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A Christmassy 4th Birthday...

on Tuesday, 30 December 2014.

As I sit writing this if I glance to my right the Christmas tree is still there but it looks slightly depressed- no presents, a little uncared for now the big day is over, and in that limbo period where we all kind of want to pack it away but are also trying to cling on to the festive spirit for just that little bit longer.  

We are actually still in the throes of the holiday season.  Mr E is fortunate that he doesn't go back to work until the 5th January so we are enjoying a lovely long break together.  Christmas came and went in a flash (I have one more post on that to come before it's time to say goodbye for another year) and we had a great time.  In fact until yesterday nap time I hadn't even touched my laptop or really checked social media, bar the occasional instagram photo.  It feels good to have switched off, relaxed and really enjoyed time together as a family. We plan on doing lots more of that too.

It's been exceptionally hectic yet pretty chilled if that makes sense, and although I wasn't going to blog until the New Year I thought I would write about Mads birthday before it's too far past the date.  On Christmas Eve my beautiful little lady turned four and we had a great time celebrating.  Her birthday's have become a little bit of a tradition- we head out to the garden centre to see Father Christmas with friends and have the obligatory cake, before going for some lunch and then heading back home for a while.  In the evening we head over to my Mums where we have a little Christmas party with some of our closest family friends.  

This year was no exception and we had a great time, although it is quite hectic and full on having your birthday the day before Christmas and it means that Mads is utterly wired and exhausted before the big day even even begins.  This year my Mum spent the whole day with us and took us out for lunch so that was really lovely.  I didn't take many photos as the light was so bad but here are the few I took and a little video of my biggest girl's special day.

I can't believe she is four!

mads 4th birthday b

I got Mads a cute little top with the number four on for her birthday which she thought was the coolest thing ever.  We went to the garden centre with three of her little chums and we ate cake for breakfast.

christmas 2014 a

Meeting the big man himself.  The grotto was so good this year as you only went in with the people you were with.  Father Christmas and his elves sang Happy Birthday to Mads which made me get a tear in my eye.

mads 4th birthday c

Mads loved Father Christmas but LL wasn't quite so sure.  She didn't mind him when he was at a distance but when she sat on his knee she wasn't convinced.  Still she didn't cry at least.  

mads 4th birthday

My super talented friend made these Toy Story cupcakes for the birthday girl as she is Toy Story mad.  She absolutely loved them and they tasted delicious.

mads 4th birthday a

Too good to eat.

mads 4th birthday e

They were so excited to put a mince pie out for Father Christmas.  Mads insisted that he just wanted milk although Mr E tried to explain to her that he would probably prefer wine!

mads 4th birthday f

This little lady was super excited even though she didn't really grasp what was going on.

 

A little video of my birthday girl...

 

It still feels surreal to think that our biggest daughter is now four.  I can't quite believe it.  Hopefully the time will slow down a bit so we can fully enjoy her last few months before she starts school in September.  I say it every year but for some reason four is actually making me feel a little emotional, it is the first year I have thought that she is growing up far too quickly.

 

Mads You Are Four!

on Wednesday, 24 December 2014.

To my Dearest Baby Big Girl,

It's Christmas Eve and everyone is excitedly getting ready for the big day tomorrow- rushing to the supermarket to get last minute essentials, wrapping presents while listening to cheesy Christmas music or just spending time with family and friends.  We are doing all that, except we are also celebrating an extra special day.  Your birthday.  Today my biggest daughter turns four.

I often joke about two things.  Firstly that no Christmas present anyone ever buys me again will ever come close to the Christmas present I received on the 24th December 2010.  My early Christmas present and the best one I have ever and will ever receive.  You were worth spending the whole of Christmas in hospital for, worth not seeing my family for as they weren't allowed to meet you or come in the wards as it was shut due to Norovirus, and worth every single Christmas being a teeny tiny bit of a letdown ever since.  After all what can come close to meeting your baby for the first time at the most special time of year?

The other thing I joke about is that it's a rubbish day to have a birthday and that Daddy and I should have planned it better.  But actually deep down I think Christmas Eve is a pretty exciting day to be born.  We do all those festive things, but with the added extra of it being your special day.  You arrived into the world, my little c-section baby, to the sound of an extra special song that means a lot to Mummy and also to the sound of Christmas songs as well.  You wore a Christmas hat from a cracker that Mummy pulled with the midwives at less than 24 hours old and we often said we should have called you Holly or Eve.  There was Christmas music playing on the wards non stop, everyone was in good spirits and it was so quiet- there were only 4 babies born on the whole ward over Christmas time.  That meant that you got extra special attention from all the staff.

And now my biggest girl is four.  The one who made me a Mummy.  The one who changed everything we thought about life.  Who made us realise exactly what is important.  That it's the little things and that as long as we have each other, we couldn't be luckier.  I often stare at you and it takes my breath away- a weird emotion between insane happiness that you are mine and almost a little bit of pain about how life can be so sad and how it can change in an instant.  I can't quite believe you are four.  Three still seems little, still clinging on to the last grasp of toddlerhood.  But four is big.  Four year olds go to school.  Four is a little girl and there is no inch of toddlerhood left. 

You make me so incredibly proud every single day.  As I type this I have tears in my eyes.  Some slight ones over the fact it is so bittersweet just how fast the time is going.  How I wish I could make it slow down, or pause the good bits and replay them again and again.  But mostly my tears are for just how proud I am of you.  You are one in a million- kind, gentle, the worlds best big sister, hilariously funny with a dry, sarcastic wit even at your tender young age, and the most affectionate little person I could ask for.  We have our moments, you can be a stroppy little thing, or have days where you drive me mad, but for the most part you are the loveliest, happiest girl and you brighten up all our days.

I am going to relish these next few months as come September I am going to have to let you go just a little bit and share you when you head off to school.  I am, to be quite honest dreading that day as I just don't want this stage of our lives to be over.  But I know you are ready and you will love and enjoy it, just as you do when you go to nursery two long mornings a week.  

Happy 4th birthday my darling girl.  Enjoy being four and all the adventures it brings.  Thank you for being you.

Mummy loves you more than anything in the world.

But as always you already knew that.

Mummy.

xxxx

madsis4a

madsis4

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #48 '5 Years'

on Sunday, 21 December 2014.

On the 20th December 2009 I awoke to bright blue skies but a blanket of snow on the ground, and with butterflies dancing around in my tummy.  Later that morning, I walked down the aisle in a pretty little boutique hotel ten minutes away from where we lived, and married my best friend in a perfect, happy winter wedding.  A mortgage, a lot of holidays and adventures, and two small children later, we are where we are today.

Yesterday we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.  We aren't big celebrators of our anniversary, the fact it is five days before Christmas means it inevitably it gets brushed aside for the excitement of other festivities, but as it was a mini milestone year of five years we decided this year to have a fun family day to celebrate. 

Five years has really flown by.  Without making this turn into a soppy post, my husband really is my best friend.  We were best friends before we even got together and since I met him almost ten years ago all he has ever done is support me.  He drives me insane and we can bicker and argue like cat and dog but I genuinely feel so lucky to have found someone who will love me unconditionally through all my bad traits and habits too.  He is a kind, generous and truly special person and he has given me the greatest and most precious gifts in the form of Mads and LL.  I love and adore him for giving me the family I always dreamed of.

But soppiness aside, we had a fantastic family day yesterday.  We went ice skating in the morning and were thrilled to find that we had the whole ice rink to ourselves after thinking it would be ridiculously busy.  I was worried that it potentially could have turned into a disaster and that the girls may not have enjoyed it, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  LL absolutely loved whizzing round on the plastic sleigh and Mads was our little star ice skater and didn't want it to end.  We had a lovely time together and laughed non stop.  

After a brief cake stop and a walk around the garden centre and the farm shop to get some yummy steak for our anniversary meal, we headed to the hotel where we got married.  It's only ten minutes away from where we live but we rarely visit anymore as it's quite expensive and not particularly child friendly, although they are always good when you do go in with little ones.  We stopped and had a drink and Mads and LL were on their best behaviour.  It was lovely to walk around and remember our special day.

Then it was home for a carpet picnic, but not just any old carpet picnic- it was a festive version, with little snowflake chocolate brownies and christmas tree crumpets and sandwiches.  Then LL and Mads had a long sleep while Mr E and I relaxed, (and I wrote this post and did this video in record speedy time!) before we got up and went on our annual tradition to drive and go and find the best Christmas lights.  Mr E then cooked us a lovely dinner of delicious steak and sweet potatoes before we snuggled with a glass of bubbly and watched some films in front of the sparkling Christmas tree lights .  

It was a lovely day to celebrate a special mini milestone anniversary.  I say it a lot but I really am thankful to be living our ordinary yet happy life.

 Here's to ten years!

 

Here's some photos from my iPhone and my big camera, and a little video as well...

5thanniversary j

Getting their skates on.

5thanniversary k

My little skaters.

5thanniversary l

I actually love this photo that one of the staff took of us all- I can't believe we were the only ones on the ice!

5thanniversary m

The fake snow was magical- LL and Mads loved it.  A failed attempt at a family selfie.

5thanniversary n

The hotel where we got married- it was just so sentimental visiting with the girls- it's the first time we have been inside with them.

5thanniversary

Who would have thought we would have two small people five years later?  We went on our honeymoon to Mexico and Miami and discussed starting a family while sat sipping cocktails on the beach on Christmas Eve 2009.  Exactly a year later Mads was born.

5thanniversary a

It's such a beautiful place and it holds so many special memories for me.

5thanniversary c

Love this photo of my cheeky girl- I walked down these stairs with my Dad on my way to the room where we got married- I was so nervous!

5thanniversary d

Hat hair.

5thanniversary b

This is the orangery we got married in- obviously the tables were moved but the light was gorgeous with it's whitewashed brickwork and real trees.  We had a harpist sat in the corner who played Fields of Gold as I walked down the aisle.

5thanniversary e

Looking far too grown up- so nearly four!

5thanniversary g

We posed for photos with our family and friends outside these doors- how times have changed!

5thanniversary 0

A family selfie- I love this one!

 

A little video too...

 

 

*****

It's the last 'Ordinary Moments' of 2014 as I am off to enjoy the festive break with my little family.  I think I will more than likely take a bit of a break from this blog other than to maybe put up my usual letter to Mads on her birthday on Christmas Eve.  I have loved seeing everyone's posts over the last year and love that people join in with this little project of mine- I definitely have captured and recorded so much more of those little moments I would have perhaps forgotten than I would have done without it.

I definitely will continue with it in 2015, so if you want to join in next year, whether that's every week or just every once in a while then we would love you too!  

See you on January 4th for the first one of 2015 and Merry Christmas everyone...

xxx

Putting my Girls in a Joint Room- eBay Collections....

on Thursday, 18 December 2014.

I absolutely love to decorate and style my home.  No sooner have I done one project then I want to move on the next one as inevitably decor and paint starts to look tired when four people and two cats live in one little house.  This year we have done two quite large projects, in the form of our living room and a complete bathroom renovation, as well as re-decorating our bedroom.

However next year once we have saved up a little money there is another project I would love to do.   For ages now we have been toying with the idea of putting Mads and LL in a joint room.  Part of me thinks this is a bad idea, mainly because they sleep so well at the moment and I would be worried about that aspect of it, but we also are desperate for space.  Before the girls came along we had a spare bedroom and a lovely little study and we do miss having that space- at the moment our desktop Mac is in our living room which isn't ideal and I work from my laptop on the dining room table. 

Our ideal plan is to put the girls into LL's room together as it is a little bigger and get our study back- it would be great to have a space to do work during the day and the evenings as I work from home and we potential have exciting plans in 2015 for Mr E as well.   I have visions of creating a gorgeous little room for them, with a lovely bunk bed for them both and making it a great shared space that they will love.  However it all just depends on costs and time really, as at the moment LL is still in a cot and I am in no hurry to move her as she sleeps from 7pm until 8am the next day.

I have lots of ideas for their bedroom, but one theme I am thinking of is rainbow colours.  I absolutely love colour and our whole house is super bright and cheerful.  I look at this photo of them both and I wonder how I could incorporate rainbow colours into their new room.  

a trip to scarborough8

Last week I mentioned how I am working with eBay again to highlight their fab collections tool.  I already have lots of collections set up from a few months ago, including my cosy living room inspiration one, but I also have now set up a rainbow bedroom collection.  It works in very much the same way as pinterest, I use it to collate items into my wish list and then use it as inspiration for when I am planning.  

I love some of the things I have on there so far...

rainbow

1.  I love Farg Form and Mads already has one of their lampshades in her current room, but I love the idea of getting them matching duvets but in different colours for their bunk beds- these ones are super cute and come in a variety of different colours.

2.  Who doesn't love the Care Bears?  Mads and LL already have a care bear each but I thought about getting a couple more so they can sit on the top of their wardrobe in the colours of the rainbow.  Although they have far too many stuffed toys as it is- the charity shop is going to be doing well off us this Christmas.  Mean Mummy.

3.  I have seen this cute rainbow ornament on Lucy's blog and also on some other cute blogs and shops- I think it would look great in their joint room!

4.  I had a night light like this when I was little and I just love this cottage one.  

 

Those are just some of the things on my rainbow collection but I am adding to it daily.  Does anyone else's children share a room?  Do you find they keep each other awake?  We are so torn about what to do!

*****

I have a competition running to win a £20 eBay voucher- it's so simple to enter, you just need to follow one of my collections, either my living room one or bedroom one, using the rafflecopter below!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
NB: This Collection is part of an eBay competition that is running over December and if you Follow you will be in with a chance win an eBay voucher to the value of £20. The winner will be chosen at random from their eBay ID and notified by the 5th January 2014.
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