Why I started this

Well, let me start off by introducing myself.

My name is Filomena Vicente (and more recently) De Sousa. Starting this is pretty much out of my comfort zone, but I’m excited nonetheless.

So a little background. I have a huge passion for children and teaching, therefore I pursued teaching as a career, I taught for about 2 years and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I got married on the 17th of January 2021 and my whole world changed (in a great way), however, I find myself craving responsibility and work. I then decided to complete a TEFL course (which was great) but finding work online seems impossible (I’m still trying).

Which brings me to the reason I started this journey. I find myself having all these new experiences and challenges that I want to showcase in some way, which I’ll be able to reflect back on or perhaps even help someone who might be going through something similar. So bear with me, this is just a mixture of me and the parts of my life that I want to share. I hope you enjoy!

🤍 Filomena


My COVID wedding

Okay, where do I begin? Let’s start at the beginning… my husband proposed to me on the 7th of December 2019 and we started planning our wedding in January of 2020.

We booked and secured a date (13 September 2020), we had all the important planning and securing done really early and everything was going smoothly.

Then COVID struck and my husband and I grew more and more anxious that our wedding was going to be affected, we then decided to postpone our wedding to the 17th of January 2021, decrease our numbers by a load (mainly extended family) we shouldn’t have changed the date, because it turns out that our initial date would have been unaffected in terms of numbers and the celebration, but we went with it. We would be so nervous every time the president spoke, wondering how would it compromise us and our wedding.

The president spoke a few days before our wedding and my heart broke, I was in tears, my husband and I felt defeated. No gatherings were allowed and religious gatherings were all prohibited. We were not prepared to postpone yet again and go through all of that heartache again. We cut our numbers even further (only allowing immediate family). It was a restaurant setting (which was allowed) and after the ceremony we had lunch, cut our cake, and took some pictures. Our wedding ended at 16:00.

I was so hurt that we didn’t get to have our family, our bridesmaids, all our groomsmen and our friends there, our first dance and a lot of the traditional things that make a wedding a wedding.

Most of our vendors were incredible, so understanding and helpful, however we did have a problem with one of our biggest vendors and it was disappointing that they couldn’t see how this was completely out of our control, but we decided to cut our losses and enjoy ourselves.

I was so shocked to find out that so many couples that were scheduled to get married in the upcoming weeks and months broke up. It saddened me that COVID and all the craziness was just too much for some people (and I get it because planning a wedding is intense, but planning a wedding during a pandemic almost feels impossible).

I think the one thing that sticks with me the most when looking back at everything, is that I’m married and to the love of my life, I’m enjoying our married life so much and all that comes with being married.

If I can offer any advice it would be:
1) Try and pay for things as close to the wedding as possible.
2) Don’t postpone, until you know for sure you need to.
3) Communicate with your partner exactly how you’re feeling.
4) If things don’t go as you’ve planned just make most of what you’ve got (I know it’s a cliché, but it’s so true. As much control as you have or think you have, that could all change in the blink of an eye).
5) And lastly, if you know of someone who is planning to get married during all this uncertainty be sensitive towards them because you have no idea what they are actually going through.

The way I see it is you have the rest of your life with this person and there are so many celebrations to come in the future.

If you’re getting married during these super abnormal times, I get you, I know what you’re feeling and going through, but I also know that God is great and whatever is for you, nothing and no one can take away.

🤍 Filomena

My son

How I got to meet you

Dear baby

I found out about you on the 25th of October 2022. Your daddy and I were ready to start having children, and on the holiday to Madeira we tried, but that month (September) I didn't fall pregnant, I became worried and would pray a lot to Jesus, thinking there was something wrong with me (but I had nothing to fear, because God knew exactly what He was doing). Your daddy and I decided to just let what needs to happen happen, because mommy was adding unecessary pressure, so I relaxed.

On one random Tuesday afternoon in October, I had just finished a slice of your Ouma's delicious chocolate cake (you will come to know how amazing it is too one day) and walked outside and immediately started to feel nauseous, I thought it was very weird because I don't easily feel that way out of the blue, and given I hadn't really eaten much that day made it even more suspicious. So I took a pregnancy test I had kept for this special moment, I was so nervous to look at it, but when I did I saw the words "pregnant 1-2 weeks" I was in shock, dropped to my knees and thanked God for this blessing, you!! I instantly wanted to call your daddy and tell him the exciting news, but knew I needed to be patient until he arrived home, because I had a surprise way of revealing to him the news.

For the durarion of the day, I couldn't think of anything else or do anything, because I was so fixated on you. When we got home I had a baby outfit with "daddy" written on and the positive pregnancy test inside the box (our money box) I was leaving for Cape Town in a day and your dad thought I was concerned about money, when he saw the box, but when he opened it up, the expression on his face was so special, he too was in shock and started crying and hugging mommy and kissing mommy and asking me all sorts of questions.

Going for your 1st doctors appointment and hearing your strong heartbeat, is something I will never forget, watching your daddys expression was so special, feeling you move for the 1st time, was magical, it felt like the flutters of a butterfly. Now mind you we didn't know if you were going to be a boy or girl, but our money was on boy for some reason, and we were right you are a boy! We were overjoyed, we threw a gender reveal for you and invited family and friends, ahhhh how we enjoyed celebrating you, my precious son.

In the 1st trimester you gave mommy a hard time with nausea and vomiting, 2nd trimester felt like I could conquer the word and in the 3rd trimester I had sever back pain and heartburn, but it was all worth it and I would do it again. Watching my belly growing and feeling you move inside me, son, was one of the most precious feelings ever, daddy would kiss you through my tummy every morning and night, I'm sure you felt thoses kisses.

We didn't know what we were doing, but we knew we were excited, expectant, nervous and overjoyed to meet you. Unfortunately mommy didn't get to have a baby shower, daddy and mommy were a little sad about that, but God is good my boy and He was always with us and He is always with you, because He lives inside of you - never forget that!

As the days grew nearer and mommy grew bigger, we couldn't wait to meet you. There were two scares that mommy and daddy had. The first, was when mommy had sever shooting pain on the one side of mommys tummy and the other was when mommy tripped by the puppies Luna and Sky had had. We rushed the the hospital to make sure you were doing fine, and thank God each time you were doing perfectly fine!

We struggled with finding your name and went back and forth on a few, we had a list but somehow could not agree on a name, until one day daddy sent mommy "Lisandro" and mommy thought "wow, now that is a unique and beautiful name." I quickly looked up the meaning, and your name means liberator, what a phenomenal meaning, son may you live out that meaning all the days of your life.

I have been at this letter since you were inside me, and now you have been born and in this world for almost two months. How mommy and daddys lives have changed. You are so sweet my boy and I love you with all my heart. Thank you for making me a mommy.

I declare these scriptures over your life Lisandro, "before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart." - Jeremiah 1:5

"Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him." - Psalms 127:3

"For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart." - 1 Samuel 1:27

💙 Mommy