Wedding Prep, a Birthday and Wagamama

Last week was my sister’s 30th birthday, so we made plans to meet up as a family for lunch yesterday. As my sister lives 100 miles away, I got the train up north on Saturday and stayed at her house. It was also the perfect opportunity to spend some time with my brother-in-law and Squidge (my niece) who is now 5 months old.

As always, traveling up in the afternoon is always busy, and it didn’t help that my train was severely delayed, but by the time I arrived I was met with this gorgeous face, which made it all worthwhile. Her hair is beginning to grow so she is looking less like Grant Mitchell from Eastenders now, which is always a bonus!

 

Saturday night was fairly relaxed – the delayed train and the awful traffic meant that we didn’t get home until late – and my brother-in-law was out with his own siblings so after Squidge had been put in bed my sister and I over-indulged on the snacky treats and watched our favourite chick-flick – Only You – while catching up and generally talking nonsense. To save her the time and effort of setting up the airbed I stayed on the couch (which happens to be the world’s comfiest) and enjoyed the luxury of Sky TV, which The Bloke and I don’t have. Continue reading

A Party, a Squidge and a Time for Reflection

It’s been a busy few weeks. With a mixture of supply, invigilating GCSE examinations, freelance music, social media management and time spent with family and friends, every day has been different. I went to visit Squidge a little while ago, who is now nearly five months old and stayed with each family member so I had a chance to catch up with everyone, continued with my wedding planning, I have met up with friends for lunch and at the weekend I crashed an 18 year old’s birthday party, which at 35 years old felt a little silly, but it turned out to be a fantastic night. Continue reading

Notice of Marriage Shenanigans

So, can you tell me if you are related to your fiancé?”

Yesterday The Bloke and I went to the neighbouring town to declare our Notice of Marriage.

The process is essentially there to legally declare our intention to marry within the next twelve months. However, as simple as this initially sounded, I soon discovered that it would be a little more complicated than telling someone and getting a certificate.

We live in a small town on the outskirts of Birmingham. We’re getting married at a venue in Birmingham and because neither of us have a religious faith we have opted for a registrar from Birmingham Register Office to officiate the ceremony instead of a vicar. Continue reading

Why Children are Not Invited to Our Wedding

 

Why children aren't allowed at our wedding

It’s six months until my wedding day and while I have a few things still on my list to tackle, the large things are now booked and organised. Most of it (despite some of the horror stories I have heard over the years from friends and articles I have read online) has been an exciting experience. However, one thing that I found difficult was the guest list.

Why?

Because children are not invited to our wedding, including my own niece.

The Bloke and I don’t have children of our own. I have a very small family – mum, two sisters, one sister’s long-term boyfriend, a brother-in-law and a niece, who will be 10 months old on the day of the wedding. The Bloke’s family is considerably larger, but don’t have young children – the youngest are older teenagers, so it wasn’t a family issue to consider. However, my friends have lots of them. Continue reading

Meet Baby Squidge!

After a traumatic two-day labour, Baby Squidge arrived on Tuesday.

She and my sister were kept in hospital for a few days, but thankfully everyone, including my amazing brother-in-law (who was an absolute legend throughout the whole thing) are doing extremely well and now they are at home – happy, healthy and downright gorgeous!

My sis sent me this picture and gave me permission to share with everyone in all of her squidgy glory…

1, 2, 3… Awwwwwwwww!

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Things I Want My Newborn Niece to Know

Advice for my newborn baby niece

My youngest sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl today. Perfectly formed and weighing 7lb 5oz after a 40 HOUR LABOUR, Baby Squidge (as she will be referred to from now on on the blog) is the first baby and grandchild in our small family of four. As my first and only niece, these are the things that, on the day of her birth, I want her to know.

You are loved and will never be alone. No matter where you are and what you are doing, you will always have a family that you can call on for anything.

Unfortunately, you may meet people that don’t like you. You will meet people who try to validate themselves by trying to tear you down. None of it matters. Love yourself and who you are – it will be one of the greatest lessons you’ll ever learn in life. What others think of you is none of your business.

Be nice to your parents. Say thank you.

Keep the confidence of others, but don’t tell anyone anything that you wouldn’t mind the whole world knowing, unless they prove themselves trustworthy. Continue reading

How to Stop Being a Doormat

How to stop being a doormat

It’s nice to be nice. It’s nice to do nice things for others. However, when nicety is unreciprocated, taken for granted or turns into an excuse for others to be dismissive of you as a human being, then it becomes a problem.

It occurred to me a few years ago that I was held in a very different regard by others to what I had always assumed. Activities and meet-ups often involved multiple changes that would inevitably make it more inconvenient and expensive for me. I spent hours waiting for people to turn up. I was repeatedly interrupted. I was owed money. It wasn’t uncommon for me to receive messages or have conversations that began with a phrase that I have come to loathe:

Can I ask a favour?

The favour. The seemingly easy and straight-forward request that would always turn into a complicated mess and leave me feeling stressed and resentful, particularly when there was no acknowledgement or thanks afterwards. And yet, the one time I remember needing help which would have meant someone having to go out of their way, not a single person responded. Not one. Continue reading

A Christmas Eve Message to You All…

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It’s been a lovely few days. The train journey was uneventful and quick, my mum met me at the station and we have spent most of yesterday and today talking nonsense, sleeping, eating snacky food and competing in a battle of wills over control of the television. Inevitably, Mum is in the lead and as I couldn’t face any more soap opera nonsense (really – the most depressing, soul destroying things ever) I went and had a long bath.

I’ve said it many times before, but I’m incredibly lucky… So many can’t say the same. Continue reading

The Obligatory Christmas Train Journey Post…

It’s 7.30am and I’m on a train up north to spend Christmas with my family. I feel like I’ve written that sentence so many times…

I discovered that tickets to Manchester – my usual destination – were really expensive and there were no connecting trains to Bolton, so I managed to bag one to Wigan instead for £8.50. The only trouble is, it was at 6.15am. It’s worked out well so far – there’s a storm set to hit the north later on this morning, by which time I should be happily relaxing in my jammies at my Mum’s house. The carriage is pretty much empty, so I’ve taken advantage of that and sat at a table with a power socket to charge my phone. There’s the usual whinging toddler (“But whyyyyy? Nooooooo, I don’t want that! Muuuuuum I waaaaant thaaaaat”) so I’ve put my headphones in and am listening to The Backstreet Boys. They’re not normally my travel music of choice, preferring 80’s rock anthems usually, but it feels like a Backstreet Boy kind of day. Continue reading

Family Birthday Celebrations

imageIt’s been a really lovely weekend.

I received a package from the lovely Hugh in the mail. He had put a picture of his Christmas ducks up on Facebook and I left a comment that asked where I could get some Christmas ducks of my own. A few days later, some arrived in the mail! Thanks Hugh!

After setting off at ridiculous o’clock yesterday morning, The Bloke and I travelled up north. It was my mum’s 60th birthday and I was also meeting up with some old friends from my college years, so we were staying at my sister and brother-in-laws house. It was a good opportunity to spend some time with my sister before Baby Squidge arrives next month. Continue reading