Simon and Bekah recap…

Bekah Anstey
Festive fatigue

This year has seen my job title change to ‘exhausted mum of 2’.

Having two children is an absolute game changer. When you have one child and two parents, you outnumber the offspring two to one, leaving one parent free to complete tasks or have some well-earned down time. Two kids and your ratios are all out of whack; no down time and tasks start to slip. I recently caught Simon skiving in the bathroom with little or no intent of using it’s facilities. He was just sat on the edge of the bath watching YouTube; stay vigilant ladies!

Parenting is the hardest job in the world but also the most rewarding. I find it most rewarding when the kids are asleep, which according to our youngest, is not required!

The festive period bought us various gifts in the form of infections and viruses. Both children battled the lurgy, but they didn’t let it get them down. They were absolute troopers which is more than I can say for Simon; man flu is a killer apparently!

I staggered through December with no make up on, excessive amounts of dry shampoo, no gym classes and very little wine, even the mulled variety was a rarity. By Christmas day I had almost completely devolved into a blob fish, the ugliest of all the creatures!

But December wasn’t all doom and gloom. Evangeline had her 8th birthday party, which all her best friends attended. I think the mum’s enjoyed it more though as they scoffed down the most delicious birthday cake made by the very talented ‘Cakes by Bobbies Den’.

It was our first Christmas as a family of four and one I will cherish forever. We spent time with all the people we care most about in the world and I know just how lucky I am to have them.

At times with the illnesses and pressure of not only making Christmas magical, but Eva and my dad’s birthday as well! I thought I was losing I was my marbles.

If you’re on route to losing your marbles as many of us are at times here are three tips to keep you on top form if you’re feeling the strain:

Mindfulness – A therapeutic technique that is about having an awareness of the present moment, this helps you to understand and control your moods, feelings and reactions. Just ten minutes per day makes a huge impact on your mental health.

Nature – Get outside and take in the fresh air, visiting a park or farm can improve your mood, reduce stress and help you to be more active. Some Doctors nowadays are prescribing fresh air and a good walk!

Relaxation – Take a bath, listen to some music or walk the dog (unless you have a springer spaniel like us – this isn’t relaxing at all)
I hope you enjoy our wedding section and if it sparks any proposals, please let us know!


Simon Paterson

It was a vey good year

Comfort is the enemy of progress.

I can say this without reservation that 2018 was the most challenging year of my life!

But with great challenge comes great reward!

2018 got off to a great start. Bekah was seven months pregnant with Florie. I had put on the usual stone over Christmas, was festively plump, feeling fresh and ready to take on the year.

By March Bekah had, had enough and was ready to pop, but Florie was in no rush. Finally, two weeks later than scheduled Florie decided to grace us with her presence. After a 19-hour labour, I was shattered! Little did I know this was the easy bit, Bekah didn’t agree!

By April I was convinced that Florie was trying to kill us through the medium of sleep deprivation! For the first three months of her existence if you attempted to put her down, she kicked off like Gordon Ramsey over a burnt tray of oven chips! During this time, I realised just how strong our relationship is and what a great team Bekah and I make. Florie was mega cute so we let her misconduct slide.

May, June, July and August are a bit of a blur! During these months NCS is running. This is challenging enough with eight hours sleep per night, but when you are down to about three…it’s tough.

Having said that my amazing team and I delivered NCS in record numbers (shout out Amy, Nathan and Beck). Over 40,000 hours of charity work was completed by over 650 students on programme, something I’m very proud of.

Eva sang in her first show this summer. She has been having singing lessons at JW Academy (see edition 1). Within just a few short months she was in the Montgomery Theatre on stage belting out a solo to over 200 people and eight weeping family members. In fact, Nana Sue is still crying now! #superproud.

In Autumn we had the flu and went on a boat trip on the Norfolk Broads. The boat trip was amazing. The flu was horrendous. If you are thinking of driving for over four hours with a baby in the car and the flu, think again. I’ve heard Mansfield is nice this time of year!

As Christmas approached, we were all mega excited as this was our first Christmas as ‘the fam 4’ as Eva calls us. Bekah and I had been working tirelessly to get our Christmas edition of S41 Local to print, whilst doing our day jobs and ensuring the children are fed and watered frequently.

Christmas arrived and brought with it a poorly baby and a broken-down boiler, on Christmas day no less! We didn’t let this get us down and had the most fantastic day filled with love and laughter. Bekah always makes the holidays special.

2018 was the most challenging year of my life, but it was also one of the happiest. I am truly thankful for everyone that was a part of it. Here’s to an awesome 2019!