#Smile’17 No. 1

So I started drafting a post back in January to kick off another year of weekly smiles and never posted it. So here we go again. Sunday smiling. This weekend I’ve been lucky enough to have most of my family in one place. A few people missing but near enough!  It has been wonderful to catch up and spend some time reminding ourselves that we are related! 

It has made be think about something I want to work on this year; keeping more actively in touch with people.  Social media is making it more and more easy to passively lose touch without even realising. It gives a false sense that we know what is going on with the people we care about because we liked the picture of their lunch last Wednesday.  So this year I am going to try and embrace the snail mail and take the time to find out what’s really going on with the people who are important to me. 

It will probably end up as per situation normal with a dressed envelopes sat for weeks/months/years waiting to be posted… but the intention will be there nonetheless! 

Wishing happy weeks all round,

LSO x 

Well that escalated quickly…

Oops. I do apologise for the rather lengthy absence, rooted in my terrible talent for procrastination…

It has been quite the year since my last blog post. I’m not entirely sure what happened to blogging along the way – there were times when I just didn’t feel like sharing what was going on in my head, and other times where procrastinator supreme “I’ll write a post next whenever” prevailed. But now life has evened out a bit, and I want to get back to my original reasons for starting thins in the first place – revelling in the small things!

A debrief of the last 12 months would have to include the following highlights:

  • I survived two months travelling solo in the South Pacific – more about that here!
  • I graduated! (Still convinced they’re going to decide that was a clerical error one day…)
  • We moved across the country and managed to navigate the traps of house-hunting; our well developed damp-sensors once again proving invaluable!
  • I started my first job (and have thus far survived!)
  • My little (6ft) brother has finally found his calling and has been given the opportunity to go follow his dreams in September – super proud!
  • We ticked a few places off our travel bucket list.
  • And finally, and most excitingly…
    • My aforementioned other-half asked me a very important question, to which the answer was a very slightly hysterical YES; we are now enjoying bumbling through the world of wedding planning together!

As I said, quite the year! I will be blogging a bit about my travels, and a few important bits and pieces, but mainly trying to focus on the little smiles just like before.

Thanks for staying interested if you’re still reading!

LSO x

 

Smile no. 11

Here’s to making progress!

This week has featured a lot of decisions, a lot of thinking and a lot of planning, but at the end of it, it’s starting to feel like life is starting to fit together. In my earlier posts, I’ve done a lot of talking about how I’m useless with uncertainty, and how there was a lot of it about at the time. There still is a fair bit, but things are looking clearer now.

I’m feeling a lot happier about the move in July, now that I have a rough idea of where we’ll be going, and I’m actually feeling a lot happier about actually starting the job too. I’ve been so incredibly lucky with my current placement, and one of my tutors in particular has been a real gem this week. There’s nothing worse than vague ‘it’s ok’ feedback. So when my tutor totally picked to bits what I’ve been falling short on, it left me feeling so much clearer about some of the things that have been holding me back. Some people might not have appreciated his total honesty, but to me it meant the world. For the rest of the week, I’ve been focusing on putting his advice to work, and have started to notice the difference, which has been fabulous!

Hooray for progress!

LSO x

Smile no. 10

Huge smile this week… I found out that I have secured a post for August in the area I wanted. Although I still have a further stage of applications to secure the exact job and precise location, I know roughly which county I will be in for the next 2 years, and it’s the one I wanted!

It was just generally a very good week, especially Wednesday. A surprise day off due to an admin error meant that I had a lie-in – always much appreciated, and my wonderful other half surprised me with an evening of relaxing before the dreaded job allocation day. I came home to a bath with bubbles and candle, a 3 course dinner, and a rare evening where both of us were home together.

Smiles all round!

LSO x

Smile no. 9

Somebody press pause!! Life is hurtling along a bit at the minute! I only have 6 weeks left of the final placement of my course, and only a few days until I find out where life will be taking me after the summer. 

This weekend we headed across country to see my boyfriend’s parents. It was lovely to spend time with them, and although part of the reason for going was a family funeral, it was great to be reminded how dynamic our families can be. Rows, bereavements and distances may split some ties wide open, but there are always new ones forming. We draw people in to our families, they become part of our story, and we become part of theirs. Families are not necessarily the ones you are first born into; they evolve around us, shaped by our lives and those of the people in it. 

I have a wonderful family, and though I may not speak to them or see them half as much as I would like, I am so happy to have them as characters in my story. My smile this week is the one put there by the people I care about more that anything; my wonderful, totally crazy but undeniably awesome family! 

LSO x 

Smile no. 8

This week has been a smileful week all round, it’s hard trying to pick one thing! I love lists, so here’s a list of things that have made me smile this week…

  • Bake Off is back in a fashion, and that is just great
  • I found a recipe for Banana Blueberry muffins that taste amazing (I’m always throwing out bananas, I like them basically green so as soon as they start getting brown spots I have to find something else to do with them!)
  • I had a day out in London this week with my favourite friends which involved pretending to be highly sophisticated ladies who lunch – we have to pretend because we’re all actually nuts – and a trip to Ben’s Cookies, possibly my favourite cookie-based establishment of all time, and much general hysteria
  • I made a good call at work on Friday, and that always feels good!
  • I passed an exam that is another hurdle towards finishing my degree
  • I re-wrote my recipe book with colourful pens so now it looks awesome
  • Last night we had dinner with friends and just sofa-crashed and chatted all evening which was just wonderful

So lots of smiley things this week, and they are all so smiley that it would be hard to choose just one!

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Banana Blueberry Muffins…

LSO x

On being somebody’s Valentine…

Four years ago I left home to start university. Everyone was busy telling me how much I would love it, how much if would thrive. I, on the other hand, had spent the preceding summer convincing myself that I had not got my A level grades that would secure my place. I had already part filled next year’s application forms, booked a few driving lessons in and applied for a few jobs so the blow might not fall so hard. So when the big fat confirmation letter fell through the letterbox in August, just a month before term was due to start, I found myself in a bit of a pickle.

Just 4 weeks later, I found myself alone in a room that didn’t feel like mine, on a corridor of the most eclectic mix I people I could ever expect to meet. It was almost a perfectly representative sample if every clique from college. The loud and bolshy rugby lad, the crazy party girl, the punky chic into all sorts of weirdness that she felt needed sharing loudly over dinner, the quiet kid that didn’t speak, and then there was the boy next door.

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight. In fact I spent the first few weeks of term convinced his name was Steve (it’s not…) and only really had any interaction over pleasantries such as whose milk this was in the fridge, and could I please borrow a tea bag.

I found myself deeply miserable at uni. I suddenly found myself stressed to the heavens about everything, gave myself gastritis that rendered me a nauseous wreck the majority of the time and realised that my cooking skills did not even stretch to basic at best. I was strongly considering dropping out and seeing if I could defer a year on health grounds. So when I got a text from said boy asking if I’d like to go for a drink sometime, I baulked and knocked it out the park. How could I possibly entertain the notion of dating when I could barely hold myself together for a day of lectures?!

A few months of persistent efforts and truly horrendously awkward dates later, we finally gave up and called it official. This was a boy who would sit with me while I spent hours forcing down tiny meals, with my phone in his hand threatening to call my mum if I didn’t finish that chicken sweet and sour. A boy who had seen me in my PJ’s at 3am fire alarms with bed hair and sleepy eyes, seen my horrific attempts at cooking, heard me throwing up near enough daily, and yet was still interested.

That first year, I told him that I didn’t do valentines day. Mainly because I honestly didn’t really buy all the sappy ‘one-and-only’ stuff. I figured mostly you just ended up with someone convenient and muddled along with them for a while. I thought it was so commercial; after all, why do you need one day to appreciate the person you supposedly love all year round?

To some extent, I still believe that, about the commercialism. However, four years later, having fallen totally head over heels for that boy next door, I can’t say I don’t believe in love anymore. It’s amazing to have someone who is unconditionally there for you, and so in sync with the way you think that there are times when you don’t have to say anything at all. And to be able to celebrate that, and have a day to show them how much that means isn’t all that bad. Not with presents and lavish expense, but with time. Setting aside a little time to spend purely with each other, no distractions. So that was how our valentines day went. We had a lazy morning with American Blueberry Pancakes watching a live-streamed band contest in our PJs. Then we went out for dinner at our favourite local Indian, challenging each other to try something different to our usual order. We’re both massive foodie people, so this was just perfect. We ended our evening curled up on the sofa with a good film. To some, this would seem boring and unimaginative, but for us, just spending time enjoying things we have in common is just fine.

So now, I would say yes, I do ‘do’ valentines day, but I do it my way.

LSO x