Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Workin' nine to five...

No, not a post about Dolly Parton (though I LOVE her!).

As per usual, it is all about me. Or, more specifically, my job.

My lovely boss, Elaine, has been on holiday in Tunisia, so I worked 4 days last week instead of 2. Unfortunately for her, she came home with a tummy bug as a souvenir. So I have ended up working this week as well. I have worked six out of the last nine days, and momma isn't used to this much office time.

I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread and sadness that I haven't felt since I first started working outside the home. I haven't been able to drop the kids off at school. I haven't been there when they got home. I haven't prepared their evening meals. I haven't exchanged gossip with the other mums on the school run. I haven't had a single day to myself to crack on with housework or extra DIY projects. I haven't been able to go to the gym. And I am going to be back at work on Thursday and Friday.

Today is going to be especially manic. I will be taking an extra long lunch break so I can drive to Scunthorpe and give a massage. It was supposed to be yesterday, until I got called in to work. I told Elaine I could only work today if I could work around my regular massage client. So I will be grabbing a burger on my way home and coming back to man the desk here. And then going home and trying to squeeze in that whole parenting thing.

I don't know how all those working mothers do it. Seriously, it's only been nine days and I feel like I am burning the candle at both ends. This is one intense juggling act!

But the extra money will be nice, and I am hopefully saving all of the Beck Hill Motors employees from exposure to weird Tunisian germs. And then next week, things should be back to normal.

I only hope it doesn't take too long to catch up on the housework. ARGH!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Lucky thirteen!

Thirteen years ago yesterday, I was lucky enough to marry the coolest guy I knew. And guess what--he is still the coolest guy I know.

Seriously, I am still so madly in love with my husband. He's gorgeous, hard working, talented, caring, affectionate, creative, kind, intelligent, and very generous. He even thinks he's funny!

I never could have imagined all those years ago how I feel about him now. I thought I loved him then, but I have discovered a depth of feeling I never knew I was capable of. Martin has helped me learn and grow as a person. He has helped me become more patient and loving. He has given me children. He has supported us all. He has continued to love me through some very tough times. I am truly blessed to be called Mrs. Gilbert!

My dad insisted he was only marrying me for the green card. Martin and I still laugh about that. Thirteen years is a long time to work for an immigrant visa!

Sadly, we didn't get to see much of each other yesterday. My boss is in Tunisia so I am working four days this week instead of my usual two. But we did go out on a date on Saturday night. The kids had a sleepover with their Nanna, and we watched "The Giver" and ate delicious Turkish food (oh, I forgot to mention that Martin has expanded my culinary horizons!). The best part of our anniversary date is that we never ran out of things to talk about. And we hardly talked about the kids at all.

Ever watch Monty Python's "Meaning of Life"? There is a scene where a middle aged couple is having dinner in an authentic Medieval dungeon and they order a conversation. Watch the video above...

Luckily, our conversations don't go like that.


Anyway, I love you Martin, Here's to another thirteen years...

Friday, September 12, 2014


We just got back from a three week trip to the U.S. It was amazing!

My Daddy Doug paid for our tickets, which was so incredibly generous of him. And he picked me and the kids up from the airport, too. The kids did so well with the trip over, only losing it when our flight in Charlotte was delayed by two hours. They were so tired, and there were tears involved. But all in all, they were real troopers!

We spent our first week without Martin, who had to work. We got to hang out with Grandpa Doug, and meet his new girlfriend. Her name is Michelle, and she is very lovely. We got to have a Bowcutt family BBQ. We got to do some shopping. We saw all of the Cook family during that first week. Dylan got to eat several Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers from Wendy's.

Martin arrived just shy of a week after we did. His flight was WAY more enjoyable than mine! It was so nice to see him. Being away from each other for so long always reminds me how much I love my husband. He's my best friend in the whole world, and I'm crazy about him.

Anyway, I won't bore anyone with all the details. I will just say that we had a magical time, filled with family, friends, and fun. And it was really hard to come back to England.

Before we left, I was toying with the idea of giving up on my dream of moving back to Utah. I was debating (with myself) the merits of raising my kids there or staying here. And after spending time back with my family, I have decided that Utah is definitely where I want to be. I am so much happier there. And not just because we were on holiday, either. I was doing pretty much what I would have been doing if we had been back in England, with the kids off school and me off work. I was so much happier because my family was there.

I remember one night just sitting around talking to all my sisters, brother, and brothers-in-law. The kids were running around like maniacs. It was absolute chaos, which I normally don't like at all. But I looked around the room and just soaked up all the love that was there. And I realized that THIS is what I've been missing. My family aren't perfect. There's noise and drama, just like any other family. But they are MINE! I miss them so much that it actually hurts.

And can I take a moment to talk about my older brothers, Justin and Chris? And their wives, Nikki and Melanie? I didn't know them growing up, but I am loving the chance I've had to spend more time with them, too. They are great people, and I want to continue developing my relationship with them.

Oh, and my new niece and nephews--they are a great addition to the family. And my adorable niece that I met for the first time on this trip. ALL of my nieces and nephews, really.

Sometimes, I look around at my siblings and parents and wonder how I got so lucky. They are so amazing!

So we are back in sleepy little Barton-upon-Humber now. And I have come home with a renewed desire to sell our house and move back to Utah. Also, my sisters' homes have inspired me. So this means, of course, that I am extra motivated to do more DIY projects. And with that aim, I have gone to work...

Painting the tiles in the bathroom white (the walls are next, after I finish the second coat of tile paint.

Painting the top bedroom and having Martin draw up plans for some built in storage (including a window seat--how fun is that?) so we can move the kids up there. Also needs a second coat!

Buying the paint to refresh the third bedroom, which we will be turning into a guest bedroom/reading room. It's going to be really super nice!

And work continues on my double wedding ring quilt. I'm almost ready to sew the blocks together. Then it's just binding and quilting, which I intend to do by hand. GREAT winter project, huh? I want to do another patchwork quilt after this one, too. It would seem I've caught the quilting bug. Oh no!

Oh, and speaking of sewing...Martin picked me up a sewing machine off the side of the road. It was out next to somebody's bins for our rubbish collection. It had a small problem which was easily fixed, and I have started using it. It's a much more basic model than my mother-in-law's machine that I'd been borrowing, but it's a Singer, and it is much more pleasant to sew on. In fact, I was working on my quilt on my lunch break. Because it's fun, and it's like Mormon housewife crack!

As soon as I get my busted phone repaired, I will be posting photos on the blog, facebook, and my newly acquired instagram account.

Now, it's back to work.