She makes it outside

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So this weather, the cold, the damp, the chill in your bones, makes you want to hibernate all over again even though you had slowly been convincing yourself that Spring is indeed coming.

The problem with hibernating for me is two-fold. One, I get cabin fever being cooped up inside for too long and two, I have a 2 year old boy. Neither of these things are conducive to staying inside.

Before I had a child I was not what you would describe as ‘outdoorsy’ my leaving the house to avoid cabin fever would constitute going to a coffee shop or somewhere else indoors. This has changed somewhat.

Luckily, Grandpa obligingly has an allotment.

  

  
And said allotment is just through a little gate at the back of his garden. This makes it close enough to civilisation ( a fully working toilet plus warm house) for me to cope.

  
All in ones/puddle suits are also amazing as you can pretty much cover your child in waterproof, wipe clean material that means mud etc don’t cause an issue.

So an adventure outside but close enough to civilisation and without having to worry about dirty clothes. 

  
It was cold, it was damp and I could feel the chill in my bones but it was also fun, exhilarating and something to spark joy.

  
The term ‘outdoorsy’ may be one I’m willing to cultivate as part of who I am. 

  
 

She makes time to listen

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Half term has arrived and with it conjunctivitis for little man. When I arrived home after work yesterday he looked like he had done a few rounds in the boxing ring. Thankfully the eye drops are helping but when you’re 2 years old and constantly touching your face and eyes it is no fun at all.

We had a 5:30am start this morning. Mornings like these I am grateful that we have catch up tv and Bing on series record. It was a morning of television and snuggling and dozing.  

 CBeebies whether you love it or hate it does serve an excellent purpose on days like this especially if you steer what is watched.

  
Little man then perked up after his eye drops and a quiet start to the day. 

 I had a few messages from a friend going through a bit of a rough patch and was able to send love and encouragement. Taking the time to be thoughtful in my responses and make sure they knew I was completely for them all the way.

Another friend visited us and we spoke for a while about a very difficult and heartbreaking situation and took the time to listen and to care and not offer any solution or way forward as sometimes there just isn’t one and it has to be worked through and out in a messy way.

  
We went to spend time with friends we haven’t seen for a long while and were able to reconnect and let them know they are still very much a part of who we are.

Today it has been about making time to listen and to talk. For a while, I had neglected doing that. Living only in my head and not being fully myself or really letting anyone in.

Today was about being open and being confident in who I am, not shying away from the world. 

Today was about letting people know they are loved and important and cared for deeply.

She makes pancakes

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Ok, so I know it isn’t pancake day anymore but it was life group night and pancake day this week so it had to be done.

This week has been trying and challenging. At the beginning of it tonight seemed like a distant dream never to arrive.

Tonight I sat round the table with a small amount of people who have the biggest impact on my life. We made pancakes, we laughed, we talked, we posed those questions we all usually keep in our heads like :

‘Why do we find it so difficult to be real with others?’ 

‘Why is being vulnerable and revealing our true self so hard?’

Why do we constantly pretend we have it all together and only let people know we are struggling when we reach the end of our rope?’

These people are those I am my most real and my most raw with, my warts and all people, my take me as I am people.

These people change my life on a daily basis.

Tonight, there was no where I would rather have been than sat in my kitchen making pancakes.

She makes sacrifices

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This week is taking its toll. I am physically and emotionally spent. Today was a long day, I left work much later than I wanted to after having a few hundred more things added to my to do list for tomorrow. This means a working evening as well.

One of my light reliefs, things that sparks joy, keep me sane at times like this is time with my 2 year old son. He is a gentle reminder of what life is all about.

Tonight, I came home to this… 

 A completely bushed and out for the count toddler. A, couldn’t stay awake any longer, fallen asleep in the chair toddler.

I last saw him, spoke to him, played with him, hugged him before 7am this morning.

I will next speak to him at 6am tomorrow.

This is the sacrifice of the working mother, the moment of pause that keeps me going not available for me today because I am too late. 

She makes time to pause

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It is the last week of term and one of the most full-on and pressurised weeks I have had so far this year.

It is one of those weeks you wish for the end of before it has even started. 

Wishing away the days… Wishing for the next day, the next week to begin.

One of those weeks where you catch yourself teetering on the edge of the abyss…

  
This was the moment today that pulled me back. The moment that reminded me to be fully present right where I am. The moment that I made time to pause…

‘Can I just have a little drive Mummy? Would you like to sit with me while we have a little drive?’ 

Truth be told, we needed to leave, there was lots to do, planning, preparing, dinner to cook. But I paused and sat while we had a ‘little drive’ and we laughed and I relaxed and felt that spark of joy when life courses through your bones and you feel fully alive.

And I remembered ‘this too shall pass’ the busyness, the pressure, the stress but I won’t get to live these days again and that’s what I want to do, live them fully. 

She makes time for the little things

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I returned to work today after being signed off for a week with an injury I sustained at work. 

Back to leaving the house early, just after little man has woken up and returning with just a short time before his bedtime.

The weekdays allow only very limited amounts of time with him. Returning home carrying the weight of a workday on my shoulders and wanting to just collapse onto the sofa and have a bit of headspace and quiet; versus arriving home fully present and making some moments however small.

Tonight I was greeted with a delighted squeal of ‘mummy!’ and a wide-armed bear hug that righted every wrong in the world.

  
We made coffee.

 
We played ‘pancakes’ 

 

We did some puzzles. 

  
We relaxed in the rocking chair.

We made some moments and we made them count.

She makes time for Sunday baking

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On a Friday little man has dinner at his childminder’s so when we all get home we have some extra time before bedtime. I decided that we should be intentional about having a planned activity that we do together in this time as a way of kick starting the weekend. This led to Friday Night Baking becoming a mini tradition in our house.

Thing with best laid plans and all of that are that you often need to adapt and change depending on the circumstances of the moment.

Little man can be exhausted by the time we get to Friday as he has such a super week full of activities and baking just does not work with a tired 2 year old!

Saturday morning then became baking time instead as 5:30am starts mean it is perfectly plausible to find yourself making cakes or biscuits at 8:30am.

This weekend we didn’t manage Friday or Saturday for baking. This is not a problem, it doesn’t have to become an expectation or a chore to have to do it. The thing is, it is something we all enjoy and for me a measure of a good weekend. The fact that we can carve out some time to work on a project all together and with quick results is something that sparks joy for me. 

Today I made time for Sunday baking – it was one of our moments. 

  
Baking with a 2 year old has its challenges but it is also a great deal of fun.

  
Today we made Rocky Roads. We used Nigella’s recipe which can be found here Nigella’s Rocky Roads as we had no Rich Tea biscuits we used Digestives instead.  

  

 It would be foolish to think we could get through a whole recipe without something being eaten so I keep a bowl with very small amounts of treats nearby to substitute for the mixture we are making at the time

  

I use foil trays as they are lighter and easier for small hands to work with and it also means we can make a number of smaller batches.

As we made these late afternoon they are chilling in the fridge until tomorrow so no late night sugar consumption issue occur.

The more we bake together the more I see the progress little man is making with listening to and following the instructions of a recipe. His fine and gross motor skills are benefiting too. 

  
Do you have any go to recipes that are quick and simple to make? Or any tips on how to teach cooking skills? 

I will be posting more of our baking escapades here weekly so let me know of any recommendations.

She makes a go of KonMari

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I’m not sure how I first heard about ‘The life changing magic of tidying’ by Marie Kondo but something intrigued me about it. 

Tidying does not come naturally to me, in fact I think I am more the magic art of piling kind of person. So when I read a few reviews of the book and they were from people who were like me, I decided I would give it a go.

I read over half of the book the first day it arrived and decided this was a good sign. I also like the fact that Marie Kondo explains that there is no surprise none of us can tidy as we have never been taught. This means I am off the hook about my general ineptitude for keeping things tidy.

It turns out tidying room by room is my biggest failing. This is why I cannot keep up and never complete tidying the house – instead it is about tidying in categories.

First category : Clothes. Cue the deep intake of breath. 

This is my wardrobe  

 I have avoided going anywhere near this for some time now. It’s too big a job! The thing is I was on a bit of a roll and the book kept cropping up in conversation so I had a bit of drive.

The method: put all of your clothes in a pile in the middle of the room

Erm… How long was I allowing to get this completed again? 

A quick re-read of the clothes section… Ah sort your clothes in categories first: tops

  
Yes, more of a mountain than a pile. 

Next step: Hold each item and decided does it spark joy? If yes, keep it. If no, get rid of it. Hesitation – get rid of it.

I found this surprisingly easy and discarded quite a lot of the mountain! 

   
 Second:Bottoms

  
Again, hold each item and decide – Does it spark joy? This pile was even quicker to sort than the first one.

  
By now I was amassing plenty of black bin bags which further spurred me on. Third : Things than need to be hung up.

 
Now, these items are likely to be some of the most expensive you own. Mine was culled in record time.

  After this you do underwear, shoes and bags. Funnily enough I didn’t photograph my underwear pile! 

It was complete! All of my clothes decluttered. From start to finish it took me just over an hour. This was the thing I struggled with the most. Just an hour! I had procrastinated for so long and it took so little time.

   
 
Six and a half bin bags full of clothes that I neither want or wear but have been cluttering up my wardrobe and drawers for years.

  
This is just the first part of my KonMari journey for me. The next category to tackle is books. It is my intention to follow the methods in the book and declutter our entire house within 6 months.

Have you heard of ‘The life changing magic of tidying’ or the KonMari method? What are your thoughts about it? Are you tempted to give it  a go for yourself?

I will be posting updates of how I  getting on with the rest of the methods.

I do have to say though, I was clothes shopping earlier and didn’t buy a thing as all I kept thinking was ‘Does it spark joy?’ And the predominant answer was no!

She makes a start

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Blogging and I have been friends for a while. We did strike up quite a close and special relationship but then we drifted apart. Happily, we are now reunited and hoping that this time we can make it work .

Working full time and attempting to parent a very active 2 year old, I recognise that life can become rather overwhelming and mundane and routine and dare I say it… a little too predictable which can lead to it feeling boring and heavy. This is not the life you are looking for (waves hand in Jedi mind trick fashion)

So why shemakesmoments? I suppose the answer is that is effectively what I attempt to do on a day to day basis. To make moments that count, to catch those snippets of joy that we would so easily miss otherwise. It is a decision to be intentional and look for them and then to celebrate them when they arrive.

So this blog, and the posts that follow will simply be me – making my moments and documenting them. I’m hoping that you’ll join me for the journey because let’s face it, no-one really wants to go it alone. We all need a bit of encouragement and support to keep on keeping on don’t we?

I’m hoping that maybe if I share my moments, the little things which can spark joy, that you might share some of your moments with me too and we can create our own little community of moment makers (hmm… may have to rethink what we call ourselves, but that can come with time!)

A moment for today:¬†I set up a new twitter account (@shemakesmoments) to accompany my blog and I was someone’s 2,000 follower today. A little spark of joy for both of us!

So are you with me?

What have been your ‘moments’ today? I’d love to hear them.

 

 

 

A letter for you when you want to give up

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Dear you,

I have been wanting to write this for a while but I have as usual been procrastinating and convincing myself out of it. Have you noticed how easy that is to do? You wake up with the best of intentions but as the day wears on you lose your resolve, those thoughts creep in, they take over.

I need to tell you that you matter, you matter all the time, every day, even when you don’t feel it. I need you to know that those moments when you reach the end of yourself and you wonder if anyone will ever see the real you, or if anyone really cares about where you are right at that minute, or if you could ever begin to say it all out loud, that I see you and that I am ready to hear it all.

I want to thank you for every moment of yourself that you have given away to look after, care for and love other people. Every one of those moments matters and is noticed even if you don’t see it.

I know there are times when you question yourself, when you wonder if you will ever understand the craziness and chaos of this life, you feel you get it wrong more often than you get it right and at times it takes all that you are just to get out of bed in the morning and face the day. But you do it.

I want to ask you to be kinder to yourself, don’t re think every decision or replay every conversation and pick apart what you did and how you could have done better, the truth is you’re doing fine. All that time you spend focussing on pulling yourself apart you lose sight of all that you are, you dull pieces of yourself and every piece of you is essential and needed and beautiful.

You are loved, you are needed, you are wanted.

You – the you that you hide away,
the you that you try everything to avoid being,
the you that this world needs.

From me x