Rushe to Raise Presentation Time

We dropped off our proceeds from our ‘Rushe to Raise’ Fundraiser today.

The Donegal Hospice and the Children’s ward at Letterkenny University Hospital received €1050 each.

Maria & Emmet with staff from Donegal Hospice

The hospital are using the money to buy a respiratory machine to help little babies, and the Hospice are using it to help them do what they do best.

With the staff on our Paediatric Ward at Letterkenny University Hospital

Am a bit emotional if I’m honest.

Yes, we’re chuffed that we can help, but in the scheme of things, it’s only money. And there is SO much that money can’t buy.

What these people do every day is invaluable.

It goes beyond a wee cheque.

But we truly hope that the little bit helps.

Much love,
Us and our girls.

Xxxx

No is a Complete Sentence…Especially at Christmas

Remember

No is a complete sentence.

no

You can say NO to things without having to add explanation.   Add a thanks if you wish, but only if you want to,

  • Want to join in Secret Santa at work? No.
  • Do you want to go for after work drinks on Black Eye Friday? No.
  • Want to come visit Aunty Petunia on Christmas Eve even though she spends her time telling you you’ve put on weight/aged badly/need to change your hair? No.
  • Want to put in €10 for teacher’s present because someone else decides it’s a good idea. No.
  • Want to donate to Arthur’s sponsored swim? No.
  • Want to go to Smuffs in the busiest part of town at 4pm on Friday to do me a favour? No.
  • Want to invite Cousin JohnJoe over to burp at Christmas dinner? No.
  • Want to come watch little Japonica playing the unicorn in her 3 hour long school play? Nope.

Now, let me clarify.  I am NOT telling you, nor am I encouraging you, to be a selfish turbotwat.  Some things have to be tolerated.  Aunty Nancy’s silent but violent farts are not a just reason to leave her alone on Christmas. And you can’t refuse to go for dinner in your own house just because you fell out with your partner’s sister-in-law’s dog three years ago.  Some things need you to chuck it in the fuckit bucket and suck it up for the people you DO care about.

Christmas is wonderful, but it’s also a time of high stress and worry, where people and traditions and expectations are forced upon us.  And while of course, we must all buckle down and stretch ourselves to accomodate the people we care about, love or are responsible for, we are NOT OBLIGED to keep EVERYONE HAPPY.

If something is going to cause you stress, worry, financial strain or conflict, don’t do it. 

If something is going to make your life difficult and really, you are not harming anyone by refusing, don’t do it.

If something is going to have a negative impact on YOUR mental wellbeing, think long and hard about it. 

If you can’t afford it, don’t go/do/buy it.

If you can’t deal with it, don’t put yourself through it. 

If you can’t stand it, don’t do it. 

And while we’re at it, do remember that you don’t HAVE to do things a certain way. 

Want to eat curry or lasagne for Christmas dinner? Knock yourself out. 

Don’t want to put up a tree? Don’t.

Don’t want to/can’t afford to buy presents for Tom, Dick and Harry this year? Don’t.

Can’t be bothered putting on good clothes and a full face to sit in your sitting room all day? Stay in your Pjs. 

Hate “It’s a Wonderful Life”? Don’t watch it. 

There is no Christmas Fairy-Poppins who goes around looking in your windows to check that you’re getting your Hallmark on.

You do You.

And you DO have the right, and the ability, to say NO.

And as I said, NO, is a complete sentence.  It doesn’t require an explanation.

Someone asks why?  Simply answer with one of the following:

Just because. 

It doesn’t suit. 

I don’t want to.  

I said no.

And whoever it is that you’re worried that you’re going to upset, will get over it.  Chances are, they really won’t even notice.

And Christmas will pass and 2020 will start and we’ll all get on with our lives and whether or not you turned up to sing carols with Carol will be forgotten as quickly as the Strawberry Quality Street.

friends-thanksgiving

 

 

Santa at The Shandon; Giving Time and Memories

I know before I start to type that keeping this short and sweet is not really an option.

If you want it in a nutshell, here it is.  The Magical Winter Wonderland Experience at The Shandon Hotel and Spa is indeed a wonderful, wintery and magical experience.  From the moment you arrive until check out, it’s Festive Fun for everyone.

For us, it was a perfect family Christmas calm in the midst of all the madness of December.

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The Shandon Hotel and Spa outside Dunfanaghy

We booked this after a few friends recommended it last year.  Now, we’re big fans and regular enough frequenters of The Shandon, but we’ve never stayed with the girls before. 

We wanted somewhere this year where we could switch off, relax and fully enjoy a hustle or queue free Santa visit.  I also wanted to be warm while we waited for Santa and as it turned out, with all the flus and sniffles in our house over the past few weeks, this was a good Mammy-call.  There was no queueing or standing around freezing your tootsies off…Santa comes to your room at a prelocated time… perfection. 

We arrived at 4pm.  The receptionist checked us in but also made a fuss about telling the girls about the Elf that was missing in the hotel.  Excitement levels started to mount as the girls realised we were on a “sleepover!” 

We were delighted to be put into one of their Master Suites, on the 5th floor overlooking the bay.  These suites are huge and bright and new.  The bathroom was stunning with a jacuzzi bath at the window. (We didn’t get a chance to use this, but we shall be back!)

We got changed from our winter woolies (we’d just watched Daddy jumping into the River Swilly at The Polar Plunge in Rathmullen!) and went down to the bar for barfood. 

The food never disappoints.  I opted for a steak sandwich instead of my usual seafood platter and Himself had the steak burger.  The girls had pizza and nuggets and chips and all plates were cleared quickly. Not having to drive, we were able to have a drink with our dinner too, something which never happens when we’re out and about with the kids. 

At 6pm we headed down to the Winter Wonderland. It was so beautiful. Trees and bears and penguins and lights and ALL the pretty you can imagine, carefully created and perfectly pulled off.  Narnia was particularly impressive. Who doesn’t love a 6 foot polar bear eh?

Upstairs, Mrs Claus was awaiting with juice and cookies for the kids.  There were crayons and pictures and fairy wishes and Santa letters and a post box… lots to do and see.  Then Mrs Claus and her elf called all the kids over to her sofa for storytime. There was a collective wave and sigh by the parents as we all sat back to watch Mrs C entertain our minions!  There was even a glass of wine for the parents if you wanted one.  

Mrs Claus was fantastic; in character from the second we arrived, fully engaged with every single child and superb in her ability to entertain.  She took them all on a Polar Bear Hunt and every single child was captivated by her. (The Director in me would cast her in the morning! Bravo!)

After a photograph with her, we toddled up “to bed”.  Pjs went on and we all snuggled up on our bed to watch Arthur Christmas.  At 7.30pm, a knock came to the door and there he was; the main man himself; Santa! 

And not just ANY Santa.  This was without a doubt THE REAL SANTA.  He knew their names and everything! “Don’t be hiding Princess” and “My my Mini-Me! You are getting tall!” had their jaws dropping.  Also, he was able to tell them about how when their Daddy was wee and he had to wait for him to go to sleep before he could deliver his presents.  AMAZING! 

He spent 10 full minutes talking to them and listening to them and laughing with them.  Oh what a joy this was to witness. He sang Jingle Bells along with them and gave them their gifts before saying goodbye.   The gifts were excellent too; arts and craft stuff.  

Santa was just wonderful and gave one thing that no other Santa we’ve ever seen gave; time. 

The girls weren’t rushed or hurried and it was genuinely the most enjoyable ten minutes. Watching their wee faces as he told them tales about their Daddy was priceless. 

Well after that, there was no sleeping, so off we went back downstairs in the jammies. (them, not us. We’re not that bad!)   We had hot chocolate and dessert. Apparently the chocolate brownie was incredible. I didn’t taste it as I was tucking in to my Christmas pudding… boozy bliss I tell you.  And of course it was accompanied by a wee Baileys to officially kick off Christmas. Would have been rude not to. 

The hotel was filled with families of all ages and the atmosphere was electric.  The foyer was a forest of happy kids playing with their Santa gifts and happy parents smiling and talking as we headed up to our room.  

We eventually got everyone tucked in; I’m not sure how really as the excitement levels were immense by bedtime.  (Comfiest beds in the world by the way.)

Breakfast next morning was, as always, superb.  I always love how the bacon is properly cooked. There’s nothing worse that pink rubbery slices!  There is nothing you can’t have for breakfast here. Smoked Salmon, cheese, porridge, full Irish, cereals, smoothies and of course the pancake machine! 

We didn’t use the pool simply because our youngest has been a bit fluey all week, but we chilled out before having (one last) milk and cookies in the bar. 

Carolynne and Gert and and their team have made Christmas so magical here.  The receptionists, the elf helping Mrs C, Santa, Gary and his team in the bar, the breakfast team and waiting staff – all professional and smiling and brilliant at their jobs, we can’t praise you all enough. 

December is a manic month in our house.  We’ve always squeezed a Santa visit into the midst of the chaos, and while we always enjoy it, this year was different.  We stopped. We switched off and we spent 24 hours with our girls. We were relaxed and it was truly magical and we’ve both come home a bit more relaxed and ready for the final few days of the year. 

And the girls got to MEET SANTA, not just see him. 

I know that the weekends are fully booked, but there is still limited availability for midweek.  They’re also hosting Sunday lunch with Santa so check that out. 

I’ll let you all know once it goes on sale for 2020, (but not until after I’ve booked our room first!)

Carolynne and team, take a bow. 

You’ve created something magical and helped us to create magical memories. 

See you soon!

Mammy x

 

*reviewing because I want to.  I’m nice like that. You make me smile with your business, I’ll make it mine to tell everyone! 

It’s Rushe To Raise Time Again!

SAVE THE DATE

Sunday December 1st at 1pm

The S-Mum Blog and Rushe Fitness are delighted to announce that this year’s annual “Rushe to Raise” fundraiser will be the classic favourite, THE GRINCH, starring Jim Carey.

Myself and Himself are very much looking forward to our annual fundraiser, in association with Century Cinemas, to raise much needed funds for two very deserving local causes.

This year, all proceeds will go to the Donegal Hospice and to the Paediatric Ward at Letterkenny University Hospital.

Come and kickstart the Festive season on December 1st with a funfilled family afternoon and help us raise money for these incredible causes.

Tickets will cost €10 and will go on sale at Rushe Fitness next Sunday, the 3rd of November, between 1pm and 3pm.

You can reserve your tickets by messaging Maria or Emmet on social media or by emailing maria@rushefitness.ie

(PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are non-refundable and must be paid for and collected by 3pm on Sunday, 3rd November.)

Hope to see you there!

Maria & Emmet
🎅🤶🎅🤶🎅🤶🎅

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You Hold Your Own Key

Although it is many moons ago, Mammy remembers getting her Leaving Cert Results.

Mammy was certain that the contents of the little brown envelope were going to change her life. Had Mammy’s life REALLY depended on the contents of that little brown envelope, quite frankly, I’d be living an utterly dreadful, mediocre and half-arsed attempt at one. 😂

Because the results printed on my little scrap of yellow paper were quite awful, if I’m very honest.

The only mark I remember (or tell anyone about!) was my A1 in Honours English. Go figure.

As for the rest of them? I’d say the examiners only passed me so that they wouldn’t have to read my verbal diahorrea again the following year. 😂I’m not exaggerating either.

But the other grades didn’t matter. The A in English was all that mattered to me, both then AND today. Yes, I got into college, but not until I had spent a week back in the brown uniform 😣😣 convincing myself that I needed to repeat the Leaving Cert.

It wasn’t until the second round offers and a trip to meet (attack😛) the Dean of the English Department in Coleraine, that I finally got my place on the degree course. (I might have only been 17, but I was a stroppy one!😂)

English was all I loved. It was all that I wanted to study and, as the little brown envelope told me, it was apparently all that I was good at… All that I was good at THEN.

At 17.

As it turns out, I’m good at a whole load of things.

It just so happened that I didn’t get to take Leaving Cert exams in singing, dancing, shopping or eating.

The Big LC recognised my ability to understand Shakespeare and write stories off the top of my head, but it didn’t (and couldn’t) know how strong I was at things like organisation, being a friend, laughing or leading.

So I was crap at French. Biology for me ended after the section on photosynthesis. But although my maths grade was dismal, I challenge you to find ANYONE who can work out a % as quickly as me when I see the word “SALE”. 😂😂

So there.

Now, over 20 years on, I’m an English teacher.  I’m a writer and I’m a businesswoman.  I’m a whole lot of things that that little piece of paper could NEVER have predicted me to be.

Of COURSE, as a teacher, I value the Leaving Cert.

I love teaching the course and I try my best to encourage my Babbies to give it their best shot.

But I also know that they are young adults. That they have a LOT going on. That some of them have things going on in their lives that are a WHOLE lot more important that exams. 😢

That while some of them will have given it their ALL for 2 years, on the day of the exam, it might just not happen. That some of them are dealing with trying to live up to expectations that might be unrealistic.  That some of them just haven’t yet realised their strengths or abilities in certain areas.

And sometimes, that at 18, they’re just not quite ready for the ridiculous pressure of the state exam.

For a whole load of reasons, Tuesday is a huge day for our young adults. But that little brown envelope is only that.

An envelope.

Despite what it is inflated to be, it is NOT the most important piece of paper in the world.

Yes, the letters and numbers inside it will have an immediate effect.

Yes, some doors will open and yes, some doors will close, but what is written on the page does not define them.

The Leaving Cert does NOT know our children. It doesn’t see the kindness. It doesn’t measure their ability to change things. It can’t recognise their skills as motivators, or thinkers, or makers, or doers. It does not define them, nor should it.

And as parents, yes, some of us might be disappointed for our kids on Tuesday.

But mostly we should be proud, because regardless of what is on that page, they are OUR children and they have done their best and we must remind them that they CAN do whatever they want.

Because WE know what they can be.

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There are ALWAYS options and sometimes, the path that they are so determined to be the ONLY one for them right now, was never the right one for them…it usually takes a few years for them to realise that however.

But they will. 💕

So in the meantime, tell them how brilliant they are. And leave them under NO illusion that no matter what words and letters are on that piece of paper, that you are and will always be proud of them and that you will help them to get to where they want to go, may it be straight through the college door or in a longer, roundabout way.

But all roads lead ahead. And before they know it, they won’t even remember what was printed on the page!

It might be over 20 years since I opened my little brown envelope and had my heart broken in a million pieces, but trust me, everything happens for a reason. 😇

Todayt, I send love to all of the young people (especially my own Babbies😘😘) and to all you exam parents whose minions face the brown envelope this Tuesday.

And remember, that little brown envelope does NOT hold the key to their future. They hold that key already.

It’s right inside them.

And no piece of paper can change that.

Mammy  XXX