I’m ok 

Sometimes I wonder if I really should say how I feel? 

Do I upset others?

Should I pretend 

Thursday was epilepsy awareness day and I posted this photo. 

  

Everyone was so sweet and understanding but worried for me.

I hate that people worry about me.

You see I’m ok, 

I am broken and grieving but I’m ok.

I know that I have so much to celebrate every morning when I awake. 

My beautiful girls 

My adorable foster son 

My annoying husband 

I am so much to be grateful for.

I got to be Livvy’s mom, no I am Livvy’s mom. 

For nine and a half years I got to hold this sweet girl in my arms. I had the opportunity to grow and learn and change.

I believe that we all have a purpose in life and I know Livvys was to educate me on what really matters. 

The moments, those special moments that cannot be brought they are simply priceless. 

Livvy taught me to be strong, to use my voice for those who cannot speak. To fight for the rights of those that society chooses to ignore. To look beyond the normal and celebrate diversity as the gift it truly is.

Livvy awoke a soul that was in hiding. In her journey I found my own.

Yes Thursday was a hard day. One where grief sucker punched me hard. The images, infographics about epilepsy took me back to a time when my heart was breaking.

Livvy suffered from severe epilepsy, some days the seizures never slowed down. Endless medications, needles , drips to find her peace. 

These memories flooded my mind. They crushed my chest until I couldn’t breathe.

But I’m ok because no matter the darkness of grief the light will always shine through. 

Always 

People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

My greatest prizes

Like most parents I celebrate the awards and achievements my children have earned from star reader to huggable hero I am proud of all of them. Yet when my child is celebrated for her kindness and compassion my heart fills that little bit more.

Kindness and empathy are two of the greatest qualities I hope for my girls. That they to look beyond themselves and to care and love upon others. 

My girls life experiences have led them to many opportunities to do just this and I am proud to say that they have never let me down they have always shown compassion even when they haven’t really wanted to.

So yes this last Friday night found me bursting with pride when my youngest  daughter  Brodie  was announced as a winner of a Mayor Civic Award.  

As we sat there in the Town hall hearing stories of incredible achievements from amazing people we honestly was just  happy to be there. My daughter in fact was surprised to even be considered against some of these inspiring people. So imagine her shock when she was named overall winner of her category. I wished I had my camera as she asked “did they really call my name”.

  

The evening was truly special good food, great company and this award was lovely but my biggest prize came in the journey home when my daughter turned to me and said “this award is lovely mom but getting to be Livvy’s sister is the biggest prize  ever”. 

Livvy is and always will be our inspiration but as a mom I know I have been blessed not only to be Livvys mom but to also call her sisters Kennedy, Eden and  Brodie “my daughters ”  they are all my prizes 

Speak Up – A stitch in time

For the last 14  years I have been working with professionals within the social care field where there is a majority opinion that funding given in early support services would make savings later on and make a more dramatic difference to children’s lives.

Investment in the health of pregnant women leads to healthy children.

Support for young, inexperienced mother’s lead towards more educated, healthy happy children.

Guidance and support in youth services leads to less in the juvenile correction system and so on.

Yet for so long services seem to be funded in a catch up manner, fighting the fires when the fire is at full blaze.

So this is why I am getting behind a campaign being run by Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society, and NSPCC called “A Stitch in time”

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We say it’s time for change.

Responsible government must invest in services and support that prevent problems before they start — to improve the lives of children and families and save money for taxpayers in the long run. That is why we are calling for all political parties to make a commitment to shift the emphasis of public services to early support.

We want the next Government to focus more on early support
 to help children, young people and their families.

1.

More stability into children and family
 services – five year spending plans

Making five year funding commitments — from one election to the next — would allow the Government, local councils, and other service providers to make longer-term plans. Most importantly, children could stick with the same support staff as they grow old.

2.

Help your local £ work – promote
 Community Budgets

Community Budgets allow providers of services to pool their budgets. This reduces waste and makes it easier to work together
 to help children. It’s a relatively new way of working, so the Government needs to support its development and promotion.

3.

Show us what’s
 happening – more accountability

With spending moved towards early support, we would like to see annual progress reports. Parliament should be involved in scrutiny through the Public Accounts Committee.

4.

Acting early to avoid crisis – shift public money towards early intervention

There is so much evidence that acting early avoids expensive crises that it only
makes sense to invest a bigger slice of our public money.

 

Our support services are struggling and many are reaching breaking point, people are not getting enough support,  getting support to late or simply getting none.

Investment is needed in early support and intervention and it is needed now.

A stitch in time is asking you to Take action Now. 

Visit the website and help protect children from crisis.

 

 

speak up

 

Together we can raise our voices louder.

So join me each week writing about what has touched you enough to speak out about.

Share news, campaigns, petitions and so much more.

As a community we can support and encourage one another.

After you have linked up visit at least one other blog of those who have linked up.

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. “

Haile Selassie

Lets do this ……..

 

 

#PSBloggerlove – Say hello to Em

One of the most rewarding things I have from attending plus size fashion events is the amazing women I get to meet.

Crazy energetic feisty gorgeous  women.

One of these women is the incredibly beautiful Em who blogs over at Terrible Tumbles .

I’m not sure what I loved first about Em when I met her, she has this awkward unique vibe which I adore and relate to.

It may also have been our discussion about footwear for our rather large feet. I honestly don’t know but after also following on instagram and chatting on twitter and reading her blog I just blooming love the woman.

Terrible tumbles is a blog is full of fashion which can range through all styles.

Em doesn’t seem to have one style she embraces them all in her own unique way. All helped by the fact she is naturally stunning which I’m sure is something she isn’t actually aware off.

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Anyone who follows Em will realise quickly she an extremely bright woman with a humour that makes me actually laugh out loud.

Some of her photos and poses just make you giggle and the faces she pulls well you need to see for yourself.

She is a blogger that doesn’t take herself too seriously.

She loves fashion and loves people and this just oozes from her posts.

Honestly I just think she simply rocks.

Still don’t take my word for it. Pop over to Terrible tumbles and see for yourself and please say hi to Em and let her know I’ve sent you as part of   #PSBloggerLove

 

 

Weekly wish list

Its that time again when I let you know my fashion wants and what has caught my eye in the plus size fashion world.

First off I’m still on the search for another swimsuit. Swimming a few times per week means I need another suit to add to my collection.

This gorgeous retro swimsuit from Simply Be is perfect and ideal match between fashion and strength. I need something with extra strength in the chest area, I will say no more ha ha.

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My 2nd and 3rd choices are from New Look.  I’m in desperate need of some casual every day clothes. I seem to be ruining some of  my tops getting them covered with snot and all those wonderful bodily juices that my foster son loves to share with me.

I combined these Inspire Ripped Skinny Jeans with a Grey Peace and love T-shirt.  I love this set funky and casual all rolled into one.

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To finish this weeks list is these beautiful handmade Confetti Lucite Earrings from the fantastic etsy store Desperate Beatnik. Serious go check this store out as Olivia makes some amazing jewellery.

The colour of these just really caught my eye.

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How amazing are they..

 

So there you go my weekly wish list is complete. No if money was no an issue they would all be on there way to me now.

Click the photos to visit the stores…..

 

Not guaranteed 

It’s been a crazy week already and it’s only Wednesday . 

I’m exhausted and emotional all rolled into one. 

As a family we have had a hard reminder about the fragility of life. 

It’s because of this I want to take the time to remind you all to make those memories.

Make plans for those days out, quality times with those you love.

Leave the housework and enjoy the sunshine.

Sit and read that book you have had on your shelf for a while.

Start saving for that trip you have always dreamed to take.

Send a card to someone you know could do with a little lifting .

Be impulsive.

Hug more and laugh louder.

I know the bills will still come and the jobs will still need to be done but let us remember how blessed we really are.

When we learned of Livvy’s syndrome we decided then to make the moments matter and thankfully we have some amazing memories that we cherish dearly.

Still the last few years we have found ourselves not doing this as much. We get caught up in the stresses and worries more than in the moments.

The wake up call this week has reminded us of the need to live more. 

To enjoy more and to experience life rather than trudge our way through it.

I’m also passing on this reminder. 

Make those memories, create those smiles and share those hugs. 

Because let’s be honest, the one thing we can guarantee about life is that it’s not actually guaranteed.

Speak Up on FGM.

Writing this blog and others for the last 8 years has granted me many opportunities.

I have been lucky to experience some wonderful moments and make some fantastic friends.

Still one thing I am really grateful for in this online space is the freedom to use my voice, to share my passions, my beliefs and my heart.

Yet having such freedom should never be underestimated or undervalued when still in many places in this world many do not have this opportunity or freedom.

So with this in mind I am creating a new weekly linky called “Speak up” I want us all to come together and use our voices to speak out about things we are passionate about, those we wish to change and those we wish to support.

speak up

Together we can raise our voices louder.

So join me each week writing about what has touched you enough to speak out about.

Share news, campaigns, petitions and so much more.

As a community we can support and encourage one another.

After you have linked up visit at least one other blog of those who have linked up.

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. “

Haile Selassie

Lets do this ……..

——————————————————————————————————–

This week I am Speaking Up about FGM or in its full Female Genital Mutilation.

What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

FGM is when parts or all of the external female genitalia are removed or injured for no medical reason.

It is also sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision. There are no health benefits to FGM and it is recognised internationally as a human rights violation.

Female genital mutilation is classified into four major types:

Type 1 – Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).

Type 2 – Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are “the lips” that surround the vagina).

Type 3 – Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.

Type 4 – Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterising the genital area.

 

Its hard to get your head around isn’t it.

 

Honestly I read this and still cannot accept or understand why this is still happening.

I was actually talking to a friend a week or so ago and somehow we got onto the subject of what injustices we struggle with in this world today. When I mentioned FGM she asked in which countries that this still happened now. She was shocked when I replied here in the UK.

My friend like many others were under the belief that this abuse had been outlawed here in the UK. The fact that FGM has been illegal here since 1984 would allow you to believe this.

But you would be wrong.

A  local Birmingham hospital has dealt with 1,500 cases of FGM in last five years.

This means that six victims have been treated each week.

The fact that this is illegal seems to have no effect on the amount of mutilations occurring.  In 2014 regardless of the rise in hospital cases and reports given to the police there was not one single conviction in the UK.

This is appalling, even the fact that since 2003 anyone taking a child out of the Uk for the barbaric practice could face up to 14 years in prison has not slowed down the rate.

In fact The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes it

•illegal to practice FGM in the UK

•illegal to assist a girl to mutilate her own genitalia

•illegal to take girls who are British Nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for  FGM whether or not it is lawful in that country;

•Illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad;

An offence under this act has a maximum penalty of up to 14 years in prison and/or a fine.

Yet still no convictions.

Girls as young as five are being subjected to this heinous act.

Let me share with you some more figures.

60,000 girls under 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK

137,000 girls and women are living with the consequences of FGM in the UK

Over 130 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM

FGM is practiced in more than 29 countries across Africa, parts of the Middle East, South East Asia and countries where migrants from FGM affected communities live.

This needs to stop.

So that is why I am Speaking Up this week against FGM in hope to raise public attention to the fact that this is still happening right now in 2015.

Speaking up to support organisations like Forward UK who are working hard in the UK, Europe and Africa to safeguard girls at risk of FGM and support women affected.

Speak up against FGM with me.

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Join in with my new weekly link up and Speak Up for something that moves you and don’t forget to go visit the other linked up. blogs

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.

Audre Lorde

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The biggest gift for Mother’s Day

I keep promising myself that this year will be different.

That I will find myself genuinely excited for this day .

But here we are on Mothering Sunday and I am finding it hard .

Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the joy of being a mother. 

I find this hard when I am missing a child.

I know I was blessed to be Olivia’s mom and I know I have four amazing children here to celebrate this day with but my goodness my heart aches for my girl. It cries out in the missing.

I also know that I have the gift of my job. I get to care and love on children who through no fault of their own find themselves in the care system. In need of a home, in need of love and support.

So while Mother’s Day is hard for me and I may have a little cry or ten I am so fulfilled in my heart.

My faith gives me the promise of forever which is something I hold dear. Something that lifts the darkness.

But the true light, the true fulfilment  is found in my children those I gave birth too and those that birthed in my heart. 

Happy Mother’s Day to you all. 

May you cherish your biggest gift today. 

Your children 

My Mothers Day Wish List.

So this coming Sunday is Mother’s day here in the UK and the shops are simply full of many wonderful things.

So this week’s wish list is based on this special day.

Medium Anatomical Skull Ring

First off I absolutely love this Anatomical skull ring from the awesome

The Great Frog London. I already have a ring from this company and the style and quality is amazing.

 

Second on my list is this beautiful Suede Hobo Bag from Simply Be. The colour of this is just so stunning and perfect for spring.

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Third is this beautiful dress from Voodoo Vixen,  Emmie is modelled by my beautiful friend Sarah who looks stunning as always. Though to be honest I love most of the range.

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Fourth on my list is a print subscription for the amazing Slink Magazine, I love this plus size fashion magazine and the quality of its content.

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Fifth and final on my list is this pretty outdoor planter from Next. Spring colours to brightened the day.

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Lets be honest, I’m not expecting any of these for Mother’s Day and that fine as I have the best gift of all and that is simply my beautiful children.

Now if only heaven had a postal service.

Hope all you Mom’s, Step-moms and Grandmas have an amazing day.