Thursday, 25 February 2021

Another milestone Ameer, turns 21!

 Welcome lovelies, 

As I sit down to honour my second born on his 21st birthday, I am overwhelmed with emotion: for the huge milestone of having another young adult in my home and for the absolutely demanding year and all that we have weathered in our little home. Lockdown hit my second born the hardest, he is the most outgoing and social; he loves his campus life, went to gym on a daily basis and used to spend at least 2 nights a week playing soccer. When we entered level 5 of lockdown, all his activities came to an abrupt halt, and life went into hibernation mode. He's always been a busy young man, evidenced by his early  impatience to become easily mobile, as a result he was already sauntering about way before his 1st birthday.

Throughout his life, he has striven for excellence, mastering every single task he undertook with unwavering focus. Every single challenge was embraced and dealt with ease, ensuring that he navigated his first 21 years with many opportunities to learn and expand his horizons. We have indeed been Divinely gifted with this young man placed upon our path, he has brought enlightenment, immense growth and personal development. He is testimony to the beauty and suitability of The Divine Plan.♥️

Being a parent to another 21 year old young man is a massive responsibility, a sacred duty which I take seriously. Parenting has resulted in an expanding of my own horizons; it has meant being faced with my shortcomings and learning to navigate with this knowledge. I am more aware now of what being a parent is all about; as I look back fondly at the simpler times, where it was all important to complete a collection of Pokemon tokens, or scoring goals in his club soccer match. Parenting young adults is fraught with different trials and new lessons, it distinctly highlights how much you have grown, from when idealistically set out on this journey. While being a young adult means they're stepping into the world of adulthood, my heart still holds them close as my 'babies' and I can vividly remember our bonding moments where they could fit snugly in my lap. My most precious memories being of feeding time, where the world stood still as my body nourished these little humans. This alone was one of the wonderful parenting duties I am most grateful to have been able to perform. Or reading before bedtime... or bath time or the very first day at school. These moments are countless, and keep me warm and fuzzy through those times when I start to feel the inevitable separation. 

Ameer, as you stand on the cusp of adulthood, I take this moment to honour your presence in my (and our) life:

 

My adventurous, fearless and bold young soul, 

You have ensured that our home is lively

With your busy energy and abundant bustle.

The thirst for knowledge driving you to search for answers,

To questions most don't even contemplate.

The wonders of the world has always captured your imagination,

Enthralling you, enveloping you.

Your engaging presence draws many to your side, 

And some of your friendships have lasted longer than your school years.

Fiercely loyal, with a caring nature, 

And a fun-loving character, 

You bring sunshine and cheer to the dark. 

Your name means leader,

A role you adopt with ease,

As you traverse your way on the path of life. 

My prayer for you, is to always be true to yourself,

Be kind and be happy.

May your days be filled, living your purpose, 

May they be filled with moments which makes your soul smile,

And your Heart soar 💗

Above all, 

Celebrate your identity of a proud Muslim young man, 

Creating your own path under Divine Guidance. 

With this in your armoury

You'll conquer those mountains as you ascend the mountains and hills before you.

We love and honour you, 

Always,

Our Ameer 

At 6 months old and already a whopping 10kg

You were a bookworm and enjoyed reading ... 


Pine Lake adventures date back 20 years


Always climbing and clambering

A die-hard Barca fan 


Still living for soccer as a 21 year old!



You observe the world through your own unique lens

And the tallest guy in our home, towering over us all

18 months ago at your older brothers 21st, when gatherings were still allowed

Working on your speech as a tribute to big brother



The 'Ameer Pose'

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo













 



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Friday, 5 February 2021

2021 Lessons, Contemplation & Parenting

 Hi lovelies!! 💖

Welcome to my first post of 2021, I had taken some time to reflect on the learnings of 2020, the growth, lessons learnt, and try as best as possible to chart a course for 2021. Charting my course by no means indicates that I am able to look into a crystal ball and be able to formulate a concrete way forward. Instead, what has become increasingly crucial is the personal care, being present with my loved ones and creating moments filled with joy. At a time like this we access the memory bank and relive joyful moments to restore hope and satisfy the yearning.

January was indeed a turbulent month on many fronts, work has been this way for almost a year and it seems as if January has become the time for my rite of passage into a new parenting phase. Parenting teaches us so much, it humbles and at the same time makes my heart soar; and it also has moments of distress and moments when gentle support is required. As a parent, I am finely tuned into the energies of my kids, I can tell when they are happy or sad, anxious or heartbroken. And yet, I have to be respectful enough to ask if they need support or comfort, and if not, to be comfortable to leave them at that moment. It takes every ounce of self restraint to create the space for them to deal with an issue and know that I'll be ready to step in when they are ready to talk. 

These past two weeks have tested all my relationships, the most notable being the relationship with myself. It is learned a behaviour to be harsh on myself and to set exceptionally high standards. I am my own worst critic and I have to consciously remain mindful to practice kindness on myself first. Among all the roles I fulfil: entrepreneur, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and confidant I lose myself in the giving and nurturing of others. It takes some serious introspection (and time out from all these roles) to realise when I have expended too much energy, whether in the holding of safe spaces for others or when sacrificing my me-time. 

However, during this pandemic, it has become easier to maintain my self care routines, and catch the old patterns from resurfacing. It will always be something to be aware of as I navigate my roles, and it seems that this past year has really intensified all the feels and needs. It required a stepping up and vigilance, which meant that depleting my energy happens so subtly, it is only when I'm weary that the reality hits home. The inability to tell from day to day what may/may not transpire has also added anxiety which has never been there before, the reality that life is not guaranteed to anyone.  The transient nature of life has been starkly highlighted with all the deaths we have suffered, and being unable to visit or attend the funeral causes further heartache. Not being able to say a final farewell makes it all seem so unreal, as if we are living in an alternate universe. The grieving process looks so different, the act of consoling loved ones now an awkward, socially distanced sharing of comforting words and prayers. I have now added attending a virtual funeral via Zoom to the list of firsts experienced during this pandemic. The constant barrage of death notices, prayer requests spurs you to call your loved ones, just to hear their voices if you cannot see them. 

All of this surrounds me and merges with all the roles I play, resulting in the need for continuous self reflection. To understand the impact of all this on my consciousness, to grasp the gravity of the situation and to accept that I cannot change anything except my own reaction and survival mechanisms. Added to this is the parenting of 1 young teenager and 2 young adults who all have their own experiences and challenges as they journey through these uncertain times. I can only model behaviour to ensure that they see conscious healing in practice, that they understand that whatever they may need is within them, just waiting to be activated. It is also important for them to know that it is ok not to have all the answers, or to make mistakes; it emulates our humanness so eloquently. 

The key learning from last year is to embrace my humanness, to accept my flaws and let go of the burden of the want to control each and every outcome; and to understand that this is how my Creator intended for it be. January was the month of integrating these learnings even deeper than before. I have understood and experienced grief in varying forms, and have had to access the strength deep within, to be able to unapologetically stand in my truth and authenticity. My young human charges need me to be kind to myself and show up for myself more than they require anything else; in that I am able to engage the energy to be of service. Awaking each morning with immense gratitude, and being especially kind to my body, taking care of this most magnificent Divine gift.

This lookpost features a dress from iera Designs which I recently wore to the launch of  her hijab studio in Rylands. I have paired it with a belt and a pair of wedge sandals to dress it up a bit. The launch of a studio in these trying times, is indeed a promising sign of eternal hope and highlights the resilient nature of an entrepreneur. It is a spark to ignite a fire which will hopefully warm those souls feeling the constant drum of despair.











Dress by iera Designs
ZARA sandals
Kate Spade handbag
Chanel sunglasses
Poetry scarf
Witchery leather belt

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Thursday, 10 December 2020

Celebrating a Quarter Century

 Welcome back readers!

Today's post is in honour of my 25th Wedding Anniversary... Jeez, when I say it out loud or see it on paper, it seems like a lifetime, or the age of adult (which it is). And yet, in reality I feel as if the years have gone by in a flash. I can remember the emotions of my wedding, what transpired on the day and even the howling gale force South Easter whipping around me. The dreams I had when we started out are still fresh in my mind, ever present as a reminder of where we started out. I love weddings, they are so nostalgic with a heady energy of new beginnings like a heavy fog in the air.

25 YEARS! 😲

It's been 25 years of friendship, being housemates, co-parenting, travel buddies, shopping buddies and, most importantly: holding a safe space for each other. Without this it would have been near impossible to navigate rocky marital waters. Without our safe haven, we may have foundered and found ourselves stranded, in very different parts of our lives. This safe space allows us to be ourselves authentically, to state our truths without reprimand or fear of persecution. We married young, and grew into adults alongside each other, bearing witness to the trials that this comes with; we've each had a front row seat to the harsh rites of passage of becoming the best version of self. And will be working at it constantly... 

There's a saying: ' A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other." - Unknown

I've struck out the 'perfect' as no marriage is perfect, it is just right for those in the partnership. There will always be ups and downs, as a marriage embodies two individuals coming together to share one life. Values may be different, ideals may be different and personalities, for sure, are different. Finding a way of living together, knowing that this is challenge; and acknowledging that as individuals we are all imperfect, is the starting line. Words like communication, honesty, compromise, understanding and honour should be standards on which the union is based and not just words bandied about. For me these standards emanate from the heart; and with empathy and love, sets the tone for a flourishing relationship.

2020 has surely tested every relationship on earth, and we have weathered this time with grace; and the fact that we each know the other pretty well, went a long way in fostering harmonious 24 hour co-habitation. This year has highlighted my blessings more than ever, and my co-pilot and life partner is one Godsend which I am immensely grateful for. I am humbled and thankful that the Almighty has chosen someone so perfect for me, there is no other way to explain his presence in my life other than as a Divine gift. And from that gifted union, I am fortunate to have 3 young men in my charge, Algamdulilah. These are my blessings, my army of angels who have been an anchor and support to me during the trials of this year.

 Ghaalid, my love:

I sit in wonder at the perfectness of Divine Design.

Our union is a special gift, 

One which we're obligated to cherish, nurture and protect.

There have been many crossroads along the way, 

And we may at times have found ourselves moving along different paths.

And yet, our Divinely guided paths, as destined, cross again, 

To learn, to be humbled, to be reminded of the beauty of our partnership. 

All around us a storm may be raging, 

With the occasional gale force knocking us off course.

We may flounder for a bit, 

We may sit in anger for a while, 

We may feel adrift without the co-ordinates of where we want to be. 

However, fated to navigate our way back on course, 

With work, understanding and truth we start charting our journey together.

Three young crew members as our ever present audience, 

These young minds which absorb every relationship ebb and flow with vigour.

They learn by watching, by sensing and navigate through intuition.

I trust this will translate into their own co-ordinates for their future paths. 

I am in wonder of Divine Guidance, 

I am in awe of Divine Providence,

I am in gratitude of this Divine Gift,

I marvel at the Divine miracles around me each and every day.

One of which is this marriage of 25 years

Algamdulilah   ♥️

May we be blessed with many more InshaAllah, Happy Silver Anniversary!!!


PS: This has been a year of very few photos ... Definitely due for a family shoot.












Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo







 


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Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Welcoming 2020 December

Hi readers, 

It is with great disbelief that I welcome December. I feel as if 2020 had been placed on pause somewhere around the beginning of March. I returned from my last trip abroad on 28 February, straight into planning for my next trip in mid-March. However, as I travelled through Mauritius during that last week of February, I watched the international news in horror. At that point, Italy was starting its steep trajectory, an entire hotel in the UK had been locked down and quarantined, and as travelers, we were  subjected to several health checks at the airport. Looking back, it became clear that those incidences were just a precursor to something I could never have imagined possible, a total lockdown for the entire globe. It heralded the start of something straight out of a sci-fi or apocalyptic movie: empty streets, empty airports, grounded planes and isolated, shut off continents and islands. 

People retreated into their homes, some glued to the grim news reports on television; others just trying to make sense of a warped reality. And even while it was happening, I had the slightest belief that we would recover and that within 6  months or so, we would start emerging from this horror. Well here we are, 9 months later and in the midst of a resurgence, praying that we do not fall victim to the second wave which has the majority of the northern hemisphere in a deathlike vice grip. There are moments when a semblance of normalcy rears its head, like a visit with family members or dinner with friends. And swiftly, I am reminded of our current circumstances, as I instinctively feel the need to sanitise, or need to pull the mask back up after eating. I have never before minded crowds, now I try and avoid it like the plague, as I am constantly mindful of being a 'carrier' when engaging when older and more vulnerable members of our community. Prior to the pandemic, I always had sanitising hand wipes in my bag, waterless sanitiser and I would not just touch surfaces as a general rule. I am therefore no stranger to sanitisation, in fact its a norm (for my own protection), however the possibility of contracting the virus and being asymptomatic, and then infecting others, is my biggest fear. 

We are now approaching the end of what can only described as an unspeakable year, and I have never been as happy to see the end of exams as this year. I feel as if this is a major achievement for this year, as schooling has really been one of the most affected areas. Being able to complete the school year and write exams (in whatever shape or form) is an accomplishment indeed. My youngest has missed the social engagements and he has mourned the loss of his soccer training and matches; especially since he suffered a bone break at the beginning of the year and was still recovering when lockdown hit. During lockdown we spent 24 hours a day with our families, confined to the four walls of our homes; trying to remain positive and sane. My young adult sons weathered online university like troopers; the eldest completing his final postgrad and my middle pushing through second year. I cannot imagine the isolation they must have felt; attending campus is more than just an educational experience for them; it is also the place to engage with friends, develop long lasting friendships and provide and find peer support. More than anything, having lost their social engagements with peers affected them way more than having to continue their learning online. Now friendships were being reduced to video calls, birthday wishes being sent via voice notes and milestones celebrated virtually (even a graduation ceremonies). 

This year has taught me what is truly important, how critical it is to live my purpose and to trust in Divine guidance. Everything I had planned for this year went out the window, and at first it totally threw me off course. By nature I am a solutionist, I am best at strategising and finding new ways forward; and for a while, I operated in survival mode. There was no solution, no alternative, no strategy that would work for our current situation, and I had to dig deep to arrive at a place where that was ok. I had to do some heavy inner work, introspect and find the place that would allow me to surrender even further to the Divine. I am strong in my faith, and yet this pandemic has unearthed another layer. It has brought about a humility coupled with immense gratitude for the privilege of just being me, each and every day. I have uncovered a depth of strength within, which has been highlighted by the trials faced during this time. It wasn't pretty, and I am thankful to my family for rallying during what seems like a nightmarish year. We have been supportive with each other, with the usual disagreements; but each member of the family has had to practise compromise, kindness, patience and tolerance toward the others. This applied to sibling relationships, parent-child relationships and marital relationships; with the understanding that this situation is not a walk in the park, for any one of us. And whilst we are not out of lockdown yet, we have emerged from the past 9 months in good shape and with a renewed mutual respect. 

It is therefore understandable that as lockdown regulations were relaxed, people rushed to find some normalcy. I really missed my nearest and dearest, but even as lockdown relaxed, I am not yet engaging and visiting as often as I would like. It is still crucial to maintain our safety measures, and follow COVID protocols, as nothing has really changed. The virus is still transmitted in the same way, people are still dying and we still need to adhere to protocols. In fact, other parts of the world are still living in 'military states' with curfews and stringent lockdown laws in place. It is therefore incumbent upon each of us to remain responsible, to monitor ourselves and in need refrain from social engagements, to protect others more than just ourselves.

I have not shopped much recently, but in the hope of spreading the love wanted share the pieces sent to me by iera Designs, (Islamic Era Designs), a new modest clothing line. The ladies behind the business are passionate about hijab, beautiful pieces, quality and would like to make it accessible to all. My favourite piece is this beautiful marble print dress, which can be dressed up or down. It's lightweight and the fabric drapes beautifully, creating a modest silhouette. I felt comfortable, elegant and completely at ease while wearing this stunning piece. I have paired it with a light silkblend scarf from Rana Scarves which is  perfect for those sweltering Summer days.

 











Outfit Details:
iera Designs dress
Rana Scarves silkblend scarf
Mimco Crochet bag
Forever New Heels

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo





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