Tom’s 18th birthday


I just had to pop up and share some pictures of Tom’s 18th Birthday this weekend. Some of you I know catch up with me on Instagram and Twitter and I have loved reading and chatting to you after I posted a couple of pics on there, however I know not all of you do social media stuff, plus I get more chance to chat here of course!

There were such lovely responses to my last blog from so many of you, as always being so very kind to me, so thoughtful and full of wonderful wishes for Tom… Thank you so so much.

Now it’s official, Tom is 18… and we certainly celebrated big time at the most loveliest venue… I figured with such a large guest list (Tom has lots of important people who mean so much to him and us too) it would be sensible to have it somewhere other than home! Though aside from happily passing the catering side over (you know me!)

I still do love doing all the details, so beautiful jugs from home were brimming with peonies, roses and tulips, a projector screen full of photographs of Tom’s 18 years was set up , garden games, a table tennis table, Joe’s band kit was all set up and ready and a wicked playlist lent from a friend was geared up to go full of great dance tunes.

Saturday morning brought hailstones and the wind whipped up as I valiantly tried to create my Instagrammable balloon arch installation and all I can say is… it did NOT take 30 minutes as Pip my niece, always positive and event organiser extraordinaire calmly told me…

And… DO NOT use chicken wire as Lars the Queen of the balloon arch on Pinterest suggested… POP POP POP …yup of course doh, sharp edges etc … but still I tried!! (The orange balloons popped the most… how weird as they were all the same brand.) I had really wanted it to be up the day before so I could relax and enjoy the morning of Tom’s day. Dan however is sooo crazy busy that it was pushed back to the day itself and then only after drums and band kit had been collected and doughnut wall erected.

I was internally YELLING, as I’m sure you can imagine but Maddie luckily was on hand to help me, once we had got some balloon clusters up I started to breathe and miraculously it worked. As you can see, providing such a perfect and colourful backdrop for Tom as he welcomed everyone. I have so many lovely pictures sent onto me that I must make another photo box book for him to pore over and relive it all.

Joe’s band played a few songs, they were fabulous and are really gaining in confidence with each gig they do, they finished with a rendition of Happy Birthday and to hear everyone singing away was totally fab… I took that as a cue and Tom and I headed up to the microphone for speeches.

Dan had been writing something the night before so I hadn’t even thought about what to say, as although I’m usually the one to speak he clearly wanted to. However on the day it was a very definite no, he just couldn’t manage it so Tom and I took the mike. Tom thanked everyone and when asked what being 18 meant he paused, lent into the mike and simply said “Beer”! Everyone roared with laughter. I then said a few words off the cuff I was so full of emotion but it appears I wasn’t alone as lots of mopping up of tears was going on all around me.

It proved to be all too much for Tom after we cut his cake he buried his head and cried and we just stood quietly together… that moment was all mine and I was so grateful that my friend caught it on camera, I will treasure it forever.

The cake he cut was a triumph, an absolute work of art. I asked the same lady who had made the incredible “ burger” cake for Tom’s last Birthday , this time giving her a random list of things that are important to Tom….

A rucksack, a baseball cap, a Music CD, chocolate, Beer and Coke bottles! I told you it was random!

Becca nearly abandoned it as it was such a challenge but in her own words “she pulled up her big girls pants and pulled it out of the bag, excuse the pun!” creating a detailed masterpiece which looked incredible and tasted it too.

Dan made a masterpiece of a Donut wall from a huge piece of MDF covered in Avenger wallpaper which I varnished and then 72 pegs were cut and fitted to hold 72 DONUTS …they lasted all of 5 minutes , the wall however will be given a new purpose as Tom’s baseball cap display …genius I thought, though not sure there is a wall in his room large enough, it may need a little resize.

An early start and an emotional and fabulous party totally wiped him out and a little nap was in order just to catch himself back up!

At a milestone Birthday it gives us all a chance to reflect and to recognise how strong our support network is. I am incredibly thankful for my wonderful family and friends and for all the amazing people who have been alongside us, some every single step of Tom’s 18 years and some we have met along the way. All have and continue to play such a massive part in his and our lives.

We are so very very lucky.

Normal service will resume on Thursday and Friday this week where I shall be back with you on QVC looking forward to Kim & Co fashions, super colourful and comfy Adesso shoes and fun in the Lnchtime Show and Morning Show with James Read. I’ve noticed that his three-piece Today’s Special Value on Friday 10th May is actually already available on the website ahead of the launch. It’s amazing how a little bit of colour can make all the difference and James has created his fabulous Sleep Mask with Retinol so we can Tan whilst we sleep and the power of Retinol can also do its work. The Face and Body are both taken care of as is the price courtesy of QVC, one day only though don’t forget.

Our Beauty  Pick of the Month 236931  from Doll10 is very much worth a mention as the fabulous Hydrolux foundation has only gone and supersized! It’s twice the regular size, certainly not twice the price and is a perfect time to try it out whilst it is minus the P&P this month. It it all, clever technologies allowing great coverage (check Doris demo-ing it on her hand) yet it also feels incredibly light to wear, always my top priority!

Talking of brilliant offers it would be remiss of me not to let you know the Big Deal gems on offer this week The Beauty Big Deal is from Elemis and be warned it is flying so quickly I hope there will be some left. Talking of gems!! The Big Deal on Style is a fabulous large radiant cut gemstone ring 341887 my choice is the very beautiful Prasiolite.

And on Extra, the Vitalmax Body skin brush 402493 Oh and don’t forget FIVE4U is £5 off your very first order with QVC just in case you didn’t know!

Back soon but Thank you letters to write… and that may take some time!

Lots of love from Claire, the mother of an 18 year old!!!!




  1. Karen B May 8, 2019 at 5:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire, what a lovely blog. Looks like a great time was had by all. The cake looks fantastic. The pic of you and Tom bought a tear to my eye – so lovely and it says it all – theres nothing like a hug from your mum, even at 18. Shows what a lovely bond you both have. Really lovely. I ordered my Elemis deal today and cant wait to try it, especially the new day cream xx

  2. Jo Tometzki May 9, 2019 at 9:30 am -  Reply

    It’s been a long old road Claire, but one well worth travelling down… to Holland was it? HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM:) xx

  3. Craig rowe May 9, 2019 at 10:33 am -  Reply

    Gorgeous Pics, happy birthday Tom!! Craig xx

  4. Diane May 9, 2019 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    What wonderful pictures Claire your friend captured your moment with Tom beautifully it has bought a tear to my eye.
    When it comes to speeches there is just too much to say in such little time it’s emotional & overwhelming particularly when we have these remarkable youngsters, it’s hard to do them justice just to be natural in the moment is always best I think.
    Onwards & upwards Tom I’m super glad you enjoyed your day X

  5. Maggie Shankster May 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    What a very lovely family you all are,pictures to treasure.

  6. Keryn murphy May 9, 2019 at 10:26 pm -  Reply

    Sounds like Tom had a great party , beautiful photo of you & tom together claire a photograph to treasure xx

  7. Caroline Ackerley May 10, 2019 at 12:52 am -  Reply

    Wonderful pictures, Happy Birthday to Tom

  8. Antoinette Browne May 10, 2019 at 9:27 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire, lovely blog. Happy Birthday to Tom. Wishing him a Happy and healthy future. You have an amazing family. God bless you all.
    Love Antoinette x

  9. Sharr May 10, 2019 at 9:36 am -  Reply

    What a beautiful beautiful young man . Happy birthday Tom xx Sharr x

  10. Sandra Gregory May 10, 2019 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    Glad Tom had a fabulous 18th Birthday, I cannot believe where those 18 years have gone, it only seems like a couple of years ago he was born ! Xx

  11. Margaret May 10, 2019 at 4:18 pm -  Reply

    Happy Birthday Tom xx

  12. Suzanne sharp May 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    Lovely pics for toms 18 th congratulations young man x

  13. Marie Mosconi May 10, 2019 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    Happy birthday to Tom. You are blessed with a beautiful family, Claire.

  14. Linda Knight May 10, 2019 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    What a lovely chap Tom is. Being a grannie to a 19 year old who is on the spectrum only mothers and grannies know what you go through to get to this stage in their life. Many congratulations to Tom.

  15. VALERIE COWLEY May 10, 2019 at 4:53 pm -  Reply

    nice pics, tom has turned into a really nice young man. what a difference a year makes. great party i missed,lol

  16. Rosina Stagg May 10, 2019 at 5:17 pm -  Reply

    I too have a son with Down’s and oh my did i cry when i read your comment and saw the photo of the two of you. If ever a picture told a story, that is it.
    It’s not easy raising a child with Down’s but i wouldn’t change a thing as i am sure neither would you.
    Wish Tom a belated happy birthday and best wishes to you all.

  17. Susan podmore May 10, 2019 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

    Lovely pictures of Tom and you: You must be so pride and they grow up way to fast xx

  18. BENITA JENKINSON May 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    WOW! What a day Tom had, memories to keep forever…Love all the pics…I don’t know Tom personally but I do know he brings you all great joy and we are lucky that you choose to share lots of it with us, and yes, I too shed a tear reading this..Good luck in all you do Tom you are an inspiration…xx

  19. Sandra Simpson May 10, 2019 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    Happy birthday Tom lovely cake bra pictures

  20. Susan finney May 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm -  Reply

    Just perfect ! 😍 xx

  21. Lynne Davies May 11, 2019 at 12:53 am -  Reply

    Looks like you all had a wonderful party surrounded with Love,friends and family wonderful.Loved reading your lovely blog Claire. A very Happy Birthday to Tom xx

  22. Angela May 11, 2019 at 12:30 pm -  Reply

    Such an amazing and inspiring blog. You are all very lucky to have each other. So glad that everyone had a great time, the cake is amazing. Thanks for sharing x

  23. Judith Dunster May 13, 2019 at 7:19 am -  Reply

    Happy birthday Tom xx

  24. Linda Richards May 13, 2019 at 10:42 am -  Reply

    What a beautiful blog Claire. Happy Birthday to Tom sorry its late but only just reading your blog. Love Linda. xxx

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