Well I thought it was exciting

I am very lucky to have had another lovely weekend! It involved an errand running Saturday which ended with my stopping the nights with my folks, drinking wine and watching the new Hitchcock film (which I really enjoyed and would recommend you see!) and then on Sunday my sister and her bloke descended to cook us a cooked breakfast  – which in itself is a huge treat because the last time I had a cooked breakfast was exactly a year ago. I remember as it was the day the ex and I headed to France on our ‘make or break’ holiday – yep I’ve almost been single for an entire year! Anyway, I’m sure I will touch on that in a later post! (I hear you waiting with bated breath!) Anywho…

After the breakfast we all piled into the car as we were attending my Great Aunt and Uncles 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations. It was the most lovely day, good food, good wine (perhaps a little too much), my sister is currently complaining about her ‘wine head’ that started at 10pm last night! It was a chance to meet up with family members that I haven’t seen for far too many years (the last one was 4 years ago) and we took the obligatory photos adding in different levels of the family as we grew. It was one of those days that made me proud of my roots and desperate to strengthen the family bonds that we share.

However, today I want to tell you about the fun and games we had before the ‘event’ itself. You see the event was a good 3 hour drive away from my mum and dads house. I know for some of you that live in more exotic lands 3 hours may not seem that far, but for me from little old England a 3 hour journey is quite an undertaking. To allow time for traffic we set off giving ourselves about 5 hours to get there. You see Dad had been on the internet and so he knew that there was a nice garden center only a junction away from the restaurant that this meet up was taking place in. So we had a plan, get down there and then potter around the garden center and treat ourselves to a coffee out.

I will admit we did look a site all walking into the garden center in our Sunday best. I don’t know many people who go garden shopping in high heels with a clutch bag but on Sunday I did…..or at least I would have had the power not gone off in the garden center about 5 minutes after we arrived forcing the staff to remove everyone from the store.

Luckily, on getting into the store Mum and I had made a bee-line for the toilets and so we at least got to ‘spend a penny’ before being kicked out, my sister bless her however was not as lucky and spent the entire time stood out side the store with her legs crossed. But don’t worry, I was a lovely big sister and was sure to point out all the water features that were within sight and offer her a mouthful of my bottle of water every few minutes!

Although it was not my sisters ‘need’ that caused the most merriment as we stood outside the store. No you see everyone was laughing at me. The moments the lights had gone off Mum and I were in the disabled toilet and we thought the lights had gone out because we had been in there too long  – seriously, you have no idea how shoddy disabled toilets are until you attempt to use them when you have a disability, the stories I could (and might) tell. So we assumed this was just another shoddy toilet and that the lights were motion censored and just hadn’t been set for long enough. So in an attempt to turn the lights I started to do laps of the disabled loo. I must have done at least 10 laps of the loo before giving it up as a bad job.

I appreciate that it probably is one of those ‘had to be there moments’ but it didn’t half make us laugh!

I don’t want to say it but…. it’s my house!

One sentence that would sum up the entire house moving/redecorating experience would be ‘it didn’t go quite as planned’. My first clue that things wouldn’t go as ‘the norm’ would be my offer on the house being accepted in a little under 5 minutes but me being me (and despite how I appear on here most of the time) I like to keep optimistic and so keep telling myself “things will work out this time”. Only yet again they haven’t …. quite.

For a month now I have been explaining to my dad the virtues of using the upcoming long weekend to fit my kitchen. I am busy Saturday night and so won’t need to be able to use the house meaning we can down tools Saturday and walk out for the evening. We wouldn’t have to stop and clean up so that I could cook and then have breakfast the next morning. After a lot of discussion (because a month seemed like a long time when I first raised the suggestion) it has been decided that this weekend is ‘kitchen weekend’. I have bought the sink, the tiles are being bought this evening, the wallpaper and paint has been decided on and purchased. I have taps, pipes, flooring, boxes to store the opened food in, a space in the conservatory to store the boxes I will fill. I as organised. I as excited.

Then my dad mentioned that we will have to ask the store to cut the work surface to size. I’ll be honest I hadn’t even thought about this. I had chosen the colour of my work surface (grey) and made sure it matched everything. I had planned the cupboard layout in minute detail (yes, I even produced a scale drawing for where everything is going!) but I hadn’t twigged that the work surface would need cutting to size. I am going to have two L-shaped work surfaces and so there will need to be at least two joins. Suddenly the decision of where to make the ‘straight’ cut and join had me panicked. Which way would I cut it to make the kitchen look as long as possible? Especially as in one corner the L bit is only about 50cms, which was would look the best? I was undecided and have been playing with the decision back and forth for a few days now.

Then my dad mentioned a join where it’s all hidden, but you need a special bit of kit to do it (see how much I understand I still don’t know what it’s properly called!).

If you care here is a link to the joining work surface thing I am talking about. if not then just accept it look very pretty, hides the join brilliantly and would solve my problem.

Turns out the special bit of kit I need to do this (as a normal saw won’t do) is owned by my sisters boyfriends father (keeping up?) and I can have it the weekend after next. Result. The only downside is that this weekend is ‘kitchen weekend’.

Dad and I have agreed that the short L shaped section would look better with a hidden joint and so have decided to hold off putting in the work top on that side of the kitchen until I can have it fitted by my sisters boyfriends father. But we are disagreeing about the other side. The other side contains the sink, and will be a large L so my dad thinks it’s worth battling on, getting it done (straight cut and join) and dusted. He says no one will notice as it will be a busy area anyway as it has the sink etc and if I don’t fit that side I can’t fit the sink, the dishwasher, the washing machine (they are all going to be inter-plumbed). Technically if I wait I would only manage half the kitchen on ‘kitchen weekend’ and rather than a finished kitchen I would have another room to add to my list of ‘nearly but not quite finished’ rooms.

However, to me waiting a week to have a clean hidden join is worth it. I know it is a faff. I know it is far from ideal, I know no one else will notice but I will see the join. I will notice it and I will wish I had waited the extra week every single time I wipe down the work top.

My folks have been beyond amazing whilst doing this. My dad has worn himself out trying to get this finished, making trips to DIY shops before and after work, watching YouTube videos, funding me when my finances became tight….. but I know if I don’t wait one more week to have it perfect I will be gutted and it will bother me every. single. day.

I’ve tried talking to my dad about this, but he is keen to crack on and so it’s falling a little on death ears.

The only thing I haven’t done is played the ‘it’s my house’ card.

I don’t want to play that card. But then it is my house and it does matter. It’s going to be years before I do the kitchen again and to wait 5 days to have a clean join seems so worth it to me.

But when my dad has given so much, knackered himself to get my little house perfect, how do I ask him to give even more?

Saturday night (part 2)

It was a good job I had poured myself that glass of wine as things started to go down hill pretty rapidly. I explained to the girls we were going for the smart/ casual look, which went onto a second conversation explaining what smart/casual means (look at me shaping young minds!!). Inspired by a full understanding of the brief the girls took great delight in pulling out every item of their mothers clothing and offering it to me to try on.

Due to having poly cystic ovaries, liking food and loathing sit ups I struggle with weight around my middle. This is something that has always annoyed me as my arms, shoulders and legs are skinny(ish) and I have recently lost my double chin due to my cycling obsession. However, I am very aware of that I have a “muffin top” and so when deciding what to wear I always want to ensure that my stomach is hidden. I do not want to be one of those woman that people look at and think “she’s kidding herself she’s that size” or “if she’d have only gone a size bigger that would have really suited her”. So when trying on the different outfits I did some in head criticisms of how I looked.

I was very aware that I did not want the two girls to over hear me criticising myself. I don’t want to be responsible for them doing the same thing in years to come, and I know my body is not as bad as I think it is in my head. However I must have let some comment slip through my lips because soon, with each different outfit, as I stood assessing myself in the mirror, I was told “look at your belly in that”, “do you think your too chubby for that one too?” then as I was handed outfits “do you think you’ll fit into this one” or “this one looks bigger”. It all become too much when I was finally told “that one doesn’t even do up” to which I responded with a slightly short “that’s because I have boobs and your mother doesn’t”.

I have to say when I finally found an outfit I was happy with I was not feeling the 1000$ I was hoping I would. But don’t worry the girls didn’t just help build up my confidence before hitting the town as when my friend got out the shower her eldest looked at her and let out a very loud “yuck mummy what have you done to your face.”

A family picnic

I am so lucky to have the worlds best parents ever. Fact.

I am ashamed to admit that I have not always thought this. I went through the embarrassment phase as a teenager. In fact I shudder to remember that I used to worry what people would think about me being in town with two parents when all my friends were just with their mum or their dad. This single parent phase of my friends folks was not to do with their dad being better at coming up with excuses to avoid shopping than mine, no this was because their folks were going through a divorce. Yet as I child I did sometimes wonder why we did everything as a family of four (little sis makes 4).

However, as the years have passed and I have grown up a little (and am not so much in need of a good slap) I cannot believe how truly blessed I am to have my folks as my folks. You may think I am biased but I am not – they just rock! This has recently been proven with the massive amount of support they have given me over the last 6 months. My mother is one of the few people who will still comfort me when I burst into tears because I miss him and understands. I know people are trying to help but being told “he’s an arse who wasn’t ever going to stick around” does not only not help but couldn’t be further from the truth. He was massively messed up following a relationship – and I now find myself in a similar situation. I hope that this doesn’t mean in the future I too will be disregarded with a simple “what an arse” (Unless I am walking past, and the comment is made about my amazing bum in which case arse away!!) My dad has been amazing, and has taken to driving the half hour trip to my new place almost every evening to help me ‘crack on’ with the million of jobs that need to be done before I can move in, bringing with him my tea for the night which he has cooked and tried to keep warm (he has even brought up the microwave on a number of occasions). The have both toured numerous DIY shops and stood for what felt to my like hours as I have looked at two similar colour paints, unsure as to which shade of ‘off white’ I should paint my walls.

Last night, we went on another DIY paint picking shopping trip. They knew it was going to be another late night and so they packed a picnic which we ate, sat in the car park of a retail outlet and it yet again struck me how amazing they are and how lucky I am to have them. But it also made me cry.. well sob.

They shouldn’t have to be this amazing. They had done their bet and passed me on to him to look after, keep safe and sit in the car park eating sandwiches after an evening choosing paint samples. They are having to pick up the pieces that he created, time and time again.

I am so lucky to have the worlds best parents ever. Fact.

Thunder Being Stolen!!

I can’t help but worry that this is what’s happening to me at the moment. You see, me getting my own place has lit a fire underneath my sister and her boyfriend and they have suddenly decided that they have had enough of their rented house and so would like to get a place of their own. I can completely understand where they are coming from, and I genuinely do hope they find their own little place soon, but there is a part of me that feels like my thunder is being stolen and part of me thinks does she have to have everything??? She has the functioning, we’re going to get married and have babies relationship does she need the dream house right now too?

What I have been through I wouldn’t wish on anybody. Having the guy you were hoping to marry kick you out while your planning a forever after not only rips your heart out but does a pretty good job of totally fucking with your head as well. Especially if you are still having counselling as a result of the work place bullying and mind games. But there is part of me that looks at her and can’t help but think that she has it all, and she’s about to have even more.

It literally started the evening I had completed. They came round to see my house, but quickly the conversation moved onto the two new houses they were viewing that week. Tonight my folks were hoping to come and help with further work around my house and celebrate the installation of my new wood burning stove but instead they are having to go and view houses with the two of them.

I know it shouldn’t matter. I talked to my dad and he pointed out that even when they get their place, I have bought mine alone. I am renovating it single-handedly, and they are both immensely proud of me for doing this. But I know there house is going to be bigger, that people will stop talking about my house, my achievements and suddenly their house will be the new topic of conversation.

Selfishly, when I feel like such a failure having my house move glossed over is making me feel very much like my thunder is being stolen and I don’t like it!!

I’m not counting, but….

One of my oldest friends got engaged to her long term boyfriend on Valentines Day. I am so pleased for her. They have been together for what feels like forever, they are definitely into double figures, and I was a little worried that he would never ‘pop the question’ but he did and I am so so thrilled.

But I have 6 close female friends. Three of them walked down the isle last year, one of them moved agreed to move in with her fella, this one has now gotten engaged and with each brilliant piece of news. As I beam at their obvious happiness, I remember that he didn’t want to marry me. I remember that he married someone else, but didn’t love me enough to marry me. It used to be ok, I understood he was once bitten twice shy, and we have a commitment and wanted a life together and I was genuinely alright with that. Yes, a tiny part of me lived in hope, but I wasn’t throwing away something so amazing over something so trivial.

However, now I am single. I feel like a failure and have never been further from my ‘happily ever after’. I still want him back. Despite everything I pray that we can find a way to make it work, that in a couple of years we will be living together, back in our house. But i don’t know. I don’t know if he’ll ever step up, and I honestly don’t know if I will find someone I am as happy with. I will look. I will try, but who knows what the future holds!

I am so happy that their lives are working for them, and that they are so happy. But I am beyond jealous!

Although I am not totally alone, I do have my newly single friend, who is going through very similar issues as I am. She is the one I reached out to on the receiving of the ‘great news’ and was the one to put a smile on my face when with her one worded response to my text “fool!”

A Deconstructed Wedding

As I said yesterday in my post (go read it now, I’ll wait!) a lot of friends, family, random people in the street worried I was giving up too much for him.
My ‘sacrifices’ were one of the things we would argue about almost daily and being the stubborn arse that he is he refused to see that as a “young woman” (condescending much?!) I could be happy without the life he imagined I wanted including the big white wedding. To be fair I couldn’t promise him that I wouldn’t one day regret that I hadn’t gotten married, but I knew that as far as I was concerned our relationship and life together, committed to each other mattered more!

I was out shopping with my mum one day, having this very discussion with her when she said “well you will just have to have a hen party type weekend for your 30th” and suddenly I had a light bulb moment. I decided that I could quite happily live my life with him and then if later down the line I suddenly needed the cake, the dress, the hen party, I could have them all I had to do was deconstruct the ‘traditional white wedding’ for example:

Hen Party: The idea of having a hen party worries me. Will people want to spend an entire weekend celebrating with me? How many girls would I have to invite? Friends, Family, Work colleagues? Even without any wedding plans the idea of a hen do stresses me out. I have a limited number of friends and relatives I would actually want there and I am passed the getting drunk and playing silly games thing – been there, done that, threw the hat away a few years back. However, deconstructing the wedding meant that I could invite only the people who would ‘get’ what this was and so I would have the people there who love and support me. I wouldn’t be worrying about people as only true friends would support such a crazy idea. Suddenly this tradition appealed to me!

This brilliant idea partly gifted to me by my mother then opened up the flood gates:

Wedding cake: If i decided I wanted to spend a significant amount of money on a cake I could do just that. One day I could walk into a bakers and order myself and expensive three tier cake but rather than having to have fruit cake and white icing, it could be chocolate and bright blue with a frog on top.

The Dress: There was nothing to stop me spoiling myself and spending a fraction of the money one would spend on a wedding dress on a really special dress for me. But once again it could be whatever style, shape or colour I wanted. Short and backless – why not? Green instead of cream and I bet I would get more wear out of it!!

The only time this really fell apart was the children debate. He didn’t know if he wanted children. Hell he still does’t. Whereas I have been told that due to various health issues I may struggle to conceive (although that opinion does differ depending on the doctor giving it!). After much thought and soul searching I told him that if the time came when I chose having a child above him, then I would walk away and do it alone.

I know that may sounds crazy but I have been following the blog of the most amazing Mumma for a while and she gave me the courage to make this decision. I told one of my close friends and amazingly she was on board with this idea, and even my parents were supportive. The only person who hated it was him.

The crazy thing about the child debate was that more than anything I wanted to give him a child. Weirdly more than anything I wanted to give him a son. This is despite the fact that I want to have two girls. When we were together I asked myself almost daily ‘if I can’t have children with the man I love then do I really want a child’ and the honest answer was I didn’t know.

And so I told him I would wait, wait until I was ready to have a child and then if I was and he wasn’t I would walk away and if he had finally grown up then we would have taken the next step together. With or without marriage.

What is a marriage?

Todays post is dedicated to the very lovely Donna – thank you for inspiring me (and sorry it’s a day late!)!

I know my friends and family worried I was going to give up too much to be with him. I can understand how they may feel like this but due to a conversation I had with my very wise Uncle a few years ago –I never felt like I was losing out on anything!

I must have been about 14 when I turned to my Uncle and stated that I couldn’t wait to get married. I can remember he asked ‘why’ and so I told him. Well I get to have a big dress, and have my dad walk me down the aisle, to ask people to be my bridesmaid and have a big family get together. My Uncle turned to me and said “but that’s a wedding, not a marriage!” And he was right.

Weirdly, since before I met him whenever I thought of my wedding day I had an image in my head. However it isn’t of the traditional church wedding. I would love to get married somewhere hot, next to the sea. I imagine me walking down the aisle in bare feet and a very simple white dress and guest which consist of immediate family and a few carefully selected friends. Weirdly, dating him gave me the freedom to finally admit to this dream.

The words of my Uncle have always stuck with me. I want a marriage, not a wedding. That is how when I thought I had found the right guy I could so easily walk away from the ‘big white wedding’ that I don’t know if I want. The one thing I do know is that I want to find someone to share my life with. I want the commitment, an agreement to figure our lives out together, the promise of “better or worse, sickness and in health, til death do us part.”

Many people say marriage is just a piece of paper, and my thought is it is…. and it isn’t. The legal side of marriage is in my opinion, very much a piece of paper. Ok it makes things legal, gives you something in the eyes of the law if things don’t work out as planned but at the end of the day it is just a legal agreement and that piece of paper can not a marriage make.

A marriage is about so much more. It is about making a commitment and meaning it. Figuring out a way to get through life together, taking on the world to keep each other safe and at the end of the day if someone is willing to make that commitment and promise to me does it matter where the promise is made? What I’m wearing? What I will eat after? What matters is that that guy is standing up and saying I want you to be my everything forever and meaning it with everything he is!

I survived!

I survived, it didn’t go completely without stress – OH pointed out just how awkward the situation was and I am now analysing every second of the conversation to see if I can figure out how he is feeling, what’s going on in his head and when he will turn up on his white horse and beg me to take him back?

BD and Mity were ok together, and I am now concerned about the next time they come round (which is Friday as OH has suddenly asked if I would like him again for a few hours on Friday – and don’t think I haven’t over analysed the heck out of the meaning behind this too!)

I would go into more details but my internet is playing a brilliant game where I can only see what I am writing so long as I am writing, if I stop or delete the screen greys over and I can’t see a thing so heaven knows how this post will actually appear. But not being able to over share is perhaps a good thing, I am happy to share my story, but don’t want to over share OHs and plus I may well start haemorrhaging readers if I suddenly ask you all to leave a 500 word essay entitled what is going on in a mans head!

Now I find out if this will actually post?!

My morning routine

I’ll be honest, I am a creature of habit and like my routine – to the extent that I have been know to have full on panic attacks if my routine is threatened, but that’s another story for another time!

My morning routine used to be
– 6.30am: OH alarm goes off, he puts it on snooze and we cuddle in bed for 10 minutes.
– 6.40am: OH alarm goes off for a second time, he groans gets out of bed and takes BD for his morning walk. I stretch out and fall back to sleep on OHs side of the bed
– 6.55am: My alarm goes off, and I push the snooze button repeatedly until OH comes back from walking the dog, brings my morning coffee up for me and tells me to get up. BD comes upstairs with OH, and stands at the side of the bed wagging his tail and licking my hand.
– 7.00am: OH leaves the house, I invite BD to join me on the bed while I drink my coffee.
– 7.30ish: Pull myself away from BD and go to jump in the shower. Be followed by BD with his favourite toy (a mit that was brought to clean the shower with. This has become his most prize possession which he found and retrieved from where it lived, for a few months the mit was put away before I left the house, long ago I gave up and it now lives in his toy box.)
Spend the entirety of the shower with BD dropping the mit within my reach and me chucking it for him, only once did the mit join me in the shower (I turned round from washing my face to see it bobbing in the water) and only once has it landed in the toilet due to a chuck from BD (when OH was on watch, I always made sure the toilet lid was closed before playing this game!)
– 7.45ish (depending on timings, hair washing etc): get out of shower, to get dressed, followed by BD and the mit.
– 8amish: sort out BD breakfast, toys, get my lunch out of fridge etc. Occasionally if running early take BD for a quick walk.
– 8.10am: feed BD breakfast including getting a Sit, Paw and Kiss before saying goodbye and heading to work.

Now….

– 6.55am: Alarm goes off, feel pleased with myself for sleeping through the night. Then get a stabbing feeling through my heart as I look across to the other side of the bed and realise there is no OH and will be no BD to greet me.
– 7am: get into shower, where there is no mit tossing, no games, in fact I am alone in the bathroom for the first time in 10 months.
– 7.15am: get dressed.
– 7:35am: go into mum’s room kiss her goodbye and Kiss the top of Mitys head (he is fast asleep and less than impressed I am waking him, he stretches and roles over)
– 7:40am: get lunch from fridge, leave for work. Hope that today I will feel numb and have fewer tears.