Today it is my birthday.
I am 33 years young.
How the hell did that happen?! Seems like only yesterday I was finishing uni, skipping off travelling, drinking and dancing til dawn and wondering when on earth I’d ever become a grown up.
It is 8pm, I am writing this blog alone in bed with The Great British Bake Off on in the background. I might as well be 100.
To add insult to injury I am wearing slipper socks.
How times change.
Now having had 32 birthdays previously I know the drill, they ought to be chockablock full of fun, fizz and frolics.
My day today has involved 2 tantrums, numerous nappy changes, an aborted celebration lunch, a jean/poo treat oh, and a finger up my ass to check for tears.
Yup, still got one. Hooray!
Happily this was with the hand kiss doctor.
Not awkward at all. I think that requesting a transfer is high on his to do list.

Today is further proof, if any were needed, that being a parent means that you totally and utterly do not come first any more. Not even on your birthday!
The terrible twos are well and truly underway in this household and for much of today I have sported a red wine headache and the complexion of a corpse.
Happily, I have had lots and lots of brilliant birthdays and presents to look back on and, with 2 lovely girlies, a handsome hubby and a loving family I am not totally wallowing in self pity as I eat my own body weight in dairy milk this evening.
Here are some of the best presents I’ve ever had.
I think that the take home message is…
It’s the thought that counts.
1) A meal in The Witchery, Edinburgh.
The OH bought this for me for my 30th birthday. Total and utter surprise. He gave me a card on the morning of my birthday asking me to go for dinner with him- in Edinburgh. We flew up, stayed over and had a ball.
Most romantic gift ever because it showed that he had listened to my bleatings about places I’d like to eat before I die.
Point to note husband- you can allow yourself a smug smile re this but you can not live off this forever! 😉
2) A Gold Bangle.
My mum has acquired lots of bits of jewellery over time. Some of it broken, some of it not her thing and so brilliantly, for Christmas 1999 she had it all melted down and made into 3 bangles. One for me, one for my sister and one for her.
What an amazing idea. (She is a sharp cookie) we now have a little piece of history, something individual that links us all and no ugly jewellery to argue over in her will. (Which I hope we will not be reading for a very, very long time).
Sadly, I was 19 that Christmas and was a hideous, horrid drunk child. I am sure my mum must have thought I did not deserve the brilliant present and I sincerely regret not being more grateful for the effort she had gone to at the time. 🙁
3) A painting of our family home.
My two longest serving friends bought my husband and I (mainly me if I’m honest!) a painting that they had commissioned of my Grandparents farm as a wedding gift.
It was a picture of my childhood. The place we spent all of our holidays and, where we had all played together as children.
They gave it to me on the eve of our wedding and I bawled my eyes out.
So, so, so, so thoughtful.
It felt like all of the most important parts of my life until that point were tied up in that picture and I absolutely adore it.
4) A Wall Hanging
My beautiful Twinny (happy birthday Jones) is an incredible arty type and is so talented I am put to shame.
When I was pregnant with the toddler I mentioned that I had seen a sort of ‘shabby chic’ wall hanging of the quote;

All you need is love.
Love is all you need.

She gave it to me at my (surprise) baby shower.
She had made it herself and, guess what…I bawled my eyes out.

She must have found a picture of what I was talking about and went to a massive amount of effort to recreate it.
I am so touched that she felt that I deserved that amount of time and care. Amazing.
5) A hand-made Necklace.
My ever so arty Auntie made me a freshwater pearl necklace to wear on my wedding day.
She didn’t know what I was wearing, she didn’t ask what sort of thing I would like, she made no mention of making it for me until she gave it to me (in a hand made box) a couple of weeks prior to our big day.
She said that if I didn’t like it she would understand and that there was no pressure for me to wear it at all.
I love it.

It was absolutely perfect and all the more so because she made it for me with zero expectation.
Obviously it would have been tres awkward if it had been hideous but it wasn’t, isn’t and is so precious to me.
I have had so, so many more lovely gifts in my time and am really grateful for all of them but I think today that sometimes people confuse money and stuff with ‘good’.
I don’t think you can ever underestimate how touched someone is when they are given a gift that has so clearly taken a lot of thought, time and effort. Even if it cost pence.
I will be reminding friends and family of this fact when I hand over photo frames made of macaroni and hampers of home made jams when Christmas rolls around this year!!
Maternity pay is looooong gone.
Ps- don’t be feeling sorry for me re today. I was taken out for a fab meal with friends last night. Thanks sis.
Embarrassed with a cake, candles and a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ at the table.
Again, Thanks sis!
Showered with cards, flowers and wine this morning and showered with s^%# this evening!!!
Swings and roundabouts dudes.
Swings and roundabouts.
PS- to all my fellow blogger geeks, Mr L bought me a ticket to blogfest. Woo hoo. See you there.
PPS- if you can’t spot one of your presents in this list that doesn’t mean I didn’t love it. I just couldn’t list them all.
Of course- it might also mean you have only ever given me crap gifts. If this is the case- don’t give up, I am happy to provide a written list with web addresses if needs be!!

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