This week, in most ways has been all rather ordinary. We have had a few more mornings of mad dashes to school than I would have hoped for, and we have our usual trips across to soft play and a swim with some friends too, but then in and amongst all of the ordinary day to day stuff of parenting and family life, we have celebrated 9 years or marriage, walked with friends across the Humber Bridge, and on Monday evening I had a lovely evening out to see Fame – The Musical.

This weekend has been another good one, with seeing the kids do a presentation at church, and yesterday we spent the day with friends remembering their baby girl who was also stillborn almost 3 years ago. The weather was lovely and we met on the South bank of the Humber bridge, then in the lovely Autumn sunshine walked across to the North bank. Once there we enjoyed our picnics, chats and a balloon release in her memory. It was a lovely way to spend the day, and they are a truly inspirational family –  we were glad to be able to share in something so special.

Grateful For

This week I feel really grateful and have so many things to be thankful for too! Here goes …

I am grateful for my marriage and to be married to such a wonderful man. I am grateful for all that has been created in life because we fell in love and married 9 years ago and, I am grateful for the love he gives me in life!

As I mentioned, today at church the kids had their annual presentation – It was all about the creation and God Plan for us! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing them all sing and watching each child give a little talk and I am grateful for the confidence of my kids, for their willingness to do things like this, and for the teachers at church that take the time to love and teach them about the gospel. I am also thankful for their simple presentation of things that mean so much to us and the reminders of good things in life! I am grateful for them both and their goodness!

Finally this week I am also grateful for opportunities to be with people that understand loss and talk openly. I am grateful to have gone swimming with friends from the village and I am grateful for my therapist and the great session I had yesterday afternoon! I am grateful for sunshine and beautiful scenery and opportunities to think and understand.

Succeeded At

This week I succeeded at gaining another year of marriage with Mr Smith. I love him greatly and I am so thankful to be celebrating 9 years of marriage! Whilst we haven’t officially celebrated, we did mark the day with some posh food at home (Lidl spec haha) and nice drinks (who says romance is dead?!). We are looking forward to planning a night away together (or 2) once we have half term out of the way and once we actually decide where we want to go!

Found Beauty In

Yesterday was a very beautiful day – the Humber bridge and the autumn leaves were really lovely and I enjoyed walking over the Humber bridge chatting with people! I always find it a little nervy, but it is also an incredibly beautiful and exciting thing to do. It was beautiful to see a family remember their baby and to see balloons a plenty with loving notes attached float off up to “heaven”!

I also found beauty in seeing Megs and Alice play so lovely yesterday in the leaves and in the car, whilst Ethan was out with his Grandma. I found beauty in Ethan and Megs singing today and in the general loveliness of the whole thing!

I have found beauty in driving around where we live this weekend and I have seen beauty in our marriage and lives together. I have also been blessed this week to have opened my eyes to find more beauty in motherhood and that was such a good feeling. I often mix up the mundane house keeping stuff with motherhood and then it doesn’t always feel so great or I find the days unfulfilling. But when I focus more on being a mummy and enjoying my children, then I feel like it is such a wonderful and incredibly thing. I feel far more blessed and it feels a much more beautiful life, than cleaning and laundry!

This week has been especially beautiful and one with much to be thankful for. Six more days to our Italy trip, and I truly am thankful for that too.

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Last week I decided to have a social media fast! Aside from Facebook messenger to communicate with the youth I work with at church (and Nath at work), I abstained from Twitter, Blogging, Instagram and Facebook for a full week – It felt mint! Initially this was hard, but after realising how often I go on it for the sake of it, and after realising how much thought I gave to others lives as a result, I suddenly became more refreshed and free! I felt grateful for the time I had to live my life in the moment without feeling the obligation to share every moment.

During all of this I began to reflect on how I could have a better balance in my life and what changes I could make to ensure the therapy I was doing would have optimum effect in my life and healing from the trauma of loss. I wondered how I could find more peace and how I could break the cycle of reliving the trauma so much. I love social media, photography and blogging and see a lot of goodness in it, but I also became aware of things I could change to remove triggers and toxic experiences online.

The answer that came to me (and that felt right) was to stop blogging about my loss.

A scripture I have always loved since Poppy entered our lives is the one in Ecclesiastes 3 – it begins with “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven“.. it goes on to read…”A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”. 

I love it…And I love how all things have a purpose, but sometimes only for a season. I love how birth and death are described as being moments that come at the right time, and whilst this is hard sometimes, there is purpose beyond what we understand at why these seasons come when they do! I really love that there are seasons in life that are filled with sadness and mourning and that that’s okay – because there will be other seasons of laughter and joy.

For the last 4 years I have been in a season of life that has been incredibly hard and painful. I felt inspired at the start of it to blog – write it out and share what was going on. It was cathartic and helped me write the words I could not speak. It helped others too, and connected me to people that got it. I found angels all over the world that could have those difficult conversations and they helped me through. I found and loved that the focus of living a “hearty life” and looking for “hearty moments” in the days and weeks that only felt bleak, helped me massively to survive and stay afloat – they helped me to see the hand of God in each day. And, even though I had no idea (and still don’t) as to why he needed my child home so soon blogging has helped me navigate through it.

But now I feel I have come to the end of the line. I feel like that season and chapter of my life has been written and I am entering a new season – one where I don’t need to write about my loss any more. One where mourning will be lessened and her memory and place will be treasured within our family. A season where the things I have learnt from losing her, will be used to bless people through my work and maybe even a book one day!! But her legacy and influence, I am seeing now, lives through us and how we choose to remember her. Her story is told in each sacred moment we have, and each memory and story the kids share with her name in it. We will continue to talk of her, remember and think of her, and we will continue to celebrate her birthday each year and send her balloons to heaven. We will hang a special decoration and keep the traditions we have forged to include her in our family moments and celebrations.

But now, as I look to heal from PTSD and as I hope to gain all I can from my therapy, it feels right to no longer write of the grief, the mourning and the imagery of losing a baby and having a stillbirth. It feels right to share of the things that bring me joy and create and build memories of cheer. As a result I have removed the “Baby loss” section from my header menu (it can still be found in “blog categories” in the sidebar) and from now my blog will be purely family and lifestyle – our adventures and travels, my thrifty loves and passions and my semi-cool modest style!

I love blogging and wouldn’t want to get rid of something that means so much and tells our story/journey, but now I want my writing to be focussed on something else. I want it to be fun and chilled and reflect my loves and passions.

I am moving forward from the person that needed to write and let it out – not forgetting but remembering – in a way that is more healthy and gentle on my mind. And in that “The Hearty Life” takes on new meaning – The Hearty Life is wholesome, Jovial and filled with vigour, cheer and devotion. I look and I think “Oh what a life to live and love! Oh what a life we embrace and seek for daily”!

It is that which now becomes our story and blogs! A new season…a new road…a new chapter to write!

Please note I am always happy to talk to and listen to anyone who has experienced baby loss at any stage – just drop me an email or message in social media. I will always talk to you and I will always acknowledge and count your baby, just as I do and will do with Poppy in our family. I will continue to talk of her periodically I am sure (it’s only natural). But blogging about it all has come to an end and this is simply a step to healing and gaining balance as I enter a different chapter of my life! 

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Last week was quite a week indeed, which I thoroughly enjoyed! From afternoon tea on the Monday, to a mini steam railway at the coast Thursday, our week has been filled with joyful things, little outings and now a 4 week countdown to the Summer holidays!

This coming week, whilst I have nothing in my diary as yet, also looks set to be great one too. With a forecast of bright sunshine and 21+ temperatures, I can’t wait to embrace the Summer and be outside some more with Alice having fun!

Grateful For …

This week I have been really grateful to live near my sisters and mum – Firstly because it was lovely to go out last Monday for afternoon tea and enjoyed the usual banter. Secondly to have a little tea party yesterday and wander/chat on Friday with my youngest sister. And finally I have been grateful that my mum came and had the kids on Wednesday for a couple of hours so that I could go into college earlier, and that sister babysat on Thursday so that Nathan and I could go out!

I am also incredibly grateful for the lovely students I have worked with these last few months on my course. I have found in each of them kindness and friendship and I am especially grateful for the little crew/team I had that offered so much motivation, help and encouragement. I couldn’t have done what I have without them and the support of Nathan at home and my local family with spots of childcare!

Succeeded At …

My biggest and most wonderful success this week was by far finishing my Level 3 in counselling skills. Gosh there have been weeks I have felt so far behind, or generally like I was ready to quit, but here I am on the other side of all of that and completed! I was so so happy to finally hand in my portfolio – nothing prepared me for how good that would really feel and I relished every moment!

Next I am hoping to get on the Counselling level 4 and then hopefully be practising in 2 yrs time.

This week I also managed to organise and declutter the girls room (though you can’t really tell now) and got on top of house work after neglecting it in order to prioritise my college work!

Found Beauty In …

Oh so many things this week. It always is the case when the weather is nice – my mood is better and therefore I notice more!

For me this week I have seen beauty in the moments wandering around the animal park with my friend on Wednesday and then seeing Alice loving the animals (mostly) and having a little picnic with her pal!

It was riding the little steam engine in Scarborough with Alice on Thursday and seeing her glee and excitement over it. And then, whilst she rested her head on my chest, we watched the sea beating down on the sea and looked over the bay as the world went by and we chilled on the little train. It was gorgeous!

Finally it was seeing my kids having fun with their cousins on Saturday… and then again yesterday! This week I have felt so fortunate to live around so many beautiful things and people and I am excited for another week of sunshine and adventures – and not college to rush off to!

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I have had a rather sociable week this week, which has been most refreshing. Some weeks I am quite happy to just stay at home, work on things and get organised – you know, kept it chill and wander! But then most weeks I really enjoy seeing people and having some days out and chats with other mums and Friends and this week was more so one of those and I have appreciated time with friends and family.

This week Alice and I have had a picnic at the park with her second cousins, have been to soft play in the neighbouring village and had a shopping trip and lunch with a friend! I have loved that I am one week away from completing my course and I have loved hanging with some of my sisters Friday night for my youngest sisters Birthday!

Grateful For …

This week I am really thankful for good health and feeling well and energized again. Good weather to get out and about and dress Summery. Sisters to have a laugh with and eat Ice cream by the tub with. And for fathers!

With it being Fathers day today it has been lovely to reflect on the blessing it is to have good Dad’s in life and father figures. I have felt grateful firstly for my Dad and for all of the laughs and adventures he has given us over the years. I am grateful for my Granddad and his humour, influence and example in my life. For my Father in Law and his love, humour, trips we’ve been on and guidance also. And finally for Nathan – he is such a kind, gentle and funny person – I love that my kids have a Dad who loves them so much. He is interested in their lives and wants them to succeed. He works hard to provide a safe and loving home for them, gives them lots of laughs and fun, and helps them with all sorts!

Dad’s come in all kinds of forms, and I am thankful that I have known such great, funny and wonderful fathers in my life!

Succeeded At….

Finishing all of my assignments for my college course! It felt absolutely brilliant to walk in to college on Wednesday evening knowing I had done all of my assignments and only had to print them off, arrange my folder and now cross reference it all before handing in the final copy this Wednesday!

Found Beauty In…

The fields on our walk to soft play….Alice asleep with her little hand under her chin… and watching the kids crowd Nathan this morning. It is so lovely to live where we do and have these moments as a family. I love the memories we are building and the moments we are capturing!

 

 

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