One of the family

I critique my brother-in-law a lot… Some say it’s bullying but it’s merely critiquing, advising if you will.


‘Stop drinking that cup of custard!”

‘Why did buy those OLD MAN SHOES?!’



I do it because I love him and because I want him to be and have the best.


But one thing I have never critiqued him on was his choice in a wife, a partner in crime, a best friend, Clo.


I remember the first time we met, I picked you and the boys up in my teeny Clio to bring you on an adventure to Glendalough. Along the winding roads, as the boys complained in my choice of playlist (there was a lot of Glee at the time!) you sang with me, over their complaints. We giggled, we whispered, the boys were afraid. They saw it as a bad thing. How could it be? From that day one we became closer and closer. A bond had formed. More like sisters than friends, we’d make breakfast together, go for long walks, lie on top of one another on our in-laws couches (don’t know how John felt about that), pushed each other to strive for great achievements, competed with each other in our own little ways and would discuss (on the daily) both our strongly similar and contrasting opinions on life. And as we grew up together (which we did, we were only babies when we met) we developed into our own personalities. As your hair got shorter, mine got longer. As you became a big city dweller, I moved further and further in the wild Irish countryside. But the bond remained. And although there are times when we both think we’re mad, there is one thing we both agree on. Our boys and just how important they are.


I am so lucky (and relieved) to have you as my partner in the life of being with the Ryan boys. They are both beautifully easy going and hard work all at the same time. To have you through all the good stuff and all the shitty stuff that will happen in our life time as a family. For you to be the aunt to my children (their cool aunt who speaks many languages, has blonde hair and hops around Europe and beyond). For you to laugh with me as the boys create yet another competition for themselves. For you to make me real french toast as everyone else sleeps. For you to be the logical mind to my rambling one. For you to be my sister.


Because you act just like my other sisters do ( big up to Karen and Clare!)


So on this day, just under a month to your wedding. Before the throngs of family come to hug and kiss you and shake your hand warmly. Before my husband descends on you and cracks your back with one of his bear hugs, before our mother-in-law makes us weep with yet another beautiful speech and before your fiancé cries (and he will) as you walk down the aisle. I want to be the first to welcome you into the family, the family you have always been a member of.









Dear Rhona

A letter to my (almost) sister in law:

Dear Rhona,
I write this with just over one week until your wedding. One week until you start the next leg of your adventure with your chief partner in crime. 6 years, I’ve known you. A lot less than a lot of people but in that time you have well and truly bloomed. You are a gorgeous human inside and out, you live to your fullest and you drag us along (not always willingly, I might add!) for the ride.
I admire you so much. You constantly inspire me to try new things (prime example being becoming a contributor to this amazing blog), you encourage me to be a bit mental and you plan madness with me – I’m holding you to the next city running tour!!!
I guess what I want to say, and want to share, is that if you continue to grow (well, not grow – you’re tiny now, another massive achievement btw) and develop at the rate you are going, the world better watch out. Cormac is a lucky fella. I look forward to carrying on encouraging each other, and dare I say being a little bit competitive with one another. If I am ever jealous of you, it is not because I want what you have, but rather it is because what you are is so truly fantastic. I am so excited for you and I am so utterly utterly happy for you.
Love (and bags of admiration),

Holidays – Giving Yourself A Break

So it’s the Sunday before I go back to work and I am here on my couch, enjoying the last of the Christmas biscuits (which are delicious by the way) and I feel both proud and ashamed. Before the break I had high hopes of keeping up with my training programme while back at my folks. I had time to rest and train. I would really improve in the two week window I had off from the office. But on my last day of work I got sick. Not much at first, just a little niggle in the throat. But that hectic lifestyle one has over Christmas of meeting old friends and enjoying a glass or two or seven… teen, well, that caught up with me and before you know it I was sick, proper sick. Too ill to train.


So I sat back and I rested… I rested hard. I slept in late, I ate cheese, and chocolate and eggy bread and waffles. I watched so much telly and took brief strolls when the sun shone which as we know was extremely rare. I stayed up late to laugh with family, I went taking photos with my dad on our snazzy cameras, I roasted my first chicken, I baked my 163rd batch of brownies, I chased my nephews and giggled with my sisters, I played board games that stressed me out (seriously! how am I supposed to know where port originated from?!?!!?!) I went for a pint with my fiance and his family, I lounged on couches with my best friend under blankets chitchatting, I laughed so hard at my other bestie’s recent work issues, I got told over and over again that I had gotten really hot since I lost weight (it was sweeter than it sounds). I watched my aunt really struggle at dominoes and resort to cheating, I bowled badly and bitched when a seven year old kept hogging the ball I wanted (how small are my hands?!)


I finally watched Jurassic World and fell asleep during Mad Max.


Honestly, I could go on.


But I won’t. I think I’ve made my point. I was sick so I couldn’t train and I’m glad I couldn’t. Sure I feel a little guilty, and getting back up to form will be tough but it was worth the wonderful Christmas I spent trying to get better. I had time to really spend with my loved ones. I don’t regret that for a second. So if you’re like me and are facing that envitable moment when you have to squish back into that sports bra and kick ass after a good long break during Christmas, just remember, it’s called the holidays for a reason. Sometimes you have to take a break, sometimes missing the gym or skipping that bootcamp is ok. Afterall, it’s not all the time, it’s only for a little while.


And there ain’t nothing wrong with that…

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