Oh lovely day

Today has been a good day ūüôā

It felt like a good day from the minute I woke up, and it really hasn’t disappointed!

I had a little lie-in, then got up for church and for the first time in about two weeks I didn’t have mad panics trying to work out what to wear [I’m not usually that girl but recently none of my clothes have felt right and it takes a proper old drama and tizzy to find any outfit that I’m happy with] and just wore jeans and a top that I felt comfy in. I even felt like my hair looked good – it’s been difficult these past weeks because I’m trying to grow it longer for this but it’s at that awkward place where it doesn’t want to do anything and I end up shoving it in a ponytail or bun – Not so today, I left it down and felt good about it!

I read my Bible whilst eating my breakfast, and I’m at that bit in Numbers where the donkey talks so that’s always a treat! Makes me giggle to imagine it.

After breakfast it was off to church, where I chatted to some lovely folks whilst drinking tea out of my favourite green mug (I have a little contest with a guy from church to see who gets the green mug each week – this week he had left it for me! How sweet) It really is the best mug.

I was serving in creche for the 9am service, and it was the most chilled out time we’ve ever had – 9 little ones between 3 helpers, and the cutest little kiddos. Admittedly there was a LOT of snotty-nose wiping and at one point, one of the other ladies’ had to physically hold my child’s head so I could wipe the gunk off his face…but other than that, we played and we sang and we cuddled and it was just joyous!

Because of serving in the first service, and because¬†I wasn’t at church last week, I decided to stay for the 11 am service to hear the preach. And yay, for getting to worship at both services. It was a great service, a guy called Geoff preached about how we can evangelise to people by just telling them our own testimonies. Very encouraging and I love his preaching style.

After church I meandered around the supermarket (forgetting one of the only things I actually needed, but coming home with a melon…just because) and went to a discount store to buy fairy lights for Thursday’s shopping evening…and then I came home and watched some of the OC whilst I had lunch.

Anyone else remember how good the first season of the OC was? I simply cannot believe that it was on about a decade ago! It makes me feel so grown-up [old] when I think that I was in my early teens when I watched it. But it was oh-so-good, and just hearing the theme tune makes you want to live in Californiaaaaaaaaa

So yeah, lunch and the OC – falling in love with Seth again, and wishing that silly Anna away because oh-my-gosh-he-is-just-meant-for-Summer-even-though-she-doesn’t-like-him-right-now-she-will-soon. Yay for¬†the teenage romance drama!

And then, in the middle of the Ryan-Marissa angst, I had a sudden burst of Need-to-craft-itis and then proceeded to absolutely cover my living room with floor, pins, tape measures, ribbons, cardboard templates and all other kinds of haberdashery paraphenalia [with my Christmas songs in the background, of course] for about 5 hours and I made some very lovely stockings and tree decorations.

In the midst of my sewing I realised it was dinner-time so I put food in the oven…but then got so absorbed in the sewing that I completely forgot about my dinner and it was only when I looked up and the flat was basically a cloud that I realised it had been in there about an hour too long.

Whoops. Mishap of the day. It was all fine though, I opened all the windows and threw away the burned food and started over – making sure I kept an eye on it. Dinner Mark 2 was actually quite tasty!

Once I was done with the sewing and the flat looked as if a bomb made of fabric & ribbon had exploded…I had a tidy up! And watched some TV (Strictly results…I’m sad Victoria went, but she just isn’t as good as the rest of the celebs and it was her turn. I hope Louis goes next week)

And then, need-to-craft-itis hit me again. So I’ve spent the last two hours in my kitchen messing around with melted chocolate. Not gonna tell you what for (in case it doesn’t work out) but right now it all looks so good. And all this to a lovely soundtrack from Colbie Callait, Lady Antebellum, Agnes Obel and Madeline Peroux –¬†courtesy of Spotify.

I’m just hoping all my crafty stuff sells on Thursday because otherwise I will have a bunch of stuff that I have no idea what to do with! But…that’s a worry for another day!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

With one month to go…I am SO ready for Christmas! I’ve spent the afternoon listening to Christmas music, wearing Christmas socks – and decorating my flat!!

(yes, I know the pictures are awful and blurry…I’ve got the shakes at the moment for some reason)

Hooray for Christmas movies!!¬† The book is my favourite Christmas book of all time, it’s so lovely. It’s about a family who have loads of guests (expected and unexpected) on Christmas eve, so they have to have people sleeping in the bath and on mantlepieces … they put the baby in the sink and the five skinny aunts in china dresser. We read it every Christmas,¬†and it always reminds me of when my Mum first read it to be when I was only 9.

I feel like I’ve¬†been getting ready for Christmas since October, because my church is holding a Ladies’ Shopping Event this Thursday¬†(the 5th Annual!) and I have a stall selling little stocking¬†fillers & other crafty gifts. I’ve made¬†cards, cinnamon ornaments, bath bombs, tea-cup candles and¬†glass votives…it all looks very pretty – but I won’t post a picture until¬†after the event.

I’m really looking forward to it – I’ve done stalls twice previously,¬†¬†and I don’t know whether I prefer being a seller or just a buyer. It’s a lovely atmosphere and it really gets me in the mood for all things Christmas.

Just look at some of the things from my pinterest Christmas board:

Trying to organise family Christmas on the other hand, well – that’s been a little tricky.

I’ve probably said before, but I’m one of 4 children [plus two younger siblings from my dad’s second marriage]¬†Add to that, two of my siblings have partners so we also have to factor in their plans with in-laws etc, and the added fun-fact that¬†my Dad is currently working in Afghanistan so only gets a certain amount of leave and isn’t coming home until 28th December … that makes a LOT of different schedules and priorities to figure out so that we can all spend time together.

Since Christmas 2010, there has only been one weekend where we were all together; Abigail’s 18th Birthday weekend in June this year. I see my sisters more often, but my brother comes home less regularly and he and his girlfriend spent last Christmas in Canterbury, just the two of them.

I think I’ve given up on trying to ensure we are all together – because everyone seems to do what they want anyway! I don’t mean that in a grumpy way [well, maybe a bit] … I just mean that, my brother and sister are both in serious relationships, and my younger sister’s job has fairly anti-social days/hours (she works in the pub across the road and they have a fully-booked restaurant for Christmas day).

I sometimes think I need to loosen my grip on my Ideal Christmas…but at the same time I think, why should I?

It’s a hard compromise, because I really value the time when we are all together and love all our weird little Christmas quirks and traditions – even when all of us together means that you can’t move without tripping over someone, and having to wait over an hour for your turn to shower!

I think I’m a little autistic in the way that I would love to keep our little routines at every Christmas – but at the same time I have to accept that my siblings are in different phases of life, and value different things to me.

I guess¬†I’m just going to try not to stress about it – the more I try to organise things and get a plan together, the less organised and less planned everyone else seems to be… I think they do it on purpose! So it doesn’t help me anyway – I just get very anxious and worried that it will all fall apart because no-one else seems to think that planning is necessary.

Sometimes I wonder how my very¬†“anti-planning”, hippie-fied, “what will be, will be”¬†mother ended up with¬†a stressy type-A daughter like me…

But, for now, I have my Christmas tree, I have my pile of presents and my list of things to buy, and I have a great idea for how to decorate my presents (thank you Pinterest!) and that is enough for me!

{via}

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Jazzy

This Wednesday, Rosie and I went to see Chicago at the local theatre. I had so much fun!! I¬† haven’t seen Rosie in a little while, other than saying “hello” at church, so it was lovely to spend a whole evening with her. We had dinner at hers beforehand and caught up a little, then off we went to the Marlowe.

I love Chicago! The staging of this version was particularly impressive because the band were on the stage, rather than in the ‘pit’. They incorporated the band area by having doorways/entrances to the stage and the musicians were very much a part of the show. And, instead of having the characters in the wings, they had chairs lining alongside the band’s stage so the entire ensemble was on stage for the majority of the time.

Roxie was played by Ali Bastian, who used to be on Hollyoaks. Velma was played by someone whose name I can’t remember and Billy Flynn was played by Steffan Booth. It’s a bit funny actually, because Steffan was on Hollyoaks too – back in the day (I think I was about 13) and he played Ali’s character Becca’s boyfriend, Jamie…who died in a potholing accident.

It was a bit weird to remember that¬† I was very into Hollyoaks for a couple of years as a teenager. We’re talking online forums and absolutely could not miss an episode or the omnibus (I think one time I cried because I’d missed it…) Nowadays I can’t think of many programmes I’d less like to watch!

Anyway, the show was great and it was lovely to spend some time with Rosie. There are lots of shows coming up at the Marlowe that I want to see…Dirty Dancing for one! I think Ro and I are going to see that together.

And now, I’m back in Devon for a much anticipated long weekend. I drove down last night, and my sister and her fiance were supposed to be driving down then too – but they got to Birmingham and their car broke down. They have breakdown cover and we thought they had journey completion…apparently not. The recovery driver insisted on taking them back to Bangor. Fortunately though, it was a quick thing to fix and they are somewhere on the M5 at the moment. Hopefully they will be home by 11 and can get a decent night’s sleep because…

TOMORROW we are looking at wedding reception venues and then in the afternoon we’re trying on dresses! It’s a proper action packed weekend with a real-life written down agenda…so I’m a bit thankful that I’ve had a whole day off with Mum. We did a bit of shopping this morning and I’ve been crafting and relaxing all afternoon.

There was a point where I nearly died…climbing the ladder into the loft and the ladder gave way. I was literally half in/half out. Could have been quite badly injured but fortunately we just laughed hysterically whilst I dangled there!

…and on that note, goodnight!

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Heart-strings

I saw this photo today…isn’t it so sad? It just pulls on my heart-strings so much! I just feel sorry for the poor dog that can’t get into his special space now that he’s grown up. I’m probably reading way too much into it, but it genuinely makes me go awwww

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Just a little bit…meh

Where has my lovely, happy, chirpy mood gone? I was ever so contented last week…there was so much to enjoy!

I kicked off the week with a whole day of Disney movies &¬†crafts with my friend Karen, which was great…then on Tuesday and Wednesday I had free evenings so after work I went to the gym (which was actually a bit of a mistake on the Wednesday evening because I had physio that morning and I think I undid some of the work…) and then chilled out at home, doing more crafty things and watching The Paradise on iPlayer (I have to say, The Paradise is the most gorgeous progamme I have seen in a long time…I’ve loved it and watched all 7 episodes over the space of a few days)

Anyway…where was I? On Thursday we had our Small Group Firework Night social – I headed to Jonnie and Kate’s straight after work and we had hot dogs and a bonfire and FIREWORKS!! Which I loved ūüôā And then on Friday I went to the gym again after work and came home to chill out and had a proper early night…

and then Saturday came along and punched me in the face ūüė¶

Who knows what happened between going to bed (perfectly fine) on Friday night, and waking up (as Grumpy McGrumperson) on Saturday…but I did.

I tried staying in bed a couple hours longer, and actually managed so sleep in until 10am…but when I got up I just could not shake the grumps, and then came the anxiety because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and I don’t like that feeling. I could feel that I was just working myself up into a tizzy so I went out for a few hours – pottered around The Range, picked up a parcel and did a few other errands…but the whole day I just felt like crawling into bed and sleeping it off.

I didn’t though…I stuck it out til 5 and then went to our Work Bonfire & Firework Party which actually turned out to be alright and I perked up a bit, but then it finished around 7 and I came home to the flat and just felt so rubbish for the rest of the evening that I went to bed as soon as I could.

Sunday, fortunately, was better than Saturday but I still felt pretty miserable. Which was horrible because I was going for lunch with some friends from church – they were lovely, and it was lovely, and I perked up again but just …

Yes. It’s just been a little bit rough…but for no real reason. It just is. Hopefully this week will be better – today has been so/so…I went to a Safeguarding (training) Conference today instead of my usual day off and while it was a little bit boring,¬†I think it was actually good timing because I probably couldn’t have managed another day dominated by my own company.

I have some good things in the next week – Rosie and I are going to see Chicago which will be super because I haven’t seen her in a while, and then on Friday I’m driving home to see my family for a long weekend. I’ve got Friday-Tuesday off, and my middle sister & her fiance are coming home as well to do wedding stuff. I get to try on bridesmaids dresses!

So in summary…I just don’t know what happened on Saturday but I’m trying not to let it drag into this week and spoil the nice stuff I’ve got planned.

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Acts of kindness

Since I last posted, I have been thinking a lot about friendship and now I show people that they are important to me. As I said then, while I have no control over how my friends act, I can control my own actions.

As such, I decided to make a genuine effort to be more kind to people I care about…which has manifested itself in the following ways:

– leaving a¬†note on my housemate’s bathroom mirror for her last day of school¬†before half term:

Рbuying flowers for a friend who had a bad week

– visiting a poorly friend and taking her favourite Starbucks … including asking them to double up on the cups, and *stealing* some coffee-collars and straws so that she can have the Starbucks experience at home– taking dinner and emergency groceries to a different¬†poorly friend (and also loaning her my un-opened Season 5 of Big Bang Theory)

– swapping a creche serving date, to help someone out

– buying a case of Long Life milk as part of my grocery shopping, to donate to the local foodback

Doing little, nice things for people has really boosted my outlook this week…I’ve found myself looking for ways to make people feel loved or encouraged. I even let a little old couple queue jump at Morrisons’ today, despite us having pretty much the¬†same number of items.

I’m feeling quite upbeat at the moment¬†– helped by the fact that it’s November now and it is a) no longer quite so grey and miserable outside and b)¬†¬†I can legitimately count down to Christmas…not that I haven’t been preparing for the last month or so!! But that’s another blog post.

And so… the moral of this post is; “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)

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