Feeling reflective

Sometimes we have to accept that life isn’t going to go according to plan.

That people aren’t going to stay in your life even if you want them to.

Life moves on, circumstances change and people grow apart.

This doesn’t mean you feel any ill will or wish any harm.

It’s just the acceptance of the ever evolving crazy thing we call life.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future and what I want for it.

Devising my plans, aims and goals.

Yet as always as I look forward I to find myself looking back.

Being reflective isn’t a bad thing it helps you understand your journey and how you got to where you are now.

But allowing the past to hold your future to ransom is never a good thing.

 

So today I am being reflective.

I am sending out love and thanks to those I have met along the way.

I am also aching a little (a lot) for those that are missing.

But I am stepping forward.

Stepping into the great exciting place we call the future.

Excited for the journeys I have yet to take

For the people I have yet to meet

and of course for the memories I have yet to make.

As the year comes to an end…..

So its the end of another year.

A lot has happened in the last 365 days.

I became the parent to all teenagers

Then a few months later I became the parent of an adult. (crazy)

I also then had to wave the said adult off as she left for university

It has truly been a crazy year, at times it has felt my feet have barely touched the ground.

We are still fostering a handsome young man with special needs and he is certainly keeping us on our toes.

Livvy’s Smile is doing well, we have held some fantastic memory making days and been busy fundraising. We have also had our story featured in a weekly woman’s magazine.

Personally I have had my writing published in a book and also walked the catwalk as a plus size model.

It’s honestly been a go go year.

As I wave 2014 goodbye I do so with two emotions.

Pride and exhaustion.

Proud of all we have achieved.

Exhausted, well simply by achieving all we have achieved.

I am super excited for 2015 though.

I have so many hopes for this forthcoming year.

In September I start at university, this is something I have dreamed of for such a long time and I cannot tell you how excited I am.

I’m also modelling again at Style XL and have a couple of photo shoots already lined up.

We may be adding another foster child to our family, and the girls are still trying hard to drive me completely insane.

So yes 2015 I am looking forward to you.

But while I am not making any new year resolutions I am making myself some promises.

Firstly I’m going to learn how to take time for myself.

Allowing myself space to breath, stop feeling guilty about wanting time out.

Also working on my health and fitness, continue with my swimming and working on my diet, as in healthy food not weight loss (not that I wouldn’t mind shifting a pound or twenty). I’m also going to try and stop stressing about things i cannot change and stop letting others have power over me. Anxiety has had me for the last 38 years, no more.

Secondly I’m going to work harder on my marriage.

It’s so easy after 19 years of being with the same man to take him for granted. To take each other for granted. I want to work on cherishing each other, spending quality time together and having fun. Reminding my husband that I still love every inch of him and that i find him sexier now than ever.

Thirdly Im going to work on believing in myself more.

For too long I have let myself down, rejected compliments or turned away opportunities because I didn’t believe I could do them.

This next year is going to be different.

I am a bright, intelligent woman and I am going to embrace all that I am. Negativity and self disbelief can stay in 2014 where it belongs.

This woman is going places.

Fourthly I’m going to have fun and make more memories.

This year I want to be more spontaneous and just enjoy the moment.

Let go and just take each day as it comes.

Play more with the kids and generally try not to stress as much as I do.

 

So there you go, my 2015 promises to myself.

Still before this year comes to an end i want to thank all my readers for the support that they have given me.

Blogging has afforded me many opportunities but the greatest of all these has been the people I have connected with in real life and here in the virtual world.

Your comments, emails, tweets have all lifted me when I was low.

Inspired me when I was lost and loved me when I was lonely.

I started blogging in 2008 for different reasons than I write now, but as always in 2015 this blog will be my heart.

What you read is simply who I am.

Heart on my sleeve

Words on the page.

So with that I would like to say…….

BLOG NEW YEAR

Painting with brighter colours.

I have been avoiding the news for the last few days.

I just cannot take the horror anymore.

Terrorism, diseases, murder, and so much more.

It’s not as if i don’t know its happening of course I do.

I guess i just want to hide away a little.

I watched an episode of Criminal minds the other evening and the investigators were talking about their desire to watch cute videos of little kittens, cute puppies and baby hippos.

Their need to switch the horrific images their jobs brings with cute innocent ones.

I get that.

Not that my job is anything as graphic.

I just understand the need to believe in cute fluffy unicorns for a while.

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I personally don’t subscribe to the sweet animal images.

I prefer messages and videos of hope.

Thats why this week I have been watching videos like this…

 

 

 

Viewing images like these…

 

And

Reading about amazing teenagers like this.

And wrapping myself up in the good in the world.

 

Your attitude is like a box of crayons that colour your world. Constantly colour your picture grey, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colours to the picture by including humour, and your picture begins to lighten up.

Allen Klein.

 

 

So this week I am not actually taking time from the world.

I’m just choosing to paint my life with bright beautiful colours.

 

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Abstract Watercolor Hand Painted Background” by bearvader

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.

 

plusnorth collage 1

 

me plusnorth

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.

seeing friends

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.

travelodge

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.

Liverpool 2014

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