Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading!
Every summer, we get to enjoy the beauty of our colourful, bright and well maintained gardens. It’s what many of us have worked all year to achieve! BBQs amongst the gorgeous scents of lavender and rosemary, sunbathing amongst the striking hydrangeas and even enjoying fresh home grown tomatoes and ever so sweet strawberries. But, just because the good weather is a distant memory already, doesn’t mean the hard work is over! Autumn is here, and it brings with it the threat of hash, cold…View Post
12th October 2002. The day I became a mummy.
I often can’t remember why I went into a room, or what I was going to say to someone as I’m about to say it, but the second H was born and placed in my arms, I can remember every part of it. From her tiny bum fitting into the palm of my hand, to her huge, wide eyes staring around the room, like she’d been here before and was just checking us all out.
The little triangle birthmark she had on the base of her neck, her jet black hair, every part of her was a huge surprise but like I’d always known her.
She’s 16 today. They say the days are long but the years are short. Never have I heard a truer statement.
I am beyond proud of the woman she’s becoming. The person she is and the absolute joy she has bought to our lives since the day she arrived.
There are a million things you learn once you’ve become a parent, some are a shock, others are kind of a given. I couldn’t list them all (nor could I remember them on the spot!) but here’s my 16 at 16.
Holly Boo, this one is for you.
1: If you have kids, never cuddle your baby to sleep. She will rely on this until she is at least 5 and you will lose hours of evening while a grown adult lays on floor next to her, also falling asleep. Uh huh.
2: The funny words* you used will never, ever, be forgotten. Radigator? Milter? Argie Bargie? Yup, we still use them today. We always will, even at your wedding. In fact, I’ll make sure your own kids use them too!
3: You don’t seem to grow out of clumsiness. Actually, as a teenager, I’m amazed at what you can now trip over. Or walk into. And after the childhood accidents you had, that’s no mean feat!
4: The 4am wake ups have stopped. Finally. And they’ve now been replaced by a person who seems incapable of leaving their bed at all. I’m not sure which is worse.
5: Teaching you to be kind and confident has been more important than any school lesson. Knowing you are proud of yourself, and that you’re one of the kindest people I know, regardless of whether you ‘fit in’ or not, make me realise we’ve done a good job. Phew!
6: Even thought you’re the same size as me, you need cuddles. Maybe even more so. Don’t try and fool me that you don’t.
7: I will be an embarrassment no matter what I do. So sometimes I’m really going to go for it. You’re gonna have to deal with it!
8: The mum guilt will last forever and a day. Even if you’ve been an absolute a*sehole to me, the second you go to bed, I will blame myself. I think it’s a parental law. I also think you are completely aware of this fact….!
9: I wish I had kept all of the ‘drawings’ you did for me at nursery/school. (Any parent who says they did is a liar!)
10: It really doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or when you decide, as long as you are happy.
11: The thought of someone upsetting you will make me angrier than I ever thought possible.
12: I thought I’d enjoy the extra freedom I have now you’re older and you don’t “need” me as much. I don’t. And you will always need me, just as much as I need you.
13: The worry gets worse. Before, it was packing enough clean clothes and nappies, now it’s keeping you safe and not letting social media control your life. Is bubble wrap allowed yet? Maybe a convent is a good idea…
14: Being open about sex and relationships might seem cringeworthy, but making everything seem normal is more important than being embarrassed. Anything and everything can be spoken about. I will never, ever judge you. Tell me whatever you need to tell me. I might get angry, but I’ll get over it and we will work out a solution together.
15: I’ll always know when you’re fibbing to me. You have always been, and will always be, a terrible liar. Never change that.
16: No matter how old you are, how big you get, how far away you are from us, we will always, always have your back. If you need to be picked up, we are there. If you need reassurance, we are there. Whatever you need, we are always there.
You, baby girl, are one in a million. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Happy 16th Birthday x
* Radigator = Radiator // Milter = Water // Argie Bargie = Onion Bhagie!!!
This weekend the bloke and I had 24(ish) hours to ourselves. Both kids were at sleepovers so we had a whole Saturday afternoon to do whatever the hell we wanted.
The plan was to head into town, get a clipper boat from Greenwich to Embankment and just wander round the streets//shops, ending in dinner at Flat Iron where we could eat dinner and have an adult conversation. We’re fancy.
Of course, it was absolutely tipping it down. It would be! The first child free evening since December 2017 and it’s raining.
Never mind! A bit of rain never hurt anyone. (How often we’ve said that this year, every single day on holiday to start with!) but, of course, the planned outfit had to go out the window (me), which then led to a bit of a meltdown (again, me) because obviously, I had NOTHING TO WEAR.
In hindsight, that magical, magical thing, of course I had things to wear. But I’d built this date up in my head – that kind of happens when you never get a single day together without one of your offspring for almost a year – and I wanted to wear my new skirt. F&F leopard print, naturally.
I was going to pair it with a black top, denim jacket and trainers. Standard outfit, nothing exciting. But different for me, because I live in skinny jeans, every damn day of my life.
The rain (and freezing temperature!) put paid to the trainers, so I tried tights and boots. Then I noticed the wind and kind of convinced myself I’d end up doing a (less glamorous) Marilyn Monroe routine.
At this point I still had wet hair, no make up, two nine year playing fortnite & a husband trying to tell me I looked good.
What followed was a good five, maybe six outfit changes, all being lobbed onto the bed in increasing levels of anger. We’ve all been there right?
We finally got out of the door and onto the train, where I calmed my tits and realised, jeans is who I am.
I know, deep right?
But, go with me here. How often do we try to do something different, because it’s a special occasion, because we’ve seen
everyone else a few other people do it, because we always wear/do the same thing and surely we should switch it up a bit?
Why do we do that?
If you’re bored of the thing you’re doing and you’re desperate for a change, knock yourself out by all means. But if it works for you, and you’re happy in whatever that situation (or outfit!) is, then for the love of God, just do you.
For me, skinny jeans, a well cut, v-neck top, trainers or boots is my A/W uniform. I feel comfortable, stylish and most importantly, I feel like me.
This is who I am, and I’m OK with that! I don’t want to spend the evening with my husband worrying about what I’m wearing or feeling self-conscious and tetchy. I don’t want to spend any time like that at all if I’m honest!
So, from now on. I’m going to be the woman in jeans and a nice top. That’ll be me, and I’m good with that. I might throw on a blazer or a jumper, ya know, when I’m feeling fancy, and I’ll always be a lover of good shoes.
But I’m just not the kind of person who copes well with a million different styles in their wardrobe. I might finally have stumbled upon my capsule wardrobe. And it only took me 37 years, copious meltdowns and a rainy date night to get there.
You do you hun. OK?
I’m sitting here, on my sofa, with the window wide open. The washing machine is doing it’s thing in the kitchen, the dogs are sleeping on the sofa and the stairs. And all I can think, is how content I feel with my life right now.
For a long time, most of my adult life probably, I’ve always had this feeling that there’s something missing. Something I should be striving for, the next thing to tick off the never ending “once this happens, my life will be better” list.
Nothing was ever enough, not my life and certainly not me.
Comparison is a bitch.
At the start of last year, it was like a light switch went on in my body. Everything that mattered came into focus, and everything else faded out of view.
Suddenly, all I wanted, was what I’d always had.
I realised I don’t need ‘stuff’ to make me happy. I don’t need money to make my life better. I have exactly what I need right here, right now. It’s like a wave of calmness has washed over my entire life and swept away all the crap that was clouding my vision.
I’ve always stopped myself from saying out loud, I’m happy, in case I jinxed it. Keeping it locked inside, squirrelled away for no one to know. What’s the point in happiness if you can’t share it?
I am enough. This is enough. This life is more than enough, it’s everything I ever wanted and more. I’m going to relish it, for every second that it lasts. And when the shit hits the fan, which it inevitably will, I’ll know that it’s just a phase, and I’ll get through it, because I’ve got through more than I ever thought I could.
There will be days when I hate my reflection, or when I stress about not having enough money to go on holiday when the world seems to be on their second. When my teenager is driving me insane, or my 9 year old is mid temper rage in public.
Those days are part of life.
Will being on a diet make me happy? Will dropping a dress size change anything in my life other than a label in my clothes? Will it fuck.
Will we eventually go on a holiday and cherish every.single.second because we’ve worked our arses off for it? Yes we fucking will.
Do I give an ounce of a crap what anyone else is doing in their lives? No. Not anymore.
You only get one life, it’s yours to live it exactly how you chose to, with who you chose and you don’t need to explain it to anyone.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the bad times, because, without them, how would I know how beautiful feeling content is?
So the summer is over and we are well and truly into the autumnal months. But that doesn’t mean to say that we don’t want to be outside as much as possible.
Autumn has been known to give us a fair few sunny days, albeit it on the crisp side, and being outside is really good for the soul. But, having said that, is your garden the place you would normally go to? Possibly not if it hasn’t been as well maintained as you would have liked.
It’s fair to say, just like our homes can, our gardens can become very cluttered. It’s either random chairs lurking about, kids toys if you have them, tools and even some of the things you no longer want in your home. Destined for the waste centre but you just haven’t got round to taking them. So now’s your chance to give your garden a big clearout and look at what you have to work with. Getting your garden in a much tidier condition will allow you to see what you need to work on to get it back to its former glory. If you do have things that need to stay in your garden, like lawn mowers or garden tools, then consider investing in a shed. Or even a storage box so that they have a home.
Much like you do in the interior your garden needs you to spend a bit of time thinking about the design aspect. Do you want to see lots of florals around the flower beds, in hanging baskets or pots on the patios? Do you want to see something more functional looking, so a neatened up lawn and a clear decking space. Treat your garden as if it is an extension of your home and watch it flourish. You can even go as far as to picking certain colours you want to see more of? This can be reflected in the flowers you choose to plant in your garden.
Some people like to have a feature that catches your eye. Very similar to how a feature wall would work in a decorated room. So perhaps you may want to think about adding a water element to your garden or a pretty rockery filled with flowers and shrubs. Some people still enjoyed a lawned area, and instead of having the hassle of mowing a lawn to keep it looking trim and green, why not invest in artificial grass instead? Places like LazyLawn could give you the feature you are hoping for. You could even choose to use a decked area as your feature and invest in some unique garden furniture to make it look extra special.
Finally, once everything is in place keep your garden maintained. This means mowing your lawns and keeping them neat and tidy. You could even consider giving your grass a treatment to look much greener and healthy. It’s about keeping your flower beds free of weeds. Brushing patio and decked areas if leaves or debris have fallen. Once you have everything in place, it’s much easier to keep on top of.