Bits and Bobs - May 2017

Well, May has been so eventful I had to actually sit down with my journal to work out if everything I remembered had actually happened in May. And I wrote this whole post forgetting it was Colin's birthday in the midst of it all! This hasn’t been a great month in many ways, it has been fantastic in others – not least the gorgeous weather we had! Not all of what happened this month is appropriate to share on here, but it has been a difficult one for our family and when one area of life is difficult it just makes everything else that bit tougher to deal with.

Plus I didn’t get any time to sit down and write so no blog posts this month, although a Facebook post about our ante-natal Down Syndrome diagnosis was liked almost 400 times and seen by 20,000 people!

I also did my certificate level professional statistician exams, which went ok although with the family issues we’ve had I think a pass is as good as I can hope for! I don’t find out until mid-August so I’m putting it out of my mind for now.


This month I started reading Santa Montefiore’s Songs of Love and War, which I’m really enjoying. I also do book reviews for a Christian publishing company (I get the books for free but give honest reviews) and am currently reading a book called Mindful of the Light by Dr Stephen Critchlow (whose kids actually went to school with me) for that. I’m no expert on mental health issues but know a number of Christians who struggle with anxiety and depression in particular and wanted to read a book that looked at the spiritual dimension too. Not only does it look at mental health issues clinically and the various treatments, it recognises the importance of the spiritual aspect of the conditions and recovery to Christians.


I have learnt that I can’t do everything. I have done two certificate level courses this year – between my Effective Education for Children with Down Syndrome in School, and then (hopefully) my RSS exams. I know I’m a Stay at Home Mum which people think means you do very little but it is a full time job! (if you’re not a stay at home mum, someone else is looking after you kids while you work, so it’s just that we skip the working for money part and I work at home!). I also play the piano in church, take the Beginners Sunday School class, took GB this year, and have a husband who gets regular chemo treatment, two children who have regular hospital appointments and one child who needs therapy for his speech and motor skills. And theoretically I’m meant to keep a home running too! It’s exhausting and some things have to give. I’ll not be doing any studying for a while and have stepped back from GB for a year or two.  

Have you overloaded yourself recently? With the end of the school year, it’s a good time to reassess how the ‘year’ went.


Last month I mentioned Masterchef. I did indeed stop watching once it got to the pretentious rounds in the Michelin restaurants. Can’t be bothered with it!

Now this is a confession, I’ve never watched Anne of Green Gables! I’ve read the books and like my own imagined version too much to want to watch the TV series. But then my husband suggested I watch Anne with An E on Netflix. We watched the first episode and I loved how Anne was portrayed but found the flashbacks quite dark. Not sure I’ll watch them all. Should I try and get a copy of the ‘original’ that everyone loves so much?!

And not on the TV I watched the Pro 12 Final live at the Aviva in Dublin! We weren’t sure until right before if we were going to make it but we left the boys in the capable hands of Colin’s sister Jenny and did a quick 9 hour trip there and back. The weather was woeful but it was a great day out and I actually watched the whole match. At home I’d have been distracted by 101 other things!


I bought Daniel’s new curtains and bedding – finally! And I’ve ordered a lampshade. None of it is in his room yet, but progress is being made – promise next month I’ll have it done and have a photo for you. Pinterest it ain’t but the realism of a 6” x 7” 10’ bedroom!

I also reorganised some kitchen cupboards. And got rid of some baking things. Let’s face it, I’m not a baker. Goodness, this makes my life sound DULL!


I kept Daniel off school one day to go to the Balmoral Show... We took the train to Lisburn, then got a shuttle bus and I alternated them one in the sling on my back, one in the single buggy. Serious mum points that day. I even brought a picnic with us!

To be honest we just flitted about the whole thing – watched a cow judging, sheep judging, looked at the rare breeds, stroked a rabbit, watched horse racing – but a little bit of everything actually entertained them best. And it turns out there is a cultchie young farmer “uniform” – dark denim and brown shoes which I found amusing!


A month like this makes me realise I couldn’t do life without my faith. The knowledge of something greater than us. A hope and a joy in the midst of the sad times. Peace when you can’t see what’s ahead. And most of all the promise that Jesus will give us rest:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11 : 28-30 (NIV)