On 1st January I received via email the exciting news that I had been shortlisted in the UK BLOG AWARDS Parenting Category and I was equally thrilled/ delighted/ overwhelmed/ shocked/ ecstatic and did several versions of the **happy dance** while screeching with glee!
We had just returned from our really tough New Year’s Day hike in the Mourne Mountains where we had been snowed on, rained on, and blown into disarray. I was chilled to my core so when the email alert on my phone binged and I read the news I soon forgot my aches and pains and my shivering body jumped into action to celebrate! Since then, I have been thinking a lot about the blog: my aims, my vision, my goals, my message. In truth, I only ever wanted to write about an authentic, true and relatable story and my endeavour with every post is to write from the heart with the hope that it might inspire or encourage someone, somewhere. So, I thought it was about time to really meet the person behind the blog and put a face to the name, so decided to ask my 3 mini-treasures to interview me so that my lovely readers could get to know me just a teeny bit better…I hope you enjoy the questions and answers. We had masses of fun compiling it and I hope that shines through most of all!
Firstly, let me introduce myself….
My name is Kelly. I am a 36-year old, part-time working, part-time studying, part-time blogging Mum of 3 boys and wife to 1 husband who is my soul mate, support and sanity-keeper. I work for a Northern Ireland based cancer charity called Cancer Focus NI and I am studying for a degree in English Literature and Language with the Open University.
NOW FOR THE QUESTIONS:
If you could choose to live anywhere in the world to live where would you pick?
That’s a really tricky question! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel and visit new places. There are a couple of countries I would really like to visit, such as Nepal to see the grandeur of the Himalayas. I think Japan would be so fascinating too! However, if I had to choose somewhere to live and build a life with my family I would actually be drawn to the Netherlands. They have a great way of life there and the few times that I have visited I just loved the chilled-out pace, the fab cycling infrastructure, the eco-conscious outlook and green approach to all aspects of life. The weather is quite similar to rainy old Northern Ireland so wouldn’t take too much adjusting to and I think growing up there would be really outdoorsy and fun and it’s not on the other side of the world if I get a pang of homesickness!
What is your favourite colour of all time?
Ha! You boys know I have 2 favourite colours – purple and green. I can never decide which one I like more, some days its green, others its purple. So I guess it depends on which mood I’m in!
Do you have a favourite mythical creature?
Oh, that’s such a good question! I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan so mythical creatures are very interesting to me. If I had to choose one though I would probably pick a thestral – a type of winged flying horse that pulls the carriages in the Harry Potter series. Not everyone’s favourite I’m sure because they can seem a little creepy with their black, skeletal appearance and the fact that they are only visible to people who have seen death. However, I think their gentle and kind nature is what appeals to me most of all. It’s what on the inside that truly counts, right?
How hard was it to create a blog?
I am so not the most technologically minded person and the prospect of setting up that side of the blog was a little daunting I have to admit. Once I had set my mind to creating a blog though I figured it out slowly and learned as I went along. As for coming up with ideas for things to write about, my mind is constantly swimming with words and themes and even if I’m out walking I am stringing together sentences and the point I’d like to convey, this is usually accompanied by a feeling or mood that I need to capture in my words. The hardest part of all is finding enough hours in the day to write and pull together pictures and then promote a blog post along with everything else I need to do in a day. Each blog feature takes many, many hours of work on top of an already busy life, but I do it because I love writing so much and to be honest I think there would be a large gap in my life now if I stopped blogging.
Where is your favourite place that is associated with nature?
Oh, what a lovely question. So tough to choose though, especially seeing as we live in such a beautiful country. We have some great beaches along our stunning Causeway Coast, brilliant mountains for trekking and camping but I guess I would have to pick forests. I find being in a forest so calming and they are so fun to explore. I could wander for hours among the trees, dreaming up enchanted stories full of magical creatures and enjoying the freedom that the forest offers.
What is your favourite colour in nature?
One of the most glorious sights I can call to mind is the sun’s light hitting the side of a mountain and a particularly rocky area shimmering like it was made of ultra-violet light. It was truly breathtaking and I remember stopping mid-hike just to drink in the view. As a lover of the forest too, those earthy tones of green and brown draw me in and calm me whenever I am stressed out. That’s the amazing power of nature!
What is your favourite type of tree?
I have always been really drawn to birch trees. There’s something about their silvery bark that makes them appear to be mysterious and magical.
What inspired you to write your blog?
After many years not writing and really missing it I was challenged by a friendly stranger to live life to the fullest. I was inspired to once again metaphorically put pen to paper and document our family adventures, my musings about parenthood, nature and everything else in-between all with a nod to living the best version of my life, caring about the world around us and never giving up on my hopes and dreams.
Were you always someone who loved going on big walks and climbing mountains?
Definitely! Since I was little, my parents took me and my brothers and sister out for walks. When I was a teenager, I got involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and that’s when my love of hiking and camping really flourished. When you boys were really little I walked everywhere with you either in the buggy or in a sling, from country parks to all over town doing errands. As you all began to grow up and all were walking, we began to venture a little further and before we knew it you could all easily reach a mountain summit before us! I love being outside, no matter what the weather because it’s the place I feel most connected to myself and the world around me.
Did you ever think you would get to the UK Blog Award finals?
Never in a million years! It was such a surprise to receive the news and to have reached this stage has been so encouraging and motivating. Being a blogger that has been writing for a few years but not really promoting my write-ups that much I feel inspired to keep at it. Blogging can be lonely and it’s sometimes a place where I feel very vulnerable and doubt myself. I’m putting my voice and heart out to the world every time I press ‘publish’ and that’s a little daunting. I’m trying to go with the flow though, to keep writing as ‘me’ and enjoy this exciting and challenging journey that I’m on!
What’s the best food to eat up a mountain?
Trust you boys to be thinking about food! Good question though! For me, there must always be a flask of coffee. It can get chilly atop a mountain and a hot cup of coffee is always well-appreciated after a strenuous hike. As for food, you can’t beat a boiled egg, a banana and some brazil nuts for energy. It’s always good to have a bar of chocolate stashed in the rucksack for emergency rations too and of course some jelly sweets for bribery when little legs get weary!
What’s your dream fun this year?
That’s an awesome question to finish with. I am doing my first Half Marathon this year in aid of the amazing charity Little Hearts Matter so that is going to be a huge challenge for me both physically and mentally, but I am hoping (fingers crossed) it will also be fun! I am also really looking forward to exploring the great outdoors in Northern Ireland more this year. There are so many places we have yet to experience such as the Glens of Antrim and there are plenty more mountains on our map that need a pin in them! Lots and lots of adventures to look forward to and I’m so happy I get to share them with you!
Thank-you boys for a great interview! It has been a lot fun!
I hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit more about me, my passions, hopes dreams and outlook. I have loved answering these thoughtful questions composed by my 3 boys so much!