Dr Maya Angelou

I was sat watching the sea when I heard the news.

 

My daughter phoned me when I was away to ask me if I had heard the news.

 

Dr Maya Angelou had died.

 

As the waves crashed against the shore.

 

I cried.

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I didn’t know Dr Maya Angelou but when I read ” I know why the cage bird sings” it simply changed me.

Her strength, her determination got me through some dark days.

Her words gave me hope when I didn’t believe in it.

Even when life became lighter her words were still my inspiration.

I devoured her books, her writing, her poetry with a passion.

Her grit, 

Her courage

They filled my heart.

 

Dr Maya Angelou was a fighter, her advocacy in civil rights is a legacy on it’s own.

“She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace.”

 

Her families statement honour the beautiful lady she was.

 

I am so thankful for the words Dr Maya Angelou shared with the world.

 

Her writings were often close to the inner workings of my mind.

 

I bear one of her quotes on my arm.

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This quote is so true for the writer in me.

 

Yet it’s another which I live my life by.

 

“People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

 

Dr Maya Angelou you have left this world a brighter richer place.

 

Your poetry, your stories, your voice have all left such a lasting legacy for the world.

 

Your were an inspiration to many.

 

You were my hope and strength.

 

Thank you Dr Maya Angelou for never giving up.

 

“Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”

 

Bless Heaven Dr Maya Angelou as you blessed the earth.

 

Our weekend in Liverpool

Last  saturday we had our first night of respite for this year.

We were so looking forward to the rest and relaxation and getting to spent some quality time with our youngest.

Also we got to hide away from the big two who are super stressed studying for exams.

So off to Liverpool we when.

on our way

 

It all started off so well we visited with friends in New Brighton which was lovely we had a fantastic lunch followed by a trip to the beach and ice- creams.

seeing friends

Then after not checking our Sat Nav and having the avoid all toll- roads setting on we turned a ten minute journey into over a hour, oh well we live and learn.

We finally reached Liverpool rather tired and harassed and we were so looking forward to checking into our room at the Travelodge Liverpool Central The Strand.

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Again fate was playing games with us as after struggling for over an hour to find the hotel we found ourselves completely lost. We got directed to another of the Travelodge’s who then thankfully directed us to where were supposed to be staying.

We finally got onto the hotel exhausted and ready to relax.

We were so pleased to find that the rooms were beautiful, clean and fresh looking and the bed looked so welcoming.

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We all wanted to just jump in and sleep but first we had to eat.

We decided to stay in and eat at the hotel’s restaurant as we were so tired and wasn’t really in the mood to go out.

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We all ordered the same starter of chicken wings which were lovely, all three of us munched our way through them in no time at all.

Alan and I ordered the chicken burger as our main meal and Brodie had the quarter pounder. Lets just say Brodie enjoyed hers. Our chicken burgers were rubbery and really not nice.

The staff were lovely and helpful and the restaurant itself was beautiful but I do think they need to look at providing a better quality meals as breakfast was lacking too and we heard many other guests complaining too.

Then thankfully it was bedtime, I was so looking forward to a good nights sleep, the bed was so comfortable and the television kept our daughter happy and quiet.

We were super impressed with the hotel rooms.

Travelodge has been updating their hotels and this was evident in our room. The surroundings were clean, calm and relaxing and just want we needed.

I slept the whole night through and work up feeling really refreshed. A whole 8 hours, did you read that 8 hours wow.

On Sunday we had decided to to take Brodie on a ferry ride we didn’t know the times of the sailings but the staff were incredibly helpful and happy to check the times for us.

We really enjoyed the trip across the Mersey, especially when the ships horn gave Brodie a big scare my goodness she jumped.

Liverpool 2014

All in all Liverpool was fun weekend, we got a chance to spent some quality time together and make some memories.

We were really impressed with the quality of the new refurnished Travelodge. It was fantastic. The rooms were beautiful and  the bathroom super clean which really impressed me. We will certainly think about staying with them again in the future.

The staff were really helpful and genuinely wanted to make sure you enjoyed your stay

The only things I would suggest is to improve the food.

Because to the Meredith family food is so important.

So after an busy but fun weekend we drove home to a poorly boy and a visit to A & E and a broken toe.

And people wonder why I needed a break ha ha.

 

* We were gifted a nights stay at the Travelodge for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are honest and my own.

 

I need to change my go to.

What do you do when life seems crazy and you feel like it’s all to much?

Do you have ways of calming yourself down, meditation, prayer or maybe wine?

I’m not really sure I have a method.

I seem to carry on and carry on until I have to sleep with complete exhaustion.

Only yesterday I realised I do something else when life gets stressful.

I pull away.

My phone stays silent,.

I ignore the notifications and I only communicate as and when.

It’s as if I can only cope with so much that I’m scared to open up in case it becomes more.

Yet in doing this I find myself alone, lonely.

It wasn’t always like this.

Something happened last year which left me hurting terribly.

It took away my naivety

It took away my trust

And why I have tried not to let it have a hold over me I realise it has.

My closing off and pretending I’m ok Is literally locking out those who wish to be there for me.

[Tweet “Punishing many for the few.”]

I apologise to those I have shied away from.

I see now all you were trying to do is be there for me.

I am truly grateful.

I can’t promise I won’t hold back or close off anymore.

[Tweet “But I can promise I will try.”]

 

Turning the page

As any writer will tell you there are times when the words flow and others when each word written feels like it has been torn from your soul.

I often have days of both.

One thing that seems to free up the gates of inspiration is when I am writing about something that I am passionate about, surprising hey.

A month or so ago I received and email from the company i worked for telling me about a competition that was being run by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and KIDS. They challenged us to write a piece about disability, either from living with one or caring for someone who had one.

Of course this set me off and before long I had emailed my entry in.

Now this was rather surprising for me as I normally hold back in fear of rejection but as part of my nothing ventured, nothing gained new outlook I decided why not.

Well imagine my joy to receive an email telling me that I was joint winner of the 18 and over category.

I have won an amazing prize of a Kindle Fire but I will also get to see my words in a book they are making to raise money for KIDS.

I am super excited about it all and cannot wait to get my own copy.

If you would like to read what I wrote and the amazing winning entries in other categories please take a look here. My piece is called Never say never.

I”m so glad that i didn’t allow my fear and insecurities stop from entering this time.

[Tweet “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”]

Messy

Oh I had this image of the mama I wanted to be.

The clean house, cake making, hug giving kind of mama.

My children were going to grow up safe, secure ready to take on the world.

I didn’t prepare for disability

I didn’t prepare for loss.

I didn’t prepare for life.

How can I expect them to be ok?

Who is actually ever ok?

Does ok really exist?

We are a world full of rising mental health issues.

Where are we going wrong?

 

Perfection

perfect

This is what the media wants us all to believe. 

You have to be perfect.

From the perfect new born mother with linen wipes and organic baby food.

To the teenager starving to fit in the new fashions,

We cannot be perfect

No one can

But that does not stop the world trying make us believe otherwise.

 

I am a messy mother.

I mess up.

I shout, I scream, I forget to wash sports kit or sign permission slips.

I lose my patience when I’m tired and crave some peace and quiet.

 

My husband is a messy father

He forgets to listen properly and is surprised when they kick off.

He laughs at boy troubles not in mirth but in ignorance.

Scared that they are growing up.

 

Then my girls 

They are the most perfect imperfect children alive and i love them for it.

From the stroppy tantrums to the banging of the doors.

From the constant arguing to the solitary against the parents.

The demanding of attention to the leave me alone moods.

They are messy

and thats perfectly ok.

 

Life is a constant lesson

Each day brings with it a new piece of knowledge and new understanding.

Yet how can you learn if you know everything?

How can you form if you are already perfect?

It’s time we ignored who others wish us to be.

Turn off the televisions and leave the magazines on the shelves.

Lets grow into who we wish to be not what is expected by others.

Let us all be beautifully imperfect 

Lets all be messy

 

 

My #Morrisonsmum shopping trip

I was super excited when I found out that I had been picked as a #Morrisonsmum.

£80 in vouchers to do a shop for the bank holiday. Wow this couldn’t have come at a better time as on Bank Holiday Monday we were hosting an event for over 60 children and their families and I was making the buffet.

Now I often use our local Morrisons but with the current financial climate we have had to shop around. So after hearing about the “I’m cheaper” price cuts I was looking forward to seeing if they would make an impact on our weekly costs.

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So how did my shopping trip go?

Pretty great.

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The I’m cheaper price cuts were on a lot of items that i normally buy.

We noticed a real difference in the price of our fruit which is always a big expense in this home. Bananas especially. I love to make a banana loaf but they disappear so quick that I’ve never had any left over. Due to the reductions I got to take home a few extra so hopefully in a few days a banana loaf will be in the making.

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I was catering for about 90 people and that involves a lot of sandwiches so I was super impressed by the reductions on their sandwich meats.

I was happy to see that the reductions was not on the super cheap or super expensive meats which is what we like to buy. My youngest wants you to know the Morrisons ham is the best ever.

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When hosted a gathering such as we were we had to cover so many things and thankfully from fruit to sweets Morrisons “I’m cheaper “ prices really made an impact to my budget.

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I was exhausted at the end of my shop but the difference in my estimated bill and my actual bill was really surprising and really welcome.

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Honestly if you are not a Morrisons shopper usually or haven’t been for a while I would recommend you giving them a try again.

I was really impressed and by the way the food disappeared on Monday I’m not alone in this view.

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Good quality food for great prices what more could I ask for?

 

* Whilst I was gifted £80 in vouchers to do a shop all opinions stated here are my own.

Look what we did.

There are very few days in your life where you can look back and see all that you have accomplished.

Monday was truly one of those days for me.

With my charity Livvy’s Smile we hosted a fantastic memory making day for over 60 children with special needs and their families.

It was a truly perfect day.

I could tell you about the laughter that filled the centre.

I might mention the new friendships that were created.

But in this instance I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves.

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It was a wonderful day and although now I am physically and emotionally exhausted I am super proud of all that we have achieved.

Our charity is run in honour and memory of our beautiful daughter Olivia who lost her battle with Rett Syndrome in 2008.

Olivia was an amazing girl who had a real zest for life. Mischief and mayhem were her two favourite things.

I think she would be happy with the magical day created in her memory.

I’m also so sure she would think her sisters are amazing because I certainly do.

Fifteen

Fifteen

What !

How in the world would you be fifteen?

Time is flying away from me at such a rate.

I want to press stop and then rewind.

I’m trying hard to imagine you as a 15 year old.

I think you would give your sisters a run for their money in the stroppy teens department.

What kind of clothes would you wear?

Would your hair be as wild?

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So many questions that will never get an answer.

I want to say it’s unfair.

Stamp my feet in a rage.

But it’s gets me nowhere.

It’s doesn’t bring you back.

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So I’m going to honour you my sweet beautiful girl.

I’m going to do as you did everyday.

Be strong

Be brave

And smile.

I going to host a party in your name.

Invite your friends old and new.

We shall laugh

We shall cry

There shall be fun

and there will be joy.

Memories made and cake eaten.

Just as you would have wanted.

In honour of your birthday

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In memory of you

My beautiful Olivia

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