As is becoming tradition, I’ve complied another list representing the many years I’ve walked this planet. Last year I wrote 33 thoughts for 33 years and this year I thought I would share some of my best memories with you. It’s a simple way of showing gratitude for my life and thanking those who have walked the journey along side me.

Here are my top 34 memories that stand out:

1. Drive-in adventures with my family. I don’t know what it was that I loved so much. I mean, you can barely see through the blimm’en head rests in front of you (seriously thanks folks!) and you always drove home with a stiff neck. But those were some of my favourite memories growing up as an eighties kid!
2. Baking with my mom as a little girl. I don’t remember very much about my very young childhood but the earliest memories I have are of my mom and I baking in our kitchen in Johannesburg. I can always remember her telling me not to stand to close to the counter because I would burn myself on the pan of crunches or cookies we had made. Loan behold, one day I did and it was just as my chin had reached the height of the countertops. I remember that day very very well!
3. Letting my aunt put pigtails in my hair – this is a very vivid memory for me. I’m not sure what the whole obsession was with my hair but I can remember sitting for long stretches of time while she braided my hair or blow dried it after a bath. I had thick hair so it would take ages! I loved her as much as she loved playing with me like her doll, which is probably why I allowed it.
4. Watching MacGyver during the week after dinner and chores were done. I learnt so much from that show – things that have gotten me out of some pretty tricky situations in my life time. Just the other day I used the paper under the door trick to get Brody out of a locked bathroom.
5. Holidays to KZN – My grandparents lived in Natal and we would travel from Joburg almost every holiday. The holidays always started the night before we got into the car to make the long drive. My brother would tell me “Let’s go to sleep really early so that the morning comes faster”. The trips were made even more memorable thanks to to mandatory wimpy stops for slap chips which we savoured in the car. Eventually my folks bought a holiday house on the coast when we were about 10 and 12 and they were always the best times spent together. From beach missions, to table tennis, to pool and bird watching – I soaked up those days as though my life depended on it.
6. Playing netball matches in Primary school. I was pretty sporty at school and loved a good match against other schools – I can remember one match in particular – we were playing against a school who always won and we were nervous as heck after having put in extra time to train. My dad was escorting us to the game and it just so happened that we won!! My dad ran onto the court afterwards and twirled my friends and I around on the court one by one. Having my dad there, meant the victory cold not have tasted sweeter.
7. Watching Baywatch on a Sunday Afternoon with my brother. We usually had guests for lunch where my mom would make her famous apricot chicken bake (Hello 80s kids!!) and we would run off and eat on our laps while the adults ate downstairs. Sunday evenings, we would come home from church and enjoy proper grilled cheese sandwiches made in the oven. I love the comfort of traditions like that and the way it can make you feel thinking back. It pulls on a certain heartstring that the present knows very little about.
8. Playing at my friend suzy’s house– we would make fudge and meringues and eat pickles off of forks. If we played with the boys (our brothers) we would be in tree houses, gliding down “fuffy” slides or finding reptiles in the garden. Those were the days where we hardly ever turned a TV on – play dates consisted of putting on grand shows, baking, letter writing and laughing so hard our tummies hurt.
9. Discovering Nirvana and falling in love with Kurt Cobain. My friends Dom and Emma were my influences here. I, being the nerdier one out the three of us, followed suit and began covering my space case with Kurt’s face and ensuring it had al least half a dozen ying-yang signs all over it. The day Kurt died we all cried like we had a lost a boyfriend.
10. Buying my first pair of oxblood Doc Martin’s. As it turns out the grunge error was kinda a big one that lasted pretty long! Buying a pair of Docs seemed like the appropriate thing to do. I’d kill to get those like babies back.
11. Going overseas for the first time with my family to visit my aunt and her family in India. I still remember arriving in Mussoorie and running up the stairs to their house to meet my little cousins and meet the new addition to their family. My aunt had, just two days before, give birth to a baby boy. AT HOME!
12. Spending weeks at a time at my Friend Emma’s house when my parents when on long trips. Emma was from a Spanish family and so they had lots of amazing traditions! Sundays we would wake up and have milk coffee and croissants in the smart dining room. (I still dip my croissants in my coffee after watching her dad Thomas do it that way.) Coleen, Emma’s mom cooked things like artichokes (which we dipped in special dressing made by the Food Gods) and a dunk’n dip which involved dipping steak rolls into home made gravy. Afternoons were spent making killer sandwiches with her brother Lorenzo – we would pile the most we could fit onto those sandwiches – cold meats, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mayo, you name it. And we would eat them in one of the many beautiful places on their property. Basically every tradition was around food! We would ride horses, swim and play tennis. As much as I missed my mom, I never wanted those days to end.
13. Moving to Cape Town to start high school was a time met with mixed emotions but it was also a time i loved and felt truly at home. I started surfing, made new friends and a whole new era of my life began. I had one very special friend Sian who helped shaped me in so many ways. She taught me to be feisty and stand up for myself. She taught me how to be passionate about things. She also taught me how to drink tequila and let my hair down. One night when we were about 16, we planned a pretty epic weekend. We lived two houses away from each other in Hout Bay and and made our way down to the harbour where a friend working the bottle store wangled us a bottle of tequila. After picking it up we proceeded to walk home where just before entering her house we buried the bottle in the sand leaving a marker to know where to find it. After her parents left for the weekend, we went back to fetch it. We drank shot of shot of the stuff while dancing to Henry Ate getting ready to go out. Our day were spent  roaming Hout Bay in  pjs arm in arm thinking we were cool – we stole her brothers car for little trips around the bay, we walked on the beach and told each other who we loved and found places that served bottomless coffee. We loved each other fiercely and she was huge part of why I fell in love with Cape Town and found happiness here.
14. Watching FRIENDS episodes on re-run in my teens and early twenties. One of my “party” tricks is being able to recite lines from just about any episode.
15. Meeting Brendon at the infamous Strawberry Lane and knowing he would be in my life in same way or another. A pinnacle point in my life for sure! It was a time I met so many of the friends I still know today!
16. Falling in love with Brendon during the summer of 2003. We still refer to it as sweet November – a month where we literally spent every waking moment together discovering everything there was to know. We talked a lot. And kissed LOT! But more than anything, that was the year I knew I had found my life partner, the man I wanted to have in my life for every second I lived it.
17. The many adventures I experienced with my friend Nats – days spent at ST James, walking to Brass Bell or Hobnobs to hustle at pool and drink Savannahs, tanning by the pool listening to Fleetwood Mac, going out dancing and coming home late falling over the place trying not to laugh – Not to mention the noise we used to make making sandwiches when we got home. The sisterly bond I shared with this girl was like no other. 6 years since we last saw each other face to face, but the memories make me feel like it was yesterday.
18. Brendon asking me to marry him. That’s a story for another day but a the day I said “yes”,  opened my life up to every memory after that.
19. Our Wedding Day. Probably one of the most monumental days in all my life. I was calm and fully present which meant I was able to take it all in and really enjoy it for what it was. That was the day I told the man I love that I would love him for the rest of my life no matter what. And that I have continued to do. Saying those vows in front of our 136 close friends and family was a day i will never forget. Side note: We got married in May ( not the warmest month of the year) On the 12th of May 2007 the sun rose with a pink hue and brought with it a sunny day of 24 degrees. Not a breath of wind, a perfect day. The following Monday, just two nights after our wedding day – the biggest storm to ever hit Cape town ripped through the city bringing down tress and leaving a devastating mess across the whole peninsula.
20. Our honeymoon in Mauritius. Besides the fact that we arrived at the airport a day early for our flights and our bags didn’t arrive on the other side with my contraceptive pill in it (you can read that full story here), it was the most incredible trip. Food, beach, snorkelling, cocktails and a whole lot of passionate love making? Sounds like heaven right? Thats because it was.
21. The many years we spent living in Town – Living at Wembley Square, going out for nights on the town, walks on the promenade, wine at the bar downstairs. We were city slickers for fair part of our married life. I wouldn’t change those years for anything.
22. Our trip to Goa – in 2008 I took Brendon to India for the first time (My fourth!) for my cousins wedding. It was such a beautiful wedding and the rest of the time we spent on the coast in the beautiful state of Goa. We ate seafood, swam in the ocean, travelled by scooter along the coast visiting other beaches, shopped at the markets and ate butter chicken until it was coming out of our ears.
23. Finding out I was pregnant with Noah. I only found out that I was pregnant at 7 weeks and couldn’t believe that this thing i had seen happen to a million women around the world, was happening to me. I couldn’t believe my body was allowing me the miracle of growing human life! And its true what they say, i loved him from the moment I knew there was life inside me.
24. Birthing and meeting Noah for the first time (and seeing him every day after that) Nothing can prepare you for that moment you meet your first born. Nothing can prepare you for the moment you take on a whole new role as someone’s mommy! A day that blew my mind and heart into a million tiny pieces.
25. Noah’s first Birthday. My first year of motherhood was hard! Having endured a pretty traumatic birth and being in out out of hospital for the first 6 months, making it to Noah’s first birthday with my sanity still in tact was a pretty big deal. That was the day I realised I had survived it all and where my health had been completely restored. So many people walked that dark road with me, so many people who carried me through the storm.
26. My 30th birthday party – My 30th birthday felt like my wedding – It was having all my favourite people under one roof. It was a reason to celebrate friendship and having people bear witness to my life once again was so special. A 50’s inspired theme, we drank martinis, smoked cigars and pretended we we young and wild and free! I did however feel all 30 years the next day!
27. Being a bridesmaid and a witness to my special friend Loren on her wedding day 4 years ago. Another friend who has weathered the storms of life with me and been there at every milestone and celebration. Watching her marry the man of her dreams was a tremendously special day for us too. And watching her since become a mom has also been such a joy to see.
28. Birthing Brody and discovering that God designed us to love more deeply that I ever imagined. I worried I would not be able to love another son as much. Brody proved me wrong in all his pink perfection. A day my heart literally doubled in size.
29. Buying our first home. There is something about owning your first little piece of property that makes you not only realise how grown up you are, but remind you of how blessed you we are to own your own land! While it may not be a big grand house with a white picket fence, it’s a home where we are making beautiful memories as a family and it’s ours!!
30. My last two Birthdays – My 32nd I celebrated over Thai with some of the most special humans in the world. My last birthday, I arrived at El Burro to find 12 of my most special friends waiting there for me who shouted “SURPRISE!” as I made a “grand” entrance.
31. Meeting the Foo Fighters with my Rock ’n Roll obsessed husband. After almost 2 decades of following this band, my husband’s dream came true and we actually met the band. Whats that saying? “Your dreams become my dreams?” Yeah whatever, I guess it’s something like that.
32. Travelling to Italy and Holland with my other half. It was our second time in Italy but our very first time in Amsterdam! This is what time away from the kids did for our marriage.
33. Going away to Chamonix with my sidekick a few months ago. I shared on the blog how I felt like we reconnected after so long of thinking we were ok. You can read that full post here. It was an amazing reminder of all he is to me and how much better we are together!
34. Having a family fun day recently exploring our beautiful city. I think noah is old enough to remember that day for ever and perhaps he will one day be looking back on that memory like I am now about my own childhood.

For everyone who has been apart of my life thus far, I am so very grateful for all that you have brought to my life. Thank you for walking the road with me, I sure do I hope you stick around 🙂

xoxo

Leigh

 

Hi I’m Leigh! Did you enjoy reading this post? I really hope so and would love you to stick around a little longer! Please feel free to browse my blog for other articles or to keep up with all the latest news and to be the first to hear about some great competitions, come and find me me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also email me directly at leeloobaggins@hotmail.com or simply subscribe below and never worry about missing out!
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