and Reflections 2016

Happy 2017! It's my annual time to reflect on the year and look back and remember all the fun and laughter. 
So here we go! 25 photos that wrap up 2016 for the Plevasides!

1.     Me

There I am. Sitting on top of an old fort on Ibo Island, Mozambique. Flip flops, tank tops, sunglasses, that pretty much sums me up at my happiest!

2.     I Love You

This. little. girl. So much to love about her!

3.     Still Laughing

Piper got a Ukelele for her birthday and she likes to make up her own songs. One of her greatest hits is called "My mothers dead song".  Started out with her mother died and she was sad, but then she found a gold ring that could bring her mother back to life. She went to find the ring and brought her mother back to life and was so happy. Then the ring turned brown and her mother died again. The end. I can only laugh at that, right?!

4.     Winter Wonderland

In February, Piper and I went back to the US for a visit with family. This is February in Wisconsin. This summer loving mama does not think it's a winter wonderland, but Piper had a blast!

5.     Birthday

Piper turned 4 this year. How on earth? We celebrated her birthday with her friends at C'est la Vie, a kids playground and cafe. She had a fantastic time!

6.     Friends

Piper and her best friend Luke, also known sometimes as her brother. They are so cute together. Piper says she and Luke will get married some day and have a baby. Luke says he's going to build a house for him and Piper and his parents and Piper's parents. I am on board with this plan!

7.     I was Inspired

I don't know if inspired is the correct word, more like I was in awe. We went Great White diving in Cape Town when Pete, Jenny, and Kailey were visiting in July. I've always been fascinated by sharks, especially the Great Whites. It was absolutely amazing to be in the water with these magnificent, and HUGE, animals and feel no fear whatsoever (I was in a cage). But it was so obvious that even if they were curious it wasn't because they wanted to hurt us, they were just sharing their space, and it is definitely their space, with us.

8.     Spring Fever

Spring in South Africa is when all the migratory birds start returning. Yay! This is a White-fronted Bee Eater.

9.     Travel

One of the most amazing trips! We went with our friends the Bensons to Mauritius in January. One of the best weeks ever!

10.  Summer Days

Summer time in South Africa is for hanging out in the yard playing in the pool with friends!

11.  A Day in my Life

This isn't quite a normal day in my life, but one that I am proud of. I started working nearly full time again this year for the Wits University Reproductive Health and HIV Institute managing an HIV prevention program. This particular day we were launching HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in clinics that provide services to sex workers. 

12.  All Smiles

In July, Piper's cousin Kailey came to visit us in South Africa. For nearly two weeks there were nothing but smiles with these two girls!

13.  Autumn Harvest

Autumn in South Africa is a bit different than home, not too many falling leaves or fall colors. Autumn is also early in the year down here in the southern hemisphere. This is Piper in front of Blyde River Canyon where we went camping over Easter.

14.  Family

“The family, that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.” - Dodie Smith

15.  Celebrate

Paul and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary this year. We went to Ibo Island in Northern Mozambique for some diving, birding, and exploring. It was fantastic!

16.  Let’s Do It Again

I can't wait to take another weekend break in Durban. Sand, sea, sun, and biking on the promenade!

17.  I Miss You

Look at this face. This is my nephew Owen. We miss his smiles and can't wait to see him in South Africa in March!

18.  Beautiful
Remember that tiny baby with chubby cheeks and a little mohawk? Look at this beautiful little lady now. You are growing up too fast Piper, too fast.

19.  Dress Up

Piper picked our theme for Halloween this year when she said she wanted to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. So of course daddy had to be the Prince, and I got to be the Belle from early on in the movie (before she meets the Beast), although Piper just considered me to be Belle's mama.

20.  Macro

I don't really take any macro photos, so this is as close as I can get. An up close picture of a soft coral while diving in the Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique.

21.  Holidays

Another successful and fun holiday season in South Africa. Santa managed to find us again this year and went over the top with presents for Piper. I think I have this identical picture from last year of me reading Piper a book on Christmas morning in front of the tree! Traditions!

22.  My Favorite

When we were in Mauritius I hired a photographer to take our family pictures. Yay, I'm finally in some pictures! I absolutely LOVE this one of us.

23.  Don’t Ever Change

I already said it, but girl you are growing up too damn fast for your mama. You have so much personality, when you set your mind to something there is nothing that can stop you! No matter how many times I put you in time out for defying your mama, never stop believing in yourself, and never stop fighting for what you want.

24.  Just Because

This day back in April when we took Piper to Acrobranch for a ropes course, we were so impressed by her. No fear, no hesitation, she just went for it. That is my girl!

25.  Hopes and Dreams

This is my family! We have our ups and downs (mostly ups, I like to think), but we are whole and we are taking on this world (literally!) together. We've spent the last four years in South Africa and it has been amazing. 2017 will bring lots of changes - new country, new home, new jobs, new schools, new friends... My hopes for the year are that we keep our smiles on our faces and remember how lucky we are to have our lives and each other.

This is my sixth year doing these annual posts, I originally got all the prompts from a fellow photoblogger, Ashley Sisk. I'm not sure if she is still doing hers but I wanted to give her credit for the idea. Thanks! 

1 comment:

Marie said...

Love this so much! And your family is super wonderful and lovely and absolutely adorable! Especially Piper! Sending you all lots of hugs.