Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A little *blog* of everything...

I've been meaning to blog every day for the passed week, each time about something different, but just haven't got round to it. Nothing has really gotten in the way, I've just been feeling a little low recently.

I am now officially in my third trimester of pregnancy and things are going well. Little Sweetie loves to kick and roll around which makes her Mummy very, very happy :) I am getting bigger, and it no longer looks like I've eaten a few too many donuts; I now actually look pregnant, which also makes me happy.

Pete has now passed through the hair-tearing, post-Christmas phase of University, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief - but just a little one as he still has a good few months to go until Graduation. But he is working so hard, and I am so proud of him.

I cannot believe it has been 10 whole months (and a little more) since we lost little Seth. Every short day that goes by it hurts a little more to know that he's been gone that little bit longer. But I'm okay. I am just grateful for Priesthood Blessings - they are seeing me right through. (Find a definition of a Priesthood Blessing here, and browse to find out a little more here.)

To keep myself occupied while I wait for Little Sweetie to arrive, I have been pinning like absolute crazy, and crafting my hands off! I've been crocheting and sewing and snipping my days away, mostly planning and creating things for Little Sweetie; I'll hopefully be blogging about my various different projects soon!

One of my New Year's "hopes" that I didn't include here on the blog, was to create more home-cooked meals in training for being a Mummy! Pete absolutely loves home-cooked food - more than he loves take-out! - so I've been making a real effort to prepare and cook fresh, healthy meals for us to enjoy when he gets home from a long day at Uni. I'll hopefully be blogging some new recipes soon!

So that's a little update of what's been going on here... There is so much to look forward to this year, and I plan to blog it all! (Well, not all of it, but as much as I can!)

One thing that's happening this year, that I think is just so fantastic, is this:

Pete worked with these Young Men at Church when we lived in Swindon. When the decision had to made to move back to Weston, we were so sad that this meant having to be released from our callings as Leaders in the youth program.

We are so grateful to these boys who have made the decision to raise money and awareness for this charity that means so much to us. My wonderful friend Cathy started the Swindon Sands Group when she and her family moved to Swindon after losing their little boy Adam Lee. Her and her family were such a great support to me and Pete when we lost Seth, and still are today through being an incredible example of love, and her oldest son Peter will be taking part in the walk. Cathy does amazing work with this charity, in being a true friend and understanding ear to anybody who has lost a little one.

Sands is such an incredible and unique charity that offers such great support to families who have lost precious little babies. The work that they do really makes a difference, in offering a message of support, hope, love and friendship at such a difficult and heart-breaking time of need.

Please, if you can, show your support to these incredible Young Men. They are such a great group of genuine boys, who are amazing examples of integrity and courage. By clicking here, or on the picture above you can find out more and have the opportunity to donate if you wish. Thank you.

Monday, 14 January 2013

I Believe in Christ.

There were many things that I wanted to post about today, it was just deciding which one.

I feel as though over the passed few months I have been blessed to experience a few really lovely spiritual moments that I've been desperate to share on my blog. I've been thinking about it since Friday, trying to decide what would be best, or most appropriate, or the nicest to share. And then yesterday afternoon something happened. Something seemingly quite insignificant, but wonderful and powerful at the same time.

Peter and I were sat in Sacrament meeting yesterday afternoon. We had enjoyed three wonderful talks so far, but I was feeling tired and heavy and my eyes started to sneak peeks at the clock every half-a-minute or so; I was desperate to go home. But it was okay, as all that was left was the closing hymn and prayer.

Usually at this time during Church, Pete becomes a little restless; a little eager to sing, pray and get home; a little bit silly :) This Sunday was no different, and he never fails to make me giggle. But as I was feeling irritable I tried to stifle the smirk on my face and pretend I thought he was being immature (usual marriage banter). But then my mind was suddenly turned to the words of the hymn, and my throat started to ache in that familiar way. Pete immediately began to apologise thinking he'd done something wrong, when really, it was a moment of me realising that he was doing the exact opposite; he was doing everything right, and I was completely overwhelmed with this huge mix of feelings that I don't think anybody would ever be able to put into words. But I started to think about three things that I know;

  • Here was my husband, by my side, his arm around me. He loves me and I love him, more than anything in the world. He's my beacon of everything lovely; light, hope, love - I am so, so, lucky to have him, to have him to love me, and that we are a family.
  • Together, we have two beautiful children that are completely ours. No matter what. We are sealed for Eternity in the Temple, and have made and keep covenants which mean that we have a bond that cannot be broken, as long as we always keep those covenants. 
  • And the third; it's all thanks to my Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

The hymn that was being sung by the congregation at that time was "I Believe in Christ". I have always loved this hymn. At that moment I was not singing it out loud, but in my heart I was belting the words. I was completely overcome with love for my Saviour, and gratitude for all that He has done for me. 

In that moment I could hardly believe how lucky I am. I repeat the words of my previous post; I am incredibly blessed. 

Life is not always what we expect it to be; what we hope, imagine, or dream it to be it sometimes just isn't. 

When I was younger I had expectations, hopes, images and dreams of my life, and I have been so blessed, for some of those wishes have come true. And there are other things that haven't turned out the way I thought they would, but that's okay. Because for all that I lack, in myself, in my heart and in my mind - as long as I am always trying my absolute hardest - my Saviour will make up for. 

I believe in Christ; he is my King!
With all my heart to him I’ll sing;
I’ll raise my voice in p r a i s e and j o y,
In grand Amen’s my tongue employ.

I believe in Christ; he is God’s Son.
On earth to dwell his soul did come.
He h e a l e d the sick; the dead he raised.
Good works were his; his name be praised.

I believe in Christ; oh blessed name!
As Mary’s Son he came to reign
’Mid mortal men, his earthly kin,
To save them from the woes of sin.

I believe in Christ, who marked the path,
Who did gain all his Father hath,
Who said to men: “Come, follow me,
That ye, my friends, with God may be.”

I believe in Christ—my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I’ll w o r s h i p him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.

I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan’s grasp he sets me free,
And I shall LIVE with j o y and l o v e
In his eternal courts above.

I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I’ll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through g r i e f and p a i n,
His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”

I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I’ll STAND in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A New Year, A New Blog, & Incredibly Blessed.

So those of you who regularly visit here will probably notice some changes - my blog has had a makeover! I figured it was time for a bit of a change. With the New Year upon us and so many things to look forward to in 2013, I decided that I needed to inject a little more positivity into the blog.

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions?

I've never been too sure about New Year's Resolutions. I guess it's nice to think of a New Year with a fresh start and "making this one the best year yet!", but who needs a countdown to midnight and a party-popper to decide to change for good? Not me. I believe that with enough conviction, determination, motivation, and always with a little integrity, we can change however and whenever we want.

Have you ever heard anybody say that "how you spend New Year's Eve is how you'll spend the rest of the year"? I have. And I'm not sure about that one either...

For 2012 it was kind of true. I spent the countdown to midnight curled up on one of Pete's relatives' sofa watching a pirated version of X-Men: First Class clutching a bottle of lukewarm water praying that some time soon I would please stop feeling sick. I spent most of 2012 curled up in a ball, on many different sofas, and for many different reasons.

But I'm really hoping that it doesn't happen again this year, as during the inevitable countdown to twelve o'clock I was nestled under Pete's arm, silently crying about how different the Holiday Season should have been...

Christmas was difficult. I often found myself crying; sometimes silently whilst observing my siblings and niece and nephews play, trying to imagine how Seth might have fitted in to the whole dynamic. And at other times I cried uncontrollably, pleading for answers from my Father in Heaven; "Why isn't my little boy here?", "Will the pain ever go away?".

I am slowly learning the answer to the latter question; no, the pain won't ever go away. I heard this so clearly in my heart so many times over Christmas, closely followed by the words "But it's okay."

Christmas wasn't all crying. It was wonderful to be with my family, to share and enjoy simple time with them. Both Pete and I were able to laugh and smile and just be happy on many occasions over the holiday period.
I was planning on taking an abundance of pictures to prove it, but never had the chance!

We were also able to spend some time together at the Temple just before Christmas. We had some beautiful experiences there that have since brought us both to tears with the feeling of overwhelming joy, and love from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I would love to share those experiences with you, but now is not the time.

Over the passed few days, when on my own and during conversations with friends, I have reflected on so many things, and have been making a little mental list of "hopes", like resolutions but without the feeling of failure if I fall behind. Because who needs to feel like they've failed at anything?

So I thought why not share the list on my blog?

  • Read more books. I used to read all the time; anything I could get my hands on! But recently this hobby has started to slowly disintegrate! So I've decided that I need to read more, and more of the good stuff too. Hopefully, as I begin to read more, I'll be able to blog about the books I read a little, and share brilliant books with the blogging world! 
  • Keep a journal. When I was a teenager I religiously kept a journal. I would write in it every single evening without fail, and sometimes twice or three times a day! Through some tough years of growing up my journal was my absolute best friend. When I met Pete, I had a new best friend and my journal very much took the back seat (whoops!). I've ordered a beautiful journal off of amazon.co.uk, and cannot wait for it to arrive so that I can pick up a great habit of recording treasured experiences. 
  • Get crafty! Over Christmas I got super crafty and enjoyed it so much! I made a mini Nativity scene, altered a dress, and almost crocheted my fingers off! I found it so therapeutic, and it felt so good to have something to show for a little hard work - so I will definitely be continuing with the craftiness, and hopefully blogging about that a little more too!
  • Blog, blog, BLOG!! I've planned out the next couple of months of blogging, with a few more regular posts to keep me going, and positively! I'm really looking forward to a renewed dedication to a made-over blog. 
  • And finally... Just be happy.
I have so much to look forward to over the next year. Anticipation of the arrival of a baby girl in April (accompanied by many, many prayers), a new niece or nephew in May, a graduation in July, moving in August, and the most wonderful little family to share it all with. And what better way to do all of these things, than with a smile on my face; even when the roads get bumpy and the winds get rough, I will be smiling, for I am Incredibly Blessed.