So towards the end of January, I went on a Fitness Weekend being hosted by Alex Crockford, with Replenish You, held in a beautiful manor house in Loughborough. I will share with you soon as to why I did this and all the amazing details covering the exercise and food over various blog posts but before, that I thought I would share some of the photos I took over the weekend to send back to my children – rather fitting as we have just celebrated mother’s day – and just to prove the point that no matter where you are, even when having some me time, you are always a mum!
…when you’re dealing with a four-year-old boy!!!
This is how the conversation with my four-year-old Blue One went today…
Me: “What do you want for lunch – a sandwich thin or a crumpet?”
Blue One: “Hmmm, a crumpet”
Me: “Are you sure?”
Blue One: “Yes”
Me: “I’m putting your crumpet in the toaster”
Blue One: “Ok”
A couple of minutes later the crumpet is toasted and I’m buttering it…
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So on this day six years ago, at 6:52am our Pink One came into the world, weighing 7lb 3oz and changed our lives forever!
I cannot believe she is six years old already – seriously where has the time gone?
So this year, I’ve written a poem for my beautiful, intelligent and incredible daughter…
The morning you came you changed our lives forever.
Before you arrived life was good but now with you in the world it just got better
Our family of two become a wonderful three with this beautiful baby girl, half daddy, half me
Big blue eyes and a complete cutie pie, you are the apple of mine and daddy’s eye
We would watch you for hours, we were completely besotted. Each little facial expression and the way your arms swatted.
You made us laugh with your cheeky ways, the little pickle who brightens our days.
I’m not saying it’s all been easy, as we know it has not, but I wouldn’t change a thing, not a single part
There are times that we clash and mummy gets mad, but remember my child you are not bad
Everything we do and say is because we love you so much, your zest for life our hearts has touched
We gave you a brother, it’s so lovely, how you play so well with each other
You’re a wonderful big sister (most of the time) and to see you laugh together brings a tear of joy to my eye
Watching you grow is an honour and blessing, what you’ll be when you’re older has everyone guessing
We’re so lucky to have you, you’re a joy to behold and now my amazing daughter you are six years old!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY my darling Pink One!!! Love you loads!!!
So today was quite a laid back day, but needed to do my bit for Juneathon. So this afternoon the Pink One and I walked to collect her brother from the child-minder’s and then a walk home – not saying it was quite a slow walk home, but my Garmin kept pausing!!!
The reason for the slow walk back to home is we did look at the stream, in the beautiful sunny weather with my small people
Then the kids were lucky enough to see a neighbours campervan, and he was kind enough to let them sit in it – he made their day!
There was the walks to and from school to do drop off and pick up and don’t forget the three toes touches!!! All in all, not a bad day!
So on Tuesday 19th May I got to attend a very exciting media launch in London’s beautiful Hyde Park, courtesy of Helen of HelBels who managed to get me invited along for which I cannot thank her enough!!! I also got to meet the lovely Adele – find a link to her blog here
So what is Join In? I hear you cry, well I will tell you (even if you didn’t actually cry out or haven’t clicked on the very helpful hyperlinks above! ;-)) Join In are a charity whose mission is to encourage people to volunteer and help support their local sporting groups. It is a London 2012 legacy charity (thank you very much the Olympic games :-)) which is funded by government grant and their official partners BT and Intersport.
The Run It campaign, to put it simply, is to get more people volunteering specifically in the area of running! Be it for informal running groups (e.g. Parkrun), athletics teams or marathons. None of these events would be able to take place if it weren’t for people volunteering to help out – in whatever capacity that they are able to – marshalling, coaching, painting the club house, making sandwiches, taking subs… literally, the possibilities for volunteering are endless and make such a huge difference!!!
This was an amazing first event to attend, even though I personally have nothing to compare it to, I felt it was a very friendly, sociable and inclusive group. It was fun and informative. After initially arriving and milling around meeting people and saying “hello”, receiving our very lovely purple Join In t-shirts, there was an introductory few words from Join In’s Director of Sport and former 5km world record holder David Moorcroft. He brought across just how important volunteering is and one sentence which really sticks in my head is “If you love running, help others run”
Supporters of the campaign, who were in attendance, were 10,000m 2014 European Championships Gold medal winner Jo Pavey (a massive inspiration to me!) and second fastest British female runner over a marathon Mara Yamauchi – both again highlighted just how important it is to have volunteers in the sport, without volunteers neither of the them would have had the amazing sporting careers and achievements that they do!
After the initial chat, we couldn’t go to a running based media launch without actually doing any running could we? So we ventured outside, where fortunately for us the weather held out! Here I got to do the most exciting thing which was take a photo of Mara Yamauchi and Jo Pavey together, for Mara on her camera!!! I hope it was in focus!!! Slightly overawed!
So our warm up was led by Carlos from Intersport – this *ahem* gentle warm up was quite intense for the likes of me your amateur jogger, but was good fun! Then we headed off on a 5km run around Hyde Park – I kept at the back with Helen and a few others and the ’35 minute pace setter’. There was a couple of people marshalling (see – good examples of volunteering!) but somehow Helen and I managed to get a bit lost and we’re positive we did about 5.5km – but hey ho whatever I WON!!! No – not like that, I was never gong to beat the likes of Jo Pavey was I? – What I did win was a fun little competition. We had to guess how long it would take us to run the 5km, I said 00:34:30 and it took me 00:33:57 – so only 33 seconds out and the closest guess! Go me!!! So I won the bragging rights there – I know how slow… I mean how fast I am!!! 😛
Afterwards I got to chat with David Moorcroft, who is lovely and friendly, and I mentioned my interest in running – and volunteering – and it’s ability to help those of us with mental health issues. He introduced me to Will – who discussed with me Hidden Diamonds – Uncovering the True Value of Sport Volunteers. It is quite overwhelming the difference that volunteering can make – not only to a community but to individual people. In some cases it can be literally life changing!
Right at the end we did get a few minutes to say “Hi” to Jo and we quickly discussed kids and running, but her taxi had arrived and she needed to go, but she was kind enough to have a photo taken with me.
All in all – it was a brilliant event and I am so pleased that Helen was able to take me along. It’s definitely made me consider volunteering again soon – at the moment my aim is to volunteer at Parkrun each time I complete 10 runs – I’ve currently run 16 so only 4 more and time to volunteer again. The whole thing is brilliant, as volunteering inspires people to run and vice versa, this leads on to making friends and becoming part of a network of people and the running community.
Now before I sign off, you may be wondering about the posts title, well as we were getting ready to leave Jo was asking the event organisers if they’d seen her black trousers – as like most of us she’d layered up and worn other trousers over her running ones as it was quite chilly, so one of the last things I heard before I left was “has anyone found Jo’s trousers?” and indeed I still don’t know… 😛
There are currently 4,000 opportunities to volunteer on the Join In website – go look now – watch the video – be inspired!!!
Summary of contact details for Join In and their Run it campaign
Website Join In – https://www.joininuk.org/
Website Run It – https://www.joininuk.org/run-it/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/joininuk
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/joininuk
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/JoinInUK
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/joininuk/
Also, if you’re looking to setup a club Join In can help with that too! Check out Club Hub!
Thank you for reading – please like, comment and share this post – it’s so important to keep getting the message out there! Let’s get more people volunteering! 🙂 xxx
Some images courtesy of https://www.joininuk.org and the rest are my own
I thought the blog post by Love From Clueless Mum was very inspiring, so thanks to her (and her inspiration mr and mrs t plus three) here’s my list, in no particular order, of 50 things that make me happy…
1. My children when they play nicely together – the laughter is lovely to hear even if I’m thinking at the back of my mind “this is probably going to end in tears!”
2. Taking photos – my Nikon D60 was my first baby, it was bought the October the year before the Pink One was born – I love taking photos, I take far too many, and when I find time I like to put my favourite ones on Redbubble – you can find my images here and I’ve written a post on some of my photography which you can find here.
3. Singing – it is a great stress reliever, I am a member of a choir too. You can hear some of my singing on YouTube if you wish and I have also sung on some of my audio blog posts
4. Studying with the Open University – it’s been one of the most challenging things I have done, but also very rewarding and opened up other opportunities I could never have foreseen
5. Beautiful blue skies on a cold crisp winter day
6. Running – as an anxiety sufferer this has been great for my mentality and the subject of my first ever blog post! It’s even more enjoyable when I go with friends – Helen and Kay have been marvellous at supporting and encouraging me.
7. Big family gatherings
8. Seeing a Robin redbreast – it just feels significant to me
9. Seeing my friends succeed – that in itself is inspiring
10. Seeing my Social Media presence grow
11. Blogging – when you finish a particularly good post (in your opinion) and it’s taken quite a lot of work, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as hitting publish
12. Reading someone else’s blog and thinking what a fab post (and realising it’s not just me! Lovely not to feel alone especially when it comes to this parenting malarkey!)
13. My 100 Days Style Challenge (especially painting my nails!!!) – which I will be writing a separate post on (at some point! So much going on – need more hours in the day!!!) – but I was inspired by Kat Henry (links to her Blog and Instagram) who in turn was inspired by Kathryn (links to her Blog and Instagram) – amazing women!
14. Nights out with my mummy friends that I have known since the birth of the Pink One
15. Writing down the funny things my children say or mispronunciation of words – these are currently on my phone, but I am gradually transferring them into a book which I am handwriting that they can have when they grow up! (think I have about 2 years worth to write up for both of them!!! haha!!!)
16. Sitting on the sofa with my hubby and watching some crap TV or a film
17. Actually managing to go on a date night or day with my hubby
18. As much as I love my kids nothing brings a smile to my face as to when they go for a sleepover at nanny and granddads!!!
19. Getting an assignment for the OU submitted
20. Getting the result of assignment back (when it’s a good one!)
21. Starting and finishing a creative project that I’ve seen on Pinterest, or come up with myself, even if it takes me a over a year!!! One example I blogged about you can find here!
22. Seeing my kids facing when they see the birthday cake I have made for them, regardless of the sleepless night and tears that have gone into it… I’ve posted blogs about the Pink Ones cake and the Blue Ones cake and the amazing Sister who helps me!
23. Christmas – we love this festive season as a family and we probably go overboard, but the expressions on the kids faces makes it all worth while
24. The fact my Blue One is out of nappies during the day!
25. Getting to have one-on-one time with each of my children
26. When you email a company and they are actually very helpful – in the latest instance Sistema, the makers of the water bottles we use, I let them know that even with careful cleaning the bottles lids smelt of stagnant water and they posted me some new lids with no fuss whatsoever
27. My self designed tattoo – a tribute to my kids, if you look in the wings you can see their first initials A and a J – this is on my left thigh and I love it! Again, I designed it and then waited a year before I had it done. It was actually a major stepping stone in my struggle with anxiety! What really helped was my phenomenal tattoo artist! I had it done at Jesters Tattoos in New Eltham, and my artist was Manda!
28. Getting an unexpected compliment
29. When my husband takes holiday time off work – love us all being together as a family (and it means its not just me telling the kids off)
30. When the kids do something the first time I ask – I also think this would make me faint as it does not happen often (if at all)!!!
31. When Stephen Amell personally liked a Facebook message I posted to him!!!
32. The smell of clean washing
33. Warm sunny days where you can just be lazy
34. The ‘dates’ I have with my Blue One in the Morrisons café – used to do this with my Pink One as well before she started school.
35. Getting a good bargain – regardless of what it is I am buying – it could be cleaning products to some lovely new clothes – a bargain is a bargain!
36. Watching my children sleep (they can’t answer me back when they are asleep) they look so angelic
37. The look on my Pink One’s face when she got a note from the Tooth Fairy for her first lost baby tooth (you can see the tinyletter in the photo of them sleeping above)
38. My kids excitement when Father Christmas has been
39. Developing my logo/brand for Jog on Mum
40. Having a lie in
41. Getting breakfast in bed
42. Getting my hair cut and coloured – I love it so much and afterwards I feel like me again! I have the best hairdresser!
43. Hearing my children say “I love you mummy, you’re the best” – I may not actually be the best mummy but to them I am so that’s all that matters! *grumble* *moan*
44. My tummy not being bloated and uncomfy at the end of the day – blooming IBS, still not great and I have been following a low FODMAP diet since February!!!
45. A long hot shower without my small people for company (also in that line, going to the loo on my own too!)
46. Snow days with the kids
47. Days out at Brighton with the family, walking on the pier, playing dolphin derby and eating hot doughnuts! My hubby proposed to me on Brighton pier so it’s extra sentimental to me!
48. A lovely hot cup of tea – not one that has been reheated in the microwave for the umpteenth time, or left in there, or half drunk in a rush in the morning, one that you can savour as you watch some TV, read a book or are reading a particularly good blog post – ahhhh, bliss! Sometimes it really is the little things in life – the thought of this is just making me smile!
49. Looking through all my photos and videos (particularly ones of the kids) I could lose hours if not days to doing this!!!
50. People reading my blog, liking it and getting comments!!! It’s definitely a good ego booster!!! 🙂
It’s been nice to write a positive improve your mood kind of post, and 50 is quite a large number, really makes you think and sometimes you’ll be surprised that it really is the little things in life that make you happiest – such as that hot cup of tea or the sound of your children laughing – what would be on your list?
Comment below and please share this post – it would be much appreciated!
***Disclaimer – To my darling Pink One and Blue One – if you are reading this now you are older, please don’t judge mummy too harshly, remember I love you and adore you and always will, I am only human and occasionally things just get to me. If you are ever lucky enough to have small people of your own, you may actually understand some of these points and may even appreciate mummy having written this! I only get these feeling of guilt as I care about you both so much!***
I am quite nervous about doing this post and wondering what people would think of me, is it too much to be sharing? But reading the fabulous blog of The Unmumsy Mum (give her blog a look – it’s brilliant!) – has given me the push and inspiration to do this because sometimes honesty, and just being truthful, is the best policy, and when it comes to being a mum (or dad) – we’re in this together!!!
I think I spend my entire time just feeling guilty – becoming a mum seems to have amplified this feeling a hundred fold, plus I’m Catholic so I know all about feeling guilty…
Guilty when I used to work and wasn’t around for my kids.
Guilty now I’m a stay at home mum but sometimes wish I still had a job in an office with adults! Adult talk and a hot cup of tea!
Guilty for being a shouty mummy. Never ever thought I’d be such a shouty mummy prior to having children! This has seriously taken me by surprise!
Guilty for reading the blogs and sites that will help you stop being a shouty mum in these easy steps (if I have learnt just one thing about having children is that nothing to do with them is ever easy!) but just being too bloody tired to be able to carry out the suggestions and still being shouty!
Guilty for screaming at my daughter when she’s only been back from a sleep over for less than two hours as she’s made her brother cry more in that time than he’s cried in the last two days she’s been away and telling her I wished she was still away! Feelings beyond guilty – I am such a horrible person! Who does that? Oh, me!!! She’s only five!!! Head in hands shame…
Guilty that sometimes I am so shouty on a particular day I actually give myself a sore throat! What must the neighbours think!?! Fortunately they’ve got kids too!!!
Guilty when I’ve been shouty and the small people come and hug me and say “mummy, I love you!” and not being very appreciative of the hug at that time as I am still feeling grumpy. I love you small people, always will – I sometimes just don’t like your behaviour and need a few moments to gather myself and calm down.
Guilty for losing it over the small stuff! Why did I start this? Can’t back down now, I am the parent and need to make my point…
Guilty for being on my iPhone instead of paying attention to my children. I can usually judge how ‘bad’ my day has been by the percentage of battery left on my phone!!! The lower the percentage the tougher the day!!!
Guilty for not enjoying my kids ALL the time. We’re only human and sometimes the days with a small child can feel so long and when they’re in one of ‘those’ moods, where everything you suggest isn’t good enough, it’s hard to find the joy!
Guilty for wondering at times, all be it fleetingly, when it’s been a tough day, if I should’ve become a mum which leads to more feelings of guilt as there are women out there who are desperate to be a mum and spending vast quantities of money and straining relationships to try and get this honour!
Guilty when I spend the day wishing for the kids bedtime.
Guilty once they are in bed that I’ve been so shouty at them all day and not played with them more! They look so angelic and beautiful when they’re asleep – you do wonder how you could’ve got so angry at them!
Guilty because I think sometimes my days are way harder then my husbands day at work in an office! He gets to talk to big people (who are not necessarily better behaved than small children, but that’s not the point) and not constantly discuss why chocolate buttons do not constitute as lunch – well maybe they do, just not when you’re 3!!!.
Guilty that the minute the hubby steps through the front door I pass off the kids – possibly before he’s even got his coat off – if it’s been a ‘bad’ day! Argh – That’s it – your go!!!
Guilty for wishing my kids would shut up….please!?! You wait so long to hear them say “mummy” or “daddy” for so long and then it gets relentless…!!!
Guilty for wishing my kids would go away and leave me in peace for 5 minutes! Seriously guys I can go to the loo all by myself!!!
Guilty because for a split second now and then, these beautiful people I love and made and will always love, I highly dislike them! Well actually it’s the behaviour I don’t like really…
Guilty for admitting I couldn’t have been a stay at home mum until one of my children was at primary school – so I only have one to deal with for the majority of the day! Would have been the same regardless of who was born first! It’s just seems so much easier dealing with one once you’ve got two!
Guilty as I sometimes act like a petulant child! No seriously I do, and it’s not something I am proud of! “It’s not fair!!!”
Guilty that I won’t let my kids mix the Play-Doh colours! Please don’t do it!!! *shudder*
Guilty because I wish my 5 year old or 3 year old would ‘just grow up’!!! What are you? A kid or something!?! Oh… Then realising, that though the days may go slowly the years are flying by and they’ll be all grown up before I know it! *sob* It can all be so confusing on the old emotions!
Guilty for allowing one bit of bad behaviour from my kids ruin what had probably been a lovely day up the that point and holding a grudge because they upset my rose tinted ideal! That’s it – you’ve ruined the day! *Grumble*
Guilty for making a promise to my small people that I don’t keep! We ran out of time, actually out of whatever it was, or it wasn’t on the Sky+ box like I thought, or I only really promised to have a quiet life and made sure we couldn’t carry out said promise! Oh the shame!!!
Guilty for really wanting a week off from being a parent! So I’m human…
Guilty as there are times I enjoy my studying more than playing with my kids! It doesn’t answer me back…
Guilty that I sometimes find my Blue One ‘easier’ than my Pink One! (aybe because he’s the second child or because he is a boy!?! He just seems a simpler creature to deal with! He does have his moments though!)
Guilty when I hear my horrible side coming out of my daughter’s mouth as she shouts at her brother! I cringe when I hear her and think “Oh no, that’s all me!” 😦
Guilty for constantly saying “in a minute” “wait a minute” “not just now” “give me a minute” when my kids ask for my time! They do seem to time it perfectly when I am in the middle of something like getting their lunch/dinner, making a phone call or trying to write a blog!!!
Guilty for not being the mother I think I ‘should’ be! I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others, and what seems to be their amazingly well behaved children, and can only do my best, but I always feel I should be doing better!
Guilty when I feel super proud because my kids are ‘so bright’! A moment of feeling smug and then seriously guilty about it!
Guilty for not sitting down and doing more ‘arts and crafts’ with them – but I am just not very good at it! I am a control freak, and the mess just makes me twitchy! Plus, I just end up taking over as they’re just not doing it right… oh the shame…
Guilty for writing this and putting it ‘out there’! It’s been cathartic to write and hope will make one other mummy (or daddy) realise they are not alone!
If this just helps one other person feel better about themselves, gives you a laugh, makes you realise it’s not just you – least my guilt will have done some good! There are many more things I feel guilty about, but think the above is enough for one post!
I love these small people dearly and wouldn’t be without them, they really are my life, my everything, but the occasional sleepover at nanny and grandad’s is very much appreciated I can tell you!!! 😀
If I mention to anyone else that my children can misbehave, it’s met with remarks of disbelief! “But they’re such an angel, I can’t imagine it!” – as long as my children are beautifully behaved for other people, The hubby and I must be doing something right… just wish I got to see more of this amazing behaviour!!! *sigh…*
Please comment and/or share so I can alleviate some of my guilt… Please… I will even beg!!! 😜️xxx