{Update} 30 Things in my 30’s

30 Things in my Thirties Update 1 | The Open Home

So I’m one year into my thirties now so how am I doing on the old 30 Things in my 30’s list? Well, not too bad really. Here is an update on where I’m at.

Completed…

1. Start a letter writers group in Guernsey – The Guernsey Letter Writers Society was established in September 2017

2. Become a blood donor – I wasn’t actually able to become a blood donor so signed up for the Anthony Nolan Trust instead.

3. Sign up to be an organ donor

4. Go to a West End Show in London – I saw Aladdin in June 2017 and I’m actually seeing Wicked this weekend!

30 Things in my Thirties Update 1 | The Open Home

In Progress…

5. Learn calligraphy – still practicing!

6. Get fit (aka. get back to pre-pregnancy weight) – Currently 16lbs down and still going.

7. Go to 10 new (to me) restaurants on the island – 3 Down. 7 to Go. (So far ticked off Copenhagen, The Rockmount & Buho)

8. Go on a weekend away with a gal pal – London trip scheduled for this weekend!

9. Take my girls to the Lake District – Family holiday planned for Autumn 2019.

10. Take my girls to the other Channel Islands1 Down. 4 to Go. (So far ticked off Herm)

30 Things in my Thirties Update 1 | The Open Home

Not Yet…

12. Get a good camera and learn how to use it!

13. Go on a flower arranging course

14. Learn to embroider

15. Open an Etsy shop

16. Make a patchwork quilt for each of my girls

17. Get a pet (most likely a rabbit)

18. Go kayaking

19. Start a veggie patch

20. Climb a mountain

21. Make a Will

22. Donate my wedding dress to charity

23. Walk the entire cliffs of Guernsey (in stages)

24. Read all of Agatha Christie’s Poirot

25. Go to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

26. Visit Keighley in Yorkshire (where my Gran was evacuated to during WW2)

27. Visit friends in New Zealand

28. Visit an Asian country

29. Grow our family through adoption

30. Celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in style!

 

What things do you have on your bucket list?

30 Things in my 30’s

30 Things in my 30's | The Open Home

Last week I turned the big 3-0 and to embrace this next decade I decided to make a list of 30 things I would like to do in my 30’s. Some are big life goals, the things I dream about and others are simply fun or grown up things I’ve been meaning to get round to. In no particular order…

  1. Get a good camera and learn how to use it!
  2. Go on a flower arranging course
  3. Learn to embroider
  4. Learn calligraphy
  5. Open an Etsy shop
  6. Start a letter writers group in Guernsey
  7. Make a patchwork quilt for each of my girls
  8. Get a pet (most likely a rabbit)
  9. Go kayaking
  10. Start a veggie patch
  11. Climb a mountain
  12. Make a Will
  13. Become a blood donor
  14. Sign up to be an organ donor
  15. Get fit! (aka. get back to pre-pregnancy weight)
  16. Donate my wedding dress to charity
  17. Walk the entire cliffs of Guernsey (in stages)
  18. Read all of Agatha Christie’s Poirot
  19. Read the complete collection of Winnie the Pooh
  20. Go to 10 new (to me) restaurants on the island
  21. Go to a West End Show in London
  22. Go on a weekend away with a gal pal
  23. Go to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta
  24. Take my girls to the Lake District
  25. Take my girls to the other Channel Islands – Herm, Sark, Alderney, Jersey & Lihou
  26. Visit Keighley in Yorkshire (where my Gran was evacuated to during WW2)
  27. Visit friends in Australia & New Zealand
  28. Visit an Asian country
  29. Grow our family through adoption
  30. Celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in style!

What goals do you have on your list?

An Open Letter to Malawi

An Open Letter to Malawi | The Open Home

Dear Malawi,

I can hardly believe that it has been 10 years since we first became acquainted with one another, nor can I believe it is now five years since I last visited you. I never intended for it to be this long but you know how it is, life changes even when you don’t want it too.

For such a long time so many of my dreams involved you, you made me feel so alive, so full of purpose and I want you to know letting you go was not easy, even if it was the right thing to do.

Out of all the sacrifices we made along the way, more than passing up career opportunities, more than selling our house, sacrificing our dream of you was the hardest and most heartbreaking decision we ever had to make.

Perhaps the timing wasn’t right. Perhaps it was time to dream new dreams. Perhaps amongst all the good intentions we had lost focus of the most important thing.

Whatever it was, a future without you was a daunting prospect and for some time I found myself grieving for the life we could have lived and the dreams that would never come to be.

Five years on and my heart has slowly healed. I am now a mother to two sweet little blonde girls and for the first time in a long time I find myself happy being stuck on this little rock that I get to call home.

In the end thanks to knowing and losing you I have learnt to live life with an open heart. I know myself better, my passions more clearly and I have come to see the journey God had us on all along.

It’s fair to say that life isn’t what we originally planned but it has turned out to be pretty great anyway. And you’ll be pleased to know that with time I have found the courage to dare to dream again.

Malawi, please know you will always be held in my heart with such fondness, I am who I am today because of the part you played in my life.

Thank you for having such a warm and generous heart. Thank you for being part of my story.

Yours truly,

Jessica x

P.S. I promise to visit again one day, hopefully with those two blonde girls I was telling you about. I want them to know you like I do.

16 Facts You May Not Know About Me

The Open Home 398

It’s still the first month of the year so in honour of 2016 here are 16 things you may not know about me… enjoy!

  1. I have been a vegetarian since I was 11 years old – simply because I don’t like the texture and taste of most meat.
  2. I love a good murder mystery, Agatha Christie’s Poirot is my favourite.
  3. I talk about names a LOT. The meanings of them, why people choose them, what names go well together, etc
  4. I think all the best animals have big ears – donkeys, rabbits, elephants… I rest my case.
  5. I’m a geek and love the timey-wimey-ness of Doctor Who and kinda wish I lived in Hobbiton.
  6. Bats and crabs freak me out.
  7. I make a miserable shopping companion, my Mother will confirm this. MISERABLE!
  8. I don’t drink tea or coffee.
  9. My dream holiday destinations are New Zealand, Hawaii and Alaska.
  10. Autumn is my favourite season (and Summer my least favourite).
  11. I don’t wear black, I’m far too pale and look ill in it.
  12. My favourite Disney film is Tarzan.
  13. If you want to send me flowers I particularly like freesias and tulips.
  14. One day I want to get a British Bulldog and call him Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
  15. I have visited 20 European countries to date (and really must do a post about my favourites!)
  16. I’m an ISFJ for those of you who speak Myers Briggs.

Tell me something I may not know about you?

70 Years of Freedom

70 Years of Freedom | The Open Home70 Years of Freedom | The Open Home70 Years of Freedom | The Open Home

Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of Guernsey’s liberation from the Nazi occupying forces during World War 2. Freedom is definitely worth celebrating and as always, I like to decorate, hence the above photos!

My Gran was evacuated to England during the war, along with her younger brother and sister. She left a young girl of twelve years old and returned to the island a young woman of eighteen – five long years away from home. The photo used in my display above is a photo she had taken with her siblings to send home to her parents before they returned to the island. My Gran, Doreen is the girl on the left.

As for my Grandpa, well he stayed on the island during it’s occupation and seemed to have fun causing general mischief for the German soldiers. I always remember my Grandpa in particular on Liberation Day, the stories he shared, his cheeky character and loving nature. Above pictured is his identity card which he used during the island’s occupation, I especially love that his red hair was called hellblond!

I marked the day by taking my girls to visit their Great Granny Doreen in the morning and then headed into the town centre in the afternoon to watch a bit of the cavalcade with my Mum, see some impressive helicopters (which delighted Blossom) and visit The Husby at our church’s Love Freedom family activity marquee.

Calling all Guerns! How did you celebrate 70 years of freedom?

Living the Life we Lost

Living the Life we Lost | The Open Home

It’s been over two years since we lost the international life we had longed for in Malawi. After years of planning and four trips to the southern African country, the call we had felt throughout our entire five years of marriage and the dreams we had built together were coming to an abrupt end. We had come so far in our journey, but the door was closing and we knew it was time to stop pushing.

For the past five years life in Africa was all we had dreamed of. We felt called to full-time service and had felt sure Malawi was the place for us to be. We could almost taste our lives in this vibrant culture, our family living on less but gaining so much more.

Instead we were left with the option of raising our family in Britain, something we had never pictured. We dreaded having to be ‘normal’, living a hectic life fuelled by the societal expectations and consumerism that leaves people always wanting more.

We felt lost and bereft and few understood our pain. Where did we go from here?

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