My word for 2017

So I’ve started my New Year in the hospital. Little man is not 100% but is improving unless to count the after effects of antibiotics and numerous nappies, the joys of being a parent. 

I cannot actually believe we are heading into a fresh new year last year seems to have flown by. It’s definitely going to be a busy year, the adoption completion, two 16th birthdays a 21st and a daughter leaving behind her teenage years. It’s also the year Livvy should have turned 18th, I nearly decided to just wallow in my grief of this but I reminded myself of what she would have wanted. So I’m hosting a ball, a wonderful special night of music, laughter and friends old and new. We will be fundraising for Livvy’s Smile and Reverse Rett both in her honour. I’m hoping it will be an evening she will be proud of. It’s going to be on her actual 18th birthday how special is this. If you would like to come along and support the event please do, tickets are on sale now. 

So yes 2017 is going to be a busy year and like previous years before I want to take a word with me to stand by me throughout the next 365. I’ve struggled this year to be honest choosing one, strength and determination came close but my chosen word for 2017 is Challenge.

I want to challenge my family to live a more fun adventurous life, getting out there and making more fun memories.

I want to challenge my health and self care making sure I look after me a little more.

I want to to challenge my marriage, it’s easy after 21 years of being together to forget to make each other feel special. I want to work at this with my husband, valuing each other, loving each other. 

I want to challenge the government and fight against the devastating damage they are inflicting on communities and town around the UK. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity, families have the right to stay together and children and adults with disabilities have the right to be heard. 

I want to challenge myself to say yes even when it scares me but also to say No when I’m overloaded or just not interested. 

I want to challenge myself to accept invitations and to strengthen existing relationships but also let go of those that are unhealthy or just aren’t making me happy.

But mostly I choosing this word as I want to challenge myself to believe in me more. To value my own worth and to know that I can achieve great things. 

So come on 2017 let’s see what fun we can have. 

Christmas when grieving

I’m going to start this post with a truth, no matter how hard we try to deny it, it is simply a truth. Christmas when grieving sucks, it hurts, its hard and its so blooming wrong. No matter how far you are down this grief journey the fact that there is an empty space at the table, presents missing from under the tree and one less face to kiss simply sucks. There actually is no eloquent way to say this, “ it hurts’ “ The pain is deep’  IT SUCKS

Whilst I am super excited for Christmas this year and thrilled to have a new little one to share in our day nothing will ever fill the void, the emptiness that is left by Livvy. It doesn’t matter than I am adopting another child because he is his own sweet wonderful gift he isn’t and never will be a replacement for Livvy.

 

So how do we handle Christmas without those we love?  

First thing is to be kind to yourself. I have pretended myself into a enormous amount of pain, hiding in the doing, slapping that great big fake smile on my face and acting like its all ok has only led to the pain of not being ok hitting me like a hammer, pounding deep into my heart. So first up we need to be kind to ourselves.  I miss my daughter,my heart aches for my missing piece ,my arms beg to hold her just one more time. Its a pain like no other and by trying to pretend I’m ok I’m just making myself less ok. So be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it hurts.

Secondly, talk about them, honour them, do whatever you need to do to survive grief. Livvy is very much still a big part of our family, every Christmas we decorate her grave and on Christmas morning we visit with a big bunch of yellow glittery roses. Its not a lot but it gives me some peace. Her photo is on my tree and her stocking is on my wall. She is and always will be part of my celebrations.

Thirdly, give yourself time out, allow space for you to remember. I love spending Christmas afternoon whilst the kids are playing and the hubby is sleeping just spending time in my memories. Giving myself a Livvy hour allows me to acknowledge that I’m still struggling with losing her but also reminds me of how blessed I was to have her. Special time, special memories.

Fourth and most importantly, do whatever you need to do to get through this season. Ignore all that I have written or take away part of it. You see grief is different for us all, not one person will walk through it in the same way. The real survival technique is finding your own way. Map your own personal route. Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year, yet it can also be the stark reminder of whats missing.

I want to wish you all a wonderful and kind Christmas, may you all have an amazing time, may your days be filled with magical memories new and old.

Lets go on adventure

You will read often how much I love books, how I love to get lost between the pages,go  off on adventures full of adventure and excitement. I love reading with my children so of course I want them to join with me as we journey across the world into lives that are not our own.

I’m excited to share with you the awesome Watadventure  a website where you can create a book personalised to your child. The personalisation goes well beyond their name you get to place your child within the pages, their colour hair, their hairstyle, their eyes and so much you. I absolutely love it.

 

The quality of the story in this book is amazing we get to off to India and see so many exciting things. The images in this book are first class and simply stunning.

These books are perfect gifts and we love ours. But don’t take my word for it go visit the site and look for yourself.

 

 

*   I was gifted this book for the purpose of this review but my opinions are my own.

#Giveabook

Books, books and more books this is my kind of personal heaven. Let me escape between the pages to far away lands on dangerous adventures. Books have been my refuge, my escape for longer than I care to remember. So it was a foregone conclusion that any child of mine was going to grow up surrounding books and hopefully growing up with the love of words as I do.

I honestly think reading with your child is one of the most special times you can have together, watching a child’s face as they follow the character’s adventure, watching them trying to work out the what’s, the where and the why’s. Just the closeness and the togetherness you can get from reading a story together is simply priceless. Books cover all ages, all abilities, Livvy was severely disabled but loved nothing more than to cuddle in my arms for a story, “We are going on a bear hunt” never got old for her.

Now my new son who is blind may not be able to see the words but he follows the story getting excited at his favourite part, I think I may have read “The Gruffallo” so many times I actually may not need the book anymore.

Yet our family special book and the one I gift to all newborns in our family has to be “Guess how much I love you’. This book holds such a special place in our hearts even my twenty year old still texts, “I love you to the moon, stars and back again” its so special to us all that these words are actually engraved on Livvy’s grave.

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Giving books is one of the greatest things for me, my nieces and nephews can always count on a book or two from Auntie Sara. My dad and stepmom love nothing more than a gift card for books and me well I am never disappointed with a book or two.

This advent I have even made a book a day for my new little one and he is loving getting a new story way more than a piece of chocolate.

Can you tell how much I love books??

So I am super excited to share with you the fantastic Christmas campaign being run by Scholastic #Giveabook, by visiting their website and purchasing books through the Scholastic Gift Guide they will then donate 20% of orders over £10 back to a school or nursery of your choice, allowing schools etc to get free books. You buy a book and they give a book, how awesome is that.

The gift guide has a wide variety of books to choice from for all ages, for my little one I would love the

Tales from Acorn Wood Box Set Award-winning author/illustrator by Julia Donaldson (author) and Axel Scheffler (illustrator) I am a lover of Julia Donaldson work so these look fantastic.

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For my older daughter Hero by Sam Angus (author) looks like a story she would enjoy.

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So if you are after that special book to gift this Christmas pop on over to Scholastic and buy a book whilst giving a book, its like getting to give a gift twice over.

How truly special xxx

Pretty please

When I first found out I had been nominated for a UK Blog award I was completely surprised and a little nervous. You see competition scares the pants off me and often you will find me running in the opposite direction of anything that leaves me open for judgement.

Then I spoke to my husband who in his own endearing way told me to “get over myself” and accept the nomination in the way it was given. Recognition for the hard work and the heart I put into my blog.

I do have to be honest though, you see these pages here, the words written here have never really been for the benefit of others. Here in this little place in the virtual world I share my heart and my soul because I simply love it.

I get to share my life with all my readers people who I may know and many I don’t but I allow them in to see me warts and all. It’s actually something I really struggle with in real life. Yet here on this blog I share all, sometimes, well often I may actually over share.

Still for the last 8 and a half years I have found kindness, support and friendship in my readers and for that I am extremely grateful.

So why should you vote for me?

I still have no idea, if I could vote for each and everyone of you I would because it’s been your comments, your emails that have gotten me through some incredibly hard times. It’s been your shared joy that has made some of my special times more special.

So please it’s up to you guys, please vote for me if you want as I honestly would love to win this award being nominated has been rather special but winning well that may just make my year.

Vote here 

But more than that please keep showing up, keep coming over and reading and keep being the best people I have the pleasure to know or not know as the case may be. My life is a little hectic right now and I know for a fact that next year is certainly going to rock so let’s carry on walking through this crazy thing called life together.

Vote for me in the UK Blog Awards 2017