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Seòras Murdaidh Fionnlagh

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Staring into oblivion, originally uploaded by peigi_pest.

So, this is what has served as my creative outlet of late, and what has kept me busy, both in preparation and arrival, and away from this little space. We have a little baby boy. He is nearly two weeks old here in this photo. Born on the 9th April 2013, weighing a pan drop under 7lbs, he has now doubled in size! It has been so lovely seeing his development, both physically and character-wise, over the past 3 months and we can’t wait for what lies ahead. Seòras is a Gàidhlig name, equivalent to George in English. You may know that I have a brother named Seoras, who was named in memory of our maternal grandmother, Georgina. But baby Seòras (or wee Seòras as he is becoming known as!) is not named after uncle Seoras. Both Ruairidh and I both had special Grandpas called Seòras, who hold a special corner of our heart, and it is after these men that baby Seòras is named. I have to admit taking a while getting used to calling someone other than my brother, Seoras! Especially my son! Seoras is normally preceded by a shout of “MUM!…” and followed by “…is annoying me!” I have to admit, in the early days, I frequently called him Ruairidh accidentally! His middle names are also memorably significant: Murdaidh after my late father by blood and my maternal Grandfather John Murdo; and Fionnlagh was Ruairidh’s other Grandpa. So that’s all the Grandpas covered!

Seòras loves to laugh and smile, showing off his dimples. I think he’s going to be a singer and musical like his father, he loves songs and music, and joins in with his own noises. He is very much a movement loving boy, happy to be on the go and swung or carried about. We are thankful for this for the 1hr 15-30 min car journey north to the main island town of Stornoway and to family. He doesn’t mind the car at all. But on the other hand, he doesn’t mind sitting, settled and happy, in his bouncy chair or on your lap as long as he can see what is going on around him, has action or new surroundings to contemplate, knows you are near and pay him special attention once in a whiley. Not too much to ask?! We are so chuffed that he is a cuddle-loving baby, because I don’t think we could not cuddle and kiss and squish and squeeze, low raspberries and tickle those toes! He delights in life, we delight in him, and are delighted with such a blessing in our lives.

It’s strange how it seems that life could never have been without him. Even though there are so many new things, challenges, difficulties, joys and wonders we never knew before, it is as though he has always been. He has always been a part of our lives, just waiting to enter the act at the appropriate scene. What wonder to think that he, he is the little one over whom we held such great anticipation throughout those long months; who was tucked safely away until the appointed time, when he turned our world upside down and our hearts inside out with joy…and sleepless nights! To think that that wonder will continue throughout life – this boy, this teenager, this man, was that tiny baby?! What a journey! Deep down, we were always waiting for him, and now we get to enjoy him, knowing that our time is full, blessed, and challenging, but short.

Joys and worries

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We are experiencing a wonder in our lives- the creation and development of a new life. We hope to welcome baby MacLean into the world sometime mid April! It’s hard to believe how quickly the past six months have passed, and I’m sure the days won’t be slowing down much anytime soon, although I probably will as this bump continues to get bigger! Everything has gone smoothly for us so far, and will hopefully continue so. We’re so excited to meet this little person, especially after meeting our new niece just last week! Seeing newborn babies really brings a realisation of the reality of this baby, inside me, that will join our lives, in God’s good will and pleasure. Those tiny toes and fingers are even smaller just now, but everything is perfectly formed, waiting for the day of expectation to astound us with their beauty.

Of course, the fears and burdens of this reality also present themselves. But I do not want to live in a spirit of fear, allowing it to consume my thoughts, stunt my growth, restrict my actions, choke my dreams and rob me of peace and joy. We are commanded by Jesus not to be anxious, for “is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27 ESV). It can be difficult, casting away the fears and worries. Stopping them from developing. Surrendering them in the acknowledgement of our own weakness and frailty. Denying ourselves the indulgence of worrying even. We like to control things, but the reality of life is that we cannot control anything.

I confess I’m not of the personality prone to great anxiety and distressful worrying. But that doesn’t mean that the fears don’t come, that things don’t cause worry or concern, that certain things don’t really make my mind all tangled and my thoughts dark and my hands fidget. It happens, all too often probably. But I have to say I hate the turmoil connected with worry and turmoil, and I’ve learnt it doesn’t achieve anything- it only makes the situation worse. Instead I choose to let it go. Walk away. Leave it in much more capable hands. Surrender it. Often I’ve allowed myself to go too far down the path of worry before this happens! But sometimes the experience of release is all the more obvious then. How often to we have to learn the lesson?

Peace is a strange thing. How do you describe it? Resting. Surrender. Acceptance. And yet struggle can be involved in keeping it! We need to fight to keep it. And to look in the right direction in the first place. The picture given in Ephesians of the warrior, ready to stand in battle, points to this fight. Each day brings its own challenges and fears, what can we do in battle against such overwhelming care and concern?

“Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:13-18 ESV).

The power or ability isn’t in ourselves. I’ve tried and failed too many times to come to this knowledge! We have to go to the one who can arm us, equip us in what we lack. That decision of surrender changes everything for me.

My husband and I are entering a new season in life, who knows what it will bring?! Plenty of worries I’m sure! But I will choose to let them go. And enjoy the present moments, and the expectation of the joyous things rather than be consumed over what might never be!

The world, this life, it’s all too big for my shoulders. And yours. Don’t let it crush you, let it go.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33, 34 ESV)

A horsey day

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What a lovely day we had yesterday! My brother Seoras and his girlfriend Stephanie are home on the island for a little holiday, and we decided to do something fun, out of the ordinary, along with my sister Mairianne. We went horse-riding/pony-trekking! Guess where? On the beach! It was such a beautiful day, and with lovely company. But Seoras and Mairianne’s horses were rather lazy and were miles behind us the whole way! It was nice to get more experience with horses. In another life, I would have loved to have been a ‘horse-person’. We embraced the experience (a first time for Seoras, very brave he was, and well matched with his horse who kept eating whatever he could reach! He must have needed the extra energy carrying Seoras!). Embraced the sunshine and breeze, and the camera. So thankful we have some shots to help remember a lovely day on the Isle of Lewis. We’re stuggling to embrace the sore legs and bum now though!

Embrace the Camera

↓ Seoras on Ben; Stephanie on Roddy; Mairianne on Paddy; Me on Sherridon. {before we clambered off and collapsed in a heap of jelly legs}

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Basil Green and Sky Blue

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I love days in which the weather completely turns, from horrible to lovely that is. I don’t appreciate it turning the other way around as much! Yesterday began a lot like today, wet and drich and grey and cloudy. But then the wind blew, the clouds parted and the sun shone through. For the afternoon at least. It cheers you up to see the sun here in the islands, especially when we so want to shake winter away. Come on summer, you can make it through! I was just starting to put together dinner when I was distracted by the lovliness of the basil in the kitchen window, I just had to go for the camera. Dinner would wait! The light was glowing through the veins on the leaves, leaves so green and fragrant. I kept snapping trying various angles and settings. I’m trying to get better with Ruairidh’s camera (a big fancy one with knobs and settings to keep me happy with developing photo-taking!), and as I’m still pretty awful most of the time, I take lots to practice and to get a nice photo. But then all of a sudden, it wouldn’t take a photo. It wouldn’t click. I looked at the screen, to see ‘No more memory’. Eeek, I had filled up the memory card. Not just with the basil! I hadn’t uploaded photos since February. Last week I realised I had to set some time aside to take photos of my laptop because I was running out of space on there too. There were photos from nearly two years still there. Most had been put onto flickr, up to this summer. But I hadn’t been able to put them onto disk, and delete them from the laptop, what with senior honours, a wedding, moving, and all that jazz! But I can now stoke it off my list. I love being able to do that. And now I have a whole new lot of photos to edit and put onto flickr. Yippee! Yes, I am looking forward to it, strangley enough. I have a new toy to play with you see. I got Photoshop Elements for my Birthday, and I’m just starting to get the hang of it. And I want to see if I managed to get any decent photos of the horses we met on the beach a couple of weeks ago. So, keep an eye out to see some of our recent adventures. And our not so recent- I have only processed the first half of our honeymoon holiday so far.

So, I was forced to get back to making the dinner. Just as well it was yummy! We had a pizza night. We get ‘Glutamel’ gluten free ready-made pizza bases from the Co-op for Ruairidh. And when, like yesterday, we don’t have any wheat-full bases for myself, I have to say I am happy to eat them too. They are really yummy actually, and they don’t break like some others. I haven’t got around to trying some home-made bases yet, maybe sometime.

I had thought when I started to write this, that today was going to continue its misery of drizzle and cloud. But *hoooray!* the cloud is lifting with the wind. I might get that load of washing outside after all. Oh, how housewifey that sounds! It’s not the highlight of my day, honest. It juts makes laundry a lot easier!  Have you had any highlights so far this weekend?

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Evolving Pinterest?

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I thought I’d share some further posts I’ve come across that continue the topical discussion of Pinterest and issues of legality. Kirsten of DDKPortraits was contacted by the founder of Pinterest in response to her post discussing her concerns with Pinterest. Head over to her blog to read her update ‘My date with Ben Silbermann…’ and don’t forget to delve into the many comments for more interesting and informative reading. If you like the idea of Pinterest, are an avid user, or even have some spare time, I definitely think it worth the time reading. Also, she has some pretty cute baby portraits to raise a smile and a ‘coochie-coo’! The relative ‘newness’ of Pinterest and the certainty of future development, evolution even provides comfort and assurance to some, The Mom Creative for one thinks the issues will be resolved. I think they will too. If Pinterest wants to stay at the top of its game, it will have to. But I think a lot of damage could be done in the meantime, with people misusing the tool. There may be a big legal wake-up call before Pinterest can evolve much. Also, how could they not know what they were setting themselves up for? With a legal team? They certainly covered themselves! There are a number of informative comments on DDKPortait’s post. I haven’t deleted my Pinterest account either, just addressed the way I use it. Making a Mark shares things from the artist’s perspective. Again, note comments as well as blog posts.

Has anybody found any other interesting and informative articles?

Enough of the cyber-world, I’m heading outside to the real-fresh-air-world to attack some overgrown plants!

We’re engaged!

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Happy Families, originally uploaded by Ennairiam.

I’m sure some of you have heard by now, but if not, Ruairidh and I are engaged to be married! Thank you for all your good wishes. This is a snapshot of us with my Dad, Mum and my brother Seoras taken by my sister. A nice way to begin 2010! No rush with any plans, I have another year and a bit of Uni, so we will hopefully set a date for sometime in July 2011. I’m back in Glasgow now to begin a new semester, thankfully not as busy with as many courses this semester(I hope anyway!), but busy enough! Our ‘big freeze’ and snow is beginning to thaw now. Thankfully, I haven’t come across a lot of slush, there seems to be more receding patches of ice. I’m sure it will be chilly for a while yet anyway. I hope you are all coping well with your own chilliness.