Twenty Eight

Tomorrow, when I wake, I will be another year older. Twenty eight. Twenty eight?? As much as I could pretend that twenty seven was still closer to being in my mid twenties, there's no denying now that I'm in my late twenties. Almost thirty. It's terrifying stuff.

This year marks ten years since I turned eighteen, and thought I was an adult. My birthday came as the Leaving Cert ended, and the summer was filled with promise. I was heading off to college in September. I had a summer job. I could go out and drink any night I wanted. I had no worries, or responsibilities. I could do it all, and intended to.

Turning eighteen

Ten years later, my life hasn't exactly turned out how I expected it to. I ended up dropping out of college after my first year. I got a job in a local shop, then moving to a local supermarket, then to my current job. I expected my twenties to be filled with travel, good friends, with the possibility of going back to college. Instead, I made some bad relationship choices, that found me stuck where I was, physically and emotionally. On the upside, I gained a son, so there's one pro at least.

Some of the things I've learned in the last ten years include,
- Walking home with an ex while you're both in relationships may result in being stabbed. Not by said ex, or their girlfriend, but whatever. Still counts.
- Sternum piercings are likely to be ripped out when in contact with chest hair. Again, not my own chest hair. You get the picture.
- As much as I thought they were interfering when I was younger, I don't think I could have gotten through the last few years without my family.
- Your metabolism will not stay the same past your teens. While you could always eat and drink what you wanted, the weight creeps up, and it's harder to get rid of the second time around.
- Being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be. Bills are the work of the devil!
- All of your childhood friends won't stick around, but those who do are golden.

Like I said, it's not all bad. I've matured and grown in ways I didn't think imaginable in the last ten years, but some days I still feel like that clueless little eighteen year old. I never saw myself staying in retail for so long, but to be honest, I enjoy it. I have time to spend with Caelen, to craft and create, and I feel all the better for it. I'm finally in a good, functional, loving relationship. I get along with my family. The friends I have, I wouldn't change for the world. I feel like I have it all now. Twenty eight, I'm ready for you, just be sparing with the wrinkles!


8 Photos of Happiness

A couple of days back, Lauren nominated me to do the 8 Photos of Happiness tag. I don't usually get involved in tags, as I'm a lazy, lazy blogger that forgets these things. As far as I can tell, this is a pretty new tag. As I'm all about the babies, in whatever form, I was game. Thanks Lauren!

Rules and explanation of the tag

Thank you nominators and link them in your post.

Link the creator - FYI, it's Ariel. You can find her sweet little blog here!

Post your 8 photos of happiness (The photos can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy.)

Pop in a brief decription, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking!

Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers!

The first two photos I've chosen are a given really. Of everything, Caelen makes me the happiest. Granted, some of the circumstances get me down and stress me out from time to time, but he's worth it, and so much more. For those of you not in the know, I didn't tell my parents, family or friends that I was pregnant until I was almost seven months into my pregnancy. I was terrified of having a baby. I didn't think I could do it. But you know what? I have. I've been a single parent, a scared parent. A proud parent. It was hard, but it's so rewarding. Caelen brings out the best in me, and that obviously makes me happy.

The other guy in my life is pretty damn special too. After knowing each other for an age, we took a chance and got together. In the last year and a half, I've laughed and loved so much. He's turned my whole life around, and he's pretty fantastic with Caelen too. Plus, he has an awesome beard... What's not to love? 

Corny odes over, my hair makes me pretty happy. It sounds kinda vain, but it's not really. After going grey at an early age, I got bored of dying my hair boring brown for years. Just over a year ago, I took the plunge and started my hair journey. I think this accidental unicorn hair was my favourite though. All of the colours, heart eyes for days!

I bang on about crochet enough for you all to know by now it's one of my loves. Okay, so I might get a little stressed about counting stitches and sewing everything together at the end, but I really enjoy making little cute friends for Caelen. This Olaf is going to a work friend next week, but my littlest fan has requested an Olaf of his very own to add to his collection.

Speaking of crochet, I recently set up a Facebook page to showcase, and possibly sell, my wares. So far, Ive been blown away by the response it's received, it's so exciting to log on to see new likes and comments on something that makes me so happy. As ever, if you'd like to give me a thumbs up, you can find Inked Hibiscus Designs here

My family is super important to me. We're a pretty tight knit bunch, and spend a lot of time together. In fact, when I moved out of home with Caelen, my priority was finding a house close to my parents. They, in turn, live next door to my grandparents. I have an uncle around the corner. I live next to my granduncle. I couldn't imagine not being as close as I am to them. Here we are at my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party two-ish years ago, with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild (That's Caelen, by the way!)

Last but not least, these girls. No matter how many friendships I've forged before and after I met these three, it's not the same. We don't see each other very often, but they're always at the end of the phone. Ambitious, loyal, loveable and hilarious, my friends are better than your friends, right?

Instead of calling out loads of bloggers, because well... I'm a bad blogger, I'm pointing. So, you, you, you, but especially you, I'm nominating you. Go forth and do this tag, and let me read them!


Surprise! It's Not Your Birthday (Yet)

It's no secret that Caelen is my everything. I want to give him the best in life, no matter what. A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about his birthday. The big three. I already know what will be happening for his party, but I was stumped on what to get him. I mean, what do you get for the boy who has everything?

The answer was simple. Put a whole lot of sweat and hard work into sectioning off some of the back garden to make him a playground! Since I'm in a rental house, I didn't want it to cost the earth, but I did want to make him a safe, fun environment. While Caelen's birthday isn't until August, once we had decided to do up the back for him, it was obvious he needed to get them at the beginning of the summer to get enough use out of them.

And after a couple of weeks, all our hard work paid off. The area we had sectioned off to use was dug up, stones glass and random crap removed and the ground levelled, before we laid down some weed prevention fabric and covered it with wood chip. Tommie and my brothers (with the help of my uncle at the final stretch) cobbled together a fence from some old pallets to match the one I had made last year.

The playhouse was Caelen's Easter present last year, and is now our local McDonalds/ ice cream parlour / tea shop. Considering the price, it was well worth the investment to see him still enjoying it last year. The slide is our present to him this year for his birthday.

The swing set was a very generous present from our next door neighbours. Seriously, I have the best neighbours ever. And the trampoline came from my aunt, after her own two smallies were done with it. He's also had the trampoline since last summer, but seriously, he loves it.

It's still not finished. Or as Pinterest-worthy as I'd like. The walls could do with plastering, and the fence could be fancier. Beyond the fence is still a jungle, to be tackled another day. But hey, it works. As long as Caelen enjoys it, and I know now that he'll have fun on those sunny summer days, when we don't want to leave the house, it makes it all worth it.

Happy early birthday, Caelen.


Life Lately

Sometimes, things feel like a whirlwind, and I find it hard to keep up. Other times, I feel like I'm coasting, and prioritise certain things over others. For example, sitting on my bum, doing nothing, becomes a very important part of my day. This blogging break has been one of those. Unintentional in the beginning, I ended up enjoying the break from social media. I was tweeting less, posting became non existent. But, in the end I missed it, and so here I am, my second post after my little hiatus. In the last month or so, I have...

... Started up a little crochet bizz making cute little yarn-y friends - For more information, check out Inked Hibiscus Designs...

... Had a (messy house) fort day. Watching movies on the laptop, snuggled up in blankets with the smallie. You can't get any better than that.

... Went to the woods nearby for the FIRST TIME EVER! It's absolutely beautiful. So peaceful and the walkways were filled with wild garlic. I'm already looking forward to going back.

... Wrote a very special communion reflection for my oldest friend's wedding in a couple of weeks... That I absolutely can't show you.

... Went to the same friend's hen party in Waterford. Yeah, I know my makeup is dire, but I did have to do it on a ferry many hours before this photo was taken...

... And crocheted her a very special little friend...

... We gave Caelen his birthday present two months early, by doing up a section of the back garden into his very own playground! When I say we, I will admit that Tommie did the majority of the work. He's a good'un!.. And because it's raining almost constantly since we finished, here's an in progress shot of one side of the garden now.

... Realised that soon I'll have a three year old. A THREE YEAR OLD! It's both exciting and terrifying all at once...

All in all, it's been a good month (and some). Now I feel like whatever blogger block I had has been lifted, and I'm ready to take up my little hobby once again. Lets see how long it lasts this time!


Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day. A day where we celebrate our father's and everything they have done for us. My own father has gone above and beyond, time and time again, for me. It's something I'm incredibly grateful for, and humbled by. While he may not be the best at expressing his love verbally, he shows his children how much he cares in other ways. Trying to fix things in my house. Giving two of my brothers car advice. He is a role model. Someone I am proud of. Someone I am glad my own son has got to know, and will learn from.

But tomorrow isn't just about the fathers. It's about the step-fathers, the boyfriends, the ones who are there for a child, that don't get a title. The ones who do so much, yet get so little recognition. Sometimes, a parent isn't made by nature. Sometimes, a parent gets to choose their child. Or, the other way around. Sometimes, there is nothing biologically linking two people, but love.
My son is lucky. While he has a biological father that he sees once a week, he also has a dad. A dad that has wiped the tears from his eyes when he's fallen over. A dad that has cuddled with him, sitting on the couch watching his favourite movie. A dad that has brought him his favourite treat, just to see him smile. A dad that has been there for him, over and over, for half his life. A dad that is proud of his achievements, as an almost three year old. We call him Tommie around these parts.

And sometimes, that love is purer than any. And it's beautiful. It happens so often too, and these men get no recognition for their devotion and time. They care so deeply about your child, that names and titles and reasons don't matter. While we don't call Tommie Caelen's dad, that's what he is. It would be foolish to try to downplay the bond those two have.
And so, tomorrow, in the midst of all the Father's Day cards and presents to fathers and godfathers and grandfathers, there will be one for Tommie. His dad.