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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #44 ' Rambling, Reflecting and Feeling Thankful.

on Sunday, 23 November 2014.

I don't know what it is about this time of year.  While I love December and the anticipation of Christmas more than any other month, I find that I become very reflective and almost a little sombre around this time each year.  I find that my mood is very up and down- one minute I can be really excited and festive, the next minute I can feel a little down in the dumps.  But more than that I think this time of year makes me more anxious and as silly as it sounds, a little more fearful.  

I worry about things more. I think some of it is inevitable- the dark nights, grey days and horrible weather aren't the most welcome of visitors, and they can dampen any mood.  It can be absolutely ridiculous or far fetched things such as going into Central London in case there is a terrorist attack, or worrying about Mads and LL going in the car without me when it's raining or bad weather.  In my mind I know I am being a bit dramatic and OTT but it's almost like at Christmas- the time where picture smiling images of family and happy times are absolutely everywhere you look- I am fearful that something may burst our own little bubble of happiness.  

I am very much a wear my heart on my sleeve type of person and I am a natural born worrier.   I constantly tell everyone in my family that I love them and I say to Mr E about five times a day 'Aren't we lucky?' or 'We are so lucky to have our girls.'  And that's the thing, I genuinely mean it.  I think becoming a mother has made me realise just how fragile life can be for some and how thankful I am for my family.  While I have always worried about the what if's and have always been quite anxious on occasions, having Mads and LL has made me a lot worse.

But while it has made me more fearful of those unspeakable what if's, it's also made me a lot more positive.  I would go as far as to say becoming a parent has made me a better person.  It's made me incredibly grateful to be able to have those mundane, not very exciting parts of life that before I was a mother I wouldn't have given a second thought to.  I've always had a very close family, but it's made me appreciate them even more if that's possible.  

On Mondays we spend the morning with my Mum, they are my favourite day of the week as I love spending time with my Mum, we all adore her.  This week we went over to see my Grandma as it was her birthday.  I snapped a few photos of my girls and her on my iPhone, not thinking anything of it at all.  However when I looked at them a few days later, they actually made me get tears in my eyes

Being able to have the ability to take photos, to make videos, to record memories, is such an amazing thing.  To be able to freeze these moments, to replay them and to look at them is such a great privilege.  

But the even greater privilege?  To be able to experience them. 

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A Wet and Windy Trip To Scarborough...

on Tuesday, 18 November 2014.

When LL was just a few months old, we went on our first family holiday to Scarborough in North Yorkshire.  I randomly found via google a gorgeous cottage just outside of the little seaside town at a place called Humble Bee Farm.  We booked and paid for it before LL was born and when we eventually did visit we had a great time-  I have such fond memories of our first little break away as a family of four.  Humble Bee Farm is a working farm with lots of animals to see, it's perfect for little ones- you can even collect an egg for breakfast each morning from the hens which we did the first time we were there.  It's home to three amazing cottages, some pretty cool wigwams which our friend's have stayed in before, and also camping pitches too.  We really loved our adventure there back in May 2013.

Therefore a few weeks ago I was really excited to receive an email asking if we would like to go back to stay at Humble Bee Farm for a couple of nights.  We jumped at the chance to go back there but sadly due to Mr E having to work he wasn't able to come with us.  Still we got my second favourite big person in the form of my little sister Anna, who kindly said she would come along.  We were all really looking forward to our sisterly break.

We set off on Wednesday morning and didn't arrive in Scarborough until late afternoon as we unfortunately had car trouble- my car decided to break down on the side of the A1 in the pouring rain which was quite a scary experience.  Luckily a knight in shining armour (in the form of the RAC man) came to our rescue, and although the car wasn't completely better, he said it was ok to go on our merry way as long as we took it slow.  

Our cottage 'Merry Dale' was as gorgeous as I remembered- cosy, warm and inviting with a rather fabulous hot tub in the garden.  The girls were so excited to be there with their Auntie Anna and Mummy and after a dinner out at ASK, we all settled down in front of the fire for the evening.  We didn't actually end up doing all that much during our stay, it was just so wet and windy, so we spent a lot of time snuggling in the cottage and taking advantage of the 'bubbly swimming pool.'  In actual fact it was just what I needed- just to chill out for a bit and not rush around.

As usual, I thought because we didn't do that much, I hadn't taken that many photos but it turns out I still have a fair few that I love.

Here is our trip to Scarborough in photos and a little video...

 

a trip to scarborough

As soon as they woke up on our first morning they were straight in the hot tub- they loved splashing around- such a great idea for families as a little extra bonus to your stay at the cottage.

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There is nothing better than watching them giggle.

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They absolutely loved the bubbles.

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Funnily enough when we were here last time I got a photo of Mads in the hot tub that is one of my favourites of her ever, and this one is also now one of my all time favourites too- I think it's the fact she is completely happy and natural.  

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She was telling the duck off for splashing.

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LL is growing up so quickly all of a sudden- she still isn't talking much but is now saying about ten words.  I am willing time to slow down a little.

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Even though it was really cold we had to go out and visit these amazing rainbow beach huts again.

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I love this one of my girlies- I think I may get it framed for somewhere, although we are running out of space on our walls!

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Also looking rather grown up- and very, very cheeky!

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They had so much fun running up and down, playing games and being silly.  

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They are really playing with each other a lot at the moment, it's very sweet to see.

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 We went down on to the beach for a bit as quite frankly you can't go to the seaside without going and having a little paddle in the water.

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She always has a look of mischief on her face.

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It got so cold so quickly, our hands and fingers went so numb.  Why is the seaside in Winter always so cold?

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Writing their names in the sand.

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We had to go and warm up in a little tea room- and of course cake was compulsory too.

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We went back and had a snuggly afternoon back at our cottage- we got these cute little gingerbread snowmen to decorate as a little rainy day activity to do while away.

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Our creations.

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It was such a treat having the hot tub in the evenings when the girls were in bed- that really is the beauty of a cottage and the fact you don't have to hide out in the bathroom or go to bed at 8.30pm like you so often have to do in hotels.  One night we shared a bottle of bubbles in the bubbles. ;) 

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One great thing about Humble Bee Farm is how child friendly it is- they had a big box full of toys and books to keep them amused. 

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My children are like little magpies and are attracted to anything sparkly and bright- they love going to the 2p slot machines when we go to the seaside and to be fair I love it too, it reminds me of being little.

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Having fun even though it was pouring down outside.

 

Here is a little video of our adventures in Scarborough...

 

 

NB: We were invited back to stay at Humble Bee Farm free of charge for two nights after paying full price for a seven night stay the previous year.  Thanks so much to Humble Bee for inviting us- we loved our stay and will definitely be back again in the future.  Check out their website as they have some amazing winter rates if you fancy a little break away., especially in their wigwams.

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #43 'Four Sisters'....

on Sunday, 16 November 2014.

"A sister is a little bit of a childhood that can never be lost."- Marion C Garretty

 

This week we went on a very short break to Scarborough with my little sister Anna and of course with my girls.  Unfortunately Mr E had to stay behind because he is the middle of a big freelance contract and is working hard in the evenings, this was part of the reason we went away, to get out the house and let him concentrate for a little bit.

So the four of us headed off to Scarborough in North Yorkshire for a wet and windy couple of days (more photos coming soon!) together.  While we were there we chatted a lot and reminisced about our childhood together.  There are ten years between myself and Anna, but we are still great friends. However we argue like cat and dog, she has an ability to wind me up like no other person can.  Within a second though, we are giggling like it never happened.  A couple of times on our trip away we laughed about the fact that we would never act like that with our friends, the way we snap and argue and then revert back to being fine again within a minute.  It's really special to be able to share snippets of our childhood that only we know, traits about our parents that only we get and to have that history together that only we can understand.

The same can be said for my girls.  They also have this same pattern emerging as their relationship grows and strengthens.  They bicker, argue and get stroppy with each other, which is amazing really considering LL can still only say about six words.  But just like with myself and my sister, within a second all is forgiven and they are cuddling, kissing and running around together.

I really notice at the moment just how much LL copies Mads.  She idolises her big sister and will follow her around everywhere, running after her, giving Mads her stuffed toys to cuddle and literally squealing in delight when she cuddles them and then gives them back to her.  They are becoming quite the double act, and while we were away Anna and I smiled to ourself on several occasions about just how cute they are together.

This photo was taken when we went on a little walk to see the beach huts and we were playing a game- they had to both run to the colour beach hut we said and the winner was the person who touched the beach hut first.  Of course LL doesn't know colours yet, so Mads always won, but it was really sweet to see LL tottering quickly behind her sister and a couple of times Mads let her win just to see her smile.  I love this phone snap because it completely sums up them at this present moment in time.

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I really hope that my girls will grow up with an unbreakable bond, and I hope that they will always look out for each other and be the best of friends.  There may be ten years between myself and Anna, and she may drive me insane, but I will always be there to look after her and I love her completely.  Mads and LL are even closer in age so I hope that they will be even closer.

I of course would have been thrilled had we found out we were having a boy when I was pregnant with LL, but I really love that I have given Mads the gift of a sister, just like my Mum gave me the gift of mine.  

 

Amsterdam in iPhone Photos...

on Wednesday, 12 November 2014.

I'm aware I have already posted so many photos (and a video!) of our Amsterdam adventures, but I had so many lovely, colourful photos of this beautiful city that I took on my phone camera, that it just seemed a shame not to share them.  Amsterdam is full of inspiration, colour, prettiness and exciting things around every corner, and I could have taken photos all day long.

Here is Amsterdam as through the eyes of my iPhone...

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Our flight with KLM left at 6am meaning that we were in the air for the most beautiful sunrise.

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Everywhere you looked there were beautiful crooked buildings and quaint little streets, we could have walked around for hours just looking in the shop windows and waving at the boats.

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Love this photo of myself and LL- she was in her element exploring and running about.

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We went to Pancakes! Amsterdam for some pancakes (obviously) and the waiter very kindly took a photo of us all.

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As a family we all have a little bit of a thing for pancakes so queued for an hour to get in- they were definitely worth the wait.

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My little lady checking out the tulips.

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 A cuddle with my big girl in Dam Square.

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Waiting for the ferry on the second day of our adventures.

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We went for lunch at Pllek, a cool bar/restaurant made out of old shipping containers.  The girls loved the fact that we weren't sat at a table, instead we snuggled up on cushions. 

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I had falafal, Mr E had a burger and Mads and LL had this weird sandwich which the waiter translated as 'brown sugar.'  We still aren't quite sure what they were eating but needless to say it went down well!

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After lunch we checked out some of the colourful street art, the girls loved running about in the big open space. 

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Posing.  We just loved the colours of all the graffitii and art.

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We hired bikes and had fun exploring the city.  I would love to say I had the bike with the girls in front, but in reality I did it for about two seconds before deciding it was far too scary, and letting Mr E take over.

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Another colourful street, honestly it was just such a family friendly place and we could have walked around for days without getting bored.

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We love you too Amsterdam.  We are definitely planning on coming back very soon.

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You can definitely tell they are not the milkman's.  How alike do they look? ;)

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Another cute little street.

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Is it acceptable to take your children down to breakfast in their pj's?  Probably not, but that's what we did.  It was delicious and Mads became obsessed with these weird chocolate sprinkle things that you put on bread and toast- nice and healthy.  We *may* have smuggled a few home in my bag.

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Taking a photo by the canals on our third day.  Our girls certainly aren't angels all the time, but they were so well behaved all weekend.

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Eating a waffle in Dam Square and watching the world go by.

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Bye Bye Amsterdam, thank you for all the adventures!

 

(Check out the #KLMFlyLocal campaign!) 

 

Check out my other Amsterdam posts-

A Child Friendly Weekend In Amsterdam Part One.

A Child Friendly Weekend In Amsterdam Part Two.

 

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