Wednesday, 31 July 2013

He Graduated!

Our little family had the wonderful opportunity to visit England this last week.

I was nervous to fly with Lily again - I didn't think my luck of her sleeping through the whole flight would strike again, so I was anticipating making a lot of apologies on the plane.

{Waiting in Departures eating Pastrami Sandwiches}
But you know what? She was good as gold, again.

We saw the most incredible storm flying over Brussels. I wish I got a picture of it, but Lily was so sound asleep I didn't want to disturb her by reaching for the camera.

This was our view as we approached London.
The most incredible skyline! The picture doesn't do it any justice. It was just magnificent.

{Taking pictures from a plane is difficult, any tips?}
We stayed with friends in Swindon, that night (or should I say early morning!? Sorry Laura!)

And while we were there, of course, we stopped by to visit our precious little boy, Seth.

{Possibly my favourite photo of the trip, taken by Pete's Mum as we walk back from Seth's grave.}

{Lily enjoying  Mummy-cuddles!}
And of course, what we were all there for...!

{Daddy and his girl}

{With some of his lecturers; the people who got him there!}

{Lily wanted to graduate too!}

{Two of my favourite people ever}

{Official reception of Degree: Graduating with First Class Honours in Accounting & Finance} 

{Receiving special award and prize for all his hard work! At this point I cried..}

{With friends & Lily}

{She had so much fun}

{With the Vice Chancellor}

{Love him so much}

{Our little family}
After all the official wonderful stuff, we celebrated Pete's achievements by doing what we love to do most; eating out! 

{My incredible parents}

{Pete's lovely mum & sister!}

{Sleeping Beauty at the restaurant!}

Lily, Lou, Pete, Mum, Dad, Jen, Nanay, Ida & Chris!
Great food, great company, great time!
We spent the following day with my immediate family (but missed you Tim, Kate & Maysie!), and had a great time just relaxing with them, and being happy. Lily got to meet my Grandma for the first time - wish I got a picture of that!!

Saturday was typically British - we visited Cheddar, it poured with rain, we bought cheese, and ate fish & chips. I felt so at home.
 That evening we drove back to Swindon, and spent good time with wonderful friends, sharing recent experiences and good conversation, laughter and as always; feeling the spirit.

We left at 3am Sunday Morning, and somebody was definitely ready to get back to routine.
{Finding comfort in Mr Giraffe}
Pete, Lily & Nanay fell asleep before take-off, and me just after. We all agreed that it felt like a five minute flight, and were glad for that very small blessing! Lily, again, was great the whole way, and didn't even need to nurse!

{But the train ride back in to Munich wasn't so great!}
She was so happy to be back in Germany, relaxing, and back into the routine!

{What a star!} 
 All in all, it was such a great trip - I wish it could have lasted just that little bit longer, so we could have seen all of our friends and family, but I am grateful for the time we were able to spend with those we did see. We are so blessed.

One thing I did notice whilst at Pete's graduation, was that he was one of the only graduates who had a wife and children. During the ceremony, I started to think of all my husband has done for me and my babies. The passed two years have not been easy on any of us, but the passed four years have been especially difficult for him.

He lived in a country that's not home with next to no family around him, worked his own way through University with only tuition fee loans and no other financial support, got married, took an internship year, lost a child and buried him in the ground, moved in with in-laws, had another baby, secured a graduate job, figured out moving countries, and battled through the flu twice in his last three weeks of exams. And still, he managed to come out, not only on top of it all, but with a First Class degree, and as one of four students to receive a special recognition prize.

I am just so proud. 

He is incredible.

I am so lucky.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Today, I am feeling...

  • Happy! Because my Beautiful Man is home safe and sound from Oregon. He had a great time... So great I wasn't sure he'd come back. But he did, and that makes for a happy Wife :)
  • So tired... Lily has been waking up four to five times in the night for the passed week... Last Wednesday, she slept through from 10pm to 6am. But I didn't blog about it because I didn't want to jinx it... But it didn't make a difference.
  • Excited! We're going to England this week! I'm excited to see family and catch up with good friends, and speak in English in stores and talk about things that make us happy. 
  • Proud. Pete graduates this week! Thursday! With a First! Couldn't be prouder! Will be documenting every second of it!
  • Achy... After I had Lily I found it difficult to let myself recover. I started working out again six weeks postpartum, and a week later realised it was too soon... Tried again a couple of weeks later and it was still too soon... It went on like this for a while, until yesterday I decided to do an intense Pilates workout. I'm no longer achy because I recently had a baby, but because I haven't worked out like that in a while...
  • Hot. It's hot here in Munich. Lily just wants to sleep all day and stay awake aaaaallllllllllll night. Yay...
  • Determined. I'm trying to write a little every day at the moment. Even if it's not on the blog, I'm just trying to write more, because it always helps me to feel a little better about life. 
  • Hungry. Breastfeeding makes me eat. I feel like I have no self-control. I just want to eat all the time. Pete responds to this with "Then just eat!" But I still have this nagging in my head like "you're eating too much, you're eating too much, you're eating too much". I know you supposedly use up an extra 500 calories a day when exclusively breastfeeding, but I swear I'm taking on an extra 5000. I feel ridiculous. I'm an eating machine. 
Crazy how one person can feel so much at once. 

Reminds me of this..

I love Harry Potter. 

How are you feeling today? Anything else to add to my long list?

Saturday, 20 July 2013


Pete comes home today... Relief!

In some ways this has been the longest week ever without him. But between Skype and my baby girl it has gone by a lot quicker than I thought it would, and for that I am so grateful!

Can't wait to see my handsome man! Eek!

Counting down the minutes until 14:30....!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Missing Daddy!

Pete is away for work. His company have sent him to Portland, Oregon for a big meeting, for five whole days. (I've not been away from him this long since before we were married!)

He's not been to the States since he served his mission in SLC, Utah from 2006-2008. He loves America, it's food, people and space.

He was able to eat fish tacos for the first time in almost five years. What a treat ;)

But he is missing us, and boy, are we missing him!

Three more sleeps to go!!!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

25 Words

25 words. If you knew you only had 25 words left to say to the ones that you love most, what would you say? That sentence, just then, was 24.

If I was writing my letter, it would be game over. Let me explain...

An airman was shot down over Vietnam in the 1960's. His family, I am sure knelt in earnest prayer each night, without knowledge of his whereabouts, or whether he was even alive for over two years. The captors eventually allowed the man to write home; but with only 25 words. This is what he wrote:
‘These things are important: eternal marriage, mission, college. Press on, set goals, write history, take pictures twice a year.’
Pretty profound words. It makes me wonder how long he thought over it; how long he was allowed to think over it...

As I continued to read this post, and ponder Emily's wise words, I started to wonder what my own would be, and I decided I would give it a go.

I am aware that I am not under the pressure that this captured airman was; if I really knew that these words could possibly be the only words my family ever heard from me again, maybe the outcome would differ somewhat; goals, dreams, and priorities can change very quickly, so maybe if I was writing this post on another day my words would be different, but these are what they are today:

Keep Journals: I am a firm believer in keeping a journal. Throughout the majority of my life I have kept one, and at times in the past it has been my best friend. I would want my family to know how important I think it is to keep a journal; to record life's triumphs and mishaps, and all experiences; both profound and mundane. It can be so therapeutic. But it's not just therapy for yourself, and so that you can remember the good times, but so that after we leave this life, people have something real to remember us by.

Keep Eternal Perspective: This is something I've been trying to do recently, that I'm not always very good at it, but I know is so important. What you are worrying about today, this minute, will it matter a year from now? A month from now? Next week? Tomorrow? In an hour evening? Will you be able to take it with you, when we leave this life? Is it worth risking your salvation for? If the answer is no, stop fretting; keep an eternal perspective.

Keep Smiling: Smile through your trials, and eventually the smiling will become natural. Smile when you're happy; smile when you're just content. Smile every day; it's good for the soul. Smile when you meet people, when you greet them; when you say goodbye. Just always smile. It's a better way to live.

Live with Faith: Faith is the key; keep the faith.

Live with Diligence:  I believe that hard work is the essence of good character. I do not believe that there is anything in this life that cannot be achieved with diligence. If we act diligently in all of our labours and endeavours, only good can come from it.

Live with Charity: The Pure Love of Christ. When we serve others, we serve ourselves. I would want my children to know how important it is, not only to serve those around us physically, but also emotionally; to have charity towards all those who we meet in this life.

Hear Music: Music is such a powerful thing. I love the quote "Music is what feeling sounds like." I think it's so true. There is a good song to go with any situation. Music can relax our minds and rejuvenate our bodies when we move to it. I think music can most definitely mold your mood; always listen to good music, and always be in a good mood. Listen to it, write it, love it, sing to it, hear it.

Smell Flowers: I've put this one hear to remind the ones I love to remember the beauty around us in the world that we have been placed in. Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth for us to love and enjoy. Don't just look at the beautiful flowers; smell them. Don't just walk through this beautiful life; live it.

Taste Chocolate: Probably the most important two out of my 25 words; taste chocolate. I honestly think that chocolate can make a good day better; any day. I've also just added this one to show a little personality to my words; leave my loved ones a bit of a reminder of me; and me loves chocolate!

Feel Emotion: I would want to remind my loved ones that it's not a shameful thing to feel. The world often sees emotion as a sign of weakness; you often hear adults telling children not to cry, or don't be sad. When actually, I think sometimes situation permits a few tears, or even a thousand sobs. Broken hearts need not be hidden; emotion is healthy. And it's not all bad; if you're sad, then feel sad for a time, but when you are happy, be as happy as you can be.

Love Always: Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. In all ways. Forever. Infinity. Eternity. Always. 

What would your 25 words be? Is there something you would have to say? What would you say, and why? 
For this post, I'm linking up with two of my great friends! 
Here is Emily's post (the initial inspiration!) 
over at Emily Beale Photography.
over at Cakes, Kids & Other Ramblings.

Why not join in? 
Blog about your 25 Words, and let us know!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Rediscovering the Magic... | Book of the Month

Some of you might know... I'm obsessed.

In my personal opinion, there is none better, than the incredible series of Harry Potter books, written by none other than the literary genius, who is J. K. Rowling.

Even though it's about the hundredth time I've read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, it still doesn't fail to excite me, intrigue me, have me clinging to the edge of my seat in suspense - even though I know exactly what's going to happen!

That, my friends, is the sign of an incredible book.

Whilst reading this time, I really felt as though I was discovering the magic of this incredible world for the first time - but it was also like greeting an old friend.

And maybe it's because I'm more mature, but the chapter when Harry discovers the Mirror of Erised had me in tears; I felt so much more connected to each motion and emotion of all of the characters, which made me wish the magic was real even more.

But you know what, in a lot of ways, the magic is real.

It's a real fantasy world that we can lose - and find - ourselves in. It's a story with real emotion, real relationships, and real heart, and I felt that with every word this time around.

My Harry Potter collection is currently split up between two different countries, and possibly three different homes - but they are books that I treasure; and not the kind that you can just read on your kindle; there's nothing like having the real paper of an amazing story.

Have you discovered the magic? If yes, how many times? I'm pretty sure this is about the 13th for me...
What's your favourite thing about the Harry Potter series? Mine is definitely the emotion, and the heart with which it's written. I could only dream to write something with so much heart.

Harry Potter is a series that I hope, one day, Lily shares a love for. And they're a set of books with real emotion that I won't be worried about giving to her for fear of explicit content.

So Book of the Month! (Haven't done that in a while...) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - rediscover the magic, or find it for the first time!

If you know me well, you will know I'm a bit of a Potter-head! I'm currently trying to get to grips with Pottermore, but in the meantime, you can follow my all things "Potter" pinterest board here!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Going Hands Free

I've been following this blog for a while now.

I started following it after I had Seth, as the author of this blog had written a post about babyloss that caught my attention. Hers slowly turned into one of the blogs I skim past on my "Blogs I follow" list; the things she wrote about weren't the things I wanted to read - at the time.

But today, I decided to click on her link, remembering vaguely what her blog was all about. I read a few posts, and the tears start to trickle...

Over the passed couple of weeks, since moving to Munich, I have been stressing myself out - for almost no reason.

I've been panicking about finding somewhere to live, and now that we've found somewhere, how we'll obtain furniture, decorate the rooms, arrange all of our things; how we'll get the rest of our stuff from the UK to Germany. I've been stressing about how where we're currently living isn't home, how I'm not totally comfortable; how I can't cook and eat what I like and when I like, and how in the quiet hours there's nothing to do (what a thing to stress about!). I've also been anxious that I'm not doing enough; I'm not learning German fast enough; I'm not settling in properly, I'm not "putting myself out there". I keep thinking I need to blog more (which I would really like to), that I need to come up with some great money-making scheme or small business to keep myself independent.

I've been trying to fill every minute of the day with productivity. I skip naps to try and "make the most" of the day. While I nurse Lily, I'm checking facebook, pinning on Pinterest or tweeting updates. I have felt like I constantly need to be doing something to... to "contribute".

But I realised today how ridiculous I am being.

I read Rachel's blog, and let out a couple of sobs.

I could see either my current state - or what I might turn into if I carry on this way - in every paragraph.

At this point, I decided to say a prayer. I held my baby close and rocked her (she hadn't been feeling well all morning), and I opened up my heart a little. I talked about how I felt I wasn't doing enough, but now I realised that this isn't true; this is the adversary in the form of the world trying to make me feel as though I'm not doing enough; as though I'm inadequate in some way. The world is trying to make me feel as though I should be "doing it all", or as though I'm not reaching my "potential", when really, my "potential" was personified right there in my arms.

I have been browsing Rachel's blog a little more this evening, and have decided that I am going to pledge the same thing as she - I'm going Hands Free.

I don't want to miss out; not on what the world thinks is my life, but on what I define to be my life; my family; and especially - My Baby Girl.

I don't want to miss one cheeky smile because I'm thinking about what needs cleaning.

I don't want to miss a single milky giggle because I'm scanning my phone.

I don't want to miss any new expressions because I'm planning m next blog post.

I don't want to miss any of her laughs, her first word, sentence, or the first time she sings a line of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

I don't want to miss her roll over, sit up, push from the ground, stand, walk, run or skip for the first time; I don't want to miss a moment - because she is what matters most.

As a Latter-day Saint, I am always striving for perfection; I am aware that I will never reach that in this life, but it is important to me to be always trying my best. But I need to re-evaluate my definition of perfection.

It's not stretching myself so thin that I miss my baby's milestones, or so that when my husband walks through the door I'm not ready to greet him the way that he deserves after a long day in the office.

It is about love, hope, faith and charity; having a perfect outlook and understanding of the meaning of life, and embracing it as positively as I can, having the best attitude toward everyday occurrences and obstacles as humanly possible, and accepting life's challenges with a heart full of love and a kind smile.

So I'm going Hands Free, as in letting go of daily distraction, and elusive perfection, to embrace the things that really matter the most.

Including this little Princess:

Has this post struck a chord with you? Thinking about going Hands Free too? Or have you already? Share your thoughts in the comments, and join the Hands Free journey. 

You can now find my "Hands Free" button to the right of this page. Join me on my journey, and check out Rachel's blog to find out more about Hands Free. 

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Three Months Old!

Who? Lily? Noooooo. Not possible. Really? But she was born in April... Time's not gone that fast... Surely?

That's right! Lily is now three months and four days old. Can you believe it!? I'm finding it hard to...

She had her first check-up with the pediatrician this week, and she is doing so well.

59cm long, weighing 13lbs exactly! She has grown so fast! You know, she was born in the 9th percentile, and now she's in the 50th!! Crazy hey!? She loooooves her milk.

She also had her second set of jabs yesterday, and in the 24 hours since she has slept for approximately 22 of them, waking up every three hours for milk of course. But she has been completely zonked.

Getting immunized is tiring work, folks.

Love my little girly so much.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Drive | Song of the Week

Rediscovered this song. Loved the original, adore this cover. Just had to share. 

Describing a few things, that are resonating. Just resonating. 

Just take the wheel and drive.

Take control, choose to feel good, whatever tomorrow brings. 

Strange how powerful a thing good music can be. 

I've listened to this song over and over this week. Lily has learnt to love it too.
Some songs, I listen to, and I just feel okay. Inside, I smile.

This is one of those songs.

Definitely my song of the week.

Monday, 1 July 2013

July already?

Who would believe, it is JULY!

We are now officially half way through the year 2013. Oh my, it is going so, so fast.

Seeing as we are where we are I thought I'd do a little round-up of events in each of our lives;

Loves her Mummy and Daddy, and has started to do her own little giggle! She enjoys; taking naps with Lola (Pete's Mum) in the afternoons, kicking her little legs like crazy, taking baths in the evening, and, of course, drinking milk. She doesn't like; when there is too much going on, riding in the car-seat, bedtime! She can now lift her head clear of the floor during tummy-time, and look right into Mummy or Daddy's eyes for up to thirty seconds! Her eyes are changing colour now, from a deep blue to brown, just like her parents! 


Finally got a haircut! And let me do it! What do you think? Not too shabby, ey?
Pete also; started his new job today! Working here in Munich (the reason we moved) for Intel Mobile Communications as a Financial Analyst, which means... He passed his Degree! I always knew he'd do it, but between us (especially on Pete's part) there was a lot of anxiety that this stressful move to Munich was for nothing, but in fact, he couldn't have done much better than he did - he got a first! And I couldn't be a prouder wife! At the moment, Pete loves; his Mum's cooking, hanging with his brother Erik, and watching Band of Brothers (again). I'm really glad that we are able to spend this time with Pete's family in his parent's home. We're all getting to know each other a little better!

I am; so excited that we have found somewhere to live! August 15th (move-in day) cannot come fast enough, so that I can start setting up home! I'm also loving Pete's Mum's cooking; it's nice to have a bit of a break from the kitchen, and to enjoy Lily that little bit more at the moment. I'm excited for and proud of my wonderful husband, and pleased that the next chapter of our lives is now really coming to a head!

I am also currently missing Seth. A lot. This passed weekend was tough. And I was too embarrassed to admit I was struggling to anyone, until it was almost over. I kept getting frustrated with Pete and angry at myself for the smallest things, when all I really needed to do was to take a few minutes to just cry, and miss Seth. Saturday was a year from his original due date. And I couldn't stop thinking all day about how if he was born when he was meant to be; if he was alive, we could be celebrating his Birthday around now. Even though Lily was in my arms so often, I still had an ache deep within me; for Seth. There will always be a little empty space for him. Some one said something to me yesterday that made me want to scream and cry, and throw things around. But we were at church, so I couldn't. And I wouldn't have anyway. But it reminded me how raw the emotions still are. How I am still grieving, and will be for a long time. 
No, I'm not cooping myself up (not too much, anyway...), I don't cry everyday anymore, and Seth isn't always on my mind like he used to be; I'm learning to live with the loss, but I will always have that loss. 

I'm very aware that I've never posted a picture of Seth's grave on the blog before. I didn't think I ever would. Although I share a lot of emotions here, I do like to keep anything physical of his very close and personal. But I felt I should today. The above picture doesn't do his grave much justice; this picture was taken just hours before we flew to Munich - one last visit off before the move, so we weren't prepared with our mini gardening tools. My parents have since been to visit, and have trimmed the grass and tidied up. I am so grateful that they were able to go and spend time there. It means so much to me. 

I love that picture; it's the closest thing I'll ever have to a picture of me with my two babies. I'm going to print it off and treasure it forever. My two babies. I am so blessed.