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Archive for the ‘General Ramblings’ Category

I was feeling inspired to write after finally having a quiet half an hour to catch up on some blogs and I realised that I haven’t written anything since March! So, I thought that it might be best to start by catching up on April.

April is my favourite month of the year. Firstly, it’s Easter and that means lots of chocolate and secondly, it’s my birthday month. Enough said.

Some big things happened in April:

  • I turned 31 (eek)
  • We finally painted the kitchen and lounge after living in our house for over a year
  • We paid deposits for the cake, flowers & decorations
  • We paid deposits for the wedding stationery
  • We paid deposits for make up
  • We adopted a PUPPY!

Being a bride to be, I should be sharing all of the details of the wedding related achievements but that’ll have to wait because if you adopt a puppy, your whole energy and focus is on him!

His name is Oscar and he’s a cross Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bischon. This means he’s very cute. He’s got a lot of character and a lot of energy!

Meet Oscar.

20120506-180525.jpg

Oscar. Photo taken by me on my iPhone.

Isn’t he gorgeous?

Bx

I have always been aware of issues of being female – the glass ceiling etc etc but I didn’t really expect it to be an issue in my life. I’m fairly feisty, I can hold my own and I believe that we are all equal. Any blokey ‘banter’ that has come my way has been dealt with with good humour and a strong backbone. This hasn’t been the problem for me, I was taken by surprise by a different feminist issue.

I find myself in a situation and I don’t really know what to do. I’m 31 in April, getting married in August. I’d like to start a family and my husband to be and I have already talked about when we might want to start trying for a baby. This is all very exciting. I can’t wait to be a mommy and I hope and pray everything turns out alright.

The difficulty is that I’m quite ambitious. I trained for 7 years to enter my profession and since then I have undertaken a further 2 years of exams to obtain an additional qualifications, whilst working full time. I worked for a large, commercial firm for a few years and then moved to a smaller firm. The move was partly to do with work/life balance – I didn’t want to be whipped about time recording and bills as harshly as I had been – but also because I knew I could achieve more in a smaller firm. I am interested in management and marketing and I wanted to feel as though I was part of a business that I could help to shape the future of.

There has been talk of partnership in the firm and I’m very interested in it. I would begin as a salaried partner with a view to being invited to buy in and become an equity partner at some time in the future. General and minor frustrations aside and ignoring all economic reasons to consider whether equity partnership is right, the idea of promotion and responsibility speaks to me. Of course I want to be a partner – I’ve worked really hard and without trying to sound arrogant, I really think I deserve it. I do contribute more than on a files and bills level. I help bring work into the business and I help manage my team. I’m happy to take on the role.

BUT I also want to be a mom. I don’t want to work all hours when I have a baby. I want to be home with my baby and my husband (and hopefully my dog!). I want to work from home more often so I can try to keep control of my home life when I return to work and I don’t think I will want to work full time.

What does that mean for the business? My rights aside, how annoying is it for a business to promote someone to partnership to then find that she goes part time and is never in the office! I know that I am entitled to be considered and I deserve promotion but what if I don’t want all that responsibility when my babies come along? What if I just want to do my job and get home?

If I didn’t have babies, I would focus on this goal and hit it head first and not give up until I’d done everything I could to be considered for partnership. Because I know I want a baby and this could be something that happens relatively soon, should I reconsider my options? I know my priorities will change. I already feel they will because I know what kind of mother I’d like to be.

Occasionally, I consider a career change. The reasons behind this would take too long to explain but the point of this is to say that I feel I can’t change career now as I might not be in my new job for very long before I went off on maternity leave. Job security would then be an issue.

I try to consider different options for working from home but I don’t have the big idea which will end up with me working for myself and being able to stay home. So, for now, I’m stuck in this middle-zone of career versus motherhood.

I know that everyone says that we should be able to have both but how are people successful at both? Are you a great mom but putting less in at work or are you a great employee but don’t get much time at home? How do you balance it? Being a perfectionist, I want to be the best I can be in any role I take on. I’m worried that something is going to have to give and it will have to be the job.

I don’t know what to do with that at the moment.

Bx

So, Monday night we head to bed shortly after 10pm. Around 11.30pm I’m awoken by a loud bang which makes my heart race. I sit up and notice G isn’t beside me so I call out to him but get no answer.

Immediately thinking he’s fallen down the stairs, I jump out of bed and switch on all of the lights, calling him as I do. No answer.

I then hear movement from the bathroom and head back to bed thinking how silly and dramatic I am when he’s obviously just on the loo and probably knocked something over in the bathroom, causing the big bang.

I wait a little while for him to come out and wonder why he sits on the side of the bed instead of getting back under the duvet. He then says “I don’t want to worry you but I don’t feel well”. I put the light on and he’s sat there white as a sheet, sweating and shaking and cold to the touch. Trying hard not to panic and make him worse, I put on my calmest voice and get him to sit back on the pillows and have some water. Gradually, things calm down but he is still cold but clammy and complaining of a headache. He tells me he woke up with excruciating pain in his abdomen, got up to go to the bathroom but then doesn’t remember anything until he woke up on the bathroom floor.

Good old NHS Direct didn’t call us until 6.50am the next morning, 7 hours after I put the request in. Instead of calling them back, we headed to the GP for the earliest emergency appointment we could get only to be referred immediately to Accident & Emergency to see a neurologist.

A few hours and an ECG, blood test and urine test later, we are sent away with medication for a water infection! All that drama for a water infection! All I can say is THANK GOD!

I don’t even want to put into words what went through my mind over the 16 hours I was with him not knowing what had happened. I stayed awake whilst he slept to make sure he was ok after the fright we had both had and prayed that he would be ok. I think working with bereavement, as I do, gives you a real fear of mortality and having lost very special people in my life, I did fear the worst, however silly that was.

So, as dramatic as it sounds, I had the best Valentine’s Day present ever – knowing my man was ok.

Happy Valentine’s Day for yesterday. Hope your day was significantly less dramatic than mine!

Bx

I’ve just had beans on toast with a little topping of grated cheese (the best quick meal, ever!) and now I’m chilling out a bit before heading to my yoga class. I signed up for a 12 week course of yoga and I am in week 4 and loving it. I’m a very lazy person and I have hated exercise since I was a child. I think it was for a number of reasons – laziness mostly – but also because I hated getting changed in front of people. I have horrible skin on my legs and so the idea of showing them off in tiny shorts and a netball skirt was horrifying to me. Add that to the nastiness of some little girls and I definitely didn’t want to get my legs out! One girl once exclaimed loudly “urgh, look at your legs! If I had legs like that, I wouldn’t be seen DEAD in shorts!”. Nice. Anyway, I am blessed not to have bad skin on my face and neck and so the way I see it is, I don’t have to show my legs ever so I’m luckier than a lot of people!

Anyway, I digress. I’m loving yoga as it is self-disciplined. I can push myself as hard as I want to and if I fail in a posture, I only fail myself, no one else. It’s not competitive and it’s so difficult that you are actually forced to think of nothing other than your breathing and the ridiculous position you have twisted your body into! So I find it really does help me to relax and I notice a difference in my muscle tone which is always a plus especially when you want to be drop dead gorgeous on your wedding day!

Crazily, I’m signing up for a 8.5 mile run in June too. I’ll be running it with my Father-in-Law to be. We ran the half marathon together in October – he ran, I walked most of it – and I promised him that I’d be able to run the whole 8 miles. For my training for the half marathon, I managed to train to about 4.5 miles and on the day, I probably ran 6 of the 13 miles without stopping and then fell into an entertaining and quite painful walk-run-run-walk system. Ouch. So, I really should get out there and start training again……perhaps when the weather improves!

So, all this exercise is going to mean I’m going to be super fit by my wedding day, right?? Unlikely but it’s something to motivate me!

Bx

As I sit here knowing that tomorrow I have to go back to work and face a reality outside of my pyjamas, I realise I haven’t blogged since mid-December. Christmas came and went in a whirlwind, didn’t it? My mind has been far from wedding planning and blogs and has been fully consumed by planning for Christmas! We had an early Christmas celebration with G’s parents who decided to go away until after New Year and are no doubt enjoying beautiful sunshine in Kenya right now! Then followed the usual busy period at work leading up to breaking up and the start of what was our first Christmas together, just me and him (and Mr Pig).

We had a chilled Christmas Eve, finishing wrapping the presents and watching some Christmas telly. He woke me at 6.15am on Christmas morning!!! We opened lovely presents together and got ready to go to my parents’ house, visiting his sister en route. We exchanged gorgeous gifts and ate too much food and spent a lovely, relaxed time together! Only problem was, G had man-flu. Bless him, it has been horrible and it’s still going!! Thankfully (touch wood) he hasn’t passed it to me, yet. Who knows, he had it over Christmas, it may be waiting to pounce on me for New Year’s Eve! It did mean that we had to cancel visits. We were meant to visit family but it involved a pregnant cousin, a newborn and two grannies so we thought it best that we didn’t spread germs to the vulnerable! At first, we were hugely disappointed not to see family but to be honest, we have loved being forced to chill out.

So now it’s time to consider 2012 and think about the things we want to work on:

1. wedding planning – wedding day: August 31st!
2. continue to work on G to let me have  a dog
3. really try to make some career decisions
4. think about decorating
5. learn how to do some very basic gardening
6. learn how to do some very basic cooking
7. try to be healthy, lose a bit of weight and to get to a happy place by the wedding day
8. enjoy our last months as an engaged couple
9. blog more
10. discuss each other’s hopes and aspirations and help each other reach them

I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions, mainly because they don’t always stick. I’d rather think ahead and try to visualise where I’d like to be at the end of the year. What about you?

We’ll have a quiet New Year’s Eve as G works both the Eve and the Day but the way I see it, as long as I’m seeing the year in with the man I want to see the year out with, I’m happy.

Hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas

Bx

Hi there,

Hope you’ve had a lovely week. I have. I’ve had two days off work as I had annual leave to take and it has been such a treat. I wasn’t feeling very festive so on the first day off, G and I went into town (early to beat the rush) to do a bit of Christmas shopping, visit the Christmas Market and have a nice lunch in order to kick off the festive feeling. We came home and wrapped presents whilst watching Elf! Bliss. So I’m fully in the festive mood now which is great because this weekend sees our First Christmas of 2011! G’s parents decided they would like to go away this year and so will be spending Christmas in Kenya! So their family Christmas is this weekend. Today, a few drinks at the Christmas Market and tomorrow is their Christmas Dinner and present swapping day! At first I felt a little pressured having to ensure all of my presents are bought a week early but now I’m thankful! I only have a few other gifts to buy before the real Christmas next week!

I really hope all of your festive plans are going well. I’ve seen lots of posts about handmade Christmas gifts. One year, I dream of being that organised and creative!

As I am not very organised or creative, I’ve loved finding personalised gifts this year and whilst some are made for me by incredibly creative and clever friends, others I have got from NOTHS.

Look at this beautiful print which I have bought personalised for my cousin’s new baby:

by This Paper Book on NOTHS

And as my mom and I always buy each other a new tree decoration every year, I had one personalised for her like this –

by Country Heart on NOTHS

And as my Mother In Law makes Jams and Chutneys, I bought her these labels:

by Rosie Robbins on NOTHS

It’s such a joy knowing that I can still find these quirky, personal gifts when I haven’t been able to make them myself but every time I buy one I think ‘I’m sure I could do this’. Maybe next year, hey?

In case I don’t have a chance to jump back on here, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas filled with family and friends and most of all, lots of love. Thank you for being part of my life this year. This was a big step for me and I am overwhelmed with how lovely everyone is in this virtual world.

Much love

Bx

Cor blimey, is anyone else having a mega busy December? It’s only the 6th and it’s so hectic! I’ve got something on every night this week as well as work in the day where I have a huge case load to deal with! Still, I am much better when I’m busy. I don’t know about you but I’m one of those lazy people. If I don’t have clients ringing me constantly or bosses asking me to do stuff when I’m already busy, I tend to be a bit slow at everything! Slower to get out of bed, I take longer to get ready and it takes me a couple of hours to really get going when I’m in the office. Procrastination is my middle name! But when I’m busy, I get things DONE!

Unfortunately, it does mean that the things I’m getting done are all work related. Which is fine because I need to get it done otherwise I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of files and that’s just….tiring!

Wedding planning is on hold a little at the moment. I have had some ideas for flowers, things to hire for my table centres and my cake. I’m just trying to decide what I want to do. The bridesmaids and I are all meeting on the first weekend of February to have a day out shopping for dresses. Hopefully I’ll be able to finalise the colours in my mind then so I can get on with planning my wedding stationery! I can’t believe that it’ll only be 6 months to the big day then! We’ve got a wonderfully talented friend who will be designing our stationery and I just can’t wait to see her ideas!!

I met up with old friends last weekend and whilst we were all sat around the dinner table, someone mentioned that this time next year, we’d all be married! What an idea! I’ll be able to call G my husband and I just can’t wait!

I think 2012 will be a good year. I can feel it in my bones!

Happy December. Don’t work too hard. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all!

Bx

ps Here’s our Tree – we’ve been collecting special baubles over the years. I like each bauble to be different and to hold a special memory for us!

Our Christmas Tree (a wonky photo, not a wonky tree!)

 

Mr Pig's Christmas List

 

 


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