This week has suddenly turned from mild Autumnal mornings, to blumming freezing in the space of a couple of days! I have dug out our feather duvet (much to Mr Smiths dismay) and tonight plan on bringing down all my Autumn/Winter stuff out of the loft, as I am feeling I need more knitwear and thick socks in my life. We have had a whole lot of rain and I am really beginning to miss the heat wave of Summer!

On Saturday we enjoyed a lovely visit to the Keighley and Worth Valley railway (which I will do a post about in a few days) followed by a swim party and fab little disco in celebration of my brother in laws 40th! It was a great fun packed weekend to wrap up a busy week of work, school runs and back to college, and I am thankful for ordinary moments to create special memories amidst the family life mayhem!

Grateful For 

This week I am grateful to have a dryer! It may seem really silly, but this is actually the first time in our married life that we have had a tumble dryer and I love it! We have never really had space before, and just made do with a drying rack, radiators or the odd sunny days (which has been utterly disastrous some weeks). But now with all of the rain and increasing laundry from 3 kids, it has completely changed my life and I couldn’t be more thankful to have a dryer!

I am also grateful to have been able to take Megan to see Madagascar the musical last Monday evening. We had a wonderful evening together and I am so pleased to be her mother!

Succeeded At

This week I successfully enrolled at college for my Level 4 diploma in counselling and successfully completed the first day! It was so good to be back and feel this level of enthusiasm and passion for something. My mind is whirling with theories and thoughts about areas I want to work in, and I am excited for this chapter of life and increased knowledge!

Found Beauty In

On Thursday I think it was, when we had a huge amount of rain (which conveniently hit tight on the school run), and as I reached the school gates, I looked down at Alice and saw the cutest little hand poking out to catch rain drops – it was a beautiful and very lovely sight!

I also found beauty in seeing my old friends at college again, walking across to soft play, the yorkshire dales via the steam train, and seeing the kids enjoy themselves with the trains on Saturday!

Its been another lovely but busy week!

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Like everyone else around the UK, this week has been all about frantically getting uniforms, shoes and bags packed in preparation for going back to school. For Ethan and Megs that meant Years 2 & 3 and by some complete miracle (or fluke?) we have made it on time every single day! I cannot believe we are already back to school, but I am glad we are in somewhat of an organised state so far!

We have had a great week getting back into the flow of things, getting organised for the Autumn term and adjusting to the days of just Alice and I again – We have returned to toddler group and done some shopping!

Grateful For

This week I am grateful that school runs have been so much easier and that we have has a great first week back. I am grateful to know the kids have slotted in so easily to their new classrooms and teachers, and are happy in school. I am grateful for hot chocolate with Naths mum and Aunt on Wed and also grateful to have had a lovely lunch and chats with my friend on Thursday for her birthday (and that we both love pizza!).

I am thankful for a great weekend this weekend going to our Temple in Chorley and seeing my family today to celebrate my cousins baby blessing.

Succeeded At

I have to say it again, but this weeks biggest success has most definitely been that of getting to school every day ON TIME! I cannot say enough how great that is, and how good it is to be in time to walk with our friends!

Found Beauty In 

The most beautiful thing this week was seeing the kids in their crisp new uniforms with smiles on their faces. It was lovely to see them so excited to get back into school. It was also beautiful to see Alice trying on my shoes, and hearing her say “wellie Boots” over and over again, with such glee at her new unicorn wellies!

I wasn’t really sure how this week would go, and certainly felt somewhat worried that school might take some getting used to again, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I have loved all of the things Alice and I have been doing whilst Ethan and Megs have enjoyed seeing their friends and scoffing their packed lunches at school! I have a feeling this half term might not be so bad…

 

 

 

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We are currently enjoying a lovely long (and rather wet) family weekend in Scotland with Nathans family. We arrived on Thursday after several stops on the way up, and whilst the weather has been rather wet and windy, we were blessed yesterday with enough sunshine to enjoy a day at the beach – it was so lovely and bursting with beauty!

This week has been great for seeing our friends and looking forward to this long bank holiday weekend with family in Scotland. We have done loads together and can hardly believe that in just over a week we will back to school! It makes me a little sad to be entering a new chapter when we are so very much enjoying these Summer adventures together!

Grateful For 

This week I am grateful for open fires in this spectacular house we are staying in – they are both relaxing and a big source of warmth for us on an evening! I am grateful for luxury accomodation we can all stay in together too and just generally for a family holiday with all of our great family in such a cool location.

I am grateful for friends and the lovely days out together this week. And I am grateful for the yummy cookies at LIDL bakery – they have always been a firm favourite of mine and after a whole week of no sugar, I have enjoyed a couple this weekend as a holiday treat!

Succeeded At

This week I succeeded at losing 3lb of the 10 or so I have slowly piled on! The aforementioned cookies may jeopardize that progress, but for now I shall celebrate this small accomplishment!

We also succeeded at making it to Scotland in okay time with little drama – a fine achievement for anyone with 3 kids in tow!

Found Beauty In 

This week again has been one of great beauty. My soul has felt joy to walk through the pretty countryside around our house in East Yorkshire with our friends, and to see Alice and Megan having so many moments of play and sisterhood!! I have loved seeing my children laughing and playing with cousins and schoolmates and, finally, I have loved the beautiful decor of this house where we are staying and the views and coastlines that surround us!

Scotland is so beautiful and I am thankful to be here together… It is always a lot of fun when are all together as a ginormous family.

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Back in June I felt elated as I handed in my final portfolio. All of the tears, late night study sessions, questioning about what I was doing and general stress had come to an end and I jumped for joy as I looked and realised – I had done it! For the first time in years I had actually stuck to something. I had found my passion (and possible career path) and I had seen it to the end. I had accomplished a course and It felt absolutely mint!

Since September 2017 I have been going to college every Wednesday night to study a Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills. Back in the Summer I came to the realisation that counselling (or Therapy of some description) would make a great career for me and would be great around the family too in these coming years. After a lot of thinking and praying about it, it just seemed such a clear and fulfilling path to take. It felt like it would fit me so well and it made me really excited.

The more I contemplated it as an option, I thought about how it would use both my natural talents and life experiences and bring them together to be something that would be beneficial to others. I thought about how it would be a job that really mattered and I would be doing something that was as varied as I am day to day. As I looked at everything I had ever done in my life; from after school jobs, to full time jobs, and from volunteer work and subject interests, it all suddenly became less random and seemingly indecisive, and came together under this umbrella of giving me various experiences, talents and interests that all had a common thread of preparing me to be able to be a therapist at this stage in my life.

I felt more confident and clear about my life and my life choices/experiences than I have ever previously done. And so I went for it – the first step – A level 3 Diploma in counselling skills … part-time!

I kept it a secret for a while. I suppose I didn’t want to have to tell a lot of people about it and then feel like a failure if down the road it didn’t go to plan. I wanted to avoid the awkwardness of if I did quit like I have done so often before, that people wouldn’t know and judge. I know now thats really silly but at the time, and the me back in September, that’s what felt right.

The difference this time though was that I was really invested. I knew deep down that however hard it was, this was what I needed to do and what I wanted to be.

It was something I enjoyed learning about and practicing and it was helping me grow in incredible ways too. I knew that, because of the things we were studying, that to push and fight through the hard things would eventually make me a better person and better capable in my life as well as being capable of helping and guiding others on their journeys.

I loved the theory – I found it super interesting. And I enjoyed putting my skills into practice and working with people. It felt good to know my limits and interests and comfortable with both.

I learnt from this course so much about me – my excuses, my fears, my weaknesses and judgements of others, and how to combat them and overcome them. I also grew in confidence as I discovered my strengths and who I really am and wanted to be in life. I learnt the tools to own my choices and how to handle worrying situations. And it was those latter lessons (amongst others) that made me more determined than ever to accomplish this course and progress to be more.

It became less about just doing this course and more about the future – A degree or diploma in a related field and eventual goal of being a therapist by the time all of my kids would be in full time school.

I experienced a lot of struggles but a lot of growth too and with that it has been great to see what I can become and offer to the world. It has felt good to discover parts of me that have been suppressed by difficulty or how I have taken others behaviours towards me and it has been so great to be more open minded and more self confident. I have loved feeling secure in myself and my life/day to day choices. I have enjoyed the freedom of being okay with where I am at and knowing how I can become whoever I want to be. I have felt fulfilled to be able to accept and be okay with my weaknesses and I feel empowered by knowing my strengths and talents.

I guess you could say this course has helped me feel accomplished because I have not only completed something around a  young family, but I found me in the process. And there I found how to be okay with all of my scars, weaknesses, flaws, choices, gifts and abilities – and that was a wonderful feeling.

Collecting my Certificate

Last Thursday I went  to collect my certificate – I had accomplished the first step. I had completed it and now to pass it felt even better than completing it in the first place.

I had accomplished my goal and it was so great.

It really wasn’t easy to study around kids (not easy at all) and it wasn’t easy to study for a topic that at times was hugely sensitive and heavy. A subject that resurfaced a lot of pain and highlighted a lot of painful things and insecurities about me, but I did it. I persevered, I worked through those hard times with my new friends and persoanlly and I smashed down the mental walls I had built up. I dealt with things I needed to that were holding me back…and then with lots of study and essays – I did it – I passed!!

I am so proud of my little certificate. I am so proud of my progress.

I haven’t just accomplished a course people, I have overcome great barriers and personal insecurities. I have found a purpose and passion beyond that of motherhood and something that feels so right for me to be doing in life. I love the vast options that being a therapist offers, and in the process of all of this discovery, I have made brilliant friends from all walks of life.

This certificate is a symbol of the power I have to do hard things and to be ever growing and being better on a personal level. It shows me, however hard it is some weeks with a young family to study, I can still reach my personal goals and I become someone to make a difference in the world. I can reach my educational and life goals.

This certificate represents hours of work, lots of tears, and it stands as a reminder that I have power!

I look forward to my next course, whatever that will be! I know it will be harder and it will require more commitment and dedication … more work and balancing of family life. But I am looking forward to more personal growth and more knowledge.

Thank you so much to my friends and family that helped me power through and accomplish a course that was both challenging but hugely satisfying!

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