Monday, 27 January 2020

Australia Day 2020

Good morning friends! Happy Monday! I hope you all had amazing weekends, especially if you're back home down under in sunny Australia! I hope you all had a great Australia Day... oh, Happy (belated) Australia Day by the way. I had a nice enough weekend; went out of lovely date with Jordan on Saturday and then had a pretty meh Australia Day on Sunday.

I say meh because I spent a good chunk of the day stuck in the waiting room of the walk-in doctors surgery. I have had a cough for just shy of 2 months now (started Nov 30th) and I finally said enough was enough, I'm going to get it checked out. Everyone has told me I should've got it checked sooner but around the 3 week-1 month mark, it was Christmas and I just wanted to enjoy the holidays without worrying about something silly like a cough and wasting my time at the doctors. Then when Jordan started his new job, I was more focused on that and our family adjusting, than my own physical health; stupid, I know. The cough isn't the worst thing anyway, it's just annoying. I wake up feeling like there's heaps of mucus sitting on my chest and I often cough up a bit of yellow phlegm shortly after getting up. After about 30 minutes of being up though, the cough completely disappears. I spent most of the day not coughing at all and if I do cough, it's just a minor tickle in my throat, dry cough. Something that's not uncommon for people to experience in cold weather. So most of the day, I don't cough at all but then 8pm rolls around and usually about that time, my throat starts to get aggravated and I end up with a dry, wheezy cough for the rest of the night. Thankfully, it's no longer robbing me of sleep like it was a month ago. Anyway, yesterday I coughed up a small chunk of really dark yellow phlegm and decided I'd had enough and Jordan took me to the the walk-in gp. Two hours we waited for me to get seen and guess what? The doctor couldn't find a single thing wrong!

She couldn't hear any crackling to suggest mucus, she couldn't feel any fluid around my lungs, she couldn't find any sign of infection and all my observations were normal. She was able to rule out anything serious like pneumonia or pleurisy but couldn't find an explanation for the cough. So she sent me away advising me to schedule an appointment with my regular gp to get a second opinion. On one hand I was relieved there wasn't anything seriously wrong but on the other hand, I was annoyed she didn't find anything. At least if I'd had an infection, I could have done something about it by taking antibiotics. Now, I'm just stuck with a cough and no way to get rid of it! I've got an appointment with my gp booked but because it takes ages to get in with my doctor, it's not for another ten days. So I get to enjoy this cough for a while longer, yay.

After the doctors we got our weekly shop out the way and came home in time for me to carry on a little Australia Day tradition I started with the kids. Obviously no one celebrates Australia day over here and it's too cold and wet to have a barbecue or anything so each year since Flynn was born, we have taken a photo of myself and the kids laying on my bed, draped in an Australian flag. The kids are half Australian after all, so the day is as much for them as it is me. Our photo yesterday was my only real celebration of the day sadly. I wish I could say I had a better Australia Day but it is really hard to celebrate it when no one here even really knows it exists. Either way, that was our day. I hope all my fellow Aussies had a much better day than I did.

Now I just get to look forward to another doctors appointment, next week. I'll let you all know how that appointment goes because I'm hoping to get my the results from my liver ultrasound back that day too. Annoyed they've not contacted me to tell what's going on. Hopefully some answers next week.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Friday, 24 January 2020

What's in store for us...

Good morning friends...or afternoon, evening, night, wherever you are in the world. It's Friday and that means two things: one, the weekend is almost here and two, Jordan is home again! Yay! The kids were a lot calmer this week upon Jordan's return, so that suggests to me that they've already adapted to this new routine, which is a relief. I had a few things to tell Jordan when he got home though because lately, Vala has been asking for all sorts of things that she'd previously not talked about at all. They're all things Jordan and I are working towards this year and so, I thought I'd fill you all in on what's (potentially) in store for us this year (and next).

The first of Vala's requests was made after she saw me packing away a bunch of Flynn's old baby toys. She asked me why I was getting rid of them and I told her that I was putting them away in the cupboard so that if daddy and I ever decide to have another baby, they can play with them. She then asked me if there was a baby in my tummy, to which I said no. Then came the question that all parents dread; "Where do you babies come from?" Or in Vala's case, she asked how babies get in my tummy. I laughed nervously to myself and thought of the most child-friendly way to explain conception. I told her "mummy has a teeny tiny egg inside of her and daddy has a teeny tiny seed inside of him and when mummy and daddy want a baby, daddy gives mummy his little seed so it can climb inside her little egg and grow into a baby." She appeared to understand because she compared it to a tree starting out as a seed and growing into a tree. That's also when she turned around and asked if daddy could give me the seed tonight because she wants a baby sister. I couldn't not laugh at that request. Not a malicious laugh but more of a nervous, someone help me, kinda laugh. I explained that mummy and daddy aren't ready for another baby just yet but that later in the year we might be ready. That is because Jordan and I are planning on trying for baby number three in the second half of the year. I'm trying (and failing) to get my body in a healthier state before then but sometime after June, we're probably going to look at trying. That means 2021 will hopefully bring a new bundle of joy with it. Hopefully a baby girl because since that night, Vala has asked me for a baby sister almost every day.

The next thing she asked for, really took me by surprise; more so than the request for a baby. I was doing her homework with her last night and part of it required her to create a world she would want to live in. So I asked her, what type of world would she like to live in? Her response? "This is our old house, I want to go and live in our new house." I have no idea how she made the jump from create your own world to moving houses but somehow she got there and I had to explain to her that we don't have a new house and that this isn't our old house, it's our current house. She got really sad that we didn't have a new house and honestly, I couldn't understand how she got the idea in her head that we did. Every time Jordan and I have talked about moving or buying a house, it's been at night after the the kids had gone to bed. Also, Jordan and I have mentioned moving house maybe once or twice this year, so it's not like it's something she has heard us talk about a lot recently. I tried to explain that buying a new house costs a lot of money and that one reason why Jordan has taken this new job and is away from us for three days is so we can save more money to buy a house. She frowned at me and asked if we could go buy a house on Sunday instead then. I chuckled and asked her how much she thought buying a house cost. "Umm, 10p?" she responded. Bless kids and their innocent ignorance. I did my best to explain to her how much a house would cost to buy. Her jaw dropped when I told her how much but she still didn't seem to understand that, that amount of money would take a long time to save up and so when Jordan got home, she started asking him if we could go buy a house because she wanted a new house. It's no secret that getting a house has been on our cards for a while but around the same time that we decide to start trying again, Jordan is going to approach his parents to work out an arrangement similar to the original deal we had with them. That deal was a split mortgage. Even with Jordan's new job that pays 9.5k more annually than his old job, the mortgage he can get on his own, without me working, just isn't enough. We'd either have to wait at least five years for me to finish uni and get a full time teaching job or we could just swallow our pride for the sake of the kids and ask for the original deal to be reconsidered. I won't go into it blindly though. After everything that happened last year with the house drama, if they do agree to help us get a foot on the property ladder, it'd be on our terms, not theirs. If they're not ok with that then Jordan and I will just look to getting a bigger rental because we will need a bigger place for the growing family and we will continue to save and look to buying again when I'm employed. I'm hoping though, that we can reach an agreement with his parents because I just want my kids to have a stable home and if I have to swallow my pride to do that, then I will.

Phew, this post has ended up a bit long again; much like all my posts lately. I'll wrap it up by saying the other thing Vala has been asking for lately is a puppy. I'll take full responsibility for that. I've been saying to Jordan how much I want a puppy every time we've see one. However, a puppy won't be on the cards until we have a new place and after baby number three is older. In other words, not for a long while yet. It is on the cards though. Jordan and I have the goal of conceiving this year, moving house (either owned or leased) before baby arrives and then looking at getting a little pup a year or two after that. That is what's in store for us at this point in time. I also plan on starting uni in October so I have that to look forward to as well.

All in all, we're hoping that 2020 is a big year of change for our family. Jordan starting this new job in the first month has already provided a big change for our family but we not planning on stopping there. New baby, new house, new uni course....come on 2020, let's do this!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

The Little Tiff

Good morning friends...or afternoon, evening, night depending where you are in the world. Happy hump day to you all, hope the week is treating you all well. It's day two of Jordan being away again and I hate to say it but the kids and I got used to it pretty quickly. I only feel sad come bed time now; I'm still not ok with going to bed alone. The bed is too cold and quiet without him. Anyway, I'll try not to go into too much detail but I did mention yesterday that I got into a little text tiff with Jordan's mum last week and I just want to touch on it a little bit because a few things she mentioned has really bothered me and I'm having a hard time of just letting them go.

Pushed him into it....

The comment that started the whole tiff off was her accusing me of pushing Jordan into getting this job. "You were pushing him to get a better job that's why he swallowed his pride and went to Phil." For clarity, Phil is his step-dad who is the second highest boss of the company Jordan is now employed with. There's multiple things wrong with her statement... First off, Jordan didn't "swallow his pride" or approach his step-dad for a job, his mum asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he replied "a new job" she mentioned that there was a position opening up in Phil's company and to speak to him. So he did. He simply mentioned that if there's any work going, to give him a shout. A week later Jordan got a phone call from his mum to say the position was up and to send Phil his CV. 48 hours later, the job was Jordan's. So no, he didn't swallow his pride. The second thing that bothered me, more so than the first thing, is that I pushed him to get a new job. This is technically half true. Half true because she later went on and heavily implied that I was only pushing him to get a new job because I wanted more money. "Money does make the world go round and if you want to move and go out and do nice things, you need to earn money." Let me get one thing clear, yes Jordan earning more money was ONE reason he needed to get a new job but even just earning an extra £100 a month is the difference between us staying here or moving to a three bedroom rental, so it wasn't the main driving force behind getting a new job. For me, his mental health was the reason I was "pushing him to get a better job." 

Jordan has always been a bit of an introvert but would still enjoy hanging out with a couple of friends in a low-key environment. He was also more laid back and open to trying new things. However, when he moved from working down at a store to up to head office, during my pregnancy with Flynn, he began to become very depressed. His depression wasn't obvious at first and honestly, I was completely blind to it throughout the first 18 months of Flynn's life, due to dealing with postnatal depression; but once I'd noticed it, the signs were glaringly obvious. He would come home from work and fall asleep sitting up on the floor and that was after him stopping at least twice on the drive home to have power naps. We couldn't do anything together or even have a serious conversation because he'd fall asleep. I became worried about him and made him see a doctor because I thought maybe he was low on something; he was tired all the time. Everything came back normal though. He started to become more anti-social as well. Not towards the kids and me but to his and our friends. He stopped making arrangements to catch up with friends (which he would only do once every month or two anyway) and whenever we had company over at ours, he'd shut himself off, often retreating into his phone. He keeps to himself whenever we're with other people and has really closed himself off. I could see how unhappy he was every single day when he'd return from work. That job was eating away at him and it was paining me to see him unhappy. So I kept pushing him to get a better job. One that he would enjoy more and yes, preferably one that earned more than his current one. As I said before, even £100 more a month would've made a big difference, so the money was never a driving force. I wanted my Jordan back. The happy, laid back, go with the flow, approachable, friendly, open soul. Jordan has now moved out of retail, which he'd said about a thousand times he wanted to get out of, and is now in an IT role. He has been trying to get his foot into the IT door for almost two years now and whilst Test Analyst may not be the role he'd hope for, it's a stepping stone. I know in the long run, he is going to be so much happier. He is in his dream field and has a job with career progression. He also has a clear career path now, to get him into his dream job.

My whole frustration came from the accusation that I pushed Jordan into something he didn't want because I wanted more money to "go out and do nice things". By her own admission, she was "confused" about why I was so upset with him being gone, after all, I pushed him to get the job. Yes, I pushed him to get a new job because he was so unhappy in his other one. Yes, we both desired more income so we could buy a house. No, I did not force him to do something he didn't want because I wanted more money. He wanted a new job. He wanted to earn more to provide for his family (his own words, not mine). He wanted to get out of retail because that ship is sinking fast. He wanted to get into IT and have career progression. He didn't have the self-confidence to go for it though. So I gave him the nudge he needed and came out looking like a greedy bitch for it.

You need to support him...

Ok, I'm sorry, I know I said I wouldn't ramble on but turns out, this stuff has bothered me more than I cared to admit. Anyway, in the text tiff, it was also implied I wasn't been supportive of Jordan's new job. "Well Jordan is going to support you doing your degree so you need to support him doing this." Ok, hold up... Not once did I ever say I didn't support him. If I didn't support Jordan, he wouldn't even have this job because he never would have applied for it. He was scared he'd mess it up and that he wasn't good enough for the role. He was also worried about how being away for one night (because we were told it would only be one night) would effect the kids and our relationship. I reassured him that we would be fine; that if we couldn't go a single night apart then something was wrong with us. I told him I knew he'd be great and that he is a fast learner, a hard worker and a damn loyal employee. I told him any company would be lucky to have him and that he can't let his self-doubt stop him from being as great as I know he is. I promised him we'd be ok. If that isn't support, then clearly I'm doing it wrong. So to be accused of not being supportive because I was sad that he was gone (and gone for two nights instead of the one night they'd previously told us), just really pissed me off. I have supported Jordan in every life decision he has ever made and I will continue to support him until my dying breath. Am I happy he is gone and spends half a week away from me and the kids? Of course not! I want him to come home every night. Am I going to let my feelings stop me from supporting him in this job? Hell no! He and I are working together to make sure it's as easy on all of us as it possibly can be. Jordan calls as soon as he gets back to his hotel to tell me about his day and to talk to the kids. He then calls again at the kids bed time just so he can say goodnight to them. He'll then call a third time when he is going to bed so that we can have a heart to heart before we go to sleep. The phone calls have made it easier to cope with sleeping alone and dealing with whatever the next day throws at us. So we've found a way to make it work for us and it only took us a week. But no, I'm not supportive of his new job at all. That remark has bothered me the most.

Lucky to have him...

Last point and I'll keep it short but towards the end of the text tiff, Jordan's mum felt the need to remind me that I should feel lucky to be with her son; like I didn't already know.
"Jordan would walk to the end of the earth for you and the kids. Your lucky not many people in this world get that from their partner. You have struck gold in Jordan he will remain loyal to you always." This comment came immediately after I snapped back about the not supporting him comment...
"I've done nothing but support him and I'll never stop supporting him. He knows that." 
I've always felt like she looked down her nose at me and that I was never good enough for her son and that comment just really reinforced that feeling. One passive aggressive "joke" from her later, "If you miss him that much you can always put a Harry Potter film on." the text tiff came to a close. We have not spoken since. She did speak to Jordan on the phone though and told him all about it (painting me in a bad light apparently). Luckily, he'd called me first and I read out the entire conversation, text for text, so he knew everything that was said. She just gave him her account and thankfully he backed me up and told her that I do support him and that he was feeling really sad to be away from me and the kids as well; that being upset wasn't a sign of me not being supportive or anything. She ended the conversation with him by complaining that she didn't get to see her grandchildren enough. Of course, she's not mentioned this to me, so I guess it was her grasping at straws to find any way of making me look bad. She was just as annoyed with me as I was of her. He told me what she said and I just laughed and said that's because every time I ask if she is free to have the kids come visit, she's always working. If she wants to spent time with the kids, she just needs to tell me when she's free.

So yeah, those are the main points in the text tiff that really bothered me and that I've still not been able to let go. I don't want to hold onto this frustration and I would like to just move passed it all but I was accused of things that aren't true and I've not had an apology for the things said, so it feels harder to move passed it. She insulted me and I know I won't get an apology for it. I know I need to let it go and move on but I can't just. We've not spoken to each other since and usually I'm the one who bridges the gap when tensions are high (did it a lot during the house drama) but I just can't bring myself to message her and act like nothing happened. Since I'm not going to get an apology so I guess I just need time and distance from her in order to move passed what she said and implied. Life's too short to hold grudges but it's really hard to be nice to someone who clearly thinks less of you.

Sorry again for the long post, I know I said I'd try and keep it short but I've been holding so much of this in. I'm not about to put Jordan in the middle of a tiff between his fiancé and his mum so I've kept pretty much everything to myself since reading the whole conversation to him. It's just been playing on my mind a lot, especially not feeling good enough for him. I know I am good enough for him but that seed of doubt has been planted. Anyway, enough of all this. Next post won't be on any of this nonsense, I promise. If you managed to read through all this, thanks for letting me get it out. I appreciate you. 💓

Until next time,
Alli xo

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Last week was rough.

Good morning everyone and happy Tuesday to you all. Apologies for the lack of posts last week; it was a bit of a rough week for our family. You see, Jordan started his new job and that meant he had to leave us for three days.

Monday was incredibly hard as the night before Jordan had been informed that his job would require him to be away for three days, two nights instead of the two days, one night that he'd previously been told. We didn't get much time to process that information unfortunately. I spent all of Monday angry because I felt as though we'd been lied to. On multiple occasions we'd both been told he'd either be required to work in the office on Monday/Tuesdays or Tuesday/Wednesdays; two days, one night. We were fine with that, we knew we could make it work because it was only a night and the kids were used to not seeing Jordan for 24 hours when he'd work the late shift one night and then the morning shift the next day at his old job. That meant he got home after they went to bed and left before they woke up in the morning. So him being gone for one night wasn't going to be that much of a change; he'd just be gone when they got up and then come back the following day at bed time. So finding out with 36 hours notice that he'd actually be gone from Tuesday to Thursday was hard to accept. The days weren't mentioned to him until after he had signed the contract. Jordan felt like maybe he misheard what his step-father had said about his office shifts but he hadn't because I'd heard him too. It was definitely two days up until the contract was signed and then less than 48 hours later, it was three days. So yeah, I spent Monday furious because I felt like we'd been deceived. Jordan being gone for three days isn't the end of the world but it didn't give us or the kids time to wrap our heads around it. Monday was spent with me shouting and then eventually crying because I was going to miss Jordan so much.

After school we explained to Vala it would be three days not two and she started sobbing. She said she was going to miss daddy so much that she needed to make a card for him to take in his suitcase. That's when he started crying. To some, us crying over Jordan's shifts seemed so silly but we're a very close family and since we moved in together, Jordan and I have only ever spent a single night apart; the night Flynn was born and I stayed in hospital. It was going to be such a big change for our family and I was honestly scared of the loneliness I'd feel at night. I didn't even want to think about going to bed alone.

Tuesday sadly rolled around and I woke in the morning to an empty bed. Due to the commute, Jordan was gone by 6:30am. I had a little cry in bed before getting the kids up for school. I knew I wouldn't see Jordan again until Thursday and I felt like a part of me had been ripped out. I got Vala to school and broke down crying as soon as Flynn and I got back. I felt stupid. Jordan being at work was nothing uncommon, the morning was no different to when he worked the morning shift but this time I knew he wasn't coming home. A morning shift at his old job meant he'd be home for dinner, now he wouldn't be home for dinner for the next three nights (he gets home after dinner time on Thursdays). I decided once Flynn was down for his nap, I'd go nap as well because my mood was too low to do anything.

However, as soon as I got Flynn down and climbed into bed, Jordan's mum messaged me. She told me Jordan had been quite nervous on the drive up with his step-dad but was now with his new team. I thanked her for letting me know and told her that we were all feeling really sad; that we'd all cried about the change. She was not sympathetic at all. Basically, she essentially told me to get over and make something of myself. Her actual words were "You will get used to it, he will be back on Thursday. It's short term pain for long term gain. The best thing you can do now is something for yourself. Maybe now is the time to learn to drive. It will give you confidence and independence. You got a car sitting there." I was in no mood to hear any of that. My partner and father of my children being away for half a week isn't something that I want to get used to. I know I will, but I don't want to. I also didn't appreciate her making suggestions of how I should my time while Jordan was gone; at least not at that moment in time. I was upset and just wanted a little bit of comfort. Something along the lines of "It'll be an adjustment but it will get easier and you'll all be ok. You and the kids are welcome to visit any time if you want some company." Maybe I was asking too much to get a little compassion like that, I don't know. Either way, her comment didn't sit well and it wasn't too long before we ended up having a little text tiff. In a nutshell, she couldn't understand why I was upset because I was "pushing him to get a better job..." That was comment that started the tiff. I won't go into too much detail about the tiff because this post is already long enough so I might cover it in another post but long story, short, she heavily implied that I forced Jordan to get a new job because I wanted more money and that I wasn't being supportive of him at all. We did settle the tiff with a teeny bit of a passive aggressive "joke" in which she stated "if you miss him that much, you can always put a Harry Potter film on." I replied with a "haha" and saying I'd not actually seen all the films so maybe I would. It's now been a full week since that conversation and we've not spoken since.

Anyway, this post has been a lot longer than I intended but I will wrap it up by saying that Tuesday was super hard, Wednesday and Thursday were bearable and come Thursday night, the kids were so happy to have daddy home, they fought over his attention. Vala had him doing a word search with her whilst Flynn screamed "Daddy!" every 3 seconds and brought toys to show him. He got a new one out the toy box each time and showed Jordan one toy at a time. Flynn was so full of energy and kept running and squealing around the room. Neither Jordan or I predicted the kids would react in the way they did. They missed him way more than we realised. As for me, I was just happy to be able to hug him again. After the kids went to bed, we ordered some pizza in and cuddled up on the sofa to watch something. It didn't take long for Jordan to fall asleep on me. For once I didn't mind; I was just happy to have him home.

Now it's Tuesday again and I woke to an empty bed. Jordan is gone for another three days and the kids and I have handled it a lot easier today. Now that we know what to expect, it's easier to cope. Still sad that he is gone but he calls every night to talk to the kids and then at bed time he calls so we can have a one on one chat before we sleep. The phone call is enough to make the nights easier. I felt fine emotionally yesterday but Jordan is still upset about being away. He was a bit down last night. The only reason I didn't get a post out yesterday was because I had a horrible migraine all day that didn't ease up until around 9:30pm. I think this novel of a post has made up for the lack of posts over the past week though and on that note, I will wrap it up. I'll cover some of the tiff in another post, not because I feel the need to name and shame Jordan's mum for anything she said but because some of the things she did say has had quite an effect on me and I just need to get it all off my chest. So...

...until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Back to reality....mostly.

Happy very late Saturday everyone. Or early Sunday... you know, depending on where you are in the world and what day/time you actually see this mostly pointless entry. It is after 10pm on Saturday currently and I'm only just getting around to writing the post that should have come out yesterday. We were out all of yesterday and then I was pretty worn out by the time we got home. Similarly today, was out for a bit and came home drained.

Things have returned to "normal" now; mostly. Reality has settled in after the festive holiday season but I think it's going to give us a double dose come Tuesday when Jordan starts his new job and will spend his first night away from home. That will be a sobering reality that neither Jordan nor I are ready for. The kids don't understand yet but I think Tuesday will come as quite a shock to them. They've had Jordan home full time since the 4th and then 10 days later they'll wake up and not only will he be gone but he also won't return until around their bedtime on Wednesday. It's going to be a huge adjustment for all of us. Jordan's currently compiling a list of tv shows to binge and books to read and I'm looking at ways to entertain myself after the kids have gone to bed and the house is super quiet. I mean, it won't be that much different from when Vala and I lived alone and she would spend weekends at her dads, leaving me in the silent house on my own. Trouble is, back then, her absence left me so depressed, that I would get drunk and just dance around in my underwear until I passed out. It wasn't a good time in my life and now I can't and don't want to get drunk to ease my loneliness. I know I'll be fine, it'll just be an adjustment that'll take a little bit of time. We struggled a little when Jordan moved from part time shifts down at the store to full time shifts at their head office but we adapted to it. This will be the same. It's just, since we' moved in together three years ago, we've only ever spent a single night apart and that was the night Flynn was born and I had to stay in the hospital overnight. It wasn't that big a deal because he stayed with me as long as he could and then returned early the next morning. This time, he'll be gone even before I'm awake and I won't see him for about 36 hours and will not be able to speak to him until the evening. It's going to be weird. Anyway, I know I'm just rambling about this change but honestly, it's the biggest thing going on with us at the moment. The closer we get to the 14th, the more Jordan and I start to feel a teeny bit anxious. It's a big, much needed change for our family but neither of us are looking forward to it at all.

Besides Jordan's fast approaching first day, Vala has also returned to school and started back at swimming lessons this morning. We've been trying to get back into the swing of things and our usual routines whilst making some much needed changes to improve my health and to lose weight. I won't touch of any of that tonight though. Everything that's going on with my weight is an entirely different post that I'll try to get out on Monday. I will say though, my weight and my attempts to lose it, is causing me a whole lot of emotional problems at the moment. More on that at a later date though.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

IngramSpark 30 Day Writing Challenge - Day One: My Dreams

Happy Hump Day everyone! Hope you're all having a good morning, afternoon, evening, whatever time it is wherever you are in the world. Today's post is going to be slightly different as I have signed up for the 30 Day Writing Challenge with IngramSpark and I decided to use my blog as the platform for day one. The challenge is more to inspire and motivate work on novel ideas but given the prompt for today, I figured it was better as a blog post. What is the prompt? Well, basically it's to just write but it suggests writing about my hope, fears and dreams. So, I figured I'd tell you about the biggest dream that my entire life has been based around.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a dream life; the ideal goal to constantly work towards. Since the birth of my younger sister, I knew I wanted to be a mum more than anything. In grade 2 we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up and while everyone else in class wrote your typical things like an astronaut or fireman, I wrote that I wanted to be a mum. My dad laughed hysterically at my dream profession upon seeing it displayed with the others. It was a playful laugh, not a mean laugh don't worry. But for 26 of my 29 years of life, I knew I wanted to be a mum. Now I am so that is part one of my dream ticked off. My motherhood dream doesn't stop at just becoming a mum though, no I have always wanted four kids. It's hard to say why that is, maybe because I grew up with three siblings I don't know, but I just always wanted four. Two girls and two boys ideally but I know that I may not get that. Jordan has always wanted two kids himself and he feels our family is currently complete. I don't though. I feel as though our family is like a puzzle and we're missing pieces. He knows how important a big family is to me and has agreed to having a third child for now. A fourth child isn't guaranteed with him at this stage because it depends on our circumstances in the years to come. Three is a compromise between his desire for two and my dream for four but I know I'll never be truly happy unless I get a fourth because my family will always feel incomplete. You might think I'll feel differently after having a third but remember, I've wanted four for most of my life, I'm not about to change now.

So if four kids is only part of my dream, what else am I working towards? Well, with four kids I would need a stable forever home for them to grow up in and come back to with their children; just like my siblings and I have. So I want to be able to buy/own a house someday. This is why the house drama last year effected me so badly. It's literally my dream to own a forever home for my family and I said once I own a place, I probably won't ever want to move from it. We came so close to owning a place last year but because we rejected a place that wasn't right for our family (and therefore would never have been a "forever" home), we had that dream ripped further away from us. Jordan's new job has given us new hope that we will be able to someday buy a home for our kids to grow up in. That part of my dream isn't dead yet, it's just been pushed back for now.

Of course a house and a large family is a nice dream but there's still the career aspect to cover. Again, for as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a teacher. More specifically, I've wanted to be a teacher that also wrote and published novels. I knew I'd never become a successful, famous author that could live comfortably off her books, so writing was always a secondary career. I'd hoped to become an English and Media teacher working at secondary school level but since being in the UK, that desire has changed a little. I hope to start a English Literature and Creative Writing bachelors degree this year and that'll be my first step towards my dream career of teaching while improving my writing skills. I'm now looking more towards primary teaching and after completing the university degree, I'll take a teaching assistant course and become a qualified teaching assistant. That will be my way into teaching. I'll start as a teaching assistant and probably hold that position until my youngest (either third or fourth child) has gone into full time school. During that time, I'll get my qualifications to become a full primary school teacher and then I will hopefully move up to a full teaching role. I'll write my novels on the side and would love to create an after-school creative writing program to teach kids to write their own stories and nurture their love for reading and writing.

As you can see, I've had my life planned out for quite a long time. I've spent half my life (literally) looking for the ideal person to pursue this dream with. I've looked for a partner who's dreams for the future wouldn't restrict mine. I wanted to be in a relationship where we supported one another to chase our dreams. I didn't want to hinder their dreams for the future anymore than I wanted them to hinder mine. It took me a while to find the right person but I have found him in Jordan. He has his own dreams for the future and I will support him every step of the way whilst still working towards my own. Of course my dreams also include marrying him some day, us owning two dogs and me driving a soccer mum car to ferry my kids from various extra curricula activities but one thing at a time.

So there you have it; my lifelong dream. In short, my dream life is four kids, in a forever home, married to Jordan, in a teaching career while working on and publishing my novels, owning two dogs and driving a soccer mum car. I've still got a way to go but I know my dream is obtainable and I will continue to work towards it every single day.

Thank you IngramSpark for today's writing challenge prompt; I feel good about getting my dreams written down. If you want to try their 30 day writing challenge, you can do so HERE!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 6 January 2020

New Years Resolutions 2020.

I am definitely late with my annual new years resolutions blog post but better late than never right? I mean, it's not the best given what one of my resolutions is but we're still only in the first week of January so I'm not going to get things perfect straight away. But, as you may have noticed, I wrote ONE of my resolutions because once again, I have more than one new years resolution - because having multiple has worked so well for me in the past.

Getting more organised.

This is why I said me being late to write this post isn't the best. For someone who's biggest resolution this year is to be more organised, starting the year off being late isn't a good start. I won't dwell on it though, I'm still trying to find my feet at the moment. 2020 came so fast, I wasn't prepared for it. More on the resolution though - Jordan is starting a new Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm job and that means our family will FINALLY have stability! Stability means we'll actually be able to create routines for ourselves as a family and individually. This is why I want to get more organised. We can have a proper set dinner time now and so I want to go heavy with meal planning and I want and take active steps to getting our family living a healthier lifestyle. With the new job, we'll also be able to dedicate set date nights for Jordan and I, family trips out on the weekend and days/times where I can go and exercise either at the gym, pool or just going for a walk. Our family has needed stability, routine and organisation for years but Jordan's shift work made it hard to plan things or get organised. My biggest resolution this year is to get that routine, structure and stability that our family so desperately needs. I'm ready to get more organised!

Lose weight.

This is a resolution I've had for multiple consecutive years and each year I end up getting fatter. This year WILL be different though as I've been informed of an issue with my liver. We don't know the actual cause of that yet but the doctor was fairly certain it will be related to my weight. Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is what they're suspecting but I've not heard back about my test results. Chronic hepatitis was ruled out which was expected but I've not heard anything regarding the Autoimmune Liver Screen or the ultrasound so I can't say for certain that it's Fatty Liver. Regardless of what the cause is, losing weight will still help the liver recover. If it is Fatty Liver, losing 10% of my current weight will help my liver start repairing itself. So that's the plan. Losing 10% of my current weight is my first goal. I obviously need to lose a lot more than that and I fully intend to lose more but 10% is my starting goal. Jordan and I have been talking about trying for baby number 3 at some point and I definitely want to be at a lower weight when we do decide to start trying. It's going to hard but with Jordan's new job resulting in us finally having stability and structure, I feel like I will actually be able to accomplish this resolution this year. Fingers crossed at least.

Start University.

Starting a university degree is something I've been wanting to do for years but for financial reasons, I've always put it off. I wanted to make sure my family wouldn't be financially burdened by me starting uni. Now, once again thanks to Jordan's new job, I can confidently say that Uni is on the cards for this year. His new job pays significantly more than his old one so I know our family should be fine financially. I'll be looking at starting in October as I've missed the enrolment deadline for February. That's fine though because Jordan will have a probation period at his new job so things could still change over the next three months. For now we're making plans and I'm looking into my options. I know what uni course I want to do and now I'm looking towards the long term future regarding study and an eventual career. I'm really excited to start university finally and hopefully nothing goes wrong in the next few months to jeopardise that. Another fingers crossed resolution. 

Learn to drive.

This was actually a resolution I set myself in 2018 but clearly never accomplished. I honestly thought I'd start learning last year but again, never got around to it. The closest I got was getting my learners license but then Jordan promptly lost it a month later. He still hasn't replaced it yet. How did he lose it you might ask? I gave it to him when he went to collect a parcel for me. Somewhere on that trip out, he managed to lose both my license as well as his own. He reordered his license because he needed it for this new job but we've held off reordering mine until the most expensive months of the year have passed. Jordan also won't be using his car as much with this new job as three days a week he gets to work from home, so I'll have more opportunity to learn to drive in our family car because he won't always have it. He has suggested I learn to drive this year since he won't need the car as much and I honestly want to try. I still have my anxiety when in the car but I'm going to have to face those fears and overcome them at some point. 

Get better with money.

I'm turning 30 this year and it's pathetic that I've not learned to handle my money responsibly sooner. As I stated in my last post, I still have credit card debt which needs to be reduce or cleared. My savings is also pretty dismal if I'm being honest. A year ago I opened a Help To Save account which I can deposit a maximum £50 into a month but has a nice return on it and I've managed to deposit every single month. That savings account is growing slowly but nicely. However, after last years house drama, Jordan and I wanted to get more seriously about our savings so we can buy a house and so he opened a lifetime ISA and I opened a Help To Buy ISA. In total I have now have three savings accounts; two for saving for a house (and wedding) and the other is a rainy day savings account for emergencies. I would love to manage my money better this year and stop wasting a lot of it on crap we don't need like take outs and non-essential material purchases. So my final resolution this year is to get better with my money; to save more and get my debt down as much as I can. Again, I think having a stable family life will help dramatically with our finances. Jordan's erratic work schedule was one reason we had so much take out in 2018 and 2019. 

So there we have it, my five new years resolutions for 2020! I made five last year and accomplished none. I'm making five again with two of them being the same (or similar) to last years. Jordan and I are working towards some big things this year and so I feel I might actually be able to accomplish some of these resolutions this year. Jordan's starting his new job next week, I plan to start uni in October, we want to move to a bigger place (rented or owned) and we're talking about expanding our family. This year has the potential to be huge for our family and I am so damn excited. The last two years have been so bleak with us living in a rut and me being plagued with depression, so I'm really looking forward to a year of positive changes. We're going into 2020 with every intention of making is amazing! Wish us luck! 

What are your new years resolutions? Have you made any this year or are you done with them altogether? I'd love to hear what you've got planned for the year. Let me know in the comments below and...

...Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Friday, 3 January 2020

2019's Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! We're well and truly into 2020 now and it's time for me to do my annual (albeit slightly late) look back over the year and see how many of my new years resolutions I actually kept to. 2019 wasn't much of an improvement on 2018 if I'm being honest. There was nothing majorly life changing for our family, with the exception of the passing of Vala's grandfather Tim back in March. We all got a year older, Vala moved from reception to year one and Jordan finally landed a new job which he starts later this month. Besides that, there really isn't anything notable to mention from 2019. It took me a further 6 months to fully kick the postnatal depression but even now, I still have a lot to work on. But what were the resolutions I set myself for 2019 and how many did I actually complete and/or keep to?

Reduce Debt.

Yeah, I really didn't do this. I actually have more debt than I did this time last year. That is a frustrating fact. However, it actually isn't that much more. All year, I would pay <x> amount off my credit card but then end up needing to use it again and would put most of it back on. I stayed at the same balance for 10 months of the year. It was only during the most expensive time of the year with multiple birthdays and Christmas that the balance increased to what it currently is. Needless to say, I'm not the best with money. That's not entirely accurate but that's what I'll go with. The amount that would go back onto the credit card was slightly less than what I'd paid off it, so if I'd not paid <x> amount off, I'd still have had that money in my account to live off and I wouldn't have needed to rely on a credit card before payday. Not sure if that makes sense or not but long story short, I didn't reduce my debt in 2019 sadly. 

Plan the wedding. 

Should I just start laughing now? Because we definitely did not do this one. Jordan and I started talking about the wedding and even went and looked at suits for him and got prices for flowers and looked at a ceremony venue. However, after exactly one month of actively discussing the wedding and planning things, we decided the timing was still wrong and gave up completely. We haven't discussed the wedding since February and I don't think we'll be planning it any time soon either. 

Lose Weight. 

Another big old nope! Failed that resolution as well, gaining an annoying 5kg in the year. As I mentioned earlier, I still struggled with postnatal depression for the first half of the year and the loss of my father-in-law also saw me increase comfort eating. One of my biggest issues is that I don't have a constructive way to deal with stress, grief and depression and so I always turned to food. It's a terrible way to deal with my negative emotions but in my current mental state, it's the only way I know how to cope. Given recent medical developments, that I mention in previous posts, that fact is going to change this year. We're already making plans to ensure I spend this year getting mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. 

Finish my novel.

Ok so, technically I did but didn't finish my novel. I completed the first draft of it. The story was written from start to finish (with the exception of the prologue and epilogue). But that's as far as I got with it. I struggled to concentrate when it came to editing and none of my alpha readers actually got back to me with their feedback. It became hard to motivate myself and throughout the year, I met some people who drained me of passion for writing and storytelling. As a result, my story still sits as a first draft manuscript, waiting to be worked on again. Maybe in time I will return to it but I have to find my love for writing again. I know it's still there but it's buried under a lot of judgement from other people. 

Establish a self-care routine.

I started a self-care routine and kept it up for the first two months but then when my father-in-law passed away, everything kinda fell apart for a while and we slipped back into the same rut we called home for all of 2018. I had stints throughout the year where I would start trying to take care of myself again but the routine would only last a week; two at best. It was never my intention to not take care of myself but when there is so much weighing on you mentally and emotionally, it's hard to remember that you need proper care as well as everyone else. Last year, I gave too much of myself to other people and sacrificed a lot of my own happiness to ensure everyone else was happy; I definitely neglected myself. This is something I don't want to repeat this year. 

So, those were the five main resolutions I set myself and I didn't complete or stick to any of them! I'm really disappointed in myself for that but I guess there's no time to dwell on that now. I also set myself a few little "goals" that I wasn't fussed about sticking to but would've been nice if I did. What were they and did I do them? Well....

  • Reading more books? - No. I bought heaps of books and didn't read any of them. 
  • Cut back on soft drinks? - Nope! In fact at one point, we were living off soft drink.
  • Attempt my 2018 fitness goals? - Just a straight up nope. 
  • Learn to draw? - I practised for 8 consecutive days then had my confidence taken from me.
  • Keep Journaling and Blogging. - Yes! I write in my journal every night and blog occasionally.
  • Go out more often (especially with Jordan) - Think we went out roughly the same amount. 
So there we have it. None of my news years resolutions accomplished. I am disappointed in myself for this result but I will just use that disappointment to fuel myself to accomplish the new years resolutions I'm setting myself for this year. I will share my 2020 resolutions with you in the next post. Happy New Year everyone, welcome to 2020!

Until next time,
Alli xo