My Dad-A Daughters First Love

A blog I’ve been wanting to write for a long time seems perfect to do this weekend ready for my Dad’s Birthday.

 

“A daughters first love “

I read a lot of quotes, I use a lot-especially in my blogs, then I decide whether I believe them or not!  However, there’s not a shred of doubt that the above quote is 100% true. Continue reading “My Dad-A Daughters First Love”

Turning 31 – Crappy Birthday To Me….

In one week I’m turning 31.
31 years of Birthday’s, each one, up until now, celebrated and enjoyed.

 

Until this one that is. Continue reading “Turning 31 – Crappy Birthday To Me….”

Jamie Oliver’s Italian, Piccadilly, London Review

 

Last weekend, we took our Kye for a surprise Birthday treat to London.  And, as Jamie Oliver is his absolute hero, we surprised him with a lunch to his Italian Restaurant in Piccadilly.

Upon arrival, the Front of House staff took my booking details, and, seeing it was Kye’s Birthday, addressed him as the Birthday Boy-something he (and we) really appreciated!

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Jamie
Kye was given a menu viewer, and, although he knew he wanted a burger, he still loved flicking through, and it gave us the opportunity to choose our lunch at our own pace too.  He was also given a kids pack, with some activities in to do-he was thrilled to be given it!

 

We chose to have a burger as well, and once we’d all ordered, they served us drinks, and Kye was super excited to have water with fresh strawberries in.

The food was served quickly, our burgers were cooked perfectly, and my husband had ordered Garlic Bread too-which was literally out of this world.

Jamie

Kyes mini kids burgers, were demolished within minutes, and he stole some of his Dad’s garlic bread too!  We kept one of the little flags from the top of one of the burgers, to bring home for his memory box (we hope the restaurant don’t mind!)

 

Jamie

Kye had to be forewarned that Jamie himself wouldn’t be at the restaurant, but he was still so happy to be there, and watching the chefs cook and yell random things in their Italian accents, captured his attention (and my husband’s) throughout our visit.

Because it was half term, there was an offer on kids meals too-something I hadn’t realised until we went.  For every main meal purchased by an adult, the child eats free!
This offer is still on until the the 26th of February, and is for all Jamie’s Italian restaurants, so definitely take advantage of that if you are near to one!

For more information on the offer click HERE, and to find your nearest Jamie’s Italian, click HERE.

Jamie

 

*This review is based on my own opinion and experience.  No payment or reward was given.

The (not big, not fat) Quiz of the year- 2016/2017

So my lovely friend Alex over at Better Together Home, tagged me in her quiz over at her blog (go see her answers here!)

I do love a quiz, as most of my friends and family will know, so one about my blog and personal life, is right up my street.

As mentioned in 365 Days of Mayflower Blogs, 2016 for me (and a lot of others), was up and down to say the least!

Blog wise, it was really successful.  I met a lot of lovely people, and have had (and am still having) a lot of amazing opportunities come my way!
Personally, it was a mixed bag.  Money issues, a family death, and attempts to manage my mental health issues, often made the year feel pretty rubbish.  But the things I managed to achieve professionally, therefore affecting me personally, made the year actually pretty good!

So, here goes with this “Not big, not fat-quiz of the year 2016/2017”, complete with highlights from last year, and goals for this year!

 

What was your highlight of 2016?

Professionally-it has to be the nomination from Tommy’s for their Mums Voice Award.  It just brought together, everything I’ve ever done, for the reason I do it.  I blog to make a difference, and to help people feel less alone in what they’re going through, that I’ve already been through-so to be recognised in even just a nomination for those reasons was (and still is) amazing.

Personally-my husband’s 30th celebrations, and my 30th celebrations.  I put so much effort into making his so special, and thankfully he did the same for mine.  Alongside friends and family, we had such a special time (6 months apart), and I’ll never forget that.

Name one thing you are likely to remember about 2016 if asked in five years time?

London.  Not just in general, but accomplishing what I thought was the impossible.  Battling through an anxiety attack on the train to the city.  Trying to curb the rising panic building in me when I arrived at my first London press event, into a room with tons of people I didn’t know, attempting to ignore the social anxiety issues, that usually plague me on a regular basis.
2016 was the year, my mental illnesses didn’t beat me on one of the most important days of my life.

 

Sum up 2016 in one word

Arduous.

 

Name one pearl of wisdom from 2016 that you will carry through 2017

We all have to start from somewhere!  Granted, this was a pearl of wisdom I realised myself at the latter part of 2016.  After a couple of meetings and events, I realised all of the people I was meeting, all started from the same place-the start.
When I’m asking those who have more years than me of writing, advice on how to do something for my beginners blog, I would hope they would remember, they were a beginner once, and they didn’t learn it all themselves!

 

Do you have any new year resolutions?
Nope!  I don’t do resolutions anymore.  I don’t diet on the 1st of January, I don’t stop doing things on the 1st of January, because, I feel, if you’re willing to quit doing something on that day, you should’ve quit it a week before, or half way through the year.
Goals are a different thing, as are dreams.  I aim for those rather than keeping resolutions.

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How did you see in the new year?
How I always do, how I probably will for a while yet!  Indoors, in my pyjamas, eating cheese and chocolate, watching random tv, then asleep by midnight!  My children aren’t the sort that go to bed late so wake up late-they wake at the same time no mater what time they go to sleep!  So there’s no way I risk being a Mombie on New Years Day, because I wanted to watch fireworks over Big Ben live on the TV (we tape it and watch it with the kids the next day-we do the countdown ‘n’ everything!)
What are your main goals for 2017?
Personally-continue to manage my anxiety and other mental health issues.  Try and save some pennies, and treat the kids (and us) more.
Professionally-really get myself out there and noticed.  Work hard to help others, and try and make a difference, in any way I can.

Aaaaaaand, thats a wrap folks!  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Big Loves

MFB x

Miscarriage ~ My Truth


I was a mummy already-to a beautiful baby boy when our lives changed.  He was unplanned, just as our second baby was.

Yet, 2 little lines on a pregnancy test, didn’t scare us the second time around.  We knew we wanted two babies, and as our first little bundle was so amazing, we knew we could have another.
I was so excited!  I booked in to see the midwife to get my dates all sorted out, and soon after, I saw her and she confirmed our new little one was due in June!
We told our parents, and our close friends and family, and I began rooting through baby magazines, taking vitamins, and planning double pushchairs and where the new baby would sleep.
My husband, the excited Daddy to be, got a loan, to pay off all our debts and to get us out of the horrid flat we lived in, so we could start a new life, with our complete family.
A month later, when the sickness was just starting, and we were all into the full swing of how more amazing our little family was about to become, something changed everything we knew and the people we were.
I was collecting up socks for the washing basket, and as I lifted the basket to take it through to the machine, I felt a strange little sensation in my tummy.  To this day, I swear I could hear this “pop” sound.
I put everything down, and calmly went to the toilet, almost knowing something wasn’t right.
There, on the tissue, was enough to stop me in my tracks.  Blood.
I walked out of the bathroom and stood outside was my little man, asking me for juice.  I got his juice, sat him on the sofa, and put his favourite programme on, while I shook to my very core, and mentally located my phone.
I called my husband, who never answers his phone at work, but who, happened to be on a break.  “I’m bleeding love, you need to come home now”.
I then called my mother in law.  “I’m bleeding, I need to go to the hospital”.  I asked her to watch our son, and she came straight away.
I sat on the end of my bed, cradling my little bloated tummy in my arms, and pleaded with our baby to stay.  “Please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me“, I repeated over and over.
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The journey to the hospital was filled with my nerves, and my husbands optimism that we’d got it all wrong.  He kept telling me some women bleed during pregnancy, but I knew the truth.
I had a scan, a blood test, and was told there was no heartbeat or baby anymore.  They said that I could’ve got my dates wrong, and to come back in 6 days to check again, but I knew the truth.
When we got home, my husband told his mother what they’d said at the hospital, and I just couldn’t take it.  “I know the truth!”
Within days, I bled more, and the pains worsened.  We celebrated Halloween with our boy, and I just got on with it.  I ignored the pain, drugged myself up with painkillers, and acted normal.
4 days later, I physically lost our baby, and mentally, the floodgates opened.
We went back to the hospital and they confirmed what I’d known all along.  Our baby was gone.
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We were offered no form of help, to aid us in dealing with our grief, or to explain our next steps.  We were sent on our way to continue our lives.
In the months that followed we went back to normal-the only difference being, I was now desperate for a baby.  Instead of grieving for our precious little life we’d lost I put my efforts into buying ovulation tests, tracking my cycle, and trying to get pregnant again.
Months and months went by, and when we didn’t have any luck, I actually convinced myself that the miscarriage had damaged me somehow.  Then, 10 months after we lost our baby, I got those two important lines on a pregnancy test once again.
Expecting to be elated by this, excited perhaps, grateful we’d been given another chance, I instead felt nothing.
We told my dad, we told my husbands parents. Instead of it being news I wanted excitement and happiness from, I told people in case I needed support, if the same happened again.
This time I didn’t go to a midwife straight away, I allowed myself to work out my dates, because I needed to make sure I was aware in case we lost another.
A few days later, that’s exactly what happened.
There was no hospital trip this time.  There was just more pain, more blood, more heartache.
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As soon as it was all over, we went back to trying, and within a month fell again, and lost again, and I felt….nothing.
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“I’m done”, I thought, deciding I would put my time into bringing up my son, and not bother trying ever again, because there was no point!
People were often sympathetic, some, not so much.
“Maybe they were all girls, and you can’t carry girls”.
“You’re trying too hard”.
“Think positively instead of assuming the worst will happen”.
It was, after I’d had the third miscarriage confirmed, I was offered tests to see the cause of the miscarriages, which medically now had a name-‘recurrent miscarriages’.
I had a blood clotting test which came back fine and the tests were set to continue to see if they could find a reason why this kept happening to me.
On Christmas Day night, that same year, after a large amount of alcohol, baby number 5 was conceived.
I found out a week before our sons 3rd Birthday in February 2013, and promptly began throwing up pretty much all day every day.
I had no attachment to this new pregnancy.  I lived each day believing this one would leave us too.
We were referred to the Early Pregnancy Unit, where we had scans at 6, 7, 8 and 11 weeks, and all progressed normally.  We saw its little heart beating, but all I kept thinking was “this is going to be so much harder to lose, now we’ve seen its heartbeat”.
Our 12 week scan date came around, a milestone we hadn’t made with the three miscarriages.  And there, in the middle of the screen, was this little blob,  still with a heartbeat.
My husband squeezed my hand, clearly optimistic again, but I still couldn’t bring myself to be excited, to be happy, to feel anything.
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The pregnancy progressed.  I got fat.  The sickness continued way past 4 months.  Our 20 week scan came around, and I was put under consultant care because of my history.
The day we found out we were having a little girl, I thought my head might explode.  For so long I’d battled with the worry I couldn’t carry girls, and wouldn’t have another baby.
We went to Primark to buy something for our daughter, and I walked around in a complete daze for around 20 minutes, before announcing to my husband, “I need to go home”.
I had scans constantly through the pregnancy, and as I got bigger, felt her kicking, and in one pretty amazing scan, saw her beautiful face, I started to allow myself to feel like I was going to have a baby!
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After a beautiful labour, on the 27th of September 2013, our baby girl was born!!!!!!
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Fast forward 3 years and I am a content mummy to a wonderful 6 year old son, and 2 year old daughter.
They’re happy, healthy, and make me and their daddy proud beyond words, day in, day out.
Fast forward 3 years however, and I’m not the person I once was.
I have been diagnosed with PTSD, which I was told was down to the trauma caused by each miscarriage, and the lack of follow up care given from professionals.
I have severe anxiety disorder.  Brought on from being so unbelievably paranoid and anxious during every pregnancy, including our daughters, which has spilled over into my life since them, also bringing with it, social anxiety and panic attacks.
I also have mild depression currently.  I say currently because, those who have depression will understand, the moods that come with it, fluctuate day to day.  I have been told I never grieved for those babies we lost, instead I got on with making the next one, fuelled by that rather than stopping to be sad for the children we lost.
There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t wonder, what they’d have looked like, what they would’ve achieved, who they’d be as they grew.
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The lasting effects and my continual mental health issues, surrounding the recurrent miscarriages, could’ve been prevented, had I received proper after care and help following the losses.
More needs to be done to help women in these situations, more information is needed, and tests should be carried out quicker and sooner.
I want those women, who share in my experiences, who feel let down, who need help right now, who see similarities in my story, to know, you’re not alone, you’re never alone – please find someone to speak to, and get help for what you’re going through.
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Almost 30…..

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In exactly one week, I turn 30!

As a child, I used to imagine what it would be like to be 30.  I was like Jenna Rink in ’13 Going on 30′ (if you haven’t seen that film-you’ve missed out!)  I willed time to go faster, so I could experience life as an adult, and all the grown up things I thought I’d do.

Of course, as we all know now we are adults, it’s not all fun and games and really, we wish we’d been smaller for longer.

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My son, currently aged 6, is constantly telling me how he “can’t wait to be a grown up”.  He wants to be able to play on the Xbox all the time and not be told what to do-I don’t have the heart to tell him its pretty much nothing like that!

The subject of turning 30 is a puzzling one.  On first thought its a daunting prospect, with so many deep, life relating questions you seem to ask yourself.  The main one, in my case, is whether I’ve achieved all I wanted to by the time I turned 30…..

  1. Children. I wanted kids.  One girl, one boy.  When I was a teenager, dreaming of my perfect, grown up life, I wanted one boy called Danny, and a girl called Leticia (yes really).  In actual “grown up life”, I have one boy (who’s not called Danny) and one girl (who funnily enough is not called Leticia!)
  2. Husband. I wanted the man of my dreams.  He didn’t have a face, not a definitive one anyway-but I have a feeling he looked something like the men on the posters on my wall-a mismatched version of celebrities and professional football players combined together to make THE perfect man.  (Please note, at no point did I dream of the word LOVE).  In actual “grown up life”, I have the man I LOVE.  He looks nothing like any of those men on my childhood bedroom wall, but he was my schoolgirl crush, my childhood sweetheart (who admittedly dated the majority of my friends before getting to me-but the course of true love, never did run smoothly, did it!)  He is the love of my life, my absolute best friend, and I cannot imagine life without him.
  3. A houseI wanted my own home, a house, with a garden and rooms for both my children (remember my one girl and one boy dream). In actual “grown up life”, I have a house.  Its not mine, we rent it, but its our home.  We’ve been here a year, the children have their own bedrooms, we have a garden (and a drive-get us!).  I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in any of the homes I’ve lived in and right now, its perfect for our little family.
  4. To be Successful. I wanted a good career, savings, pennies in the bank, the ability to afford holidays for “my perfect” family and all the happiness money brings.  In actual “grown up life”, I am now a SAHM (stay at home mum).  I have very little in the way of savings, we’ve never had a family holiday (since before children anyway), and in the way of a career, I’ve so far not begun the “perfect job”.  I am, however, pretty happy.  Money is nice, savings would be lovely, and spare money to spoil the children with would be brilliant.  But we’re a happy family.  We pay the bills, we eat well, we enjoy our life, so what more can you ask for!
  5. To make my family proudI wanted to do things with my life that never brought shame or unhappiness to my family.  I wanted them to be proud of me, happy with my life choices.  My father, especially, I wanted to make proud the most.  He shaped me and made me the person I am today-I never wanted to make him sad, angry, ashamed or disappointed in me.  In actual “grown up life”, I can’t answer that can I?!  I can’t tell you if I’ve made them proud, only that I tried my very hardest to do so.  My dad, remains the driving force behind me trying to make something of my life.  I constantly think about what he’d say when I make decisions or life choices.  I’m no angel, I know I made some weird decisions as a child and teenager, and sometimes he would’ve been a little disappointed in how I dealt with things or paths I took, but I don’t think there was anything that would’ve made him ashamed of me.
  6. To be happy. I wanted to be happy. That’s that really!  In actual “grown up life”, I am mostly happy.  I touched on happiness in the “having money” part of this blog.  But that’s not all I need to make me happy.  I have two absolutely amazing children, who don’t stop making me proud and trying their hardest, day in, day out.  I have an amazing husband, who, for all his faults, remains my constant, my bestest friend in the entire world, who I share everything with, and laugh with (most of the time).  I have an amazing family, who I love and adore for their constant love and support.  I’m happy with decisions I’ve made, and paths I’ve taken.

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All these things, all these mad dreams and ideas I had about being a grown up and the perfect life I was going to have, were pretty delusional when I look back as an almost 30 year old.  You cant look ahead 20+ years and map out who you’re going to be and what you’re going to be doing.  At that age, you don’t envisage, the crap challenges you’re going to face along the way.  You don’t know the people you’ll meet, the choices you’ll make, or most importantly, the person you’ll become.

What’s important, as we have these milestone birthdays, is that we’re content.  Content with where we came from, how we’ve lived so far, and how we plan for our future.

Turning 30 doesn’t scare me, upset me, or make me sad for what was.  It makes me excited about what’s to come.

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A Letter to My Nanny

This time, 7 years ago, you were very much still here. 

We’d not long celebrated Christmas, but you’d fallen ill, and spent some of the day in bed.  I’d never seen you unwell at any occasion before, I didn’t enjoy Christmas that year as much as I’d done before.

That was when everything changed.

In February you seemed better, and, on your birthday, you had your photo taken.  It’s one of my favourite photos of you-you’re holding flowers we bought your for your birthday, and Keiron had delivered them to you because I was then poorly!  He took that photo of you, stood smiling that beautiful smile, as happy as you always were.  I cherish that photo, it hangs, pride of place on my bedroom wall, next to my bed, bringing me comfort every day, especially now there are no more photos being taken of you.

  
Today, I found a card you gave me for one of my birthdays.  I can’t remember seeing it recently, I believe it’s probably been packed away in the memory box I found it in, since we moved into our first flat.  It’s got a butterfly on it, identical to the ones we had for decorations for our wedding, another sign you were and always are with us. 

  

The day before my wedding, we went to the hall to decorate it for our reception.  As I carried the box of butterfly decoration in-chosen because butterfly’s were your absolute favourite-a white butterfly fluttered around my head, once again showing me you were with me.

Inside the card I found today, you had written a little message, as you always did straight from your heart.  This one said “If love was money, you would be a very wealthy young lady, because I love you lots and lots, Nanny xxxx”.

  

It reminded me of the year I got engaged, and 2 months later, received a Christmas card with ‘Granddaughter and her Fiancé’ on it.  I pretended I was outraged, having to share my Christmas card! You went out and bought me my own one, with ‘Grandaughter’ on, simply writing inside, “This ones just for you, all my love Nanny xxxx”.

  
I still have that one too.
Something I’ve come to realise since losing you, is that you’re still here when I need you.  Not for cuddles, kisses and your voice, but little signs – like today’s card discovery, or a butterfly fluttering round me, or even your name, giving me strength when I most need it, telling me you’re not that far. 

Our daughter knows you, even though you’ve never met her, and she carries your name, even though I know you wouldn’t have been overly thrilled with that, disliking your own name, as you told me often enough.

My son, who you’ve also never met, but did know about, carries Grandads name. I remember the day you blessed him with your love by putting your hands on my tummy the day I told you about him, even though you knew you wouldn’t make it to see him and touch him properly.

Both children know you, they always will, you’re their “Nanna in the sky!”
You’re not my Nanna in the sky though.  You’re my Nanny. You were and always will be, my world, and although you took a piece of me when you left, I kind of don’t mind that, because I think you left a piece of you down here with me.
Keep sending me those signs, please never leave me completely.

My Hero. My Inspiration. 

My Nanny 

Xx

London Calling

  
Back to reality today, but Friday me and the hubs went for a weekend away in London, half for my birthday present and half for our 6th wedding anniversary. 
We got the train Friday evening and arrived at our hotel around 9:30pm. We stayed in the Days Hotel in Lambeth.  We usually use Travelodge for our London stays but their prices have rocketed recently so my husband chose this hotel instead.  The staff were lovely and friendly, the reception open 24 hours, and they offered to hold our bags if we wanted to go out and sight see on our last day. 

  
The room was spacious, clean and had everything we needed, including extra towels and pillows. The bed was clean and comfy, and a fan was provided, which was just as well as the weather was beautiful! 

We had breakfast for both mornings included in the price of our rooms, which was an all you can eat, English breakfast and a continental selection. There was plenty of everything and anything extra they brought out straight away. 

Our hotel was literally a stones throw from Lambeth underground station, although not knowing this on the first evening meant we walked from Waterloo station, only adding another 5 minutes onto our journey. 

On the first evening we checked in and put our bags in our room and went for a walk to see what was nearby. After only 10 minutes we were at the London Eye!  We took in the sights, lit up for the evening, then returned to our hotel for a drink in the bar (and I had a KitKat).

  
The following morning, after breakfast, we set our for a full day of sightseeing.  We walked so much! First we walked along Oxford Street having a nose in the windows of shops we could never afford to shop in haha! Then we walked to Covent Garden which I’ve never seen before, it was amazing! Such a wide variety of shops and places to grab a coffee! We stopped at 21 in Covent Garden and had a drink, then went to see a busker, singing opera in a lower level cafe-he was hilarious!

We then walked to Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, again watching the buskers and street entertainment. 

  
One place I was desperate to go to was Trafalgar Square, as I’ve never been! There was a busking festival on, so we sat on the steps and watched the acts in the sunshine, it was lovely!!!!!

   
 After a few tourist-like photos, we headed off again to Westminster to walk down The Mall and see Buckingham Palace.  After negotiating around the cyclists taking part in Ride London, we ended up back on the tube to St Paul’s and walked along the Millennium Bridge, then back along the Thames. 

   
   
Thoroughly walked out, we headed back on the tube to our hotel room, where we relaxed for an hour before heading back out.

As part of my birthday present my husband bought me tickets to the theatre.  We headed out to The Lyric Theatre to see Thriller Live.  For those who haven’t seen it, I won’t go into detail, but oh my god it was INCREDIBLE!! I literally can’t fault one part of it, and would be quite happy to again.  My arms ached the morning after from clapping and dancing, and even the hubs got up and clapped along!  The train journey home was spent listening to Michael Jackson songs!

  
So back to reality today! Well yesterday really when we got home with shopping and dropped a jar of pasta sauce across the ceramic kitchen floor.  

I am full of London blues, missing what feels like our second home, and looking forward to the next time we go. 

London we love you. 

X

  

29

Good morning! 

Apologies for the blog silence, July is always crazy for us as a family, with birthdays and anniversaries taking up the majority of our time. 

This happens to be the first blog since I turned 29 two days ago! 

It was also my dads 60th Saturday, we share a birthday usually but I decided to not celebrate mine when I was with him, thinking he’d like to have this special one just for him.

I did get to spend the morning with my beautiful children and husband, opening my presents and cards.  The children got me all my favourite things. Wine, a wine glass, flowers, a candle and perfume.  The husband went and spoilt me massively, buying me tickets to see Thriller at the Lyric Theatre in two weeks, as well as hotel and train tickets for two days! London is my favourite place, I am a complete London geek so he got this years present spot on-I’m unsure how he will top it for my 30th next year though!!

We had lunch with my dad, a surprise one, he thought he was seeing us Sunday. Aside from being completely overwhelmed he really enjoyed it and sent me a text message in the evening thanking me and telling me how lucky he is. 

Saturday evening I spent refusing to take my birthday dress off and watching a film with the husband. 

Then it was over!  And to be honest I’ve been a misery since! 

The downside to deciding not to celebrate your birthday is it doesn’t really feel like a birthday. The morning was fine, and while celebrating with my dad it was fine, but it all seemed to finish quite abruptly.  Additionally, certain people didn’t even bother to send a card or message this year, people who usually bother with me, didn’t.  

As usual my own mother didn’t send a card or message, which never bothers me, but knowing I would be with my dad, she sent him one to upset me.

By yesterday evening I was done, aside from the morning with the kids and hubs, it didn’t really feel like a birthday-a bit of a washout to be honest!

So now it’s Monday, back to normal with biggest kidlet at school, housework and dinner to sort, with the additional visit to the doctors in a while.  

The last year of my 20’s is already on its third day, my 29th birthday a distant memory already.  

I suppose I just need to come to terms with birthdays just not being as fun anymore.