I have avoided my blog this week as I have just felt utterly exhausted. It is a feeling that is all too familiar, and a tiredness that comes as a result of my heart being sad and my head trying to accept the news of loss. You see on Tuesday my dear Granddad passed away – he went home, and I’ve felt pretty numb and melancholy ever since.

I do not cope well with loss, I mean who does? But for me it resurfaces the pain and emotions I work hard to suppress and keep a lid on day in day out. I find that grief for new people takes me back to places I do not want to go and I end up having a mess of the sadness of them mixed in with the sadness of losing my baby and others. Therefore other than a sentiment on my social media, I have avoided talking about it with few people aside from my Mum, Dad, Nath, Sisters and Cousins, and have done well not be too emotional though I do feel so inside!

I now find it rather odd to now be writing about all of this under the heading of an “Ordinary Moment”. Everything about my granddad is far from ordinary; he was unique and one in a million, and his passing is far from an ordinary event or moment in life, but has been the main event of my life this week. To lose someone that was such a mighty presence in our family stands alone as a moment that is both incredibly sad and heartbreaking both in our family, and news that radiates to be sad to many that knew him.

I find that life is made up of moments that on the surface may be seemingly ordinary to others and yet are huge to us. We are a close family, he was a great example to us…a strength, friend and teacher to us all and this week has been full of moments that have been made better by my family, as we all share in the same love and appreciation for who he was in each of our lives. He was funny, and one of the greatest men we have been blessed to know. My sister summed it up perfectly when she said “To know granddad was to love him…our loss is heavens gain” – how very true!

I have felt sad but have enjoyed a week of laughing with my sisters, cousins and family all the same as we have shared our treasured memories and stories of this great man we were blessed to call “Granddad”. Reminiscing is good for the soul, as is being with the great family that have come as a result of 2 people falling in love (possibly around) sixty something years ago (?!).

I love my cousins; they are some of my closest friends and I have felt blessed that that relationship has meant we can lean on one another through messages, chats and long afternoons sat on the beach! Apparently I am not the only one that finds solace and comfort in the beach when my heart is aching as yesterday some of us gathered to the coast where we have fond childhood memories with family and grandparents and we had a beach day. Some went in the sea whilst others just sat with snacks and the kids looking out to sea and chatting and laughing about all sorts. We then ate dinner together and laughed some more.

How grateful I am for cousins, sisters, aunts, uncles, beaches and of course parents that can share in these memories of someone so special to us all. How grateful I am for great teachers and examples in my life in the form of Grandparents.

With loss on my mind and in my heart it is hard to find meaningful things to talk about on my blog right now, I have a few reviews I need to process this week and we are moving Thursday and Friday so it will be a really odd and busy week. But I will tell you that my Granddad was such a mighty presence in our family, and thus will be a great absence, and that is very sad news to accept. And whilst it has been a week of not sleeping properly and feeling out of sorts with this news, and knowing I must grieve at some point soon, thus resurfacing sadness already present, it has been a week of feeling incredibly grateful for the gift of such great grandparents, and friends in my sisters and cousins all of whom have given greatness to my life and are an example of the roots we share!




I can’t remember a day recently that was so chilled and tranquil for me as Wednesday was. The sun was shining, I had on my shades and trainers, only a cardigan, and I met up with some friends (and their’s) for a walk and wander around some localish RHS Gardens. With Spring in the air and nature coming alive again, it was just a lovely day and opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a while, have some jokes, and enjoy the outdoors and fresh air!

It has been a long time since I went anywhere like this just because and to enjoy it for me more than the kids, or rather have an opportunity to enjoy it for me without the madness of rowdy kids!

For the last few years I have hunted for places where the kids can be outside in beautiful surroundings; to just play, picnic, explore and chase nature! RHS Harlow Carr was always one of these favourite spots we went to in the spring and summer (along with some national trust places too) and memories of walks there flooded my mind as I entered again this week. It seemed like 2 minutes ago I was there with Megan last year hunting for Easter bunnies and now she is in school (sob)! This time it obviously felt different; quieter and more chilled and a feeling of tranquillity filled my soul (especially as I solo’d it back to the car in the afternoon) and it made for the lovely time I had.

There seemed to be more opportunities to look and appreciate the daffodils, babbling beck and sun beams through the trees. I noticed a little robin hopping about on the branches and signs of a new season all around me. My whole mind was in the moment as oppose to looking around to see what mischief they were up to and it felt a little foreign, but refreshing too. It felt great to realise that I like to walk around gardens and woods too and that I like to do this for me – outside of mummy duties to give them a childhood. It got me thinking about how I can have these ordinary moments for me and don’t need my little crew of kids with me to visit our favourite spots, but I can push (or carry) Alice and do this for me too (if I can get passed the emotions of nostalgia).

It was also nice to chat with other mum’s in a similar stage of life and for them to talk about Poppy too in an easy/non awkward way – those moments are always appreciated and make her feel more present and my loss validated and me a little less weird!

I realise now, or maybe am accepting that I am in a new chapter now that my oldest kids are in full time school and just have a little content baby who is happy to go with the flow and is no trouble at all. I often am reminded I should have a toddler too and think sometimes that stops me from seeing those with toddlers more often, but I don’t and this is my life now. I haven’t been out a whole lot with Alice aside from the odd park walk with a couple of friends or shopping and the occasional baby group – its all kind of random and sporadic. But Wednesday reminded me how good it is to get out with people and laugh and chat. How good it is to go to places like this that I enjoy just for me and just because.

It won’t be long before we are back in the stage of seeking places for fun and daily adventures with an inquisitive tot in tow, but for now I can and should make the most of having a baby that goes with the flow and take her along to places that will bring me a sense of joy and contentment too, places that fill my soul with joy and a sense of tranquillity (gardens, forests, beaches). I need to make more plans for opportunities to chat and laugh and I need to be less of a hermit… How nice it is to have moments of peace and feel the sun on your skin – opportunities to “smell the flowers” and appreciate the changes and beauty in nature.


The Ordinary Moments

As I cuddled Alice close this week I began to think of how many days worth of cuddles I have lost over the last 2 and half years with Poppy. Then I moved onto smiles, milestones and life generally with her in it. Nathan and I have spoken a lot about how hard it is some days to wrap our minds around the idea that we should have a 2.5 year old with us too, and it all feels weird and sad that we don’t. Its hard to not know her and hard that we don’t know what she would be like! I struggle with that some days, the fact I have a child I know nothing about and can do nothing for. I do forever wonder who she would have looked or being like and what my life would be like having my whole brood with me now. I guess its been a while since I had such an obvious reminder or thoughts like this, but I am good at suppressing them too. They are always there under the surface and sometimes I just feel a need to have to think about it all and wonder. It connects me to her and I feel like I have to remember or I worry I will forget.

I know that these thoughts and reflection have a lot to do with doing my SANDS befriender training last weekend. Everything has been on my mind a lot more as I did expect it to be, and it has left me not only feeling good about how far I have come in my journey of loss, but also with a lot of reflective thoughts and realisation of how many emotions and thoughts I still have to make sense of surrounding having a stillborn baby! This stage of parenting after loss has been and is getting more and more fun, and most days are a lot easier in some ways…yet it has also held a lot of moments to bring reflection on Poppy too and make me want to squeeze and protect Alice even more.

At 7 months I am still feeding her myself, which has really surprised me. I don’t know really know why I am when I always said only 6 months, but its working well so I am just getting on with it. I do find it tiring and know some days she really plays on it to get bonus feeds, but out of ease and convenience (especially first thing on a morning and when we are on the go) its fine and I am glad I am keeping on with it. I think also it makes me feel useful. There wasn’t anything I could do for Poppy, but here with Alice I can literally sustain her life, stop her tears and comfort her and that brings me a great deal of joy that I never imagined would come from breastfeeding. I do love to look at her little cheeky face, and have her close to me, and yet at night when shes screaming its the last thing I want to be doing – I find it such a roller coaster and test of endurance some days but overall its still working for us both.

We also had a few words this week (Alice and I), as she seemed to be lacking somewhat in her ability to sit up unaided. I was aware she was coming up to 7 months (today) and realised that with her being the baby, she is used to being carried around or held by everyone and anyone. Whilst she loves this, it has most definitely created a sense of reliance on others doing all the work, and as such sees no reason why she needs to try to move anywhere or sit up. There is no indication that she will be crawling anytime soon, but with that little chat we had, and with a little perseverance, distraction, a few wobbles and face plants, she finally seems to be getting the hang of sitting. So yes, I think at this point in her life we can just about tick off the “sitting up” milestone!

Sleeping has been shocking this weekend with us being away, but leading up to that I really felt we had turned a corner.  Ethan and Megs were sleeping trough by this age and so I have been struggling with the fact she isn’t and wondering what is different. She seems to think that 1am/2am/4am/5am are party times and as a result of night after night of minimum sleep with me still feeding her too in the mix, I have been exhausted and at my whits end! I’ve wondered if she would ever master sleeping well?? But its safe to say we have some hope. For about a week we have managed 7ish pm – 6am most nights which has been brilliant and I have felt way more refreshed and life more manageable. I hope that this is a sign of things to come.

She is still in our room and whilst that can be annoying and not help on the sleep front, I am not ready to move her out at fear of something happening! At 7 months she well and truly knows how to play us and the way she grins at us each morning, she knows she has scored well with sharing our room!

Finally we took her swimming! A very late “milestone” in comparison to the others, and another indication of my hibernating nature with her through the winter. But last Friday we went to the coast and finally took the plunge! She looked so cute and Ethan and Megs LOVED it! They splashed her and we dunked her. She laid in the water, splashed and kicked in the water, and she loved every second of it. It was all very adorable to hear her squeals of excitement and she managed to stick it out for almost an hour! I realised what a great sport she is and how much she just loves anything with her family.

Alice loves to be in the middle of us all and to have the kids playing with her and making her laugh. She loves hugs and kisses galore and has this wonderful way of staring into your eyes as she stretches out and touches your face, she will then smile and it melts your heart. We feel blessed that she is ours everytime she smiles and we cuddle her. I am so thankful everyday for this baby in my life, she hasn’t made me all better or stopped me from thinking of what I lost with her sister, what she has done is filled my heart with love and joy and helped me see colour in the world again, and I cannot kiss or thank her enough for that gift!


The Ordinary Moments

At this time of year I spend a lot of time reflecting on my year ahead goals and bucket lists, and specifically from those, my “Wanderlust list”! Time is taken, meticulously planning out how many trips we could possibly squeeze in to be able to tick off the places we are most itching to discover. We spend hours on Skyscanner, holiday websites, Air bnb etc just to get an idea of how much each place might be for the time of year we want to visit and then from there narrowing down what type of holiday we want and where will fulfil that.

Together we have long term goals to go to Asia, to do Euro rail and road trips across the states. There are also places on my Bucket list that are there because of recommendation or inspiration from another’s trip, or generally because of a film I have seen (Berlin, New York, Croatia, Iceland, Romania, Greek Islands, Malta…). And then there are places that have always hovered near the top, they are place that have been on it for many years, and adventures I want to take because of the feelings that awoke with in me in my youth when I heard or learnt about them. These ones are very special to me, I guess more so than the other places, because they are dreams I have had from a pretty young age.

Just this weekend as I was sat on the train with some rare moments of peace, I found I was reflecting on a couple of them and talking about them, and as such was reminded about how much desire I have to see these places. This week I have teamed up with Thomson cruise to share with you some of my travel goals to help inspire you on this years travel plans, and so have chosen some of my old faves that I have been dreaming of since I was young(er).


I am 99% sure that I must have still been in Junior school when I learnt of the events of Pompeii so long ago. I distinctly remember the feelings I had of a strong desire to visit there and see it all with my own eyes. It was possibly my first experience of feeling passion about seeing historic places and events firsthand, and my first real emotion of wanderlust! It still seems a beautiful, tragic and incredible place to me, and this memory, along with those emotions linked to it are purely the reason I want to go to Pompeii. It would without a doubt fulfil the dreams of my younger self!

We would definitely do Air BnB here as there are some gorgeous Italian villas for like £50/£60/night and then pay for a tour once there.


Egypt is another place that has been on the top spot since I was about 10. Again a school project about Ancient Egypt had me hooked on their history and I couldn’t wait to see it. I grew obsessed with films set in Egypt or about ancient Egypt, the British museum or anything generally featuring mummies, pyramids and hieroglyphics! Not to mention bible stories that feature this majestic land… I just LOVE it!

I have had my fair share of seeing historic things in our country about it, but nothing compares to seeing the great pyramids, the sphinx, red sea, the Niall and Mount Sinai in “real life”. This would be the trip of a lifetime seeing so many things but relaxing too in a lovely (safe) hotel and sunning it up! My only fear is that I have missed the window with travel warnings frequently being issued with this part of the world.

A cruise

One thing that not many people know about me is that I spent a period of my teen years in the cadets. I was a member of RAF section, however was seen on occasion also attending both Navy and Army camps too, all of which were rich with learning opportunities, being stretched to my limits, banter, fun and memories.

I remember on one of these naval camps (and whilst sleeping on a ship), officers would share their tales of life in the Navy, life aboard a ship and what seemed like adventures of cruising around the world. It reminded me of some of the stories my Grandad told us of his time in the Merchant navy, but more than this, it inspired me to make a mental note that one day I wanted to take a cruise. I wanted that adventure of being a board a ship and seeing beautiful parts of the world by sea, but I wanted it with the luxury of pools, entertainment, a bed as oppose a naval bunk and gorgeous food galore…I guess I wanted all the play without the work!  When we were in our 1st year of marriage I loved that Nathan too said this was one of his travel goals, and so we said that at 10 years married we would go on a cruise. This year will be 8 years and so that 10 year goal is fast approaching!


I was 16 and sat in my GCSE modern world History class when we studied the holocaust. Its hard not to be moved by the events that played out in world war 2, especially when as teenager you discussing mass genocide.

I don’t know what it was about it, but again I felt that deep desire that I had to go…I had to see it with my own eyes and walk where they had taken their last steps. I had to see the stories of those individuals with my own eyes. I talk about this one a lot and have almost booked it many times in the last few years too, but the weather or timing never felt right for it. I feel like a couple of days would tick this one off, and flights through skyscanner and an Air Bnb or hotel via trivago would ensure it would be a very reasonable trip to take too. 


My very first friend in school was Indian and its a culture I have loved for a lot of years yet feel I know so little about too. The food obviously is big one here, along with climate and just their beautiful fabrics and music. It is somewhere I want to go to be educated and to see the vast ends of the spectrum with the slums and palaces!

There have been so many films that I have seen that have kept this dream alive! I wouldn’t even know where to start with this trip, but then I think it’s one that I feel like will be taken later in my life and I am okay with that.  

I really hope that at some point this year I get to put a big massive tick next to at least one of these trips and satisfy that Wanderlust that has been there for so long! I just keep thinking life is too short to not start putting dreams into action and this is such a good time to be booking trips and holidays as there are some great deals about too…

What places have you visited because the youth in you desired it? Or where have you dreamt of for the last 20 (or so) years?

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