An insignificant birthday in a memorable year

So, today is my 47th Birthday and as everyone is so keen to tell me I am only 3 years away from the BIG 5O!  O.M.G!!!

Even though 47 is not a ‘significant’ birthday, this year is shaping up to be a memorable one.

I have my 30 year School reunion in October which absolutely blows my mind.  Like many noteworthy events in my life I can still vividly remember the last day of school and am struggling to believe it could possibly be that long ago.

Kate in 1986

Some who I will see at the reunion haven’t seen me since I looked like this – I hope they recognise me!

We are experiencing many changes in our lives at the moment that I still find myself looking for the grown up Smile

One of the biggest changes is our eldest daughter is moving away to start her career as a Primary School teacher.  We are extremely proud and know that the School and students will be the real winners, but Mr SBB and I are really going to miss having her around.  Although at least my wardrobe will be safe from her early morning raids!

Emily's Collage

How fast does the time go by?  From birth, to first day of High School, to her 21st.  It all happens in the blink of an eye

When she was going for the interview we really wanted her to do well and to be offered the position, but there was also a part that didn’t want her to get the job as it meant she wouldn’t need to move away.  I keep having to remind myself that she is only a 45 minute plane ride away and Skype will help to keep us close, but it isn’t the same as being able to give her a reassuring hug as she heads off to her first day at her new school as a Year 4 teacher.

It is still 4 weeks before she leaves, but during our trip to Ikea to pick up some furniture for her to take I found myself overcome with emotions as the realisation kicked in.

With her moving out it means we will be officially ‘empty nesters’.

Mr SBB - shopping trolley antics

However I guess I still have one kid in the house! 

Thankfully we still really enjoy each others company and having worked together for most of our married life we know each other inside and out.  We shouldn’t experience the issues of learning how to navigate our relationship that a lot of new empty nesters do as we have been in each others pockets for years.  Our friends regularly question how we can live and work together, but we enjoy it and I envisage the same will happen in this new stage of our lives.

Another huge part of our life may be leaving us also.

I have spoken about our elderly Bichon Frise Lou-Lou before and we are becoming very painfully aware that her time with us is limited.  She is almost completely blind, deaf, and has doggy dementia.  She is regularly having accidents in the house and we know that a decision is going to have to be made very soon but none of us are ready for it.  It breaks our hearts to think of our home without her.

Lou Lou

At this stage we are offering her Palliative Care (and spending an inordinate amount of time cleaning up her messes) but every day with her is a blessing.  Who knows if she will make it to 17 or not, but whatever happens she knows she is loved as we show her every day.

Whilst I don’t know what else my 47th year will bring I do know that I am very lucky to have good health, a loving family and lots of support from my gorgeous friends.

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children

I may be leaning on my friends a little more this year as we navigate the next step in our lives, but I am also very excited to see our beautiful Emily start the career that she has wanted since the age of 6.

So as I blow the candles out on my cake today I wish for smooth sailing as 2016 is a year of growth, reflection and new beginnings for us all.


Linking up with Ingrid at Fabulous and Fun Life for her Monday Madness Link up party

Have any of your children flown the coup?  Do you have any tips for us?


  1. says

    Happy Birthday Kate!! I’m glad to hear that this year is shaping up to be a memorable year for you. I had my 30th birthday only a month ago, but it felt pretty insignificant…mainly coz I was sick and hospitalised the week before my birthday but I’m hoping to make this year memorable with my Europe trip booked for the end of the year.

    I’m sorry to hear about your pup Lou Lou.. It’s so sad when they get to that age. My maltese, Jaffa is 16 years old and like Lou Lou, I’ve been giving him palliative care, but on Saturday I found out that he has got a mass/tumour in his spleen and there’s not much to be done about it… He’s not in pain and not suffering…so at this stage it’s just waiting for the time when it happens.

    • says

      Thank you Ina. I am sorry to hear that your birthday was marred with ill health prior to it. That always puts a dampener on it doesn’t it?

      I am very excited to hear that you have an upcoming European trip. We went away for a month last September and had an absolute ball and I am currently trying to work out where to go next year. At this stage it is looking like Santorini. I hope you have a fabulous time and that it is everything you hope for 🙂

      Poor Jaffa 🙁 We can’t take Lou Lou to the vet very easily as she absolutely HATES the car and we are worried that trying to take her there will kill her from the fright, so at this stage we are just waiting and seeing. It wouldn’t surprise me if she has diabetes as she is drinking SO much at the moment but like your Jaffa she doesn’t appear to be in any pain. I wish you and Jaffa all the best for whatever time you two have left together. xx

      • says

        Thank you Kate! It does put a dampener since I was sick and I also had to go dairy free for a month so I couldn’t really eat much cake or dessert food on my birthday,

        Where did you go to Europe last year? I can’t wait. I’ll be going to UK, France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy.

        Aww that’s so sad to hear about Lou Lou. Jaffa is drinking lots of water too – apparently the tumour in the spleen causes that and he has lost a bit of weight too.. I’m just hoping he sticks around for a little longer. I wish you and Lou Lou the best too and treasure your time together 🙂 xo

        • says

          Not much cake or dessert food for your birthday sounds torturous Ina!

          We went to the UK and Italy last year and absolutely LOVED it. We are already planning a return trip to Italy as it really won our hearts. If you need any tips please feel free to message me as we had some great experiences in Italy and I managed to find a few great deals for train travel and for attractions 🙂

          Sending prayers to you and Jaffa aswell xxx

  2. CherryBlossom says

    Your photos are just gorgeous Kate! And Happy Birthday! Thank you for all the beautiful photos and you look just like you did back in school, except more beautiful now.

    You must be so proud of your daughter, she’s all grown up, but she’s still your baby, and always will be! She’ll make a fantastic and inspiring teacher, I’m sure of it.

    I’m sorry to know about your doggie, it’s very sad, but knowing that she was always safe, loved and happy in your care would be some consolation. Time together is so precious.

    • says

      Thank you CherryBlossom 🙂 You are so kind saying I look more beautiful now that I did in school. I wish I had those high cheekbones still!!

      We are both exceptionally proud of Emily and are thrilled that she is now following her lifelong dream to be a teacher – I just wish she didn’t have to move away to do it though 🙂

      Lou Lou really is a character and the house will be very quiet when she goes, but in the meantime we are trying to savour every moment we have with her. There are times when I am cleaning up after her though when my patience is tested but then I remember that she can’t help it and it is my job to make her as comfortable and happy as she can be.

  3. Trish Drinkwater says

    Happy Birthday, Kate. No one will look younger than YOU at the reunion!

    It’s so wonderful that your daughter is teaching – as a retired Teacher/Librarian who just loved my role, I can’t tell you how much I love hearing of young people who are dedicated and will be just what our school children need. It does my heart so much good! Enjoy the time with just the 2 of you and embrace the reunions when you catch up.

    I do feel for you with your four foot. They are so much a part of the family. Our kittens, who are now just over 2, so not strictly kittens, are so gorgeous but we still miss Tara. Knowing you’re doing what is right will help a little when the time comes.

    Have a wonderful year. You deserve beauty in abundance – you radiate it to all who have contact with you. Take care.

    With love,

    • says

      You are just too kind Trish – thank you 🙂

      I didn’t know you were a retired Teacher/Librarian but now I know I can see it would have been the perfect profession for you. I am sure the students absolutely LOVED you and I know you would have loved them too. I have a feeling the students will love Emily as she is just so good with them and has the patience of a saint. She didn’t get that from me!

      I will always think of Lou Lou as a puppy so I can understand why you still think of your kittens that way too. I am glad that they have given you such joy after losing Tara – they don’t replace them – they just help ease the pain a little.

      xx Kate

    • says

      So as you will be reaching the milestone first you will have to share whether it is as daunting as I think it is 🙂

      Thank you SO much for the beautiful birthday cake and for remembering my birthday on the forums – I am completely blown away and also sorry I missed it. I have to say that since they have changed the forums I am finding it much more difficult to navigate and I regularly miss stuff that I really wish I didn’t.

      You are 100% right – I am now in my 48th year – oh dear!!