Memories cherished as memories are made.

I have just returned from a wonderful week in beautiful Wales.

I have loved every minute of it, from the beautiful sunsets to the endless beaches.

Its been a truly wonderful week.

It was a week I so needed, time to recharge and refresh my mind.

Time to allow the words to form and the passages to write.

I am feeling stronger that ever.

My heart and mind are on the same path.

This holiday was the first time I have gone back to this area of Wales without Livvy.

I honestly believed that it was going to have to be another first without her.

Yet it wasn’t because as I have enjoyed the views, cherished the sunsets and loved the ocean I have felt Livvy everywhere.

Memories cherished as memories made.

Dogemals 2015 Newquay 2015 west wales 2015

Transformation

I have been changing so much over the last couple of years.

Finding out who I am and who I wish to be.

Finding my style, what I like, what I want to wear and so much more.

It’s been a journey full of ups and downs.

So to celebrate this journey and how far I have come and how finally I am starting to like what I see in the mirror I booked myself a photo shoot with the amazing Chiara Aprea Photography.

I had seen a few of the photos from my friends shoots and was really excited for my own.

The whole shoot was amazing Chiara is a wonderful person so friendly and makes you feel at home as soon as you enter her studio.

After a coffee and a chat it was all go.

Besides being an incredible photographer Chiara is also a truly talented make up artist and hairdresser and before long I was transformed.

I chose a very exciting style but Chiara made my idea come to life.

the makeover

Then it was time for the photography to begin.

I was so nervous but after the first few photos and Chiara constant reassurance I completely relaxed and enjoyed being in front of the camera.

Honestly I could rave on and on about how fantastic Chiara is but I think I’m just going to let the photos speak for me.

 

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Honestly I love them all.

If you are considering having a photo shoot I would seriously consider working with Chiara Aprea she has some great offers right now on her facebook page also she has been kind enough to offer my readers a 10% discount if they use the code Sara10

Personally I am still on a high after my shoot, it was fantastic to let my gothic vamp out. I still look at the photos and wonder if that’s really me. I know I’ve said it before but I seriously LOVE THEM.

 

All together

My daughter returns from university today and yes I am so excited to see her.

So why did a friendly comment feel like I had been punched in the stomach?

My friend said “ I bet you are excited to have all the family back together’.

How simple and true is this comment.

Yes i am excited.

But my family will not all be back together.

You see there will always be a missing piece,

missing piece

 

An empty place at the table.

A pile of presents that have not been bought.

On Christmas day only three of my girls will be celebrating it here with me.

Heaven holds the celebration for the other.

I want to say that i’m ok about it all, that i can be happy and enjoy the season but I can’t.

The ache in my heart is getting stronger and stronger as we head towards the 25th.

I hate that on Christmas day I have to visit the crematorium, that the only gift I can give to my daughter is flowers on her stone.

I want the air to echo with her laughter, the harmony of my four beautiful girls to play.

Yet all i can hear is the silence of the missing note.

Christmas is a special time of year, I love the wonder of it all.

The excitement that builds in peoples hearts.

The joy of giving , the love that is shared.

Christmas is a time for celebration and I promise I will try.

Still I hope that it will be ok, that sometimes through this season i disappear.

Disappear to a place where i can allow the tears to fall.

Where I can allow the missing to show upon my face.

Because I cannot pretend all the time.

I just don’t have the strength.

I need to give my heart freedom.

Freedom to grieve my beautiful missing daughter.

After the storm.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.  – Haruki Murakami

 

 

I can’t explain why this quote really affected me.

Why it just made perfect sense.

It just seems to be the journey of my life.

Riding the storms,

"Stormy Weather" by dan "FreeDigitalPhotos.net"
“Stormy Weather” by dan “FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

 

Not knowing how I survived but finding myself completely changed by the end of it.

It’s as if in the middle of the hurricane the adrenaline fuels your survival mechanism so that you don’t think or feel.

 You just survive.

Yet then in the lull of the storm the emotions rise and your heart and mind rage.

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Hurricane By Victor Habbick FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I remember the times when I was in hospital with Livvy those scary times when I should have fallen apart I didn’t.

Then afterwards when we returned home and she was well and happy i would burst into tears and the slightest of things.

Our minds are crazy things, they protect us in ways we don’t realise.

The human instinct for survival comes from deep within.

Yet all storms change us and then we have to venture on a journey of self discovery to find out who we are now.

The aftermath.

I’m on this journey right now.

The storm has raged for such a long time I’m struggling to recognise who I see in the mirror.

Change has to happen I accept that

It’s how we grow.

Yet sometimes life turns from a brisk wind into a fiery hurricane.

Inflicting damage of the greatest proportions.

It changes you in ways you could never of imagined.

Never have foreseen.

Yet you survive and slowly you have to walk your fingers over your face.

Learn the new lines and creases that have formed.

Search the depths of your mind, count the beats of your heart.

Find the new you.

The one that survived the storm.

 

 

There is only one stage for me.

September has begun and i am simply a mess.

 

It could be holiday blues.

 

It could be just plain exhaustion.

 

Or it could be that I’m just so very p*ssed off.

 

Yesterday was the first day of the new school year and it should of been the day that Livvy started Year 11.

 

Its crazy to think my baby would have been 16 next year, when the truth is she didn’t get to see double figures.

 

I don’t know how to feel right now.

 

Anger

 

Grief

 

Numb

 

Its a variety of emotions that seem to move with the wind.

 

I close my eyes and I try so hard to imagine Livvy as a teenager.

 

What would she be like?

 

Would she still be the little rock chick, dancing her heart out to Guns n roses.

 

Or would she have continued down the road she started with her love of skulls and all things gothic.

 

I imagine her sitting in her chair in Dr Martens, or maybe Converse.

 

I just don’t know.

 

 

 

It’s breaking me apart right now.

 

The not knowing what she would be like.

 

The not getting the chance to make those memories.

 

I was robbed of my baby girl.

 

She was robbed of her future

 

And its just not blooming fair.

 

Denial

 

Anger

 

Bargaining

 

Depression

 

Acceptance

 

The five stages of grief,

 

What a joke.

 

Stages are something you work through.

 

You finish one and then move on.

 

I’m not moving on.

 

I miss my daughter so much.

 

For me there is only one stage of grief

 

Simply heartbroken.

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What a weekend – Plus North

It’s hard to believe that its now over a year ago that i started my journey of self discovery.

Learning to love my body curves and all.

It was at Plus North 2013 that it  finally hit home that woman can be beautiful in all shapes and sizes.

So it was amazing to be back at this event and even more exciting to be modelling along side the ladies I had admired.

The weekend was rather fun.

I got to spend some quality time with my hubby.

Meet up with some old friends and get to make some new ones too.

I also enjoyed quite a few vodka’s as well.

The event was fashion fun, I loved checking out the coming seasons clothes from plus sizes brands.

But the highlight was walking for Topsy Curvy.

I love this fashion range they offer fashionale affordable clothing.

I also love the ladies behind the range, their one desire is for women to look good and feel good about themselves.

What more can we ask for?

 

Now I’m home, shattered and back to real life.

 

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me plusnorth

Messy

Oh I had this image of the mama I wanted to be.

The clean house, cake making, hug giving kind of mama.

My children were going to grow up safe, secure ready to take on the world.

I didn’t prepare for disability

I didn’t prepare for loss.

I didn’t prepare for life.

How can I expect them to be ok?

Who is actually ever ok?

Does ok really exist?

We are a world full of rising mental health issues.

Where are we going wrong?

 

Perfection

perfect

This is what the media wants us all to believe. 

You have to be perfect.

From the perfect new born mother with linen wipes and organic baby food.

To the teenager starving to fit in the new fashions,

We cannot be perfect

No one can

But that does not stop the world trying make us believe otherwise.

 

I am a messy mother.

I mess up.

I shout, I scream, I forget to wash sports kit or sign permission slips.

I lose my patience when I’m tired and crave some peace and quiet.

 

My husband is a messy father

He forgets to listen properly and is surprised when they kick off.

He laughs at boy troubles not in mirth but in ignorance.

Scared that they are growing up.

 

Then my girls 

They are the most perfect imperfect children alive and i love them for it.

From the stroppy tantrums to the banging of the doors.

From the constant arguing to the solitary against the parents.

The demanding of attention to the leave me alone moods.

They are messy

and thats perfectly ok.

 

Life is a constant lesson

Each day brings with it a new piece of knowledge and new understanding.

Yet how can you learn if you know everything?

How can you form if you are already perfect?

It’s time we ignored who others wish us to be.

Turn off the televisions and leave the magazines on the shelves.

Lets grow into who we wish to be not what is expected by others.

Let us all be beautifully imperfect 

Lets all be messy

 

 

Always

I am a mom that had to bury a child.

Yes I am that mom.

But I’m also a mom who was so very blessed.

I thank God every day that I got to be Olivia’s mom.

That I got to walk her journey with her.

Caring for this beautiful girl changed my life.

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I learned so much.

I learned about true love.

 

It’s not easy losing a child.

Wow what an understatement.

It’s so not easy 

I always will have a part of me missing.

Yet I would do it all again.

It a heartbeat.

 

Walk those hospital corridors

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Wait those endless hours for appointments

Fill those never ending prescriptions.

 

When you become a mother you take on many roles.

Carer,

Protector,

Teacher

 

When you have a special needs child these roles extend

 

Nurse,

Chemist,

Advocate

Fighter 

 

At times it feels like each day holds a new battle.

And yes we do get battle weary

But our children are always worth the fight.

always

It’s my birthday

Today is my birthday I am 38 years old.

I cannot believe how amazing my 37th year has been.

I have finally found me.

That sounds crazy doesn’t it.

How do you lose yourself?

I don’t think i  actually ever lost myself because I don’t believe i had ever found myself before.

For so long I have tried to be who I perceived others wanted me to be.

Hiding my heart to keep others happy.

But its not honest and its certainly not a way to live.

 
I will be ok when I get my degree.

I will be better when I lose weight.

I will become nicer.

I will try to be kinder.

More open, more trusting

A better mom.

A better wife.

 

My list became endless and always out of reach.

 

No more.

 
I finally can see that.

I am kind hearted

I am a good friend.

Good mom.

Good wife.

I am beautiful.

I am so loved.

 
What a year!!!

I wish it hadn’t took 37 years to get to this place but hey ho I am here.

I am so excited to see what my 38th year will bring me.

I already have exciting things planned.

I mean I’m modelling for goodness sake.

Whatever happens I know it will be fun and filled with love, laughter and friendship.

What more can this birthday girl ask??

 

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I can’t breathe

One True Media is closing down and have asked us to download our videos.

Sounds fine doesn’t it.

Just download the videos and you have them for your own.

So that’s what I do but then of course I stop to watch.

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The impact of pain just hits me smack in my stomach.

The video is of my baby girl.

So far away from me.

I want to just reach out through the screen and hold her.

Feel her hand in my hand.

It hurts so bad.

Will it ever stop feeling like a knife in my stomach?

Twisting, turning deeper and deeper.

I want to hold my daughter.

It’s not a lot to ask is it?

I can’t stop the tears as they fall

The gut wrenching sobs seem to echo around my room.

I want my baby.

Missing her is just too damn hard.

It’s not fair and right now I can’t see past the pain.

Grief is like a weight pushing down on my chest.

I cannot breathe

I don’t want to breathe.

Time isn’t a great healer.

Life just sucks

I want my baby back.

Please.