Saturday, 31 March 2012

Marriage time...

Each week Ellie and I have marriage time - a dedicated time when we go out together and spend time just talking or doing something we enjoy - just the two of children in tow !
Normally it's on a Friday evening when our children are out....this week it's today because last night we had to spend the evening cleaning the house in preparation for another 4 house viewings today.

For today's marriage time, we are going to the Olympics together !
I'm running in the Olympic Park Run which finishes in the Olympic stadium, while Ellie cheers me on...and then we get time together enjoying the atmosphere and to have dinner etc etc. We are both really looking forward to it. I like to think that today I become an Olympian !

We both have so much to be grateful for....

- Each other
- Our unique family
- Five outstanding children
- Our faithful Father in heaven
- Our home
- Schools for our children
- Food on the table
- Our health
- Our families
- Our friends
- Laughter
- Memories

Saturday, 24 March 2012

"We're a Special Family" Day....

It's Saturday morning at 5.30am as I write. I've been awake for about an hour trying not to think about things but thinking about them in the end I gave up with the idea of sleep and just got up !

Sometime ago I wrote about the pain of the journey as being like background always there through every waking hour but sometimes the volume is much louder than others.....this week the amplifier seems to have been turned up a lot !

Mother's Day started the dirge.....I confess that I really don't know what to do with the day.

I have been very privileged to have excellent parents and my mum is "simply the best". My first mother-in-law is also an exceptional woman and I love her with all of my heart. My new mother-in-law is absolutely fabulous too (we all love visiting !), and Ellie's first mother-in-law is just lovely and has been such an incredible support to her and the children over so many many years.
So we have a lot to be thankful for and to celebrate on Mother's Day in so many ways!
The pain of the day, of course, is that two of my children can celebrate their mum, but three of them can only remember their mum and cannot speak to her face-to-face, they can't give her flowers or do special things for her. I personally find that so so incredibly hard on their behalf. Their mum was an exceptional woman who loved them dearly and I do celebrate that, but it doesn't take away the pain of absence. I miss her so much too but she's been taken away and I can't do anything about that.

So the dilemma for the day was - Do we try to celebrate Ellie as a mum (she's an exceptional mother), how does that feel for three of our five children? Do we do a big "In remembrance" thing trawling through photos which will just make everybody cry? Or do we just ignore the whole thing and hope it'll all go away because that will feel less painful?

So in the swirl of emotions we basically tried to ignore the day....after all, I figured, it's a man-made celebration anyway and lots of other people will be struggling too for different reasons.
It's taken me a week to realise that in all the pain, I never even sent my own mum a Mother's Day card (Sorry Mum- I do love you!!)

In June we will go through the same dilemma the other way around on Father's'll be another "Beam Me Up Scottie" day which we will choose to ignore.

So what we have decided to do this year is to have a separate "We're a Special Family" Day. We're gonna celebrate this on May 4th just because we can say "May the 4th Be With You" in true Star Wars fashion (I am still a little bit mad!!)
We will do something special then to celebrate our uniqueness as a family and all that God has given to us. Perhaps we will do presents as well as go out for dinner or something like that.

In all the pain and emotions, my experience is that God is ever present, and the Holy Spirit (aka The Comforter) is evidently with us helping us each and every step of the way. Thank God for that ! What would we do without Him?!

Saturday, 17 March 2012


This week's exciting news is that we've bought a house (Subject to Contract of course) !
It's a bit quirky... (rather like us !!)

Put a hopeful offer in on Monday (rejected as expected), and a revised slightly less hopeful offer on Tuesday with the clear understanding that if it wasn't accepted we'd walk away (and we would have done)....we'd seen two other possibles which would both have worked for us.....but what we've ended up with give us lots of rooms and lots of flexibility. Can't quite believe it !!
We took all the children to see it yesterday evening and they were all (understandably) excited. Just hope it all goes through now !

We decided to buy and sell as separate exercises to reduce stress levels so my house is now also back on the market....the good news is that the Estate Agents are doing an open house on it today and they phoned to confirm that they've got 18 different sets of people coming to see it. 18 !!!!!

Who knows....this time next week, maybe we'll have agreed a sale on this one that would be an answer to prayer !

Friday, 9 March 2012

This week's highlights...

Oh what a crazy couple of weeks.....some highlights :-

- Ellie has been looking at new potential houses. 2 possibles that would actually fit us all in. One is quirky. I'm seeing it tomorrow. Ellie says it's fab !

- 'My' house is back on the market. Open house next weekend. Estate Agent phoned tonight to confirm that he's got 12 sets of viewings for the open house so far (gulp!)

- Ellie has become the mould removal queen. Amazing what chemicals and a strong arm can achieve....our current house just isn't designed to have 7 people living in it, 7 people's washing drying etc etc etc. Even the children have noticed the mould eradication and gleaming bathroom suite!

- Oldest daughter had interview for possible 6th form place at local grammar school...seemed to go very well !

- Children all fabulously well, doing lots of activities and very noisy :-)

- Got offered a job at another Engineering Contractor. Turned it down :-)

- Training for Reading Half Marathon and Olympic Park Run going ok (although I can hardly be bothered with it really!)

- Dog has settled down

- New family members (guinea piggies) settling in well

- Our To-Do List is totally out-of-control :-)

- Not cried too much this week !

- Glad February is's always gonna be an emotional roller coaster of a month!

Must's Special Friday evening and it's "Marriage Time". Taking the Beauty out for coffee some place !