4th June!

Yesterday I focused on the joy that I got from experiences of my day. I spent time with my stepmother, my friends, and back to my stepmother and dad.

I definitely feel much better when I see people who build me up and are positive for me.

I had a nice day, even though I was running from one thing to another and had no time in between (and was late for everything!). Then last night I was thinking about the joy of the day, and was going to post my #juneisforjoy post – but I decided instead to clean up the kitchen, so that this morning I could come down to a clean kitchen instead of having to launch into cleaning first thing today, so that is why I am late posting yesterdays Joy!

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Day 29 of My Month of Gratitude

This one I’m not sure how to phrase in the list… but it is one I’ve wanted to add all week. The short title would be my husband, again, but for a different reason this time…

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM
  19. Chocolate
  20. Books
  21. Online Recipes
  22. Sunshine
  23. Online Shopping
  24. Grandparents
  25. Sleep
  26. Podcasts
  27. Support
  28. Community
  29. Handy-man Skills
  30. .

As I said the easiest would be to say my husband again. But it is actually also my dad, or myself at times too. But this week it has been my husband time and time again.

At the weekend, my husband serviced my car and changed brakes and things like that. I am thankful that he is able to do it all himself and we save on all labour costs when it comes to the car! This is something I am very grateful for.

At the weekend, my husband did some work on our “extension” thing out the back. We are building a covered patio basically, that we are putting walls on too so that we can use as a dining room for family events. I’m not sure how the room is going to be used in honesty, we both have high hopes for it – but it is a slow slow process, as we haven’t had the funds to buy the materials we need. Last week my husband got some of the timber we need, so he did some of the work starting to build the walls and we were able to put in the windows. So now we have the patio doors (that have been standing there in the middle of the concrete for about a year now!) and two windows and hollow walls! Which is wonderful progress.

It made me realise how lucky we are that my husband can do this work himself, so again we save on labour costs. I was also brought up building things and making furniture along with my dad, so I would always think of how we can build or create a piece of furniture for our spaces and I would think of making it before buying it. I am grateful for this frame of mind, and that I have the resources and the skills (between us all) to make and build what we want and need!

 

Day 27 of My Month of Gratitude

This is one that I am so grateful for time and time again!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM
  19. Chocolate
  20. Books
  21. Online Recipes
  22. Sunshine
  23. Online Shopping
  24. Grandparents
  25. Sleep
  26. Podcasts
  27. Support

There is a lovely feeling when you are getting ready for an event, and your family and friends realise that this is something that is important to you and your family and they offer their support in their own ways.

Tomorrow is my daughters Confirmation, a Catholic celebration where she confirms her faith in the Catholic church.

I have Atheist friends who have sent a card for my daughter and have been checking in with how all the preparations are going (on my side – as in the clothes and planning!) My step-children have all taken the day off on Thursday, a work day, so that they could be there for the day with their little sister. They have offered help with things for the day. A family member who is definitely not a fan of the Catholic church sent my daughter money, but didn’t want to buy a specific card because she didn’t want to be seen to be supporting the church but did want to support my childs choice.

I notice this support at so many different times of my life, at Christmas, at birthdays and at all events that come up. And it gives a huge warm fuzzy feeling to have so many supportive people and so much support around me. I am really thankful and grateful for the loving support that I have around me.

Day 24 of My Month of Gratitude

 

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM
  19. Chocolate
  20. Books
  21. Online Recipes
  22. Sunshine
  23. Online Shopping
  24. Grandparents

This one could look like cheating as family is already in there, but on a Sunday morning my father comes and collects my kids for a “Grandad Adventure” and brings them off to do something for a few hours. What they do range from going for lunch and cake, to going to do some work in the workshop, to walking in the forest, finding where a river starts to collecting fruit from bushes. They love their Sunday adventure with Grandad, who they have wrapped around their fingers, and Dad loves his time with them – and I love my Sunday morning without them and usually with just my husband when we make an effort to go and get a coffee together (with the baby!).

I have always felt that grandparents are such an important addition to a childs life. I was so lucky growing up to have my Granny who was there for me always. I cherish that. And I am delighted that my children have great relationships with my mother, my father and my step-mother. My mum minded my eldest daughter when she was small, coming with me and the baby when I was working at events in different areas of the country or keeping her in her house when I was doing office work. It created a great bond between the two of them.

On my the other side, my husbands mum died 6 years ago and it is heartbreaking that they missed out on having the relationship with her. She loved the boys in particular and would have loved my son and sometimes when he is being a bit overlooked by others I wish she was here to dote on him, because she would have. She would have got great fun out of my two cheeky smaller girls because she had a wicked sense of humour and would have really had fun with them. It is such a pity that she is not around for them to have got to know her, or for her to have added another aspect to their lives.

I am so grateful that my children do still have grandparents (including a great-grandmother, my Granny!) around and actively involved in their lives, I am grateful for them and I am grateful for the support that they offer me at times, knowing that there is a safe second home they can be dropped to if I’m not around, or a lift home for them from school. It is the small things in life, and the Sunday Grandad Adventure makes me so happy and grateful.

Day 13 of My Month of Gratitude

Another one that we take for granted, that we don’t need to mention that we are grateful for because it is obvious we must be. But sometimes you need to state the obvious.

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive

Yesterdays date, 12th March, one year ago, I got a phonecall from my brother-In-law because he couldn’t get through to my husband and wanted to know was he with me. He sounded dreadful so I asked what was wrong. And he told me their sister was dead. A complete and utter shock. It was completely unexpected and incomprehensible. She was only 45 years old, and her youngest child was 5 years old. It literally came from nowhere, on some random Monday afternoon.

The week before my husband and his brother were in a bad crash, and to be honest they were lucky to walk away alive. I was already being so thankful that my husband came home to me that day. I know how lucky he was. How lucky we are to still have him.

So being grateful for being alive is so important, thanking every day that we get to live on this earth, mother our children, be here for our partners and family, each and every single one of those days that we are alive are special and we should realise how lucky we are to be alive, and be grateful for being alive.

Life is unexpected and unpredictable. We do not know what is around the corner, we do not know what is coming next. Every life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and swings and roundabouts – life doesn’t stay constant. But if we wake up alive, we are lucky and we should be thankful for being here and alive every day.

Apologies if this one is a little morbid. It wasn’t a good time for us. And this week it is bringing it all back to me, every minute of how sad that time was, and how sad it still is and always will be that my sister-in-law is gone and her kids are without their mum, her father without one of his daughters, her siblings without their sister, and for my husband without his little childhood shadow who had a heart of gold. And so what I am taking from it is to be so grateful for what we have, and for being here and alive.

Day 5 of My Month of Gratitude

Day 5, you can probably guess where this is going, you’ll notice the theme of what I am most grateful for.

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. .
  7. .
  8. .

I am lucky to have a lot of extended family who love me very much. I myself grew up in a blended family, and from a very early age I had a step-mother so I have extra family there too.

I’m very lucky to know, and to have always known, how much I am loved by my father, mother and step-mother, and I am very grateful for having them in my life.  All three of them have helped to shape me into the person that I am today, and I am thankful for that. I love the relationship that they have with my children, they are loving and kind grandparents who are involved with my children. As my step-mother had children when she met my father, and then they had a child together, I ended up going from an only child to having a family which is wonderful, as the benefits stretch into nieces and nephews and sister/brother-inlaws. Often other people can find it strange that a lot of my close family aren’t blood related, but that is the way it has always been for me and family is a lot more than just blood, it is about love.

I have lots of extended family from aunts and uncles to cousins, nieces and nephews, my Granny, grand-aunts and uncles, second and third cousins, step-aunts/uncles/cousins, step-grandfather and so on. It is always around certain occasions that I get reminded of how lucky I am with so many lovely family members. A family reunion or function often, or a birthday when the messages and calls come in and always at Christmas. December is a month full of me being so grateful for so much love. We have three main family events at Christmas, where we spend time with each side of the family, and I always come away from each of them feeling so happy to have such warm and loving family around me, that warm fuzzy feeling! When people make an effort to spend time with you for a family event it really shows their love for you.

I am really grateful for all of my family, I am so lucky to have so many diverse, interesting and loving family members.

 

Little people are amazing!

It’s amazing watching a little person learn about the world. We forget they have to learn everything from scratch.

I’m sitting here watching my one year old daughter potter around the sitting room here, exploring everything. And she has just seen the laptop over, grabbed a handful of the side of the laptop and squished a whole load of keys, putting on caps lock.

There’s a box of capri-sun juices that my husband took out of the car earlier, and she keeps taking them out, squeezing and biting them, and then putting them back into the box. And there’s an empty laundry basket on the floor, and I put her in it to see what she thought. She climbed out. And then back in. And then out. And in. With help from me each time, obviously. And then decided to throw in the capri-sun’s and then climb in. And throw them out again and then followed them out. And that was the new game for a while.

She then decided to pull down one of the older kids boxes of markers off the shelf, and I took them off her and clipped up the box. Of course she wanted them back. She wanted to carry them on her arm, so found a way to stick her hand through the handle and push them up her arm. Amazing watching her try to figure it all out.

She was also going from one press to another, opening the press doors and closing them, pulling down things off the counter, pulling the lid off a box and trying to work out how to take everything out of it, pulling at the packet of nappies, playing with a (clean) nappy opening it, dragging the laundry basket around and then pushing it in front of her. Just exploring everything.

It is hard with number 4 to have time to watch her, or to enjoy the little things with her. There is just not enough time to watch her and to take in all the little things. But watching her tonight, when she was downstairs on her own with me, and just going from one thing to another and I saw all the different little things she was trying to do, it just reminded me how amazing babies are and how much they learn and how quickly! Just amazing!