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Me and Mine: A Family Portrait Project 2014- March.

on Monday, 31 March 2014.

March has been a pretty good month in the life of our little family.

We started the month off with my 30th birthday something which I was dreading and looking forward to in equal measure.  I ended up being so spoiled by lovely husband and family, and we had our first night away just the two of us in three years.  It was amazing.

The rest of the month has gone so quickly, we have been busy most weekends seeing friends or having trips out, or just generally enjoying the mundanity of day to day life together.  Mads now does swimming lessons at half eight on a Saturday morning which is a rush to get ready every week but once we have done it, it does mean we are up and ready for the day ahead early.  On our quiet weekends Mr E and I have been taking it in turns going out for a run as we are both still in the throws of our fitness kicks.   

While I love being busy at the weekends, I do relish the quiet times.  As I write this it's Sunday afternoon, Mr E is on a bike ride, the girls are in bed, and I am sat on the sofa relaxing with a diet coke and a pack of chocolate buttons.  I had a very long overdue house tidy as well, I don't know what it is but there's something so satisfying about relaxing in a freshly cleaned house.  Or is that just me?

For our March 'Me and Mine' photos we woke up last weekend and the sun was shining but we didn't really know where to go.  Neither of us felt like making an effort this month, some months we are up for trying new things or new potential locations, but this month we just weren't feeling it. We decided to drive over to the little village I grew up and went to school in as it is where I am doing my first half marathon and I wanted to check out the route. (Plus LL needed a morning snooze and the car is guaranteed to make her zzzz!)

It's the most beautiful little place and is where my Mum's beauty salon is so we stopped in to say hi to her.  We ended up getting quite late for lunch and so we decided to give photos a miss but as we were driving out of the village I noticed all the daffodils had sprouted by the old castle wall.  We pulled over, laughing hysterically because there was a netball match going on at my old school and they were all staring at us strangely making funny faces at the camera stuck on a tripod.  Mr E is rather used to the humiliation now.  

I am actually really pleased with these photos.  We haven't really got any of us smiling and all looking at the camera, but the story behind them is what means the most.  As anyone with small children will  know, it isn't always the most plain sailling trying to get them to cooperate and look at the camera, especially when it's mounted on a tripod with no one behind it.  I do genuinely love capturing a family portrait each month, but sometimes I do feel like it's not the most enjoyable for Mr E and the girls, he loves the finished results but it's certainly driven by my intense desire to document our lives.  It can get stressful on occasions, and sometimes you see a happy family photo (of which we are) but the situation leading up to it wasn't exactly stress free.  

But these photos were just a happy Saturday morning with my little family.  We snapped four photos in a couple of minutes, laughed as we did it, and then went home to relax.  Simple, easy and how it should be.  It's not about a picture perfect moment with us all in matching outfits smiling at the camera. (Although we do match pretty well unintentionally!)  Unfortunately sometimes we are all victims of making life look like something out of a magazine on our blogs, instagram and other social media but it's not about always about that.

 At the end of the day it's just about the memories... 

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(I had a remote but it broke and I haven't bothered buying another one because I find that by setting the self timer then running back, it makes the girls look in the direction of the camera.  Sometimes I don't make it back in time. Like in this one- Mr E says I look like I am crouching to do a poo!  I'm not I promise.)

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...And this particular Saturday was just a simple ordinary day with not much to talk about.  But these photos captured a day where I can honestly say there is no where else I would have rather been.

A happy ordinary Spring day with the people I love most.

 

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 This month I am sending you to have a look at Charlotte's lovely blog to see what she is getting up with her little family.  Be sure to go and have a look.  

Blogger and self hosted code:

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #13 Having a Sister...

on Sunday, 30 March 2014.

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When we found out we were having another daughter at my twenty week scan, I couldn't help but flash forward and imagine life with two girls.  Two little ladies running around hand in hand causing mischief,  two little ladies cuddling under the covers giggling together and two little ladies holding hands and running along outside.  Sharing toys, sharing friends and sharing secrets.

I imagined them when they were older arguing like cat and dog, bickering over clothes, boys and general things that sisters argue about.  With just twenty six months between them, I saw a lifetime of fun, friendship and hopefully a ready made best friend.  There are ten years between myself and my sister and we are so close, but with a much smaller age gap I hoped that my girls would be real kindred spirits.

When LL was born thirteen months ago, Mads blew me away with the way she was with her sister.  To this day, I cannot even really put into words the experience of them meeting for the first time, the way she stroked her face and watched her so intently.  Since then she really has been so kind and caring towards her, she loves her little sister more than anything.  She shares everything with her, cuddles her non stop, tickles her, plays with her and looks out for her.

The other day we were in soft play and were just about to leave.  LL was in her buggy and a boy a little younger than Mads came over to see her.  At first I thought he was being sweet and just stroking her face, but then he started to hit her and try and poke her in the eye.  Of course his Mum was nowhere to be seen so I told him nicely not to but he kept doing it and LL was getting upset.  Suddenly Mads flung herself into the buggy and shouted 'Please leave my sister alone.'  I have to admit I was secretly proud of her for standing up for LL.

Life isn't always plain sailing with these two.  As LL is getting bigger, they occasionally test each others patience.  Mads is generally very patient but LL is the stroppy one, getting cross if Mads doesn't share her biscuit immediately or give her the toy that she was playing with.  Mads wants to cuddle her all the time, and sometimes LL doesn't like it.  Their little arguements make me chuckle as I can imagine what they will be like when they are a bit older.

But above all, they have an unbreakable bond already.  They giggle non stop, and LL's whole face lights up when she sees her sister after some time apart, even just after their afternoon naps.  Mads says LL is her best friend and she continues every day to be the perfect big sister.  

Like putting a protective arm around her little sister on the swing.  I am so proud of her.

I am so very proud of both of them.  

My lovely little sisters.

 

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Miscellaneous Memories #14 - 12 Hours...

on Thursday, 27 March 2014.

Our weeks seem to whizz by in a blur of routine, fun and occasional mundanity.  We have settled into a pattern of different things on each day, with Monday morning being when we see my Mum, Tuesday and Thursday morning being nursery days, and Wednesday and Friday being days for seeing friends.  

Sometimes the days are long and I breathe a sigh of relief when I sit down on the sofa once they are in bed.  Sometimes I look like a bit of a stalker, watching out the corner of my eye for Mr E's key to turn in the lock so I can hand over some responsiblity of parenting for a few hours.  Sometimes we are having so much fun that I don't even notice that it's bed time.  

I have written a couple of day in my life posts before but I decided yesterday to set myself a little challenge to take a photo on the hour every hour to see what we got up to in a day, setting an alarm on my phone to remind myself to do it.  It wasn't a particularly exciting day, but it's our ordinary life and it will be great to look back on...

12hoursa

8am- We woke up about 7.10am which is pretty good for as at the moment as Mads has been getting up earlier than normal.  After a spot of breakfast we went upstairs to get ready at 8, we always get them ready on our bed.

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9am- I have to do around half an hours work most mornings and the girls are pretty good, but yesterday involved a little bit of chocolate rice cake and iPad bribery. #parentingfail

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10am- Clearly a hilarious renactment of Toy Story going on with Rex in the starring role.

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11am- We headed over to a friends house for a play date.  Play dates of course mean sugary lollies we wouldn't normally be allowed at home!

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12pm- My friend wanted to treat us to lunch so we headed off out for a walk to the tea shop.  LL hitched a ride in her little friend's wheels. 

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1pm- Saying goodbye.  Always emotional.

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2pm- Home and late for nap time.  The realisation was kicking in for LL that it was time.

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3pm- Still snoozing.

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4pm- Girls were still snoozing so it was necessary for a little sit down on the sofa for a browse of social media!

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5pm- Awake and partaking in our daily ritual- an after nap Rich Tea biscuit and a spot of television.

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6pm- Mr E back from work and I headed off for a quick 5k run.  It was horrible as I am recovering from a sickness bug, plus it was so cold and rainy.

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7pm- Splashing is hilarious.

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8pm- Girls fast asleep in bed a bit later than usual.  After eating dinner with them earlier, it was then time to tackle the washing up.  

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9pm-  And relax!  A lie down on the sofa with a spot of blogging before switching off for the evening.

And that's it!  I always go to bed far too late and then wake up like a zombie the next morning ready to do it all over again.  Just an ordinary day in a very ordinary life of raising two little people. 

Working with eBay Collections....

on Thursday, 27 March 2014.

Almost everyone I know has an eBay profile.  Even my Mum has an eBay profile and she struggles to turn the computer on and off. (She also reads this blog when she does manage to work it- Hi Mum!)  I have had a eBay profile for years, buying so many different things from the site, including makeup, iPods, phones, toys and clothes.  I have also used eBay in the past to earn a little bit of pocket money from selling things that we no longer use or need.  We have even sold one of our cars on there as well, so it's safe to say I am a fan.

Which is why when I was asked to work alongside them a few months ago on a top secret project they were working on, I was really excited.  They have just started 'eBay collections' which are a series of mood boards full of their products made by their members, and it's a great way of being inspired by others. 

For example, I have a *slight* obsession with wooden toys for the girls, and also for kitchen bits which I have documented a few times.  Therefore one of the collections I created was 'Wooden Toys for Kitchen Roleplay'- full of more gorgeous little wooden toys on my wishlist for Mads and LL.  

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Or because I am currently on a keep fit mission I created a 'Getting fit after Baby' collection, full of my dream wish list fitness items.  It really is as simple as that.  It's great to see what other people are inspired by and it gives you great ideas for products for your family, home and even for yourself. 

I have really enjoyed working on this project with eBay, and the other day I got a tweet from the lovely Baby Budgeting to say that she had just seen me on the front page.  To say I was excited was an understatement.  When I started blogging, I never thought that I would be on the front page of one of the most popular sites in the world next to Dannii Minogue and Reggie Yates.  Crazy!  

Of course I had to screen shot it so I could remember my two minutes of fame...

 

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Can you spot us? 

 

I really enjoyed taking part in this project, and I think eBay collections are going to be huge.  It's really addictive to create these wishlists and so fun to see what is inspiring others too.  You can check out the rest of my eBay collections here. 

 

This post is in collaboration with a project I am doing with eBay UK.

 

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