Three Things Friday


green floral 50s-inspired dress

(Dress c/o Joanie Clothing; shoes – H&M)

I found it pretty hard to come up with three positive things to write in my journal every single day this week.

Technically, of course, it should have been easy. It is, for many people, the happiest time of year after all, but although we had good results from last Saturday’s blood test, I’ve found it hard to shake off the conviction that something’s about to go terribly wrong, or to deal with the fact that, over a month after my ectopic pregnancy diagnosis, I’m STILL not back to “normal”, and am still dealing with blood tests, and hospital visits, and all of the fears and sadness that come with this kind of situation. Also, I think the contrast between what I should be feeling/what other people are feeling right now (i.e. getting excited over Christmas, planning for the holidays etc) and how I’m actually feeling has been pretty stark, and has made me feel a bit like I’m on the outside of life, looking in: like that one kid whose parents won’t let her out to play in the snow, so who’s forced to just sit inside pressing her nose against the window and wishing things were different, instead.

It could be worse: I know that, obviously, so, in the spirit of recognising that it could be worse, and that there’s still a whole lot to be thankful for, I have continued to dutifully come up with three positive things, which I’ve written in my journal every single day. For these posts, though, I’ve decided just to share three overall – partly for privacy, but, let’s face it, mostly because of length. I mean, look how long this post is with just THREE positive things? Can you even IMAGINE what it would be like I’ve I tried to share them ALL?

So, here are three good things that happened this week…

img_6620-101 – A gift from friends

A couple of months ago, Terry and I were out having dinner, and I couldn’t help but overhear some of the conversation the couple at the next table were having. OK, I was listening, I admit it: I am a terrible person. But then again, if I hadn’t been listening, then YOU wouldn’t be reading this awesome story right now, so every cloud, huh? Anyway…

The man was telling his date (or what I assumed was his date) about a very awful, horribly traumatic thing that had happened to him several years ago, and which obviously still deeply affected him. It… wasn’t really great “date” material, to be honest, but it WAS a really awful story, and at the end of it, the man paused for a second to reflect. “You know what the worst thing was, afterwards, though?” he asked his date, who clearly didn’t have a clue how to respond to this, so simply shook her head mutely. “It was the way people kept telling me that ‘these things happen for a reason'”, the man told her. He paused again. “I mean, I know they meant well,” he continued. “But it was just… I just wanted to… you know… punch them in the face every time they said it. I wanted to say, ‘Oh yeah? And what reason could POSSIBLY be good enough for me to have to go through that, then? What reason could there be?'”

Neither I nor the date had an answer to that: because the fact is, there IS no reason for some of the terrible things that happen to people – or I don’t think so, either. My restaurant neighbour obviously didn’t either. “The thing is,” he concluded, “I actually believe in God, too. But it really tested my faith, and I just didn’t get why people kept on trying to pretend there was some ‘reason’ it happened. It made me feel like it must have been my fault or something.”

At this point, I had to stop myself getting up and giving the poor guy a hug, because I could not have agreed more with him. I’m NOT a believer, as many of you know, so while I do understand that people are trying their best to comfort me when they say this, and that, in itself, is of some comfort, I literally laughed out loud when I opened this card from my friends Lindsay and Steven, and their little girl Sienna last week. Er, I know this point started off not sounding even remotely like a “good thing”, but not only were the thoughtful card, and the gift which accompanied it very good things indeed, the knowledge that I have friends who totally GET me, and who know how I feel about stuff like this was even better.

(Oh, and once that traumatic story was out of the way, I’m happy to report that the date seemed to go well, and I saw them leave the restaurant laughing and holding hands. I was quite relieved, I must admit…)

img_655002. Christmas, Part 1

As I mentioned in this post, we celebrated Christmas a week early with Terry’s family, who we aren’t going to be able to see on the day itself. I’ve already written a bit about this in my previous post, so I don’t have much more to add, but it was definitely the highlight of the week: so much so, in fact, that I’m thinking we should make it an annual tradition, and have two Christmas days EVERY year. (And yes, I know that sounds pretty rich coming from the original Christmas grinch over here, but like I’ve said before, it’s not Christmas itself I don’t like – it’s just the run-up to it, and the way it becomes such an obsession for everyone for such a long time. If we could cut out all of that, but still have Christmas day – or two of them, even – I’d be totally down with that.)

dsc_114103. Joanie Clothing to the rescue

Finally, earlier this week I received an early Christmas gift from Joanie Clothing, which is a new-ish UK-based retro brand.  Now, I WAS going to try to pass this dress off as “festive”, purely because it’s green, with a touch of red in it, but I think you all know me well enough by now to know that it doesn’t have to be Christmas for me to want to wear a green dress, does it? No, it does not. Instead, then, I’m just going to go ahead and admit that I’m wearing this dress just because I love it: it has one of those fabulous full skirts that doesn’t require a petticoat, and … well, it’s a green, 50s-inspired dress: do I really need to go on, here?

Anyway, by the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to the hospital, for another round of blood tests, (the fact that my stomach flipped over with nerves just from typing that sentence will tell you exactly how I feel about THAT…), and I very much doubt I’ll be looking anything like the photo above, so I’ll save the rest of the items in my Joanie Clothing package for another post, hopefully tomorrow. Fingers crossed….


  • Merry Christmas Amber (Terry and Rubin too), I hope you can have a restful time the next few days and your recovery continues to go well.

    We tend to have two Christmas Days every year, one with my parents, one with DHs. They tend to be on actual Christmas Day and Boxing Day so some years I can barely move by the 27th! Ha 🙂

    Much love and festive good wishes xx

    December 23, 2016
  • Hope your blood tests are well! I would LOVE two Christmases as well – provided that I’m just a guest for at least one of them and don’t have to do anything but enjoy the food and company!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    December 23, 2016
  • Merry Christmas Amber. It’s been a tough time for you and I hope you can get some respite over the coming weeks xx

    December 23, 2016
  • I can go on a very long philosophy rant at people who tell me things happen for a reason. I know they mean well but it’s basically a hangover from our belief that suffering is somehow a good thing.

    The brain has a negativity bias which means it’s harder for positive experiences to become positive neural structures. If you have a positive experience, stay with it and feel it as long as possible. Really bathe in the experience.

    And feel however you feel. You’ve been through something horrible. It’s okay to have been anxious or to still be so and I know full well the feeling of looking out for the bad thing despite the good stuff. Had my own things going on recently.

    Merry Christmas and be kind to yourself. And I hope all is well with Rubin the dog.

    December 23, 2016
  • hope the blood tests etc went well. I’ve been thinking of you often. I never expected to be as invested in the health of someone I’ve never met! But the way you write is as if we’re already friends.

    December 23, 2016
  • Aww that Christmas dinner sounds so lovely! There really isn’t anything better than eating with the people you love the most. Hopefully your hospital appointment goes well! 🙂 x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    December 23, 2016
  • Karlie Hand


    We had that kind of Christmas last year. There was really no way to get into the holiday spirit. After trying for a few days we gave up and just went what ever we felt at that moment. We found that by not doing what we were “supposed ” to do we actually got more into the days. Sending good wishes your way.

    December 23, 2016
  • Genevieve


    Thumbs up, Amber! I really hope the tests go well this week, and thanks for keeping all your internet friends in the loop. We really are genuinely concerned. Have a great day!

    December 23, 2016
  • Maria


    Hope you have a lovely Christmas .. have you ever read any of the writings on elephant journal ? There was a peace yesterday which I think may resonate with you.. xxxxx keep trying to smile darling lady ! I’m sure it’s like fibbing to yourself but remember …’fake it til you make it’ xx

    December 23, 2016
  • This post really resonated with me. One of pet hates is the ‘It Could Be Worse’ brigade. Yes, yes it could. But you know what? I am also allowed to feel bad about whatever crappy event I’m dealing with too, without the extra guilt trip thank you people!

    My fiancé suddenly passed away aged just 30 in 2014 due to an unexpected virus. Obviously, this tragic event is pretty high up on the ‘Bad Shit To Happen’ scale but the brigade (an old school pal) soon piped up with: “I guess it’s less painful that going through a divorce, eh?” Erm…no words. I politely smiled and nodded whilst pitying her complete lack of judgement.

    Luckily, this bereavement made me wiser, stronger and grateful for the life I have, however people can be wildly insensitive at time it seems!

    I hope the results go well and that you manage to enjoy the Christmas period. I find cake and Processo help to hurry along the Christmas cheer 😉

    Ps I agree, Joanie Clothing are amazing! I was lucky enough to attend their Christmas Launch party and got a sneak peek at the new line. So many pretties! I have my eye on at least four dresses now.

    Merry Christmas Amber, much love. Lisa xx

    December 23, 2016
    • The Other Emma


      Lisa, first of all I’m sorry for your loss, it must have been horrific for you. Secondly, what in the name of god was that person thinking? I can only hope that they couldn,’t find the right words to convey sympathy and instead just blurted that out but still that’s up there as one of the worst things I’ve heard people say.

      December 23, 2016
  • Rotem


    Such a beautiful dress!
    Good luck with your blood test, crossing my fingers that everything goes well.

    December 23, 2016
  • Myra Boyle


    Simply sending love, that’s al ???❤️❤️❤️

    December 23, 2016
  • that dress is so cute!
    I’m glad to hear that date at the restaurant went well in the end. what the man said is so true! thanks for sharing

    December 24, 2016