Tuesday, 31 December 2013

#MeAndMine - A Family Portrait…The Blogiversary Edition (December)

Today marks the day I started blogging.

3 years ago!

Such a lot has happened in those 3 years.

Good and bad.

2013 has been a strange year.

Personally it's been good. Apart from a bad bout of food poisoning which wiped most of September and October out we've had another amazing holiday to Orlando and we also moved to our dream house. We love it here SO much.

I've also struggled though. Struggled to make sense of a cruel world. Struggled to know some of my best friends, close friends and fellow bloggers have been going through such unbearably hard times. 2013 has been such a hard year for so many.

I've tried to stay grounded for the sake of Matt and the kids but it's been hard. 

I've been torn between feeling so low because of all that's happened and trying to make our lives more fun and exciting - creating more memories. I still struggle with this a lot.

The lovely Lucy from Dear Beautiful started Me And Mine at the beginning of the year and I was lucky enough to discover it in April. It's my favourite linky of all time. Such a simple idea but one that makes such you capture complete family moments forever. Memories are what matter and I know that now.

I've thought about quitting on my blog but I just can't. I started this blog as somewhere to document my thoughts, my life, my world. If something was to happen to me I want this little piece of me to live on.

3 years and 420 posts later I'm still here.

I have plans for my blog. Plans to document the life of my kids more. Plans to talk more about our lives, our home, our future. Plans to blog more. Plans to join back in with Silent Sunday. I hope I make those plans a reality.

You know, in 3 years of blogging I've never written about Christmas. Not once.

That makes me feel really sad.

We had a lovely Christmas Day this year. There were 10 of us. Yes, it was hectic. Yes, it was noisy. Yes, it was hard work. But despite this it was lovely. We were two families brought together by Matt and I and the kids. We made some lovely memories that I will treasure.

It was perfect.

I had plans to ask someone to take a family photo of us on Christmas Day but it didn't happen. I forgot in all the busyness of it all. So, these photos were taken yesterday (I know, I know…nothing like leaving it to the last minute!). I've been suffering with a bad cough/cold and MC has had a bad cough too. But we're happy.

They are the last photos of our little family in 2013 so despite them not being perfect to the outside world - they are perfect to me.

dear beautiful

Now head over to the lovely Lucy's blog for Me & Mine end of year loveliness 

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Family Frolics - Making Memories For Multiple Mummy

My dear blogger friend, Kerry (aka Multiple Mummy), passed away on this day exactly a year ago.

Such a lot of things have happened in that year.

Some happy and some so terribly sad.

One thing remains the same though and sticks with me, always.

Kerry's love for her family and getting out making memories.

It's her legacy. It's her 'Family Frolics'.

Kerry was only 30 years old. A healthy young woman with a husband an 3 small children. Kerry's passing rocked a community. Kerry and I called each other 'blogging sisters' as we started around about the same time. She was one of the friendliest and genuinely lovely bloggers I've ever met. Her passion for her family and her fellow blogging friends was second to none.

It's such a tragedy that her life was cut short so unexpectedly.

I hate to say we don't get a huge amount of time together as a family of four. We see the inlaws pretty much every other weekend and, up until the other month, Matt was playing football every Saturday. It meant we got 2 days a month together where we could spend a day interrupted.

Because Matt works so hard he'd want to spend those 2 days crashing out pretty much. He didn't want to be dashing out all the time and I didn't want to push him too much.

This year has been somewhat different.

Kerry's passing and then the sudden death of Matilda Mae earlier this year have changed me.

It's a change for the better.

Ultimately it was Kerry's comment on my blog that made us book to go back to Orlando this year. It has been Kerry's passing that has pushed me on with my blog. What better way than to leave a diary online for friends, family and, ultimately, your children when they are old enough to read.

Your life, your heart, your memories to be read and remembered for years to come.

I know I don't blog about things as much as I should do right now but we are creating memories and enjoying our time together and that, above all, is what matters.

So this year we've made more time for family frolics. There are too many to mention but…we enjoyed lots of snow, we went away on holiday. We dabbled in some messy play. We moved to a bigger house. We enjoyed the long hot summer. We had picnics out. We went to the cinema. We explored the local area. We went further afield.

But most importantly we made memories.

When we do anything as a family now I cherish the moments so much more. I take more photographs of us a family of 4 than I've ever taken before. I know that making time for family is important.

These are just a small handful for my blogging sister…

In memory of Kerry Farrow (aka Multiple Mummy)
16th April 1982 - 14th December 2012

Saturday, 30 November 2013

#MeAndMine - A Family Portrait (November...AND October)

If you've been reading my blog lately you'll notice a severe lack of activity. My last post explains why. I've always joined in with Me & Mine but I missed Octobers. I was so busy after my birthday and the Matilda Mae Welly Walk was very much my focus at the end of the month. I was feeling pretty emotional and despite having some photos from October I couldn't quite bring myself to blog.

November has been a strange month. It's flown by seriously fast. Christmas is just around the corner but my heart has been heavy. I spent the other week in a bit of a mess. I got myself in a rut, a rut that I couldn't see a way out of. Matt was away with work which didn't help and I was a teary mess with a 20 month old with severe separation anxiety.

This last week I've turned a corner. A couple of meet ups with some of my best friends has brought me out of myself. Blogging also helped and I love the support network that it offers. I received lots of DM's, tweets and texts as well as blog comments (which, I will reply to every single one - thank you). I've made sure I get out every day for some fresh air and I've done more 'spur of the moment' things for myself and for the family.

Anyway, the upshot of it all is that I'm going to start putting myself first more and have some 'me' time. I think as mothers we're just programmed to put everyone else first and it can take it's toll. I have friends going through seriously hard times - financial worries, illnesses and losses of loved ones - but I can't let it bring me down as much as it has been doing. I usually look forward to Christmas but this year I haven't been at all.

I can't let that be.

I can't let my mood ruin my children's Christmas. One of my friends said to me the other night that children bounce off their parents moods and maybe that's a major source of TC's separation anxiety?

Who knows.

I know I have to focus more on my life and, in turn, the life of my family.

It doesn't mean I don't love my friends...
It doesn't mean I don't care...
It doesn't mean they won't always be in my thoughts...

I just have to try to be a better mother, wife, daughter, sister etc. This will also ensure I'm strong enough to support my friends as much as I possibly can too.

Yesterday my parents had the kids for me all day. I got so much done! I didn't stop but the day was great and, as much as I missed the kids, it was lovely to only have to think about myself for the day for once. I even treated myself to a gel polish manicure.

Before I ramble on anymore, I'm cheating a little this month to make up for last month. I'm posting photos from November AND October to make up for my month lost.

In October we visited the beautiful Llangollen Railway which isn't far from us. We went there to meet Thomas and Friends for 'A Day Out With Thomas'. TC has a major fascination with Thomas the Tank Engine but MC loved the day just as much. The weather was a mixed bag of sun and showers and we managed to dodge the worst of the rain. It was a great day. Here are a few of my favourite (and silly) snapshots from the day.

In November we were lucky enough to meet one of my closest friends Claire of Claire Penn Photography. We went out for a family day and she took a few family photographs for us. I'd like to share two of my favourites.

As well as being a truly awesome friend, Claire is one seriously talented wedding photographer. Her wedding photography just stops me (and everyone else) in their tracks. If you are getting married, or know someone who is, then I can highly recommend Claire - although her photography speaks for itself - and she travels all over the place to shoot amazing weddings. Just look and be amazed!

So, I'm starting to look forward to Christmas in our new home now and I'm determined to look after myself more. In fact, after 5 years of wanting, I'm booked in to have laser eye surgery in January.

I'm going to make sure that 2014 is not just a new year but a new, more positive, me.

dear beautiful

Now head over to the lovely Lucy's blog for more Me & Mine delights.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Which Way To Turn?

Right now I really don't know which way to turn.

I'm struggling a little.

I know this blog post will turn into a rambling mess but I need a 'thought dump'. I apologise in advance if it doesn't make sense.

Life seems to be going at 100 miles an hour but I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere or doing anything fulfilling. Maybe this is what being a stay-at-home-mum is like at its worst?

Maybe I'm not exactly 'loving it' at the moment.

Regular readers will notice large gaps in my posts over the past couple of months.

I spent most of September and the first part of October (yes, my food poisoning/stomach thing had a relapse) being really ill and it knocked me for six. To be perfectly honest, since then it's really made me think about things. I was that poorly that Matt (and I, if I'm honest) was really worried. It scared us. It made us both realise just how fragile life can be. Those times at the hospital when I was in agony and Matt felt so helpless were awful.

This morning I took TC to a soft-play centre. I needed to get out somewhere. Anywhere that wasn't shopping. I was going to meet up with the lovely Sarah who lives just down the road but she's poorly. It's a good job in a way as Sarah probably wouldn't have known what to do with me.

The song Firework by Katy Perry came on whilst I was there.

I welled up.

Then the tears became sobs.

Luckily there were only a couple of people in there and I was sat in a corner so was able to get away with it.

That song makes me think of Multiple Mummy and Matilda Mae.

It's funny but doing that in public made me realise something.

I'm feeling quite low.

Christmas is coming and everyone is getting excited.

I should be getting excited but deep down I'm not.

Yes, I am struggling.

Struggling to make sense of such a cruel world. Struggling to make sense of everything. Struggling not to be torn apart knowing that friends are suffering.

I want to make this Christmas so special for my family. It's our first Christmas in our lovely new home. We are having the whole of downstairs decorated and there is lovely colour everywhere. TC is more aware of everything this year. MC is beside herself with excitement and she's top of her class in school too. We have so much to look forward to but I just can't shake this feeling I have.

I'm also feeling like a failure. Everywhere I turn on social media I see posts and photos of lovingly home-cooked meals. I see photos of amazing crafts, brilliant messy-play, amazing days out and lots of fun and happiness.

I know most people only post the good stuff but I wonder how these people have the time to do the things that they do? I sometimes feel like my kids are living on pasta and fish fingers most of the time and we don't get out and about enough.

I know my kids are happy and loved and that's what counts but I still feel like I'm letting them down.

I'm also trying to decide what to do about my blog.

I have seriously 'lost that blogging feeling'.

I started this blog to document my life as a stay-at-home-mum and to give myself and my children memories. I've let us all down. Somedays I feel like quitting but blogging has brought me so much. It's brought me unbelievable amounts of love and support. More importantly, it's brought some amazing friends into my life.

At the moment though I don't see how I can fit blogging in. I am desperately trying to spend time with TC. He's growing up so quickly and I don't want him to grow up. Knowing he's my last baby pulls at my heart a little. My days are filled with spending time with my children. When MC's at school and TC has his afternoon nap I'm sorting washing or tidying the house. When the kids go to bed I want to spend time with Matt. We get so little time together on our own that our evenings (when he's not away with work) are so precious. I love my husband so much and the evenings are our time. I don't see how social media is going to fit in?

At the time this post goes live I have 182 un-read emails in my inbox because I really can't face going through them and the more I ignore them, the more they build up.

Anyway, I think I'm my own worst enemy.

When I'm feeling like this I cut myself off. I shy away from social media and I stay in the house a lot.

It doesn't do me any good.

Thankfully I have mainly good days but I also have a few bad days.

Luckily I recognise the signs.

I need a plan.

I need to know what I'm doing and where I'm going or I have a feeling I'll lose myself (and my blog) along the way. I need to shake off this doom and gloom feeling. This feeling that something really bad is going to happen to me or my family.

I need to feel happy all the time again.

I need to know which way to turn.

Watch this space...

Monday, 4 November 2013

A Day Of Love - The Matilda Mae Welly Walk #MMWellyWalk

Just over 9 months ago a community was rocked.

Family and friends were heartbroken.

And a family was torn apart.

I still struggle to believe what happened to Matilda Mae. I always knew life could be so painfully cruel but I never realised just how much until I heard the news that lunchtime 3rd February.

Baby Tilda's death has had such an impact on so many people. Not just family and friends of Jennie but strangers who heard about what's happened.

I've mentioned briefly before just how much of an impact it had, and continues to have, on me. TC is just a month older than Tilda. Whenever he does something new I feel happy but a part of my heart aches a little...I struggle with my emotions knowing that a friend is missing her baby girl with every part of her body and soul. Each and every milestone lost. Never to be.

I'm going to openly admit now that I've been struggling lately. You will notice that I have been absent from my blog. Even though I often find blogging therapeutic I haven't wanted to blog a 'woe is me' post. Why should I be so sad? I still have my baby boy. My life is good. I should be happy, right?

But like many people far and wide I can't help it.

I've known the Welly Walk was coming. I knew that the date was such an emotional milestone for Jennie. The day her baby girl has been gone for longer than she was alive.

It's been pulling at my heart.

We put our names down to go to The Welly Walk pretty much from the start. I knew we couldn't miss it, despite the distance from home. I wanted to be there. To see Jennie again, to show our support, to honour baby Tilda and raise more money for The Lullaby Trust.

It was an incredible day.

It was a sea of pink and purple. Stars and hearts were everywhere. Family and friends pulled together to help Jennie create something truly amazing.

Something beautiful.

Just like Matilda Mae.

I spoke at the end of the day about how Tilda had witnessed love in abundance in her short life.

That love was evident everywhere on Saturday.

It completely filled Beale Park.

You could see it in every look. Every smile. Every tear.

I don't need to go into detail about the day. I think the few photos I'll share speak for themselves.

Family, friends and strangers created something very special on Saturday. Every person there, every brand and everyone who couldn't attend but showed support through donations, tweets and messages should be very proud.

Very proud indeed.

Matilda's legacy lives on and this is just the beginning!

So many families. So many friendships. So many memories. 

So much love.

All because of one special little girl.

Matilda Mae
2nd May 2012 - 2nd February 2013
9 months here. 9 months gone. But never forgotten.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Let The Countdown Commence!

Google Birthday
Even Google wished me Happy Birthday
It's my birthday today.

I'm 39.

I remember turning 30 nine years ago (man, I'm good at math!) and I was a little anxious about it.

30 felt so old!

I know my 30's aren't over but this decade has been the best so far. It doesn't seem like much when I write the list of key events but each event is pretty huge and has brought me so much joy...

  • I met Matt
  • We travelled a lot (Route 66 and the Northern Lights to mention 2 main ones)
  • We bought a house
  • We got engaged
  • We got married
  • We had two children
  • We took the kids to Florida. Twice
  • We bought our perfect family home

I'm a very lucky lady. 

I know that.

So, how do I feel about this last year in my 30's? How do I feel about turning the big 4-0 this time next year?

You know what?

It doesn't bother me.

It doesn't bother me at all.

Because I am happy. 

I think I was anxious about turning 30 nine years ago because I'd spent my 20's not knowing where I was going. I'd married (and divorced) a man who wasn't good for me. I didn't know where I was going.

Then I met Matt 8.5 months before I was due to turn 30.

Matt is the reason I'm quite happy to be turning 40 next year*.

I'm blessed that I have a great husband, 2 gorgeous and healthy kids, amazing family, extended family and wonderful friends.

I'm determined to enjoy this last year of my 30's because life is too short to worry about numbers.

So come on 40! I'm ready for you.

Let the countdown commence!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...