As the year comes to an end…..

So its the end of another year.

A lot has happened in the last 365 days.

I became the parent to all teenagers

Then a few months later I became the parent of an adult. (crazy)

I also then had to wave the said adult off as she left for university

It has truly been a crazy year, at times it has felt my feet have barely touched the ground.

We are still fostering a handsome young man with special needs and he is certainly keeping us on our toes.

Livvy’s Smile is doing well, we have held some fantastic memory making days and been busy fundraising. We have also had our story featured in a weekly woman’s magazine.

Personally I have had my writing published in a book and also walked the catwalk as a plus size model.

It’s honestly been a go go year.

As I wave 2014 goodbye I do so with two emotions.

Pride and exhaustion.

Proud of all we have achieved.

Exhausted, well simply by achieving all we have achieved.

I am super excited for 2015 though.

I have so many hopes for this forthcoming year.

In September I start at university, this is something I have dreamed of for such a long time and I cannot tell you how excited I am.

I’m also modelling again at Style XL and have a couple of photo shoots already lined up.

We may be adding another foster child to our family, and the girls are still trying hard to drive me completely insane.

So yes 2015 I am looking forward to you.

But while I am not making any new year resolutions I am making myself some promises.

Firstly I’m going to learn how to take time for myself.

Allowing myself space to breath, stop feeling guilty about wanting time out.

Also working on my health and fitness, continue with my swimming and working on my diet, as in healthy food not weight loss (not that I wouldn’t mind shifting a pound or twenty). I’m also going to try and stop stressing about things i cannot change and stop letting others have power over me. Anxiety has had me for the last 38 years, no more.

Secondly I’m going to work harder on my marriage.

It’s so easy after 19 years of being with the same man to take him for granted. To take each other for granted. I want to work on cherishing each other, spending quality time together and having fun. Reminding my husband that I still love every inch of him and that i find him sexier now than ever.

Thirdly Im going to work on believing in myself more.

For too long I have let myself down, rejected compliments or turned away opportunities because I didn’t believe I could do them.

This next year is going to be different.

I am a bright, intelligent woman and I am going to embrace all that I am. Negativity and self disbelief can stay in 2014 where it belongs.

This woman is going places.

Fourthly I’m going to have fun and make more memories.

This year I want to be more spontaneous and just enjoy the moment.

Let go and just take each day as it comes.

Play more with the kids and generally try not to stress as much as I do.

 

So there you go, my 2015 promises to myself.

Still before this year comes to an end i want to thank all my readers for the support that they have given me.

Blogging has afforded me many opportunities but the greatest of all these has been the people I have connected with in real life and here in the virtual world.

Your comments, emails, tweets have all lifted me when I was low.

Inspired me when I was lost and loved me when I was lonely.

I started blogging in 2008 for different reasons than I write now, but as always in 2015 this blog will be my heart.

What you read is simply who I am.

Heart on my sleeve

Words on the page.

So with that I would like to say…….

BLOG NEW YEAR

Who am I…

Find your blogging niche.

What is your main focus?

Which category does your blog fit into?

These questions are asked each day in the blogging world.

I recieve emails asking for me to define who I am.

Yet I can’t really answer these questions.

Because this blog is me.

The words on these pages are the words of my heart

I don’t fit into any category

I cannot be defined

This could be a craft blog

Maybe one about plus size fashion.

Or could it be a blog about a mothers grief.

It can and it is.

It’s all these rolled into one.

My blog is just like me.

Multi dimensional with so many different loves and different passions.

I learn something new each day.

I get challenged, moved and inspired.

One day I could write about a DVD or a book that ive enjoyed

The next about disability and life as a special needs mama.

I change each and every day

Growing, learning.

You know for so long I have tried to fit somewhere.

A niche, a group, club.

Searching to belong.

But lately I have realised that this is wrong.

I don’t have to be just one thing.

Fit in one place.

I can embrace everything and you my readers can do so along with me.

This blog is my journey

It is full of ups and downs.

Of  moments I will cherish forever and those I may wish to forget.

This blog has opened my world wider than I could have imagined.

Allowed me experiences I could never have dreamed and blessed me with friends I truly cherish.

To try and categorise this blog is impossible because I change each and every day and it changes with me.

In the words of Lewis Carroll

original

 

I do not fit in any niche besides the one named Sara.

The perfect niche for me.

Merry Christmas Livvy

The last few days I have been so low. Whoever stole Livvy’s tree stole more than they could ever have realised from me. My whole Christmas spirit went along with it.

I couldn’t get my head around the fact that someone could steal off a child’s grave.

I mean how could they?

Yet again over the last few days something else began to shine through.

Compassion.

I have been uplifted by messages from friends.

People looking about for a new tree and lights.

It’s been this compassion that slowly lifted me from the darkness I was falling into.

Yet still yesterday I was sad, the empty place where the tree should have been was still hurting to see.

So imagine my excitement this morning when a friend called me to say she had found a tree. I was jumping for joy.

After two days of searching my baby was going to have a tree for Christmas.

My heart is so happy.

Decorating and placing this tree has really lifted my spirit.

I know not all will understand my need or my sadness but this is all I can do for my daughter now. I need to honour her.

Remember her.

It is important that her special place is decorated as our home is.

So thank you dear friend.

Merry Christmas Livvy.

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Who would do such an awful thing?

I seriously can’t get my head into the right place today.

Finding out someone has stolen my daughters Christmas tree from her grave has made me feel sick.

Each year we decorate her special place with a tree and lights and it’s not much but it’s all I can do for my beautiful girl.

I hate that I can’t buy her gifts. It breaks my heart that she isn’t here to celebrate with us.

So as you can imagine the stealing of her Christmas tree has completely shattered me.

Honestly who would take a tree of a child’s grave?

Who??

I’m trying to replace it for her but nowhere seems to have solar lights and small trees left.

I’m trying Livvy I promise.

This is just so awful.

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It’s was so pretty now it’s gone.

Gift and Befriend

Each Christmas we always try to take time and remind our girls about the true meaning of the season.

Behind all the excitement of presents and the enormous amounts of food.

We remember those who haven’t what we have.

The girls get one monetary gift each year which they choose to donate to a charity of their choice or to buy something for someone in need.

So this year when I heard of the charity Gift and Befriend I was excited as this was the perfect way for my daughters to really see those they are helping and also giving them freedom over what they wish purchase.

Over at Gift and Befriend you register to become a giver you then get to learn about those in need known as the receivers and what they actually need from their own Amazon wish list.  You then get to choose the items you would like to purchase from their lists and they get shipped directly to them.

I think this is a fantastic idea, especially as one of the main reasons I hear about people’s reluctance to donate to charities is their concern about how much the actual person in need really gets. This site take the fear away as you purchase and ship straight to the receiver of your choice.

I sat down with my youngest daughter Brodie and  looked round the sitebig heart

 

She really enjoyed reading the profiles and learning about those she could help. It took a while mostly due to her desire to help them all but Brodie decided she wanted to help little Moses, his story just touched her heart.

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I know Christmas is always a financially tight time of year for many of us but before you buy that extra stocking filler maybe consider adding a gift to one of the receivers instead.  I know my girls really appreciate this and its one of their favourite parts of Christmas.

All together

My daughter returns from university today and yes I am so excited to see her.

So why did a friendly comment feel like I had been punched in the stomach?

My friend said “ I bet you are excited to have all the family back together’.

How simple and true is this comment.

Yes i am excited.

But my family will not all be back together.

You see there will always be a missing piece,

missing piece

 

An empty place at the table.

A pile of presents that have not been bought.

On Christmas day only three of my girls will be celebrating it here with me.

Heaven holds the celebration for the other.

I want to say that i’m ok about it all, that i can be happy and enjoy the season but I can’t.

The ache in my heart is getting stronger and stronger as we head towards the 25th.

I hate that on Christmas day I have to visit the crematorium, that the only gift I can give to my daughter is flowers on her stone.

I want the air to echo with her laughter, the harmony of my four beautiful girls to play.

Yet all i can hear is the silence of the missing note.

Christmas is a special time of year, I love the wonder of it all.

The excitement that builds in peoples hearts.

The joy of giving , the love that is shared.

Christmas is a time for celebration and I promise I will try.

Still I hope that it will be ok, that sometimes through this season i disappear.

Disappear to a place where i can allow the tears to fall.

Where I can allow the missing to show upon my face.

Because I cannot pretend all the time.

I just don’t have the strength.

I need to give my heart freedom.

Freedom to grieve my beautiful missing daughter.

The Nut Job

Last Sunday afternoon we managed to find time in the seasons chaos to sit down and watch a movie as a family.

It was lovely to curl up on the sofa and have cuddles with my babies.

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The DVD we had to watch was the new release The Nut Job and what a film it was.

From the opening scene we were enthralled. It was super sweet and so funny. The film had me at moments seriously laughing out loud. The humour was great for all ages.

Without giving to much away the story has bad guys and good. A reluctant hero and a lady with spirit.

You can enjoy crime, romance and friendship. All in the name of nuts.

We loved this film here and I think it would be a great one to add to your Christmas family film list.

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The Nut Job is out now.

*we were gifted a DVD for the purpose of this review but all opinions are our own.

Oh just get along.

I sometimes wonder how often we just give away parts of ourselves just to keep the peace.

When we are tired and weary and we just want the arguments to stop.

How many times do we teach our children to just be friends.

Just try to get along.

Yet their hearts are actually breaking from the pain.

“I know she’ll hurt you.”

“I know she said some things that she shouldn’t but move on and try to be happy”

“Kids say things they don’t mean don’t take it to heart.”

“Just ignore it”.

Yet each cruel word is etched into their soul.

Why do we say its okay when it’s not?

The Internet is full of kids lost due to bullying.

Souls broken unable to take anymore.

Were they told to be nice?

To ignore the bullies.

To try and be friends.

Get along.

Just be strong.

By telling our children how to be we take away who they are.

And who they are is just fine.

No one deserves to be made to change.

To feel ashamed in their own skin,

It’s not about getting along.

It’s about being given the freedom to sing your own song.

I was scared I had forgotten.

Last night I was struggling to sleep my mind was on overdrive and my thoughts were raging.

I had tried to remember a trip I had taken 6 years ago, the memory spurred by a friends comment.

But I couldn’t remember, I knew the day had happened and I had fragments of moments but the whole day was just slipping over the corners of my mind.

I cried.

No that’s a lie I sobbed.

You see I cannot forget.

I cannot lose those moments of time.

Times when I had four daughters by my side.

When the quartet was whole.

My memories are so precious, they are all I have to hold on to of Livvy.

All I have to wrap around my heart.

I cannot forget.

So last night the tears fell.

I searched every corner of my mind for this day, for those moments.

But still they didn’t come.

Then in pure exhaustion as I closed my eyes to sleep the day returned.

The memory sprang from Its deep hiding place and gave me peace.

The laughter.

The joy.

The gift of my memories.

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Life is so fragile.

We often don’t realise this until it’s gone.

So I say to all, make those memories now.

Share those moments.

Because someday your memories will be the greatest gift you have.

Or the greatest gift you could give.