Bye Bye Baby Days…

Standard

 

Jet lag lasts a couple of days usually if you’ve crossed 3-5 time zones. So, in theory, by the 10th March, I definitely should have been back to ‘normal’. However, I am only just getting round to doing normal tasks, in which I mean catching up on emails, getting round to replying to messages I’m behind with. Life remained chaos when I was away and consequently it’s taking me ages to get back on top of it all (HA! As if I’m ever ‘on top of it’, it’s taking me ages to feel like I’m only six feet under it rather than 12..!). So I have written blog posts on the fly but they have remained a lonely word document waiting to be finished and published.

 

Consequently, some of these entries will seem a bit higgildy piggildy as I go back and finish off, but for today, the big news is that my baby is one year old! Baby Holly turned one on the 19th last Sunday, as both kids had been quite poorly swapping bugs back and forth from each other (including a rather gunky conjunctivitis!) we’d gone back and forth on riking booking an event and inviting lots of people only to potentially have to cancel. In the end we decided to go for a meal with immediate family before some more family and some of the girls guideparents popped in throughout the afternoon to see us! We also plan to take both girls to Legoland as we did with Scarlett near her 1st birthday for a birthday day trip when both girls are feeling back to best!

 

We now officially don’t have a baby in the household! Our youngest is fast becoming a toddler. Our eldest starts school next year, in no time at all, we seem to have gone from a young unmarried couple having an “oh my goodness in nine months time we’re going to have a tiny baby,” to a slightly older now married couple having an, “look at our two beautiful little girls both turning into actual little people” (usually followed with… “ok whose turn is it to stop Holly pulling her sisters hair in the buggy..?”

 

It’s made us both very nostalgic, even slightly so for the difficult times! Obviously not the traumatic side of those moments, but we’ve looked back on the long late night drives when I couldn’t sleep (or needed a late night McDonalds milkshake in the case of Scarlett’s pregnancy, or a McDonalds Apple Pie during Holly’s!) and we’d chat endlessly about what it might be like to be parents, what we wanted for them, for us etc etc.. Sitting in the hospital watching little grey blobs dance about on ultrasound machines, the two occasions we found out we were expecting girls. For me really distinctly, despite the fact that both births are blurs because of the epilepsy medication and they were both emergency csections. HOWEVER, I really distinctly remember on both occasions staring into my husbands eyes. Knowing that everything was going to be alright because we were there together, and I was looking into his eyes the first time I heard both my daughters first cry. That’s a memory I will never forget.

 

My girls have changed my life. In so many ways, I get even less sleep now, I get peed on much more than I used to and I have more people grabbing onto my hair/clothes/face than I ever used to! But I’m also more motivated, I have more drive, and my days are even more mental than they were before but kind of brilliant. 

 

In my first ever blog post I mentioned wanting to walk the Great Wall of China with my child but that I wasn’t sure if it was something I’d realise was a bit idealistic after having children. But nearly three years in, having travelled quite a bit with both of them (there’s definitely ways of doing it and ways of DEFINITELY not doing it!), I feel like it’s doable, one day. And so I really hope that one day, both girls in hand I’ll still make that ridiculous idealistic milestone that I somehow set myself!

 

Advertisements

32 While 32…

Standard

I turn the grand old age of 32 in a month. And as I’m a big fan of lists, I’ve written a little list of 32 things I’m going to achieve in the year I turn 32. My last post touched on why I’m not a huge fan of New Year as being ‘the time’ for new starts and being when every fresh start must take place. But I have to admit, on my birthday I tend to have a look back at what I’ve achieved in the last 12 months and have a little think about where I hope to get to in the following 12 months.

Six months before turning 30, my husband and I wrote a list of ’30 things to do before turning 30’, we did…well pretty appallingly really(!) but we wrote the list just after Scarlett was born, and frankly, we were a bit naïve and most of the list was affected by the arrival of our beloved Scarlett and the chaos and second pregnancy and little Holly that followed! Therefore, this year, I’m going back to that list first to pick up any that we didn’t do or to alter them accordingly (with the power of hindsight now we’re parents!). As we won’t be having any more children, we at least know that there’ll be no more pregnancies to work our progress round.

The original list (edited with how far we got with it) is posted at the bottom of this post if of interest!

All in all, we weren’t particularly successful with getting through my original list..!! Who knew having two very young children, establishing and growing a family business and carrying on with a career would keep us so busy…!! So my new list will contain quite a few repeats with a few new goals thrown in for good measure!

32 THINGS TO DO IN THE YEAR I TURN 32

  1. Visit Stonehenge – seriously, we’ll get there!
  2. Attend an ancient English festival (my hope is that this year we’ll be able to make the Newent Onion Fayre!)
  3. Perform some music live together in some capacity.
  4. Work abroad (I’m due to in February so hopefully this one should be easy to achieve!)
  5. Put together my second book in follow up to the first, even if I don’t yet publish either.
  6. Do some volunteering abroad.
  7. Have a family photoshoot with my side of the family.
  8. Go skinny dipping (just with my husband I think for that one!)
  9. See a show on Broadway.
  10. Run a paranormal event.
  11. Buy a pair of thigh high boots (not kinky boots, more hippy in style, go back to my boho fashion roots and have a bit of fun with fashion..!)
  12. Host a murder mystery dinner party or two (it’s tough to cut it down to 6-8 guests!)
  13. Attend some kind of cookery lesson, thinking perhaps sushi…
  14. Get involved in a campaign or similar (that I’m not already part of or working towards) about something I believe in.
  15. Go to Paint it Pottery.
  16. Go on a canal boat trip.
  17. Do something VIP, whether it be travelling first class or getting a box at the theatre or something to make an event that bit fancy.
  18. Attend an awards ceremony (I have tickets to one in January so this one will likely be the first to be ticked off an I’m very excited!)
  19. Go away for a romantic night away with my husband (we received a voucher for a Christmas present to do so, so this also should be doable!).
  20. Go paintballing.
  21. Go to and take part in a secret escape room.
  22. Attend a Comic Con, preferably in Cosplay.
  23. See a psychic or attend a séance or something similar.
  24. Go somewhere snowy on a group ski/snowboard holiday (this is hopefully in the planning!)
  25. Go to Thermae Bath Spa.
  26. Celebrate my Mum’s 60th birthday (she turned 60 just before Holly was born and I would normally be the one to have arranged something special but I wasn’t really in the right state to do anything last year sadly so it had to be postponed for a year)
  27. Set & achieve a fitness goal (similar to the swimming challenge I did in September where I swam 2km, not necessarily a swimming one but something to push myself physically).
  28. Make a music video (just for fun but because WHY NOT!)
  29. Get another piece of art (I got a piece of Jack Vettriano art for Christmas which I LOVE and I’d really like to get a second piece to finish off our lounge)
  30. Be involved in some kind of comedy in some kind of way (I’ve been reminiscing recently from some shows I was part of years ago and it made me miss doing something like that, it won’t necessarily be something big but it’s be great to flex those muscles again).
  31. Choose a primary school for Scarlett.
  32. Reserve Holly’s place at the same nursery.

Some entries a bit more extravagant than others, some ultimately more doable than others, but what fun would it be if it was all going to be easy! As last time, we may not succeed with all of them, and we may change our minds on some but that is all part of the adventure. I turn 32 in just over a month on the 5th February which means I have just about 13 months to work through the list, I’ll try and update throughout the next year or so and we’ll have to wait and see whether we do a bit better than our last effort of 18 out of 30!

 

_____

The 30 Before 30 List…

STILL NOT DONE 1- Visit Stonehenge

DONE (with one charity event becoming an annual tradition of ours!) 2- Take part in a charity sporting event together

DONE AT HOME A LOT WITH A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY SONG WRITTEN AND RECORDED FOR MY BROTHER IN LAWS 30TH BIRTHDAY BUT STILL NOT IN PUBLIC 3- Perform music live together (me singing, Tom playing an instrument, something we do at home a lot but never have done in public together…because of fear!)

STILL NOT DONE ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NOW GOT THREE KITS! 4- Host a murder mystery evening (I love these and have done them before, now I have a baby I suspect it’ll be slightly less raucous!)

DONE A FEW TIMES, NEXT TO PLAY MAP ROULETTE EXTREME (go to an airport or train station, get a ticket to the first journey on the board) 5- Play map roulette (pack the car, grab a map, close our eyes, stick a pin in it, most likely miss the map and yelp in pain, eventually hit a random location and head on off!)

STILL NOT DONE! 6- Do a dance class together (dance style not yet specified, suggestions welcome, maybe we’ll try a few!)

WE’VE ATTENDED SEVERAL 7- Attend a dinner/ball (the last one we went to we organised which was slightly more stressful!)

DONE AND SOMETHING WE WANT TO DO MORE OF AS A FAMILY IN 2017 8- Do some volunteering

DONE AND WE HAVE A TRIO OF COMIC COVERS 9- Create a piece of artwork

ABSOLUTELY DONE A FEW TIMES! 10- Have a movie marathon day (movies to be pre selected, day will be suitably accompanied with snacks and all are welcome to join us)

NOT DONE AND WE HAVEN’T TRIED VIKKI’S POLE EITHER! 11- Try pole dancing (we may wimp out of a class but Vikki assures us she has a home based pole we can try!)

NOT DONE, BUT I WILL TRY TO ACHIEVE THIS IN 2017! 12- Face my fear at Birdland and feed the penguins (with head keeper Ali’s help!)

I HAD AN AUDITION THAT I SADLY HAD TO CANCEL LAST YEAR SO ILL TRY AND GET BACK TO IT! 13- Appear on a gameshow (assisted by gameshow experts Stuart & Ali)

I DID AND IT WASN’T NICE!! 14- Eat a pot noodle sandwich (as pointed out by Matt – not acceptable after you’rE thirty and neither of us has ever done this!)

WE’VE HAD TWO WEEKENDS THERE AND ANOTHER ONE PLANNED! 15- Have a weekend in Tom’s honourary homeland Scotland (hopefully including visits to see Toms honourary countrymen!)

DONE AND IT WAS SURPRISINGLY TASTY! 16- Try a deep fried mars bar (well…when in Scotland…!)

DONE AND WE’VE HAD SOME AMAZING FOOD SINCE 17- Go to a foreign restaurant and order stuff we’ve never tried/can’t pronounce (recommendations welcome)

RIDICULOUSLY WE HAVEN’T DONE THIS YET 18- Attend an ancient English festival (along the lines of the Newent onion fayre etc)

WE’VE DONE A FEW DIFFERENT EVENTS AND THIS YEAR WILL BE ORGANISING A COUPLE OF OUR OWN WITH A FRIEND! 19- Go ghost hunting (on an official hunt, guided by a knowledgable friend…or rogue! One suspects October will be best for this!)

WE MET THE LOVELY SANDI TOKSVIG, JOE WILKINSON AND KATHY BURKE. 20- Meet a celebrity (a bit of luck may have to feature in this one!)

WE HAD TICKETS TO A COUPLE OF PROFESSOR ELEMENTAL EVENTS, BOTH OF WHICH WE SADLY HAD TO CANCEL DUE TO ILLNESS, WE DID GO TO A JOHN WILLIAMS CONCERT AND AN OPERA SO THOSE COUNT..? HOWEVER, I’VE GOT TICKETS TO TWO FOR 2017! 21- Attend a live music event

WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE GETTING BUT AS I WAS BREASTFEEDING AND/OR PREGNANT, ITS HAD TO WAIT! 22- Get a tattoo (cue an angry email from my Father in 3…2…1..!)

NOT YET! 23- Go for a cookery lesson

WE HAD ONE WITH MY HUSBANDS SIDE OF THE FAMILY BUT WE ARE STILL YET TO ORGANISE ONE WITH MY SIDE SO WE’LL HAVE TO TRY AND SORT THAT THIS YEAR, ESPECIALLY AS MY BROTHER AND HIS FIANCEE GOT ENGAGED! 24- Have a family photoshoot (we have a huge family so the more the merrier but I suspect it will only include parents & siblings if we even manage to co-ordinate that when we’re all free!)

WE WENT ON THE POLAR EXPRESS WHICH WAS AMAZING ALTHOUGH STILL YET TO GO ON ONE IN LOCAL TODDINGTON. 25- Go on a steam train (either just a journey or make the most of one of the events they run)

WE DID INDEED AND AT LEAST THREE OF THEM WERE VERY SPECIAL TO US. 26- Complete 5 random acts of kindness

STILL HAVEN’T, WE’RE NEVER QUITE SURE WHEN TO GET THE SLOES! 27- Make Sloe Gin

VERY SADLY, WE STIL HAVEN’T DONE THIS FOR EITHER WHICH MAKES ME VERY SAD. BIG FAMILY EVENTS HAVE PROVEN NOT TO BE EASY TO SORT THOUGH – WE MAY HAVE TO JUST DO A VERY SMALL PRIVATE ONE! 28- Arrange & have a baby naming ceremony for Scarlett (more complicated than it sounds!)

WE DID START ONE BUT ARE YET TO HAVE LIVE PERFORMANCE! 29- Start a band (this must include more than just the two of us and at least one live performance, band member volunteers welcome!)

THIS WAS A SECRET CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY WHICH WE WENT ON AND WE’VE HAD A CHRISTMASTIME HOLIDAY EVERY YEAR SINCE SO IT’S BECOME A BIT OF A TRADITION! 30- Secret number 30!

____

One and Onward…

Standard

So, I don’t think I’ve quite dealt with the fact that Scarlett is now officially one! And technically that means my blog is at an end. I’ve started and stopped ‘the final post’ about seventeen different times and each time I get emotional and can’t finish it. In the meantime, blog topics come and go without being written because of my self imposed timeline cut off!

I have therefore made the decision that at least for now the blog will continue. When I started, in my head I clearly thought that by the time Scarlett was one, I would know what I was doing/have parenting sussed out and wouldn’t have any need for a blog. How wrong I was! The bumpy ride of a first time mother begins when that stick shows two lines & I suspect now that it continues forever!

I temporarily abandoned my post comrades as I delayed what I thought was the inevitable, and for anyone that was following along the journey and had noticed the gap, my apologies. I missed you! Sincerely.

For our little girls birthday we did a bit of a two parter. One weekend in Brighton where my family are based but to maximise our time there, we invited our Gloucestershire family to join us so a big group of us Shire-lings had a day out in Brighton on the Saturday, we had a big dinner that evening & we all spent Sunday on the beach & in my Dads back garden playing about with water guns. We brought a caterpillar birthday cake and weren’t sure whether to be proud or a bit horrified when in the middle of singing ‘Happy Birthday’, Scarlett tore the head off and put it straight into her mouth! In fact that whole weekend she was treated to such a large amount of ice cream and cake we felt like the following Monday was the start of a sugar rehab program..!

IMAG0053

Anyway, part two was a couple of weeks later in her hometown, we had a nice lunch and took a trip to a nearby Cotswold village where we all melted as July 1st this year was the hottest day of the year so far, any British readers will sympathise that a 35 degree day is quite a day to get through without air conditioning! Anyone from hotter climes will mock our discomfort but we are just not used to it! It was a lovely quiet day as my husband and I reminisced on the day we spent the year before and all we felt during that first day! We also had a small family BBQ and our little girl in general was predictably spoilt by her four Grandparents!

IMG_6853

It certainly does mark a huge landmark in our baby’s life. She is now officially a one year old! We have one year experience of being parents. And we’re still on the job learning.

So although I had planned to write a fond farewell (and ride off into the sunset with my advanced qualifications perhaps..?!), I instead sign off tonight with a big cuddle for all of you who like me, still have no idea what’s going on despite our year in the field!

IMAG0127

Scarlett is one and I am still very much an unqualified mother on a journey! To the next stage dear friends!

Fuel for the future…

Standard

IMG_6881

I’m much better since the recent procedure I had but it’ll be a while before I’m back to best. I was getting frustrated with myself at how long it was taking, my sleeps all over the place, i’m spending a lot of the early hours awake and my energy levels are quite often in the drain. I booked an extra appointment with the Dr because I’m not known for being the best of patients and when I’m told to take it easy I start to get immediately antsy. At my check up it was made clear that three operations within six months is a strain on the body, especially when becoming a new parent. Luckily for me, my Dr knows me well and knows that telling me to rest up and take it easy is just as useful as talking to me in Latin, I don’t really understand! So he took a different tact, he knows I’m a writer, he knows I need to keep myself busy so he suggested I make sure some of my projects can be done from home. The message was altered accordingly, rest my body, sleep when I can (Scarlett allowing!) and then I’m allowed to occupy my mind!

And as I walked out of the GP surgery, it felt like a massive relief, a massive relief for my husband as well who has been an absolute rock but for all his influence on me, hasn’t been able to get me to slow down! The first thing I did when I got home was make a list (you know how I love a list!) of what I was going to do over the next couple of months, most of which I can do from home. A list to stop me going stir crazy.

  1. Watch my beautiful little girl develop – she changes every single day, she is turning into a confident, beautiful, funny and clever child and being her Mother is one of the highest honours I have ever been bestowed.
  2. The Anti Bullying campaign, there’s meetings to be had and that does mean getting out and about but it means a lot to me and I have some fantastic people on my team helping with it, so as much as possible meetings will be in cosy coffee shops and as local as possible and I will *gulp* delegate as much as possible when necessary and understand that that’s ok…!
  3. Work on completing the second children’s story, whilst getting the first published. This can all be done by the comfort of my iPad and computer.
  4. Take care of my own health even half as much as I care about Scarletts. Tests showed I was still quite dehydrated and three days in a row I had coffee for breakfast whilst cooking multiple things to ensure the freezer was stacked with homemade baby meals. The organisation will now include making sure I am also getting all my nutrients and vitamins; this includes my husband, we have a lot of fun cooking together but we’re going to make sure that that doesn’t just involve our evening meal!
  5. Quality time with my husband. We had a surprise date on the weekend and we had such a fabulous time. We laugh together every day and enjoy our time with Scarlett all the time, but we’re parents every day. And when we get childcare, we have time as husband and wife and it’s amazing. When Scarlett goes to sleep there’s always emails to respond to or tidying up to be done, but I’m more in love with my husband every day we’re together so I’m going to make sure we have some time to enjoy being husband and wife even when we’re just at home. 

When I made that list, I instantly felt lighter. All of a sudden, I didn’t need to stress that I wouldn’t be able to get stuff done, I didn’t have to worry that I didn’t have the energy to do things. I had a concrete list of things to concentrate on, priorities to attend to. I’m not being forced to stop, I’m able to heal whilst still moving forward! 

It does put certain plans on hold, I was planning a big 30th birthday bash, not to mention some of the 30 before 30 list items, there was also a play I was going to be part of, I was joining a choir and I had started back at netball. All things I can no longer realistically do at the moment. It pains me to say it but I cannot do it all. Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT plan on giving up on those things, they remain on my ‘to do’ list, but they’re now on my ’to do slightly later’ list. I won’t finish my 30 before 30 list by 5th February, it’s a week and I’m ambitious and a dreamer but I’m not a complete idiot! However, I will spend an entire year being 30 and so I’m giving myself some more time. Think it’s a cop out? Think I’m breaking the rules? Yeah I am, but I set the rules, so now I’m changing them. What are you going to do, ring the life plans police?! Don’t get me wrong, I stressed myself out because I wouldn’t be completing it in time, I’m not so good at failing, but it’s only by my own benchmarks that I was doing it in the first place. The only difference between whether I succeed or fail is how I look at it. And why would I look at it as a failure if I had an alternative way of seeing it? 

I had a day of feeling low that my 30th wouldn’t be extraordinary, I wanted something really landmark, it’s 30, it’s a big one! And for me personally it’s an important one. And then I realised that I have an extraordinary life, a wonderful husband and the most beautiful baby. The two most important people in my life who I will wake up with that day. And by the sounds of things, I certainly won’t be doing nothing, I’ve been told to keep certain days/evenings and afternoons free, my Dad’s coming down so I’ll have all my family around and so it will be landmark. And hey, next year, if I manage to stay out of the operating theatre for longer than a few months, I’ll do something big, we’ll fly to New York, we’ll host a fancy ball, we’ll climb a mountain. I’ve always done life according to my own rules. I was in hospital when my husband turned 30, so next year, maybe we’ll do something ridiculously big together for the big 3-1, or the big 3-2, we have our whole lives ahead of us for multiple landmarks!

I’ve always been in a rush to do lots of things right now, I’ve always wanted to get as much done as possible and if I’m resting then I’m failing; if I’m taking it easy, I’m not pushing forward or succeeding. What I’ve learnt recently though is that I have to learn that if I push and push and push, the only thing I end up doing is setting myself further back. If i’d rested properly after the emergency C-Section and the follow up second operation, maybe I would have avoided the third. I can’t know for sure, but what I do know is that if I carry on pushing, I’ll be getting on for a 4th operation before Scarlett’s first birthday. By pushing so hard, I’ve held myself back. But now I need to take heed of the Dr’s advice, my husbands advice, my family’s advice! it’s time to rest my body! My mind can keep going (there is no off switch for that, I’ve searched!) but even that won’t be able to continue if I don’t sort myself out. I owe that to myself and more importantly, I owe that to Scarlett. So the next couple of months will be at a more sedate pace. there’s time for everything I want to achieve and if I sort myself out I’ll be able to do even more.

We all want to surpass our own expectations, and we all want to dream big. Sometimes the only thing holding us back is ourselves. For me, finally sitting down will set me free! You wouldn’t drive a car without putting petrol in it, or expect it to drive without enough air in the tyres, cars can’t take that kind of pressure and carry on successfully. So why do we so often not treat our own bodies with the same courtesy as we treat our cars? If you’re running on empty, put some air in your tyres, make sure you have enough petrol before going on a journey beyond your capabilities. It doesn’t make you a failure, you wouldn’t say the car failed at making the trip, you shake your head at the driver who doesn’t look after it well enough. 

There are so many exciting journeys to go on, some of them are local, some of them don’t need much petrol but it doesn’t mean you’re not adventuring or moving forward. With a healthy car, you can travel miles, and I plan on going on lots of adventures in the future so for now, my car is having a service.

Birthday Bucket List…

Standard

Avid readers of my blog will know that my poor husband celebrated his 30th birthday with a small family BBQ, which was lovely but should have included several other events that had to be cancelled as I was pregnant and had a rather severe kidney infection which had landed me in hospital. However, I turn 30 six months today and we were chatting about how to celebrate. We decided against my husband picking up a hospital worthy infection (that’s soooo 2014 dahhling.) and the conversation led onto all the things we thought we’d have done by the time we were thirty.

We’re both really quite lucky in that we’ve both ticked off quite a lot of our individual lists, married, baby , have travelled etc.. But it gave us an idea, an idea that enabled me to write a list (win win!). We have six months, so we may not be totally victorious and a couple of the entries will be somewhat down to luck. HOWEVER, allow me dear friends, to introduce you to our new challenge…

30 Things to do before we’re 30!

I know I know, my husband is already 30, but as I effectively ruined his birthday, we’re now turning 30 on the 5th February as a team!

The rules are as follows;

– we both have to finish each entry, where necessary with adjustments (for example, my husbands gluten free so any food challenges will need to be necessarily adjusted.)

– some of these things one or both of us has done before, we may well have included it to experience it anew together, or to include our new addition baby Scarlett

– our main constraint will be financial so where we can we’ll be doing things creatively to avoid unnecessary costs!

– all are welcome to join in with us and add additional activities to add to our challenge album!

– number 22, apologies to all our parents who will massively disapprove but henna also counts and that’s not as permanent so you never know, we may go for henna instead…!

1- Visit Stonehenge
2- Take part in a charity sporting event together
3- Perform music live together (me singing, Tom playing an instrument, something we do at home a lot but never have done in public together…because of fear!)
4- Host a murder mystery evening (I love these and have done them before, now I have a baby I suspect it’ll be slightly less raucous!)
5- Play map roulette (pack the car, grab a map, close our eyes, stick a pin in it, most likely miss the map and yelp in pain, eventually hit a random location and head on off!)
6- Do a dance class together (dance style not yet specified, suggestions welcome, maybe we’ll try a few!)
7- Attend a dinner/ball (the last one we went to we organised which was slightly more stressful!)
8- Do some volunteering
9- Create a piece of artwork
10- Have a movie marathon day (movies to be pre selected, day will be suitably accompanied with snacks and all are welcome to join us)
11- Try pole dancing (we may wimp out of a class but Vikki assures us she has a home based pole we can try!)
12- Face my fear at Birdland and feed the penguins (with head keeper Ali’s help!)
13- Appear on a gameshow (assisted by gameshow experts Stuart & Ali)
14- Eat a pot noodle sandwich (as pointed out by Matt – not acceptable after you’r thirty and neither of us has ever done this!)
15- Have a weekend in Tom’s honourary homeland Scotland (hopefully including visits to see Toms honourary countrymen!)
16- Try a deep fried mars bar (well…when in Scotland…!)
17- Go to a foreign restaurant and order stuff we’ve never tried/can’t pronounce (recommendations welcome)
18- Attend an ancient English festival (along the lines of the Newent onion fayre etc)
19- Go ghost hunting (on an official hunt, guided by a knowledgable friend…or rogue! One suspects October will be best for this!)
20- Meet a celebrity (a bit of luck may have to feature in this one!)
21- Attend a live music event
22- Get a tattoo (cue an angry email from my Father in 3…2…1..!)
23- Go for a cookery lesson
24- Have a family photoshoot (we have a huge family so the more the merrier but I suspect it will only include parents & siblings if we even manage to co-ordinate that when we’re all free!)
25- Go on a steam train (either just a journey or make the most of one of the events they run)
26- Complete 5 random acts of kindness
27- Make Sloe Gin
28- Arrange & have a baby naming ceremony for Scarlett (more complicated than it sounds!)
29- Start a band (this must include more than just the two of us and at least one live performance, band member volunteers welcome!)
30- Secret number 30! (So named as I’m planning it as my husbands Christmas present!)

There are hundreds of things we could list, but this is our ‘turning 30′ list, chances are we’ll then have a more expansive list, maybe ’35 things to do before turning 35’ (it’s going to start getting tricky when we approach 70…!) thank you to all friends and family who made suggestions, any that didn’t make it onto this list are probably down to budget (or time constraints!) and have been placed on the next list on a wider timescale (We WILL get to Australia Lou I promise!)

Challenges like this are common in my life, I love a good goal or adventure, and we want to instill the same sense of fun (including or excluding the love of lists, that’s up to her!) in Scarlett however she may choose to use it! Where possible she will be involved, after all, she’s a huge part of our life and we want her to be a huge part of it even if she’ll have no memory of this particular one!

The challenge officially starts today, and looking at Scarlett’s smiling face (said smiling face pictured…!), she’s keen to help me, so if you’ll excuse me comrades, I had best get on, we have a list of 30 things to complete in six months…

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!

IMG_3136.JPG