Hello 2017

It’s a new year, and time for a new start.


I’ve started to realise how much I miss blogging when I don’t do it. It’s not the feedback from readers (I don’t think anyone reads most posts!) but the chance to track what I’ve been doing and just verbalise (is that even a word?) my thoughts.

2016 was a year of change; a new house in a new county (well, two houses! We moved into a rented property in March while we waited for the contracts to come through on the house we’ve now bought, we finally moved in in July), a new job for hubby and new school for the children, a new church to settle in to, a new day to day routine for me (no more 6 miles each way drive to school, a walk of less than half a mile instead!), the discovery of a lovely coffee shop, and the meeting of new, amazing friends.

I’m so glad that 2016 is over, despite the many positives. It was a hard year for the H family, we’re not great at change; especially hubby and R, they’ve really struggled. A good, restful Christmas break seems to have really helped them both, hopefully that positivity will continue as we return to our normal routine. There has been a lot of gadget time and gaming, but that’s a way for them to switch off from the world and decompress. Hubby and the children all like the same kinds of games so it’s been collaborative at times and individual at others.

So, what is 2017 going to bring for us? Well, hopefully more stability (depending on how R’s move up to secondary school goes!) and more family time, no moving (phew! I have said never again…), and for me, more creative time and time with God. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my mood and capacity to cope with all life throws at me when I’ve been able to be creative; whether that’s doing a quick drawing, papercrafting, colouring, sewing or something else. My word for 2017 is CREATE, and I hope to create a lot more. I have also noticed a big difference when I’ve been able to spend more time in God’s word (it should have been obvious really!) so I’m planning different ways to do that, I’ll go into more detail on that in a later post.

This is getting long, and after staying up to see the new year in with lovely friends last night I’m getting tired so I’m going to leave this here.

To anyone reading, I wish you a happy and peaceful 2017, full of love and joy.

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What a week!

We didn’t quite have the week we’d planned this week.

We’d hoped for a lovely family Mothering Sunday followed by a nice last week of term an birthday for me. God had other plans…

B, M and I have all had a form of flu. M started on Monday, gave it to me as a birthday present on Tuesday and B started it on Wednesday. We all had a temperature of over 39 degrees as well as aches and a cough. It’s been nasty. M is still exhausted despite taking 2 days off work and doing half days on Tuesday and Friday. Rather than a weekend of getting the garden more organised by preparation for selling the house later in the year our weekend is going to consist of chilling on the sofa with dvds and doing the minimum amount of housework to keep things ticking over.

Amazingly R has avoided the virus. She hasn’t coped very well with the rest of us being out of sorts and not reacting to things in the same way we would normally.

B has fallen asleep on me snuggled on the sofa twice; lovely in a way, but a sure sign he’s not well.

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The only good thing about this virus is the effect it had on my appetite for a few days… My clothes definitely fit better than they did at the start of the week! Sadly, it has had the same effect on M and has left his BMI down at 18.1! He doesn’t need any help keeping his BMI down!

Hopefully we’re all past the worst now, we want to be able to enjoy our Easter break and have some family fun.

Hello March!

What happened to winter?

I think it may have been playing the USA and Canada for far too long this year. We seem to have lurched from a wet and windy autumn to a wet and windy spring without seeing winter in between. I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to de-ice the car this year. However, I have lost count of the number of days the monkeygirl has been anxious about indoor playtime (Asperger’s and noise sensitivity) due to the rain! I have never known our little corner of Essex so wet! The local drains have failed miserably to cope with the volume of rain leading to huge puddles on some of the roads which take days to disappear and the town’s green spaces have been turned into muddy bogs.

I am sure the persistent greyness and dampness hasn’t helped my mood this year. I’m never normally affected by S.A.D. too much, I love a cool, crisp winter morning with the sparkly frost creating beautiful patterns on all sorts of surfaces, ok, so I hate de-icing the car as much as the next person but I’m not a fan of heat and humidity. This winter I’ve struggled to brighten up at times more than I would have anticipated even accounting for my present need for medication.

The summer is my least favourite season, I just don’t deal with heat well. I love spring; the colours, brightness and new life.

Hyacinths

This year we have white snowdrops, purple croci, bright yellow daffodils, pale yellow primroses and pink hyacinths all flowering simultaneously in the churchyard. It is wonderful to walk through. In the monkeygirl’s opinion there is only one thing lacking so far… pink blossom! Thank goodness for a shrub close to school which seems to have little pink flowers all year! I cannot recall seeing all these different plants flowering at the same time before. It’s beautiful.

How is it the end of February?

This year is flying by. I can’t believe it’s the last week in February already!

February has been a write off. I didn’t manage to shake the virus off properly at the start of the month and it’s still making its presence felt having left me with breathlessness which requires an inhaler at times. Almost everything has fallen by the wayside in the last couple of weeks. It’s only this week that I’ve been able to stay on top of the basic housework without relying on the monkeyfather to help me, and that’s partly thanks to a wonderful, restful few days staying with my lovely mother.

I haven’t spent quality time with the monkeygranny since last summer, it was great to be back at home and able to switch off a bit. It was brilliant to see the wonderful relationship she has with my two monkeys as well.

My photography has fallen by the wayside this month. I took a lot of photos while I was up north, but on the whole it was just using the automatic settings and hoping for the best rather than trying to set anything up properly. I think I may have put too much pressure on myself at the start of the year with the photo365 challenge, I don’t think I realised quite how precariously my depression was balancing. I’m going to try to keep taking photos, but if I don’t take them, or I don’t post them on here then so be it.

In other notes, the poll for the names of my Lego couple closed with the decision that they are called Bob and Martha. I will try to include a photo of one of both of them once a week or so (but I’m not going to commit to anything).

I hope to be around more in the coming days but, again, no promises.

To resolve, or not to resolve, that is the question….

It’s at this time of year that many people make New Years Resolutions, things they aim to achieve in the upcoming year.

I was thinking about this earlier and what I may do. I came to the conclusion that resolutions with a specific target (i.e. I will lose 14lbs by Easter) are destined to fail for me. If any thing distracts me or goes wrong then I can get very disillusioned and upset and abandon all hope.

Instead, this year I am going to have some aims for the year ahead; areas of my life I want to change but I’m not going to set myself deadlines or specific targets.

So here goes… by 31st December 2014 I would like to

  • be fitter – improve my stamina and fitness so I can keep with the monkeyfather and my precious little monkeys when we go on walks. Exercise and walking should help my depression as well.
  • eat more fruit and vegetables – I rarely eat 2 a day let alone the supposed 5 a day. It would do my health (and fitness!) the world of good if I could increase that.
  • eat less processed food – I currently rely on frozen meat/chips/pizza far to often to feed us all. I want to improve all of our diets by using my slow cooker more and planning meals better so I don’t just panic and rush to the freezer at 5:30pm.
  • learn how to use my new camera properly – my Christmas present from the wonderful monkeyfather was a lovely new camera, it’s more complicated than a simple point and shoot and I want to be able to use more of its functions to take better pictures of the amazing people and world around me. (warning this may involve me posting more photos here… I may try photo365 again!).
  • watch less TV – I rely on the TV to relax me and help me rest a lot. I’d like to replace that with reading and crafting more.
  • read and study my bible more – ok, so this should probably have been nearer the top of my list – I need to spend more time with God and His word as I know it can help me though what life throws at me.
  • have a tidier house – I’m a hoarder and clutterbug and as a result most surfaces in my house are covered with odds and ends. I’d like to be able to invite people round without being worried about that they may think and without feeling guilty. With a tidier house it should be easier for craft more as well which helps me relax.
  • use my sewing machine – I have a fabulous sewing machine (and thanks to my lovely mum a gorgeous sewing basket), but I don’t know how to do anything other than a very basic line on things. I’d love to be able to make clothes for myself and the children and things for the house.

That seems like quite a list, but in actual fact many of these support each other and different facets of day-to-day life. Nothing there is unachievable and the combination of them all (well, minus the camera and sewing machine) should help make my family and house happier.

I’ll try to update once a month or so on how I’m doing, but I’m not going to put extra pressure on myself by promising that I will.

Busy monkeys

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This is part of my plan to keep my smaller monkeys occupied over the Christmas holidays, a colour-in tablecloth! Thanks to the big blue&red supermarket where I spotted it last week. I have a funny feeling it may well keep the two larger monkeys occupied as well. I try to post a picture of the completed tablecloth in a fortnight.

Decisions, decisions…

I’ve not made a great start to posting two or three times a week… but to be fair to myself it’s not been the easiest of weeks.

I’m still battling the after effects of last weeks flu. I’m easily tired, and when l get too tired my IBS kicks off, which in turn makes me more tired. l was so tired this afternoon that I fell asleep on the monkeyboy’s bed at about 2 o’clock when trying to get him to nap. l didn’t wakeup until 3:30… I was due to pick the monkeygirl up from school at 3:15! The monkeyboy had crept out of the room and was merrily playing in the living room.  When  I arrived at school the monkeygirl was being entertained by her class teacher the head and the year 5 teacher. The staff were very good about it, maybe being a governor and hence being well known by the staff has its benefits!

The monkeyfather and l sat down this morning and made some decisions about the house and moving. We’re going to stay here for a bit longer and use an unexpected inheritance to do some improvements to make the house more saleable/ rentable.The monkeyfather’s office move won’t be happening for another year or more so there’s less of a rush to do anything.

That is definitely a bit of a weight off my mind. The uncertainty was really not helping my depression. I need stability and a clear path ahead rather than something else to worry about. I’m very grateful that we have sorted this before the Christmas break, we really need a proper rest then and not to worry about too many things.