Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Forty @ Twelve

This weekend I turned 40. 

Yep, that's me, captured by a very clever friend. Looking like the love child of Miss Piggy & Kermit in my green mac (a patients relative once told me I looked like Shrek too....)

Friend's have turned 40 before me, there have been parties, limo's and wild tales to be told. 
However I opted for a quieter weekend, after the past few months I had a strong sense that I wanted to 'keep it real'. To be with those I know the best, love the most. Who know me the most.

Small children were beyond excited.

Mum & Dad (feeling old!). 

Conversation's with my brothers.

Messages from my sister, thousands of miles away.

A meal in my most favourite grown up village pub.

I gathered together my closest friend's, those who have known me forever, who have grown through adulthood with me. There was a girlie night out at the local Chinese, plenty of coffee, tea and nattering. Plenty of laughing & reflecting.

Delicious gifts from friend's old & new....(thank you Lisa x)

Some people dread their 40th Birthday, some say its the new 30...

I hope not. I'm embracing it all the way.

The years of being 30+, babies, feeding, toddlers & tantrums. Lack of sleep, feeling so very tired. Old challenges now behind me. Life is a huge journey, and I'm excited to be looking at life in a refreshed way. These will be the years my children will be nurtured into adulthood. My G & me, keeping hold of what brought us together in the first place, not losing sight of each other. New challenges to face. Plans being made, adventures to be had, memories to make & capture.

It's all good. 


Friday, 2 December 2011

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I dropped the ball labelled blogging - just for a while, just till I got used to juggling the balls that are part of being a mummy, wife, homemaker and nurse again.

After a 3 month break from work, I'm back. Nearly a stone lighter, rested & blood sugars nicely controlled, I feel the best I have done for years. The overwhelming feeling of exhaustion has gone. Its been a funny few months, but I consider I am lucky, its been a wake up call to look after myself, not just those around me.

And its good to be back at work. I have a job I love, its stressful but rewarding beyond measure, I get as much as I give, and feel privileged to be a small part of peoples lives at a difficult time.

I felt rudderless without work, I am so used to having a pattern, a rhythm to my days. I now realise that a big part of me is defined by my job, I've nursed now, for longer than I haven't. I missed my colleagues, the social chit chat & humour (we have that by the bucket load) & my patients, their families.

One of the blessings of my time off, has been looking at my work home life balance. I am fortunate to work within a very supportive team, and am now working my 4 days over 5. This means that in January I will be collecting the smalls from school each & every day. No more after school club pick ups at 5.30pm, & the pressure to get through tea, homework, baths & brownies/scouts before the 8pm bedtime.

Now I will be able to balance doing a job I love, with having good quality time with the people who mean the most to me in my life. How good is that?!

October & November have also been deliciously busy months - We've celebrated the changing seasons  

My beautiful girl turned 8 - Celebrating with a vintage tea party & decorating cup cakes....

And my amazing boy, well he is now a still Lego obsessed 11.

And as life settles back down, and Christmas approaches, I am looking forward - looking at shaping Twelve into the home we want to be in, looking into making life simple & good. Looking forward to balance.

Do you want to join me? I so hope so!


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Sugar & Spice - All things nice.....

There's been a whole lot of baking & mess creating here at Twelve over the past 2 weeks.
From a Smurf Toadstool for my best friend's 5 year old....

To a mahoosive 72 cupcakes.
A 'Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning' for a very good charity was being held where G has his office, & my boss also retired last week (nothing to do with me!)...

::Lemon Meringue::

::Raspberry Pavlova::


::Chocolate Orange::

Yum! & surely there's 1of your 5 a day in each those fruit themed cupcakes....

I still find baking very enjoyable, even if the pleasure is not in the eating anymore.... And for my efforts, G brought home an apron he won at the coffee morning - Thanks babe! 

The 10 year old also had his school trip to Kelham Island in Sheffield last week. There were requests for 1940's style clothing and strict instructions on a WW2 pack up for lunch. Thank goodness for Grandads gardening flat cap & Uncle T's wooly socks....

Now my boy is growing, he has hollow legs when it comes to food. So I kinda knew that even with a thick white bread & jam sandwich, and the biggest English apple I could find, it would not keep him going till tea time. So after an internet search on baking WW2 recipes, we decided to have a go at grated carrot (& my finger) biscuits. They were surprisingly passable, and even his friend's ate them - or they may have just been hungry too....

So lunch was all tied up in paper & string, and packed into a paper bag.

Ahhhh, look at him racing into the car - eager to go on his trip... No way had he just told me to 'give over mum with the camera'.  No, he never would, not after all the effort I'd put in...



Sunday, 18 September 2011

:: It was good in Cornwall :: Part Two

Our last day & one of the best. Last days are always a mixed bag for me. I start to get antsy to get home 2-3 days before we are due to leave, yet still wish I wasn't leaving.

Rather than try & get wet suits dry overnight for packing we decided to have a 'dry' last day, and the family vote went to the Eden Project. It's a firm favourite with the 10 year old, although we've learnt to space visits out every couple of years (so overkill of the domes). For the smallest one, its still very exciting, she doesnt remember much from the last visit.

We ate lunch in the Eden Bakery, the new self serve restaurant, under my-kind-of flying critters. Food is prepared in the main section, and customers self serve a portion on a plank of wood, help themselves to a hanging cup, fill, eat & drink. At the end, and you tell the staff what you ate, & pay up - according to one of the staff  there is a 95% honesty rate.

And the food was delicious....

I so want some of thease....

And she so wanted one of these...

And there was den building for the boys...

We ran out of time, but will be back. The Eden project isnt a cheap ticket, but once registered, the tickets are valid for a year, and you can get a really good, activity packed day out of it, with no sneaky extras to pay for...

Then we headed off to Sam's on the beach at Polkeris. It is our favourite place to eat in Cornwall. The other half to Sam's at Fowey, it has been created out of a beautifully converted old Lifeboat house. Dinner looking out over the harbour. Bliss.

And waffles outside - now he really looks happy....

We squeezed every sun kissed last drop of the evening down at the tiny harbour, soaking it all up....

Precious days indeed - wonder what it'd be like at Christmas??