I was tagged (ages ago now) by Tasha from Mummy & Moose to write about 10 things that make me happy. You would think this should be pretty easy but I’ve actually found it quite difficult to think of ten things, that aren’t all food! (N.B. Some of them are food)
I’m just going to launch right in with this, so here goes…
I love sleep. I always have. Well, according to my mum I didn’t sleep until I was three but after that I have always loved sleeping. I have also inherited from my dad the ability to sleep anywhere at any time. Before the boys arrived and stole all my sleep away from me I loved nothing more than a long lie in, and then maybe an afternoon nap too. If I was on a long journey whether by car, train or plane, I would just sleep to pass the time. I used to fly from Edinburgh to London quite a lot and had perfected my technique of falling asleep before take off and waking up when the wheels hit the tarmac at the other end.
So I love sleep which is why the last four years have been so hard. I am hoping one day my kids might actually sleep all night and I can indulge in my love of sleep once again.
Family days out
Days out with a preschooler and a toddler are not always stress-free. But as the boys are getting a bit older it is getting easier. Family days out aren’t always the successes we hope for but we are getting it right more often these days – we’ve had a couple of lovely days out recently, to hunt the Gruffalo at Easter, and then to the Sea Life centre in Blackpool on the May bank holiday weekend. I can only hope that we can have more and more lovely family days out in the future.
This one doesn’t take much explanation really. I think pepperoni pizza is one of my most favourite foods. Preferably from Dominoes with a stuffed crust.
I’ve always enjoyed baking, even when I was a little girl. I can remember baking with my Grandma (my mum said she never had the patience!) and making ‘fly pies’ with left over pastry. I’m not the most adventurous of bakers, I mostly make the same handful of recipes, but I think I’m pretty good at it. I enjoy the process of baking, and seeing people enjoy the things I’ve baked makes me happy. I bake with Toby quite regularly now and he’s actually turning into a pretty good assistant.
Dancing makes me happy. Whether it’s dancing on stage in front of hundreds of people, dancing with my husband at a wedding, dancing in a club with my friends (although I can’t remember the last time I did that) or dancing in the living room with my boys, dancing just makes me happy. I had dance lessons from when I was four years old until I left home to go to university, and then I’ve done various classes and shows over the last 20 years. Although just dancing makes me happy I think I actually enjoy learning choreography the most – it uses my brain as well as my muscles and there’s something incredibly satisfying about practising difficult choreography over and over until you nail it, and then keeping on doing it until your muscle memory takes over and you don’t even have to think about it any more.
I cuddle my boys, and my husband all the time but there is something that just melts my heart when one of the boys just comes over and gives me a big cuddle out of nowhere. Long may they continue.
Living near family
I moved away from home to go to university when I was 18. I spent the summer between my second and third years working in France and then I went back after I graduated. I spent most of the next four years working in Europe, and then when I came back to the UK I moved 250 miles away from my parents, to Scotland. I lived there for the next 14 years and it was only last year we moved back to the north west. We now live about 20 minutes from my parents and an hour from my in-laws. Until I had children it never really bothered me living so far away from my mum and dad. I saw them probably four or five times a year and spoke to them all the time. But after we had the children I really missed having family nearby – it was hard when Toby wouldn’t recognise his grandparents from one visit to the next. I’m so glad we moved and being close to my family makes me happy. Now I just need my brother and sister-in-law to move back to the north from Essex and we can all be close together again!
Toby can be a bit of a whirlwind sometimes, and he can be hard to pin down for a conversation. But every other night (Barry and I swap children each night) at bedtime we have a little chat before he goes to sleep. We talk about what we’ve done that day, what was his favourite thing, and what we’re going to do tomorrow. I love our bedtime chats and I hope I can have them with Gabe too, once he gets a few more words!
This is another one that I enjoyed a lot more before children. Eating out was one of my favourite things to do; I love family meals at our favourite Italian restaurant, I love romantic meals with my husband and too much wine, I love eating out with friends and having chance to catch up. I still enjoy eating out with the boys but it can be a lot more stressful than eating out pre-children. Just before Gabe was born though eating out with Toby had got much easier so I’m hoping it won’t be too long before we get back to that point again.
There seems to be a bit of a theme here, and I promise my children do make me happy now, but this is another thing that we haven’t done since the boys were born. I grew up camping though – my parents were both Scout leaders and I went on my first Scout camp when I was 10 weeks old. All our family holidays were camping, and later caravanning. In France I lived and worked on campsites. After I met Barry we bought a tent and went camping a few times but we haven’t been since the boys were born. Neither of them have been great sleepers and I just couldn’t face the prospect of keeping everyone on a campsite awake with my crying, non-sleeping children. However, they are getting a bit bigger now and we decided yesterday that we would attempt a few nights in the tent sometime this summer. Fingers crossed they enjoy it as much as I do!
So there’s my 10 things that make me happy. I bit of a random collection but there you have it. I’d love to hear what makes you happy – either leave me a comment, or if you’re a blogger and you want to write your own post then consider yourself tagged!