How We Celebrated Valentine’s Day 2014 (in pictures)

I’m not all that soppy and James isn’t all that romantic… at least not stereotypically… but when Valentine’s Day comes around I like to make a point of letting the 3 main men in my life know that I love them very much.

Ollie went off to school with a new red tshirt on… one that he chose himself in Next.  They had to wear red and take in a donation for charity.  He was so excited to go in with the cards he had made for his friends and his teacher.

While he was at school, I sorted out some treats for the two boys.  I bought them each a magazine, a chocolate cupcake, little heart chocolates, a heart lolly and I made them each a Valentine’s card.  I was so excited to surprise them when Ollie got home from school and Nate woke from his nap.

They LOVED their surprise and Ollie told me I would be his love heart forever.  He also told me that he loved love day.  It was so funny because he kept calling it ‘Fathertimes’ day…

I surprised James with a bottle of red wine and a box of 12 from Doughzy Donuts and we had a lovely steak dinner together once the boys went to bed.  James isn’t big into cards but he wrote me a super romantic email which means a lot to me.  I loved it.  I love having the best 3 guys.

Part-Time Single Parenting

So James has been working away in London 3 days a week since August.  I’m not new to him travelling for work… in fact I have dealt with this so many times that it really should be old-hat by now… but it’s not.  It’s hard and it’s lonely.  It isn’t just me who really feels his absence… it has had an effect on the boys too.

I don’t rant or moan on my blog, not because my life is perfect and happy all the time, but because I don’t see it as beneficial… I like to keep my blog as a memory of the happy times we have shared as a family.  This may be why my blog has been quiet of late.  I’ve been tired and lonely in the evenings and so unmotivated to write!

The last few months have really made me appreciate the fact that I am not a single mum.  I don’t have to do this by myself for forever.  In fact, there are only 2 weeks left of James travelling… and that’s it.  Done.  I get my amazing husband back.  He really does so much for our little family.  He has been working so hard, and it is because of his hard work that I am able to be a stay at home mum. I am so thankful for him.

I have a new respect for those who have to single parent 24/7.  It really is not easy. Even simple things I experienced this week such as, needing to go to the shop but both boys weren’t well enough to leave the house.  How does a full time single parent do things like this?  I was lucky that I had my mum and stepdad around to help when I needed something.  

I know I can do it alone.  I’ve done it almost alone on multiple occasions, but it’s hard not to have that backup… someone to chill with when the boys go to bed… and adult to talk to and share the evening with.  James’ travelling stint for his work should be done pretty much… now with only the odd day or two away every so often. I’m so looking forward to having him home.

5 Years From Now…

Over the last little while I have given a lot of thought that what life might be like years from now… what goals will I have achieved and what kind of a person/ wife/ mum will I be.

In 5 years time, I will be 33 but almost turning 34.  It’s funny that in 5 years I will be just the age that James is now.  I’ll be a 33 year old mum to a 6 1/2 year old and a 10 year old!  We won’t have anymore children… that’s for sure… we took care of that at the start of the year!  I will be done with cots and potty training, prams and preschool!  Both of the boys will be in Primary school… Nate will have just finished P2… Ollie will have just finished P6, moving on to his final year of Primary school!

I hope to be a better mum.  I’m an ace mum now, but I hope to have learnt patience a little more and learnt to relax about certain things.  I freak out about Ollie’s growing independence and it’s something I need to calm down about.  Having children is definitely a learning process that never stops!

James and I will be 11 years married by then.  That’s crazy to imagine, though the last 6 years have gone pretty fast.  We filled those years with a ton of moving and making babies… so I really do wonder what the next 5 have in store for us.  I hope to be a better wife that I am now… practice makes perfect and all that!

I’m pretty sure we will be living in the same house, even though I would love to move to something / somewhere a bit different.  If we are still here, I hope to have finished decorating!

Will I still be a stay at home mum in 5 years time?  I can’t imagine NOT being a stay at home mum but I do hope to be making money myself through photography.  It is the only job I would like, that will still allow me to be home for my children getting in from school, and able to choose to take time off for holidays.  I can’t wait for the day that I can call myself a professional photographer and make money from something that I love to do anyway.

Who I Am!

I’m Emma.

I am a mama… to 2 amazing little boys… little rascals but also little gentlemen.  I am their caregiver, their disciplinarian and their entertainments coordinator.  I’d love to say I’m a superamazingawesomeace mummy… but I’m not perfect at all!  I’m super lucky to have the opportunity to be a stay at home mum to said boys.

I am a wife… to him… my handsome, 30 something, kid at heart, BFF.  6 years married… 9 years together.

I write this blog, I take photos… I doodle.  I talk a lot.

I over analyse EVEEEEERYTHING and I worry a lot.  I like knowing exactly what is happening, when and where and why.  I am both insecure AND confident and I take things personally but I’m positive and upbeat (most of the time ha!).  I’m not shy.

I am happy with who I am and where I am in my life right now… even though I know that there is room for me to improve on myself.  I love my life.

Things I’ve Learned In Life, That They Don’t Teach At School…

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There was no ‘marriage teacher’ at school to teach me how to be a good wife and how to be married!  James and I married young… I was only 22 when we got married and again, my pre-marriage notions are hilarious.  Of course, it’s wonderful and lovely… I love being married, but being a grown up is so much harder and complicated than it seemed when I was 17!  We had to learn to fight properly (something we STILL haven’t got the hang of haha!) and learn to always think of the other person… we had to learn how to budget, do chores together…

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We weren’t taught about birth at school… I had to learn how to ‘birth’ a baby pretty much by myself haha and boy was it a shock!  I mean, of course we were told how it happens… but those diagrams etc… they are nothing like the real thing.  As soon as I went into labour, both times, it was nothing like I had imagined.

I’ve learned that little boys are the most oddly fascinating little creatures!  They are affectionate, funny and quite absurd!  Raising two boys (thus far) has certainly been the most interesting and amazing part of my life to date.  They are hilarious.  I always imagined having little girls, as I was growing up and it wasn’t until I had Ollie that I realised how wonderful life with boys is.

I also had to learn how to be a parent… nobody taught me that.  I guess I picked things up as I was growing up, babysitting…. having 2 younger brothers and I guess I’ve so far parented by example (my mum is awesome!)… but I think about my pre-baby notions… my wonderings about what life would be like and I laugh at how naive I was!

In the years that I have been married, I have learnt to deal with loss and how to overcome the heartbreak and disappointment that comes with miscarrying… I had to learn how to be strong, patient and KEEP GOING in order to create the family we now have.  Some things take time and  a heart can be broken… but it can be fixed and though the pain is always there somewhat, it dulls.

I’ve learnt that my happiness is my choice.  I’m the only one responsible for me being happy!  It wasn’t until recently that this really clicked for me.  I refuse to let anyone drain me of a good mood!  If I’m not happy with something, then it’s up to me to change it!  Marcus Aurelius said that the happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts and I really believe that.  If you THINK happy, good thoughts… you’ll feel good and be happy too!

My life in (just over) 250 words!

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I arrived a few weeks early on 16th July 1984, weighing 5lbs 5oz, to young parents… both just 23 and newlyweds.  Over the next 6 years my parents gave me two younger brothers.

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My mum and dad gave the three of us a very happy childhood.  We lived in lovely houses, went to good schools, had pets and went on frequent holidays but they got a divorce when  I was 15.  My mum later got remarried to a lovely man called Harry.  Yay!

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In the summer that I left school, I went to Virginia, USA to Au Pair.  I met my now husband, James, when I got back 3 months later, had a crush on him for 9 months before we got together!  I started university a few months into our relationship, but deciding that it wasn’t for me.

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We moved in together in our second year of dating, 100 miles away from home, and just a few months after, James proposed to me at a music festival in London… I said yes and we were married a year later… in a castle!

We started trying for a baby as soon as we were married.  We were super lucky to fall pregnant quickly… Ollie was born in June, 2008.

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We moved back to Belfast when Ollie was 3 months and bought our first house.  A short time after, we decided to add to our family.  We fell pregnant quickly but were heartbroken when we lost the baby 5 weeks later.  It took us a long 14 months to get a positive pregnancy test again… and we were happy for a week before our hearts were broken a second time.  It was 3rd time lucky for us when we got pregnant in May 2012 and Nate was born in January 2013.

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It has been the 4 of us against the world ever since. ❤

This time last year…


…Nate was only tiny.  He was only 3 months old and Ollie was at nursery and I’m telling you, I was going through one of the hardest few months of my life.

James had to go to London to work weekdays when Nate was 5 or 6 weeks old.  We would only be seeing him on the weekends for a while and while I was gutted that the 3 of us weren’t able to go with him (circumstances), I hoped it would be over soon.

I was dealing with a 3 year old asserting his independence and a newborn baby who was suffering from reflux and colic and started teething super early.  I think in those few months, Nate screamed more than he has in the whole year after.  It was hard to divide myself between the two boys.  Nate needed me so much and became so clingy that I felt like I wasn’t getting a lot of quality time with my biggest boy.

I sussed how to get both of the boys asleep for 7.30pm and my bedtime became 9.00pm.

My mum and stepdad helped out a crazy amount in those few weeks and we would often go and spend the night at their house.

Single mamas out there?  Well done you!!  I know how hard it is and have the utmost respect for people who single parent full time.  It is HARD.

I haven’t had to deal with parenting on my own since May of last year.  Since then James has only been away a couple of nights in a month.  I think I could handle it a lot better now if I had to be on my own with the children for a few nights a week… the time spent parenting by myself made me a much stronger person!

Now that Nate is older than 1… things like reflux and colic are a distant memory and I don’t struggle with dividing myself between the boys.  We spend a lot of time doing things together since Nate is more able to join in and although I do have to remind Ollie to include Nate sometimes, they get on really well!

Linking up with Mama Kat.