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A Week in our Lives- June 2015

on Monday, 08 June 2015.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to film snippets of our week and make a 'week in our lives' video. I loved doing it and mentioned on that post that I may film a week a month, I think it is such a lovely thing for the girls (and us) to be able to look back on in years to come. While my first love and passion will always be photography, there is something just so wonderful about having memories preserved on film- I only wish I had done it sooner. 

Last week I filmed another week in our lives. Normally I would leave more of a gap between them as I only made the other one last week, but the reason for this is that June and July are our busiest months of the year. From this weekend onwards we don't have a free weekend until the end of July, and mid week is also taken up by adventures, work meetings and the odd trip or two. I realistically wouldn't have had chance to edit it, so for that reason I have filmed our week pretty soon after the last one.

I love these videos. When I edit together the footage it makes me feel so emotional. I love that I am capturing their delightful smiles, our ordinary day to day routine, and the little snippets of life that make it so special sometimes. Just silly things, like when the girls decided to have a disco and Mads was wearing a pair of sunglasses and a knight's hat, or when we decided to have an impromptu trip to see our close friends who have donkeys in their garden- it doesn't seem particularly exciting now, but I know in years to come I will be so glad I captured those happy expressions on film.

 

{The Ordinary Moments 15} #23 'My Very Best Day Ever'...

on Sunday, 07 June 2015.

One really brilliant thing about both myself and my husband now working from home is the flexibility it brings us. On Thursday we woke up and the sun was shining brightly, a quick look at the weather showed that it was forecast to be a beautiful day. So we decided rather spontaneously to go to Legoland which is about an hour and forty minutes away, we have free passes for the whole group for a year so it wouldn't cost us too much to go on an impromptu day out.

We called Mads and LL's nursery and told them they wouldn't be coming in, before heading off as soon as we were ready. We went to Legoland a couple of years ago, when we were there for an event and as such got queue jump passes, so I must admit I was worried that it wouldn't be quite so good if we had to queue for lots of things, especially as it was so warm. I had visions of us spending most of the day in a queue as everyone with a preschooler had the same idea as us. I couldn't have been more wrong, for some reason I guess partly due to it being term time, the park was so quiet. 

We didn't have to queue for more than fifteen minutes for any ride, so we got to go on nearly every single one a couple of times. It was such beautiful weather and we were so lucky to most of the time get straight on a ride without even having to particularly wait. When we went a couple of years ago Mads was just over 0.9 metres, meaning that she could go on a few of the smaller rides, and that was what LL was this time too. There were still lots of things that she could go on, but what made it even better was that Mads could now go on some of the more 'thrill' rides.

She was in her element, I have never seen her be such a daredevil. There was this pirate ship at the start of the day and we thought that she wouldn't like it once she was on it, but she loved it and wanted to go on it twice. There were also some pretty fast rollercoasters that she also loved and kept begging us to go on again and again. Her little face was utterly adorable, she had the biggest grin on her face and twinkle in her eye, and myself and Mr E kept looking at each other and smiling a slightly emotional smile at each other- it was a joy to watch her so excited.

I think with days out like that, it can actually be a combination of things which make a day special. Firstly the girl's were absolutely perfect all day, any parent will know that if they wake up grumpy or a bit naughty then it can put a real dampner on the day, but they were just stars all day. Then of course we had the fact that the weather was so warm and that the park was pretty quiet as well. We did so much and stayed right until the end, even having dinner there once the rides had closed as we figured the later we left it then it wouldn't matter quite so much if they fell asleep in the car on the way home. 

As we were driving home Mads turned to us out of the blue and said 'This was my very best day ever,' an innocent and sweet statement that actually nearly made me want to cry. Soon they both fell asleep as predicted and I said to Mr E that I think I had to agree with her, I would go as far as to say it was one of the best family days out we have had. Mr E also said it was his favourite too, so it definitely was a wonderful day, with a whole host of little things that made it so lovely.

I for once actually didn't take any photos really, I was too busy just enjoying the day, although I did do a couple of snippets of video. So I don't really have any photos to accompany my Ordinary Moments post this week- bar these two, one of the girls before we left (how cute is that retro flower print) and one of us having an ice cream and a chill out in the sunshine. 

It was definitely one of those days that we will remember for a long, long time...

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My Little Bits Of Life #6

on Friday, 05 June 2015.

I have taken my 'big camera' out and about quite a bit recently, a lot more so than the last few months. I think it is mainly down to the weather being a little nicer, it motivates me to take it out and about more. Of course I use my DSLR a lot, but I still do find that my iPhone is the camera I use the most just on a day to day basis. 

Here is a peek into life as seen through the eyes of my iPhone...

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1. Little feet in Converse and retro knee high socks are just about the cutest thing ever I think. 

2. When I randomly came across this t-shirt I just had to buy it. Mr E gave me the most bemused look when I put it on. (I only wear it to sleep in although it's an actual t-shirt) We often have strange conversations in the car and the other day we were driving past Heathrow Airport and I said to him what would you do if actually when I said I was with blog friends or at blog events or conferences, I was really a secret plane spotter? He looked at me and said 'I would be relieved and think you were cooler than you are now.' Ha ha.

3. A few weeks ago I went down to London to film at YouTube which was exciting. I was invited to be involved in a project with Ladybird Books and Toddler Fun Learning where I had to read some stories on camera. It was surreal and so much fun, like pretending to be a kids tv presenter for the day. Let's just say CBeebies won't be knocking on my door anytime soon.

4. I love this photo of my girls cuddling in the afternoon sunshine- we went for a walk in the big country park near where we live.

5. How amazing are these smiley jumpers from Tootsa MacGinty? I adore bright, primary colours and I also love to dress the girls in coordinated clothes, so I fell in love with these. We have had lots of compliments when they have been out and about in them.

6. Another one of my favourite outfits at the moment- I think this little pink jumpsuit from Zara is one of the cutest things I have seen. LL also loves wearing sunglasses as well as hats, it's funny cause a lot of my friend's children won't keep on either.

7. When I went to Greece a few weeks ago on a press trip, Alison and I stumbled on this red wall at a local vineyard and being the dedicated bloggers we are we just had to stand next to it! ;) 

8. My fitness mission has not been going too well at all recently and I am finding it hard to stay motivated. However when I do go for a run I am enjoying it, it's just that my diet isn't particularly healthy at the moment. But I ran in the sunshine the other day and had to stop and take a photo of this beautiful view.

9. I love this photo of my girls. My Mum has a crazy dog called Teddy who wouldn't hurt a fly but is just so hyper and LL gets a bit nervous around him when they are outside as he runs amok. Mads decided to hold her hand to help her walk down the garden and keep her safe. 

10. Big sister reading Little sister a story.

11. I took this photo when I was in a really sentimental mood. I wrote on instagram 'Mads is feeling a little under the weather since she got up from her nap earlier. Because her hair is so long she has never been particularly keen on having it washed but tonight she really wasn't feeling it. So her Daddy got in the bath with them and let her wash his first. I almost didn't share this photo for fear it was too personal, but actually really this is just our every day. These most ordinary of moments are so tender and beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a man who is madly in love with his children and who is not afraid to show it. Especially a man whose own 'father' walked out on him when he was three and who he hasn't seen since. What an incredible man he has missed ot on the privilege of loving. The love he has for our daughter is perfection. This is just a grainy iPhone snap of an every day moment, but actually it means more than that.' 

12. For a while now Mads has been going to nursery one morning extra than LL to prepare her for school and also to give me some time with my smallest girl. But now we are fast approaching the school countdown in September, we have decided to stop Mads on a Friday as we want to spend as much time as possible with her before life changes dramatically. Last Friday was the last day I will have with LL on my own for a while, although come September she will have me all to herself in the week bar the two days she's at nursery as well. We snuggled on my bed for ages. I really love this photo. 

13. I still love taking a photo of them against our garage door every once in a while, this time I got in on the act too!

14. Happy smiles. These two and their happy smiles are contagious.

15. Last weekend was a really lazy one for us so we decided to head to a little town a few miles from where we live. We fed the ducks and went for a cake. I still think our most favourite days are ones where we don't do anything particularly exciting. 

16. I must admit, I am weirdly not a flower person. I love daffodils when they are in season and of course when Mr E buys me flowers (which isn't often as I prefer some chocolate or diet coke as a little gesture!) I do love them, but I am just not particularly bothered about having them in the house. However I have just discoved freesias and I absolutely love them, so much so that I have been buying a couple of bunches most weeks. 

 

 

If you want to see more of my iPhone pics, you can find me over on instagram- I'm @mummydaddyme.

 

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I found out the other evening that my blog is a finalist in TWO categories at the 2015 Mad Blog Awards- Best Preschool Blog and Best Photography. I am absolutely over the moon to be chosen alongside some amazing bloggers. The voting is open till the 16th June and it literally takes a minute to do. If you like my blog and tales of our family life, or if you love my photography (or both) and fancied voting for me I would love you forever! Thank you if you do! xx

 http://www.tots100.co.uk/vote/

Contentment, Yellow Fields and Motherhood Ramblings...

on Tuesday, 02 June 2015.

I don't know what it is at the moment, but I just feel happy. I am a slightly strange person because I don't actually like typing those words, I worry some how I am tempting fate by saying it out loud, or that something will happen by me declaring how I am feeling. I realise how ridiculous that sounds, but I think as a mother you are only too aware of the fragility of things. When you have a child it's magnified, it seems. Sometimes you ignore it, and sometimes it's all you ever think about. 

There's no particular reason for this happiness. In fact perhaps it's not even really happiness at all. It's contentment. I just feel content. Life has it's stresses, sure it does, but for the most part those worries that seem so big at 2am, feel better by the next morning. There's the odd day where I feel on edge, where parenting has been at it's most difficult, where the girls drive me mad, but being positive is the best therapy of them all. We are busy, life is hectic, but at the same time our routine is solid and our children are at an age where things just seem to be getting that little bit easier. We can take them out for a meal without them screaming the place down, or we can let them have the odd late night without them being grumpy monsters the next day. They play nicely together for the most part (although fighting happens regularly too), the iPad is always our saviour and if we are having a day where they are excessively hyper we can guarantee that half an hour snuggling on the sofa will quieten them down. The daily doldrum of our routine comforts me in a way- the nursery run, the same things for dinner every week, the set your watch by them wake up's in the morning. I thrive on our mundanity. 

I struggle with a work life balance. That's something I need to work on. Last week I had so much piled on top of me that I felt exhausted and unmotivated just thinking about it. I actually cried a couple of times because I just wanted to stop feeling so on edge with the amount I had to do. But once I have cleared my workload a little bit, I see things a lot clearer, and I feel really thankful that I am able to work from home. It's the hardest work I have ever done, way more hours than a full time job, and it means 2am bed times some evenings, but deep down I do love that I have the flexibilty to bring up my girls how I want. Even better is that my best buddy has joined me now, and I now have Mr E working at home too. I have no doubts that it will be stressful going forward, especially when his current contract runs out and we have to find new clients, worrying about what money is coming in each month. But I love that we both are raising our children equally as a partnership. I love that he is there, just a comforting cuddle behind our office door if I need him during the day.

Anyway, I have gone off on somewhat of a tangent. Back to this contentment. What I am trying to say is that day to day life definitely has it's stresses and can get on top of me at times, but for the most part we are ok. We are doing ok. We are happy. I often feel this ache. An ache that my babies are growing up so quickly. An ache that I can't slow life down but I can only enter it, hold it, and be thankful for it. I am painfully aware that life will change come September when Mads goes to school, that we will reach the end of an era, that while I have no doubt it will still be wonderful, a little part of all of us will have to let go and embrace this new chapter. 

So for now I am basking in this contentment. The days where I look at my little family and get tears in my eyes because I am thankful. The days where I feel I have this motherhood lark sussed. Yes LL is going through a phase where the only food she will eat is nutella sandwiches and  plain rice. But I have hindsight on my side. It doesn't matter in the long run, she's not going to be an eighteen year old going out on a date with her first boyfriend and ordering chocolate sandwiches for her main course. Or if Mads has a day where she is obnoxious and tires me out, I know the next day she will be sat on the sofa telling me I am her best friend while she plays with my ear and snuggles in close. Sometimes it's all consuming, they are highly emotional and constantly needy. Sometimes it feels demanding, complicated and all those other tiresome things that I wished it wasn't. I am a very different person to the one who I was four and a half years ago before I became a mother. Much more sentimental, yes. But also far less selfish and one who appreciates things a lot more. Sometimes you have to have the odd day where it feels all a bit much. If you didn't feel empty every now and again, you wouldn't feel that satisfaction that comes with feeling full and happy.

I have surrendered to the fact that motherhood isn't always plain sailling. Life isn't really either. And I have that sussed now. For all those 'bad' days, there will be a hundred more good ones. There are moments where even the best laid plans go array and others where it all just goes the way it should. 

And that's ok. Motherhood has never claimed to be easy. Only worth it. For that I am happy.

And that right there is contentment. 

 

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took these photos a couple of weekends ago. It's become a bit of a yearly tradition to go to the 'yellow fields' and also to the 'purple ones' a little later on in the year too. When I look at our photos from last year, I can't believe how much we have changed. I say it every time, but I couldn't love these photos anymore and I think they might be my favourites I have ever taken...

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