I have had such a lovely, but busy, weekend.
On Friday I drove down to Shropshire with 4 of my friends from uni. That evening we watched one of my friends play a gig in a local pub, which was so nice as he was really good. His name is James Millerin and you can listen to him on Youtube here - his covers are amazing!
On Saturday we caught the train to Birmingham. The German Christmas market started late last week, so we spent the majority of the day looking around the stalls and eating. Mainly eating. The market has so many amazing smells coming from it - my favourite stall is definitely the garlic bread stall. It is ciabatta bread with garlic sauce and cheese melted on top - I literally almost cried when I tasted it. But I would also recommend the doughnut stalls and the Bailey's hot chocolate.
We did the same last year - you can see more photos of the Christmas market here.
After a shop we caught the train back home and my parents cooked us a 3 course meal of stuffed squashes, lasagne and chocolate trifle. My parents are so thoughtful and giving; they definitely helped make the weekend.
This morning we took the dogs for a walk in the countryside, and then had a full-blown Christmas dinner for lunch; crackers and pigs in blankets included. We all took turns to read our awful jokes (which made it feel exactly like Christmas Day), and wore our paper hats for the main and the Christmas pudding with brandy butter.
I am even more excited for Christmas now (if that is even possible), and can't wait to spend a couple of weeks with my family. It was so nice to spend time with them as well as my friends this weekend - I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many incredible, if slightly weird and funny, people!
You're so hard on yourself. Take a moment. Sit back. Marvel at your life: at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything, you still grow. Be proud of this.