Mental Health, Story Time

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay | Life Update

I’m sometimes the worst blogger ever. I have six complete blogs ready to go or nothing at all. There is no in between. Well today there is. I have some blogs finished but none of them are right to go up now. I have no idea if that makes sense, heck it barely makes sense to me. But most of the times I end up writing the blog the day before or like today, the same day hours before I goes online. It’s something I really want to work on. I must admit balancing my regular blogs, well not even completely regular as I now have a extra blog go up every Wednesday about the renovations, with working around the house has been so difficult. For starters I can’t get ahead at all and that frustrates me.

To be completely honest with you I have no idea what this blog is going to end up becoming. I’m just writing that is coming to mind and just seeing how things go. I just kind of want to talk to you all. Take a step back and just talk.

I’m not okay.

The thing is these last few months, heck this entire year has been just one roller coaster ride of overwhelming emotions. I don’t even know where to start or how to put everything in words.

In the beginning of the year we heard that my dearest grandmother is losing her battle with cancer. She has beat it twice already but this time around there is nothing they can do for her. It hit me hard. I realized that I won’t be able to see her again. I realized that I already saw her for the last time ever and even though she is still going, I’ve already hugged her for the last time. I don’t really know how to deal with death. I’ve never really lost someone through passing. When my childhood cat died my heart broke into tiny little pieces and I still get so emotional thinking about it…but this is my granny we’re talking about. I have so many wonderful memories I will forever cherish with her and I’m so grateful that she was in my life because she made everything shine so much brighter. Boy I’m getting emotional here. I’m just constantly crying if I’m straight with you. I’m overwhelmed. I really am. I’m not okay.

Around the exact same time we heard the news about my granny, I was diagnosed with PCOS. I don’t even know where to start with this one. I’ve talked about it before but I’ve always wanted to be a mom. Heck when I play Sims, I’m all about raising perfectly happy kids. Even thought every women with PCOS is different, some conceive without trying, some conceive immediately after starting hormone treatment, some lose baby after baby, some try for years without ever getting their little miracle baby. It’s a difficult thing to wrap your head around. Yes I don’t know where I am on the spectrum but it still scares me. It will probably always scare me.

And then we entered the renovations which was such a whirlwind. Honestly how can I even put this in words? Wow as a writer I’m really struggling to find words today. I never really try to explain or word my feelings so I’m a bit lost here. Throughout the incredibly draining renovations I was undergoing so many dentist procedures, big ones too. They pulled two teeth and I was in so much pain unable to eat normally for what feels like forever. It’s just been an unending amount of pain and torture in the dentist chair.

Oh did I mention I was hit by a car? Yes that actually happened and it sure as hell didn’t help with things. I’m so close to breaking point that I can cry if some stranger just raises their voice to me. My hormones being all over the show isn’t helping anything either, thanks PCOS. But yeah let me tell you about the little car accident that makes my heart go crazy every time I’m on a bicycle and close to where it happened.

So after a long and tiring day at the house, I wanted to head back to Rotterdam in the afternoon. Normally Onno would come pick me up, do a hour or so of work, before we head home after he finished work. On Thursdays Onno always works later and I really didn’t have it in me to work on the house for another six hours. I just wanted to go home and cuddle with Speculoos. At this point I’ve only bicycled to the station once with the GPS on so I thought I knew the way. I didn’t. So I notice that I have no idea where the station is and my train leaves in 15 minutes. The trains are every 30 minutes here so you really don’t want to miss your train. Anyway I stop and pull into a parking lot so I can open maps and see where I’m supposed to go. As I pull in I notice someone is in their car, their door is open, so I thought to myself let’s really get out of his way. This guy is old and probably won’t look. So I’m further away and I open my phone and start to figure out where the hell I am and where the hell I’m supposed to go to get to the train station and the next minute a bump lurches me forward. By some miracle I don’t fall over and keep myself upright and very slowly I turn around to see what just happened. The second I saw this car basically touching my leg, my entire heart dropped. It took my brain awhile to figure out that a car just hit me. The man paused, we made eye contact, and drove off.

At that moment so many things went through my head. I could’ve died. I’m not hurt. I’m okay. I could’ve died. I’m not even being over dramatic. If he reversed out of his parking with a speed and I fell over there is nothing stopping him from running me over. I mean the old fart is blind enough no to see my big ass meters, I really mean there was a space for two cars behind him to get out of his parking space NO PROBLEM, then he sure as hell wouldn’t have seen me under his wheel. That’s what got to me. My life could’ve ended at that moment. I have so much more I want to do in life. After calling Onno in absolute tears and shaking like a leaf while my heart desperately tried to escape my chest, I got so angry. Incredibly angry. It took me awhile to get myself together but I very slowly bicycled to the station and cried the entire train ride back to the city. I got away with a bump in my bicycle, great reminder by the way, and a few scratches on my leg. I needed a few days to pick myself together again and clung to Onno like a fly to poo.

The first time we went back to the place it happened my heart started to race and I was shaking like crazy when I rode a bicycle the first time after the accident. When I retell the story I mostly just get angry and emotional. I mean the timing of it. At that point I was exhausted, in so much physical pain, so emotional I could cry at every second and just over all scared. And then this old fart scares the life out of me. Oh just had to pause for a second and take a deep breath. Not even a week after that Onno had a little scare with a truck so that sure as hell didn’t help things. 2018 has been ROUGH.

The thing is I’m not okay right now. I have my days where the only thing I want to do is crawl into bed and never leave but I’m getting there. Some days are better than others and that’s okay. It’s okay not to be okay. At first I felt so guilty for feeling so well…depressed when I’m happily married, we just bought our first house together and my husband is my rock. I’m incredibly grateful for my husband and so happy about our new home but I’m not always okay. I repeat; it’s okay not to be okay. I will get there. I know I will.

So yeah, that what’s been going on. This blog was kind of all over the show but it feels good to have it out there. I kind of started to put up a front that I was doing just awesome with the PCOS and handling everything like a champ but I’m not. I don’t want to hide behind a screen and smile when I want to cry. I’m over that stage of my life. I’m sad. I’m happy. I’m exhausted. I’m excited. I’m okay and then I’m not okay. I’m laughing. I’m crying. I’m all over the show and that’s okay. It’s okay not to be okay.

Sorry for this gloomy update. It’s all I had in me to share today. We can’t always share the highs in life yah know.

Thank you for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Mental Health, Story Time

My Worst Bitchy Moment Ever

I will be honest. I paused before publishing this blog. What if people start to see me as a bad person? What if my true intention that I want to achieve with this blog gets lost? What if I didn’t do a good enough job to explain myself properly? This is nerve wrecking but I’m a big girl and I’m not ashamed to confess that I made a mistake. I said some things that was wrong and I didn’t mean any of it. I think what’s important about growing up is not being afraid to admit when you’re wrong and trying your utmost best to make it right. So enough stalling. I’m going to click publish and just hope the message will be received.

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My worst bitchy moment ever, happened a few years ago here in the Netherlands. Onno and I just started dating and we went to Starbucks for a drink. We were in that awkward stage of the year where it’s sometimes hot but you better be prepared for rain. At this point of my life I was a few months in my fitness journey and finally losing weight. I still didn’t have the confidence to show skin or any of that. My warped way of thinking was if I can’t pull it off then someone bigger than me certainly won’t be able to pull it off. You’re allowed to slap my past self. I think about this often. I honestly and truly wish I can take back those words and I can only imagine how much it hurt this girl and if I can ever meet her again I would definitely apologize.

In front of us in the Starbuck line, a bigger girl was wearing a black shirt with a open back. I loudly said that oh wow she’s wearing that? Like I can’t pull that off and I’m so much skinnier then her. Yeah. I said that. Out loud. She could hear me. Imagine the worst bitchy voice you’ve heard in a movie, that was me. She did hear me and talked to her friend next to her in Dutch. I have no idea what she said as back then my Dutch was really rusty. I however didn’t stop there. Oh no. It gets worse. I then pressured Onno to agree with me. The poor guy was so awkward and didn’t know how to tell me to shut the hell up. It truly was my worst bitchy moment ever.

I felt so horrible about my own body I felt like it was perfectly okay to hate on this girl. A real life troll. The thing is losing weight isn’t going to magically give you body confidence and self love. You’re not magically going to become a better person because you lost a few pounds. I’m not saying I’m a horrible person but that moment…I sure as hell wasn’t my true self.

I’m truly sorry for hurting your feelings. I was a bitch and I didn’t mean a single word I said that day.

The point I want to achieve with this blog is that people change and sometimes people say things without a filter without meaning them. Sometimes you hurt someone even though you never meant to do so. The best thing you can do is apologize. Correct your wrongs and learn from them. Don’t make the same mistake again. Become a better person. Today I pause and consider my words more.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Animals, General Life Tips, Story Time

One Year With Speculoos (Our Cat)

How exciting! One year ago Speculoos became a part of our family and I can honestly say that it was packed full of laughter and so much kisses (Speculoos loves it). I love the little fur ball so much and I can’t imagine life without him. So much has happened over this year, so many funny stories to share so I figured why not share them with you with some pictures of Speculoos. Also I squealed while choosing the pictures for this blog. Also I took so much pictures of Speculoos. I still do. My camera gallery is mostly just him.

 

And yes most of these pictures is going to be from young and little Speculoos because well that’s what I have on my computer. For more recent pictures you really don’t have to go very far. I post about Speculoos on my Instagram way to much but he also has his own Instagram because well he is just that cute.

 

Potty training Speculoos was a slow progress. It took a month but I’m proud to say Speculoos never makes an accident. He didn’t even make one accident in the new house (a very proud cat mom here). In the old apartment in Onno’s office we had the typical eight square storage space from IKEA that we stored my clothes in. Behind it we stored my two suitcases (from my travels from South Africa) where we always kept our out of season clothes. It was open and easy to access. The first potty accident Speculoos had was on the carpet in our living room. For awhile after that it seemed like Speculoos found his litter box. However when I did the laundry I got a nice old handful of poo. Lesson learned. I cleaned it up. He did it again. I got a new laundry basket (one that can close is higher and out of reach).

A week went by with no other accidents. That is till I came home from a first meeting with a Insta friend (My only zombie bait, Zoe *insert wave*) to a very unpleasant surprise. While working in his office, Onno discovered a horrible smell. He followed the smell only to find Speculoos own personal litter box all over our bags. It wasn’t pretty. Everything was covered in pee and poo and well yeah the picture is painted. It was anything but pretty. Wait I said that. Let’s move on. Onno stacked it all in the kitchen area (guess the dining area but we had a open floor plan) and as I was washing things, Speculoos used his litter box, my bag, again. It took me a week to clean everything and even longer to get the smell out of Onno’s office. But that was the worst of it. We blocked the area with a box and Speculoos finally discovered where his litter box really is and actually started to use it. Did I mention the time he peed on the little mat in front of the shower? Yeah that was horrible to step into. Oh wait while I’m talking about his accidents, Speculoos had one just before we moved. He peed on our bedding but I think that’s due to us removing boxes and stress of being left alone for so many hours for so long. The renovations was rough on all of us.

While I’m on the subject, I did punish Speculoos (in the beginning not the accident before the move) every time he went to bathroom in areas we didn’t want him too. This is how my parents trained our animals and there is probably other ways but well this is just how I train my animals. It works. So basically I take the animal to the accident and press his nose into it and give him a hard tap on the bum. Afterwards I take him to the actual place I want him to use as a bathroom. After repeating it a few times it will start to click for them. Also to get rid of the horrible cat pee smell use sea salt. It will also crystallize the pee and make it easier to clean. I said the p word so many times. Oh. Also I said the oh in a very high pitched squeaky voice. Just ask my husband.

 

Okay let’s get back to my cute adorable cat stories. There is so many instances that our silly but stupid cat made me chuckle like crazy. Speculoos being scared of a strawberry or attacking the oranges. Or Speculoos running of with my tissues when I had a cold. Or how Speculoos will stare Onno down and attempt to steal his pizza. It’s actually hilarious. He will lay in the lid and if Onno is distracted his little paw will go up. Or when Speculoos fetched his little ball from down the stairs. Or when Speculoos played in the wrapping paper till he knotted himself in. Or when Speculoos stared at the bird for a full hour with his tail wagging. Our silly little cat has brought us so much joy. I love him so much.

The most vivid stories actually come from most recent. Speculoos has always loved water (he stares at us when we shower) and while I was in the kitchen I had the bath running (it takes about 15 minutes to full) and I hear a little splash and turn around to see Speculoos run out of the bathroom. It didn’t take much to guess what happened. Speculoos went for a bath and regretted it. Afterward he gave me the stink eye from the bathroom floor while licking himself as we bathed. The silly little thing. I really love him so much. Wait I’ve said that before but writing all of these stories just makes me feel all warm and fluffy and so many other stories are coming up in my head but enough of that. Here is more adorable pictures of my silly little orange cat.

 

Honestly I screamed at that last picture. Also the middle one. Here are both of them again because come on! That is painfully adorable!

 

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS. I will be sharing a few more blogs about Speculoos (the move, how we introduced him to the outside world and maybe his first night with us ever?) soon.

PSS. Here is Speculoos Instagram profile — http://www.instagram.com/speculoos_the_cat/

 

#dutch, Dutch, Story Time

One Year Immigrant Anniversary

Oh boy I’m writing my first blog after two months of incredibly hard work. I have so much I want to share and not all of it is related to the house for those who couldn’t care less about the renovations, fret not I have other content heading your way. We just need to build our office desk so I can just sit and pump out work left and right. That came out wrong. Did it? Am I just over sensitive because I have to relearn how I write blogs? But anyway you’ve seen the title so you know what this blog is about but let me do the introduction and build myself up to it. Seriously how did I write blogs before?

The second of June has been a special day to me these last few years. The man of my dreams, my husband, birthday is on that day. So back in May 2017, we received my VISA. After getting the acceptance letter we had to wait two weeks as my approval didn’t show up in the system and we couldn’t get the stamp in my passport before it finally showed up. My big goal was to arrive before Onno’s birthday as the perfect birthday present because let’s face it his future wife being there for his birthday without ever having to leave again is a pretty good present. Things managed to work out and I landed on his birthday last year. So it’s safe to say that on Saturday we had a lot to celebrate. Added to the list of things to celebrate we had our first week in the house which still feels unreal. I worked incredibly hard this last week to unpack almost everything so the house could feel more like the home by Saturday.

We woke up bright and early to Speculoos running into the bedroom and jumping on the bed with his packet of treats. Treats he jumped up on the bookcase to get to. Treats that if he eats to much of he gets the runs. Hence why I put it in high places I thought he wouldn’t be able to reach. After Onno chased Speculoos down the stairs to get his treats, while he was downstairs he made me cup of tea because he is just that great. I do need to add I sang happy birthday to him six times. I’m incredibly tone deaf so it borderlines on torture. While we had our breakfast in bed my dad called and sang happy birthday in the same tone deaf brilliance that I inherited from him.  After the phone call Onno and I went downstairs to bake the milktart (a South African delight that Onno loves) before attempting to work on some small things around the house. After about an hour a nap was in order to restore the balance in the universe. A few hours later we resurfaced to get back to work. I once again sang to Onno till he left the bedroom to escape my brilliance. We very slowly got to work on the small things left to do in the house, mainly putting up a storage space on top of the washing machine and putting up the last bit of handles in the kitchen (a hole needed to be drilled in before we could put the handles on). While I started preparing the pork roast Onno finished the mini bookcase in the office. We stopped there for the day well it’s his birthday we can’t work the entire day. It was a nice day. We got some work done around the house, we relaxed and watched our favorite series together on the couch like the good old times and then enjoyed an incredibly delicious pork roast meal followed by dessert. We ended our night with a bubble bath, boy oh boy our bath in the new house is magical.

Honestly it still blows my mind that I’m living in the Netherlands now permanently. I’ve never been here for one year straight without going back to South Africa. Onno and I never had one uninterrupted year together. This last year was a crazy whirlwind of emotions, 2018 being the roughest emotional roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on, but I’m so incredibly happy to be with him. I’ve said incredibly a lot in this blog post. No idea where that is coming from. But anyway back to the blog; a year ago I never would’ve imagined where we are today and I’m just so excited to see what the next year will bring us. I have no idea where I’m going with this. I’m mainly just so happy, overwhelmed, emotionally unstable, tired, blessed and so much more.

A quick little side note before I end the blog (I really need to get back to work. We’re building our office desk today.) I failed the speaking part of my Dutch as a second language test AGAIN. It’s so incredibly frustrating. This time I failed with 9 points. Come on man throw a girl a bone! Anyway I will attempt another round later this year as well as starting to prepare for my immigration test (I have another two years to do that but who knows how easy that will go down). I’m also going to start the process of getting my driver’s license. Unfortunately my South African drivers license doesn’t mean shit here so I have to redo the entire process (yes I’m still butt hurt about this fact). We really needed me being allowed to drive when we moved and now that we live in a smaller ‘city’ further away from everything, we really need a car. Onno is going to do most of the driving but who knows, I might want to use it every now and again. I haven’t looked into it too much but hopefully I can scratch it of the list this year.

Alright that’s it for the blog. I’m sorry that I’m all over the place. I wish there was more I could say about my one year as an immigrant anniversary (boy that’s an uncomfortable mouthful) but honestly we just ate, slept and worked on the house all day. Nothing special. I’m sorry for being absent so long, I really tried my utmost best to avoid it from happening but the renovations was full of surprises and I just couldn’t keep up with everything. It also didn’t help that throughout these last two months I’ve had some big dentist appointments (read actual torture) but I have three more appointments to go before I’m almost done for the year. And by almost done I mean I have to get two teeth implanted and that’s going to take another few months before the gums are healed enough. Hopefully it will go into next year because honey I’m so drained. So much pain. So tired. Anyway I’m going of track. I will be back to my regular updates moving forward with a lot of exciting things coming up. I will start sharing some house related DIY projects soon, but other than that…I’M BACK!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS. For those who is reading The Girl Writing In The Train, a new chapter will only be up near the end of June or beginning of July. I want to catch up with my blogs before I return to my creative writing. I can’t get into the flow of things when I feel like I’m behind on the blog aspect of my website if that even makes sense. I hope you will understand.

#pcos, Body & Soul, Body Love, Story Time

I Have PCOS

This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I’m ever going to write. It’s something so very close to my heart and talking about it makes me feel vulnerable. This entire experience rocked my entire world and I’ve been an emotional wreck. The timing wasn’t the best either as I just found out my grandmother’s cancer is back and this time around there is just nothing they can do for her. It broke my heart especially when it dawned on me that I won’t ever see her again. I can’t go down to South Africa to say my goodbyes.

So how do I start? I’m trying my utmost best not to cry here but the tears are definitely going to roll pretty soon. This is an emotional subject to write. Somewhere, wait let me get the date and post, 8th of February, I publicly mentioned that I was diagnosed a hormone syndrome that was the culprit behind my weight gain, mood swings and acne. By that point I was sitting on the news for quite awhile. Wrapping my head around it wasn’t completely easy. When I started to learn more about it, well let’s just say I cried a lot. It’s been difficult.

I guess I should just say it. I have PCOS. Yeah. I said it. Some of you might be wondering what the hell is PCOS and why are you making such a big deal out of it? Fret not I have four books (I haven’t finished reading them all) that I cried while reading and they taught me quite a bit about the syndrome.

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that affects an estimated 5 to 10 per cent of women of reproductive age across the world, and results in irregular or absent periods, acne, excess body hair and weight gain. It can also cause problems with fertility.*

PCOS can cause depression and anxiety. There is drugs to help with the symptoms and to improve fertility but there is natural solutions. Drugs comes with side effects and will stop working once I stop taking it. I don’t want to take drugs for the rest of my life so I’m very eager to solve or ‘cure’ my PCOS with my diet. The book I’m following is by Marilyn Glenville. Here is the link to her website and book. (I really wanted to follow my doctors recommendations first before I go off and do my own thing. He decided to put me on drugs but I’m still going to change my diet as Marilyn Glenville recommended in the book, Natural Solutions To PCOS, for the best possible result.)

https://www.marilynglenville.com/

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https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/

I bought the book and three others on Amazon. I really enjoy Marilyn’s book. I watched her lecture and just really fell in love with her approach and overall success rate.

But let’s get back to my feelings. I’m surprised how detached I’m writing this but I can already feel the tears coming as I think of what I want to say next. PCOS scares me because I want children one day. What scared me the most is the infertility that comes with it. I read and seen so many women in support groups that has been struggling for years. YEARS. This one women has been trying for ten years. Not only do you struggle to get pregnant you have a very high risk for miscarriages. That terrifies me so much. I’m scared. I really am. I’ve wanted to be a mom ever since I could remember. I’m entering a stage in my life where becoming a mother is in the future. The diagnoses shook my entire world. So many thoughts raced through my mind and to be honest when I think about it too much I can’t stop crying. It’s just..what if? No let’s stop right there. I can’t put it in words. I just can’t.

PCOS has affected me emotionally, heck that is an understatement, but physically it has wrecked havoc on my body. My hormones are completely out of whack. I gained 15kg almost overnight. My acne is horrid. My mood swings borderline on she’s crazy and my self esteem is shot. I have excess body hair and the sudden weight gain has given me quite a bit of stretch marks. I don’t feel attractive. I’m scared that I’m failing as a women. Not only do I no longer feel attractive there is a possibility that we will really struggle to have our family. It’s heart wrenching. Okay I’m crying again. Can barely see my screen. I’m going to take a break.

My entire body aches. My energy is low. My acne and stretch marks is a daily reminder. I’m tired all the damn time and I’m constantly nauseous. I’m struggling with depression and I’m scared. I have days where I have no appetite and eating makes me want to throw up and then I have days that I just can’t stop eating. PCOS is completely out of my control and it will never go away. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease I kind of took it with stride. It was difficult as it was something so out of control and something that will always be there but…I don’t know. It seemed like well cut out gluten and make some sacrifices but overall it’s still good. PCOS on the other hand…it affected me on every single level and I will have to make a massive lifestyle change. My diet is going to have to change and hopefully that won’t spark up my old eating disorder…I’m scared and this is really hard.

I’m writing this four days before my first big appointment for my PCOS. We made the appointment soon after I was diagnosed but the waiting period was eight weeks. In these last eight weeks I’ve made a few changes but not a lot as I want the test results to be more telling if that make sense. I will explain in a bit. I’ve tried to keep up with my training more but at the same time I read so much about how this and that might not be good for PCOS so really I want more guidance. I’ve cut out almost all caffeine. In these last eight weeks I’ve had four cup of coffee. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea and I’ve cut down almost all refined carbohydrates in my diet. I’m on a very low sugar diet. I check every single label for the sugar content and find the best product for me. But emotionally. I’ve been barely keeping it together. I cry at least four times a week about PCOS. I can’t open the PCOS book without crying my eyes out. I sometimes don’t really feel like doing anything and it’s just been so hard.

On Thursday the 29 of March I’m hopefully going to walk out with some future plans and more information. I’m not sure of the entire process as I yet have to experience this, I will add on to this blog after I’ve been, but I’m hopeful. Or I’m trying to be. My best guess is that they’re going to run some tests, see how my insulin resistance is (diabetes is at risk here) and over all what I should do, eat and etc to control my symptoms and balance out my hormones. Hopefully this will make me lose weight because barely any of my clothes fit me at the moment and fitting in my old clothes will really help my self esteem right about now. (PS, the appointment was a massive success. I walked out feeling hopeful for the future and a little less scared. The doctor gave me a future treatment plan. He ran some tests and in a week I will find out the results and then change my diet and drink the correct supplements from there. For now I’m just going to read all of my PCOS books and learn even more.)

I’m not sure what exactly I want to accomplish with this post. I’m not okay and PCOS is going to be a struggle but I guess I just want to say to my fellow cysters…you’re not alone and together we can support each other through this. And I also want to explain why I’ve been so absent and less like myself…I will definitely talk about what’s happening with my PCOS and what changes I’m going to make and etc. What products or stuff works for me and all that jazz. But for now I’m going to end this blog because honestly my emotions are just too much for me right now. As I’m writing this part still four days before my doctor appointment I’m really scared and overwhelmed so I’m just going to take the week off Instagram and Facebook. I don’t need social media to add to everything right now. It’s also my mental health week for the month so it’s needed.

Edit from future Cassy that already saw the doctor. I’m still scared for the future and I know I’m going to go through a lot of changes because of the PCOS but I’m feeling slightly more positive. It did help that when the gynecologist scanned my ovaries he saw that I ovulated recently. It just made me feel better about becoming a mother in the future…I’m not a complete failure. My body ovulated naturally. While I’m here I should explain something to those who doesn’t know what PCOS is, so basically I don’t ovulate normally. Where a healthy woman ovulates every month a women with PCOS will ovulated maybe 6 times in a year. Some even less. Some don’t even ovulate at all. There is drugs to induce an ovulation if you want to get pregnant. Not all of them work for every woman out there with PCOS and that’s when some woman struggle for years. That’s what scared me so much but walking away with the news that hey you have an egg in the basket just made me feel more hopeful about everything. I know that without those news I would be feeling a lot different right about now.

Edit from future, future Cassy that just got her test results back. Everything is GOOD! I don’t have other problems related to my PCOS. Feeling very happy right now!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Making A House A Home (DIY and more), Story Time

We Bought Our First House

I’m squealing from happiness and giggling from excitement as I’m writing this. Onno and I are buying a house! Pretty soon I can say we bought a house! Well when this blog goes up it would be: WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! It’s so surreal that I’m not even sure where to start or how to put what I’m feeling into words.

I guess let me start at the very and I mean very beginning. Onno and I discussed getting a new place once I’m here for real for a very long time. When I got here we started looking around for a new place to rent. The thought of buying didn’t even occur to us. After going to a few different places we decided that we should wait a bit because well nothing was catching our attention. A few months went by, Onno got his permanent work contract and a few events took place in the city that reminded us why we wanted to move in the first place. Around Christmas we started talking about finding a new place. It was around then when we started talking about possibly buying a place. Once we confirmed that it’s possible, we started the search.

It was quite a busy period. Searching online for hours for a house that could possibly tick all of our boxes, calling the realtors, finding out which houses is sold or when we could make an appointment, traveling to the new place, being disappointed in the place before even entering the house and so much more.

The first few places was disappointing to say the least. We knew walking into the neighborhood that we wouldn’t like the house. We found a few nice places but it wasn’t nice enough. It did teach us what we really wanted. What was important to us and what we would really like. The day we drove out to see the house we ended up buying was quite interesting. We made the appointment two weeks ago and after visiting so many houses and being disappointed at every one we were very tempted to stop and take a break. We were running out of options and it was quite exhausting. We figured well even though at first glance (two houses) we don’t like this town, these houses are in different areas. Let’s give it one more try. We had two houses on the schedule. The first house was modern and all done up. The garden was on the smaller side but it was one of those houses where we would barely have to do any work to make it move in ready. I didn’t really love the idea. The neighborhood wasn’t as nice and it just didn’t feel like the right fit for us. So we went to the second house feeling a little eh about everything. The realtor was stuck in traffic so we had some time to browse the neighborhood and check the house out from outside. I fell in love with the back garden. It was big and the house had so much potential to grow in, which was and well is important to us. Once the realtor arrived I was for once very excited to view the house. The neighborhood was perfect and so far just from the outside I could already tell this house was a top contender.

Two minutes into the house viewing I knew. This is the house. It’s a old house and needs some work but it was just everything we were looking for and then some. I fell in love and hard. It just ticked off all our boxes and well it was our perfect house. Onno and I wanted a house that needed some work. We wanted to be proud of the transformation and really make the house our own. The entire way back home in the car we talked about what we can do with the house and what needs to be done to make it move in ready and etc. By the time we got to Onno’s parents we were sold. After showing the house to them and talking about the house they too were pretty much on board. That night we came up with the agreement. We had to wait the weekend but by Monday the realtor came with a counter offer which we accepted. It was a done deal. I cried. It was going to be our house! Yay!

We made arrangements to have the building inspection done and Onno’s parents came over to view the house on the same day. I finally had a moment to make a video of the entire house for my parents. The inspection went well and we were very pleased with the result. A few weeks later we signed the agreement and then we just had to wait for the mortgage. We got the mortgage on the 7th of March and month before we will get the keys. After that everything went quite smoothly. We got the keys on Friday (you might’ve seen the post on Instagram) and we’re so beyond happy! I’m pinching myself because I just can’t believe it.

It doesn’t feel completely real to us. I mean this is going to be our very first house. It’s going to be ours. We can do anything we want with it. It’s been a very long time since I had the opportunity to choose what color I want to paint a wall or to hang something up. It’s something so small but to me, this is huge. I’m really so happy and grateful that we’re able to buy a house as such a young couple. It’s amazing!

I asked Onno to write a blog about all the technical stuff about buying a house here in the Netherlands. It will probably go up at the end of the month. We also have so many ideas and plans for the house that I just can’t wait to share with you all. I have many DIY projects that I plan to do in the house, all of it I will most definitely share. But before that here is some picture(s) we took on Friday! I can’t contain my happiness right now.

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Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS: You have no idea how hard it was to keep the news to ourselves. I nearly slipped up on my socials so many times. It felt weird to hide something so big but now I can talk about the house all I want. Bless your souls.

Story Time

A Really Detailed Brussels Travel Blog | Part Two

Okay this time around I won’t have a super long introduction mostly because I literally just wrote the last word in part one so I still have the journal close to hand although I’m getting hungry and want to get up and eat breakfast slash lunch soon. I also need to go to the shops but let’s see how far I can get with rewriting this next part before I need a break. THE CRINGE IS PHYSICALLY PAINFUL.

Alright you already know the date and all that jazz so here goes. We’re just going to jump straight into the good stuff. Oh lord give me strength.

Around 9pm we set out for a pasta meal because well cravings. The Italian restaurant where the staff spoke French was beautiful and the meal was, insert some fancy word for delicious, exquisite – yes I googled it. Over our meal and a very tasty red wine we talked about a subject that was an obvious tension bringer, Dana, or what’s her face, decided she wants to get a tattoo and Onno said he will go with her. Okay that sounds innocent and yes I’m being unreasonable (At least I knew!) but hear me out okay! I talked about getting my tattoo dedicated for my dad way before Dana even knew she wanted a tattoo. Onno actually gave me the idea! It’s our thing! Onno is the only person that really knows about my fears about my dad leaving me in that one way that he keeps coming close to. (My dad has had a lot of strokes. Ever since I could remember he had strokes. Some were quite serious and we didn’t think he would bounce back from but be always somehow does. It’s really scary every time. He had a stroke in August in my au pair year so a month before this journal entry so it was still very fresh.) And the thing is that Onno and I have experienced a lot of things before we met each other so there isn’t a lot of things that is a first…ironically it was my first weekend away with my loved one and my first time staying in a hotel and my first time bathing with a guy…(No tickled each other’s toes here. We took a bath together. It was cramped and really uncomfortable. I eventually kicked Onno out and relaxed in the bath on my own.) It was just important to me and still is. Onno is my boyfriend (I just smiled thinking back to Onno as my boyfriend. It was truly such a wonderful time but I must say Onno as my husband is ten times better.) and I want him to be with me when I get my tattoo for my dad. It just makes it so much better that it’s his first time ever being in that environment. I just feel like that moment will be so special and I will probably get emotional.

Alright let’s take a short break to talk about all of that. I feel like it’s needed. Looking back onto that fight now nearly two years later I can’t help but think how silly it is. In a way I can kind of see where my past self was going. She wanted to share this super special moment with her boyfriend with him still new to everything. I get it but why did we fight about something so silly? Why did I make it into such a big deal? Thinking back to it now I feel like I was just self conscious and worried. When Onno and I met he had two girl best friends that was attractive and very well out there. I didn’t want to be beaten by them and I wanted to be ‘the only girl’ in his eyes. It’s a little silly considering that Onno doesn’t even talk to these girls anymore and we’re married now but hey you feel what you feel. Sometimes as a couple some damn fights will come up but it’s important to sit down and talk it all out till you reach the root of the problem. Onno and I did that and where that fight could’ve ruined the entire weekend, we came back from it. That’s the one thing I always enjoyed about Onno and I’s relationship. We always talk it out till we find a place where we’re both happy. We never go to bed angry and we never go a day without saying we love each other. We start our day with a good morning kiss and end our day with a good night kiss. Okay let’s return to the journal entry.

After our dinner we originally planned to go out in the town but after finishing most of the wine I was feeling more than tipsy and it didn’t matter to me where we ended up but I have to admit, just being alone with Onno is always the most flattering idea! (Insert future Cassandra cringing her ass off! Please make it stop!) Onno which was also a bit under the influence

What the hell Cassandra? Under the influence. What? I can’t deal with my past self right now. I need a break. Also Speculoos just dropped onto my journal so I can’t read the next part. And now I also can’t move because my cat chose to cuddle against me.

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Let’s try that again…

Onno which was also a bit under the influence made the choice of how the rest of the evening was going to go and steered us back towards the hotel. There we basically climbed back in bed and talked about everything and nothing at the same time. I remember that night. My memory is a bit foggy but we talked about how tiring it is for the partner in their favorite… (Oh you got to be kidding me. Yeah I can’t write that and put it on the internet.) Let’s just skip forward till when it gets safe for work again. We fell asleep shortly afterwards. The both of us woke up at around the same time the next day, perfectly fine and hungry. We decided that after such a busy last two days and the fact that we did see most of what there is to see already that we could take things slow and relax in bed for the most of the day. So after eating a nice portion of breakfast again we cuddled up in bed and actually watched a cooking show before we tickled each other’s toes. Finally around 3pm we needed some fresh air and off we were. I took the last minute photos, we made another Starbucks stop and I couldn’t let us to leave without getting Belgium chocolate. After getting everything we needed we headed back to the hotel with a plan in mind. First we will check out and get the car and then we will head to the Atomiom where we will relax for a bit before heading home. Not everything went according to plan. On our way to the Atomiom we stopped at the church where we made a quick stop to explore and take some pictures. After our a small detour we were back on the road towards the Atomiom by following the signs. Now if only the signs were clear. It literally took us on such a round and about ride that we passed the actual thing twice and then it send us on the highway. We were so close to giving in but Onno was determined to get us there. When we finally found a spot, we had to pay for the parking ticket and then walk more than 20 minutes to the actual building. Rage!

We finally found the place and after our long walk we relaxed on the grass for a bit and talked. The subject of money came up once again. I honestly feel so guilty about how much money Onno spend on our weekend away and I wasn’t helping with the expenses. Although I did pay him back for most of the things he bought for me, almost 80 Euros in total but it wasn’t close to what he spend. It was our first weekend away so now we know to be more careful with money next time and where we could change a few things.

A little add in from future Cassandra. That trip we went all out with spending and shopping and etc. We were basically throwing money at everything. We definitely could’ve been smarter with our money but we definitely learned from our mistakes. Our second trip together was to Greece nearly a year later. There we were careful and smart. I think in the end it was the same cost. Brussels was a weekend and Greece was 7 days if memory serves me correctly.

 It was around 7pm when we drove out of Brussels. On the road we talked about the financial aspect of next year (Remember I went back to South Africa January 2016. Three months later I flew back for three months on the tourist visa. It was our test to see if we wanted a long term relationship so to basically get me here in the Netherlands.) and we decided that the both of us will work out a budget and see how much money we can afford to spend each month and etc. I was happy we talked about it. (Being open about your finances with your partner is honestly so important. Sometimes sacrifices and changes needs to be made and you can only figure that out by talking about it…) We also talked about Onno coming to South Africa in the August holiday to meet my family. I’m absolutely in love with that idea! (Onno came to South Africa in January 2017. Around my birthday. It was also around this time we had our pre-wedding.)

On the border of Belgium and the Netherlands we stopped for our dinner. McDonalds! And surprisingly I ate more than Onno, three chicken nuggets more but still more. (Past Cassandra why the hell did you feel compel to brag about this? Just why?) There was a lot of laughing involved and the occasional farting and no it’s almost never Onno. (We ate in the car and also I fart a lot. Gasp. A girl farts. Back then I was really sensitive to lactose and after a weekend of cheesy foods, ice cream, milky drinks and chocolate my stomach wasn’t loving me at all.) It’s the ice cream and cheese! (How lovely. I even made excuses for myself in the journal. Hilarious.) I’m the guy in the relationship and I take my job seriously. (Not really but I was a bit rough around the edges. Onno ‘manned’ up over the years.) After one more detour where Onno took a wrong turn on a highway. We arrived at my place around 9pm or in that area. Our first weekend came to an end and it was amazing to spend quality time with Onno without any distractions. We said goodbyes and with one last kiss Onno was off. That’s the worst part, saying goodbye and watching Onno leave.

FINALLY! I somehow survived this blog. There was cringe, tears and just overall pain. I’m so happy that I finished it. But before I end this blog I should actually give some travel tips (or tip) for Brussels.

The thing we used the most was a map from this website — https://visit.brussels/en — If you’re going to Brussels definitely give this website a look. They have everything you might need.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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