We’ve been in Manor Farm for 1 week 1 day! I can’t believe we’ve been in for an entire week. We’ve all settled in really well, that’s not hard when Mary is your housemate. We’ve had dinner together every night. We’ve enjoyed lots of wine. We’ve talked about our past, we’ve bonded.

When a person like Mary comes into your life, and shows you true generosity like this, it brings to light, just what kindness can mean to someone so in need of it. No, our lives aren’t bad, no we aren’t unlucky (in most ways) no, we aren’t skint. But when you want something so bad, and someone does everything in their power to help you achieve it. That, is the purest of souls. And what makes it even better, she won’t take any compliments for it. She is the most humble person.

This week has well and truly flown by. I’ve very nearly unpacked everything (that we need in the house) and the children are behaving like they’ve lived here all their lives. They’re sleeping in, playing together, playing alone, sitting with Mary. The days are lovely, nights are peaceful, life is good.

We are lucky.

The Reaneys


So, sometimes I want to sit and pour my heart out to you all (all 17 who read my last blog post, high 5 to you)

Sometimes I’d love you to know everything about our life right now. I could sit and write for hours, just what has happened in our nearly 10 years together. The good and the bad. But, not now, not yet.

So for now, here’s a little heart to heart (the soppy bit) This man, right here, is Mike. My husband. My absolute sanctuary. The most selfless being I have ever had the honour of knowing. And he’s all mine.

We met 10 years ago on the 1st May 2008. While we got to know each other, he was actually on his second deployment in Iraq. We talked everyday and within a couple of months I was in for it, good and proper, love.

Within 1.5 years together we were married, already having had Isabel our eldest, we decided to have another baby, Oliver, born 2010, and another, Ben, born 2012.

We have been through so very much I won’t write about yet (but I think when I do and my life is turned into an Oscar winning film I’ll have Dakota Johnson playing me please thanks, and I’ll co-direct)

Having had a pretty awful 2014, we decided he should leave the army after 12 years service. Since then he has worked driving lorries on a night shift 1am start for nearly 2 years, meaning we barely ever see each other, honestly, our life in the army was such better quality. Life isn’t always greener, is it.

In an ideal daily routine, he would go to bed around 4pm, get up around 11.20/12 midnight and start work at 1am. Finishing at what should be 10am or earlier, coming home to me being at work and the children at school, eat nap shower, pick the children up and go to bed to do it all again.

What actually happens is, he goes to bed at 5.30/6, once I’m in from work as we have ZERO childcare and can’t afford it for 3 children every day after school (who the hell can in the real world) so he picks the children up from school, after probably only being home an hour as his employers take the absolute piss and give him 15 hour shifts. So he gets home past 12pm or later, picks up the children, takes them home and cleans up, does dinner for when I get home (I know, keeper) and we eat together, that’s our time for the day together done, 20 minutes over a plate of food, then he goes to bed. To do it all again. We actually figured out, last year, we spent roughly 120 nights together. But half of those were mike absolutely crashing with tiredness no use to anyone!

He has done this for 2 years, all to keep this roof over our heads, all to provide for us. To let me have the job of my dreams doing what I love. This man, is everything.

I used to sit and moan, oh he’s on duty, he’s late again, he’s at a mess meeting, he’s half an hour late…I’m so glad I’m past that hideous stage of taking everything for granted.

If you have a Mike, hug him, tell him how amazing he is, make him feel as special as you want him to make you feel. And appreciate every moment you have with them, we don’t get many, but the ones we do get, are wonderful.

” Let me be your sanctuary, let me be your safe place to fall. I can take away your worries, the refuge from it all.

All this time, we have together, is our shelter from the rain. I will share the weight you carry, let me be your sanctuary.”

The Reaneys

7 days!

You know that last week before you move, it’s usually pretty crazy, busy, stressful, time flies by…yeah not for us! This move as you know is so different, we’re getting rid of SO much stuff, we’ve donated so much to charity (which included a bag of our shoes I intended to keep, and when I tried to get them back someone had stolen our entire donation from outside the charity shop!) and we have already moved so so much to Manor Farm, the move day itself will be so much easier! We have roped in my friends man (hi Sam & Rob) as he’s beefy and can can Mike lift the heavy stuff *happy claps*. So this week and the previous few have actually dragged by! I’m SO ready to get out of this house and be done, and Mary is so ready for us to be there.

Last weekend we took my mum over to meet Mary and see the place, which all went so well I was thrilled! They got on so well and Mum just loved being there (it’s definitely contagious)

1 week tomorrow we’ll be waking up at Manor Farm for the very first time. I’m actually getting quite emotional about it all, for good reasons, I’m just so overwhelmed with how lucky we are to know Mary and be offered this opportunity. Saving for a house is no easy task, with 3 children and rent prices as they are, living costs and income, the pressure you can feel to get on the market is incredibly daunting and stressful, Mary has given us such an opportunity and we will forever be in her debt.

1 week!!!!!

The Reaneys

But first, coffee

It’s the morning of Saturday the 27th of January. We have 3 weekends left, including ‘the big move’ which is actually turning out to be just ‘the weekend we start sleeping at Manor Farm’.

I have been wide awake since 6.30 willing myself to go back to sleep. But no, my head is just to full of plans and thoughts and worries. So I’m up, coffee, then I’m going to absolutely hammer this kitchen! I will leave enough to cook with, a frying pan, a saucepan and plates and cups enough for 1 each. The rest, charity box, Manor Farm box, tip box (or bag I’m not wasting boxes for rubbish!)

Do you ever feel, when you commit to packing the kitchen, that confirms the move? Honestly I feel like I have a million milestones we keep hitting and then I’m all “yeh this is real now” and this is another one. My last one was handing in our notice on this house on Monday just gone.

My mum is coming to help today, she going to come and see Mary’s and hopefully meet Mary too if she’s about. And have the children in her car so we can load both of ours to the rafters and just keep going all day long and empty this place! Fingers crossed! I really am hoping we get so much done this weekend and next weekend we can use the move date weekend to sort this place to paint it and clean it back to handover standards!

I had a funny dream last night. One of my colleagues Connie (hi con) was in my house and went upstairs, she came down and was like, “Lau, mate, that ain’t happening! Have you seen it? F;£&in hell babe good luck”

So yeh, that happened! Admittedly my bedroom has fallen to pieces in the last 2 weeks, I have baskets of washing I’m stepping around simply because I refuse to pack away clothes to move it again before I wear it! So hopefully I can get all that sorted too but for now it’s the kitchen, the cupboard under the stairs (help) and the garage! Christ

More coffee needed….

The Reaneys

It’s Begun

It’s Begun. Last weekend we moved some stuff over to Manor Farm. We managed to move a fair amount and it was amazing! We were thrilled at how easy it was and we’re moving more over today, hoping for the same result. The reasoning behind moving small bits over with our cars (we have 2 for work) and if we knuckle down we could do a couple of runs. Meaning less to move on the 10th with the van when it’s just us! We have no help on the move day and I have a weak back from a previous move and a very heavy fridge freezer.

This week however, I’m not that excited, this week, I heard some really shitty opinions on us and what they thought of this happening and it broke my heart. So, with that happening I’m a little more worried about the move and how it will go once we’re in. But, it’s just an opinion isn’t it. These people don’t know me and Mike and my family. Anyone can have an opinion. It’s just up to you how you process it.

So, it’s breakfast time (and coffee definitely need some coffee) and we still have to actually pack the boys room, but that’s ok, I will crack on and hammer through it, I’m determined I’m going to have at least one of my days off to myself and that day is tomorrow!

It’s Saturday, I’m exhausted from work and school runs and would love a full weekend off, but, just 3 weeks time and we’re in!

Happy weekend

The Reaneys

It will be ok.

As I lay in bed this morning, willing myself to get up and get sorted to go back to work, I wonder if I regret taking yesterday off as it always throws my work flow motivation system. But then I think, how in the world can taking time to spend with my husband not be ok?

Here’s a little about us and our situation. I’m a hairdresser, I work Monday to Friday mostly 9.30-5. One day I work until 7.30pm. Which is awful. Simply for the fact, on that day. I don’t see Mike at all. You see, he works nights driving lorries. Not his ideal or dream job. He does it for us. To support my job. My dream. The children. He goes to bed at 4pm. Yep. I know, I finish at 5pm. So on those days, he has to wait up until I’m actually home from work. We cross paths with a quick “you ok? Kids been alright? Thanks for dinner babe” and he goes to bed. That is how most days go. He goes to bed. We then have to be so extremely quiet there’s no room for noise. At all. From our CHILDREN! Isn’t that awful? So he then works his what should be 9 hour shift, but doesn’t usually finish or get home until about 3/4 hours after that and he picks the children up from school and we do it all over again.

Back in Oct/Nov I took on more hours at work, which I had waited a very long time to do. I was thrilled! I still am! Financially we need it so much. But in doing that, I gave up 2 days off in the week where we used to have to us, when he got home from work we would have a few hours to ourselfs while the children were at school. Now we don’t have any time just to us. Ever. And I don’t have any time just to me, and that I guess in a way is really affecting both of us.

By giving up those days, we have really struggled. Not with routine or the children or financially (well, no more than usual!) but with us, me and Mike. Mummy & Daddy. We have things going on in our lives that are so incredibly stressful right now, some of which I can’t talk about yet. And obviously life in general as working parents on a budget isn’t much fun! So, should I have taken yesterday off to spend with him. Hell YES! We talked, we ate, we cuddled, we watched tv, we ignored our phones, we loved one another and found why we’re still together after nearly 10 years, 3 deployments, countless months apart, living in a different country, already. being Mummy to Isabel when we met, having 2 babies in Germany and Mike being sent away for months just weeks after them being born, losing 2 babies, one of which while Mike was serving in Afghanistan, losing my Dad that same year, another move, this time back to the UK, another baby loss, another move, this time back home,

Quite honestly, you name it we’ve been through it. And that’s why we’re still together. We are stronger than ever. But sometimes, it doesn’t feel that way, simply because we’re only human! This move can only bring light to our lives and hope to our hearts. If we can concur all of that, we have for this in the bag

Lauren & Mike, est. 2009

It’s Official!

What an amazing day. We’ve been very busy organising things and visiting Mary at Manor Farm & we’re so excited to say we have an official move date! Mary wrote it in her diary and everything so it must be real!

Wow. How exciting! We had yet another wonder round the house. And I made sure what I plan on bringing and keeping with us in the house will fit.

We spent the afternoon drinking tea, eating biscuits, planning things and playing hide and seek. I honestly struggled to get the children to come home with me! It really warms my heart how lucky we are to spend the next couple of years of our lives with Mary in this incredible setting, and that the children are comfortable enough also to play around the house already without me (even though it is slightly scary in the dark)

This picture is the view from what will be my bedroom window, my view! I will wake up to this every day! Can you believe that? I feel so at home there it’s untrue and I’m just incredibly sad I’m not already living there already!

Very nearly everything is in place to make sure Mary is happy with what’s happening and it’s nearly time to hand our notice in on this house and notify the necessary people.

For now, we will keep moving bits over every weekend (we only have 4.5 left before the move day) and try and stay as clear headed and sensible about all this as possible, because I bloody hate moving!

10th Feb, come at us!!

Another one done…

Well that’s it. Another Christmas Day done.

Isn’t it funny, months of prep and stress over the turkey, the cranberry sauce, the wrapping paper to coordinate with your house and tree, festive days, festive nights. And it’s over in just a few hours.

Next year we will be with Mary at Manor Farm. I can envision what Christmas Day will be like. Which is exciting! I had many thoughts yesterday about it. Will the children enjoy it as much, will it feel like our Christmas Day? Wondering if we will be anywhere near our goal. Anywhere close to what we need in today’s property market. All we can do is try! All we can do is our best.

We had such a wonderful day yesterday, filled with presents, laughter, arguments, tears, hugs food and drink (for us big people)

I’m very much in the house sorting mode. The boxes are building in all the corners of the house and for once I don’t mind! We still only have 1 packed but that’s ok! January is a long month. Ish

Happy Boxing Day!

Merry Christmas

So it’s Christmas Eve Eve.

The house is finally in some sort of order, working full time and running a household is no laughing matter when you have 4 (ok 3 and a husband) children ruining it daily!

I literally spend every day off doing housework! It had gotten quite out of hand and I nearly cancelled Christmas! But I hammered it today to the point of sweat dripping down my forehead. Yep. Gross.

So, as we get so close the the big day, I feel more and more prepared to gut this house and get it ready to move. I saw Mary at work this week and we had a good catch up. I almost wish we had moved in already and got it done! But alas, we aren’t that clever. So we will be concentrating on the festivities and once they’re done and dusted we can start getting bits sorted! So so excited to get this all going! I will be posting many more blogs more regularly when life settles a bit after this silly season!

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year!

Love, The Reaneys

Change of Plan…?

It’s Christmas though!

Honestly, with Christmas just 15 days away, panic is setting in that we intended to move the 1st week of January.

We have 1 box packed. Of DVD’s only because we sold the bookcase they lived on that I now wonder if we needed to keep.

Second guessing is my problem in life. Questioning everything no matter how determined I am to bring this to reality.

We have lived together as a couple and family for nearly 9 years. That’s a lot of stuff! Isn’t it! We’re genuinely considering just moving as we are and cramming in our stuff at Mary’s and de cluttering along our journey. The more stuff I look at the more I want to keep it all. And the more I want to keep the more I realise this is a complicated move. And the more I realise that the more I want to change the move date to give us more time! But the later we move the more rent we pay on this current money pit and less goes into our savings.

Quite honestly I’m bloody stressed and seriously terrified. I want us all to feel at home at Mary’s and to a point I already do. The house is SO much like my Grandparents house I spent a lot of my childhood at. And Mary is like family. Very much so, without even living with her yet she holds a special place in our hearts.

This next month is going to 100% try my strength and determination as a wife, mother, woman, heck a human!

I think it’s lost making time…watch this space (or blog)

Merry 10th Dec

The Reaneys