Thursday, 2 October 2014

New Beginnings


A lot has changed since I started writing here.
When I started this blog I was a single girl living in the big city, walking her dog a lot.
I have now moved cities, become a mama and am engaged to the best man I've ever met.  
(I still walk my dog a lot).

We are embarking on a new, super exciting adventure. We are building our own teensy house on wheels.  
We are going to be more self-reliant, creative and free, and live the life we want.  

I can't wait to show and tell everything about it, but this doesn't feel like the right space for that.

I will be documenting this all at Tiny Home Making if you care to come along on our adventure.

Thank you to everyone who has read this little corner of my brain,   
Jess
xoxoxo 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Annabel, 3 and 4 Months


When you are pregnant, everyone in the world gives you all kinds of nuggets of "wisdom".

"Never wake a sleeping baby"
"It's definitely a boy"
"It's definitely a girl"
"You need to get a nursery place sorted now so when it's 6 months old you can have some time for yourself"
"It's so hard"
"It's so easy"

But the one thing everyone consistently tells you is how fast it goes, and by golly is it true.  I feel like she was born last week, and yet here she is, four and a half months old and long and tall and holding her head up and smiling at everyone and giggling like all get out.


She is wearing cloth nappies and loving them, grabbing things (mostly with her left hand so far), loving having baths and splashing the water.  We have been lucky enough to go on some camping trips (on which more later) and festivals, and Annabel and I traveled to America where she met some of her many many cousins, her great grandmother, and got held by all of her great uncles.


Through everything we do she is the most amazing, cheerful, relaxed little being.  I love her more and more every single day and can't believe how lucky I am to be her mama.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Dreaming Vaguely

I have never been the person with the five year plan.  I am much more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, what-will-be-will-be, who-knows-what-the-future-holds kind of girl.

Even as a child what I always held in my heart were the broad strokes of what is important to me.  I want to pursue happiness.  I want children, and to be a good mother to them.  I want to work for myself.  I want to be a good person, and always try my best at things.  I want to fully live my life, and to experience as many things as I can, and to really try my best to appreciate it all.  I want to love as much and as open-heartedly as possible.

There are downsides to this lack of planning.  I never have had much of a "career", though I have loved my work.  I didn't go to university.  I have had a few good relationships, and several terrible ones.  The great thing though, about not being the person with a five year plan, is that I don't have the disappointment of a plan not realized, and when things come to pass they are amazingly happy surprises.

The only thing I have always been certain about was wanting babies, dependent on finding the right relationship.  To me, that would be my best accomplishment.  Other than that my only plans were vague ideas of things I'd like.  Chickens.  A wood burning stove.  Travelling places.  I have a fuzzy picture of how I want my life to look, but none of the sharp details.  I am glad that it is like that.  The meaning of life is to give your life meaning, and it is hard to do that if you are too wrapped up in trying to tick certain boxes.  I find myself now with a baby girl and a wonderful man in my life, and I marvel at how I got here.  I can't wait to see what the rest of my time is going to hold.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Motherhood


I have been wanting to write about this subject for a while, but it is so overwhelmingly huge that the only way I can write these words now is by telling myself this is just one piece, and I will add more pieces later, to try to put it all together into the whole picture.
There is a little baby sleeping beside me in our king sized bed.  Our own little baby.  She is nine and a half weeks old, and grew inside of me from a tiny collision of two cells.  It is so strange to think about this time a year ago, when she didn't exist at all, or this time nine months ago when she was the size of a jelly baby, or this time nine and a half weeks ago when she was making her way into the world, then she was here.
One of the reasons I didn't want to find out if our baby was a boy or girl was because I didn't want to imagine it too much, didn't want to feel like I knew them before getting to know them.  Then she was born, and we had this little person.  We didn't name her for almost a week, trying out different names to see who she was.  We settled on Annabel, which means 'loveable', and she is.  And she is her own little person.  That is the amazing thing.  She becomes more and more herself every day.
The transition from woman to mother has been more of a smooth continuum than I expected.  It wasn't, for me, a sharp shock as soon as she was born.  It is gradual, a growing.  I loved her already when she was in that big bump and I used to watch her jump around in the bath, I loved her more when she was born, waking up next to her the next morning with this tiny perfect new person, and I love her still more now, when she is smiling and kicking her little legs, or nursing with her serious business face on, or being rocked to sleep.  I think I will continue to love her more every day my whole life long.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Impromptu Road Trip

We have applied for a passport for Annabel at a time when the passport office have 300,000 more applications than last year.  That combined with government cutbacks means there are front page making delays.  The upshot is that last week my parents and sisters were in France, and we were supposed to be going to join them, but couldn't.  So we decided at the last minute to pack up the family and take the camper van on a road trip in England!  We went to some places we went last year, but this time with four of us instead of two.  Our endpoint was North Yorkshire, where a friend of ours had an amazing pop up restaurant for four weeks (it is over now, but might be touring the rest of the summer if you're interested).  The food was awesome but due to amazing conversation and being busy actually eating it there are no photos.
En route we had rocky scrambles, lots of bbqs, and learned that dairy cows are fascinated by babies.



 


It was another great reminder of how much gorgeousness there is in this country.  Passport shmassport.



Thursday, 19 June 2014

Annabel- 2 Months

My goodness little girl, you have fully booted up this month!  The transition from little sleepy newborn who wanted to be held all the minutes of the day to this smiling, cooing, awake and (relatively) independent little bean has been both gradual and quick.  You are so much fun.  Your dad and I love your grins, and are always finding ways to make you smile.  You have blue blue eyes and seem to be growing in some blonde hair, after being born a little brunette.  You are back to being fully breastfed, which makes me so happy and proud.  Keffie loves you too, and likes to be close to you and lick you whenever we let her.  I so look forward to watching your relationship with her grow!
You are an awesome baby, and we feel so so lucky to have you, and love you so much.  Thank you for being you.







Monday, 16 June 2014

Down the Garden Path

We moved to Brighton in October.  I was already three months pregnant (our little baby was conceived on our epic road trip).  We wanted to move away from London and Henry had lived here before and loved it.  It is the hippy little sister of London, think the San Francisco of England. 
We rented a beautiful house, which came with the use of an allotment.
 We are both beginners at growing, and have ignored all the advice (to start off small) by trying to grow a million things.  The learning curve is steep, we are fighting a constant war against slugs and pigeons, but it is so exciting.  We have onions, raspberries, lettuce, chard, potatoes, raspberries, corn, kale, artichokes, rhubarb, sugar snap peas, tomatoes and (hopefully) squash.  
Our dream, which might become our reality before too long, is to live in the countryside.  To have space to grow and have more animals, for Annabel and Keffie to run around and have freedom.  This is all good practice for that and we are learning a lot of lessons.  About tomatoes, greenhouses, and pests, but also about work, collaboration and the passing of time.