Not a goodbye, more of a bye-bye-bye-bye.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

My Mum never says bye to me. Years ago she said it's because she thinks 'goodbye' is too final. 'See you!' feels like a less loaded term. Or something along those lines.

Sometimes she says 'bye' but she says it super quick, almost like she's avoiding a jinx. So it's not 'bye', it's 'byebyebyebye'. Subsequently I do it back.

My daughter now says this, if she's pretending to be on the phone. 'Haha, yeah. Okay. Love you. Bye bye bye bye bye!'

I'm waffling on because I'm avoiding the subject here. Can you tell?

***

I started this blog pre-kids, when I was a nursery nurse, full-time. I was much more involved with church life, helping out at youth and Sunday School, and so on. Life was busy but happy. 

And I was tired.

I remember waking up in the mornings and bursting into tears because I was just so tired. I had no reason to be - I was in my early twenties (sigh), newly married, carefree, not many responsibilities. I was just exhausted. 

I went to see a doctor, for blood tests, but nothing was wrong.

I was just exhausted. For no reason at all.

I mean, maybe it was God's way of training me in preparation for the babies, particularly Baby Boy, who was one of the worst sleepers I have ever known. But it was frustrating me. Also, I'd lost a lot of my kind of new-Christian-fire. I was becoming one of those people that turned up to do all my church duties but didn't allow myself room to think about God in between.

So I started the blog. It was a way of making myself accountable to my closest friends. It was to be a space for me to reflect on my faith. (In case you were wondering, it was named after a chapter in one of my favourite ever books, Lisa Bevere's Lioness Arising). And then it grew, naturally, and changed, as I went on, and I discovered I still liked to write quite a lot, and as we had children, and my role completely changed. And the blog has been there this whole time - through sleepless nights and stressful times and a faith crisis and many happy moments, and I've met nice people through it and had my confidence boosted because of it.

But the time has come, I feel. I keep sitting down to write posts but I've hit a wall with it.

***

I've hit a wall, for sure. And I want to talk more in depth about my faith, which is what I originally started it for. I want to talk more about feminism, which I have discovered more about since beginning the blog. I still want to write about motherhood, of course, which I will do, especially on The Motherload. And I feel like the back history of posts here is too big and unwieldy to truly start afresh. I've also wanted to start using WordPress for a while.

So I'll be blogging over at my new website, which is here. I'll be switching all my social media over to reflect that on Friday, so if you follow me already, you won't have to do anything. I'll keep paying for the domain space here, because it means a lot to me, and I like to look back on it. 

To be honest, it always amazes me that anyone takes the time to read this (seriously - people say 'oh, I read your blog' and for a moment I feel totally bewildered. Every time), and I'm probably coming across as really self-indulgent here, but I wanted to say goodbye to this particular blog, and thank it for everything.

So there we go.

Bye-bye-bye-bye-bye.

On nearly giving up

Saturday, 7 October 2017

It's been a long time!

I've been enjoying a little blogging hiatus that's gone on for longer than I expected. I've become a bit … I don't know what the word is. Not bored. Uninspired? Something like that. I've lost the fire that had me tapping into my laptop late into the evening when I should have been catching up on sleep.

And I don't know what the solution is to that. I thought about starting afresh with a new blog and a blank slate but that feels a bit daunting to me. It also involves a lot of time spent on social media, which I'm trying to step away from a bit. In fact, over the summer I seriously considered coming off of Facebook altogether (and Twitter. Not Instagram though. I'd have to have my phone melted down or something before I give that up). In fact, I thought maybe I'd just stop having a presence online altogether. No blogging, nothing. I thought it might help me feel a bit more clear headed just to step away from the noise.

But I miss writing. I miss having that outlet, a space to process things. I write in my journal but it's not quite the same, because I'm usually exhausted and my entries are either me ranting about something or quickly noting down something cute or funny the kids have done.

Speaking of them!

The other reason I've slowed down on blogging, and writing in general, is because I'm just enjoying being with them. I never have time to blog in the day, even when Jellybean is at preschool, because the baby is not-so-baby-ish anymore and spends his day trying to figure out how he can get up to the most mischief while my back is turned. So between trying to keep him in one piece and trying to pry information from my daughter about what happened at preschool, I'm occupied.

And when they go to bed? Sometimes I sit with my feet up and play Final Fantasy 15 until my eyes go blurry. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I do the ironing and watch Mad Men. Sometimes I go to bed because I'm so tired.

But I like it.

Despite being hard work (because they are), I'm really enjoying being Just a Mum. I think I've settled into the groove of Mum-ish-ness. And yes, ideally I want to start working again soon, but the baby stage is flying by at a terrifying pace and so I've been clinging onto it desperately. I'm trying to cram in as many raspberries-on-tummies as possible. Every little goofy, dribbly grin of adoration my son gives me, every hilarious thing my daughter says. I'm trying to just … soak in it.

I've also finally stopped worrying about what people think about me not working. Being concerned with other people's opinions is exhausting and completely pointless. I'm finding immense value in being slaves to our tiny humans ;) it's kind of freeing, actually. Admittedly, some evenings I actually want to cry with relief when my husband gets home so I can go and hide in the bathroom for ten minutes of actual peace and quiet, but still.

But sitting down tonight, to write, feels good. I don't know what the future holds for the blog. Maybe I'll relaunch one day. Maybe not. For now, this is good. Life is good, and I am grateful.

Usborne Book Review: Late Night at the Zoo

Tuesday, 12 September 2017


How was your summer?

I've got back-to-school feelings today, mostly because we're settling my daughter into a routine with preschool, and now I'm finding myself doing things like laying out little outfits the night before, and making sure her bag is sorted, and helping her find her peg at pre-school. This time next year I will be waving her off into primary school and I'm genuinely not sure how this has happened so fast.

I've got another book review for you today: Late Night at the Zoo, an Usborne Very First Reading book.

The Very First Reading series has been developed with literary specialists, and designed for adults and children to read together. It has brilliant rhythm and colourful pictures, which means Jellybean is occupied despite not being old enough to read it herself yet.





As well as a fun story, the book contains puzzles at the end, which help to see how much of the story the child understood, as well as word games, like 'find the opposite word', extending the opportunity to learn.

It also has guidance notes, which explains the spelling patterns introduced in the book, and ideas about good times to read and what to do if your child gets stuck.

If you have a child who is beginning to learn to read, I really recommend the Usborne Very First Reading Books. You can see the range on Sarah Keller's page here.

I received this book from Sarah Keeler, independent Usborne book seller in exchange for an honest review. If you are interested in purchasing this or any other Usborne books, check out her page. Also, be sure to check out her VIP group, where she runs competitions and holds special offers on lots of lovely books. Thanks Sarah! :)

A hiatus?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Hey!

So, we're coming up to the end of July, so really, only a few months away from my 5-year-blogging anniversary (!) and I'm writing to say I'm taking a break.


Mostly this is due to a number of things: wanting to spend more time with my husband in the evenings, as those moments have been scarce since the baby arrived. Wanting to spend time reading the giant stack of books that I bought with my birthday money. Wanting to take the pressure off so I don't feel guilty all the time about not blogging. Wanting to finish off some stuff I've started around the house.

But, to be totally honest: there's things about blogging I don't enjoy so much. Firstly, the self-advertising side of things. I don't like the idea that I am rubbing my blog into people's faces all the time (LOOK AT WHAT I DID!) but that is the nature of the beast, really. If I want people to read it I have to advertise it. But I find it tiring at times, and occasionally I need to take a break from it.

Secondly, I find the constant upkeep of social media annoying sometimes. For example, I really like Instagram - I like taking pictures and editing them and finding interesting new accounts to follow. I like that. But when it becomes like a job, my gosh, it is not as much fun. I feel constantly guilty for not keeping up with it, because I know that's what successful bloggers do - people seem to be on social media all the time. And it's not that I don't have time for that, it's just that sometimes I don't want to be doing that. And at the moment, this blog is just for me: for fun. It's not as though my livelihood depends on it. I want to keep it that way (as in, fun). Which also involves occasionally stepping away.

I mean, how can I possibly keep up with successful bloggers? These people are posting at least three times a week. Some of them post daily. They are posting on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter several times a day. They are constantly interacting with other bloggers. I just can't keep up with that.

I'm not moaning (because what a ridiculous thing to moan about!) I'm just explaining why I need a breather. I'm stuck in a rut right now, creatively, and I don't really know which direction I want to take. I need a few weeks to have a good think about it. I want to write things that are good and meaningful and that connect with people, ultimately. I don't want to write stuff that just fills space.

I'm aware of how pretentious I sound.

Anyway, I'm waffling now. I've got a book review scheduled for next week which will go up as normal. I also plan to blog for the Motherload during this time. Plus, I'll probably pop up on Instagram/Facebook every now and again. So I won't be totally silent ;) You can see my Motherload posts here, if you're interested.

Other than that ...

See you all in September!

Pursuing Peace: Quick quick slow

Friday, 7 July 2017

(Just as a warning, I'm going to be peppering this post with some of the best Leslie Knope quotes I can find, not because they necessarily match up with what I'm talking about, but because I love her. Not in any way sorry.)

This quote really sums up my whole blog.

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