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Our Holiday to Rhodes- Part One.

on Monday, 14 July 2014.

**Disclaimer- My blog is going to be a sunshiny place this week as I have a whole week of holiday posts coming up.  If it is gloomy or rainy where you are I suggest you look away now!**

 

Every time I look at a photo of our holiday, I get this sudden urge to burst into tears.  That might sound a little silly or dramatic, but I just feel so incredibly fortunate to have been able to experience such a special week with my little family- it didn't feel like just an ordinary holiday to us.  The next few posts are going to be very photo heavy, so apologies in advance but I want to remember every single little detail of it.  Our tan's may be fading, but I want to make sure that our memories don't.  I know that we will all remember it for a very long time.

We didn't know what to expect on our holiday to Rhodes.  We knew we would have a great time, after all you don't go on holiday to have a bad time, but we know from experience that holidays with little people are definitely not the same as just going as a couple.  Having been a real travel bug in my early 20's, we have only been abroad once since Mads was born.  I had visions of it being fantastic, but tiring having to constantly watch their every move in the pool, or on the beach, as well as the change of routine affecting things like sleep.

I need not have worried.  Our Mark Warner holiday exceeded every single expectation we had.  We had an amazing time as a family, while also having the chance to relax and reconnect as a couple.  We had a few hours a day to ourselves while the girls went to the kids club, and my god it was perfection.  I couldn't imagine putting them in a kids club before we went but that part of the holiday was priceless to us, and it's made us fall in love with the Mark Warner ethos.  I have a thorough review of Levante Beach coming up later in the week, but in the meantime I am going to let my many, many photos do the talking...

 

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 On our first afternoon in Rhodes LL was so tired that she fell asleep sat up on the beach which she has never done before.  It was so funny that I had to take a little video of her!

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Levante Beach Resort, like the name suggests, is situated on a beach!  LL clearly was exceptionally overwhelmed by her first sight of the sea.

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Waking up and realising there was sand to play with. (and have a little taste of!)  Mads never ate sand but LL seems to find it quite tasty.

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  I love love love this photo of my three favourites walking together.

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 Mads absolutely adored going to 'Mini Club' and met lots of little friends.  They had some incredible experiences including going windsurfing.  I hid from a distance and watched her, feeling so proud of my little girl doing things she would never normally do.  Her keyworker Rachel was just lovely with her and she has been talking about her adventure's non stop since we left.

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I can't believe that's my little girl on a wind surf.  Amazing!

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I love this photo of my happy girl.  She loved the quality family time she had on holiday and turned from a baby to a toddler overnight over the course of the week, thriving on our attention.

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Every night after the girls had dinner we would walk down to the beach, it became a little part of our holiday routine.  I took so many photos while we were down there as the light was just so dreamy. 

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LL has always been a Mummy's girl but she wouldn't leave Daddy's side on holiday.

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She loved going down to the beach and throwing stones into the sea.  Simple pleasures.

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Cuddles with my big girl.

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And the small one.  Spending quality time with them all made me realise I need to put down my phone a little more.  It was really refreshing to 'switch off' for a week and I even managed to read 4 of my 6 books!

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We knew that lovely Emma and her family were going to be there at the same time as us and we had arranged to go for dinner once or twice, but the four of us ended up eating (and drinking!) together every night while the kids went and watched films in their PJs.  It was amazing to have adult only time (more about the amazing Mark Warner childcare later in the week) and we spent a really special week with the Vanstone family.  

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The sun going down on beautiful Levante Beach- it was honestly just the most peaceful location.

 

Here is the first of two little videos I have made about our time in Rhodes...

 

 

More holiday photos coming up tomorrow! :)

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #26 'A Whole New World.'

on Sunday, 13 July 2014.

For a long time I have seen LL as my baby.  Of course she is my baby, she is my youngest daughter and she is only seventeen months.  But she definitely is part of that so called 'second baby syndrome'- I see her as so much smaller than Mads was at her age.

Whereas Mads was saying a lot by this age, LL is still not saying a word.  Of course she babbles, and she says things which potentially could be words, but she still isn't forming anything particularly distinguishable.  She communicates and is understanding more and more each day, but for the most part she still just seems like a baby.

I am not worried about her, at nursery they say she is the most delightful little girl, and she brightens up any room with her beaming smile and happy persona.  She gives the most amazing cuddles, wants to take 'Sheepy' with her wherever she goes, and has so much love for her Mummy.  Just as I do to her.  She will pass these milestones in time, but for now we are just enjoying her being our LL.  We wouldn't change her for the world.

Last week however, one milestone was ticked off.  After months and months of cruising around the furniture, or walking with the help of her baby walker, or by holding our hands, she finally started walking unaided.  She's not hung about either, going from not doing many steps at all, to being on the go non stop.  

Of course we are so proud of our little girl.  She thinks she is the cleverest ever, and we don't like to argue.  She totters about, taking an eternity to get anywhere but we don't have the heart to hurry her up.  Her smile beams so wide and she giggles in delight if we clap her when she reaches us.  It's so sweet to see her just so damn pleased with herself.  

Yesterday we went to a local village fete and it was the first time she was properly let loose to explore.  She didn't want to stay by our picnic blanket boundary, so kept speeding off making her Daddy run after her and pick her up by her arms, swinging her back to the confines of our little space.  This obviously was the funniest thing ever.  She is still a little wobbly, falling down and getting back up again in the most unladylike manner, and is still at that terribly cute stage where old ladies will stop and watch us in the street as she pitter patters about.  Of course having an audience makes her squeal in happiness.  

It's definitely not an ordinary part of life at the moment, the whole walking thing being a bit of a novel idea for us all.  But we are aware it will all soon be just another milestone ticked off the list- a every day thing, the norm and just plain ordinary.  

So while she claps herself in sheer happiness and has a smile so wide that it makes me get tears in my eyes, we will continue to cheer, praise and celebrate our little lady getting just that little bit more grown up.  She might not be meeting her milestones as quick according to the 'average', but she's more than one in a million to us.

LL Walking July14a

So cute.

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Looking back (and carrying on) even though we shout her to stop.

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Trying to escape!

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So proud of herself.

 

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My Sisters In July.

on Thursday, 10 July 2014.

After a few months of forgetting right until the last minute to capture some photos of my little ladies together, this month I actually have been organised.  This was mainly due to the fact that last week we were on holiday in Rhodes and I had my camera permanently attached to my hand. (unless I was sipping on a strawberry mojito or sunbathing reading my book of course!)  I took a fair few of my sister's over the course of the week, but I thought I would use my favourite set as my 'Siblings' photos for July.  

LL finally started walking on the last day of our holiday after months of half heartedly trying.  She seemed to grow up overnight while we were away, and as a result her and Mads have become even closer.  This also means that their little strops with each other have kicked up a gear as well, but for the most part they are the best of friends and I am loving seeing their relationship grow and develop.  I am excited to see how LL's new view of the world from a walking perspective will affect it.

I took these photos one evening in our little holiday tradition of walking down to the beach after the girl's dinner to catch the last of the afternoon sun, throw stones and eat sand. (in LL's case!)  The light to me was just beautiful at this time as I love that back lit, sun flare kind of photograph.  The girls are wearing my favourite outfits of theirs at the moment- I love their retro style ice cream dresses.  

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Why can't Britain have this golden sunshine all the time?

 

Check out my sister's in...

January

February

March

April

May

June

*****

This month I am sending you to one of my lovely friends and a fellow I Heart Snapping lady- the lovely Hayley.  Her two little people are exceptionally cute and her photography is just gorgeous. Be sure to check them out.

 

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'My Fitness Mission'- June.

on Tuesday, 08 July 2014.

I am interrupting my week or so of holiday posts to post my latest fitness mission update.  When I started trying to get fit back in January, I didn't really deep down think I would stick at it. Pessimistic perhaps but after many wasted gym memberships, two day 'diets' and numerous 'I will start tomorrow's', I wasn't holding out much hope.  But June has been and gone and I have managed to stick at it for the last six months, I am really proud of myself and it definitely has changed my life for the better.  I feel the healthiest I have ever been which is saying something.

Back on the 1st January 2014 I snapped a couple of photos of myself in the mirror with my iPhone.  I wasn't ever planning on sharing them, it was mainly so I could look back and see whether I could notice any difference as the months went past.  However I am being brave and sharing them on here, as I think it just goes to show what a difference six months can make.  I am really nervous, after all it's not every day you show your wobbly bits to the internet, but hopefully it will inspire other people who are thinking about trying to get fitter or feel better about themselves.

six months of fitness

(Note to self- Must remember to clean mirror!)

I have never been overweight but as you can see from the photos I had what you can only describe as a spare tyre round my tummy.  A bit of it was still excess baby weight, but it mainly was from having an unhealthy lifestyle- I would eat chocolate at least twice a day, sharing a large treat bag with Mr E almost every night. In all I have lost a stone and a half, although this fluctuates by a couple of pounds each month if I over indulge or don't do as much exercise.  I have also lost almost 6 and a half inches from my waist.  I am shocked by the change in the two photographs as obviously you don't see the change gradually.  It really has made a difference to my life- I have a lot more energy, I feel healthier, am enjoying buying clothes again and just generally feel happier as well.  Plus I have gained a new hobby when it comes to running, although some months I enjoy it more than others.

Here is how I got on in June...

 

Exercise

 

June has been a bit of a strange month when it comes to exercise.  On one hand, I have not done anywhere near as much running as I would have liked to, mainly because my knee has been playing up so I have had to rest it for a few days inbetween each run, but on the other hand I have experienced some new milestones.  On Father's Day I took part in my first ever race- a local 10k race.      I was so nervous beforehand, but I managed to complete it in 51 minutes 30, which is a new personal record for me.  I was 32nd out of 203 females running in the race and 202nd out of all 518 runners, so I was pretty pleased with myself.

However I have really only been getting out for a run about once a week which isn't ideal, although I have been doing the odd kettlebell workout at home too.  While we were on holiday last week, I impressed myself by getting up early in the morning and going to the gym on four different occasions, although I only did about twenty minutes on the treadmill as it was so hot!

My half marathon is next month and I am terribly nervous as I really haven't been training properly and I still have only done 8 miles at the most.  Let's hope it goes ok!

 

Food.

 

June has not been great in terms of eating, some days I have been good, but on the whole we have eaten out way too much.  I also went on holiday to Rhodes and as anyone who is trying to be good knows, a holiday is bound to throw a spanner in the works.  I drank cocktails every night, ate numerous ice creams and over indulged far too much in the evening buffet.  The puddings each night were divine- yummy creme brulees, creamy mousses and chocolate cake, and as I was on holiday I just couldn't resist filling my plate once. (or twice!)

 I am not strict enough to weigh myself (I don't have scales in my house so only do it when I go somewhere where there are some!) but I can tell that my jeans are a little tight so I think I am going to have to work a little harder this month.  That is my main problem- I just cannot resist sweet treats if they are in front of me. 


Overall.


One of the main reasons I started this fitness mission back in January was because I wanted to feel comfortable in a bikini on our holiday.  And while I still didn't feel completely comfortable as I do still have a wobbly tummy at the bottom, I embraced it and wore one for the first time since Mads was born three and a half years ago.  I know I won't have the figure that I had in my early 20's again, having my little ladies has changed my body, but I finally feel comfortable enough (sometimes) in my own skin to realise that's ok.  I made two little humans and as long as I eat healthily most of the time, do some exercise at least a couple of times a week and have a postive outlook, then I will feel pretty good. 

I wonder what the next six months will bring!

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