Picking Back Up

I’m slowly picking back up with the blog and life in general after the COVID-19 lockdown madness. Like many others, the blog took a back seat while my family and close friends became my main focus. So much has happened though so I guess its time for an update!

Birthdays

I normally blog about the girls birthdays but it didn’t feel right this year. We still celebrated but it really wasn’t the same! Martyn and Hannah usually have us over and we have a BBQ for the kids birthdays which we really missed. Eva turned 10 this year so it sucked we couldn’t take her somewhere nice, we did however have a lovely day and Eva was thrilled to be included in birthday shoutouts by some of her favourite authors and illustrators. She was also sent a book by Jeff Norton, which we must get round to reviewing as she loves it!

By the time Izzy’s birthday came around we had at least planned a day of films, playing and crafting knowing it would be a quiet day. She was utterly spoilt by friends and family too and loved getting a new bike to race Eva on!

I turned 30 not long after Izzy’s birthday, usually we don’t do much. Birthdays are for the kids really, however we did have a lovely meal and some friends gave me birthday money which I spent on yarn, of course!

Relentlessly Crocheted

During lockdown I began to focus a lot more on my crochet. I had already set up an Instagram account and a Facebook page for my crochet but hadn’t really built up the confidence to really work on it.

Ember sat in the sunshine crocheting a rainbow blanket wearing a burgandy hoodie that says 'Sorry not sorry' on the front.

I started off by doing lots (over 200) of random acts of crocheted kindness, mostly making little heart or flower keyrings and hiding them wherever we went. I have had so many lovely messages from finders and I hope those who don’t use social media enjoyed their finds too. I will continue to do this as its such a lovely idea and it uses up my scraps and great to make on the go too. I’ve become the bag lady, hauling around a bag of yarn and hooks wherever I go haha!

Outside of random acts, I do want to take Relentlessly Crocheted and hopefully turn it into a fully fledged small business. I have been practising new techniques where I can, asking friends for ideas to challenge myself alongside making a few requests as gifts. My butterflies were so loved and it gave me such a confidence boost!

Contact From My Sister

So I suppose the biggest news of all this year is my sister making contact with me. We lost contact when Eva was a baby, due to falling out for the final time with my mother and issues I had with our dad, I cut myself off thinking it would be best all round. I wanted to stay in contact but felt it was inappropriate to try and stay in touch when I wanted nothing to do with our dad. Alongside all my mental and physical health problems too, I didn’t want a young child being dragged into stressful situations.

Ember sitting next to her sister Sheaylam, both smiling with purple butterflies around their face from a filter.

I had actually hoped when Sheayla was older she would contact me again but equally knew there was a chance she would feel abandoned by me and never want to talk to me again, fully understandable. Thankfully she is now 17, old enough to make her own choices and we’ve been in contact for about 4 or 5 months now!

Getting To Know Sheayla

It’s been lovely getting to know Sheay, I taught her how to crochet too and she’s set up her own page in the hopes of gaining some business which I’ve no doubt she will. She picked up crochet like a pro!

Sheayla is standing with arms around Eva and Izzy all smiling in the park

It is kind of strange getting to know someone who is very similar to yourself, but it means we get on quite well too which is nice. The girls absolutely love her and she is so good with the girls, understands when i explain one of them struggling or stressing over something and genuinely seems to care about them.

I love that they run to her for a hug when they see her, they get so excited and my soppy side loves that they finally have that from a blood relative. It hasn’t always been easy knowing my girls have very little family around them and something I often beat myself up over, but I know their safety and wellbeing is being put first.

Sheay has an older brother Karl, he is technically my step-brother as her mum and my dad married. I used to get on really well with Karl, we randomly ended up on the same college course for two years which is how I even discovered I had a sister in the first place!

I’ve also been meeting up with Karl which has also been lovely, we have quite a laugh being silly. We’ve been meeting up for hot chocolates to help me get out of the flat more and it’s been nice feeling like the old me again.

Moving Forward

I thought most of this post would be quite depressing but actually I’ve highlighted some of the better parts. It HAS NOT been easy though by any means. I feel lucky we weren’t impacted as badly as some throughout all this though, I have really struggled at times, worrying about finances, the girls being wobbly (Especially Eva!), trying to get back into a routine when I enjoyed the lockdown part because I’m part hermit, but I do realise it could have been much worse.

I guess for the time being Covid is here to stay and things will be a bit weird for a while but I am focusing on moving forward. I want to get back into blogging, I love to write! I want to build up Relentlessly Crocheted so I get an order or two a week, I’m hoping I can keep on building a good relationship with Sheayla and most importantly I want to keep working on improving my mental health. I coped well for a good 5-6 months during lockdown but that final month, not knowing if things would change again, has left me feeling a little lost.

Getting Out

One thing I’m determined to work on is getting out of the flat more! Ken is always encouraging me to have some time to myself, go out, treat myself and I let anything and everything get in the way of that. I see anything that goes wrong as a sign I don’t deserve it and I really need to change that mindset. Usually my lack of local friends makes it impossible but having Sheay and Karl around is a start and whilst I did take a hit first, I have kept pushing myself during the dark days to reach out and plan something.

One thing I am REALLY looking forward to is this weekend! I have a girly weekend planned with Fiona and Lisa, who have honestly kept me going so much through this year. We plan to eat lots of cheesecake, drink lots of cuppas and relax a bit. I’m so excited I even bought new boots haha!

Overall 2020 is definitely one of the stranger years we’ve experienced but memories have still been made and very slowly we are all picking back up again.

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