SoftThistle Life

Back to School, the 2017 Edition

LifeMarylin2 Comments

I genuinely feel like there should be another two weeks or so to go of the holidays, and yet there my boys are, back in school as of Tuesday! I know, I know... most of you probably still have a few weeks to go, but up in Scotland we start our summer holidays at the end of June, hence going back sooner. 

Back to school with SoftThistle Life.

Anyway, that's the boys settled back in school... Max has gone into primary 5 and is now upstairs in his school. It's meant a total fresh start for him as he lines up in a different place and doesn't go directly into his classroom like he has in previous years, and so far it's been a hit! 

And then of course there's my oldest, Zack, who's just started high school! Holy crap I can't get over the fact that I have a child in high school... why does time pass so quickly?! 

I was looking out the window for him coming home for about 15 minutes, heart in my mouth, praying that he'd had a good day. He came through the door with a HUGE smile - high school is AWESOME. What a relief! The weight that lifted from my shoulders when he said that... wow I hadn't realised how tense I'd been!

SoftThistle Life - Zack and Max back to school 2017

So the boys are back at school... we not only survived the holidays, we had a blast! We actually could have done with another couple of weeks to do more to be honest. Now that the boys are older they're so much fun to hang out with!

I'll be writing a post about how I help Max to prepare for going back to school soon, so let me know if you have any questions. Hope your kidlets have enjoyed their holidays and are contented at school! 

 

My First Year With The Open University

Marylin2 Comments
First year with Open University

Last summer I was chatting with one of my besties, one of those conversations where I knew it was time to do something to look towards a career once the boys are older, but I wasn't sure what. Blogging? Photography? Hey, what about you go back to uni to get your psychology degree? 

I wasn't sure, I knew my only option was to study through The Open University (OU for short) but I didn't know if I'd be good enough, or if I'd even stick at it. What about when the kids are ill, or me, and there's something due? What about when I go through these stupid bouts of exhaustion and can just barely get through the day? 

"I think you can do it, and if you don't try you'll never know."

That was enough to give me the confidence to try, so I enrolled in my first module later that week. "Introduction to Childhood Studies and Child Psychology" also known by it's course code, E102. 

The course began on October 1st and by that time I was raring to go. I'd received my textbook, had gone to the online "freshers week" webinars and, of course, I'd stocked up on pretty stationery. 

Eight months later I've completed my first year! 

Don't get me wrong - it's HARD to find the motivation and time to get things done, but ultimately it's totally worth it. I joined a couple of Facebook groups dedicated to this year's intake for the module and a WhatsApp group. Both have been absolutely invaluable. Full of support and lovely people ready to help when they can, let you vent or panic and help you pick yourself up again to get back to the assignment on hand.

You also get allocated a tutor for the year and mine has been so supportive. I introduced myself and explained my living situation over email so she was aware that there may be times things are a bit tricky if Max is having a few bad days (though luckily those times didn't tend to happen during assignment time!) or if my health wasn't great.

It turned out that January was a horrid month filled with illnesses for us all and Max needing to go to hospital for a small procedure in the last week when my assignment was due. Because I let my tutor know about this in advance she was happy to give me a week's extension (and more if it was needed) which took a huge load off. 

All in all I've managed to average around 70% in my first year - I never would have imagined I'd have been able to do that, and I certainly wouldn't have succeeded if it wasn't for the love and support of my family and friends, along with the amazing people online that I've become friends with throughout the module. Thanks so much you lot! <3

I've now registered and enrolled in my second module which starts in October: DE100 Investigating Psychology. I'm enjoying my "summer holidays" and the chance of a break for now, but I know that come October (lets be honest, probably most of September) I'll be raring to get started! 

 

 

The Women Who Keep Me Grounded and Dreaming.

LifeMarylin2 Comments
The Women Who Keep Me Grounded and Dreaming

I can say, hand on heart, that it's the amazing women I surround myself with who give me the strength and confidence to live my life as fully and with as much gratitude as I do. 

Each and every one - amazing women, mothers, and friends who aspire to become even greater than they already are. 

We are the ones who have been through thick and thin, where distance is no barrier and who always lift each other up with love, kindness, reality checks... and food (we're all about noodles at the moment!).

So let's start at the beginning... my mama. 

The First Woman Who Taught Me How To Be Me

Ah Mum, I've come to realise over the years just how lucky I am that we have such a close relationship... it turns out that not every mother and daughter do. 

You taught me about kindness, how to be fair and just, and how to always take the high road. As well as showing me how to be an awesome mum to my boys, you've been my rock throughout the years. 

I thought that once I was an adult I'd need you less, but it turns out I've needed your love and support even more as I've navigated my way through life, motherhood and beyond. I genuinely could not imagine having got through what I have without having you to talk things through with. Thank you!

BAE forever

This girl right here, our JenJen... oh my god the fun we've had since we met in 2010! We had SeptemberGate and then NovemberGate. I think those hard times we both experienced are what really cemented our ride or die friendship.

Knowing that there's someone who will move heaven and earth to support you and that you'd do the same for them? Priceless. If Carlsberg made BFF's... this girl is IT! 

Even through moving to another city to chase her dream (I am SO fucking proud of you for that!), we haven't lost touch. We made sure to make our friendship a priority by scheduling in a video chat every single week, and we've kept it up for almost four years now. And FYI? I can't wait to speak to you this weekend, girl! 

These women, and some who I DON'T have a selfie with (this MUST be rectified soon!! You know who you are... shocking behaviour!) are my family. 

They are here through the good times and the bad, cheering me on and supporting me, laughing and crying with joy when Max achieves something new, loving on Zack and how awesome he is... and I feel the same way about them and theirs. 

We are genuinely happy to see each other succeed. 

We are each other's cheerleaders, confidants and partners in crime. 

We are the queens who fix each others' crowns.