Wednesday, 12 November 2014

It's been a VERY long time....

Well hello there! I stopped blogging well over a year ago amidst many reasons but reading through my old posts has prompted me to take up the typing again. I forgot how much I love to write and how much I miss the theraputic process of hashing out my thoughts on the screen, helping me to make sense of myself as I go along.

So, here's a little update...

My Charlie is now four (yes, FOUR!) He is flying academically speaking and I think even the teacher is a little taken aback at his abilities, so it's a learning curve for us all!

My Micah is now two (WHAT?! Not fair... not at all) and happily chattering away in his own unique style. My first statement to people when met with their uncomprehending stares at his endless babbling? "Before you ask, no, I don't understand a word he says either!"

Perhaps the biggest adjustment is yet to come as we are expecting baby number three in just 13 weeks time. It was a bit of a shock but I have to believe it's the right thing for our family (otherwise I might go a tad loopy!) and we are certain that she will beautifully complete our little family. Five is a good number right?! Yes, you did read right, I did write 'she' ... due to the wonders of the NHS and multiple ultrasounds, it's as clear as it can be that this little one is a pink one! Charlie is very excited to be getting a baby sister and has declared that Margaret is the name for her (really?!) whilst Micah is yet to grasp the concept. When I said to him "Where's the baby?" (expecting him to point to my rather swollen tummy) he simply said "Oh no! Bebe GONE! Where bebe?" and proceed  to look under the dining chairs, you know, in case she was hiding.

If any of you have read (and remember) my original list and reason for this blog, then you may remember that item one was to learn to drive. Well, I passed my test on 25th October last year, just three days after the sudden loss of my wonderful Grandma. She lived a full & happy 91.5 years and paid for my theory test to help my driving efforts along. I know she would have been prouder than anyone that I passed first time with only one minor and she'd have phoned everyone to tell them the news (whether or not they were interested would have been irrelevant!)

Anyway, that about concludes it for now. Thanks for reading and I hope you're all well and have been up to lots of interesting things in the last year!

My loopy sons!

Charlie's first day of school, broken arm & all!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

In the Face of Tragedy...

I am so utterly broken for the people of Oklahoma and devastated at their loss. The loss of any life is hard to bear, but when that life is taken prematurely and through uncontrollable circumstances it somehow seems worse doesn't it? A tiny bit more unfair. Not to mention the loss of lives of children. I can't go there in depth this morning. I just can't - I have a full day ahead with my own children and to think about losing them... well... I find it best to do my "falling apart" after they are in bed. 
I haven't said a lot about my faith on this blog but today I am. I am not saying this to start a debate because, if I am totally honest, I don't want to debate whether or not God exists because I believe He does. He is a very real and very big part of my life (and as this is my own corner of the internet, I should be allowed to say that out loud, right?!)
Many people will blame God for this tragedy in Oklahoma today and I cannot profess to understand why these things happen or why God doesn't stop them BUT I do know that without my faith I could not make it through these things at all - I would become angry and bitter so fast and what use is that to anyone?
I love this quote from Mr Rogers (if you don't know who he is, google him!)

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."

This is so true! That is where you find God's very nature in these circumstances - in the helpers. In the outward expression of love, compassion, and provision. They offer hope - hope of better times to come, of eventual healing and recovery. Hope of a future beyond the disaster. A helper. Even from afar. The best (and most practically possible) thing I can do right now is to PRAY for these families - that in the midst of disaster they will find the hope they need and cling to it, with all they can muster. Pray that when they can cling on no longer, someone with the strength to do so will stand alongside them and help to shoulder the sadness and overwhelming pain. I know I have not lived through such a tragedy, I know I have not lost a child but we have all been through things in our lives and my God, Father, Jesus - well, they are my hope for change. 
I won't do deep & meaningful posts very often - I'm not brave at all when it comes to sharing my faith but I hope that I demonstrate it instead by the way I treat people and the way I live my life. I will leave you with one of my favourite verses from the Bible:

'"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."' (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

BEDM: Book Love

I LOVE to read but mostly I love books. I have a Kindle account for those cheap useful rescource books that are handy to have on my computer but I don't have a Kindle (or e-reader of any type.) Part of this is due to finances - there are just too many beautiful things and tech that I want more so if the money crops up, it'll be going towards crossing something off my rather long wish list! The main reason for my lack of e-reader, however, is my love of books. I love them, I really really do. We all have enough tech in our lives and we have come to rely on it and I am fine with that but I cannot get lost in a book when I am reading it on a screen - it's just not the same and I am way too easily distracted! Give me good old fashioned paperback though and it's a different matter. I live the story, I get right in there and cannot get myself out again until it's over. Then I get that sad feeling that you get when you wake from a really awesome dream and know it's time to head back to reality. This love affair with fiction started a LONG time ago for me. I was that girl that doesn't just have one imaginary friend but dreams up entire worlds and scenarios - I was the quintessential day dreamer (which, in honour of my mother, I must point out this is a parenting nightmare - I once spent 40 mins in the bathroom and forgot to shower cos I was so engrossed in my dream world!) 
I loved many books as a child. Classics like The Tiger Who Came to Tea and most books by Shirley Hughes

This moved me on to novels as I got older - I loved Enid Blyton, Judy Blume, What Katie Did books and I collected the Penguin Classics that were only about a pound - I don't think I ever read them all but something about a full bookshelf was rather appealing. I still have the 1939 copy of Eleanor H. Porter's Pollyanna that my Grandpa bought me at a jumble sale for 30p and I fell in love with the history of the book immediately. Inside the cover, just under the pencilled on price was this:

 How wonderful is that?! This holds a beautiful memory for me and I doubt I'll ever get rid of it, not least because my Grandpa and I were very close and he passed away just over 3 years ago. He is a big factor in my love of words and I spent many an after-school afternoon watching Countdown and doing the Telegraph crossword with him. I still watch countdown and now my son loves to watch it too and repeat the letters as they go up on the screen. I hope these early memories (and all the reading we do together) leads to a passion for reading for him too. 

Happy Reading! x

Friday, 10 May 2013

BEDM: Travel Dreams

I could use this post to list off all the beautiful places I would love to visit but I am a realistic-style dreamer and I am in a life-stage that means I cannot pack my bags and hop on a plane whenever I fancy (maybe one day?) Quite simply, my travel dream is to go back to Alaska (via Illinois so that my American bestie & I can meet each others kids and our men can meet.)  I want to introduce my husband to the people, and the place, that shaped who I am today. I want my sons to see a moose moseying (oooh, nice word combo!) in the back yard and a black bear crossing the street. There is SO much of the world I would love to see but for now I will continue to dream of my USA trip which will happen... someday!
For now, check out my pinterest board on travel.... x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

BEDM: First Job

When I was 14 I got my first saturday job. It was hard grafting for £3.50 an hour but it felt so so good to get handed that cheque at the end of the day, knowing I had worked hard for that money. Plus, we're talking 14 years ago now and £3.50 went a lot further back then (also, I had no bills to pay, no house to run, no kids to pay for so every hard-earned penny was mine!)
I worked as a Kennel Assistant. The boarding kennels were fairly large and we had to walk each dog twice daily round a 1/4 mile track as well as feeding all the dogs and cleaning out the kennels daily. I can still smell the special chemicals we had to use! Because it was such a full on job we got a tea break in the morning and we also got and hour and a half for lunch. There was an old static caravan in the field which was fully working with tv, kitchen, lounge, etc and I remember my friend and I having cheap instant noodles for lunch then falling asleep watching tv before heading back for the afternoon walking session. One dog in particular (aptly named Jumbo) was so huge his head came to my chest, whilst he was standing normally. He was well behaved but enthusiastic so it took two of us to walk him - two leads round his neck, one person on each side. All in all, not a bad job - if a tad whiffy and rather poo-centric at times!

Friday, 3 May 2013

BEDM: Spring has Sprung …. at flippin' last!

Random trivia fact about me: I lived in Alaska, for three years. That’s three winters that last longer than you can imagine (so you probably can imagine but a little dramatic phrasing is OK right?) I could cope with those winters though because it was the kind of crisp, cold snowiness that you KNOW is there for the long haul and so you can be prepared … I mean, REALLY prepared. I think I’ll save stories from Alaska for future posts – I have to keep you hanging on a little now, don’t I?!

Back to what is now sunny old England – hoorah! This winter has felt far longer than those I experienced in Alaska and I have a few theories as to why:

       i.          Alaskan summers make the winter worth the wait. Ours do not.

      ii.          It rains here. A lot.

     iii.          Our snow never lasts long enough to have decent fun.

     iv.          You cannot ride a snow mobile just on wet mud (see point iii.)

      v.          Our summer last year came and went in March

     vi.          This year we had snow in March

So, anyway, spring has FINALLY arrived – properly – and I am loving it! As I sit here and type at the farmhouse kitchen table, I am looking out over a beautiful view of the Lancashire countryside whilst enjoying the early morning sun and a giant mug of coffee (on account of being up twice in the night with my kids.) This has to be one of my favourite seasons. With spring comes the hope of summer and weather to get out and enjoy. People rediscover a love of their gardens and flowers you forgot were lying dormant in the earth. There is something wonderful about this season for sure and I am determined to enjoy it! I hope you are too J

Apologies for the lateness of this post – I spent most of yesterday on the motorway to get here. Also, I am here til Monday night so there probably won’t be any pictures on my posts til then (sorry!) We have a busy few days of playing with cousins, Grandparents and farm animals. As a side note, Charlie spent a significant  chunk of the journey singing his “Nanna Pa” song (“Nanna Pa Nanna Pa” to the full tune of Twinkle Twinkle) He LOVES visiting Nanna & Pa’s farm and to be honest, his joy in seeing his grandparents makes it worth 7 hours in the car. Oh, and I drove as far as Bath (about 2hrs) before we took off the L plates and Tim took over J fairly pleased with that!

Thanks for reading x                                                                                                                                                     

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

BEDM: Five Lines... of Happiness

1. These Faces

 2. This Man, This Marriage, This Best Friend (and watching him be an awesome Daddy)

Baby Micah is NOT impressed with the PDA!
 3. This day where I pulled my Charlie out of pre-school to hang out in the first proper sunshine of the year (and the first ice cream too!)

 4. This carpet of spring flowers currently taking over the lawn

5. The simple unadulterated joy at realising the babies slept ALL night and you got 8 hours... solid. (this has yet to happen but I remain optimistic!!)