Health and Fitness – The Photo Gallery week 219

I have blogged before that I haven’t represented my country at sport – but even that could overstate my love of things sporty.  At school my best friend was off being BRILLIANT at hockey / tennis / skiing – in fact, anything vaguely sporty that she turned her hand to – whilst I was really good at quadratic equations and playing the flute.

Since my Uni years I’ve worried about my weight (although looking back at photos of then – WHY??) and have been anything from a size 8 up to a size 18 and everything in between, with 4 pregnancies thrown in too.

After my second child I discovered ‘The Idiot Proof Diet’ (basically low carb-ing) and was really successful with it – hey, I even appeared on the ‘before and after‘ page of the associated website. To be honest, right at this moment I’d take the ‘before’!

p2t_b4_after_04

But children 3 and 4 and associated 5 stone (yep – count ’em!) weight gain means I’m up near the top end of the last 20 years weight-wise.

I’ve always adopted the Meghan Trainor approach to size:

“Yeah it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
All the right junk in all the right places
I see the magazines working that Photoshop
We know that sh*t ain’t real
Come on now, make it stop
If you got beauty beauty just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night
You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll,
So, if that’s what’s you’re into
Then go ahead and move along”

But – it’s not ‘all about the weight’ (do you like what I did there?!) – it is about my health and fitness.  We’re just back from an amazing family holiday at Bluestone in Wales – where we did loads of brilliant activities – but they nearly broke me.  I am black and blue from clinging onto a cargo net for dear life – partly fear of heights, partly fear of being pretty damn close to the weight limit for the equipment.  In one way (the shallow way) it’s the fact that I don’t like the size of myself in the photos I can see from our trip – but more importantly, I have 4 fabulous kids who I want to be able to be ‘Woodland Warriors’ with in years to come, without nearly passing out having walked up some steps through a forest.

And maybe if I write it down here, I have to stick to it?

I am really lucky in that as my own boss I can factor exercise into my daily life – I do pilates once a week (which in 2 years has sorted my dodgy back out amazingly) and I have PT sessions twice a week, so the exercise side of my fitness should be covered.  However, I’ve been told that 80% of health / fitness / weight loss is what I put into my mouth – and I am the only one who can take responsibility for that. So that means healthier food, limited booze and really grasping the nettle (perhaps to make some nice tea?!?)

This was supposed to be a photography feature – as usual with The Gallery – but has turned into a bit of a heart to heart with you all – sorry!

Dumpy and determined
Dumpy and determined
Ready for yoga
Ready for yoga

Do go and see how others have interpreted ‘Health and Fitness’ – hopefully with much better photography than me!

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Light – The Photo Gallery Week 217

The theme of The Photo Gallery this week is ‘light’ – and I immediately thought of this photo of the light going down on 2014. We were lucky enough to spend the New Year in Dubai – and this was the sun setting on New Year’s Eve from our balcony. There are no filters involved – I’m not clever enough to do anything like that!

It seemed such a perfect picture to end the year with (well, before the ones involving alcohol and dancing in the run up to midnight anyway!!)

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This is my entry for this week’s Photo Gallery – do go and see how others have interpreted light.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Trees – The Photo Gallery week 214

I am very excited about this week’s theme for The Gallery – as IT WAS MY SUGGESTION – EEK!!! Having been very chuffed with the photo I’m about to show you, I tweeted Tara at Sticky Fingers on Friday (the day that the theme for the next week is posted) to ask what it was going to be as I had a lovely photo of some trees I wanted to shoe-horn in somehow. Imagine my DELIGHT when she very very kindly chose ‘trees’ as the topic, so no horning of shoes required at all!!!

I took this photo at the Lickey Hills – just 5 minutes from our house – when I went with my son and 105 other Year 5 kids on an orienteering trip last week. It was EXHAUSTING – and my legs ached for the whole of the next day (as did a lot of the kids, so it wasn’t just me being unfit!) – but a really challenging, interesting, calorie burning day.  It also reminded me what amazing photo opportunities we have right on our doorstep.

There was snow on the ground but the sun was shining brightly first thing. We were asked not to take photos of the kids – so I took 2 photos on my phone the whole day – but this was one of them:

Trees

I kept expecting to see Mr Tumnus peep out from behind one of the trees!

And just for completeness, here’s the other photo I took from Beacon Hill looking out towards Birmingham City Centre – lots of trees on that too, for England’s second city.

Snowy Birmingham skyline

This is my entry for this week’s #thegallery – so do go and look how other people have interpreted ‘trees’…..

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Me – The Photo Gallery week 213

The theme for The Photo Gallery this week is ‘Me’. I really wasn’t sure what to post – and then Facebook started with all the ‘first profile pics’ and I thought how apt that was.

So here it is, my first profile pic, taken back in 2007 in Crete on holiday with my eldest daughter who was then 3. It was quite a stressful holiday, and on the last day I managed to break my foot (a metatarsal – just as Wayne Rooney bust one too!) – but I still love this photo of me and my big baby.

1st profile pic

And the profile pic it replaced, my most recent, was me and my littlest baby who’s now 3 herself!

Recent profile pic

I should point out here have been 80 profile pics in the intervening 7 years – which makes me feel very vain as Tara has admitted to only 3 profile pics in her entire Facebook life!

This is my link up to The Gallery over on the Sticky Fingers Blog – so do click on the link below to see how other people have interpreted the theme.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Babies – The Photo Gallery Week 211

The theme for The Photo Gallery over on the Sticky Fingers blog this week is ‘babies’ – and for this I have no shortage of photos, having had 4 of them!!

We had a girl and a boy in quick succession – not like an 18 minute twin gap, but an 18 month, all a bit of a blur gap! But after a traumatic birth with both (I had 200 stitches after number 1, and number 2 was born blue and still in his sack) we decided we’d ridden our luck and that would be it – so husband had the snip.

Fast forward 4 and a half years, and I’m stood in M&S in Redditch weeping, buying my little boy grey uniform trousers as my baby was growing up and about to start school. Before becoming parents (and realising what we’d let ourselves in for) we’d always said we wanted loads of kids – and so husband didn’t need much persuading to have his vasectomy reversed and within 6 weeks we were pregnant again!!

And as I have an issue with odd numbers (freakish I know) we always knew that we’d have 4 kids – so number 4 came along pretty soon afterwards!

This is the first photo of all 4 of my babies together – and I still get a bit teary eyed looking at it…..

4 children

Although not teary eyed enough to have number 5 (and 6)……..

Do go and have a look at other people’s ‘babies’.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

The collective noun for Christmas decorations isn’t ‘sh*t’

Apparently I am not allowed to use ‘sh*t’ as the collective noun for Christmas decorations etc, seemingly it’s not festive to be so negative.

I am renowned in my family for being The Grinch when it comes to Christmas. There is many a photo of me in a shop where the husband is looking well excited about all of the decorations and me, well, less so….

The Christmas shop in Bloomingdales in New York
The Christmas shop in Bloomingdales in New York

To be honest, until I met the husband, I wasn’t Christmas-phobic – but he is soooooo Christmas obsessed, I feel that I need to off set this somehow.

A couple of years ago there was a serious injury in the erection of the Christmas decorations in the Price household.  The husband managed, whilst cutting a tunnel through a mountainside for the Christmas village, to sever a vein in his arm that required stitches (3 times, because it kept bursting underneath the stitches – grim!)

Injured arm

and so that year they were literally ‘bloody Christmas decorations’.

This year, when I popped back from the office on Friday, I found that reinforcements had been called in – there were 3 company vans on the drive having delivered 2 carpenters, 2 painters and a contract supervisor to assist with Christmas – and some sort of sleigh with reindeer on the patio outside:

Christmas vans Christmas sleigh

I then went out for the evening with some of the local Mums – and when I staggered in at 1.30am it appeared that someone had vomited Christmas all over the house all evening……….

photo 5 photo 4 photo 3 photo 4 photo 1

And the Christmas village isn’t even finished yet!  Here’s am amazing photo of it last year taken by my talented photographer friend Bee.

Christmas village

Apparently there are some electrical works that need completing before this year’s is ready to be viewed (my sister was overheard yesterday complaining that the one in her local garden centre is nowhere near up to our standards!!)

So today – we spiced up the festive cheer with a trip to the German market in the centre of Birmingham.  Admittedly some of it remains traditionally German – but the ‘do you want 4 doughnuts for a fiver, bab?’ is pretty Brummie!!  The gluhwein was ridiculously pricey (given what you can buy a bottle for from Aldi / Lidl / your sister’s local shop in Munich) – and this year we DIDN’T KEEP THE MUGS (there are only so many small rubbish mugs one family can house!)  But the kids had fun – mostly due to the carousel and expensive Olaf and Hello Kitty balloons that almost strangled half of New Street on the walk back to the car.

Christmas carousel

 

So when I was given this present by my sister via my parents this afternoon – it pretty much summed up the next month for me:

12 days of Christmas

 

Although I did watch the Strictly results show with Rudolph tonight………

Reindeer

 

 

I’m re-posting this to link in with The Sticky Fingers Blog for The Photo Gallery week 212 where the theme is Christmas – as this is our Christmas!!! Do pop across and see what Christmas is like for other bloggers………….

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Being a Parent – The Photo Gallery week 209

The prompt for The Gallery this week over on Sticky Fingers is ‘Being a Parent’ – and given I’m doing that, four times over, there should be plenty of scope for pictures.

But what to photograph?

Tantrums or cuddles?
Births or birthdays?
Complete carnage with cooking or the pride on their faces after helping bake something to all share?
Everyday family life at home or day trips somewhere special together?
Nagging or celebrating?
A schoolday parent or a holiday parent?
The children fighting with each other or playing beautifully together?
The pride in my husband being an amazing father or him being my biggest child?!
Toddlers or pre-teens?

So in the end I plumped for a photo of my 40th birthday earlier this year. I had A LOT of celebrations (in fact they’re still ongoing – I’m milking this one for all it’s worth!) including a big black tie party for lots of family and friends – but this sums up being a parent for me – a fabulous banner painted by my kids and their smiling proud faces – makes it all worth it!

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(I should point out it was also, randomly,  ‘Where’s Wally’ day at school on my 40th birthday – the oldest two don’t always dress like that!!!)

This is my entry to The Photo Gallery this week – do have a look at how other people have interpreted being a parent……

 

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

 

Spectacular – The Photo Gallery week 207

The theme over on The Sticky Fingers Blog this week for the photo gallery is ‘spectacular’. Which got me to thinking about what photo I could include that summed this up – stunning views, amazing fireworks, fabulous fancy dress – but then this photo popped into my head…..

 

 

Fin

 

This is Finlay – a friend of ours who’s 10 years old. Back in June he was admitted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with a suspected abscess on his brain.  Following brain biopsy surgery he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. He had surgery to remove the tumour and has had a course of radiotherapy treatment – which the photo itself shows.  The webbing is a solid mask that holds him completely still on the bed whilst the treatment takes place.  This is spectacular in terms of the amazing work the doctors are doing – and spectacular in terms of Fin being happy for this photo to be shown to people to see what he is going through.  He’s now undergoing a series of chemotherapy and clinical trial treatments to prevent the tumour from coming back.

Whilst going through this the remarkable Fin and his amazing family have been raising funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital with Fin doing a 2.5km run the other weekend (having taken his 5th day of chemo in the morning before setting off). I am sure he’d appreciate some sponsorship – and you can read about his journey here.

Not sure I can think of anything else that sums up spectacular more appropriately.

 

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Light – The Photo Gallery Week 206

This week’s theme for The Photo Gallery over on The Sticky Fingers blog is light.

Now I’m not a ‘proper’ photographer at all. We’ve bought a ‘bridge’ camera (I am using words I don’t understand at this point!!) but more often than not my photos are taken on my phone. My sister, however, is much more of an expert. So I have to confess to stealing one of her photos this week – and I’m also cheating even more as I’ve used it before.

However, a couple of friends who are into photography have commented on the wonderful light in this photo – so it had to be used! It’s my children and their cousins at a family party in early September – and I love it (so much so that it’s my Facebook cover photo).

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 This is my entry for this weeks ‘The Gallery’ – do pop across and see how other people have interpreted the theme ‘light’.

 

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Talent – The Photo Gallery Week 205

The theme of The Sticky Fingers blog for The Photo Gallery this week is talent.

I guess my talents have generally been recognised as musical and academic rather than sporting.  Back in the day I passed my Grade 8s on the piano and the flute – although rarely get chance to play nowadays.  I did ‘perform’ at my Great Aunt’s 80th birthday recently – as did lots of my family members.  However I think my daughter / niece / cousins would lynch me if I put any of the photos of us all performing out in the public domain!!

So therefore I think I should share this week’s potential new talents for the Price family!!

The youngest Price daughter started ballet with her big sisters on Saturday – here they all are looking very proud!

photo 1

And then the third Price-let joined her older brother and sister at rugby on Sunday – she ADORED it (this may be because it was lovely and sunny – we will witness her true commitment when it’s pouring and freezing!)

photo 2

And another set of boots for the husband to clean on a Sunday night……

photo 3

Not sure if they will prove to be great talents – but I’m just pleased they’ll all have a go at such disparate hobbies. And don’t worry – the eldest is carrying on the tradition and learning the piano and flute too – we’ve even been known to duet!

Do pop across to The Photo Gallery and see other people’s talents…..

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery