Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 - a review

2013 background with text

2013 is my year of Eucharisteo and Eshet chayil...hopefully.
So, why not start now and take a look at the last 12 months using these same themes...

I'd like to close 2012 with gratitude. To give thanks for all that God has given to us this year and truly appreciate His care and provision.
As I look back I am so thankful for:
- my boys. The growth, development and blossoming of my eldest. I love the boy you are becoming and the joy you bring to us. And the addition of two new, precious, adorable people. I'm so excited to get to know you better and for what the next 12 months holds for us.
- Phil. My supporter, encourager, team mate and best friend. I could not have got through some of the harder parts of the last year if it wasn't for you. I love you x
- my family. For their constant support and help. And for always being at the end of a phone when I need them.
- my church family. The practical help and provision they have shown us as a family over the last year has been a real blessing. We are truly thankful and are loving growing stronger together as a family and community.
- Inter:act. I loved it so much...and would still love to start a 2nd year program...maybe at the East Lothian campus (my house)!!!
- God's faithfulness. In every season, in every circumstance. God has always been there. And He has cared for me more than I could ever know. Thank you Lord for loving me.

Eshet chayil
To all the women of valour who have inspired, encouraged, comforted, cried, laughed and rejoiced with me in 2012, I am so blessed and thankful to call you friends and family.

The inter:act ladies - Hannah, Kay, Vicky, Kathy, Ely - I loved getting to know you more during inter:act and am so grateful that God has blessed me with beautiful friends. Thank you for drawing alongside me and drawing parts of me out. I loved getting to know you during the 9 month course and am very grateful that you stuck with me through the snot and tears...I'm sure there is much more to come and I can't wait to embrace it with you all by my side!!!

My home girls - Kerrie, Susanna, Louise, Lorna, Jo, Sallie - These are the ladies that have helped in so many ways to make Edinburgh home. Words cannot express how your time, conversation, cups of tea, encouragement, tissues and many other things have blessed me this year. Again, I'm looking forward to all 2013 has for us. I hope we can spur each other on and support each other in many ways. I am not ashamed to say I need your friendship.

My email buddy - Alison - Things have changed quite a bit for us both since January 2012. And only God knows where we will each be in January 2014! I loved, and needed, our daily email conversations when we were supposed to be working. Thank you for encouraging me and challenging me and reading my endless worries. And thank you for making me laugh. Sometimes so much I would cry and snort at my desk!!!

My family - Mum, Heather, Glenda - Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I couldn't possible list the many, many, many ways you have loved, blessed, supported and helped me this last year. I am so blessed to have you as my family.

To all of you - I am the woman I am today because of you. I am challenged and inspired because of you. I can be vulnerable and accountable because of you. I am cheered and uplifted because of you. Thank you.
And thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for all the practical help you gave in the last few months of my pregnancy and when the twins arrived. You blessed my family and enabled us to stay sane! I love you all x

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

2013 - looking forward

We're having a great time celebrating Christmas here with my family. I've not taken many photos as I'm just trying to enjoy the moments as they come and go.
I'm overwhelmed and so very grateful for a very generous family and friends. And I'm being very blessed by a husband who loves to cook amazing food!

In 3 days I'll turn 30...shock horror! I know most people think I'm older than that already so no-one is really that shocked! But it's one of those ages that prompts people to slow down a little and think about life and things. Having a birthday just before New Year always causes me to be a bit reflective and consider things as we move forward. And this year is no different.

Last year I started out being very ambitious. Just more evidence of my efforts to try and be all things, and have completely unrealistic expectations of myself. Let's just say...I learnt a lot last year, and having more realistic expectations was part of that! Now having three boys under the age of three also helps with this!

So this year I'm going to take my time to focus on just two things...
2013 background with text

Eshet chayil

Two things that have been inspired by books I have read recently, and other things that have been stirring, speaking and calling to my heart.

I'll expand more over the next few weeks, but just a brief introduction of each...

Inspired by 'One Thousand Gifts' by Ann Voskamp
 - grace, thanksgiving, joy
I hope to grow in giving thanks for all that God has given, all of His gifts, in every part of my life.
I hope to spend time in the Word studying and learning about thanks and thanksgiving.
I hope to grow in my understanding of grace and joy.

Eshet chayil
Inspired by 'A Year of Biblical Womanhood' by Rachel Held Evans
- Woman of Valour
I hope to grow more in my understanding of who I am in God and my value in Him.
I hope to spend time building relationships and community with the women placed around me.
I hope to build up, encourage and cheer on women in my life.

So, Happy Boxing Day everyone and here's looking forward to 2013!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Sleep is taken in short shifts around here...or rather its grabbed when it can be!
And I'm restless.

But it's not really because of the lack of sleep.
There is something stirring in my heart, in my spirit, in my head.
Or a stronger stirring of previous ones, a re-stoking, refining, building of things that have grown over the last few months and years.

It could just be that I'm on the brink of a serious congested head cold (combined with extreme tiredness) but it feels more like I'm on the verge of something more significant. A tipping point. Possibly (hopefully) an avalanche of sorts. Of creativity, of community, of love.

I'm desperate to share understand a bit more for myself, but for now we'll have to tip toe up to the edge and just hang for a while.
Partly because I don't want to spoil some people's Christmas presents, and partly because my head still needs to put some order and cohesion to the thoughts and stirrings.

All I will say is that I'm restless but happy, restless but excited, restless and a little bit a good way.
I want to wrestle with whatever God is working in and through me. I want to be changed, transformed.

I know its a bit of cliche in the run up to a 'big' birthday and the New Year, but I seriously can't wait for my 30th at the end of the month. And I can't wait for 2013.

Bring it on!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

An update...

As you can probably guess, things are a little crazy round here but we're surviving!

I don't really have the time to blog which is a shame cos I've got lots of things floating around in my head that I'd love to get out and share. Thanks to the wonderful gift of a kindle, I've read quite a lot since Noah & Samuel were born. But it's probably a good thing I don't share about some things yet as it might spoil some Christmas presents!

So, while I process some of the things in my head, and wait until after Christmas to elaborate, here are some of my phone photos from the last few weeks...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Bit too busy... blog at the moment. I'm just focussing my time and limited energy on these three boys just now...and my biggest boy too!!!

Friday, 16 November 2012


They're here!
Noah James English born at 20:20 on 26th October weighing 5lbs 4oz and Samuel Phillip English born at 20:35 weighing 4lbs 8oz.

Both boys are gorgeous and doing very well and my heart could not possibly hold anymore love, even when they keep me up all night!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Still baking!

But not much longer to go now!

Monday, 1 October 2012

My all

So...'s a really long time since I shared anything on here. Mostly due to the craziness of moving house and expecting twins. There have been times when I've thought of things to share...but then I forget to write them down and so they get forgotten (must start keeping a notebook with me at all times).

But I wanted to record a quick moment that happened yesterday. A moment with God that I really, really don't want to forget.

As we were singing the last verse of 'When I survey the wondrous cross'...

'Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all.'

And I did the only thing I could do...cry...because words can't express how much I want that to be true. That my whole life, my everything, is dedicated to the one who's grace and love and mercy saved me.

And also because I'm not entirely sure what this next part of my life is going to look like...well, apart from crazy! But even after the babies are babies, I'm not sure of what comes next...but I know I want to serve God with all I have.

God very clearly spoke to me but in a gentle whisper.
He told me to trust Him.
To trust in His provision.
To trust in His timing.
To trust that He knows more about me than I could even imagine and that He knows what is around the corner.
And because of that trust, I can freely give my all, because I don't need to be in control. I don't need to have things sorted. I don't need to work it out by myself.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Its all so quiet...shh, shh

So, I've been a little quiet around here for a while. It's not that things have been quiet...on the contrary, things have been a bit busy.
As well as growing twins, we're also moving house and trying to stay sane!
By way of an apology for disappearing for a few weeks, I have some photos...

The bump at 22 weeks (two weeks ago). I'm now a bit bigger. I really should start measuring the bump and charting my growth!

Having fun at a park!

Who needs toys when there are empty boxes lying around?!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The trials of style...

This might become a regular feature...I have many style issues! Not quite wardrobe malfunctions, but any venture away from jeans and a t-shirt usually backfires in some way.

This season I am trying to rock the maxi skirt/dress. I think long skirts are elegant and feminine, and they cover up my whiter-than-white (almost blue) legs!
However, I have come to the conclusion that this item of clothing is not always the most sensible when accompanied by a toddler. Here are some examples...

1. This morning, said toddler thought my skirt would be a good place to hide! Not helpful!

2. Every time I have to crouch down to speak to said toddler at his height (which is a lot) I invariably stand on the bottom of the skirt and almost reveal my undergarments or trip over, or both…which said toddler finds hilarious!

3. Other crouching down incidences have involved the skirt ending up in a puddle or general dirt, mud or muck. This can happen with any skirt that is not super short!

4. I almost folded the skirt up in the buggy when folding it away at the nursery today! That could have been interesting!

One day I will aim to look glamorous and sophisicated and get through more than 30 minues before my cover is blown!!!

Happy Wednesday x

p.s. the numbers are in summery colours to encourage the sun to stay a little longer...please!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dirty glasses

I wear glasses. It's nothing new...I've been wearing them for almost 22 years now. Without them I am pretty hopeless. Sometimes, if I drop them, I can't find them!

Recenetly my glasses seem to always be dirty. Covered in greasy smears and dirty prints. Dusted with a selection of the day's make-up, muck and grime. It's not very pleasant. And it hinders my sight.

Sometimes I find myself avoiding cleaning my glasses because it will stop me from doing what I am doing. Because it will be a distraction, a hassle, an effort. I'd rather sit with a mucky view than take the time to clear what I can see.

Sometimes I find myself avoiding reading my Bible because it will stop me from doing what I am doing. Because it will be a distraction, a hassle, an effort. Even though I knew it will change my view and clear up my perspective.

Pretty sad isn't it?!

Monday, 11 June 2012

12 in 2012...minus 10

12 in 2012 blog title
If I'm totally honest, I knew that attempting to tackle 12 goals at once in one year was never going to end well. What can I say? I aim high!

Things were already becoming unstuck by March, then we found out I was pregnant. Throwing up constantly for almost 12 weeks and falling alseep whenever I was still for longer than 10 seconds didn't help (I know, excuses, excuses)!

But I still hoped to get back on track. Then we found out we were going to have twins, and I made the very sensible decision to leave my 12 things at the feet of God and only allow his expectations of me to define the next season of my life (this is a work in progress, by the way).

In my defence however, I have managed to craft a bit more over the last few months (no photos I'm afraid) and have made some lovely bunting out of a couple of saris I've had for years. And, thanks to the good weather, I wore a dress for three days in a row a couple of weeks ago!

However, rather than continue on completely goal-less, I have reduced my ambitions to the following...

1. To love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind.

2. To love my family, friends and those I 'do life with'.

and 3. To be more willing to ask for help and support and not try to 'soldier on' and cope with things.

I think these will be more than enough for 2012...and beyond!

I am still hoping to continue with the 12 classic films in 2012. So far we've watched Rain Man and Spinal Tap (Phil's choice, surprisingly I'd already seen it). I am working through previous recommendations but others are warmly welcomed!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Expansion of the pod

We had another scan on Monday (we'll be having one every two weeks from now on) and this picture made us think of two peas in a pod...

I didn't take bump photos a few weeks ago but to give you an idea of the growth of the babies, one website has compared their sizes to here is weeks 14 and 15..., it gave me an excuse to bake Mary Berry's St Clement's muffins...yum!

Now, an actually bump photo at 16 weeks. Not the most glamorous but you get the idea!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Big Word Wednesday #15

At the suggestion of my is a new installation of Big Word Wednesday!

 - to overwhelm with shock, surprise or wonder

Just over a week ago, I was flabbergasted.
I still am.

We were shocked and surprised to see two little people on the ultrsound screen.
We are still overwhelmed when we think about the fact that two little people will be joining our family in the same time!

I am also continually lost in wonder at the miracle of babies, and families, and how loved and supported we have been in the last few days.
We know it will be hard, and I know I will have to learn much patience and grace, both with myself and others. But it will be so worth it.

I do wonder if God was sitting in heaven looking down on us last Monday, counting down the seconds until all was revealed to our human eyes!
One dose of flabbergastedness coming up in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....!!!!

Maybe God doesn't think like that...but I'd like to think that he does sometimes. I'm sure he's got a pretty funny sense of humour!!!

What things in life have flabbergasted you?

Happy Wednesday!!!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Being an oven for two...

I would say the only major difference for me so far in this pregnancy has been the speed at which I have start to sprout a bump. This, of course, makes a bit more sense now that we know there are two people taking up residence in there!
The sickness has been pretty bad, but it was with my first pregnancy so that didn't seem any different. And I assumed I was feeling extra tired because I was running round after a toddler as well as being pregnant.

I shall endeavour to produce bump photos as I did with Ethan but this time they will need to start I have a bump already! I can't believe that at just under 14 weeks my bump is about the same as it was at 20-22 weeks with Ethan. I only have bump photos from weeks 19 and 23 last time but I have included them below for comparison with this bump. It's not the best of comparisons as the outfits and zooms are different, but you'll get the idea!

I'm now curious/slightly freaked out by just how big I'm going to get over the next few months!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Bakery


Sorry I've been a bit quiet for the past few weeks. I've been a bit busy doing some baking.

Only this time, I have two buns in the oven not just one!

Yes...we're having twins!

Happy Wednesday x

Friday, 27 April 2012

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Wow! Where did the last two years go?!
They say times flies when you're having fun...well, time has whizzed by while we've been having a blast!

Ethan, Happy 2nd Birthday!
This last year it has been amazing to see you grow and learn and express yourself in so many ways. I love your chatter and especially your singing! And your jumping is getting better by the day!
You are so kind and gentle and love to share and make sure everyone is included and involved.
We love you lots and lots and lots,
love mummy and daddy xxx

Here are some highlights from your birthday week!

You showed your Scottish side at Grandma's wedding!

And made your mummy and daddy very proud!

We went to the zoo...
...and you tried to join the animals!

And loved the slide!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Cost of Love

The country is in uproar as the price of stamps is set to increase by approximately 30-40%. And electronic mail is being promoted as the cheap (free) go-to for all our communication needs.

But when our communication costs us nothing, what does that say about the importance of our message?
Or the value we place on the receipient?

If all we do is to be covered/woven/seasoned with love, surely it is going to cost us something? Surely it must cost us something?

If we are sharing God's love with a community of people who feel unloved, isn't their value worth the price we may have to pay?

The price may be the cost of paper, a card, an envelope, a stamp. Or it may be our pride, our prejudices, our securities, our time.

We follow and serve a God who paid the ultimate price for us, because he loved us. Because he wanted us to know how much he loved us.

What are we willing to sacrifice to communicate love?
What price are we willing to pay to tell someone they are loved?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mother's Day flowers

No words...just photos...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Our February 2012

Another selection of photos from my phone from February.

1. The peacock dress that I was considering wearing to the mother-in-laws wedding....hmm!
2. & 3. Pear slice sculptures.
4. & 5. Sometimes its nice to see the moon when I leave work.
6. Ceiling fixing work in progress.
7. Ethan sorting the crayons in the cafe into rainbow order (total fluke) and making me very proud!
8. Ceiling fixing work complete!
9. Talking to the telephone...trying to talk to daddy!
10. My playdoh flower...before small fingers squashed it!
11. Testing the new boxes for the toys!
12. The fixed chairs being removed at church.
13. Larry in his pjs!
14. Jigsaw time.
15. My first ever eggs florentine...yum!
16. Cooking with the big pans!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 19 March 2012

A year of classic cinema - January

Way back in January I came up with the crazy idea of watching one 'classic' film a month in 2012. There are so many films out there that are 'must-sees' that I simply haven't seen, so I thought I'd try rectify the situation. Plus, who doesn't like the idea of a regular film night?!

So, that was over two months ago and I haven't reported back on how the crazy idea was actually going (thank you to everyone who made suggestions) so I now have another situation to rectify!

If I'm totally honest, I've seen Rain Man before but it was a long long time ago. And I had no real memory of the film.
There are so many things I liked about the film and I'm so glad we watched it even though it wasn't a new new film for either of us. I don't really want to give any of the plot away in case anyone reading this (is there anyone reading this?) hasn't seen it and wants to ( you should do). But I will say that it's a Tom Cruise classic, even though his acting annoyed me at the start. And Dustin Hoffman...amazing. It's a great story and I loved the development of the relationships between the characters.
And who doesn't like chuckling at the 80's fashion/hairstyles/everything!

The next 'classic' film review will be up soon and hopefully they'll be a bit more regular from now on.