Countdown to 40

40

 

I realised last night that in under a month I turn 40. This is a major milestone in my life but one I am so excited for.

Growing up I remember thinking 40 was really old, I mean it seemed that my mom was 32 forever so I was sure I would stay this way. Yet time has moved on and I have been slowly creeping towards this age.

I remember when I turned 30 I was really freaked by it all, I didn’t feel ready to be 30 years old I was uncomfortable and not happy in my own skin. Life wasn’t easy and I had just started to show signs of the illness that changed my life. I look back to those days when I was chasing after 4 children under 10 and teaching dance. I remember just not feeling complete as if I wasn’t living life to the full.

Fast forward the last ten years and my goodness a crazy amount has happened. I have walked through some of the darkest moments of my life. My heart has been broken, tore up into millions of pieces and then trodden on. I never imagined at 30 that I would have to bury a child let alone two. I would have never been able to comprehend surviving the loss of my daughter and my foster son. Never in a million years. Yet somehow I have survived, my heart may never be complete but it is learning to love on, learning to beat strongly again and I am learning to live life to the full again.

I know deep down that 40 isn’t really a special age. I mean I preach often about celebrating every day we have here, but still I am rather excited for the day.

This may sound big headed but I like who I see in the mirror now. I may not be a dance teacher or able to fit my bum into a size 12 but I truly love my body and I’m so grateful to it. It has given me four amazing girls, completely different, independent ,inspirational girls. It allows me to foster two truly awesome boys, each a blessing in their own special way. My body may be a little battle worn but it’s not been beaten and I am so thankful for this.

I look back to the person I was 10 years ago and I know I have been on a journey. I use the term “self discovery” loosely  as is the only way to get close to describing  the transformation I feel I have faced.

I love who I am (yes I may have said that before) but I seriously do. I love my emotional side, no more will I apologise for my random tears or unexpected hugs. I’m empathic and I care and this is something I am proud of now. No more calling myself soppy and pathetic, I actually rock.

I love my courage, I am more willing to put myself out into the danger zone, being vulnerable, feeling scared but still moving forward.

I love my brain, it’s ok that I am a little geeky at times, that sometimes the idea of a good book wins against a movie or a night out. That I appreciate my own company and yes at times I get lost in my own mind.

I love myself and I love my life.

As I head towards this birthday milestone I do so with so much gratitude.

Over the last years I have had people walk into my life that have blessed me in so many ways. Friends that love me for me, deep true friendships that can pick up after a time apart just where we left off. Friends I can laugh with, friends I have cried on. I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

I am so thankful for my family, my daughters and my sons each so unique and so beautiful. Getting to watch them grow and learn and experience life is such a wonder, such a gift. My Dad, my Step Mom, my inlaws, my aunts, uncles, cousins, relantionships that I truly value and people I truly love.

My husband, I am completely in love with this crazy man, after nearly 20 years of marriage I still get that flutter in my heart when he walks into a room. He makes me laugh, he drives me insane, but he truly is my soul mate.

I am so thankful that I miss my Livvy, because missing someone is the recognition of an amazing love, a truly unbroken bond. My girl and I will be together again one day, but until then I am going to try and live as she did, fully and with all my heart.

So the count down to 40 begins and I’m so excited. I’m so ready to celebrate the 40 years I have been here with all my family and friends. An evening full of laughter, music and hopefully a gorgeous outfit.

Yet 40 is only the really the beginning, the start of a new stage in life, one I hope will be full of love and laughter and the people that really make my life truly amazing, my family and friends, because with them and because of them I actually love myself more at 40 then I ever did.

 

40 looking good

Sunglasses style

One of my favourite things of the summer is getting to wear my sunglasses, I simply love them. Unfortunately I have a habit of losing them, often leaving them places.

So when I was contacted by Cheapass Sunglasses, I fell in love with both the name of the store, the range and especially the cost.

The selection of styles is fantastic It took me ages to decide.

My first chosen pair were aptly named Fabulous, they are vintage in style and super stylish. I found them a little large for my face but my daughter loved them and has already helped herself to the pair.

sku1194

Fabulous

My second pair was this stylish pair named Formidable, the matt black was what caught my eye and to be honest these are now my favourite by far. I just love them.

sku366_1

 

Formidable

 

So if you are after a quality pair of sunglasses but don’t have a massive budget check out

 

logo_en  as they are well worth a look.

 

 

 

*I was given two pair of glasses for the purpose of this review but all my opinions are true and valid and completely my own.

Being Vulnerable

There is a lot going on in my life right now.

I’m stepping out into a place that leaves me exposed and vulnerable, both two feelings I don’t enjoy.

I cannot control the situation and this is driving me into a world of fear, of anxiety.

Yet even in the depths of fear I feel the peace of faith. It’s a feeling of knowing whatever I’m stepping towards all will be ok.

[Tweet “Sometimes the greatest moments are lived when you allow yourself to be vulnerable.”]

It’s easy to hold back, to not risk your heart. I know that so many times I have missed moments because of fear.

No more.

No more hiding in the shadows telling myself that I’m not good enough or that other people will be better.

No more, not believing that life is beautiful and throughout all seasons there is joy to be found.

I’m may be walking forward on shaky trembling legs but I’m moving onwards.

I’m stepping out not knowing what the future holds but trusting that it’s going to be a vibrant place full of love and laughter.

“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. The new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.” ~ Stephen Russell”

Being vulnerable is raw, emotional and damn right scary but is also completely amazing .

stepping forward

Writing my own story 

When I was young I loved to write. Each week my grandad would buy me an exercise book with his pension and I would fill the pages with stories, poems and song lyrics. I felt such freedom in my words. 

Then my school class was asked by our teacher , what did we want to be when we were older? The answers ranged from builder to spaceman but i so wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be able to share my words with the world. I remember the teachers smile when I answered, how it never really reached his eyes and his comment about “not with your spelling”. The pain I felt at this response was physical like someone had actually kicked me in the stomach. I think I may have laughed it off replying “well after a dancer of course”. To which he seemed to accept. 

I know I went home that night ready to rip to pieces the pages of my exercise books, the freedom of my words disappearing with each step. As usual my grandfather noticed my mood straight away and asked what was wrong. “My teacher doesn’t believe I can be a writer” i answered. 

My grandad didn’t say anything for a while a custom of his, holding his tongue until he found the right words. Not something I have inherited that’s for sure. He then turned and looked at me and told me “You will write your own story”. 

Of course I then waffled on about my stories would never be good enough and that my teacher stinks ( hey I was 11) but grandad just smiled and repeated “you will write your own story”.

If only I had known then how true his words would be. 

I may not have become the greatest of writers or have a library filled with my works but I am writing my own story. 

I’m allowing my words to fly free.

Because I write I can now revisit days full of memories with Livvy. 

By forming written arguments I can passionately fight for those who are vulnerable and in need. 

By baring my heart here on this blog I have had the privilege of supporting others who also have broken hearts, allowing them the freedom to grieve and to break. 

I am writing my own story

It’s one full of joy and happiness but also one full of pain and sorrow. But my words are my heart and they are steps on my journey of life.

Grandad I hope you are reading my words in heaven. I hope you can see that I’m working hard on making my own story. I’m trying to fill my pages full of love and laughter. 

My name may not be on any bookcover but I hope it’s on the hearts of my children and those of my family and my friends.

I know now what you meant about writing my own story and I promise you I’m not done yet.

 I want to write many more chapters filled with memories and laughter. I want to create sentences full of hope and faith. 

Words simply written in love.

I am writing my own story Grandad and I pray it’s one you are proud to read.

My 40th Birthday wishlist

I’ve been having a look around the world of internet shopping trying to come up with some ideas for my forthcoming milestone birthday.

It doing so I may have got a little overexcited.

I may have fallen in love with too many items.

So rather than just cry into my pillow I thought I would share them all with you as this weeks wishlist.

First off I start with this beautiful jacket from Elvi, . I couldn’t believe the release of the Hayley Hasselhoff SS16 Edit  I absolutly love everything on it. Its a collection full of power and sass. I truly love every item on it but this Charcoal Biker Jacket is just completely stunning and anyone who knows me knows how much I love a biker jacket.

hayley-hasselhoff-ss16-edit-charcoal-biker-jacket-p3669-5870_zoom-1.jpg

 

Second on my list is this beautiful retro leather satchel from Scaramanga I don’t really have words to describe my love for this.

Unknown

My third gift on my birthday wishlist is Memento Mori, I have had this book on my wishlist for a while now.

51nIRO-65vL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_

 

My fourth wish is a leather bound copy of my favourite ever book, To Kill a Mockingbird

$_57-1

 

My fifth gift is this awesome mug from the amazing Literary Gift Company. 

literally-grammar-grumble-mug-no.-5-choose-material-bone-48816-p[ekm]250x250[ekm]

 

or this beautiful cushion.

borges-library-cushion-cover-15360-p[ekm]250x250[ekm]

 

Ok seriously I love most of this shop lol.

 

Add anything from the amazing Kat Von D makeup range. I LOVE IT ALL.

katvond_banner_072115_image

katvond_spotlight_072115_image_ro

 

So there you go, my birthday wishlist…..

The one he needs 

I can’t believe it’s 4:30am and I’m wide awake. Our new little man is teething and nothing besides being pushed in his pushchair seems to be helping. I’m actually not sure whether it’s the movement or the constant reassurance that I’m there that is bringing him comfort. 

To be fair whichever it is as long as he is happy then so am I. 

Yet as I sit here at this crazy hour with nothing else to do but rock the pushchair my mind is off doing that crazy thing again known as thinking.

I’m pondering on how much better we all feel when we know we have someone there for us.

From the moment we are born we are dependent on others. We need our parents to feed us, care for us and keep us safe. As we grow older we find ourselves more independant but can we really ever reach a point in life when we don’t need others?

Now I guess we could talk about hermits and the solitude they prefer but besides the extreme cases I truly believe we all need at least one other person in our lives. 

I know I couldn’t imagine my life with out some of the crazy people that bless it. My family, my friends and even the wider circle including the amazing lady who does my ironing. 

Everyone of these people play a part in my life, in my survival.

So right now as I’m exhausted and just praying this little one would sleep I’m feeling grateful. 

  

Thankful that here in this moment I get to be the person he needs. 

I cannot always vote for a woman just because I am a woman

I’m getting so tired of being told I should always vote for the woman.

That to be part of the woman’s movement I have to vote this way to make sure more woman have a place in power.

That it’s my duty as a woman.

I would love to see more woman in power and one day again have a woman prime minister but we only have to go back to the time of a Thatcher government to know that a female in charge isn’t always the best policy and yes I know I only have to look to the current government to know than a man in power can be just as dangerous.

I do believe in woman and I know that this world is full of some incredible, inspiring females and yes I really do want to see more woman in positions of power but what really matters to me is the character of a person not the gender.

So I’m sorry if I offend people by saying that I won’t vote for all women.

I just won’t.

My vote, my support will go to the person I believe in.

The person who believes in equality for all regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and financial worth.

I want all people to have a voice in this world.

I want to vote for someone who believes in fighting for all.

Who will stand up against the big corporations and the elite.

Who will speak out when others won’t.

Who has the courage to ask the awkward questions.

Who believes that we can have a fair society.

I am a great believer in woman.

I do think we are pretty amazing and I’m sure that there are many woman that fit all of the above. But I’m also sure that those woman will be asking me to vote on these qualities and convictions not their gender.

The personal touch

When it comes to buying gifts for those I love I really like them to be special.

I want to show them that I have taken the time to think about what they like and who they are.

This is why I love personalised gifts, something thats shows that the extra care and attention has been taken.

This Valentine’s day I wanted to buy my husband something that he loved but also something that I knew would bless his heart.

This is why I choose this Engraved Leather Knot Bracelet its simple personalisation made it super special when I had Livvy’s name engraved on in. Having Livvy close to him really blessed my husband and he got rather emotional when he received it.

Alan's bracelet

In fact I loved Alan’s so much that I also ordered myself an Engraved Leather Knot Bracelet. I also now get to have Livvy with me all the time.

How special are they!

I am in love with the “ I just love it” site (no pun intended).

They have an amazing range of gifts that can be personalised for those you love. I have my eye on this gorgeous engraved heart handle chopping board.

engraved-heart-handle-chopping-board-1

Lets be honest I am in love with quite a lot of the gifts on the site, the stationary, the photo frames and some of the nursery gifts are just wow.

 

Honestly don’t take my word for it go take a look for yourself.

ijustloveitlogo-1

 

They have some fantastic ideas for Easter gifts, special birthdays and so much more.

 

 

 

  • I was gifted the bracelets for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own and are true.

If my words were never to be seen. 

“Write as of no one would ever see your words”. 

I saw this statement on Twitter yesterday and it really made me stop and think, what would I write if my words would never been seen?

Would I tell you that I am pissed off at humanity, that the images I see and the news I read from around the world actually makes me sick at times to be part of the human race. 

The disgusting way we are treating the refugees from Syria. Destroying make shift homes, attacking those that already have nothing. Treating them as the enemy as they flee from all they know all they love. 

The current state of the political system the way it’s leaving people soul destroyed. Budgets being slashed for the things that really matter, social care disappearing, vulnerable people being left in crisis. 

The NHS slowly being sold off to rich selfish corporations whose only compassion is for the money it can make. 

People coming second to financial gain.

Would I tell you that I truly believe the world has changed. Gone is the love each other sentiment of this planet to love myself. 

The art of conversation is lost, gone are the days of real words and sentiment now we are a society of text talk or emojis.

If my words were not to be seen by anyone I would tell you that I worry. I truly worry for society. That I wish people would wake up and realise that we aren’t meant to walk through this life on our own. That our actual DNA needs to us to be sociable and to build relationships. 

We need to think outside ourselves. That the greatest joy can be found in giving not in taking.

If my words were never to be seen maybe I would admit that I’m tired of selfishness. Of seeing some that have so much and others that have nothing.

I’m angry at the rise of homelessness, emotionally corrupt landlords raising rents that only the elite can afford. Forcing families who have lived in an area for generations to have to move away from all they know, all they love. We are building lines between those that have and those that don’t. 

If my words were never to be seen I would admit that I too have to change. 

That I know I can be selfish at times. That my expectations of others can sometimes be to high. That I need to learn to let things go. 

If my words were never to be seen I would admit that I hurt. 

That sometimes I actually feel as if my heart may physically break. That I’m tired of pretending, that I crave to be true. That sometimes I don’t want to be the bigger person or rise above it. I want to call some out on their behaviour. Tell them it’s not ok. 

If my words were not to be seen. 

Well then they would be just words. A formation of letters that hold no power.

Words are to be seen.

To be shared 

To be experienced.

So I’m writing today without fear, writing with my heart wide open. 

For I want my words to be seen.

I want my words to matter,

But most of all I want my words to be my truth. 

Thank you for making me a mom.

I remember the days when your hands fitted in mine. When your legs would wrap around me as I lifted you in my arms. Holding on to mommy, never letting go. 

The evenings we spend reading, each one of you slowly working the words out until letters became sentences, lines became paragraphs. Each growing and learning in your own unique wonderful way. 

I remember our random danceathons or when you all decided to play make up. 

I so remember your siblings arguments it was also someone’s else’s fault. You all raged against each other promising never to speak again only moments later you filled the house with laughter and each other’s arms with cuddles. 

I remember your kindness the way you all cared for your sister. Nothing was to much, holding her hand when she was seizuring to endless hours at her hospital bed. 

I remember your heartache, your brokenness at her loss. 

I truly remember your bravery each one of you choosing to reach out and love on others when it would have been so easier to stay closed and safe.

I remember how amazing my girls are. 

I know how incredible my girls are. 

I remember how blessed I felt when each one of you were born and I know how blessed I am today.

My girls you aren’t babies anymore, you are strong incredible beautiful women.

  
I am so proud of all that you have become and so excited for what the future holds for you all. 
I admire your strengths, your individuality.

All moving forward in your own direction, finding yourselves in this crazy world.

You are my heart, my greatest achievement. 

Kennedy, Eden, Brodie never forget how much I love you.

Olivia you are the missing piece of my heart. One day we will be together again.

To my beautiful incredible boys, you may not have been born from my body but you were certainly born in my heart. Thank you for allowing me to love you. 

Mother’s Day is special we celebrate our moms and all they do. 

I want to celebrate those that made me complete. 

Made me a mother.

My beautiful children