Friday, 20 September 2013

I've moved!

Due to blogger spammers I have now packed up and moved my site, please come and join me at

See you there!


Thursday, 19 September 2013

When what you need to do is not what you want to do

It was my first night shift at work after a glorious 9 months of mornings spent in pyjamas, days of peekaboo and 'this little piggy' and evenings spent snuggling on the sofa with my baby son. It was the end of my brief experience of being a stay at home mum and the beginning of a new chapter in my life - working mumma! 

To say this is what I wanted would be a complete lie. I have spent the last nine months desperately trying to discover a way of being able to commit to the good life at home, but alas, what you need to do is not always what you want to do! So I opted for the next best option, still offering the opportunity to watch my son grow and learn, yet still bringing in the much needed pennies - night shifts. 

On my first night shift I highly underestimated the effects of being awake all night. Having opted for no sleep during the day I found myself fighting tears at 2am as I faced the remaining five hours of my sleepless night. The thought of having to return for a further shift the following night made me question my whole decision. 

Why had I chosen to drag myself out in the evenings at an hour when I would ordinarily be ready for bed and force myself to stay awake all night, then drive my half hour journey home where I would then fill my mummy shoes for the remainder of the day? 

But when my shift was over, and I had made it safely to Nanny's house, and my tiny boy was waving a packet of baby wipes at me in-between tears that began as it dawned on him that he hadn't seen his mummy since he woke up, and when his tears turned to smiles as I lifted him into my arms, snuggling into his fire engine pyjamas, it all came together - the reason why I will continue to suffer the night shift as my body screams for sleep, the reason why I will drag myself into the dark at 9.30pm when everyone else is settling in for the night, the reason why I will load up on coffee and vitamins to maintain my sanity.

 I get to spend every day with this blue-eyed boy who smiles at me because I am his mummy, who beams with joy when he masters the art of waving, or blowing kisses or beat boxing (thanks to daddy!) 

It's easy to lose perspective when you just feel sorry for yourself, when you want to cry through the exhaustion. But I am learning to remember what is important in life. I am learning to remind myself that I am lucky to spend my days with the little blue-eyed boy who doesn't care if mummy has bags under her eyes, or if mummy has to have a nap when he does. And holding on to this, makes the night shift so much easier - (well, that and copious amounts of caffeine!)

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A letter to a younger me (letters to)

To the little girl I used to be, there are so many things I want to tell you I hardly know where to start. First of all, those girls you try so hard to fit in with, they are not your friends. You know the ones I mean, they are the ones who find their fun by humiliating others, by threatening and excluding, who go out of their way to make sure others feel worthless. These are the girls who knocked on your door and asked you out to play, who then ridiculed you and spat on your brand new winter coat and laughed until you cried. In the coming years you will learn that this is not friendship, you will find amazing girls with whom you will grow into beautiful women. These girls will not break you, they will lift you and encourage you. These girls are your true sisters, you will soon learn this child.

Try not to think of your life as boring as you watch everyone around you living in their soap opera dramas. You might think their lives are so much more exciting than yours as they go through boyfriends and break ups and you play the ear to listen when they pick you back up again. Trust me little one, one day you will be glad to be the boring one, one day you will learn that the break ups and arguments and seemingly interesting parts of life are just painful and unwanted. You with your uninteresting life, you get to stroke tears away from cheeks, you get to listen and love, you get to be a rock for someone who can't find their feet. Embrace this role.

Stop starving yourself! You are perfect the way you are! Your weight will fluctuate throughout the years, but let me let you in on a secret...when you are twenty five, that body of yours will give birth to a beautiful baby boy. That extra weight you gain will no longer mean anything to you but the weight needed to create life and those stretch marks, just your body's way of making room for your child. This is when, for the first time, you will stop worrying about the size of your thighs or the wobble of your arms and realize there are far more important things in life than this.

One final word before I go. Visit your grandparents more often. I know you are young and would rather be out playing with your friends, but they are your family and they are elderly. They will not be around forever. And you will feel deep sadness when they go, that you didn't take more time to sit with them and tell them about your week.

There are many more things I would tell you if I could, but I will leave you with this. Keep loving your parents, be loyal to your true friends, and that brother of yours will soon stop tormenting you and will even be the first at the hospital to hold his new baby nephew.

Adulthood is waiting for you, so stop trying to grow up and just enjoy being a child whilst you can.


I am linking up today with Melanie at Indirect Revelations who is graciously guest hosting for the Letters to link up! Please visit her site and feel free to take part, today's prompt is 'A letter to a younger me'.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

An invitation for custard creams

My hot chocolate looked divine, all steamy and sprinkled and mouth-wateringly frothy - a perfect counterpart to the drizzling, grey skies outside the coffee shop. There we sat, four different women with four buggies, four tiny lives asleep in their cosy toes the only thing connecting us. 
The local toddler group was over for another week and for the first time we all agreed to take the labour memories and teething experiences out for coffee. 

As a little girl, I found it very easy to make friends and always found new playmates no matter where I was. As an adult however, albeit fairly confident and conversational, I sometimes struggle with turning a polite 'how are you?' Or a regularly exchanged nod of acknowledgement into a friendship. In hindsight, I often wish I had just exchanged phone numbers or extended an invitation for tea and custard creams! 

But on this wet and muggy day, we four women were brought together, and bonded by a shared experience, all different perspectives but nevertheless, the same. It struck me as such a wonderful thing, that these beautiful mini humans had brought each one of us to set buggies aside, pull up a tub chair and take fifteen minutes out of our day to get to know one another. Like a handful of flowers thrown into the same vase, we were blossoming together, revealing our own petals, our unique colours and scents. 

Somehow, having a baby on your hip gives you courage to go out on your own, to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger also juggling children and changing bags.

I love that common interests are not necessary as we relate over breastfeeding and cloth nappies and what we feed our children for breakfast. And isn't that what friendships are all about? - finding those people with their own opinions, their own minds and hearts to lean on, to learn from, to teach and to celebrate. To just do life.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Mercy (five minute friday)

As I sit vigil, awaiting the day staff to relieve me of my duties, I watch from the window as the night turns into day. As the darkness is washed away, morning highlighting every leaf and blade, the lines painted back into brickwork, the colours restored to the map of the world plastered onto the garden wall, blues and greens brightly dancing with one another to the tune of the morning birds. 

I am reminded that every day is a new mercy.

Every morning is an opportunity for forgiveness, for redemption, for reconciliation. Each day is a chance for us to be renewed, painted bright and beautiful in the early morning glow. We are butterflies, released from our cocoon of sleep with shiny new wings to stretch.

In His mercy, we are new every morning.

Five Minute Friday
I am linking up today with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Letter to the fly on the wall (Letters to)

To the fly on the wall,

I'm sure, to you, my life must seem a little scattered at the moment. You see my tears flow, and just as quickly as they began, turn to laughter. You hear the anger and harsh words thrown between loved ones, and the embraces of apology and forgiveness soon after.
I'm sure envy is not something you will have felt for me this past week.

When times are tough (which they seem to be so often these days) it's hard to direct the fear into positivity, to turn terror into productivity as is usually my way. When it feels like everything is falling apart, the lines of communication are broken, and love feels lost, like a grey cloud resting over my home and heart, blurring what's real and what's important.

I'm sure, like me, you noticed the absence of his cheeky smile, his child-like playfulness and his very loud and out of tune renditions of Lionel Richie. I wonder if you too would have given anything to put the spark back, to hear him say he is fine and actually believe it.

But somewhere in the grey, underneath the fear and in-between the hateful words bouncing off of these walls, our hearts are still beating and my lips are still praying and hoping to be heard. 

Love has not left this place just because we are struggling to understand each other. Life is not over just because another obstacle has landed in our path.

I wonder, fly on the wall, if you have seen the armor of God surrounding me in these last few days, if you have witnessed the many answered prayers that have blessed this house. How quickly things can change in the space of a week. How different today has been from the last seven. How my prayers have changed from desperate requests to songs of thanks.

I know that He is with me, and through the hurt, the sadness and the fear of the unknown I have felt His guiding hand upon my shoulder. I have heard His soothing words of encouragement, to trust in Him, to stand firm, to practice forgiveness and compassion.

And slowly, fly on the wall, my home is returning to normal. You will hopefully notice the lighter air, the smiles creeping back to our lips, the peace within my heart. And the warbling of Lionel Richie is surely just around the corner.  

This fortnight's prompt is Letter to the fly on the wall - over to you!

The next 'Letters to' will be held at Ruth's place at Learning {One day at a time}  on the 17th September and the prompt will be 'A letter to a younger me'.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Letter to tuck in your pocket (Letters to)

This is for you to tuck in your pocket. To keep with you through the ups and downs of the day, through the topsy turvy of life. It doesn't matter if you fold it neatly, or scrunch it into a ball, the message will remain. It doesn't matter if you accidentally put it in the wash with your new blue jeans, the words still stand. 

In this season of your life, cherish the blessings, the troubles will soon end.

This, for you, is a beautiful season. You are young, you are healthy. You have a brand new baby boy who is ever changing and amazing you, whose naive and unconditional love and trust for you pushes you forward to be a better person, to set a good example. 

You have so much to sing about, yet your voice is so often silenced. Your eyes can sometimes only see the struggles, the reasons to cry, to close the doors and succumb to the anxiety and fear. Your tunnel vision sees not the beautiful friends and family whose support and guidance could lighten the load, the burden, if you would only let them, but instead sees the solitude of adulthood, the bills which need paying and that light on the dashboard which won't go out and will surely fail the MOT.

You notice how others don't have to look for bargains in the supermarket, or buy the 'own' brands, or justify that Starbucks coffee until they are blue in the face. You wave goodbye to friends as they set off on their holidays, or admire their new driveway or conservatory and you try so hard to just be happy for them. You listen with a smile to their grand wedding plans, you squeal with excitement in the appropriate places but you can't help but compare it to your own budget wedding, the one you will have to do on the cheap if you still want to pay the mortgage in the foreseeable future.

You are scared of what's around the corner, anxious about juggling night shifts with being a full time mother. Let me remind you. This is just a phase in your life, this is not the forever. These times will pass, and the sweet fruits of the season will remain. 

This is a reminder to you, please tuck it in your pocket, keep it close. Cherish the blessings, the God-given miracles of life, build beautiful memories, take many pictures, pray hard and always remember, the troubles will pass, this is just a phase, don't let them block the view of your beautiful season.

And it truly is a beautiful season.


Linking up this fortnight with the lovely Ruth @ learning {one day at a time} for the fantastic Letters To link up. This fortnights prompt is 'Letter to tuck in your pocket'.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Why it's been a great day

 How many times do we hear people say 'it's been a great day today!'. Well I don't know about you but this is not something I hear very often. Usually it's 'been a hard day', 'been a tiring day' or 'same old same old'.

For me, today has been a great day, and I will tell you why.

Today has been a great day because I woke up with a roof over my head, because I awoke warm and dry and comfortable next to a man who loves me.
Today has been a great day because I had more then enough food in my cupboards to fill my child's hungry belly.
Today has been a great day because I spoke to one amazing friend on the phone, and shared cups of warm tea with two other equally amazing ladies.
Today has been a great day because my son slept for two solid hours during nap time this morning. Today has been great because when his pasta dinner got stuck in his throat, one slap on his back turned his panicked face back to a smile, and as he breathed again, I breathed again.
Today has been a great day because as of right now, my hard working husband-to-be still has a job. 
Today has been a great day because I had time this evening to enjoy sweet tea before bed and read about beauty and grace and wisdom shared through writing.

To many, this might be a boring day, certainly nothing extraordinary. But I say this is a fantastic day.

How easy it is to forget those in the world who do not awake to warmth, or even safety. Who fear their starving children might not make it through the day without food or clean water. How many are losing loved ones to illness or accidents. How many people are alone with no one to confide in, no shoulder to cry upon and no hope to hang on to.

It is all too easy to view our lives as mundane, to covet what others have, to wish for more. It is not as easy to remember the many blessings disguised within the everyday.

So please, dear reader, I urge you..take note of the hidden, hum-drum blessings and be thankful each and every day, for those are the details that make your day a great one!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Letter to the one who noticed (Letters to)

You might have noticed the way I breeze through the corridor with a melody on my lips, with a rhythm in my hips and a spring in my step. But do you notice that there is a song in my heart? Do you notice the small moments where my palms are ever so slightly tilted towards the heavens, where my eyelids flutter closed for a brief second or two?

You might have noticed the beautifully designed book which so regularly holds my interest, adorned with butterflies and flowers in the sweetest shade of pink, and you may have wondered what it is that intrigues me so. But do you notice the way I clutch it to my person, embracing the bindings between readings like a child reluctant to let go of a security blanket?

Some of you might have noticed my ability to smile through the terrifying and maintain optimism through the hard times. But do you notice the fleeting words of praise that keep me steady, the whispered butterflies of thanks and please that give me hope?

Look deeper, and you might notice. It is no secret. It is not just for me. God wants us to lift our hearts and voice to him, to sing praise with every soulful note within us. He wants us to immerse ourselves in his word, so we can show Jesus' love to others. He wants us to stand firm against him in all our struggles, to trust in Him and spread hope to the hopeless, strength to the weary and help to those in need.

So through my troubles I will keep singing, I will keep reading, learning and growing.

I will keep smiling and I pray that you will keep noticing. 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35

- - -

Today's 'Letters to' is 'Letter to the one who noticed'. The link is now open and ready to receive all your wonderful posts! 
The next 'Letters to' will be on the 20th August with the delightful Ruth Povey over at Learning {one day at a time} and the prompt will be 'Letter to tuck in your pocket'.


Saturday, 3 August 2013

When 'how are you?' is not worth saying

The calls come interspersed between loads of laundry and sprays of polish. I hear the 'quack quack' over the whirr of the washing machine (yes, my ring tone is a duck!) Immediately my hands are empty and reaching for the phone, certain that the caller will be one of a small handful of people I look forward to hearing from. And it usually is (when it's not someone encouraging me to claim back PPI!) 

With the phone tucked snugly between ear and shoulder, I resume folding clothes and washing dishes - It's probably going to be a long chat!
'How are you?' is not worth saying, we already know, we probably spoke only days, maybe hours before. We share stories of the day, the things that made us smile and the hilarious things our children did that morning. We explain our worries and fears and re-assure each other that we too are feeling the same, that you are not alone. We discuss the deep issues, the anxieties, the depressions, the longing for more, and we encourage each other, we share love and life and experiences. 

Most importantly, we build each other up where others tear us down.

Where would I be without my small handful of dear friends, without my therapists, my cheerleaders, my sisters. Who would I be without those who make me brave, who make me kind, who guide and mold my life without intention, who simply care enough to call amidst the frenzy of raising children and juggling the responsibilities of life.

As hours pass and husbands fall asleep alone, and we really must go but just one more thing! - and it doesn't matter if the signal fails or the battery dies, because the next time I'm cleaning skirting boards and I hear the 'quack quack', my hands will be emptied, my ears and heart ready to listen, and I'm reaching for the phone.

Story (Five minute friday)

He sat in the same chair day in, day out. It was close enough to the television to enable him to watch the few programs he enjoyed, but far enough away from everyone that he wouldn't have to make conversation. He liked his chair to face the window and became very angry when the red alarm button was not in his good hand. 

He was one of thirty people living in the home, which to him, meant he might as well be invisible. His eyes would almost pop straight out of their sockets when he was angry, and gloss over when he had given up trying.

Outwardly, he appeared to be miserable, a man who could not accept his fate, chained to a wheelchair rendering him helpless in the hands of carers, carers who tried to please him with their smiles and 'good mornings' and 'mmm treacle for pudding today!' which can only have highlighted to him how treacle and smiles from strangers was the only thing he had to look forward to.

But then there was his wife. As able bodied as minded, she would visit him a few times a week. Still very much in love, his face would soften at the sight of her. His eyes glossing over once again, this time drowning in memories instead of fighting painful tears.

I sat with him one afternoon, after his wife had planted kisses on his lips and lifted his spirits enough in the few hours she was there to last him until the next visit. I can still remember his smile, so warming and rare. I sensed an opportunity in that moment, a chink in his well crafted armour. I sat myself in the chair closest to him, leaned in and said 'so what's your story?'.

And he told me.

He told me about his days as a soldier. He told me about war and how he had witnessed so many awful things. He told me, that he met his wife the very day he returned, was married 6 months later and has loved her ever since.  He continued  reminiscing as I hoisted him into his wheelchair, and as I maneuvered him into his box bedroom. Still we walked down memory lane as I handed him his toothbrush and helped him into his pyjamas.

He smiled as he placed his head on the pillow, still glowing with the warmth of beautiful memories relived. And as I switched off the light, and walked down the quiet corridor, bedroom after bedroom, I wondered how many others were keeping their own secret memories locked inside, waiting for someone to ask 'What's your story?'.

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five minute friday! This week's prompt is 'Story'.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A letter to explain (Letters to)


Before you come into my house, please let me explain. I was just in the middle of doing the dishes...that's why there are dirty plates on the kitchen sides. Oh and please excuse the floors, I was planning to sweep them later today.
Please take a seat and I'll get you a drink...I'm afraid I don't have much at the moment, the shopping is being delivered tomorrow.
I know my hair is a mess, and I probably have banana mashed into my leggings...the baby just had his lunch, I don't usually look this unkempt. Please relax on the sofa, I'll just clear these empty mugs away, oh and you don't mind if I quickly put a load of washing on do you?

Please let me explain, as I feel I must.

I feel I must.

Every day my mouth pours out explanations and excuses for one thing or another. The order of my home, my appearance, the tidiness of my car, why my baby is crying and doesn't want you to cuddle him. But this is my home, and you are welcome to enter, you are welcome to sit in my space, you are welcome to drink tea and talk and laugh and cry and spill crumbs on the floor. Your children are welcome to drag out toys, to mash their lunch into the sofa, to parade sticky hands up and down hardwood floors.

Why am I making excuses as though I am ordinarily the perfect host and housewife and mother and homemaker? Why am I explaining things away as though they are not the normal. I do sometimes have a messy house, but dishes are less important than my child wanting me to plant raspberries on his tummy. And sweeping floors comes second to a friend who needs an ear to listen. When I am old, will I look back through my life and remember that I didn't always have a perfect home, perfect hair, dust free sills, or will I remember the memories created in the spaces that weren't filled with cleaning and grooming and trying to appear perfect?

So please come in, sit and have some cake, this is my home and it is lived in, and it is loved in.  No explanations. 

Linking up today with the delightful Ruth at for the fabulous new 'Letters to' link up!

Letters To

Friday, 12 July 2013

Present (five minute friday)

I'm a girl with her 'head screwed on'. I'm a girl who is 'sensible'. I'm a girl with 'my feet on the ground'.
These are the things I hear about myself, the things I sometimes even feel about myself. When I hear these words I don't feel proud to be the 'sensible' one. I don't feel grateful for the labels bestowed upon me.
I am well aware of my realistic approach to life. My head is never in the clouds, I am not frivolous, I do not impulse buy, I am happiest when I know I have savings stashed away for emergencies.

For all these things I am both grateful and resentful.

For all these things, I do not live in the present.

My life is endless planning, saving, worrying, dreaming of the things I want that will take me years to achieve. I am forever planning for the next catastrophe, always on the edge of my seat waiting for the next thing to happen.

When will I be content? To not worry about the future or revise the past.

To just be present.

'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?'
 Matthew 6 25-27

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Letter to the brave

Where are you now brave girl? Where is the girl who lived fearlessly in the moment? The girl who was afraid of nothing?

I remember the days when you would sing your lungs out, dizzying yourself as you twirled around the house in your little red leotard. Those were the days when you would perform for anyone, breakdancing to Tracey Chapman with no care of who might be watching. You were the girl who helped build a den with the boys in the woods, your hands grubby and hair matted with soil. You went on rollercoasters that threw you in the air, the faster the better, again and again. Remember the days of playing goalie with the older boys? You were willing to take any position to just join in, to be a part of it.
You were the girl who could so easily talk to strangers, sparking conversations as though you were already friends.

 I don't know where you are anymore little girl, perhaps you got lost on the way to adulthood, when reality became a lot scarier than the bubble wrap of youth. Maybe you are still in there somewhere, that little voice that says 'go might enjoy it!' and is more often than not ignored.

 How I wish I could be more like you child, to be brave again, to be sing as though the world is my audience.

The next 'Letters to' will be held at on the 16th July and the prompt will be 'Letters to explain', I hope to see you all over there in a fortnight!

For now though, it's over to you! :)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Letter to a stranger (Letters to...)

I was six centimetres dilated when I met you. It had been a hard and painful day and I was a wonderful mixture of elated and petrified. My whole body was contracting fiercely as the life inside me made it's way closer to the world. 
You were just doing your job, the same thing you did every day. I was half naked, very happy on gas and air and giving my camera toting fiance the thumbs up!

I am so excited to be guest posting today over at to launch our new bi-monthly 'Letters to...' link up! This fortnights prompt is 'Letters to a stranger'.

Click here to read the rest of this post and get involved with this exciting new link-up!

Letters To

Happy posting everyone!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Listen (five minute friday)

It happens when he thinks I am not listening. When I am busying myself hanging laundry, washing dishes or cleaning floors. Tenderness between father and son floats through the hallway like a sweet melody. I hear the giggles of pure delight from a tiny boy as his daddy lifts him in the air, providing wings to fly. If I am very quiet, I can hear the sweet words exchanged with innocent babbling - 'daddy loves his little boy' - 'bahbah bohbohbah'.

These moments of vulnerability from an otherwise macho man sing to my heart and never fail to raise a smile from my lips. Sometimes I take a peek, at the risk of being caught and breaking the magic. I hide in doorways for a glimpse of a secret moment, where walls are broken down and love fills the room like sweet smelling incense.

I see two bodies cuddled into one, small hands inside big ones as they share daddy's favourite movies.
'He is the baddie Mason, we don't like him, and there goes Batman to save the day!'

I choose not to interrupt, not to break the beauty, but instead I cherish the moment, and just listen.

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for five minute Friday at

Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Morning (concrete words)

It is the hours between days that breed doubt. As a nursing mother I spend many of these hours awake, but instead of savouring this precious, fleeting time with my son, I instead decide to drag my mind through the mess of the day.

Contemplation is not best done in the dark.

During this time my fears come alive, creeping in with bad intentions - keeping me awake. I become panic stricken, I am hopeless, I am scared. There is no light at the end of the tunnel and I am all alone. I am frantically searching for a resolution, an excuse, with the worry bearing down on my shoulders.

I pray for the peace of sleep!

And then the morning comes, bringing with it a fresh new opportunity for change. The sun slips between the blinds, and casts lines of life over what was, only moments before, dark and lifeless. The morning is alive and bright. The birds sing from their leafy perches, a beautiful reminder that I am not alone, that He is with me, guiding and loving.

It is in the morning, that troubles are revealed as inconveniences far less important than remembering to be thankful for the everyday blessings.

Linking up with Concrete Words at

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Fall (five minute friday)

The moment I saw you, I fell in love. Months of dreaming of a face I could only imagine, optimistically awaiting the day I could count fingers and toes. I felt your tiny hiccups inside me, sang in tune to your kicks as you scrambled for space within. Countless days spent preparing, planning, praying for the boy I had not met and yet knew so well.
Every day I fall more, as you smile just for me. Your laughter is my joy, your tears mine to dry. You cling to me as I hold you, your thick fingers curling into my hair, and I know I am blessed.
My home is a happy place because of you, my heart has been made whole. Every day I smile and thank God for my gift. I watch you grow and learn and play, each day brings a new lesson, a new adventure, a new song to sing.
Your arrival was my happy ending, my unravelling future.

Five Minute Friday
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