A Happy List

Today is day 12 of my #100daysofwritinghappy and one of the unexpected aspects of this challenge is choosing what to write about each day. When I stop and think, I realise just how many things bring me joy. For today’s writing, I wanted to write a really specific list of things that make me happy:

  • the crackle of a fire when it’s howling outside;
  • Austin’s deep laugh which leaves him breathless with joy (usually elicited by Evelina’s buffoonery);
  • talking with my mum on the phone for ages even though we are going to see each other later that day / week;
  • the stillness of a lake in the evening;
  • being the first to walk on freshly fallen snow;
  • when Rich and I say the same thing at exactly the same time in exactly the same intonation;
  • my dad’s hugs;
  • the smell of my children’s breath and necks – I know this is weird but I love it;
  • the blaze of colour in the trees in autumn;
  • being far enough into the book to know it’s going to end soon but not so far that it’s almost over;
  • making kids at school laugh;
  • making kids at school understand something they didn’t before;
  • making kids at school think;
  • an Evelina selfie;
  • laughing with my colleagues in the department base so hard that I can’t breathe;
  • buying any kind of stationery but particularly pens and notebooks;
  • documenting our lives and remembering our experiences;
  • the song of a blackbird;
  • that moment in the rain in the film version of Pride and Prejudice when Lizzie and Darcy argue;
  • clearing out my inbox;
  • time on my own to think and write and relax and be;
  • time with my family to hug and laugh and experience life;
  • walking through the woods on a sunny summer’s day so the light dapples through the leaves, the crunch underfoot, a dog with a stick, the musty scent of the undergrowth, the coolness;
  • travelling somewhere new or somewhere loved, preferably on a plane;
  • memories of our holidays;
  • holding Evelina’s hand;
  • a proper kiss from Austin with no teeth or snot (although I’ll take what I get);
  • when I’m restless in bed and Rich puts his hand on my back;
  • music and dancing;
  • night silence.


Writing Happy

Today is Day 10 of #The100DayProject and I am so enjoying the chance to write happy every day. Today, I am going to bed tired and feeling a bit down for a number of (trifling) reasons so I struggled to think of something to write that made me happy.

Then I remembered I hadn’t updated my Dear Kiddos blog for a while. This is a side project that I haven’t really advertised that is partly a life manual for the kids and partly therapy for me. When I am grappling with something it is really useful to turn the quandary into a life lesson. I don’t know if the kiddos will ever read these words but they help me so I guess that makes it worthwhile.

Here is tonight’s instalment: Taking Back Control


My Mother’s Day

Woken at 8am – oh no it’s 9am (thanks daylight savings) with cuppa, cards (three from Lina and one from Austin) and a fab present (a cinema light box which I am super stoked about).

Rush to get ready for church – Evelina’s first Rainbows service.Church – nice hymns and people. Evelina told the congregation that’s what she loves about me is when I say don’t get food on your top over and over and then immediately do that myself. She didn’t say it very clearly so I think most people didn’t catch it but I knew what she said because we were laughing about it the other day. File under: Watch What You Say to Evelina Because She May Repeat it Back in Church Someday. The Rainbows’ pictures of their mums were up on the wall – I spotted me straight away (because of the blue hair similar to one of my cards from this morning!). Evelina brought me over a bunch of daffodils.

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Bullet Journal – March Update

I am finding my Bullet Journal very helpful in making my days at home feel more purposeful and less aimless. I haven’t yet worked it into my school life as the days go by too quickly and a simple to-do list on my laptop or my to-do list pad seems to work well enough. My BuJo is more of a reflective and fun medium that doesn’t fit in the hectic school day. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a proper space to work – I don’t have my own classroom and the English department office is, let’s say, somewhat chaotic. I need to carve myself a bit of space in there.

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Project Life 2017 Weeks 2-6

I am really enjoying working on the weekly Project Life spreads for this year. I am noticing that I am able to add much more journaling compared to the historic album I am working on (currently at July 2015). Our printer has decided to be awkward so I will either have to send off the photos for the next couple of weeks or hope that the new cartridge I have ordered will do the trick. I hope I can get it sorted as it is gratifying to be able to print the photos, write the journal cards and get the weekly spread done all in one go (and I usually manage it during naptime).

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Back to Work

I can hardly believe it but this is the last week of term which means I have been back at work now for a whole half term (that sounds like an oxymoron!). It has FLOWN by. Working two days a week is splendid in a lot of ways: the working week is over before you know it; the preparation time is much reduced; I have a lot less marking. And even though I am not there every day, I still get the benefits of work including time with my wonderful colleagues, time in the classroom with the kids, a bit of money and a break away from being Mama Kate by being Mrs B instead.

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Austin’s First Year

Let me start with an apology: Mum and Dad, I am sorry that I chided you numerous times for not having as many photos of me as a baby as you did of my (older) brother. I know you had your reasons but I also know this (hopefully pretty universal) truth: the second child does NOT get the same photos (or in my case, photos, blog posts, quilts) as the first born. Evelina has monthly letters I lovingly wrote with photos and anecdotes aplenty. She has photos books for the first three years. I wrote weekly about my pregnancy with her. In short, I have a lot of explaining to do when Austin gets old enough to appreciate the inequality of it all. My saving grace is that I have been using Instagram and Twitter to help document his milestones as much as I can.

However, I still have a lot of explaining to do when Austin gets old enough to appreciate the inequality of it all.

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2017 Reading Challenge

Despite a valiant last push at the end of 2016, I (YET AGAIN!) did not manage to reach my goal of 50 books in a year. I did manage to equal my personal best of 41 books so I’m pretty pleased about that because despite what some people might think, reading on maternity leave is not as easy as you might think (seeing as reading requires a functioning mind etc.).

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