What an Incredible Year!!! 

It has been a while since I have posted anything and this is because I have been on the most incredible journey, experiencing different things I can blog about and making new friends along the way. 

This post is, perhaps, a generic one because it doesn’t focus on one aspect and is more of a summary of what I have been involved in this year.

September 2016 I left my teaching job of twelve years to embark on a new journey.

 This new journey was supply teaching among other things but more importantly, for me, to have quality time with my beautiful daughter. She needed to come first for a change. 

The first couple of months from September to mid October was difficult. I was so used to being busy and have always worked, from the age of 15 and paid my own way. Probably younger than that if you count the pocket money for helping around the house doing chores. 

It was a shock to the system to not work and it really did have a negative impact on me for a while. The house, however, has never been sooo clean!!! 

I had a few days work here and there at the start of September thanks to a wonderful friend. The rest as they say is history.  I have had steady work with her school for the rest of the year. General cover, Pe (my subject) and secured seven weeks work in science.  She got me the foot in the door and I did the rest according to her.  I have been asked to come in time and time again and we will see you again next year. The feedback I have received from this school has made me feel so valued. Loved working there. 

Along side supply I became a Tiny Soccer Star coach, and I have loved every minute coaching 1 and two and half year olds and 3-4 years. I have loved watching their faces when the learn a new skill or do it better than they have ever done it before. 

I also decided to start a small business, Mighty Minds Book Shop by becoming an Independent Usborne Books organiser. It doesn’t bring a huge amount of money unless I build a team but I love doing it and it something different. It gives me a little extra pocket money and keeps my mind busy.  My daughter and nieces will never want for books again. 

This year has also made me realise how much school ptfas do. I joined my daughters school  thinking it will be a few evenings and daytime events here and there. I was overwhelmed at how much they do. The events, the organisation of events to help buy things for the students in the school. The list is endless.  I am in awe of the amount they do. It has been incredible to meet so many amazing and inspiring people. The time they put into the school is amazing. 

I consider myself to be Christian however my faith for various reasons has been well and truly tested for a few years. These are different stories to tell another time. 

My dearest and best friend who has been by my side for 17 years of my life, including being my maid of honour and accepting to be my daughters Godmummy, has seen me at my worst and at my best, I think.  She  asked me if I would like to volunteer for a Christian weekend called Shine UK. This is a weekend for girls to explore their faith, take part in different activities through the weekend, from slient discos to arts and crafts and fitness activities to name a few. 

I reculantly said yes. Knowing her faith was incredible compared to mine. However, it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have been volunteering as a Shine Angel for two years now and the team that organise the weekend, have asked me to become their activities coordinator this year. To say I feel blessed and humbled by this is an understatement. I, of course, said yes and this year I will embark upon the next chapter of my Shine journey. I can’t wait. 

I will definitely say I was more confident this time around and it was very noticeable. To the point of I was told you need to realise how good you are with young people. This coming from the lady who organises the weekend!! 

This will be my 3rd year. 

To say I admire the lady and team who organises Shine is the biggest understatement. I am in awe. They ooze faith, a peace and calmness I have known but been searching for again in my faith. Each and everyone of these incredible, phoneminal ladies, again having their own fights and battles while still remaining in God’s grace.

I must have proved my worth because I was asked to help out at Spree West Midlands this summer, by the lady who puts these weekends together. Again another Christian weekend for young people with football tournaments, laser tag, bushcraft, slient discos, work shops to name a few! 

Again, being the insane one, I agreed to do early morning circuits and jog at 7 am on both days, stretch and relax and core stability on fitballs on Saturday afternoon and some fitness sessions on the Sunday. Yes you read that correctly!!! Zzzzzzzz by Sunday evening ready for work Monday morning. 

By Saturday midnight I gave myself a target to beat from Shine. What’s the target I hear you thinking? Well it was to complete over 39,500 steps I managed at Shine!! 

Did I do it?

Well, not only did I reach that I smashed it completing 40,500 steps. I blame it on the silent disco and partying the night away. So I need to set a challenge for Shine in November!!!

I have now finished my first year of supply and nearly completed my first year of Tiny Soccer coaching as well as being an Independent Usborne Books organiser and being the PTFA at my daughters school. 

Am I happy?? The truth; absolutely yes. I may not have the steady income but it has taught me a valuable lesson- live to your means. The other lesson I have learnt, everything happens for a reason- God has a plan for me I didn’t know existed until now!! 

The time I have with my daughter is to be cherished. I no longer need to work all the hours to get data recorded, spend hours writing lessons plans and deep marking or writing reports. I go into the school do my job and come home. My mental health  is once again, good. I no longer feel I am rubbish at being a mother or teacher. I have the work life balance I always wanted after having my daughter. 

I am right where I should be at this moment in time. 

After all life is about making memories and cherishing every moment. Those that take your breathe away and those you need to learn from. 

I am a warrior princess. 

Macmillan Cake, wine and coffee night. 

I haven’t done anything charitable for a while so I thought supporting Macmillan Cancer Support was a good place to start again. 

All for a good cause 

I lost my mother in law to be 3 weeks before our wedding and two aunties over the last few years. Now my godfather has just been diagnosed with skin cancer and currently undergoing treatment. 

This is a truly awful disease, and one that needs to be supported as much as possible to help those suffering and fund the much needed support to deal with whatever the outcome might be. 

I decided to hold a night instead as most people I knew would be at work. 

Yummy!!!

When the night was in planning mode a good friend asked if she could bring some of the products from her business to display. I, of course said yes. I then asked a few other friends who I knew to also bring some products from their businesses to display as well. 

Why not make a night of it!

Arbonne products and Younique products were displayed but unfortunately my friend who had the Just for Tiny People business was poorly. However, if you are interested in finding out more about these ladies amazing businesses I will give you details later on the blog.

A friend thought a prize bid would be a great idea to raise more money and people kindly donated prizes. The prizes on offer were a set of two bath towels and two hand towels donated by Swish Laundry, a Nelson and Bach hamper, a meal for two with drinks at Pasta Di Piazza in St Pauls Square. These were kindly sorted by Emma Stokes and her blogging contacts, a mini mani pedi session, a Younique make over session, a magical tooth fairy goodie bag donated by Just for Tiny People and an Arbonne pamper session. All donated by friends who have their own businesses.  

A raffle was held with varying smaller prizes as well as a couple of games donated in the Macmillan pack  I received. 

Guess where the coffee bean is and guess the number of spots on the cake. 

A lovely range of Younique make up available on the night. 

A lovely range of Arbonne products displayed too. 

The night was filled with lots of chatting, tea drinking, a bit of wine and some soft drinks. Lots of cake was eaten too! I still am eating the left overs now. Days later!!! 

Cake, wine and coffee with lots of chatting. 

The Nelson and Bach hamper winner

Meal for two at Pasta Di Piazza. 

Some goodies in the Just for Tiny People goodie bag. 

I had a fab time organising the night and it was fabulous to see some friends again. Who I hadn’t seen in a while, especially those from my old work. Miss you all lots and lots.

A good time was had by all. My daughters Childminder  said ” I had a good time my dears and some of your friends are nuts! In a good way of course. But it was also for a good cause” 

I am still amazed my daughter managed to sleep through the laughing!!! Kerry Jones you were on point. You were absolutely on fire!

I am pleased to announce that we managed to raise over two hundred pounds with more being donated as I write this. 

It was a night full of laughter and fun but also to remember those lost and those still fighting, whatever the outcome. 

If you are interested in any of the products mentioned in this blog the details are below.

 jftpbusinessfairy.com/emiliecullumkenyon or on Facebook facebook.com/jftpemiliecullumkenyon

Fabulous tepee from Just for Tiny People 

For Arbonne products visit Sarah Evers – Arbonne Independent consultant on Facebook or http://sarahevers.arbonne.com

If you are interested in what Younique has to offer. Please contact Kerry Jones on her Facebook page lashes 2 lashes beauty or http://www.youniqueproducts.com/Lashes2lashesuk
 

I would also like to take this opportunity now, to thank everyone who came and donated to such a worthy cause. You are all amazing and truly brilliant. Thank you for helping to raise a good amount of money for such a worthwhile cause. 

After all it’s about making memories and remembering our loved ones we have lost, those fighting or the families and friends who need to be strong.