Sunday 19 August 2018

"If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind."

A few weeks back we had a visit from one of our friends Kayleigh, who's been a friend of mine since Uni and unlike me she went on to do amazing things with the skills that she picked up from her course. Kayleigh is a skilled glass designer who specialises in hot sculpting and iridised surface design (I took that last bit straight from her website 😂). Like myself she's a big fan of the brick and one evening we had a chat about how she would really like a brick version of her combined furnace, glory hole and Lehr setup from her work place so that she could use it to be able to explain how it works to her customers a little more easily. Obviously I love a challenge when it comes to LEGO, I didn't expect it to be as much of a challenge as it was though, when she arrived at ours with no photos of what it was I was building. 

As she explained each part of what she wanted building we had a good chuckle as I had no idea what half of the words meant. So it was down to Kayleigh's skills with a pencil to try and give me what I needed to start building. While I started putting bricks together, asking lots of questions as I went, Kayleigh kept Opeie entertained with some building of her own. 

When you complete a build that is a representation of something that you have never seen before its really difficult to get excited about it. It wasn't until Kayleigh added this image of the LEGO with the actual furnace behind it, that I realised I hadn't done a bad job at all even if it was a little off scale.

You can see Kayleigh's work over at KayleighYoungGlass

"Sugar, Spice and everything nice..."

I love those quite moments in the house when Opeie is doing his own little secretive things and today there was silence everywhere. I eventually ask him what he was doing and he simply answers "I'm turning you into a Powerpuff girl character dad!". I love that little guy so much.

"Get out of my way, you Cakesniffers!"

Its been a tough few months with our lives changing so much with the split. As I said in the last post I feel like I've really lost myself in all of it and I know the boys are feeling the same way, Opeie especially. With his mom not being around I've been trying as best I can to keep him busy and in the company of the people that love spending time with him. This has not been difficult at all because we have the best group of friends around us and they definitely more than make up for our lack of family. 

Over the last few months we've spent a lot of time hanging out with our friends Charlotte and Rich, usually walking the streets of Shropshire in search of Pokemon. To continue the love of all things Pokemon and our blossoming friendship, they invited us round to theirs today to bake cakes and decorate them in a way that only Pokemon enthusiasts know how.

As the saying goes 'A baking session isn't successful unless you've messed up a couple of batches first'. No you're right, no one has ever said that, but as we all had a good laugh about the mess we made and Rich pointed out that the one batch looked like it needed vegetables and gravy with them, it was clear that the muck ups really add to the memories of the afternoon.

We soon had a decent batch to work with though so we set about adding some flair to our cupcakes. While we created our masterpieces we chatted about all sorts and I was reminded yet again how in awe I am of that amazing 7-year-old of mine. He loves being around other adults and is such a confident kid when it comes to general chit chat, everyone seems to adore him as much as I do.

With the first couple of cakes finished it was time for an action shot, Pikachu... I choose you!

The cakes ended up taking so much longer than we expected but thats the great thing about being around amazing friends, you get lost in all the fun and the time just flies by. With the cakes finished the only thing left to do was check to see if our creations tasted as good as they looked...they totally did.

These may be some of the toughest months we've been through but being surrounded by such amazing and caring people has made us realise that we really are the luckiest three boys.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time."

Pretty much every night I lay next to Opeie after reading to him thinking 'I'm going to write a post tonight' and every night I head downstairs, lie on the sofa and get overwhelmed by the mass of emotions that seem to stop me doing anything that I enjoy recently. If you've got this far into your life and you've not been faced with the reality that life, at times, can be an absolute arsehole, then you are doing pretty well. I've had my fair share of utter crap throughout my many years on this earth, some (not many though) I take full responsibility for, but the bulk of it has been thrown at me by the unpleasant people I have met while navigating through this storm of a life.

I had however thought that 8 years ago that had all ended and that my life was on track for the celebration of love and kindness that I felt like I deserved. Sadly I should have known better. When you finally meet 'the one' (and for me it was the one that I wanted to start a family with), It feels different than than any other previous relationship. For me, this was the rest of my life and I can honestly say that I put everything I have into developing that into a relationship I could be proud of. Unfortunately, there were two people in that relationship and only one was really putting in the effort when it came to matters of the heart.

When you are in a relationship with someone that holds their career in higher regard than anything else then there is only one direction that relationship is going in. I shouldn't have been surprised when I heard those heartbreaking words because there was a 3 year build up to that point, but then hope can be a very dangerous thing. And I did hope that she would see that her actions were destroying the magic we had built in the early years and that there is more to life than climbing the career ladder.

I wanted this blog to be a happy place for the boys to look back on and see all of the amazing things that we have done together and I hope that it still can be. I felt that it was important to write this post though, not only to mark where life changed for us all but also to break down the wall of negativity I had built, stopping me from doing the things I love most. The last 4 months have been a real learning curve, There have been more tears than I think I have ever cried, thoughts and feelings I thought I would never have and I've ended up really losing myself in all of it. 

If there is one huge thing I have learnt from all of this though it's that I have the most amazing group of friends that I could ever ask for. Not only for being there for me but also being amazing support for the two most important people in my life. The love, kindness and effort of all of them (and you know who you are) has got me through what could have been my lowest point. Life can seriously throw you about at times and I'm not expecting this new life as a single dad to be easy, but honestly, aside from the upset and confusion, so far it has been more fun than I've had in a long long time.

The boys and I have a whole new life ahead of us and I plan on embracing every moment I have with them, Its time to claim our lives back, there is so much fun to be had.