A work of art.

If you have read my blog before you will know that I’m a lover of tattoos.

The whole art form has me truly excited.

Two years ago I travelled to the Tattoo Jam to check out my narrowed down list of tattoo artists who i was consider asking  to tattoo my portrait of Olivia and fell in love with Przemyslaw Malachowski from The Dragons Den Studio  in Blackpool straight away.

The talent of this man is truly beyond words.

My portrait of Livvy is amazing and so many people stop me to admire it.

I just love that it captures her essence.

So of course when I had my next major piece of art planned Przemyslaw was the man I wanted to do it.

For me having a tattoo is a really personal thing you have to trust the artist with your body.

There are no do overs. 

So when you find a tattoo artist you trust you are truly lucky.

So on Sunday I found myself in the car starting my two hour journey to the Tattoo Jam.

What can I say.

I think the art speaks for me.

Mary tattoo

It’s truly stunning.

Again Przemyslaw took my vision and turned it into a piece beyond my wildest dreams.

This piece is so important to me.

It’s my faith.

In my heart on my sleeve.

I love it.

Thank you again Przemyslaw for my amazing art and thank you again for being such a genuine guy.

Until the next time.

xxxxx

Dragons den

Don’t hide away.

When my daughter died I spent a lot of hours (still do) looking at photographs and the one thing that struck me hard was that I was barely in any of them. In fact I had maybe one or two with me in them with Livvy.

To be honest I wasn’t surprised but I was angry.

Angry at myself.

You see it hadn’t happened over night this camera shy behaviour of mine. From my teen years I have shied away every time anyone got a camera out.

I just hated how I looked, it was as simple as that.

It wasn’t always because of my weight because even as a size 8 I still hated seeing myself in a photo.

Yet as the weight went on so did my resolve to become the photographer never the model.

Having beautiful children was the perfect excuse, I wanted to capture them not me.

So then I found myself with no shared memories of me and my beautiful girl.

I had lived them but I had nothing to remind me.

It hurt.

It hurt like hell.

I wanted to remember the laughter we felt when we twirled her on the ice.

The daily messes we got into at meal times.

I had her smiles to see but I wanted to see my smile and remember my joy from that moment.

Our togetherness.

It hurt and I was so angry that I had let vanity or maybe shame rob me of these memories.

So it was at this point I decided I couldn’t allow myself to be lost from all memories. I didn’t want my girls to ask where I was when they look back in years to come. I wanted a reminder for them of who I was and what I looked like and how crazy we could be together.

It wasn’t easy to step from behind the lens but it was one best things I have ever done.

Don’t get me wrong I still cringe a few times when I see my double chin but I can look past that now and see the memory that was formed.

The moment that was shared.

In fact my girls laughed at me the other day for taking what they called “yet another selfie”. They speak the truth beyond this journey of memory making I have learned to love who I am. My body has birthed four amazing girls. It has carried so many children on it’s hips. It too holds it’s own memories.

It’s also the only one I have and yes while there are bits I would love to change I do finally like most of it.

Stepping in front of the camera scared me silly but I am so thankful that I did.

Life is different now, I have less regrets.

I take chances regardless of how far from my comfort zone they are and I have been rewarded with so many new and amazing memories. I’ve also met so many incredible people too just by being less afraid.

I wish I could go back and tell that gawky teen to love herself a little more.

I wish I could tell that new mom to capture those moments with her precious child.

I cannot go back but I can tell all you out there.

Don’t hide who you are.

Photobomb snapshots.

Fill your Instagram feed.

Jump into the scenery and make those memories.

Because

One day they will be the most precious gift you could give yourself.

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There is only one stage for me.

September has begun and i am simply a mess.

 

It could be holiday blues.

 

It could be just plain exhaustion.

 

Or it could be that I’m just so very p*ssed off.

 

Yesterday was the first day of the new school year and it should of been the day that Livvy started Year 11.

 

Its crazy to think my baby would have been 16 next year, when the truth is she didn’t get to see double figures.

 

I don’t know how to feel right now.

 

Anger

 

Grief

 

Numb

 

Its a variety of emotions that seem to move with the wind.

 

I close my eyes and I try so hard to imagine Livvy as a teenager.

 

What would she be like?

 

Would she still be the little rock chick, dancing her heart out to Guns n roses.

 

Or would she have continued down the road she started with her love of skulls and all things gothic.

 

I imagine her sitting in her chair in Dr Martens, or maybe Converse.

 

I just don’t know.

 

 

 

It’s breaking me apart right now.

 

The not knowing what she would be like.

 

The not getting the chance to make those memories.

 

I was robbed of my baby girl.

 

She was robbed of her future

 

And its just not blooming fair.

 

Denial

 

Anger

 

Bargaining

 

Depression

 

Acceptance

 

The five stages of grief,

 

What a joke.

 

Stages are something you work through.

 

You finish one and then move on.

 

I’m not moving on.

 

I miss my daughter so much.

 

For me there is only one stage of grief

 

Simply heartbroken.

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Who am I? Who are you?

What would you say if I asked you “Who are you?” or “Who am I?”

I may read from my about me page but is that really who I am?

Partly

I am a crazy tattooed mum to four amazing young ladies..

A foster mum to one very special young man.

I am a gothic loving lady who is finally learning to love her plus sized body.

A new lover of fashion and with a complete addiction to books.

 

Yet I am also a woman who thinks way to much and often gets lost inside my own head.

I worry all the time.

From

Have i done that right?

Are the kids ok?

Will they like me?

To

Why are children dying?

Why are there so many wars?

Why do some have so much when others have nothing?

 

It’ so hard to answer the question “who am I?”

I think I can only answer this as who I am right now.

 

Life is always evolving.

I am not the person I was 10 years ago.

I am not the person I was last month.

In fact I am not the same person as I was yesterday.

 

Life, events, circustances and people they change me.

who am I

 

So what would you answer if I asked you ” who are you?”

 

It’s my birthday

Today is my birthday I am 38 years old.

I cannot believe how amazing my 37th year has been.

I have finally found me.

That sounds crazy doesn’t it.

How do you lose yourself?

I don’t think i  actually ever lost myself because I don’t believe i had ever found myself before.

For so long I have tried to be who I perceived others wanted me to be.

Hiding my heart to keep others happy.

But its not honest and its certainly not a way to live.

 
I will be ok when I get my degree.

I will be better when I lose weight.

I will become nicer.

I will try to be kinder.

More open, more trusting

A better mom.

A better wife.

 

My list became endless and always out of reach.

 

No more.

 
I finally can see that.

I am kind hearted

I am a good friend.

Good mom.

Good wife.

I am beautiful.

I am so loved.

 
What a year!!!

I wish it hadn’t took 37 years to get to this place but hey ho I am here.

I am so excited to see what my 38th year will bring me.

I already have exciting things planned.

I mean I’m modelling for goodness sake.

Whatever happens I know it will be fun and filled with love, laughter and friendship.

What more can this birthday girl ask??

 

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Sometimes you have to fight to be happy.

Someone once told me that “happiness is a choice”.

I’m not sure if I fully grasped at the time what they meant but over the last five years I have had to choose.

Choose to be happy. 

You see emotions are like waves, sometime’s they can be calm and peaceful.

Yet at moments they can be raging against the elements, wild and unforgiving.

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Grief especially is a whirlpool.

It tries it’s hardest to suck you down into the depths of despair.

So I have had to fight.

Fight to be happy.

And you know what thats ok.

I’ve learned a great lesson in life

That happiness isn’t a given.

You have to look for it

At times you really have to search for it.

You have to remind yourself that darkness is only the absence of light.

So you have to look for that light.

I call that light hope.

I find the light in my children’s laughter.

Listening to their plans and dreams for the future.

It’s there in memories that I hold dear to my heart.

Never forgetting the strength and courage of the one I have lost.

I find my light in the knowledge that life is for living.

That I have to make each moment count.

It’s there in the promise that one day I will hold my daughter again.

Sometimes life gets does get hard and I find myself fighting against the waves.

Frightened that I’m drowning.

But I still search for the light.

The promise of a new day.

The chance to make another memory.

I remind myself that although the whirlpool will never leave me.

I don’t have to let it consume me.

Keep swimming

Ride the waves

Tomorrow is always a chance for hope.

tomorrow

Choose happiness 

 

 

 

Running for our girls

I’m so excited and can’t wait to share this news with you all.

My late daughter Livvy has been chosen as one of the 195 girls to be honoured by Team Sparkle in the So Cal Ragnar Relay. 6 amazing women are running 195 miles for 195 girls with Rett Syndrome. “195 miles” that works out about 30- 35 miles each, can i just say OUCH.

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Livvy’s mile is number 171 and is being run by a Rett mama Allison Foley.

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As you can imagine I am super excited having Livvy honoured in this way it has certainly blessed my heart. But I’m also so happy to be part of this amazing fund-raising event dedicated to funding the research into curing the devastating condition Rett syndrome.

I am  seriously stoked to be part of this event.

So why am I telling you guys all this?

 Its simple I need your support.

I am hoping to raise $100 to support this amazing cause.

Help me, help Team Ragnar honour Livvy.

Seriously no donation is to small, it all goes to an amazing cause.

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Please check out Team Sparkle Facebook page and learn more about this amazing ladies.

Make a donation, please let them know its made in Livvy’s memory.

Also go check out Livvy’s Page over at Girl Power 2 cure, I am slightly bias about this charity as they have been strength to me in times of weakness and have given me comfort in times of sorrow. But more than that they give me opportunity to honour Livvy and to keep her memory alive by fighting alongside them against Rett syndrome.  To quote Kelly Butler from GP2C ” once a Rett mama always a Rett mama” I can’t tell you how much I needed those words.

So thats my exciting news for the day, lets support Team Sparkle as they support our girls.

Bee – Happy

Seriously I have a happy buzz going on right now.

I’m not sure why as I’m still physically shattered and the bills still need to be paid.

Yet regardless of all this I am really happy.

My girls are doing well, my eldest passed her theory driving test and my youngest conquered her stage fright to sing and dance in a local theatre.

My middle one is getting great grades at school in her mock GCSE exams and even better seems to be really happy in herself.

My foster son is changing daily and is such a gift to have as part of our family.

Life is pretty good.

It’s so easy at times to look at the negatives of life.

Focus on the crappy bits and miss the beauty and joy all around us.

I know I am guilty of this at times.

But not this week.

I want to post something joyful and say life is good.

I’m getting to work with some great people and support some great charities.

I’m surrounded by family and friends that I cherish.

And we have sunshine.

What more could a girl ask for, well besides a cambridge satchel.

Life is good xxx

beehappy

It’s not where you come from.

It not where you come from it’s where you belong.

I listened to this song the other day and I just fell apart. The words hit my heart and like a dam breaking inside of me the tears began to fall.

Journeying through life isn’t easy but it’s a lot harder when you don’t have the basic support structure behind you.

Family, friends, community.

These are what guides you and lifts you through the struggles of life.

Yes they may be times when one to two of these break but then hopefully the others step up and fill the gap.

Yet as a foster carer I know that sometimes this structure completely falls apart. For various reasons children find themselves in…

Need of a home.

in

Need of a family.

in

Need of friends

and In

Need of a community.

My heart has broken listening to stories of kids growing up not knowing where they will be tomorrow.

Children scared of making friends because tomorrow they may be somewhere else.

This is why I love my job.

I get to be that structure for a child in need.

I get to love upon and help them to understand that they are loved.

Teach them that they deserve love and most of all they are safe.

I get to be family,friends and community to a child in need.

Each day children are taken into care and the need for foster carers has risen dramatically over the years.

It’s not an easy job, time after time you will find yourself being rejected.

But it’s not about you.

It’s about a child .

A child whose world had changed.

A child who is scared to trust.

A child in fear.

Yet being a foster carer is also one of the best jobs in the world.

You get to change a child’s life.

You get to make a difference.

What could be more amazing than that?

Its not where you come from it’s where you belong.

 

 

 

 

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Because thats who I am.

I was lying in bed last night and thinking about my blog when suddenly I was filled with fear. I realized that I was sharing my heart open and honest to anyone who wishes to read it.

Its like walking up a stranger in a shop and telling them my deepest darkest feelings

I wondered if I actually had got it before, really understood what I am doing when I allow my fingers to roam the keyboard and click the button saying publish.

Its a strange feeling knowing that someone you have never met knows your heart.

For a couple of minutes I actually thought twice.

Maybe its time to stop blogging.

Maybe I should start filtering my feelings, censoring my words.

Then after a while I began to wonder why?

Why do I need to hide who I truly am?

So what if strangers have read my words, in fact i am actually glad they have. Maybe one person has heard my heart and knows that they are not alone.

Sometimes the gift of company is all you need to face the day.

Knowing that tomorrow will come and somehow you will survive.

Understanding that everyone everywhere has a journey they need to take.

That we all get lost and lose our way.

Accepting that life is lousy at times.

We hurt, we ache and sometimes we break.

This blog is my heart and yes at times I may over share but who cares?

I have finally learned something,

Really understood something I should have always known.

Being me is ok, 

The ups and downs they make me who I am

And who I am is pretty awesome over sharing and all.

So there will be no filtering no censorship just pure raw Sara.

It may get messy.

But it will always be true.

Because thats who I am.

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