Are all risks worth taking?

I’ve been forward and backward too many times currently with our living arrangements and forward planning. My head is dizzy, my mind is in two and my heart is left a little deflated. When it comes to finances and livelihood, is a risk worth taking?

Sell up and risk a big financial loss only to rent a place which is yes, bigger but not cost effective? Or stay put and make do as a family of three in a one bedroom flat while we can try to save as much as possible in the next three to four years and take it from there. Bear in mind, there is no guarantee that during this time more equity on our home will be lost.

While we thought it through and were prepared to take a leap of faith, to hope the home we share would sell and we could live in rented accommodation meanwhile as a stepping stone, we have since decided not to go ahead with a move.

This may seem silly, we need the space and the rent wasn’t over expensive. Initially, it was a no brianer. To cut our loses, take the hit and move on. A mortgage isn’t everything and being so young we could work up savings once more. Could we?

Should we sell and lose money on our flat? This takes us off the property ladder and leaves us in a rut of renting a home and struggling to save, all with a baby to consider and a family livelihood to support. Having talked it over, and over (and over) we come to agree that a move at this time would not financially benefit our family.

The risk of not selling our flat and having to keep two properties running on my part time wage and Euans salary just was too much of a stretch. The rented accommodation we viewed was lovely, it would have been ideal as a first home but to take ourselves out of the property ladder and potentially get into a dangerous situation financially for the sake of something that’s simply ‘nice’ just isn’t worth the loss of sleep.

Sadly, our scenario is quite tricky, we are not in a position to have a mortgage and require further savings, yet we have limited space available at home. Eleanor is on the move and requires that extra room to roam, we squeeze past one another in the hall, in the bedroom. It is cramped but this is what we have for now and all we can do is save whatever we can for the foreseeable future and hope that what’s meant won’t pass us by.

As a family, it is in our best intention to do what is best and do what is right for us and for Eleanor. The risk involved with a move right now is just too much to bear should something go wrong and the thought of homelessness with a child is just unthinkable, we would never forgive ourselves if we bit of more than we can chew on a whim. I believe every decision has a consequence and the easy option, that quick fix doesn’t always come so easy.

So, regarding my last post and a move on the horizon, we will be staying put in our one bed home, a home that is yes, cosy but it’s home. It serves us well and suits us just fine. I know ill forever complain about the space, the shoes falling out onto my head from the wardrobe that doesn’t close and the sheer clutter gathered in an organised mess but I think that we can all learn to be more thankful for the things that we have, after all, it is what we have and we can’t change the hand we are dealt.

We can work towards a better future and financial stability and we can work hard at it for those things that we want. Nothing comes easy and I was never raised to believe so. The experience has taught us what we need to know for a future move and shown that to be organised is key. We have expectations of what we now want from a home, we have a rough estimate of figures and we have time.

Time to save, time to think and importantly, time to breathe. The risk of a move was too big for us to consider in full at this stage of our lives but we will readdress the situation over time and keep looking for options available that will suit and serve us better.

I’m sorry to have given up on the idea of a more positive environment to raise my baby. An extra room and an en suite would have been great but it’s just not the time for us to be taking on a second property and paying both a mortgage and rent. A heavy burden to carry whatever way we look at it.

I’m ready to move on from this and begin to work toward a new goal. A goal of having our own home, an upgrade from our one bedroom flat and one that can and will be ours to keep. We have areas in mind and ideas to toy with, what’s right for us will come at a time that is right for us. Just because this moment is not ready, it doesn’t mean down the line we won’t be ready. We will be more prepared than ever and I cant wait to get stuck into saving and work toward a better future.

 

Keren x

 

Life in the fast lane.

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Right, hello you bunch. I’m going to get real in this blog post and share what’s been going on with family life the past few weeks, there’s a lot to get through and I must admit, I’ve been having quite the time of it all lately, a time that has been overwhelming and most definitely stressful. My patience tested and my sanity questioned. Wait, what sanity?

Why is it that everything comes at once? It seems the past two years have been non stop, from passing my driving test, to a pregnancy, becoming a Mother, an engagement and now a move? I laugh that we have done this all in the wrong order, we are all muddled up with our relationship path and direction. Finally, it’s all coming together but the thing is, how much longer can before I burn out?

Trying to find the balance between being a working mother and spending enough time with not just Eleanor but with my partner too all while trying to keep up appearances with my family and friends can really be a great challenge. With Eleanor being so young and demanding such full on attention, I hardly have time with my partner, never mind any self time to just sit back and relax for a minute. If im not chasing after her every move, I’m trying to settle the constant wails of the dreaded teething. It’s tough, nothing really prepares you for welcoming a child Into the world and the challenges you face can get to be too much from time to time.

I amaze myself with how many times I have to repeat in a day “mummy just needs a minute” as I try to unload the dishwasher or give myself heartburn from having to shovel lunch into my mouth so fast. Yes, life with a baby really is life changing, believe it or not, it is true what they say. Even now, ten months on, I find a new struggle with every waking day. There is no day off, but would I have it any other way? Of course not. This is life now, and no matter how tired, how stressed and how unglamorous, I am living my best life with the people that I love.

Long gone are the weekends spent at the pub with friends or the endless shopping trips with my Mum or even just taking some time to enjoy a hot bath and a wine. Life has turned upside down and unfortunately time doesn’t wait for nobody. There is no catching up, all stations are go and on a 24/7 basis.

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Onwards and upwards though, and I’d not have it any other way. I mean, as much as I’d like to belive that I miss the partying, the friends that would come and go and the tireless walking around the shops I don’t miss it. Not for a minute would I change my situation, I can’t imagine ever not having my Eleanor, life before her was non exist ant. Sure, there are parts I’d do differently but that’s all part of learning and the journey into Womanhood, into Motherhood and my past mistakes make me grow to be stronger than ever and rise above issues (or crumble to the ground in a pile of tears – depending on the hormones).

With some further exciting news, the past week in our household has been filled with excitement, nerves and anxiety. We have recently received word of our application to rent a new property going through and depending on the status we take after a viewing we can move immediately. The property has two bedrooms, a balcony, and en suite. It provides us with the extra space that we need for our family right now all while being secure tenancy which means we can move without the worry of being left on the street at any time. The properties are not far from where we call home and ideal for a utilising as a family home for the future. Though not a forever home, it provides us with the steps we must take to get to that stage all while it buys us time to save and time to grow.

With the idea of a move to a family home, a fresh start all very exciting and new, it does bring a great deal of sadness and anxiety. I mean it’s great, yes and it is what we were working towards, only we thought we would have more time on our side. Walker Road has provided us with so many good times, it will be very hard to part ways but with everything in life, you have to move on and grow. It’s time for our family to grow into a new home, start over with a new chapter and really embrace those precious family moments.

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The surrounding buildings are full of families which will be great for bonding and making friends, Eleanor can grow up with children her own age around and can have the space she needs to express herself and play. There is a play park and a spacious area of grass where Fern can run around and play too. The homes look direct onto the river, a phenomenal view on a blue skied day. Everything we could want, need and more is in the palm of our hands, when we can let go of now and move on to a better future, I think our quality of life will greatly improve. After all, they say that change is good.

It is a busy time, but we can get through it together. A move, our babies first birthday, our wedding and honeymoon all coming in before the Autumn months arrive, time will fly. I have returned to work part time to get a break and to enjoy some adult company, to be my own person a few hours in a week, only it seems I’ve ended up with less time than I’ve ever had before and a lot less unsure of the person that I am. Go figure?

With all the nerves and the excitement, the fear of change and the huge lifestyle choices we have had to make, it really can become overwhelming and I’m looking for ways to still grab some time out for myself while I can, before I do lose my mind.

A coffee trip to mull over my thoughts alone, light breathing work to try to stay calm and practicing some basic yoga moves to stay focused and remember to remain positive in every situation, no matter how exhausting or stressful. To have a calm and a clear mind will always be better than having a mind filled with a tangled mess or worries, fears and stresses.

I do struggle to remember to breathe with all the crazy sometimes but I’m trying to remember to focus and keep a clear mind as with this busy period in mind, a clear head to think and a positive outlook is all very important. I like to reflect good vibes for myself which keeps my spirits up and can be especially good for Eleanor to pick up on.

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A busy time for sure but with the move becoming finalised, the wedding done and dusted, I’d like to believe we can move on as a family and work toward a better future for ourselves with time. Together we are able to do whatever we put our minds too and there is no right or wrong direction. We are going to go with the flow that life drives us in and to see the future with an open mind.

aaaand, breathe.

Tell me, how do you relax when times become all too much?

Keren x

Summer reading list.

At the beginning of the year, I set myself the target of reading two books every month. What I didn’t realise was just how tough this would be with an ever developing baby and the chaos of work and day to day life.

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Perhaps my goal of two books in a four week period was just too optimistic for this busy Mama,however that hasn’t stopped me adding to my ever growing collection of beautiful books and trying to work through the all. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Wait, what race? When it comes to reading, I’m in no competition with anyone and this, I like this about reading. It’s my own pace and I can enjoy a book for as long as I choose. If I want to relish in every page, it’s my choice to do so. I can choose what and when I want to read and my mind can escape from my every day reality into a deep world elsewhere.

I’ll read anything and there’s no limit to my reading style nor trends. I like fiction but I too enjoy non fiction. I like nature books but I enjoy biographys also. There’s so much material around, it’s real tough to choose just one book to read at a time. Anyway, I’ll list a brief summary of my reading list for this Summer.

So, what’s on my list you ask? Let me show you..

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How to fall in love with a man who lives in a tree – Emmy Abrahamson

Thug – Angie Thomas

The book thief (recommended and gifted by my Mum) – Markus Zusak

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

I’m excited to get stuck in and long for days sitting out in the sun with a wee wine and some time out to read and enjoy the surroundings. Here’s hoping we get to catch some nice weather and I can grab a break.

Have you caught any of these reads? What’s on your list?

Keren x

Finding my feet with my life as a working Mum.

Hello again, and hello to my new followers. Thanks for taking the time to follow. As you may have noted after my spell of maternity leave, I am back to work and getting into the hang of the working environment once more. Its a challenging and tough time for myself, a time of having to let go and allow time away from my baby. A time that doesn’t always come easy but I know is for a good and worthy cause and a better future as a family.

 

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It was always known I’d return to work following my maternity leave, financial ties and finding a balance for myself was all too important to justify staying home to care for Eleanor full time. I’d miss my work and the pleasure which it brings. With that in mind, while back at work, I miss my baby and have elements of guilt when I have to wave goodbye to her every other morning. It’s hard for me to walk out the door and be without her. It’s as though a limb has been missing and my hearts been stabbed. I miss her dearly.

Anyway, with that said, I must work to provide the lifestyle and the family that I want. Without work I’d be unable to have great days off with my baby and go out for coffee trips, shopping hauls and the rest of it. Holidays would be non existant and the quality of life would be sufficiently worse. So here I am, working part time as best as I can to create a life that’s worth living as a family and to aim to progress. I’ll give you an update of how I am getting on back at work as after all, this is what this post topic is set around.

I began back on the 6th of June,i felt calm and held myself together well. I was ready to return to the post I once knew so well. Of course there were elements of anxiety.. would I still know how to do my job? Did I still hold my locker key at hand? You know, little things that you can totally blow out of proportion and turn to big problems in your head? but rest assured, I got up, I got on and I completed my first day back at with. No blips, no tears, I just stuck my head down and allowed myseld to be at peace and familiarise with the environment once more.

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Now having been back for some weeks I can say I am happy with my part time hours, working three days per week. The balance is pretty great and I’d struggle to find such a good weekly routine elsewhere. I really enjoy the work that I do and am committed to my career so it’s great to be back to it and back to a happy environment.

Eleanor is in great hands and has had no complaints as of yet, she’s been such a little gem and I couldn’t be any more proud of how far she has come and adapted. My baby girl isn’t such a little baby anymore. She is becoming fiercely independent and bold within herself. It makes me so happy to be playing the role of her Mother. My best friend really is the best little girl ill ever know and I’ll forever aim to work as hard as I can to allow us to have a family life that is fun, that is loving and full of happy memories.

I do of course miss my baby each day I’m at work but I try to keep busy, pass time and not give her too much thought, as otherwise I’d be out the door and on my way back home to her. On our days off, we make sure to get out and enjoy the day. We head to the play park, go for coffee trips and trips to the book store. We play, we read and we nap together. I ensure that my baby has the best days with myself and that I give her my all and full attention, and love when I’m with her.

It’s so important to interact with Eleanor and we really get on great in each others company. She brings out my best, I can be silly and I can crawl around the floor with her, I can dance all crazy and sing as bad as I want. She loves it all and her love that she shows from the attention I give her makes me realise there are no limits to the attention she requires and I’ll pull out all the stops to ensure she can go to sleep with a wee smile, happy thoughts and has a childhood that’s worth remembering.

I want her to know that her Mum and Dad worked endlessly hard and tough to raise her to be strong and independent and to give her a life that shows what living is. I want her to know just how important family is and family time is the best time, I want her to learn good habits and traits from myself and her dad and to learn about a healthy work ethic too. I don’t ever tell my baby that I dislike work or don’t want to go as I want her to see work as a good time apart and know that Mum and Dad do return after a days work or some time away. It’s perfectly healthy to be away from your baby for some time to do your thing providing your baby is in safe hands and being cared for effectively.

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own person as well as a Mother and that I have to take control and do things for myself once more. I have learned that I don’t have to feel guilty of I’m not with my baby at all times and I have become more comfortable with getting out alone once again. My independence is making a return and I feel so refreshed and ready to be the best Mum I can be after a little break.

Keren x

Sunday at Scolty.

Not such a bright and sunny morning though sure to make the most of it, Sunday moring and we woke early, got ready and headed out to Banchory for a trek up Scolty hill. How come it is never the weather you want when you make plans? Typical Scottish Summer.

Fern and Eleanor were in tow, we got all loaded in the car and hit the road around 930AM, set for the day. I’m back at work now so family time is even more important. Keeping active and being outdoors is something we can all enjoy and allows Fern to have a good run. It makes sense to get out and have some scenic walks.

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I’ll keep this post short and to the point. We hiked up Scolty taking around two hours with one stop mid way up the hill to feed Eleanor and take a breather. Euan was carrying her on his back so it takes toll on the shoulders an extra 7kg, believe it or not. Yep, our baby is not such a wee baby any more.

We made it to the top without much fuss, other than slight grumping from Eleanor as she was hungry and Teething.. not a great combination, I’m sure every parent out there will know. Fern loved the walk and all the scents, she was bounding around the fields and scrambling around. I couldn’t keep up, my stamina just doesn’t match a Springer Spaniel.

The nature was lovely, there was so much to see and take in. The plants, the flowers, so much colour even on a dull day. I really do love the outdoors, fresh air is the best medicine,good views are an added bonus.

Once at the top, we didn’t hang about as Eleanor was a bit restless by this point so we headed back down the hill and the rocky steps making animal noises and all sorts of crazy talk to entertain and distract Eleanor which kept the tears at bay. Who knew a simple ‘neigh’ could bring so much joy?

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Back at the car, I gave Eleanor a small feed to satisfy her and we headed back home. A busy morning but a great way to spend a Sunday. A dose of fresh air and spectacular views to take in with the family is quite special.

Off to make a vegetarian moussakka and enjoy the afternoon with my gruesome twosome. I’m sure we will find some chaos along the way. Hope you enjoy my images from our walk.

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Happy Sunday.

Such a perfect day.

In the words of Lou Reed “it’s such a perfect day”

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Sunday, glorious sunshine, family and good food. Yes, today has been pretty perfect, or as close to it as you can get and I don’t want it to end. You know the type of day? I’m in a state of bliss and sheer happiness, I feel comfortable and at ease and I feel happy.

I’ll begin with a run though of the day, we woke at around 730AM, Eleanor doesn’t really give much option for a lie in. Up, fed and dressed, ready to roll. We got the bags together and jumped in the car to the local park, ready to explore and enjoy a dose of vitamin D.

Behind Duthie Park there is an old rail line, the Deeside rail that you can use as a walking path which takes you right through to Banchory and makes for a lovely walk on a nice day. Full of blooms, shrubs and people out on family days, cycles, dog walks. It really is very beautiful, especially when the sun is shining and there is a bit of hustle going on.

 

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With Eleanor tucked in the Pram and Fern on the lead we were good to go. We didn’t walk the whole distance as with a dog and a hungry baby that may have taken the whole day. We got out past Aberdeen though before turning back around and heading home for lunch. It was lovely just to walk, to talk and be in total sync with one another. I was sure to get some sunny snaps whilst we were at it. If you didn’t take a picture, did it actually happen? I’m all for photographs and making memories.

After we returned home and gave Eleanor lunch we done a wee drive up to my Mums as she was caring for Eleanor for the afternoon while we had a little date day, a trip to pizza express. A late Sunday lunch of pizza and rose wine, could it get better? It’s so important to have some down time as a couple when you become parents. So often your time is focused on baby and rightly so, but you do need to take time to care for one another too and enjoy time not being parents for five minutes.

A short but sweet trip and I must say, I left a little tipsy after my glass of wine. Tipsy, on a Sunday afternoon, can you believe it?? Wild. We walked back home by the river holding hands and feeling merry and returned to Mums to collect Eleanor and have a news with the family. I love family time and spending time up at my Mum’s (she has the good snacks).

Getting ready to head off home once again for the last leg of the day, my Mum gifted us with a care package. Biscuits, Tinned foods, Yogurt and whatever else you can imagine. You know, the good stuff that Mum’s tend to buy. A sweet gesture and a lovely wee hamper (carrier bag), that will keep us going a whole while I’m sure.

Now, I always tell my Mum that we don’t need nor want anything and she never takes a telling. Always picking up bits and bobs for us. The most generous and kind lady I have ever known. We have an inside joke that every time I go up to Mums, I leave with an extra bag. It’s true.

Back home, we sat down to a bowl of snacks and some juice and finished off the season of 13 reasons why, a show we began to watch on Netflix a few weeks back. After ending the season, it was time to head off for a big sleep after a busy, busy day. I went to sleep wishing that the day could go on forever, I was in a state of bliss.

Sunshine, good company and good food, they all make for the best of days and the greatest memories. These are the kind of day that I cherish and look back on with nothing but joy. Some times, all it takes is one day, one moment to change your mood, your views and perspectives. On this day, I’ve learnt that life really is beautiful and there is beauty everywhere, in everything, and everyone. My mood has been uplifted and for the past few months I’ve been feeling more calm, more comforted and generally grateful for everything and everyone that I have in my life.

 

Keren x

 

Cinebabies.

What is there to do on Saturday morning with a baby? Well, turns out, a lot. For example, a trip to the cinema for a baby friendly screening. On this occasion to see the Star Wars, Han Solo installment.

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Yep, you read that correct. My nine month old had her first trip to the cinema at 10AM this morning (I’m amazed we made it). I think the selling part may have been the popcorn for Euan. As both avid cinema fans, when we heard that a baby screening was to be going ahead, we booked up right away. If we can holiday with a baby, surely we can go to watch a movie? Brilliant.

There was a whole bunch of excitement, firstly to catch the next Star Wars and secondly, to take Eleanor along with us and experience the big screen first hand. We got up and sorted, had breakfast and headed out on a sunny walk to the cinema. I grabbed a coffee for the road of couse, fuel as I like to call it these days. Without coffee, I’m nothing. Good old cuppa Joe.

Not over sure how the experience would be, I fully expected to be upping and leaving soon after entering the screen. I was fully equipped for a disaster of sorts, prepared the baby bag with snacks and a spare change (you never know). As a new Mum, I find I do often over plan and over think, I worry and I stress over every situation. Big or small..I’m working on it.

The cinema was full helpful and friendly staff, there was a Pram drop off point and we were reassured that breastfeeding is okay and that the atmosphere was relaxed. Almost too relaxed, at one stage I was near asleep. There were several families and young babies.

I won’t lie about how much of the movie I did or didn’t see, but I can say that I got to at least sit down and watch the screen for the full movie duration, something which doesn’t often happen at home. It was nice to feel comfortable and at home on a trip out, this is something that can often be stressful on any given day with a young baby. I felt totally at ease at the cinema and had a joyful experience. All three of us did.

The Han Solo movie is probably my favourite of the Star Wars bunch to date. I watched it happily and even found room for a little laughter here and there, I missed the start due to tending to Eleanor but it wasn’t too big a deal and caught up easily a short while later. The babies were better behaved that any regular screen and there were little interruptions. Some babies were roaming around with parents, some sat on the floor and played and some much alike Eleanor, fell asleep on parents laps.

The atmosphere was very much chilled out, you wouldn’t ever imagine a cinema screen full of babies as calm, huh? Oddly, it was super chilled out and the relaxed feel made you feel at home and at ease. There was no pressure and as a parent, it was nice to get some time back in a day to enjoy a past time of ours with our baby.

I hope to return again soon for another cinema experience with the baby club. I’ll ensure Euan keeps a tab on what’s coming out and when there will be showings. Prior to Eleanor’s arrival, we spent much time at the cinema and I’m keen to enjoy family days out to see a movie, a good bonding experience and the cinema snacks are always welcome at any time of day for that matter. Early morning ice cream? Why not?

Have a lovely weekend, I’m off to enjoy some sun and family time. Winding down before my return to work. Stuck for things to do with a baby? Need to get out? Check your local cinema for baby screenings. I can happily say the experience was great and I will be returning.

 

Keren x