It's been one of those weeks here where it's all just been a little bit all over the place- a little topsy turvy. After a busy weekend last weekend, we moved and cleared all the furniture out of Mads and LL's new rooms on Sunday evening to get it ready for our decorator to come and paint on the Monday. He painted both rooms for us, including painting our new office space a colour which I decided I didn't like. (so he had to come back the following the day to repaint over it- Mr E wasn't impressed!)
Once the painting was done 'Operation New Girls Room and New Office Space' officially commenced. Mr E has spent almost every evening this week building countless flat packed furniture, including wardrobes, chests of drawers and of course a new bunk bed. It's been a long week, and quite a tiring one too- I am not particularly good when the house is a mess and we have been wading under so much stuff- no room is safe from all the debris while we sort it out.
LL has been sleeping in a travel cot all week in her old room and Mads has been sleeping in our bed- while I have relished the week of cuddles, she also isn't a particularly attractive bed partner- she kicks, snorts, plays with your ear constantly, and throws the cover off in the middle of the night. She also has been getting up earlier in the morning's, presumably because she is in the middle of us two. As such I have been a little tired and grumpy, we all have actually.
But the end is in sight and we are so excited. Yesterday we spent the whole day putting things up, sorting things out and generally trying to get the house back to some sort of order. Unfortunately LL is a little under the weather which is a shame because Saturday was going to be the first day we put them in the room together- however we have vetoed this idea due to her not being well, but Mads has her first night in the top bunk which she is incredibly excited about.
The photo below is from Wednesday morning when they awoke to discover that the bunk bed fairy had made the bed up for them overnight. They were so excited, and so far we have been up and down the ladder so many times that I have lost count. I am a little nervous about them sharing a room- mainly as they are such good sleepers and also because LL hasn't slept in a bed before, but hopefully in a few days time I will be wondering why I was so worried. Although I have a feeling there's going to be some settling in issues along the way! Either way I hope sharing a room will bring my sisters even closer than they were before.
It's been another whirlwind month, with some ridiculously busy and hectic times, mixed with some quiet and normal routine times too. At the moment as I type this it's Saturday evening and I am just so tired- part and parcel of one of the aformentioned hectic weeks, and I just want to switch off the laptop and snuggle up on the sofa- I love all the Saturday night trash TV like Saturday Night Takeaway and The Voice. But of course I couldn't miss out on chatting about my sisters in the month of March.
The biggest milestone to happen this month for Mads and LL is that they are about to go into a new joint room together. I am excited and nervous about this in equal measure. I hope that they will love it, that it will bring them even closer, and that it will the the start of a new adventure for them, but yet I am nervous of the potential sleep implications them sharing a room will bring. As we were sorting their room out yesterday they got into bed to have a 'sleepover' like they always do, and they snuggled together on the bed for ages giggling and cuddling each other- I sat back for a minute and observed them and thought that we were definitely making the right decision in having them share a room. Fingers crossed it all runs seamlessly.
Our photos this month were taken after nap time one weekday early evening. The girls love going to the park just by our house, but more often than not they go with Daddy, as he often takes them if I am doing a bit of work on a weekend afternoon. However the sun was shining and so we headed out to blow away the cobwebs after a afternoon snooze. My Mum got them these little colourful rain macs, and they are their new favourite things to wear, I absolutely love them too because I love them in colourful clothes. When they walk together at the moment you would almost be mistaken in thinking they are closer in age than they actually are- but then when you watch them for longer you will realise that there is a bigger gap- LL is still not talking much at all, although she is getting better every single day. On Friday she said 'Bye Bye Mads' for the first time, Mads was so excited she has finally learnt to say her name, but she won't say it if you ask her too! Typical stubborn, feisty lady.
I do love these photos- I am a sucker for bright colours and a sucker for that golden light, and of course I am a sucker for my two little ladies, so all in all these are some of my favourites I have taken in ages- although I say that every time!
This month on our lovely Siblings Project, I am shouting all about Amber who blogs over at Goblin Child. I haven't mentioned her on her before, but her blog is fast becoming one of my favourites to look at for stunning images. She blogs all about life with her partner Kirsty and their gorgeous, gorgeous twin boys. Oh and their dog Josephine. (What an amazing name for a dog- if I had a dog I would call it Brian in case you wanted to know) Be sure to check it out!
I don't usually plan much of a shindig for my birthday these days. Last year was a big birthday (21 I know!) so we had some lovely celebrations planned, but this year I was quite happy for it to pass me by pretty nonchalantly. However it ended up being a rather lovely weekend, and one of our busiest for a while, so of course I had to bring my camera along for the ride.
We started off the weekend in style with an impromptu stay at The Grove. In case you haven't heard of The Grove, it's a luxury five star hotel set in 300 acres of beautiful grounds in Hertfordshire- I took so many photos so will do a post dedicated to it soon, but it really is such a stunning place. It's only about forty minutes from us, so really handy to get to as well. We spent Friday and most of Saturday (my birthday) there, before heading home and going to my Mum's for a birthday celebration meal. It was lovely to see my family as always.
Sunday was spent running my third ever half marathon- I am still running, although I hit a bit of a blip around Christmas where I didn't run for a few weeks- this was my first real break since I started over a year ago, and I must admit to struggling with motivation. However the last couple of weeks I have been back training and being motivated again and I have really enjoyed getting back into the swing of things. I do find half marathon's hard- especially on my legs, at mile twelve I really was struggling with knee pain, but I love to push myself and my body. Then Sunday afternoon we headed over to my Grandma's for yet another little birthday meal and yet another cake!
Here is our weekend in iPhone and DSLR Photos and a little video too....
Checking out their room- we had interconnecting rooms at The Grove, which is obviously every parent's dream! No sitting in the bathroom at 7.30 in an attempt to get them to sleep!
Chilling out in the room for a bit- I love this photo of my pair. She is becoming such a Daddy's girl, which is both lovely and slightly annoying in equal measure- she was supposed to be my one! ;)
Busy drawing with the hotel pencils- obviously.
Mads and I headed off for a little walk around the grounds while Daddy and LL went to get something from the shop- the late afternoon sunshine was beautiful and I had such a lovely hour with my girl.
Such a beautiful light- and yay for daffodils- Spring is definitely on it's way.
Of course I am slightly biased- but she is just so lovely. She is going through a funny stage at the moment again where she is testing the boundaries- some days she can make me worn out by the end of it and then some days she can just be delightful.
The Grove has a man made beach and an outdoor swimming pool within a secret walled garden- I can imagine it's absolutely amazing in the Summer. But we still managed a play on it and Mads loved building sandcastles!
I can't remember what we were talking about here but I remember she was making me giggle- she has the wildest imagination.
Reunited with the other two member's of our team.
The grounds were stunning- we spent ages walking around and taking them all in.
I love this photo of her- golden light how I love you.
We headed over to 'The Stables'- one of the three restaurants at The Grove for dinner. As any parent will know, you never know how a three course dinner out will go with little people- but our little ladies were on their best behaviour which was lovely. We actually managed to relax and talk during our meal- although the iPad babysitter's did come out by the time pudding came!
We woke on Saturday to my birthday! I put this photo on instagram, but I was thoughtfully spoilt by Mr E- he is very thoughtful when it comes to gifts. I got some lovely new running gear, some gorgeous Russian Dolls (I have a weird obsession for them) that I have wanted for ages but never told him about, some truffles, a book on salad, some sunglasses and a few other little bits and bobs.
Every birthday has to start with waffles right?
The Grove organises a holiday club for little people where they play games, do arts and crafts and go out and about- we put the girls in there just for an hour to see what it was like. We didn't have much time to ourselves but we grabbed a juice from the juice bar- my smoothie was delicious.
We managed a little walk in the grounds together before it was time to go and pick up the girls- Saturday was the first day it really felt like Spring to me.
Reunited with this terrible twosome and we headed back to The Stables for a light lunch- the kids menu was really good and LL was excited to see they had her favourite Peanut Butter sandwiches!
Two little mermaids trying out the kids pool- the hotel has a lovely Spa pool and an outdoor pool, but there is also a dedicated pool for young children too.
On Sunday I headed to my home city of Cambridge to take part in the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon. It was my third ever half marathon and I was incredibly nervous before- firstly because I am not good with crowds and there were over 4500 people there and secondly because I had only really been back training for about three weeks. There was a great atmosphere though, with people high fiving you and shouting your name as you ran round.
I finished the race in a time of 1:50:04- I couldn't actually believe it and I did get tears in my eyes when I finished. As I hadn't been training for very long I was aiming to get it in just under two hours so I was absolutely shocked and thrilled with my time- I was 270th female back out of 1587 competing. I find them so tough, both physically and mentally, but as any runner will know the feeling you get when you cross the finish line is just so incredible and addictive.
A little video I made all about a lovely weekend...
All in all it was a great birthday weekend- it was just by chance that we happened to go to The Grove on that particular day, but I am glad we did as it made my birthday feel that little bit more special. I was so tired on Sunday when I got into bed after the race and this wasn't made any easier by the fact we had a little person in our bed. We are in the middle of decorating the girls new room and our new study so at the moment our house has been turned upside down, and as Mads doesn't currently have a bed she is in sleeping with us- she loves this and is so excited, but it's tiring for us as our bed is only small! This week is going to be a little crazy as we have so much to do in terms of their new room, plus we both have a lot on with work, so it was nice to have a real family weekend to enjoy together.
Last weekend I went away for three whole nights without my girls- the longest I have been away without them since they were born. The reason for my absence? I was off having my first 'proper' girly weekend in years, I have been on a fair few nights away but it's usually a rush to get home in the morning, never have I had a whole few days to myself.
I have said before that blogging has bought a huge number of different things into my life- it's opened up opportunities I never knew existed, it's bought me passions and hobbies I didn't know I had, and it's become part of my job- but the main thing it has bought into my life is the friendships. I make friends pretty easily, I like to think I am a good friend, but I am one of those people who is sociable and has a fair few 'mates', but only a few really close friends that I would trust with anything. True true friendships.
I am really lucky that blogging has bought some incredibly inspiring people into my life. Friends who share the same passions, the same creativity and who just 'get it'. Friendships who I know will be around long after the last post on my blog is written and my url goes off into some distant internet heaven in the sky. And this weekend I went to Center Parcs with three of those friendships- Jenny, Lucy and Morgana.
We had a great time. It was so nice to switch off, to not be 'Mum' for a while. I wrote about it in this post, but I came away from the weekend feeling refreshed and inspired. We have lots of changes going on at home at the moment and it was so good to just chat it through with people who I admire and look to for advice. We didn't solely talk blogging, in fact it rarely came up in conversation. But we chatted so much that I have had a sore throat all week- about life, work, love, loss, news, friendships, dreams, secrets and of course our little people who were all having fun with their Daddies at home. Morgana and Jenny are close friends from before blogging and Lucy and I are have been close for a few years now, so our little double team just seems to work so well.
I left my camera at home, but here are a few iPhone snaps from a truly lovely weekend...
Starting off the weekend in style- Jenny and Morgana bought the yummiest cakes and cookies with them- I ate SO much rubbish all weekend and I actually have felt really guilty all week- why do we do that to ourselves?
On the first evening we went to the Spa which was just lovely. Other than that there were no fixed plans at all, we just chilled out, read lots of our books, ate dinner out one night, ate dinner in a couple of nights and just generally chatted until our voices hurt.
After Yoga posing with lovely Morgana. I hadn't done Yoga before and it really relaxed me- I am definitely going to look into doing some at home routines in the evening. I really need some work/life balance.
My bestie. I forget sometimes I met Lucy online. You wouldn't think it as our families are such good friends now too.
One thing I never get a chance to do anymore is read much of my book, especially not during the day. One rainy afternoon we spent hours in Starbucks snuggled up on the sofas reading. It has made me determined to go to bed earlier and read my book each night- so far my new routine is working really well!
On the last morning we went for my FAVOURITE- Pancakes. Everyone else was sensible and had savoury, but of course I went for sweet- cookie dough- yum!