Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 in review

Another year gone and another year to reflect on. I remember I could not wait for last year to end and I am glad I do not feel this way as 2014 draws to a close. I have so much to be thankful for from this year and I can't wait to document it.

1) What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

Without a shadow of a doubt buying and moving into my first house. I have loved the independence it has given me and the chance to make something my own. I am so lucky to have a great housemate too! I have really enjoyed being creative, and alongside Lotte, really make a house a great home!



2) What was the single most challenging thing that happened this year?

Losing my Gran. This was our first Christmas without her and it really was so very strange to not have her around. She did not have the most pleasant of passings but I remain thankful that I have a Gran that I can miss and remember so fondly. 



3) What was an unexpected joy?

This may sound like a strange response but I would have to say counselling. At the time it was quite draining and there were many weeks I dreaded attending the sessions. However, there was an unexpected joy in being able to address some of my demons and really understand my thoughts/feelings. I was able to come away from my therapy feeling a lot more understood and less anxious! Counselling allowed me to feel excitement for things again and really feel like there was a way forward...and for that I will always find joy (and hope!) in. 

4) Pick 3 words to describe 2014.

Thankful, Confusing and Nostalgic.

5) What were the most entertaining things you have seen/done this year?

Snorkelling in Tobago, walking the sights of NYC and Washington DC, Hornblowering in Niagara Falls, seeing Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, watching Wicked/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Lion King, skyping with Oli in Australia, watching children in need within the studio live, hosting airmail christmas, decorating my house, becoming an auntie to Honor Rose and celebrating my blog friend Laurie's 30th birthday (with space hoppers!) 





6) With whom were your most valuable relationships?

There are quite a few but I think my friendship with Lotte really stands out. We have been great friends for years but then we became joint home owners, which adds a whole new dimension to any kind of relationship! I am so pleased the transition went smoothly and I am so incredibly lucky that she's so much fun to live with. She accepts my quirkiness and allows me to just be myself in the house. I have really valued our friendship this year!



7) What was the single biggest waste of your time this year?

I would have to say dating Jack. At the time it was great dating someone that didn't take life too seriously. In fact it was refreshing! However, with any relationship there has to be some level of commitment to it, which we both didn't have!!! So even though you live and learn through the relationships you have with people. It was just something that wasted my time rather than enriched it. 

8) What are you most proud of doing this year?

Being more open in talking about my mental health, counselling and getting on the property ladder!




9) How did you spend Christmas 2014?

I worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I finished my shift Christmas Day and went over to my sisters for dinner, games and antics with my nephew! On boxing day all my family came to my parents - there was 15 of us! We ate, drank, chatted and played more games. The last time we all came together was for my Gran's funeral so it was good to be together on a more joyous occasion. 

10) What did you do in 2014 that you hadn't done before?

I crashed my car twice! I have never damaged any of my cars badly but to do it twice, in one month, was crazy and borderline stupid! I also went and saw the poppies at the tower of London to honour the fallen. It was an incredible sight to behold! Oh and I turned 25!



11) Looking back on 2014, what one thing have you learnt the most?

I would definitely say to have faith (faith in things generally, not religious)  My faith has really been tested this year and I have had to really persevere at things. I remember last year finding it so hard to accept I had a mental illness. This year I have really had to adapt my way of thinking and acknowledge my mentality into my waking life. I have had to rely on faith to get me through so much from little things like getting out of bed on my low days to losing my Gran to organ failure. There have been SO many days where I have questioned why I lead the life I have but I have faith that I'm doing okay...and trying my best!

12) Finally, your plans for 2015 and what are you most looking forward to?

I am so looking forward to New Zealand in February but even more looking forward to travelling with Oli! I am excited for Italy in June and also looking into other avenues of nursing I can work towards. I'm looking forward to getting more tasks in the house sorted and making it more homely. There is also an S Club 7 reunion to attend in May wahoo! I am sure there are lots more things 2015 has in store for me.




Hope you had wonderful 2014's to remember. See you in 2015 everyone!

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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Nursing + Christmas = Love

So another Christmas is flying past and I always feel a little meh at this time of year. The buzz, rush and excitement of seeing family, exchanging gifts, eating way too much and still trying to fit into your jeans is all a little too much take.


Then it's over and you await new year.

I have worked every Christmas (apart from last year) since I was 16. And I won't lie...I really enjoy it. Yes, it sucks that people are in hospital and yes it does suck getting up to go to work when people get to have a Christmas morning at home. But I'll tell you what I love about it.

When I work Christmas it makes me realise why I am a nurse and why (even on the crap days) I do the job I feel born to do. Two weeks before Christmas we had a patient who came in for extensive cancer surgery. Due to the nature of her aggressive cancer she needed the surgery ASAP, which probably meant Christmas in hospital. She had this lovely 10 year old daughter called *Mollie and all Mollie wanted for Christmas were two things; 1) Reindeer slippers and 2) her mum to be home for Christmas. Mollie's mum came through the surgery brilliantly and recovered really well. It was so AWESOME to tell her that she would be home for Christmas. All the nurses were sworn to secrecy not to tell Mollie as her mum wanted to surprise her Christmas day!

It really was the best feeling in the world to know we could get Mollie's mum home. The whole team were elated! 

Then on the 23rd I got a message from my colleague saying Mollie's mum had turned poorly and that she wouldn't be going home. I was gutted, absolutely gutted, and I am so glad Mollie never knew a thing. I came into work Christmas Eve to do my late shift and Mollie had brought in her Mum's presents, they decorated her room and watched a Christmas film. I just longed for and hoped that Mollie could have her Mum for Christmas...even for just a few hours. So we arranged a plan that Mollie's mum could go home for a few hours. It was tight with all her medications and attachments but we could make it work...and it was all set in motion. 

Then I came into work on Christmas Day feeling a little miserable that I couldn't be at home with my family. The consultant came to do his ward round and I explained we had arranged for Mollie's mum to go home for a few hours. What happened next was the best conversation...ever.

Me: 'She's doing a lot better and we have arranged for her to go home for a few hours.'
Consultant: 'mmm her bloods are good...not great but good. We can remove her lines and she could go home on oral medications. I don't see why she can't go home...but I'll let the you assess her mid morning and if you're happy then let her go.
Me: 'I think we can manage her from home and also you may have just made a little 10 year old girl's Christmas sir.' 

Mollie's mum did really well all morning and when I told her she was over the moon. Mollie came in at 10am, with Reindeer slippers in tow, she didn't know her next present was coming. I went into Mollie's mum's room at 11am and told Mollie to sit with her mum. I said I had something important to tell her mum and not to say a word until I had finished. I went through all the discharge paperwork and Mollie's face went from a casual stare, to confusion and then pure enchantment.

"MY MUMMY IS COMING HOME. I THOUGHT IT WAS AWESOME THAT I GOT MY SLIPPERS...MY MUM IS COMING HOME...TODAY???? NOWAY! THANK YOU FOR GETTING BETTER MUM"

And I think that's what makes Christmas so joyous. This is exactly the reason why I do nursing. Yes it's great there is so much choice, so many clinical skills to learn and the responsibility that comes with it. Yet, sometimes just being able to do something good for another person is what makes you happy. I helped make a little girls Christmas this year...and I would work a thousand more christmases to see a reaction like that again.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas this year.

*The name Mollie was used as an alias to maintain confidentiality

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Honor

I have had quite a few people ask me about my niece and I have realised that apart from announcing her birth I haven't really mentioned her.

I know I am biased but she is just the cutest bundle ever. Honor is now 3 months and it has just flown by! If there is one word to describe this little girl is...


DIVA!

Honor knows what she wants and wants it right away. I think compared to her older brother, who was such a smiley and cuddly baby, she is so the opposite! She is very observant and I don't think she will be at all cautious as she grows up. I reckon she'll be a fast learner and grasp things a lot more easily. There are some similarities to when Cohen was 3 months old between them, but they're also very different too.


When Honor smiles the whole world lights up. It totally changes her face when she grins! She is also really chatty and can be quite happy sitting on you and gurgle away. At first Cohen had no interest in her whatsoever! But over the last few weeks he does try and interact with her and he always likes to show me her room when I go round.


I am excited for her first Christmas. I am spending Christmas with them and I cannot wait. I absolutely ADORE being an auntie to these two beauties. I will never know how life existed without them. Life is so much more colourful and fun with them in it!

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Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas Adverts!

I remember when I was kid the Coca-Cola advert was the one advert you would wait in anticipation for. Over the years other retailers have really stepped up their game and come out with the most AWESOME Christmas adverts. I think adverts vary all around the world but I especially love the UK ones (yes I am biased!) So I want to share my favourite adverts from this year and why I love them.

John Lewis - Monty the Penguin

This is big retailer in the UK and it's only in the last 3-4 years have people really begun to notice their adverts. In fact it's their adverts that have made other retailers quake in their boots and think 'crap we need a GOOD advert this year!' The response to their adverts is now just the same as when the cola advert comes on telly. People go crazy over it....and I don't blame them. I love the story of this advert...and now I really want a penguin!



Waitrose - The Gingerbread Stall

I think this advert is okay but I just LOVE the song and the interpretation of it. I would never associate this song at Christmas time but now I always will. Plus, I really want to bake a cookie after its been on. 



Boots - Special Because...

I love how they have thought about the people who won't be celebrating Christmas with their loved ones this year. It's a good reminder that whilst we eat, drink and be merry, there are people on shift in hospitals, police stations, fire departments etc. It is such a good reminder for us to be thankful for the 'strangers' that are out their giving up their Christmas to ensure we're safe and healthy. This advert isn't glitzy but it's so heartfelt and really hits home! 



Sainsbury's - Lest We Forget

When I first saw this advert I thought it was too long but boy do I ADORE the true story. The way they have recreated it is so touching! So many people have had people who have fought or are fighting in wars/conflicts. Therefore, people really connect with it! For me this advert represents the true meaning of Christmas and what the gospel wants to bring across.



I'd love to know what you're favourite Christmas adverts are and why they're so special? The countdown to Christmas is on!

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