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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #28 'A First Bike'

on Sunday, 03 August 2014.

When I think back to my childhood of course there are many different snippets and memories that flash into my mind.  Some are permanently there, and others suddenly come flooding back on hearing an old song, seeing a place I used to go, or by looking at the well thumbed old fashioned photo albums piled up in our garage.

I think when we become parents we automatically want to give our children little portions of our childhood.  Likewise, with the not so good bits, we want to leave them behind.  There are childhood memories for all of us from which we want to protect our children from- whether that's bullying, divorce, struggles at school or broken hearts. There are bits we want to make better.  Learn from our parent's mistakes, because we all have them even if they are small, and try and give our children the very best that we can.  

Becoming a Mum has certainly given me the chance to relive the best bits of my childhood.  Christmas has become even more special, an opportunity to reminisce in the excitment and make it even more magical for my two little ladies.  And Summer?  Well Summer to me is the peak of my childhood nostalgia.  So many of my memories feature those few months of warm weather- holidays in Cornwall and learning to surf, picnics and days out, and weeks of no school and constant fun times with my friends.

One huge memory of those Summertimes is being on my bike.  I still vividly remember my Dad teaching me to ride my bike without stabilisers, I can still feel his hands on my back as he gently pushed me to have the confidence to pedal off.  I remember family bike rides, riding round our local reservoir in the sunshine.  I remember one time laughing so hard with my Dad while riding around that I fell off my bike into the middle of a cornfield.  Those memories are so vivid, it was like they were yesterday.  And as I got older, I remember constantly riding round our village with my friends, prank calling boys we liked from our local phone box, and dumping our bikes outside the village shop to go and get penny sweets.  So many of my summer nostaglic memories feature me riding about, in that brief period of time when you feel like you don't have a care in the world.

Earlier this week we bought Mads her very first bike.  It was kind of on a whim, we went in to Halfords to look at buying family bikes for ourselves and a trailer for the girls, (more about that soon!) but Mads was riding round the shop and doing so well that the next day we went and bought her one as a surprise.  It's a little blue 'Pom Pom' bike with a pink bell, ribbons on the handlebars and a little seat on the back for her treasured friend 'Pongo'.  It's perfect for Mads and I don't think I have ever seen her smile as wide as when we gave it to her.  

Nowadays so much of our lives revolve around technology and screens, and I really hope that this little bike will be the start of lots of fun outdoors as a family and for my big girl.  I hope that she and her little bike have many good times together.  It's may just a bike, but it has a lot more meaning than that to me.  It's hopefully the start of a childhood of adventure and fun.

I am determined to help play a part in making that happen.

 

first bike mads1

first bike mads2

 

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

on Thursday, 31 July 2014.

As I write this, my girl's are upstairs having a nap and I am sat in the garden on a blanket enjoying the sunshine.  There's been a lot of that enjoyment in abundance the last few weeks, the weather has just been incredible. (so unlike the UK!)  I genuinely can't remember a time when we had such a long run of sunshine.

We are all delighting in this weather.  Normally after a while it gets a little sticky and humid, and I do that terribly British thing of complaining about the heat and wanting it to get a bit cooler.  But not this year- this year we are grasping every single opportunity we can to be outside and in the fresh air.  There have been picnics practically every day, al fresco dinner time's, numerous trips to the park and lots of time in the garden.  Everything seems that little bit better when the sun shines, and I have been walking around in a semi permanent state of 'I'm so lucky' to be able to spend these moments with my girls.  Until we have 'one of those days' when they are terrors and I can't wait to see bedtime but that's a different matter entirely.

We have been sticking to our routines pretty much, in that they have still have been having an afternoon nap (and I have been having some well deserved sunbathing action in the garden) but we also have had occasions where we have all just been enjoying ourselves too much to go home for a snooze.  Likewise we have had a few late nights, where regular bedtime has been forgotten in aid of a picnic in the park or a late night lolly.

These photos were taken on one such occasion. I had left my Me and Mine photos till the last minute AGAIN, even though we have had lots of times this month where we could have given our camera to someone to snap a picture- namely our holiday, and our recent Wedfest.  I suddenly panicked thinking that I hadn't taken many, and was just going to use the only one we had from our holiday.

a holiday to rhodes 66

However on Tuesday we went for an early evening stroll.  The light was beautiful and I now keep my tripod in the car (I would love to say it's in case I stumble across a perfect photo opportunity but mainly it's because I am too lazy to take it out) so I just had to take some snaps.

I actually really love these photos of us all- it's the light, I just love it.  They make me smile and when I look back on them in years to come they will make me remember that perfect summer we had where I felt so lucky to be enjoying this ordinary life with my little family.

Cheesy but true.

meandminejuly14

meandminejuly14a

meandminejuly14b

meandminejuly14d

And an outtake for good measure...

meandmine14c

 

*****

This month I am sending you over to have a look at my bestie Lucy's blog, where I think she has some pretty memorable photos of her recent trip down memory lane.  

 

A Weekend At Wedfest.

on Tuesday, 29 July 2014.

A few weeks ago I was bridesmaid for one of my closest friends.  While I had a lovely time and her big day was absolutely beautiful, lets just say that a formal setting, hours of speeches and solo parenting for Mr E while I was doing bridesmaid duties, did not make for the happiest of small children by the end of the weekend.  The girl's behaved (reasonably) well considering how long and not terribly exciting the day was for them, but by the end of it they were tired, we were tired and we vowed that next wedding they would be left in the capable hands of Grandpa while we went and relaxed.

Fast forward to this past weekend and our promise to ourselves seemed to be forgotten as we all packed in the car and headed off up North for our friend's wedding party.  They got married in Colorado and were having 'Wedfest'- a festival after party in a field.  I must admit to feeling slightly apprehensive after the last wedding being such hard work.  I need not have worried, 'Wedfest' was a perfect afternoon.

The sun was shining, it was informal but such a perfect idea- with hay bales to sit on, people camping, dj's playing old Ibiza tunes, and a band later on in the evening.  There was a delicious BBQ and an ice cream van, lots of bubbly and a bouncy castle for the girl's.  They were an absolute credit to us, being very well behaved and chatting to everyone.  

We all danced until late into the evening, and Mads and LL loved dancing with us.  It made me smile from ear to ear watching them dancing together, they didn't stop even for a minute.  All in all it was a great party, made even nicer by the fact it was so hot.

Here are a few photos from my DSLR and phone...

wedfest1

Our 'Wedfest' attire.

wedfest2

Hats and Hay bales.

wedfest3

What every successful wedding needs.

wedfest4

wedfest9

I love this photo of my cheeky girl.

wedfest5

Ice cream messy faces.

wedfest8

She was in her element having everyone chat to her.

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Their little retro style ice cream dresses are my favourite thing of theirs at the moment.

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wedfest10

Yummiest cake ever.

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Looking very grown up.

wedfest12

The sun setting on a lovely day. 

brb july 14

And lastly we went to Leeds (where I lived for 5 years) for a spot of lunch and shopping on Sunday, and of course another little trip down memory lane like we did last year.  I walked through these doors almost ten years ago for a pizza and decided to apply for a part time job.  Little did I know the man who handed me the application form would become my husband and we would have our two little ladies. 

 

All in all it was a great weekend. We are loving the sunshine so far- long may it last!

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #27 'Simple Days Are Better When The Sun Shines.'

on Sunday, 27 July 2014.

We have our little routine going on during the week and it seems to work perfectly for us.  The girl's still nap every afternoon unless we are doing something exciting for the day, so we only really have the morning's to fill.  Monday we see my Mum, Tuesday and Thursday I work so they are at nursery, so that just leaves Wednesday and Friday.  This is when we see our friends- it's my NCT friends on a Friday and usually my close friend and her two little people on a Wednesday.

We love our day to day life and little routine.  Sure it gets stressful sometimes as every parent of young children well knows- some day's I can't wait to hear Mr E turning his key in the door so I can get a bit of peace, and as I write this we have had 'one of those days' where Mads has been a little terror all day.  But for the most part we have all settled into a little routine which works well.

Summer seems to amplify our happy moods and makes me feel so lucky to be able to spend the majority of the time at home with my girl's.  The weather this past week has just been absolutely beautiful, and we have made the most of it by spending every minute we can outside- we have had picnics with friends, lots of time in the garden, al fresco dinner on our patio, and lots of trips to various different parks.

I remember once an old friend saying to me that when I had children, I would see our local garden centre as a 'free morning out', at the time this made me laugh, I was far too busy downing jagermeisters and spending my lunch hours browsing Topshop to think of these things.  But true, fast forward a few years and the garden centre is our go to place when we want to get out the house for a bit.  There's animals and fish to look at, a playground to play on, and of course there is cake.  Lots of cake.

Last Wednesday we went and there was something a little different.  Due to the Summer holiday's they have put up slides, bungee trampolines, inflatable boats and a big sandpit.  Mads and her little friend were in their element as it was the last day before the school's broke up so they had the whole place to themselves.  We sat on the grass and had a picnic, while they ran around and played non stop.

Why is it that even the most simple day's seem that little bit more special when the sun shines?

 

a simple day july 14

a simple day july 14 b

a simple day july 14 c

a simple day july14 a

These photos are just taken with my phone but I think the top two are some of my most favourite photos I have taken of my girl's- I just love their little faces!

*****

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