Friday, January 23, 2009


written on the 22nd of January in the journal of Hannah.

a year ago from yesterday, a little girl named Matilda Rose had a living, breathing daddy.

a day later, he was gone.

today was the first anniversary of Heath Ledger's death. today the nominations for the 81st Annual Academy Awards were announced, with Heath a shoo-in in the Best Supporting Actor category for his amazing role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. today, Sindi and i went over to bff Eleni's house, where we watched Ten Things I Hate About You, ate marshmallows and jelly tots and lit approximately 6 candles in Heath's memory. on our way home, i held the last candle to remain alight - a beautiful rainbow spiralling birthday candle in a candle holder - in my hands and felt the heat that came off of it. on the car radio, Never Gonna Be Alone by Nickelback was playing, and the lines, "you've gotta live every single day like it's the only one/what if tomorrow never comes?" struck me like a slap on the cheek. the candle burnt out right at the end of the song, and i thought it ironic that i'd only ever watched 3 of Heath's movies, and yet there i was, hurting for someone i'd never met.

i blame it partially on Jamie.

at the beginning of this month, i discovered a blog that Jamie the Hero wrote a short while after Heath's death. it is one of the best pieces he's ever written, i think, along with note to self and the TWLOHA story.

when i get to the 7th paragraph, i'm struggling to hold myself together.

i'm always in tears by the time i reach the end of the 8th.
Jamie's pretty good at making me cry.

i cannot begin to imagine the type of pain Heath's family and friends have gone through and are still going through. Jamie's right - the main loss wasn't to the acting industry. the main loss was to a family that must have been tearing apart at the seams from the appalling hurt of it all. your children should not die before you. the main loss was to a little girl, confused, lost and hurt, who won't see her daddy again for the rest of her life. you should not lose someone so dear when you are only 2 years old.

i have been crying since the 8th paragraph, and i am still crying inside.

Friday, January 16, 2009


for reals! it's my birthday today... *eep!* 

the weather is glum, which is a shame. Eshowe has been Rain City for the past few days. in fact, it's rather Forks-esque in all it's grey sky glory. now let me tell ya... i am not a rain fan. in fact, i cringe when i am in rain... i tend to dash through it screaming, "i'm melting! melting!!" in Wicked Witch of the West fashion. but since summer is my favourite season, and summer is also the rainy season, i guess that i will have to deal. still, i was unimpressed that it had to be gloomy on this day of awesomeness... oh well :)

i am excited for 2009, folks. firstly, i am excited that i am now officially a junior... although over here in the Land of South Africa, we just say that we are in Grade 11. no awesome titles until you're in Grade 12.... meh. still though, i'm amped that i'm considered an old kid at my school (FINALLY!) - you'd think that hanging around for the past 3 years entitles me to some cool status.

i am also excited that i am FINALLY 16! woot woot! there's nothing like feeling way older than you really are :) the Curse of the Younger Sibling states that you will either be WAAAAY more immature than everyone else your age, or you will be WAAAAY more mature than everyone else your age. i am testimony to this dumb curse. *heavy sigh* but no more of that! my birthday has arrived! nevermind that it happened to fall on the first day of school... :) i mentioned to Lauren the other day that it would be the best to celebrate your whole birthday MONTH... and that's what i've been doing! it all started with the amazing New Years party my cousins and i had at my aunt Kymmie's house - there, i got my hair partially dyed blue and tattooed my arm with henna - fun stuff! then, a few days later on the 3rd of January, my sister, cousins and a few of my friends threw me a SURPRISE birthday party which was cleverly disguised as a party in honour of The Office. we basically watched mountainous episodes of this legendary show, and during one of the breaks we took between episodes, a magnificent cookies and cream cake appeared and i was crowned the Birthday Queen! aaaaww - thanks, you guys! then, this past weekend, my friend Cathy came spent the weekend with me at my house! we had the best time ever, making red velvet cupcakes that had some pretty hilarious endings, visiting the forest and the beach (even though the weather was horrible), playing Scrabble and eating pizza at The Clay Oven, having soda pops in Ballito for the first time ever and watching movies and hilarious video clips (Rhett&Link and Flight of the Conchords, anyone?). what an amazing birthday present! on Monday, my fabulous friends Eleni and Monique came over and gave me a bag FULL of wonderful presenty goodness.. and today i got showered with love and gifts from my family, friends and random strangers on the corridor at school who seemed to be inspecting my chocolate brownies closely... hmm, i wonder how they vanished so quickly? today has been the best.. plus, for dinner, my mom and sister have made yummy chicken and mashed potatoes, and then i'm off to cell group where we'll chow MORE brownies! YAY, i love birthdays! 

another thing that makes me excited is that i am starting ballroom dancing classes with one of my best friends! yes, i saw you raise your eyebrows at me. and if you know me well, i bet you are shaking your head in horror at the thought of me taking dancing lessons. but i shall view this as an adventure, friends! i will not pay attention to the fact that i'm going to suck! i will not remind myself that i can hardly walk over flat surfaces without tripping, let alone glide along them smoothly! *cringes inwardly* and no, i wasn't being sarcastic when i mentioned this among things i am excited about. i truly am excited about it... which is even more crazy :) don't worry, Shaw... i promise i won't embarrass you. or i won't intentionally, anyway.

i have also decided that i need to write more. and when i say "write more", i mean, "blog more"! isn't that exciting? i can just see you all jumping up and down with pure joy and happiness... or not. *sigh* but srsly... this blog needs to get its GROOVE on! also, i will be getting a laptop soon... meaning i will be free to blog whenever i choose, and not just when the family computer is vacant! i like the sound of that, don't you?

i am off to eat dinner :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

thirty-one things

tomorrow is the 1st of January 2009. for reals? yeah, for reals. it's pretty ridiculous how fast 2008 has gone by... but i'll let you ponder that on your own. i figured that i needed to blog at least once more in 2008, and decided that since today is the 31st of December, i'd blog about 31 things i am grateful for this year.

#1: family
you know those rumours you've been hearing recently? well, they're all true... my family is officially the best. we have our issues, but God couldn't have picked a better family for me. wild? check. good-looking? check. funny? check. full of love? double-check.

here is my almost-whole family on Christmas Day.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. back: Nick and Beth. seated: Todd, Celia, Mom, Kymmie, Mia, Gramma Marge. on the floor: Keaton, Joe, Josh, Andrea, Rachel, Hannah, Zoey, Sindi and Charles.

the whole Flowers gang: Joe, Celia, Josh, Andrea, Keaton and Rachel

this is my fantastic cousin Andrea, and her boyfriend Keaton.

this is my cousin Joe with his mask, whom we named Mr Schneider. Mr Schneider got thrown away by Joe's mom, Celia. rest in pieces, Mr Schneider...

...and this is Joe being normal.

this is Josh, hanging an ornament on the Christmas tree.

this is Rachel, the coolest 11-year-old EVAH.

Nick and Beth: sibling love

...and Nick and Beth with their beautiful mom Mia

Zoey and Chas

Mr Peabody, the resident baby of the family. also known as a basset hound... i love this dog.

the R's - Zoey, Kymmie, Todd and Charlie

the crazy cousins. (someone didn't give me the memo, evidently...)

the McDeezle girls - Sindi, my mom and me

thanks for giving me all these beautiful, wonderful, crazy and just darn amazing people to call my own, God :)

#2: Relient K
well, this is a given. i doubt i could live without these guys... and if i could, it would be a very sad existence indeed. their songs are catchy and compelling, their lyrics - whether thought-provoking or ridiculously funny - resonate within me throughout my everyday life, showing the true talent of these adept musicians. Matty Son, Matty Hoopes, Schneckster, Warner and Ethan Lucky, i thank and salute you for your awesomeness and inspiration.

THE GOLDEN OLDEN DAYS: "those days are gone, but Matty's not; and now he's got brown hair..."

RECENTLY EMO: i wish Matty would smiiiile!

#3: chocolate
i am a chocaholic, plain and simple. i am addicted to the stuff... especially Cadbury's, Lindt and Ghirardelli. that is why i am grateful for chocolate :)
#4: Jesus
wow. in the words of Matt Thiessen, "if only i could find the words to say to let You know how much You've touched my life." (note: that is from the most beautiful and heartwrenching Christmas song ever, I Celebrate The Day. listen to it here.) Jesus. just that name gives purpose to my life. Master, Saviour, Creator, First Love, Superhero, Best Friend. i would not be where i am today if it weren't for a Nazarene carpenter, the Son of God, who came down to Earth as a helpless baby, was mocked by the very people he came to save and bled on a wooden cross for me and for all of us over 2000 years ago. my favourite hymn of all time is called In Christ Alone, and it basically sums up many of the reasons i love Him. if you want to hear it, watch this.

#5: Christmas
there are so many reasons why i love Christmas - the family, the food, the presents and the real reason behind it all. (sidenote: Egg Nog is not included in this warm fuzzy loveness. you will be relieved to know that the Nog and moi are not friends, Lauren... i don't believe it was designed for my delicate palate. in layman's terms, BLEUGH!)
this Christmas was by far one of my favourites.. there is nothing like hanging out with family that you hardly ever get to see on one of the most special days of the year. we spent the night at the Flores family's house, and we were almost all up at midnight, so a Merry Christmas hugging fest - initiated by me, of course - began. at around 2 AM, we decided it might be a good idea to get some rest so that Christmas could actually happen at some stage. i read Isaiah 11 (see #11) and went to bed.
the morning was slow, because we slept so late... erm, early. we hung around the Flores' house, eating cinnamon rolls, watching the Disneyland Parade (where my husband sang... and sounded marvellous ;) )and waiting for my cousin Andrea and her boyfriend Keaton to return from Keaton's family Christmas fest. d'you want to see what Sinderella gave me while we waited? i love this so much... when Andrea and Keaton got back, the Flowers family opened their gifts, and then we headed over to Gramma's. i decided to wear Mr Schneider on my head... good times! when we got there, Gramma was playing her accordion, so The Merry Elves (also known as Joe and Josh) began prancing around in circles. Joe decided to test out the accordion, and wasn't half-bad... i think.
we basically sat around and waited for people to arrive from there on in, munching on hors d'oeuvres (or, as Gramma calls them, horry dorries. no kidding.) and acting like crazies. then we opened gifts - we did a Secret-Santa-type gift exchange, so everyone got one gift -and then... WE ATE! we had two tables - one for kids and one for adults. i was graduated to the adults table, while the 18-year-olds - Joe and Sindi - were relegated to the kids table.... BWAHAHA! there was a ridiculous amount of food, including three different types of meat: turkey, prime rib AND gammon - whaaat??! more than enough to feed 17, if you ask me :)
after that, we lay around ...

before deciding to play Apples To Apples with TEN PEOPLE... what a crazy fest! it was a lot of fun but a bit chaotic, to be quite honest. we ended Christmas peacefully by taking a whole bunch of family photos and then returning to the Flores House, where we watched 3 or 4 episodes of The Office... and slept :)

#6: ice cream and string cheese
yes... i have lumped two foods together. note: i do not like them TOGETHER, but i love them EQUALLY. i have discovered chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and adore it... ...i bet you can tell by the ridiculous grin on my face, huh? plus i have been keeping up a regular diet of string cheese. *slurp!*

#7: to write love on her arms
there are some people in this world who are inspired to make a difference, who attempt to fix what has been broken. the story of Renee Yohe and Jamie Tworkowski, a story of redemption and healing and grace, touched my life in a profound way and made me hope again. the passion Jamie has for what he does is truly inspiring, and his campaign is something i will defend and support for as long as it exists. read the full story here, or watch, see, read Jamie here.

HELLO, HERO: Jamie talking about the campaignthe caption he put on this photo? RED BULL WILL MAKE YOU TALL.

#8: starbucks
yes - Starbucks actually features on my list, even though i am as anti-coffee as they get. d'you know why? okay, i'll tell you. they make THE BEST hot chocolate in existence. plus, i tried their double chocolate chip cream frappachino and it was uh-MAY-zin'! plus, they are invloved with the (PRODUCT)RED campaign, which is, in a word, awesome. i was only disappointed that they didn't have an orange mocha frappachino, since one of my life's ambitions is to imitate Derek Zoolander in every possible way, but i'm okay with that now ;)

you're welcome, Starbucks... you're welcome.

#9: apple
i am in love with Apple. not only did they come up with the coolest invention of all time - the ipod, of course - but their computers rock the party! the only problem is, after you use a Mac, every other computer is the pits. true story. that is how marvellous they are. plus, they have their origin in and are made in California... heck yes!

#10: in-n-out burger
before the 23rd of December, i had never had an in-n-out burger before. omigosh. they are SO INCREDIBLE. in fact, i am pretty sure that they put drugs in their burgers... that's how good they are. just another reason California rocks the party.

#11: Isaiah 11
early on Christmas morning, i sat with my Bible and decided that i didn't want to read Luke the 2nd. mean, i know, but in my defense we'd already heard it at church a couple days before, and i felt like reading something new. during Advent this year, our family has been doing a Jesse Tree, which is basically going through the main stories in the Bible and seeing how the love of God and the beauty of His sacrifice is painted on every page. the concept of the Jesse Tree is based on Isaiah 11, which is a prophecy of the Messiah, so i decided that for a change, i would read Isaiah 11. it is so beautiful and different, and i command you to go read it right now! :)

#12: music
i am a music maniac, and this year i discovered some of the best music around. here are my top CDs of the year, since my chronic indecision prevents me from choosing my top songs.

ranked 1st is The Bird and The Bee Sides by Relient K. not only is it a fantastic deal - 26 songs for $12 - but they extend themselves as musicians a lot farther than they have before, with a mixture of funny, serious, romantic and ridiculous songs, and it's fabulous! :) plus, everyone in the band wrote and sang at least one song. props!

coming in 2nd is RIOT! by Paramore. do you know that i bought this album without hearing any of the songs off of it before? and yet here it is, ranked at #2. there are so many reasons i love Paramore - Hayley's hair, Josh's lip ring, the fact that Zac's name (Zac Farro) rhymes with Jack Sparrow, their youngness... and RIOT! as musicians, these guys are fresh and talented and i can't wait to hear what they have up their sleeves.

3rd place goes to Cities by Anberlin. this album is so incredible. Stephen Christian has the most haunting voice i have ever heard, and it echoes in my head and brings me to tears.

in 4th is The Younger by a South African band formerly called Harris Tweed. this beautifully indie album consistently makes me laugh, cry and sing along.

ranked 5th is Hong Kong Dollar by another local band, Lonehill Estate. i love this band... they are amazing. they are fabulous live, but their album is equally great, and they are officially the coolest!

coming 6th is Southern Weather by The Almost. Aaron Gillespie is such a diverse musician, and this album is crazy-good! the third track on the album, Dirty And Left Out, and his take on Amazing Grace (Amazing Because It Is) are especially affecting, and i simply love him!

in 7th is Come Home by ::harbourlight::not only because i know the guitarist (hey, Topher!) but because it is such a brilliant worship album.

8th place is Collected Memories by South Africa's newest musical wunderkind, Zebra & Giraffe. the whole band comprises of one man, Greg Carlin, and this album of his is incredible.

ranked 9th is Secrets Keep You Sick by The Fold. it's a really fabulous album and deserved its Grammy nomination. plus, the CD insert is so cool - all of the lyrics are printed CLEAR! ridiculous to read, but very cool nevertheless ;)

...and in 10th place is Sleep Through The Static by Jack Johnson. i am such a huge Jack fan. his music is so relaxed and yet so soulful and his lyrics are intriguing. plus, he's from Hawaii... immediate coolness points! :)

#13: restaurants
i love restaurants! we've been out to Macaroni Grill and Chilis with two of Mom's high school/college friends, and i had such a blast! i always manage to fill my hungry stomach on bread and Coke refills while waiting for my main dish, though, so i'm constantly taking home leftovers... hmmmm.

Macaroni Grill was SO COOL. their tables are covered in sheets of white paper, and they leave two crayons on each table, too. i am ADHD... this is what the table looked like when we left.

you can tell where i sat... just look for the Matt quote.
also, i had a yummy pesto chicken pizza... which i couldn't finish. darn.
after eating, Donna (my mom's best friend and Sindi's and my godmother) went to the bathroom to wash her hands. she came back saying, "you have to go to the bathroom! it's the coolest thing ever! they have Italian lessons playing!" so Sindi and i rushed off to the bathroom, and low and behold, they did indeed have Italian lessons playing!! we hung around forever, repeating phrases like, "please can i have another meatball?" and "which way is the grocery store?" :)

#14: funny faces
feeeeeling sleeeeepy....

Joe: "i am a cute fuzzy bunny." Andrea and Hannah: "we are cute little flowers." Joshua: "no comment."

"my horn can pierce the sky..."
fish faces!

#15: the office
this month, i was introduced to the most fabulous show in history... THE OFFICE. if you haven't watched it, you have no idea what you're missing out on.
"Michael Scott, Pam and Jim, you got me glued to my television..." :)

PB 'n'J... the cutest couple in tv-show history!

#16: new friends, old friends, best friends

Lindsey and Andrea - my loves!

The Pumpanuts: Dezzy Pumpkin, Hanny Pancake and Hayley Peanut!

my buddy, Cathy (on the right) with her sister Roanne.

my lovely Rachel and me.

me and Eleni... gooses we are.

my best friend Mpilo, waitressing at the 2008 EHS matric dance... *sigh* i miss you, Lilo lahv.

i have been so blessed with the most amazing friends. i have met so many new people this year and am so grateful to have ALL of them in my life! thank you for liking me, friends!

#17: Italy
God is awesome... He made Italy in the shape of an uber-stylin' boot.

also, they make the most scrumptuous food in the world there, and it looks so beautiful, and the language is the bestest. i can't wait to goooo...

#18: Audrey Hepburn
for reals, this lady had skills. she is my favourite actress of all time, and she had such classic beauty.

for Christmas, my cool uncle Todd, who got ME for Secret Santa, gave me a 5-DVD collection of her movies - Breakfast At Tiffany's, Sabrina, Funny Face, Roman Holiday and Paris When It Sizzles - and i am SO EXCITED!! thank you, uncle Todd :)

#19: talent shows

if it weren't for American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, i probably wouldn't be "married" to David Cook...

or be in love with Mark Kanemura...
...and Twitch Boss. in fact, i probably wouldn't know who they ARE... hence why i am grateful for these funny, wonderful shows! ;)

#20: Spongebob Squarepantshe has the coolest humour on the block, and his best friend is a starfish.... such coolness points. plus, he's my twin brother who was seperated from me at birth. so, he is officially fabulous and i am grateful for his existence.

#21: funny shirts
i heart anything like this. fo' reals. funny t-shirts are the bomb dot com and they basically make up most of my closet.... i wish.
i just know you want to ask it....

no, it don't.

for word nerds like me...

i heart this movie.

yes, Michael... that's what she said.


*silent laughter*

Pam and Jim... *sigh*

and i do love you!

*more silent laughter*

Lament of the Mutilated Bunnies

aaah, Biff... your lack of intelligence is astounding.

"my favourite's gouda!"

i am the haiku queen..

especially for you, Ana Cristina ;)

all of these shirts and more can be seen here.

because we all need a little peas...

i own this shirt. i adore this shirt.

#22: Pinky and The Brain "they're Pinky and The Brain, Pinky and The Brain; one is a genius, the other's insane..." they've got to be the funniest laboratory mice in existence. plus, i'm kind-of a Pinky in real life. *NARF!*

#23: the Sharks
this is my favourite rugby team. they are the coolest; plus, they won the Currie Cup this year, making me the happiest person alive. therefore they rock.
#24: movies
i've watched SO many good movies this year! my favourites have to be....

#25: drama
my second family... i love them.

#26: grace
"you're so brilliant, grace marks your heart..."

- the unwinding cablecar, anberlin.

plus, my ring says GRACE.
plus, my name means GRACE.
plus, i was saved by GRACE.
i love GRACE!

#27: random signs and licence plates

my godmother's car... she loves Lord of the Rings, and i love her and her license plate :)

my Gramma's license plate. this is my favourite word. example: Mom - "Hannah, come do the dishes!" Hannah - "wuh?"

#28: South Africa
my home. it is so beautiful and broken. it is exciting and terrible and cruel and amazing, and i wouldn't trade my country for any other.
#29: penguins
yep... i am grateful for the existence of penguins. they are the coolest. i have my very own penguin... his name is Squishy Darren. he is the King of all penguins. no... srsly.

#30: statues
i have a penchant for posing with statues. they are pretty darn funny, and they make me happy, and that is why i am grateful for statues.

#31: YOU.
yes, that's right... i said you, dear reader! Lauren, Nancy, Ana Cristina, Chell, Sunbum, Tiffany, B.B., Nadia... thank you all so much for taking time out of your busy and wonderful lives to read my insignificant blog. you've all touched my life in some way, big or small, and i am ridiculously grateful for your support and love! i hope you've all had a blessed holiday season and that 2009 will be your best year yet.

much love, and see you next year!