Twenty years of flying

Dear Alan 


How do you find the right words to describe twenty years of marriage? I could go with the old adages “I would have got less for murder” or you are “my old ball and chain”.

Yet none of these are right. 



I’m simply going to say 



“You gave me wings and encouraged me to fly”.


Now it may not be politically correct or of a feminist nature to say my husband completes me or that I finally found myself with you, but this is the truth. Before I met you I just didn’t know who I was. My identity was formed by the opinions of others of who they wanted me to be or what suited them. You came along and just let me be and you loved me for me, eccentricity and all. Never did you laugh at my wild ideas or my crazy plans you just stood by my side and said let’s try it.



You have be my core, when I have felt weak and lost you have been my strength and my direction. 


When we lost Olivia I wasn’t sure I could carry on but slowly even in the midst of your own pain you held me close reminding me daily that life has so much left to give and that we still had a journey to make.

You make me laugh so often, sometimes even when you don’t mean to and to be honest those times are often the funniest (sorry). 

You love on your children with such tenderness that watching you hold our new son in your arms makes me fall in love with you all over again.

Let’s be honest though you are annoying at times, singing out of time with the songs on the radio, keeping me awake with your snoring or leaving your socks on the floor. Still I guess I would be walking a dangerous road if we were to compare tidiness as I am far from the neatest.

I actually cannot believe we have been married for twenty years. In fact I have now spend more than half of my lifetime with you. Yet it still feels so short, we have so many plans and memories still to make. Children to raise, daughters to marry off (ha ha) sons to care for. 


You are simply amazing and I know you know how much I love you but I do wonder if you know how much I admire you. 


I often get asked how I do what I do, my answer is simple “because of you”. Alan you are my strength, I know I can go out into the world and try things knowing that whatever the outcome if I fail or if succeed you will be there waiting for me. 



I watched your face as I graduated last week your smile spoke volumes. You were so proud of me as I collected my degree but I couldn’t have done it without you. Endless cups of tea, having the children whilst I study. You were my support system and my room service all in one. 


Happy anniversary dear husband, thank you for loving my unconditionally. For caring for me, for not strangling me at times.



I love you today, tomorrow and forever and whatever the future holds let’s laugh hard, cry hard and just embrace life together.



Love you moon, stars and back again



Your darling, wonderful, beautiful wife (writers privilege)



Sara xxx 

19 years

Wow today My husband and I celebrate 19 years of marriage, I think one or both of us deserve a medal or five ha ha.

What have I learned in the last 19 years?

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Well, marriage is hard, fighting at times to stay together when walking away would be easier.

Learning to accept that you are both far from perfect. That you both are works in progress.

I’ve had to learn patience to understand when he doesn’t get me. To work harder at communicating. I cannot expect him to know what I’m thinking and feeling when for the most part I never know myself.

I’m sure he will tell you that listening is so important that often underneath my rage is me just asking to be loved. That somethings which seem little to him are often important to me.

I know I’ve had to learn to listen better too, sometimes when he says he doesn’t want to, it maybe because he feels uncomfortable or unsure. I have to learn not to expect him to have the answers all the time.

Time apart is good, it doesn’t mean you love each other less it’s about respecting the fact that you have different ideas of fun. Whilst a library may be my favourite place Alan so prefers his RC clubs or getting his hands dirty in his shed.

The kids are crafty they won’t think twice about playing mom and dad off against each other. So communicate as parents. “Dad said it was ok” has been my girls favourite since they became teens. Now dad says “I will check with mom” and vice and versa.

Love needs work, it’s so easy to get caught up in being parents, in work, that we forget to work on being husband and wife, on being lovers.  Date nights are great but even an hour chatting  together is lovely.

I still cannot believe it’s been 19 years since I said I will. Some days I want to strangle him, yet sometimes when he smiles at me or reaches for my hand I get that little flip in my stomach that takes me back to that 19 year old girl who fell head over heals.

I can honestly say it hasn’t been an easy 19 years. We have faced the worst heartbreak that can happen to parents, the loss of a child. Yet somehow instead of pulling apart we pulled together. Grief can destroy the strongest marriages but somehow we managed to grieve together. I had to learn that sometimes he cannot find the words to share his pain. He has had to understand that sometimes I have too many words.

I guess if truth be told I was lucky I fell in love with a man who wasn’t scared of fighting for what he wants. All the times I’ve tried to pull away he has just stayed strong. He understood my fear and just overrides it with love.

My husband has taught me that love can be true. That sometimes what people say is what they mean, and that promises can be kept.

I cannot believe that I have now nearly been married for half of my life. It seems crazy. In fact we have now been together over half of my whole lifetime. Most of my memories now have him at the core.

Yet still I am so excited about the future, the next 19 years.

Is it sad that I’m excited to grow old with this man.

We have so many plans, watching our girls grow up, maybe a marriage or two. Yet the greatest gift we have is being able to walk this life together.

Making new memories and cherishing on our old ones.

Happy Anniversary Alan, thank you for the last 19 years and here’s to many more.

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Reflective practice

At university we are studying the art of reflective practice and I am absolutely loving it.

“Reflective practice is a dialogue of thinking and doing through which I become more skilful.”  Donald Schön

I think it’s should be taught everywhere in schools and especially to those getting married.

I mean how incredible would it be if our partners ( or ourselves) sat down after an argument and reality reflected.

What  happened?

Why did it happen?

How did you react?

How did you feel?

What would you do if it happened again?

What if my darling (annoying) husband sat back after one our numerous arguments about him not remembering things and thought, this argument happened because I couldn’t be bothered to write a date in my diary. The wife was annoyed, I got defensive and shouted, I  then felt like crap. So if I remembered to remember it may not happen again.

What if my girls who have now just screamed and shouted about how I’m ruining their lives reflected on this. I was asked to bring my bacterial growth experiments otherwise known as my bowls and cups from my bedroom down to the dishwasher. I was asked numerous times, the last time my mom warned me I would lose my mobile for an hour. I couldn’t be bothered to bring them down and now I have lost my phone. I feel angry and annoyed but on reflection next time mom asks I may just do it.

See how awesome reflective practice is.

To be truthful this is only scratching the surface, I am so looking forward to learning more about the practice as I think it’s an invaluable tool to be used. But I honestly think it’s something we could all really use in life.

Like right now as I’m sitting here feeling sick from the chocolate I have just eaten maybe if I had reflected on this a few weeks ago I may not again be sitting here feeling yucky, but then again it is chocolate so maybe not.

Twenty years on, do I love him like I did?

I was chatting to someone a few days back and they said something that really made me think. They told me they loved their husband the same as when they first met them. This got me thinking.

Do I love my husband the same way?
It’s been twenty years since our first date, do I love him like I did then?

My answer 

Dear Alan 

From the moment I saw you I think I loved you, no matter how hard I tried to deny it you were in my heart forever. 
When you asked me to marry you my heart finally felt complete.

The day I became your wife I questioned if I could ever love another as I love you.

Still twenty years on I have to admit I don’t love you like I did then. 

You don’t make my heart skip a beat anymore at the sound of your voice.

My skin doesn’t tingle when you reach out for me.

It’s not the same 

It’s so much better

I look back over our 20 years, over all we have been through and how I know I couldn’t have survived it all without you. 

My heart may not skip beats at the sound of your voice but my soul feels a peace it only knows from you. 

My skin may not tingle at your touch but my whole body burns to be close to you, connected with you.

20 years ago I didn’t think I could love you more, but I do. Gone is the flirty lust filled love and in its place is a deep emotional connection. 

We are so different you and I. 

I wear my heart on my sleeve. My mouth opens quicker than my brain engages. I stress the little things, the big things and those in between. 

It used to frustrate me how laid back you are, now I see you are the calm to my storm. You are the peace to my hurricane. 

Life has blessed us and hurt us. I have found myself falling into the depths of despair only stopping in my freefall by the strength and love you have wrapped around me like a safety cradle keeping me safe.

I watch you grow each day. Taking on challenges, pushing yourself. It makes me so proud to call you mine. You encourage me to reach out for my dreams, always supporting me on the sidelines.

My heart is full from the way you care for our children. Ones ours from birth others ours by heart. Nothing is too much to make them happy. Your girls have you wrapped around their fingers. Your boy looks up to you his eyes saying “that’s my daddy”.

I think of the children we have still yet to meet, how lucky they will be to call you dad.

The last 20 years have been one heck of a ride. But if I had to do it all again I would in a heartbeat as long as you were there by my side. 

Marriage is a crazy thing, I’m sure no one has all the answers. I’m just glad I got to face the questions with you.

I don’t love you like I did when we first met. 

No I love you so much more.

Thanks for putting up with this crazy girl.

  
Here’s to the next 20. 

Sara xx

True love

Our love isn’t found in the three simple words “I love you”
It’s your actions that makes my heart beat to the lovers drum.

The way you care with all you are.
No only when it’s easy but even more so when it’s hard.

The world is full of red roses and flowers but true love isn’t found in these things.

It’s the fresh cup of coffee you leave quietly for me each morning as you wake to the children.

It’s the popping out to the shop when you are tired and just want to relax.

It’s the way you raise your daughters, with so much love and understanding.

Taxi service and cash point with only a little scowl.

 

True love is staying quiet when you know i’m being unfair.

Or when you simply haven’t a clue what started my rage.

Listening to the same old worries because i’m struggling to reach a decision.

Or listen to the same old stories because I’m simply harping on.

 

Loving is when its too hard,

When your heart is broken and your soul is screaming no more.

Finding the strength to be brave when I cannot.

Holding me night after night as I cry into the early hours.

Watching my missing as you ache also.

 

True love is painting my toe nails on a ward full of laughing nurses.

Of holding my hair as I vomit into the toilet bowl.

Of changing hundreds of dirty bums without more than the occassional moan.

The acceptance of the being the porta loo changer even though I had said we would share.

 

True love is loving me before i knew how to love myself.

Teaching me that promises do get kept.

Of being my constant in a world that keeps changing.

 

True Love is you my dear husband.

From that first bar room meeting nearly 20 years ago.

You have been my everything.

 

Happy Valentine’s Dear Alan.

Heres to a lifetime of me driving you slowly insane.

My friend, my lover, my heart.

I love you, today, tomorrow, forever. xxxx

valentines alan and i

 

 

 

 

 

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

On our 18th Wedding Anniversary

Dear Alan, 

When I was younger the concept of 18 years seemed like forever. 

Now today as we celebrate our 18th year of marriage it feels only a snapshot in time.

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Still in those 18 years we have lived a life filled with moments that will never leave our hearts.

Anniversary 2

 

We have loved and we have lost.

Been filled with both joy and so much pain. 

Together through all this we have grown stronger.

Anniversary 3

 

May God continue to weave our hearts into one.

May he continue to look upon us with his love.

May our lives be filled with laughter. 

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Let us cherish our memories of times past and loved ones missing.

As we embrace the future with the desire to make so many more moments matter.

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You are the flip side to my penny.

The left to my right 

The sun to my moon.

I love you my dear husband.

I am so grateful I got to be your bride.

Anniversary 6

 

With a love that will span this lifetime and on.

Eternity is ours.

Today, tomorrow, forever 

My heart is yours

Always 

I love you.

Sara xxx

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I married the Mr Men

I could have lost it right there and then.

He was asking me the same question he had asked only moments ago.

Doesn’t he realise how busy I am?

How much I have to do?

Can he not see I’m drowning?

No he wants to weigh me down to the bottom.

Marriage 

It’s not easy.

I’m tired of seeing photos of happy couples.

The perfect moment.

The romantic gestures

The whispered sweet nothings.

I get the Mr Men

Mr forgetful

Mr Grumpy 

And lets not forget

Mr Sleepy

mr men

Marriage that wonderful thing you enter in with dreams and hopes.

Then you realise it takes work.

Hard work. 

 

[Tweet ““A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” -Dave Meurer “]

 

My husband drives me insane.

He forgets so many things and goes off target at all times.

Yet he leaves me sleeping and gets the children to school. 

He falls asleep in company or totally misses the point.

Yet he cleans my kitchen so I can bake.

[Tweet “Marriage is two people living as one. “]

Two different hearts, dreams and inspirations.

It’s far from easy but it’s worth it.

It’s not about those picture perfect moments (though they would be nice now and again).

It’s about the one who sends you to bed when you feel ill.

The one who stays so strong when you fall apart.

It’s not about grand gestures.

It’s about the one who brings you coffee when you are buried deep In a assignment.

The one who paints the living room before your ladies event.

[Tweet “The one who believes in you when you don’t believe in yourself.”]

 

I am far from the perfect wife.

He is not the perfect husband

[Tweet “But we are the perfect pair.”]

[Tweet ““Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” -Franklin P. Jones “]

 

 

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Behind closed doors

I’ve been thinking recently about who we really know in our lives.

Are we sure we are seeing the real person?

Ask yourself the question

Who do you really know?

I imagine that the number is quite small.

Often you find that the public persona is not really the truth.

How many times have we be surprised by news headlines. Learning that a person we believed to be kind, great and fantastic is in fact a cruel hard abuser.

Pop starts we have worshipped being truly sick individuals.

Who we see is not always who we really are?

The mom at the school playground full of smiles and laughter goes home crying suffering from depression.

The wife who seems so happy and in love is actually a victim of spousal abuse.

We really don’t know what happens behind closed doors.

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I asked myself the question.

Who do people see when they see me?

My answer

I’m not sure.

I am a person who wears her heart on her sleeve. I am known to tell you my life’s story in the first five minutes of meeting.

But do I really share my all?

Do I confess that at times I feel like a complete failure. Motherhood is harder than I ever imagined and as much as I love it I desperately crave a break now and again.

Do I tell you the man that I married drives me insane with his RC obsession and that I’m tired of hearing lap times or speed controller turns and seriously if he forgets something once more I may go slightly insane.

Do I mention that friendship scares the pants of me. That I am convinced I will screw it up and that generally I’m not very likeable.

The truth is we all have hidden sides parts that lurk in the shadows. Yet those hidden sides effect our lives more than we realise.

Maybe it’s time we brought them
Into the light.

Building relationships that are true.

Letting people see who we really are.

I honestly believe this is the key to happiness. When you surround yourself with people who really know you it allows you to be.

To feel

To live.

So I’m saying this is me, I am mixed up lady and that is perfectly ok.

I’m tired of living behind closed doors.

Life is such a gift and I want to live it fully.

So join me open those doors swing open those windows and let’s embrace we are truly are.

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Build true relationships that are transparent.

And in our transparently let us find fulfilment.

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Belong

Sometimes I wonder about life, about the connections we are all supposed to make to survive.

Friendship, marriage and so much more.

 

I have these connections but somehow i find myself wondering of the truth of them all.

 

For so long I have wanted to be part of something.

 

Something so much more than just me.

 

A group, a set , a club

 

Yet the baggage of childhood holds me back.

 

You cannot belong

 

You aren’t good enough

 

They will see the real you.

 

Should that feel wrong “seeing the real me”

 

Would that be so horrible ?

 

Is who I am so terrible ?

 

This is a journey that at times feels like there is no end.

 

I am tired of being on the outskirts I want to enter in.

 

But fear holds me back

 

I’m so scared of rejection.

 

I guess the real question is this

 

Is my desire to belong greater than my fear.

 

I pray so

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