I wanted to get some pictures this month that felt like Autumn and also represented our new life in the country. Whilst not taken in our village, they were taken last Saturday when we visited a fairly local windmill/museusm and I like them because they are the first weekend this month we’ve been out together and felt light and more relaxed after a very intense month.

September has been such a random one; we’ve had the kids back at school, new clubs and hobbies started, baby groups and are all back into the term time routines. Then we’ve had Poppy’s anniversaries, a family wedding and finally managed to squeeze in a family day out and some country walks too. As you read this I am hopefully on my way to London (if I made the 5.30am train) for Britmum’s live 2017 (a blogging conference) where I hope to meet some of you and other blogger friends and influencers…I can’t believe how different the month end feels to 30 days ago when it started. Like I say, its been so random but we have made it, taking with us lots of new memories and friends, whilst having opportunity to reflect and talk about the hard aspects of the month.

September is a month I don’t particularly enjoy anymore and find it to be a tough one for us right from the start really with it holding all of the anniversaries of losing Poppy. I feel like the majority of the month, especially once the kids return to school, is spent preparing ourselves emotionally for them. By the 14th we have her death date, induction was on the 15th and birth date the 16th. A week later on the 22nd its then her funeral/burial date (which in someways is worse as there is nothing to celebrate there). As a result of that for a couple of weeks, the majority of that time just feels incredibly heavy and sad, and even anxious. The build up is hard and then before we know it, its all over again and we’re left felling a little dull and shell shocked.

This year we struggled with the fact that Nathans gorgeous cousin was getting married the same day as Poppy’s birthday and I felt so torn between my love and excitement for them, and my heart ache and one day for my daughter. We talked over it a lot and wondered what the best thing was to do, but in the end we followed our hearts and were glad to have attended with family and friends and celebrate their love and our entire family generally. It felt lovely and was an opportunity to scoff plenty of chocolate and cakes! On the evening we had a meal out with my family and then released balloons on the cliff tops at the light house again, in the morning we decorated her grave.

This year definitely has felt harder for some reason and has thrown us a few curve balls that have been very hard to navigate through grief, so in some ways I am so glad September is finally over… in other ways I can’t believe how fast its gone and how quickly we have moved away from the month that’s mostly about her, it feel weird. Lets just as we enter October I am almost 100% certain I’ve gained a fair few pounds over the last few weeks with all of the rubbish I have indulged in to comfort myself in my sadness and anxiety and will welcome some normality and excitement with Ethan’s birthday and our 8th wedding anniversary!

September has been a funny old month, a very hard month, and a month that has seen us settle into life back at school in the village. I am grateful for the little family we have, and the life we have together now – it feels so much nicer!! I love that in our little home and lives we can each be loved and accepted in our sadness as well as the joys, the highs and the lows and sometimes through the sheer pain that comes with September. I am grateful that whatever happens around us in the month, we have each other and together will always remember our little Poppy and that September meant we got to meet her.

In September we are Grateful for

* Kind friends
*Too many treats
*Time to reflect and remember Poppy
*The people who talk of her and ask of her
*Our new village and lovely neighbourhood
*New school clubs
*Living in the gorgeous countryside and having peaceful things around us

 

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I am so very much looking forward to this bank holiday weekend, and what perfect timing following a week in Italy! It just feels like an extended holiday!!

What’s extra exciting is that the forecast here in Yorkshire is not only set to actually feel like Summer, but as per every August bank holiday we have our annual Smith “Family Fun Weekend”(with the added bonus of Nathan’s mum’s Birthday)! I cannot wait for the laughs, banter and adventures ahead!

Despite being in Italy for half the week, I still have bagged myself a few deals and even made some thrifty choices whilst away too…

New Look Sale

New Look reminds me too much of being a teenager, with it being the only decent shop we had growing up in Bridlington. And so I admit that I rarely shop there. They do have a few nice things but the majority of it feels too feminine and florally for me! I do however LOVE their shoes and so happened to call in yesterday whilst on my desperate search for some new (and comfortable) sandals. I was not disappointed and came away with a lovely pair from £20 down to 10!

Whilst there I saw a top that was down to £7 from £22 and was debating it too-It was a lovely pale pink, long sleeved blouse with black embroidery!So of course today I went back to get it! I was delighted to find that they had an extra 20% off SALE and so bagged it for a fiver! If you’re passing a New Look this weekend, it might be worth a look with such great bargs on offer!

A Train to Rome

This choice was one we debated for several days. but in the end decided it made financial sense (haha!). We decided whilst on our Italy holiday, to get the high speed rail to Rome and so booked some tickets in advance before we left the UK.From Pisa it would only be a couple of hours and for all 5 of us would be £140 return. Yes it’s a lot more than we would usually spend on a day out but WAY less than we would have spent to go see Rome on a separate holiday- hence a thrifty choice and one that has saved ourselves  few hundred pounds in the future!

As well as that we saved money by buying the majority of our meals from the supermarkets and had a really great trip!

I hope to get some posts up next week about our Italy adventures, but for now I am off to enjoy this rather sunny looking bank holiday! I hope you do too (and grab a few bargs along the way).

 

 

 

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Twilight books were a big part of our newly married life and whilst not a natural lover of fiction, I did enjoy them (a lot). Back in the day I would read them on a night when first married, whilst Nathan went to play football. It was a great balance for us to “do our own thing”! I thoroughly enjoyed each one and fell in love with the characters the anticipation of it all…the fight, power, love story/triangles, and then finally each of the films too!

These days Twilight may seem like a such an immature interest for a now 30 something mother – and it certainly feels like a lifetime ago that my thoughts were taken away to the land of Vampires, werewolves and romance with the Twilight books. But, with no WI-FI still here at the new house (BT issues!), I have resorted to watching films out of our DVD collection, and decided a couple of weeks ago that to re-watch the Twilight saga again would be both nostalgic and joyful!

One thing I failed to account for however is how different my life is now, and how emotional it would leave me feeling for days after. I never anticipated it would, and then it did! As a result I find myself in this frustrating cycle of being annoyed and sad all at the same time. Sad for how it leaves me, annoyed that there isn’t the same joy in the things that I once loved so much!! It, to me, is one of the most frustrating things about life after loss; it’s this feeling that things just aren’t the same anymore…simple things like a film I loved and made me so happy, suddenly becomes tarnished because they hold triggers and reminders of what I have lost and how much pain lies beneath the surface. I suddenly see them from a new angle…read deeper into them or are more easily overcome with emotion.

Almost 3 years on I mostly know my triggers and know the what to expect in certain situations. I know how to protect myself and when I need more strength for things ahead. I know when not to shy away so much, and just ride the waves of grief that will inevitably come, because it is what it is – my baby died and as a result I feel sad at certain things more than others. The hardest part though are these random and annoying moments…the one’s where I am unprepared, and especially when it is with things I felt safe with and once loved so much that are the trigger of all that reflection and sadness. Like I say, I really do find it to be one of the most frustrating and hardest things about life after loss. Its like trying to walk but always tripping. It’s learning to walk through life again!

I never imagined “The Twilight Saga” to one of these triggers though!! I never Imagined Twilight of all things to remind me so much that my baby died and life will never look or feel the same again!

I forgot that the song “1,000 years” was part of the finale – the same song we chose to carry our daughter out to at her funeral.

I never imagined I’d feel a connection to Bella fighting for the life of her unborn child.. and then wondering again if I did enough?

I didn’t think fictional tales of death would have me balling, because I knew how they felt now. Or that the constant talk of “immortals” would leave me wondering where my daughter is and thoughts of life after death (Deep I know!).

I realise as I write this, and I say it often to Nathan too that even if I wanted to forget the fact my baby died (which I don’t) I couldn’t! It is actually impossible to “move on” from something so significant and even traumatic in your life, because somewhere down the line there is always going to be something to remind you of those days and moments when it was all so fresh and raw. I realise that time teaches you how to live and function normally with the pain of loss, but that it doesn’t completely erase it – to do so would erase the love and longing to be with them again.

I never anticipated a much loved film series would be the source of such great reflection and therefore become a trigger for my grief. I thought it was safe, but unfortunately this is one of the bigger frustrations and battles of life after loss and living with a new normal. You suddenly exist in a place where joy and sadness’s are suddenly intertwined and where your eyes see things, and you heart feels things, so very differently than before. I exist in a place where my daughter did die, and because of that loss in every fibre of being, something will always remind me and things will never be the same again, and that’s often a hard pill to swallow!

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Erm how exciting is buying a new house please? New beginnings, and opportunities to put your mark on it! Seriously I am so excited that in a couple of weeks it will be ours and as a result, thoughts of decor, layout, more space, countryside and village dwelling race around my mind on a daily basis and let me tell you- it is VERY exciting.

Our new house has a great garden that is nicely done, private and south facing, and I cant wait to finally have space to hang out in and entertain. Whilst we have a garden in our current home, it’s never really felt like a place to entertain or hang out. It’s been hours of fun for the kids but not so practical for all the needs we have. The new one we have however is going to be multi-functional with a decked area for us, and a lawn with a wendy house (shed) for the kids.

 

I have thought a lot about what I want in it and there are 3 things we have both agreed on are necessary – seating, a BBQ and a Chimenea!

1. Seating

The area at the back of the garage that the owners currently use as a seating area is the perfect place for some outdoor seating. It gets the sun all day, is secluded and decked out lovely. But rather than a “patio table” like they have had, I would really love a cool corner sofa or some comfy chairs. I want my garden to be chilled and relaxed and an easy spot to put your feet up and catch some rays! Whether that is on some rattan or homemade from pallets, I am not 100% sure yet.

I love the corner group and Hawaii sets from Fishpools, and this budget one from Ikea. Then on the opposite end of the budget, how cool is this pallet one – handmade from Esther at Inside, out and about?

2. BBQ

We are a nation that loves a good BBQ come rain or shine, and I look forward to being able to have them now at my house with our families and friends. Nathan and I like the idea of a built in one, but it might be just as easy to buy a beasty one and store it in our new garage. Either way we will be doing some good ol grilling in our garden this summer.

3. Chimenea

Nathan has dreamed of a chimenea in our garden since last summer when we sat around my sisters chatting all night and toasting marshmallows with the kids. It was a lovely few days and we both thought how nic eit would be this summer to do the same in our garden. With mocktails and feet up it seems a lovely dream to be together outdoors listening to nature whilst the kids sleep. It all seems so blissful and I can’t wait! This one is from Asda for £69 or this one from Homebase.

And finally a few little decor things to give it that personal touch – I love all of these and their tropical vibes. They are a mix from both H&M Home and Primark!

 

We are moving during the summer and I can’t help but dream of long days playing with the kids outside, and then warm summer evenings relaxing with my love. How lovely is it to have a garden? How exciting is it to move house? I can’t wait!

 

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