Something really sad just happened. Sad as in the middle-aged way of saying something is ‘not cool’. I had waited for Rich to get home from work to go and fill up the car and go through the car wash (baby doesn’t like the car wash). When he got home we were deciding who should mow the lawn. I said ‘I’ll be all hot and sticky for my date with the car wash’ ‘Your date with Carlos?’ Rich replied ‘I wish!’ I said and we both laughed. The sad bit is, we both laughed.

From sharing a joke about casual infidelity to conversations about mowing the lawn, we couldn’t get any more comfortably married. He does the bins, I do my daughter’s hair for school. We are the average stereotypical married couple, and there’s no escaping it.

The Romance is Dead

What does that mean? Basically when you’ve been married for 10 years, you kind of get used to each other. If that sounds really boring, it’s because it is, for the majority of the time. The romance is officially dead. The Valentine’s day candle lit dinners and public declarations of love are at least. But I never counted that as romance anyway. It’s easy to adorn someone new with praise and admiration. If Rich confessed his undying love for me on Facebook I’d comment asking why he didn’t say it to my face.

Married

The thing about long time stereotypical marriage, is that although it can be boring, when it rocks it rocks big time. Nothing comes close to the feeling of someone knowing you so well. Someone who loves you enough to take care of things when you’re sick or who gets as excited as you about your personal goals. It’s the in jokes shared between just us two, the history, the shared stories, the knowing each other inside and out and the anticipation of the years ahead to continue getting to know each other. I would never trade all that for the initial lust of the beginning.

Beware of the Receptionists

I don’t really bang on about how great marriage is because I know people don’t want to hear it. It’s not cool or ‘in’ and people assume I’m promoting one way of life over another. That’s not what I’m saying here at all. Also, I feel like it could be thrown in my face at any minute. What if when the kids leave home we don’t have anything to talk about? Or he decides his receptionist is sexy and I end up on the singles market aged 50? I can’t say that’s never going to happen but I can enjoy the now. The the security of the banal texts saying ‘please put my wash on spin’ and sending photo messages of our kids being cute together because he’s the only other person in the world who cares about them as much as me. Close friends know it’s not always perfect, and it’s highly probably there will be more to face in the future. But I feel like God is saying to me ‘ENJOY’! Enjoy where you are, right now. Enjoy the familiarity, the security, the shared dark humour. Enjoy it for what it is today, not for what might be tomorrow.

Roots

There’s a bit about being comfortably married in ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ which I chose as a reading for our wedding. I had read this book not long before we got married and was quite taken with it. The extract is a part of the book where Pelagia’s father is talking to her about love. These are her father’s words of wisdom to her on the subject.

‘Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.  And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and, when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.’

Louis de Bernieres

If you liked this one, you’ll love this one about our kind-of-awkward date night.

Date Night

 

It’s been a while since I last posted a blog and I think the universe has been signposting me back to it. I randomly bumped into another local mummy blogger at my son’s swimming lesson this week – more on that in a minute – and I have had work offers drop into my inbox, two things that rarely happen. For them both to happen in one week, well I’m taking it as a kick up the bum to sit down and write something.

So, while I was resting my sore muscles in a lovely bubble bath, admiring how fluffy the bubbles were, the gentle smell of lavender wafting under my nostrils, accented by an underlying yet distinct smell of my husband’s faeces, I was inspired to write a little update. Things that have been going on in my personal life and in my blog life.

Blog Stuff

The blog has been stagnant for nearly 2 months. This is really unusual for me; I just haven’t been inspired to write anything. I’m still hanging out on social (mostly Instagram lately) and keeping up with all my favourite accounts and posting updates on my channels too. I have posted a couple of vlogs on my YouTube channel in that time, one of the Easter holidays break when Rapunzel came to our house for my daughter’s birthday and one of our family holiday to Spain (check out my 2-year-old chilling with his feet up on the plane!).

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Me and Rich in Spain

Who I’m Working With

I have linked up with Ace cleaning for a second time which I’m really pleased about because I genuinely love their cleaning stuff and they sent me a bottle of their multi-purpose spray which smells lush. I have some snacks on the way from Organix to try and this really cute family in New Zealand who run Lily Bee wraps kindly sent me some reusable food wraps to try. They are coated in bee’s wax and they mould around food and containers so well, a fab alternative to one use plastic clingfilm.

This week I’m co-hosting the bloggers linky KCACOLS which stands for Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday. I love this linky it is definitely my favourite, hosted and run by A Moment With Franca; I’ve hosted it once before and loved it. Franca gives me two juicy back links and I get to discover lots of new blogs I might not have read otherwise. Lastly but not leastly, I also have a Lottie Dolls Insta take over coming up next week. I’ve never done an Insta takeover before so wish me luck!

What I’m watching

Westworld is absolutely my most favourite TV programme ever made. It’s got it all for me, AI, alternate reality, futuristic, amazing score, all wrapped up in a strong female lead. Love. It. On Netflix Rich and I have got into Happy which is about this hard nut fella who can see his daughter’s imaginary friend. There is a lot of fighting, and there are scenes about kidnap of children which is difficult to watch and very tense but overall it’s so well done I’m really enjoying it. Then when I’m downstairs first from kids’ bedtimes or waiting for him to finish puffing his electric fag in the kitchen I’ve been watching bare knuckle fighting uk. It’s great because they’ve followed one particular guy and we’re getting a bit of an insight into him and his life and past experiences. Have you found anything good on Netflix lately? Suggestions welcome in the comments.  I am also totally addicted to the Michalaks on YouTube (standard) and I’ve reignited my Daily Bumps guilty pleasure. Who am I kidding it never went away. I love Daily Bumps!

What I’m Reading

Not a lot lately as it goes although I did have a little nosey at Helen’s blog Welsh Mum Writing. Helen is the mummy blogger I met at swimming lessons. We had a lovely convo in the showers while simultaneously wrestling our toddlers, as you do as a mum, and as soon I got home I had a little trawl through her blog. Go check it out for a kid friendly chilli recipe among other things.

Who I’m Admiring

Kate Middleton has faced a lot of flack in the media after her recent post birth pics. She can’t do right for doing wrong (is that a Welshim? I know what I mean anyway). I’m admiring her because she probably knew she would face criticism in some way or another but she still had those pics taken with the baby right after because it’s a tradition and there’s something nice about that. I know after having prince George she wore a very similar dress to one Diana wore after having one of her boys. I think honouring family traditions is really admirable. I couldn’t imagine being obligated to share those precious first moments with the whole world. Kudos to her.

Personal Life

I’ve been OBSESSED with my own health this week. I started a new fitness programme called 80 day obsession. It’s through BeachBody UK. I’ve paid less than £10 a month and I get workouts I can stream on my iPad (which I won – check out my insta for more info on that) and do them at home. It includes timed nutrition and so most of my free time has been spent meal planning.

Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice

One nice treat this week was Disney On Ice at Cardiff Motorpoint arena. I had booked tickets for this months ago and managed to keep it quiet so it was a total surprise for my 8 year old daughter on the day. We went on the Sunday night which was the last date in Cardiff I think. The show was fantastic! Amazing costumes and choreography and some brilliant lifts and jumps it was really awe inspiring. I would definitely recommend going if you were thinking about getting tickets.

Looking Forward

I have Blogtacular coming up in June in London. Give me a wave in the comments if you are going to Blogtacular too! It’s my first blog conference and my first night away from my 2yr/old also. After months of umming and ahhing I eventually booked a hotel in London for the night before. I think it will be so strange staying in a hotel by myself. I am hoping to join in with some of the planned activities taking place in the afternoon before the conference, and hopefully meet some other bloggers too. Blogtacular welcomes business owners and creators and crafters too so I am really looking forward to seeing what stuff they make and just chatting creativity all weekend. Oh, and don’t forget the SEO & marketing chat too – equally essential.

 

Let me know some of the projects you are working on or things you have coming up that you are looking forward to. I really would love to read about it. Did you see Disney on Ice this year – World of Enchantment?

 

 

 

I haven’t written a blog post for the longest time ever since I started blogging. It’s been about a month. It’s times like these I’m glad we don’t rely on my blog for an income, because I’ve just had nothing to say.

There have been many moments throughout the day where I’ve thought ‘ooh that would make a good blog post’ but I’ve not had time at that moment to write the idea down and sure enough by the evening I’ve completely forgotten what it was. I don’t want to just write stuff for the sake of writing stuff because I’m actually proud of my blog and all the posts I’ve written. I wish I was better at writing; I can see so many holes in my own writing but when it comes to splurging my ideas out onto a page for my own personal blog space, I love it and I’m proud of myself for stepping out in confidence to do it.

Sometimes I’ve noticed a bit of back biting evident in the blogging world, which isn’t pretty but is generally well hidden. This sometimes can stop an idea in it’s tracks in my mind. Then there is the multitude of repetitive posts based around the same topic because it’s national pancake month for instance and bloggers are hoping to get more views on the back of a hot topic or hashtag. Which I can totally understand if it’s your business it makes total sense and kudos if it’s promoting an important cause. Actually I think this is one of our main roles as bloggers as it often gets picked up and publicised by newspapers. However, I don’t want to sit and read 20 posts about the same thing and – I know what you’re thinking- I don’t have to. So basically what I’m saying is that there’s the issue of thinking up original blog posts. Things that are personal to me but that are going to be relevant to you too. Pieces that are not just adding to the masses of posts already written before.

Another reason is my change of heart. So often I think about going to sit down to write a post and I get this feeling like ‘Why Kate do you think what you have to say is important in the least!’ Not in a self deprecating manner but because nothing anybody has to say is really important at all. That seems strange written down and it really doesn’t make much sense because opinion piece or not I love reading blogs, so it goes too that some people will enjoy reading mine, I suppose!

I do sometimes wonder if people stop to read anything anymore that isn’t sensationalist. I think the average person’s attention span has dwindled significantly (I know mine certainly has) and fast information is what is wanted. It’s getting to the point where it’s a bit far-fetched to imagine anyone choosing to spend 5 minutes reading a blog post by some irrelevant mum of two who isn’t even famous. I can appreciate that. I for one would rather a video, at least then I don’t have to do anything the information just blares at my face and I can passively watch along.

Then there’s the post production on a blog post. Sitting down writing is never an issue for me. I never sit staring blank faced at the computer screen (unless it’s doing another bloody update) thankfully. No, I never seem to have any trouble in thinking up weird thoughts of all kinds and sharing them too! But the formatting and checking and Yoast and adding pictures and making a blog title picture all takes as long if not longer than writing a post, and sometimes it’s enough to put me off altogether.

Lastly it’s a matter of integrity. I’m spouting at you like you want to hear it! That’s easy, no chance of catching a wry smile or an uncomfortable shift of your position in response to what I am saying. Is that disingenuous? More egotistical I suppose? Surely it would be more beneficial if I at least had some kind of knowledge to share with the world, some sort of educated opinion on *something*.

Anyway if you were wondering where I have been blog-wise of late hopefully herein lays your answer. I wouldn’t expect anyone would have been wondering just as I would not notice if some other bloggers dropped off the face of the earth to be honest as us and our blogs are two-a-penny. No offense. There are certain ones I would notice to be fair. Unless of course you make it to super blogger status like Constance which is odd isn’t it how some blogs really explode like that. I love her stuff and I follow her but there are so many blogs out there that are so relatable and so well done too it does make me wonder what the trigger is for that kind of super celebrity within the blog world.

There are so many other things to be doing than blogging. It just never stops, the daily stuff. I try to remember how much I enjoy keeping up my blog because really it is my one and only passion outside of family life and it is important to me but I think something needs to shift. Maybe I just need to organise my time better. Who knows.

Do you ever lose zeal for a thing you once loved, or are there things you have let go of in the past that you wish you had kept up?

If you prefer YouTube nowadays you can catch me on there too click here to follow me on YouTube

In Conversation With: The Hippy Christian Mum on Over Heaven’s Hill

How many children do you have?

I have two children and on the blog I’ve called them Beg and Beb. Beg is my brown-eyed-girl. She is 6yrs old. Beb is my blue-eyed-boy. He is 5 months old. It feels really weird whenever I type out their blog nicknames but I had seen other bloggers using pseudo-names for their children and I just thought it was a really nice idea as I am talking about them so publicly. It feels a bit close to the bone to use their real names even though I do post pics of them on Instagram too!

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Are you a Working Mum, Stay-at-Home Mum or Work-from-Home Mum?

I am a SAHM of 6 years. Before I gave up work to stay home, I worked part time as an admin assistant in a social work team. I really liked my job but after childcare costs I would have been adding only £100 to our household income. As it was I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her at 9 months (we didn’t have family who could have her) and so I took voluntary redundancy.

I find I do tend to face a lot of pre-judgement with the whole SAHM thing. People assume I am claiming top ups or that I have a secret mill stashed in an offshore account. I stopped fighting people’s opinions about it a few years ago and now I let them think what they like without correction. I think if people really want to get to know me they will ask of their own volition. My friends know us and the rest can talk!

I have friends who work full time, part time and some don’t work, some are on maternity leave, single parenting, adoptive, foster, all kinds of amazing wonderful mums. We can still moan to each other if we’ve had a hard week without judging the other’s life circumstances.

What is the best part about being a Mum?

It has to be the pure joie de vivre that only children have. The laughter. No matter what is going on in life hearing your children laugh just sets something alight within your soul. I like the silly too. I do silly voices for the bedtime stories. My husband does silly voices and games. We say stupid stuff all the time and Beg thinks it is all great fun and it makes me laugh too. I also love watching Beg and Beb’s relationship unfolding in front of me. I can’t believe we almost never had another, she loves her brother so much. It’s truly a beautiful thing to be witness to.

What is your biggest fear as a Mum?

I recently had to face some big mum fears when Beb was born. He had to spend the first couple of weeks in neonatal intensive care which was a really hard time for us as a family. When he was born he was breech and it hadn’t been picked up. He was born not breathing so instead of laying him on me the midwife had to perform CPR immediately. I didn’t actually get to hold him until he was 8 days old.

He had cooling therapy and then had seizures when they brought him back up to temp. He had a chest drain, infection, morphine, anti-seizure medication. It was a scary time. I just prayed and prayed over him. I would go into the NICU and reach into his incubator and he was freezing cold. He was there in his nappy, wires everywhere, shivering, and all I could do was touch his hand and talk. So, that is what I did. He gripped my finger and I told him about his big sister and sang him made up songs.

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My church prayed for us too and my Pastor asked everyone he knew to pray for us. There were whole churches all over the world praying for him, as far as New Zealand. At first I didn’t know if we would ever bring him home. My husband said he knew we would. They told us there would be effects from the lack of oxygen at birth but they had no idea to what extent it would be. But I’m absolutely joyous to say his MRI scan was completely clear. He is a little miracle, and he is absolutely thriving. He is a wonderful bubbly 5 month old and I praise God for him everyday.

If you could share one piece of advice to other soon-to-be Mums, what would it be?

Well, if something doesn’t feel right in your pregnancy do bring it up no matter how silly you think it is. I kept saying to my midwives, what is this big hard lump at the top of my bump and they passed me off. Turns out it was my baby’s head. And definitely breastfeed. It gets easier as you go along and once it does it’s an absolute breeze and so great for bonding as baby gets older. Oh and have a Blessingway. Best thing I did when I was pregnant. I did a post on mine which you can read here.


Thanks for having me on your conversation series at Over Heaven’s Hill. I’m truly honoured as I am a newbie blogger. My blog is only 4 months old. You can read more about my birth story here.

And thank you Kate for joining us on In Conversation With. It was a pleasure and after reading your interview, I went straight to your blog to read more about your birth story. I had also have never heard of a Blessingway before. It is such a beautiful idea empowering the mother through the strength of sisterhood.

You can find Kate at her blog The Hippy Christian Mum, on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

You can find Geraldine from Over Heaven’s Hill on Facebook and Twitter

 

A Mum Track Mind

 

Off the back of the Smiggle event I went to I joined a lovely group called South Wales parent bloggers and saw an invite to attend a Macmillan Coffee Morning. It was in Parc Play Cardiff so I thought I’d go along and introduce myself.Parc Play

You’ve probably already heard of or been to a Macmillan coffee morning event. It’s really easy to set up and you can sign up on their website to receive a free hosting pack to do your own. It’s a really nice event to do because people are so willing to get together to support it and donate to the charity and eat lots of cake together.  There’s lots of ideas and downloads on their website to help you host your own too.parcplay

Last year Macmillan raised £25 million through their national coffee morning. I was really interested to read all the things Macmillan actually do with that money. They can provide a specialist cancer nurse to someone dealing with a diagnosis, they can provide grants that can help to pay for things like a blender for people on a special liquidised diet as a result of their cancer treatment or hire a room for a support group to meet. It is obvious that Macmillan are there ‘on the ground’ helping people in very practical ways. Often as friends and family we don’t know what we can do to help and I think that’s why so many people and families are so grateful to Macmillan for their knowledge and support. So needless to say I was made up to be invited along to join in and promote the event this year.

I had been to a Macmillan coffee morning a few years ago organised by my friend Rachel as she was going through her cancer treatment. I fondly remember it because it kind of gave a positive spin on a terrible circumstance as I felt I was doing something active to help in some tiny small way. I got to catch up with some old workmates and we played games and nattered which made for a lovely fun atmosphere. Parc Play was one of the places we visited with the kids while Rach was going through her treatment too so it was nice to return again to support Macmillan.

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Rach, me & Laura

This year’s coffee morning is being supported by Marks and Spencer and they have a range of lush cakes that you can buy and 10% of the sales of them will go to Macmillan. ms-cakes

Overall it was a lovely afternoon and I really enjoyed getting to meet  some other local mummy (& granny) bloggers. A special thanks to Cathryn of Cardiff Mummy Says for organising the event and being so welcoming to me as a newbie blogger. Thanks so much. Here we are left to right- me, Cathryn Cardiff Mummy Says , Sally Teddy Bears and Cardigans , Alina We Made This Life , Kerry All About A Mini Norris and Leanne A Slice of My Life Walesmummy bloggers

Right, I’m off to see about signing up to host one at my church. 🙂

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday