365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 273/365

“Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.”


So I totally can’t blame Olivia, but I had a terrible nights sleep on Sunday going into Monday. Took ages to get to sleep and restless all night long! With my knee still playing up from Saturdays run and no energy to start the day, I gave up on the idea of cycling and took the car, a very wise decision!

After dinner, the wife and I decided to go to Ikea this evening for a couple of items (it still takes ages to get around that place, even if you know what you’re going in for!), and we’re totally loving being able to use parent and child parking spaces, one of the few benefits. In fact we were totally overwhelmed at how child-friendly Ikea actually is! Thankfully for us, our sleeping beauty decided to sleep all the way there, all the way round, and all the way home! Not a day goes by that I don’t count my blessings for this!

Today I just didn’t get the chance to take many photos, although my sleeping daughter was too cute to resist!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 272/365

“We forget that life consists of small everyday experiences and it is what the happiness is made of. A walk in the park, a smile of your baby, a beautiful sunrise, unexpected compliment from a stranger…Those are the moments that count most.”


Yesterdays 8 mile run really hasn’t done me any favours, this has to be the first day I’ve woken up after a run and had a rather sore and tender knee! Probably down to a poor running technique because I was so tired yesterday! On that note, I was up again this morning to feed the little one, unaware the wife had been up multiple times during the night to do the same, and by 9am Olivia was back to sleep again, so me and the wife pretty much shrugged our shoulders, headed back to bed and did the same! Waking up at 11am was a bit weird, its been a long time since that happened, but the rest was very much welcomed!

After our late start we had to run around and tidy the house before more friends turned up to visit. Having so many people round has been lovely, and we are absolutely amazed at how kind everyone has been with gifts, our little princess is one spoilt little girl! With the sun still out and the sky still blue, we headed out to Cannon Hill Park for a walk after the guests had gone, and it was a truly lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Especially as i’m fairly sure that cold weather is right around the corner and we’ll soon be out of chances to do this for a while! After that we popped in to see my Mom, pulling over part way there to feed Olivia some of her milk as her time span of hungry fidgeting-to-hysterical has become very short!

Stopping off for a sunday carvery was the perfect way to finish the day, as it was too late to cook by now, and Olivia was spark out and not even woken up by the noise of a busy pub restaurant! Can’t believe the weekend is now over, there is so much still to do on my list of priorities, but I have spent some lovely time with my little girl, and feel truly blessed!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 271/365

“I don’t watch a lot of television.”


With only three week left to go to the Great Birmingham RUn, I decided to get some training in this morning and managed to convince the wife to get ready quickly and come with me so that she could have a walk round the reservoir, while I ran 5 laps around, clocking up 8 miles! My usual running partner was unavailable, but I still managed to get a decent run done all the same, although my goal was 9 miles! Better luck next weekend!

All this training will help me to get to the end in a better time than than I did last year, but I am raising money for Cancer Research while I am doing it, so if anyone feels like sponsoring me, you can donate online at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/andrewvokes The ball is already rolling, so don’t let me down! Its for personal reasons as I have lost two family members to cancer and it looks like a work colleague that I have known over 16 years is heading the same way. If you have bothered to read this then give me another 60 seconds of your time and go find your purse/wallet!

This afternoon we were sad to find out that the wife’s friend terri and Chris couldn’t make it up, but we were still lucky enough to have Mille and my little god son over for the afternoon, which was a lot of fun. They brought the most wonderful present, the complete collection of winnie the pooh stories and poems, which will be well looked after! Then we headed out to a quiz night with the in-laws, and managed to come in second place, which was great!

Now i’m feeling pretty broken and off to bed!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 270/365

“I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick. Not wounded. Dead.”

2013-09-27 18.06.47

Today had some big ups and downs! The first up being the macmillan cancer morning! A great start to the day!, sausages, bread, croissants fruit etc! Plenty to choose from and everybody happy! It was followed up by the horrific news, that the person whose name it was behind todays events, was moving towards the advanced symptoms of cancer. Suddenly work is no longer an option for him! Gutting news for everyone that has worked with him over the years. Absolutely devastated!

This evening I had to drop the wife off for a night out with wine and friends, while I headed home to grab some dinner and feed Olivia. Before I knew it, it was time to pick the wife up again, although I coped fine while she was out! Yay, go me! Todays photo was taken and edited on my iPhone after just dropping the wife off in the car.

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 269/365

“I’m like everybody else. I get tired sometimes.”


Tired. Dead tired!

Being a parent is wonderful and I love my little daughter, but i’m just not getting enough sleep. Trying to get the last feed of the night and the first feed of the day in so that the wife only has to do the middle of the night feed and can sleep a bit… but then heading out to work on only 4 or 5 hours sleep. Generally not doing myself many favours! Oh well, at least Friday is almost upon us! This time its the wife’s turn to head into town with friends, so I’ll be home alone with my baby girl. Daunting thought! Note to self: must try not to break baby!

Had another fairly pleasant cycle to and from work today, the weather is currently being very bike friendly, not too hot and not too cold, although I reckon a cold winter is on the way, better get my winter cycling clothes ready! Still need to finish insulating the loft too, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day! More visitors this weekend again, which is great, we love getting visitors, but its not doing much for my loft insulation plans! Got home tonight and decided we weren’t cooking… we were going to roll the dice and see if we could eat out at our usual pub/restaurant without Olivia waking and screaming the place down. We’ve had a couple of evenings of screaming outbursts which we’re not sure if its colic or just plain tiredness (or both) as she falls asleep eventually (although it feels like forever!). Thankfully she slept for most of the meal and we already had some warm milk waiting for when she woke up! Peace all round!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 268/365

“The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.”


Wednesday used to be a night when me and some friends would head up down and take advantage of cheap drinks. As the years have gone by we no longer do this, getting up for work on a Thursday got progressively harder! Now we just catch up at each others house on a wednesday, maybe eating together, or watching a film together, or grabbing a coffee together (although I won’t touch the filthy stuff – its tea for me!) but we always caught up, that was the point. Its nice, not many friends can say they do this. Some people don’t see their friends for weeks or months at a time! Anyway, the point being that tonight the decision was almost taken out of my hands to not go, the newest member in our house decided to have an unannounced, unexplainable screaming fit! Screaming babies are annoying when they are someone else’s, but a massive cause for concern when they are your own, especially when they are generally placid by nature! We resisted the urge to use a dummy or panic and call a doctor, and it seems a sleep and some milk finally fixed the problem. I just hope we don’t have too many more evenings like that. Crying for an obvious reason is fine, crying where I can’t work out what is wrong and whether I should be concerned is another issue! As it happened, when Olivia was finally settled I did manage to catch up with my friends, even if just for an hour!

I’d like to thank everyone, by the way, for all the support after yesterdays cycling incident! Yes it was a little scary, but I was very lucky and don’t seem to have any major cause for concern regarding injuries. The bike is still working fine and I was back out on it today! Not what I was expecting in that split second when the bike stopped and I didn’t!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 267/365

“I’ll never stop appreciating how lucky I am.”


The day had the potential to start out well, even with an early rise to feed the little lady… that was until I climbed on my bike ready to cycle into work, albeit a little bit late, and hadn’t got more than a mile before a car ploughed into the side of me and took me clean out! Thankfully it seemed I hadn’t broken anything and the bike seemed okay. I did feel slightly sorry for the distraught car driver who initially thought she’d killed me, but at the end of the day, if she’d been looking properly, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place! I was able to carry in and still made it into work on time! The rest of the day wasn’t too bad, but I was sure glad to be home to see the two special ladies in my life for a few cuddles! After a short rest, it was time to head out to the dojo for another hour of jujitsu, and blow out a bit of steam!

Phew! Is it only Tuesday? I feel shattered!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 266/365

“The best part of going to work is coming back home at the end of the day.”


Monday rolls around again, but this monday is actually a work day for me again, for a change. After six weeks off and then two weeks of paternity leave, I have to readjust to this thing called work. Leaving my wife and especially my daughter behind is hard, but knowing that I will be coming home to them at the end of the day is a lovely feeling. My day at work wasn’t a bad one, and it was ideal cool and cloudy weather for cycling to and from work, which I am really glad to be doing! I sadly feel like I have had quite a lazy summer, as I haven’t been on my bike at all, I only tend to use that for going to and from work, and I haven’t been running because of the tendon injury early on during the holidays as both experience and research, tell me to resist running and rest it, the more I rest it the sooner i’ll be back on it. The Half Marathon is now less than 4 weeks away, and with a few days rest needed in advance of the run, I have to get training nailed in the next couple of weeks!

Unfortunately I got home tonight to a screaming baby, who we both struggled to settle, although she did eventually go to sleep on my shoulder. Then we popped her in the car seat and went food shopping in asda, she normally sleeps all the way through this, although not today, but she was at least quiet and happy in the car seat holder in the trolley. When we got home it was bath time for her, followed by a bottle then bed. I managed to grab this self portrait while she was asleep on my chest and was quite pleased with it!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 265/365 – 100 days to go

“Rare is the union of beauty and purity.”


This mornings run was cancelled as my running partner text me with an injury, so I gratefully put my head back down for another hours sleep, as I’d been up for the 4am feed and struggled to get back to sleep anyway, leaving me pretty exhausted. We had some guests coming round today, plus it was the Singapore Grand Prix, so the obvious choice was to record the Grand Prix and watch it this evening instead. This gave me the chance to clean the house and get out for a midday run instead, although I only managed 6 miles instead of the intended 10 miles in preparation for the upcoming half marathon. I think I had the stamina for 10 miles, but a dodgy stomach after last nights super-hot-chilli-of-death with the Holtermanns meant I couldn’t push any more. Disappointing! My oldest friend in the world Vanessa came over with her partner and kids, and it was lovely to see her as the months just pass too quickly and i can’t believe I haven’t seen her since our wedding last year. I have known her since I was 3 years old and it was great to see her and for her to meet Olivia. My sister came over in the evening with more gifts for the baby, although I had warned her that I was committed to watching the Grand Prix before it got too late! She gets so excited about seeing her niece, who unfortunately slept throughout the whole evening! Now, with the race out of the way and baby fed and ready for bed, its time to prepare for Monday morning!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 264/365

“Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go.”


What a great weekend it has been so far, a lovely day. Last nights antics had well and truly kicked in this morning, as I was feeling a little worse for wear, but I had a wonderful distraction in a birthday bbq with some great friends this afternoon. The grey start to the day soon gave way to blue sky and sunshine and fairly pleasant temperatures. It was nice to be out in a t-shirt with the sun on my skin, and to show our daughter off to our friends, even though she slept through most of it! The garden was a good size, with plenty of room for everyone, and for the kids to run about it, there were even apple trees growing! There were plenty of kids and babies about, and it felt like we had now become a part of some group! We couldn’t stay all night, as we had dinner with friends to get to. So after stopping at home to pick up another milk bottle and then swinging by babies r us to buy a present for our dinner hosts and their new baby, we headed over. They are a truly lovely couple and I have known Andrew since we went to school together over 20 years ago! Consequently the evening flew by, and suddenly it was time to go home. We didn’t want to over stay our welcome and I was struggling to stay awake by the end of it anyway! We took home the gift that the had bought for us and a Naga chilli that Andrew had grown and given me, which looks like a little orange nugget of death. Looking forward to cooking with it soon! Need to get myself off to bed to prep for tomorrow mornings run with Rob! Not long left now to get my training in for the Birmingham Half Marathon.