Sunday, 25 April 2010

new home

Just a quick message to say that, as of tomorrow, my new online home will be with my shop being located at, so please do update your readers if you use them.

Tomorrow starts the true beginning of my real-life dream. Over there you will get to read about my new business, try some projects for yourself, see the results of my "wheat-free recipe experiments" and hear about the wedding planning. There will still be a personal touch and I won't stop writing about the things I do here, but there will be far more added on a much more regular basis (daily through the week, I hope)... so I hope you will all pop by and see me there too xx

UPDATE: For those of you who found this blog through my Endometriosis posts, I have now started writing a weekly series on Trying to Conceive with Endometriosis at iVillageUK. The first article can be found here and all subsequent articles will be posted on the Pregnancy and Baby Channel every Tuesday.

My new blog also focusses on living with Endometriosis, so don't forget to pop by there as well.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Living the dream

Tim and I are still in limbo, still waiting for his CRB check to come through so that we can move and he can start his new job. But we are not wasting time...

Remember my last post about starting a business so that I could stay home and work around how I'm feeling? Well things are moving on. The sewing and painting idea have been put on hold for a new passion of mine - jewellery making. This time last week I had nothing and now I have a toolbox full of well over £200 worth of beads and things, several pieces to my name, and 6 sales under my belt. Not bad for one week, hey?

Here are a few examples:

The 'Diana' necklace - so called after the Goddess due to it's powerful beauty. It is made by four strings of crocheted wire with turquoise and garnet chips, which are then plaited together. I loved making it and was incredibly happy to sell it the very next day! I thoroughly plan on making many more like this with a variety of semi-precious stones for varying issues - this one was for emotional expression.

The 'Abigail' necklace - muted green and pink tones for a delicate, feminine look. Occasional pearls and silver beads give an extra feel of class to the necklace. This one is up for grabs and I shall be setting up a new website, once I can figure out a name for myself.

The 'Charlotte' necklace, named after the one from SATC - I love her elegance and beauty and felt that this necklace was just that. This one was admired by a customer but left because the person who she was buying for was more "hip" than "classy".

The 'Josie' earrings, named after a dear friend of mine who passed away. She had the biggest heart and these were just like her - full of love and happiness.

And this, well this is an experiment, to see what I could do with crochet and silver wire. Crocheting with wire is a strange thing when you're used to yarn, but rather simple to pick up, and doesn't it just make the most gorgeous pendants? I just love it, but don't quite know what to do with it yet.

So there you have it, a few samples of my ever-expanding collection of jewellery. And do you know what, making them has been so therapeutic... I feel happy for the first time in months, I fel calm and relaxed and have even had people comment on how well I am looking. Despite my reservations, my fear that the business will be a big flop and that I don't deserve to be so happy AND make some money, I feel that I am finally getting to the place I always wanted to be. I feel like I am beginning to live my dream. I am happy. And life is good.

Stay tuned, folks, I feel some big things are coming!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Too long...

It's been far too long since I updated here, but things are rather crazy at the minute. I spent the past two weeks helping my parents finally move back into their house (I'm not sure I ever really mentioned the fact that last August my parents lost their house to a fire... but after many long months of rebuilding, they are finally home). It was good to see them home again, but stressful sorting through all the boxes that came back from the cleaners.

Anyway, within those two weeks I also stressed about my job interview (for a full-time management position - you know, the one I was stressing about in my last blog post?) Anyway, the night before I decided not to go and finally admitted to my family that my biggest dream (other than having a family of our own, of course) was to set up a business where I could stay home and create beautiful things to sell... like this. I was shocked, to say the least, when they all backed me up and told me to go for it because quite frankly I thought it was far too reckless and irresponsible of me to even think about doing something I might truly enjoy - ah, the fun of low self-esteem, eh?

Well, anyway, I have been thinking a lot about this and have decided to focus on an area close to my heart - paintings, knits and personalised gifts (e.g. baby vests and blankets) in pretty pastels and muted tones, as well as the odd household gift perhaps, but mostly aimed at new babies, expanding families and treating new mums to something special (maybe a new necklace or pair of earrings to remind her she is still a beautiful lady and not just a mum now). What do you think?

Of course, now I am confused as to where to source the fabrics from - I want good quality, of course, but I still want the end products to be affordable and so cannot go out and buy masses of expensive materials to craft with. Any ideas?

I must go, I am exhausted - a combination of stress, hayfever, changing hormones and forgetting to take my anti-depressants for a couple of days seems to have knocked me for six, so a nap may be in order. But I promise to write an update and post some pictures again soon.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Difficult decisions

I have an interview to go to on Wednesday and it is for an amazing opportunity. The problem is, I'm not so sure I want the job. Had I been offered the interview a couple of years ago I'd have been overjoyed, but I'm in a different place now and my heart feels heavy when I think of actually doing the job... in fact my heart feels heavy whenever I think of working full-time at all, because I feel like I have finally found myself in a position where I can slow down and move forward in my life in a more fulfilling way than working my way up the career ladder and if I were to take this great opportunity, I would lose the equally great opportunity to really be me...

Let me explain. This new job would be full-time management of a charity shop. It would be a fantastic opportunity, being within the charity sector and getting management experience at 26! But, my health has been so bad this past year or two and I have been so desperate to have a break that to lose this by rushing straight into a demanding job seems counter-productive. I am sick of feeling so ill and exhausted all the time.

But more than that - Tim and I had planned on having my coil out during the coming few months so that we could try for a baby after the wedding. I want to do this whilst out of work because my endo means I feel rubbish a lot anyway, but start messing with my hormones and I'm a wreck. I want a family, I've always wanted a family, and it is finally within my grasp... I can finally get excited about it and believe it is a possibility, not just a dream. If I take this job, I put this dream out of reach again because I want to do this in the best way for me, Tim and the baby (if we fall pregnant).

And even more than that - I want to be at home to provide for Tim... to cook meals, clean, keep house and make it a home rather than the resting place it has become with us both working full-time and commuting. If I take this job one of us will have to commute as Tim will be working in another town to the one this job is in. When I think about it I *know* that it is right to say no and follow my heart and dreams, but that is so scary, to turn my back on what I've been taught to believe (i.e. that I have to work hard every day, that we'll always struggle financially, that I cannot stay home etc).

It's a difficult decision and I actually wish I hadn't been offered the interview, but I guess life is about learning to follow your heart sometimes and that isn't always easy.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Leaving, Gifts and Time to Spare

I haven't posted here for a while... my final month at the Tourist Office passed in a blur and here I am, an "ex-member" of the tourism team and caught between feelings or relief and joy at finally having chance to rest up after the previous year and a half of health-hell and sheer sadness at leaving a place I loved to work, with colleagues I adored.

Just look at the lovely gifts they gave me...

Isn't the bear just the most adorable. And guess what was inside the pretty green and chocolate box... a beautiful necklace and bracelet (which I am currently wearing so have no photo of), bought because of my comment the previous weekend that I had no nice jewellery. Not only have my colleagues helped me buy my wedding dress and shoes (oh yes, I have, no sorry, had amazing colleagues who would take me shopping and even run out in a lunch break when I found the perfect wedding dress in the sales!), but they also buy me the perfect leaving gift. I shall miss them a lot *sniff sniff* and hope they take me up on the offer to come visit any time.

So, what am I going to do with my time now I am out of work? Well, this coming week I am going to be in Lincoln helping my parents move back in to their home (do you remember I told you about the fire in their house last August? Well, the house is finally finished and they are finally home once more, but have tons of boxes to unpack and new things to buy to replace those that were lost in the fire). I also have an interview on 31st for a managerial position in a local charity shop. Now that was a surprise - I only applied on the off-chance. And I don't quite know how I feel about it, I mean we could really do with the extra money it would bring in and it would be an amazing opportunity if I were offered the job, but I had just got used to the idea of having time off over this summer, getting my health together and really working on making a home before starting part-time work before trying for a family. Suddenly I feel like that has gone (if I get the job, of course), and I feel like I was this close to getting the life I dreamed of and it has been pulled from under my feet again. Does that sound crazy?

Anyway, to take my mind off these thoughts, I am going to spend the afternoon trying my hand at jewellery making as the necklace and bracelet have really inspired me to have a go myself. I'm also going to have fun trying my hand at the wonderful recipes in the book that I won in Louise's giveaway (thank you Louise, I promise to reply to your last email soon!)... it's a Christmas book but that won't stop me using it in Spring! Just look at how beautifully the package was when it arrived...

And look at the sumptuous book and beautiful little posy she sent me...

Why the posy, you ask... well just look at what is written underneath...

Do you see my name there? How wonderful!

So anyway, I'll try and post pictures of the finished products, and hope that this blog will really pick up again now that I have some more time to post about the projects we are undertaking. So do call back again soon.

Have a lovely Sunday

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The right choice

As mentioned in my previous post, Tim and I have been looking at the changes we are making in our lives to help us move forward with our dreams. Some dreams have been put on hold (regular holidays, a mortgage, driving lessons for me etc) for those that we truly want to pursue now (getting married, having a baby, getting my health better etc)

With this in mind, I have been scouring Amazon to try and find books that will help us to really plan for this major event in our lives (the having a baby one). There is a wealth of information out there, but I am trying to find things that help me understand how to optimise my chances of conceiving in relation to my Endometriosis. Being unable to make my mind up over the cheaper Amazon deals, I walked into our local bookshop and picked up a book to look through and see how helpful it was. And it's pretty good.

With just a quick flick through the book, the things that have highlighted themselves are reducing stress, eating well and making time for each other. This makes me realise, more than anything else, that the decisions we have made to enable me to cut back on work truly are the right ones. With more time at home, I will be able to focus on sleeping well, planning healthy meals with the best foods for us, and letting go of the stresses caused by working in a hectic environment as I do now. Even when I do return to work, it will be far less stressful... I know this, because I am hopefully returning to a job I previously did and my health was actually the best it had been for a long time during the year I worked there.

It is reassuring to have this book that reminds us that although times may be hard in some ways (finances, mostly), we will actually be far better off in so many ways. We just have to hope that we are one of the lucky ones and fall pregnant naturally, because I really do not want to even think about what comes after that.

Of course, this is still a while off. Our wedding is not until October and we are going to wait until after that to have my Mirena coil out (there is no way we want the wedding day to be ruined because I am having a bad period!!) This is, as well, a scary decision. I have had my coil in since 2005, so have no idea what my periods will be like when they return. I mean, I had pain enough before my most recent laparoscopy and I wasn't even having proper periods... when I remember the agony and exhaustion that came with my periods before 2005, I wonder if it will be as bad again. I hope not, especially as I will be starting to get more work around the time we have the coil taken out. Sometimes, although I know I am very, very lucky in so many ways, even in my health, I so hate that fact that Endometriosis can cause so much worry over a decision that should be such an exciting one... I mean, it still is exciting, but it is tinged with worry too.

But, we know that we are doing everything we possibly can to make this easier for both of us, and that is all that really matters. We can't second-guess the future and so we shouldn't really try. Living in the moment is hard, though, so you may get a few more posts like this over the next few months!!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

What the future holds...

For a while now I have wondered where to take this blog, but it seems to me that I need to really focus on what is happening in our lives and use it as a real outlet, because right now big things are happening. And I do believe that this means the blog may turn far more towards a focus on endo, marriage and trying for a family than anything else... I hope this means I will make some new blogging friends with similar experiences, but without alienating any of my current readers!

Anyway, I better fill you all in on exactly what is going on. First things first, I finished the Synarel spray (used to induce a pseudo-menopause) just over a week ago, and things are interesting right now. I am constantly exhausted and I can only assume this is due to my hormones doing a rebalancing act. I've also had the odd day of bleeding (bright red) but nothing more, so I am warily waiting to see what happens.

I say "warily" because the whole point of trying the Synarel spray was to give my Mirena coil chance to really get going and help with the endo (my previous one stopped my periods, although didn't stop the endo growing back). I really want a few months of feeling good again, and for that reason I have given in my notice at work and shall be taking a few months out before returning to a previous job which is far more flexible. However, I am also wary because Tim and I are wanting to try for a family soon, and this means having the coil removed and who knows what "fun" that could bring.

The older I get, the harder it is to fight the maternal instinct that, for me, kicked in at a very young age. As a 9 year old, watching my mum work as a childminder, I knew that one day I wanted to be a parent myself. Growing up, I took opportunities to babysit and subsequently work in nurseries and day care, however in the previous year or two, especially since meeting Tim, the desire to start a family has really kicked in, spurred on by the fact that I am now old enough to consider it and that I am seeing friends and family having their own families too. It must also be mentioned that we are aware that the endo could well mean we could have difficulties falling pregnant and though we try not to worry about it, it is something we accept we may have to deal with one day soon.

Of course, to begin with, I was the only broody one of the two of us, but since our nephew was born Tim has caught the baby-bug too and we would like to think that after our wedding in October (my health permitting) we can think about trying for a family of our own. Scary, but exciting stuff. Especially when I watch things like "One Born Every Minute" - that's enough to make anyone want a baby!

This brings me on to another thing - money. We are not rich, far from it, and my coming out of work and considering part-time work only means money will only get tighter. It is the driving factor between us moving - if we ever want to be able to do this, then we need to live somewhere cheaper than in the commuter belt for our capital city. I have struggled with this, as I feel immense guilt at times for putting the pressure upon Tim to provide for us, yet I know that if we are ever to be able to have a family I will need to time to ensure I am strong and healthy and able to care for both myself and the baby. So the change is required. I just feel guilty about it.

So that's where I'm at... a hormonal wreck in some ways and struggling with the stress of changing towns, changing jobs, changing lives... many changes indeed. So I think this blog really will become far more of an outpouring of what is happening than anything truly constructive, so don't expect any well-thought-out posts any time soon!