Posts tagged parenting
Blog of The Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I started blogging in 2007, it was simply a way to keep my faraway friends and family updated on what was happening in our lives as we expected our first child.

Five and a half years on, it is so much more. Blogging is full of friends and inspiration and opportunities and community. I love blogging. Love it more than I really know how to express. I started Slugs on the Refrigerator as a way share the crafts I did with Ellis (and we all know how well that turned out), but over time it has changed with me to become what it is and I am now. I have met some of my best friends through this blog, I found a wonderful creative path that lead both to the foundation of Capturing Childhood, as well as my work as a crochet designer. It has become an integral part of my life. 

I love my blog and was thrilled it was nominated for the MAD Blog Awards. I know that I shouldn't put too much focus on awards and the like, but I have to say that the MADS are special.  In many ways they were the reason I started taking blogging seriously. In the first year of the MADS, I looked at the nominees for best photography blog and I thought "I wonder if I can do that". Friday night, I arrived at the awards, exhausted after 3 days that included submitting my manuscript for the book and driving overnight to London, never having met a single person in the room in real life. I am certain my deer caught in the headlights look was apparent to everyone. (Of course, after the initial shock, the event was lovely and a great chance to meet in person some of the people I have known only online.)

And then I won Best Photography and Blog of the Year.  Even now, I remain speechless and thrilled. What a huge honor and wonderful way to celebrate this last amazing year.  

Thank you.  For your votes. For your support. For reading what I have to say. I can't express my gratitude enough. It is a huge honor to be recognised for doing something you love, particularly when amongst the other talented nominees in the categories I was in - crafting, photography, and blog of the year.  Thank you. Thank you.



Coming Back to Life

Over the last few weeks, I have felt quite lost.  The best way to describe it is as if there is a part of me that I have misplaced and just can't quite remember where I put it down.  In fact, the whole last year seems like a bit of a blur that I am just waking up out of. 


It would be safe to say that I have not been myself, and I am only just realising it. I look around at things and see a lot of unconscious consumption of late: fast food (wince),  plastic tat, new things and envy. I look around and see not what I have, but what I don't. 

In and of itself, that is unusual for me.  I have long lived a life where I sought to live consciously and wholly on my own path.  I have usually strived to be happy above all else and "getting ahead" hasn't ever been in the picture.


I think it was the god-awful pregnancy that made each day so difficult that the easy route won time and time again, when I didn't have the where with all to choose differently. The life I was living slipped further and further from my values.

And its not just "things", there remains this overarching ache for some purpose in my life.  Its something that I lost when I gave up midwifery and haven't really found since.  Before I got pregnant, I was deeply content in living my day to day life with simplicity and meaning.  Without that focus, the old dissatisfaction has returned.


Reading that all back, I make it sound like I am unhappy.  But I am not at all.  In fact, I can confidently say I am probably the happiest I have been in my life.  I seem to have escaped Post Natal Depression this time round.  I have the two most beautiful children, fantastic friends and a wonderful husband. I am taking great pleasure in  my garden and knitting, sewing and cooking. Good, simple things, worth valuing above all else.

But slowly, I am stepping back into the world, recognising that tiredness and newness have a lot to do with my struggles of late.  They are not only forgiveable, but normal.  Our consumerist culture is addictive, that is probably why its so successful. The simple life is not an easy life, or really that simple...

And with re-awakening, comes that stretchy ache throughout my body, a few stumbling, bumbling steps back towards the path I want to be on.

I am better when things are simpler. I thrive on the practical, on doing, on making. I can to dig myself out from under all of this.  Maybe under it all I'll find what ever it is I am looking for.


Oh, and I am going to get my nose re-pierced...because I am not buying a sports car and every life crisis needs something.


Other Things:

- I am back on Twitter, so you know if you need to see the inner workings of my mind, give me a follow (button in sidebar)

- Try this dairy free homemade "ice cream".  One of my childhood friends turned me onto it and it is AMAZING!


With the day stretching in front of us and motorised transport at our disposal, we did what we always do...head to the sea.

And like most days in Scotland, the rain threatened our excursion. But like most people who choose to live in these wet climes, we persevered (with a cake stop to wait out a particularly torrential downpour). We then headed to Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve at the suggestion of a friend. 


There is something about the water, sand, unstructured time and toddlers. Ellis spent ages climbing and jumping and drawing and splashing. Getting as filthy as only small children can, whilst Kevin took pictures and I knit with a little girl snuggled on my chest (hard work, I tell you).


The blight on our lovely day was the rather sad theft of Ellis' kite. It was from his Grammy and we'd been saving it to use on a nice windy day. The beach was perfect and Ellis was so very excited. On the way from the car to the beach, I dropped it. After realising what had happened, Kev went on a mission. Some other beach-goers told him they'd seen it and put it up on a post for us to find on the way back. When Kev went back to get it, the packaging was there, the kite was missing and it appeared to be in the hands of some teenage boys who would not give it back. Rather than start a scene, Kevin walked away.


There is nothing like the heartbreak and helplessness of a parent when their child has been done an injustice that can not be repaired. I had experienced it once before, but this was Kevin's first time going through this particular agonising aspect of parenthood. 


But while we smarted from the injustice, Ellis just played and told us that we'd just have to find another dragon kite someday and that was that.


Small boys have all the good ideas.