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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Different can be fun.

Having a touring caravan normally means our holidays involve towing, pegging and aqualoos.

It also often involves wet clothes and cold feet.

The British weather is known for it’s unforgiving rain.

As any parent will tell you it starts to pour the moment someone says  “it’s the school holidays”.

Yet despite all this we do love our caravan.

The nights spent out on the campsites listening to the quiet still evening sounds

Or the early morning alarm Capella style from the birds.

I love them

Yet still when rain ruined play this week we decided to do something a little different and  book ourselves over night into a guest house in good old Llandudno.

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It was a blast, the guest house was simply amazing. The owner was super welcoming and so helpful. Honestly nothing was to much for him.

The guesthouse itself was beautiful and spotless. The bathroom was that clean my husband noticed and that’s saying something.

Oh and the breakfast it was simply yummy, the selection was great from fresh fruit to a fry up.

I honestly would recommend the Alvastra for a stay.

 
So we may not have got to sunbathe on the beach this holiday but we did get to watch the boats, travel to the top of the Great Orme and walk the pier.

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It was a fun trip.

Llandudno holds many memories for us as a family from nappy losing (yes Eden that was you) to pier vomiting (Livvy) it was nice to remember  and smile but it was also lovely to create new ones as well.

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It really isn’t the length of a holiday or the exotic location that makes it special, it’s those you share it with.

So my two cold windy days in Llandudno were truly special as I got to spend them with those that I love.

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What more could I have wished for.

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Our weekend in Liverpool

Last  saturday we had our first night of respite for this year.

We were so looking forward to the rest and relaxation and getting to spent some quality time with our youngest.

Also we got to hide away from the big two who are super stressed studying for exams.

So off to Liverpool we when.

on our way

 

It all started off so well we visited with friends in New Brighton which was lovely we had a fantastic lunch followed by a trip to the beach and ice- creams.

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Then after not checking our Sat Nav and having the avoid all toll- roads setting on we turned a ten minute journey into over a hour, oh well we live and learn.

We finally reached Liverpool rather tired and harassed and we were so looking forward to checking into our room at the Travelodge Liverpool Central The Strand.

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Again fate was playing games with us as after struggling for over an hour to find the hotel we found ourselves completely lost. We got directed to another of the Travelodge’s who then thankfully directed us to where were supposed to be staying.

We finally got onto the hotel exhausted and ready to relax.

We were so pleased to find that the rooms were beautiful, clean and fresh looking and the bed looked so welcoming.

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We all wanted to just jump in and sleep but first we had to eat.

We decided to stay in and eat at the hotel’s restaurant as we were so tired and wasn’t really in the mood to go out.

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We all ordered the same starter of chicken wings which were lovely, all three of us munched our way through them in no time at all.

Alan and I ordered the chicken burger as our main meal and Brodie had the quarter pounder. Lets just say Brodie enjoyed hers. Our chicken burgers were rubbery and really not nice.

The staff were lovely and helpful and the restaurant itself was beautiful but I do think they need to look at providing a better quality meals as breakfast was lacking too and we heard many other guests complaining too.

Then thankfully it was bedtime, I was so looking forward to a good nights sleep, the bed was so comfortable and the television kept our daughter happy and quiet.

We were super impressed with the hotel rooms.

Travelodge has been updating their hotels and this was evident in our room. The surroundings were clean, calm and relaxing and just want we needed.

I slept the whole night through and work up feeling really refreshed. A whole 8 hours, did you read that 8 hours wow.

On Sunday we had decided to to take Brodie on a ferry ride we didn’t know the times of the sailings but the staff were incredibly helpful and happy to check the times for us.

We really enjoyed the trip across the Mersey, especially when the ships horn gave Brodie a big scare my goodness she jumped.

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All in all Liverpool was fun weekend, we got a chance to spent some quality time together and make some memories.

We were really impressed with the quality of the new refurnished Travelodge. It was fantastic. The rooms were beautiful and  the bathroom super clean which really impressed me. We will certainly think about staying with them again in the future.

The staff were really helpful and genuinely wanted to make sure you enjoyed your stay

The only things I would suggest is to improve the food.

Because to the Meredith family food is so important.

So after an busy but fun weekend we drove home to a poorly boy and a visit to A & E and a broken toe.

And people wonder why I needed a break ha ha.

 

* We were gifted a nights stay at the Travelodge for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are honest and my own.

 

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

 

 

Look what we did.

There are very few days in your life where you can look back and see all that you have accomplished.

Monday was truly one of those days for me.

With my charity Livvy’s Smile we hosted a fantastic memory making day for over 60 children with special needs and their families.

It was a truly perfect day.

I could tell you about the laughter that filled the centre.

I might mention the new friendships that were created.

But in this instance I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves.

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It was a wonderful day and although now I am physically and emotionally exhausted I am super proud of all that we have achieved.

Our charity is run in honour and memory of our beautiful daughter Olivia who lost her battle with Rett Syndrome in 2008.

Olivia was an amazing girl who had a real zest for life. Mischief and mayhem were her two favourite things.

I think she would be happy with the magical day created in her memory.

I’m also so sure she would think her sisters are amazing because I certainly do.

Sometimes you have to fight to be happy.

Someone once told me that “happiness is a choice”.

I’m not sure if I fully grasped at the time what they meant but over the last five years I have had to choose.

Choose to be happy. 

You see emotions are like waves, sometime’s they can be calm and peaceful.

Yet at moments they can be raging against the elements, wild and unforgiving.

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Grief especially is a whirlpool.

It tries it’s hardest to suck you down into the depths of despair.

So I have had to fight.

Fight to be happy.

And you know what thats ok.

I’ve learned a great lesson in life

That happiness isn’t a given.

You have to look for it

At times you really have to search for it.

You have to remind yourself that darkness is only the absence of light.

So you have to look for that light.

I call that light hope.

I find the light in my children’s laughter.

Listening to their plans and dreams for the future.

It’s there in memories that I hold dear to my heart.

Never forgetting the strength and courage of the one I have lost.

I find my light in the knowledge that life is for living.

That I have to make each moment count.

It’s there in the promise that one day I will hold my daughter again.

Sometimes life gets does get hard and I find myself fighting against the waves.

Frightened that I’m drowning.

But I still search for the light.

The promise of a new day.

The chance to make another memory.

I remind myself that although the whirlpool will never leave me.

I don’t have to let it consume me.

Keep swimming

Ride the waves

Tomorrow is always a chance for hope.

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Choose happiness 

 

 

 

Bee – Happy

Seriously I have a happy buzz going on right now.

I’m not sure why as I’m still physically shattered and the bills still need to be paid.

Yet regardless of all this I am really happy.

My girls are doing well, my eldest passed her theory driving test and my youngest conquered her stage fright to sing and dance in a local theatre.

My middle one is getting great grades at school in her mock GCSE exams and even better seems to be really happy in herself.

My foster son is changing daily and is such a gift to have as part of our family.

Life is pretty good.

It’s so easy at times to look at the negatives of life.

Focus on the crappy bits and miss the beauty and joy all around us.

I know I am guilty of this at times.

But not this week.

I want to post something joyful and say life is good.

I’m getting to work with some great people and support some great charities.

I’m surrounded by family and friends that I cherish.

And we have sunshine.

What more could a girl ask for, well besides a cambridge satchel.

Life is good xxx

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Speak life

I watched this video yesterday and loved it . The message is so simple and so true.

Words can heal.

Words can wound.

Words can make a day brighter.

Words can surround one in darkness.

Words can build one up.

Words can tear one down.

Words spoken.

Words typed.

Words in any form are powerful.

Choose your words carefully

and

Choose to speak life.

 

 

 

Rain rain go away

It’s amazing how addicted we get to the television.

My poor husband has spent the last few days on holiday complaining he misses the tv.

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To be honest it has been a lousy few days. The weather has been so atrocious nothing but rain.
Camping holidays and rain really don’t mix.

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But what has struck me is how well the girls have done without the laptops, DVDs etc.

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They have actually chatted to each other again. I’ve even heard laughter at times, yes really laughter from teenagers can happen now and again.

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I think we are packing up tomorrow and heading home to the land of televisions and laptops.

Normally I would complain but to be honest after three days trapped in the caravan with an autistic child who wants to play outside hasn’t been fun.

So maybe I will miss the laughter but I certainly won’t miss the cold wet mud everywhere.

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Today my daughter should be 14.

Today you would have been 14.

We would be all gathered together as a family to celebrate your special day. Spoiling you with attention and of course lots of gifts.

Yet we can’t.

Instead there will be an empty place at the table and all that we have to hold on to are our memories.

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Each with a moment,

a memory, a gift that we cherish.

I confess I’m angry that I can only visit your grave today.

That I cannot hold your hand or stroke your beautiful blond hair. To twist one of those cute little curls around my finger.

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To hold you close and share those light butterfly kisses.

It hurts,

I want to sing happy birthday to you and get to watch your eyes shine with laughter.

I want to watch you rip off the paper from your presents with impatience and excitement.

14 years old

I often wonder what you look like now.

How have you aged?

Is your hair still as curly as it was or has in grown down long and straight.

I wonder what you would have enjoyed if you were here, would you be a one direction fan? knowing you It would more likely be Paramour or the script. You loved the beat of rock music. Guns n roses were your favourite.

I can imagine you in band tops joining me in the love of anything gothic.

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How I wish , how I wonder.

Its breaking my heart today, you should be here blowing out your candles. Trying to grab the biggest piece of cake. Loving all the attention this special day brings.

I know you would be cross at my sadness,

But my beautiful girl I miss you so much.

I’m angry that I have only had 9 of the 14 years.

Losing you is a pain like no other, a knife in my heart forever being twisted deeper.

I take your balloons, your flowers to your grave and the knife goes deeper.

But I think of you dear Olivia, I remember your courage your true audacity to never give in.

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I close my eyes and hear you whisper on the wind.

I’m here mom, I’m playing with the balloons and smelling the flowers.

I’m here mom, by your side everyday.

Dry those tears mom, listen to my laughter as it carries on the breeze,

Feel my love wrap around you in the warmth of the sun.

I’m not gone, I’m just out of sight for a while.

Hold on mom, please hold on to my spirit and my strength.

I close my eyes

I feel you in the sun and I wrap myself up in the breeze.

You are my heart and as long as it beats you are with me.

I miss you sweet Olivia.

Happy heavenly birthday

14 today,

I love you to the moon stars and back again xxxxx

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