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Articles tagged with: Christmas

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #47 '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...

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Getting their skates on.

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My little skaters.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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Hat hair.

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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.

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Looking far too grown up- so nearly four!

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

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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

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #46 'Melted Snowman Cookies and while Daddy is Away.'

on Sunday, 07 December 2014.

This weekend Mr E has been away- on Friday he went up to Manchester for a long overdue 'boy's weekend' with his old school friends.  He doesn't go away very often, so part of me was actually looking forward to a bit of time to myself in the evenings to relax, eat copious amounts of chocolate and watch what I want to on the television, while also having some quality time just myself and my little ladies.

For all the occasional hard days, for the most part they are pretty laid back and well behaved, especially as they thrive on a quiet pace of life and a weekend with not many plans.  On Friday we had a play date with our besties, before snuggling down for the evening watching Christmas films.  They both received a letter from Father Christmas and the look of excitement on Mads face when she listened to what he had written was just so sweet.  When I went to bed and went into Mads room to kiss her good night, she just looked so peaceful and cute, that I picked her up still asleep and put her down in our bed.  She never normally goes in our bed, in fact I can count on one hand the amount of times she has and it is normally because she is poorly, but I just couldn't resist.  It was lovely to have some company and to enjoy a night of one on one cuddles with my biggest girl, we snuggled all night long and at one point she whispered that 'we are best friends forever' which really made me emotional.

This year we have done nearly all of our Christmas shopping online with Paypal and it means that we have time to be able to do things like have lazy weekends baking, plus letting Mr E get a break for away for the weekend.  I hate Christmas shopping, I am not good with crowds and I get stressed, so it's great to be able to buy all our bits online with just the click of a button.  On Saturday night I spent a lovely night snuggled up on the sofa and I did most of our present buying which was easy.

Then on Saturday we had a lazy morning which again was most welcome.  We have a tradition in our house around Christmas time where we 'make' melted snowman biscuits.  These little guys are so easy to make, even for me, both the girls love them, and especially love to decorate them.  We decided to do this in the morning and we all had a great time together.  I love how random things end up becoming little family traditions and both Mads and LL were so pleased making their snowmen.  If you want to make them yourself it is incredibly easy- you just need some biscuits (or make your own if you are fancy), icing sugar and water to make the icing, white marshmallows, something for the buttons and edible decorative writing icing.  Just put icing on the biscuit, stick your marshmallow on the top, wait for it to set and then decorate to your hearts content.  Such a simple and easy idea for little ones and guaranteed to raise a Christmas smile.

Then in the afternoon we went over to Mads first ever nursery party, a joint one for two friends of hers which she was so excited about.  She loved running around with her little chums and I loved watching her chatting away to people I hadn't seen before.  She also made sure she included her sister in everything and two people even commented to me on how sweet they were together as while they were playing Pass the Parcel they sat their with their arms round each other.  They make me so proud of how they are together, although they are also fighting and having little arguments more each week!

Then today, Sunday, we are meeting our friends for a morning of soft play (at the weekend- we must be mad!) and a long overdue catch up before hopefully Mr E will be home in the afternoon sometime.  While we would of course rather he was at home with us we have also enjoyed having some time just the three of us, and have hoped that Daddy has enjoyed some well deserved time off- he works so hard, working all day and then coming home and working most evenings, plus looking after us so well that he most definitely needs a break.

It wasn't an entirely ordinary weekend in that one member of our team was missing, but it was ordinary, quiet and very much needed.  And as I often say, it's the ordinary moments that are sometimes the sweetest and make you realise just how lucky you are.

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melted snowman cookies

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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas 2014...

on Tuesday, 02 December 2014.

Every year we like to have what we call 'our festive day.'  Put simply this just means we prepare our house ready for Christmas and we start to get excited about the big day.  The day starts off at our local garden centre, which is always really Christmassy, and the girls choose a new decoration for the tree.  This is my favourite part of the day as I like to think when they are ready to move out many years from now, they will take with then a whole host of memories and sentimental value attached to these inevitably tacky ornaments.

After the serious decision of choosing a decoration, we stop in the garden centre for lunch.  We go there a fair bit, in fact most weeks, but somehow when Daddy is with us it feels a lot more special.  There of course is always cake, before we head home excited and fuelled to put up the tree.

Tacky Christmas music will always be put on, along with the heating to make it cosy and warm inside.  I will always light a candle or two as well.  We then get down to the matter in hand, a bauble always gets trodden on and broken, and we remind ourselves each year about which decoration we had the year before that.  This year we were a little worried about the tree, as Walter and Jesse our new kittens are quite partial to a hanging trinket or two, but so far all is well and the Christmas tree has survived.  

Each year I pack the girls a festive box- inside this year there was a new pair of Christmas PJ's, a book each (from last year), a reindeer biscuit, and of course Father Christmas and Fairy, our knitted toys who make an appearance every year.  The excited look on their faces as they open these boxes really does bring home just how exciting Christmas is when you are little.  It certainly is true that it is oh so magical when you watch it through a child's eyes.

Then it's time for a little nap, before all snuggling on the sofa to watch a Christmas film.  This year it was Mickey's Christmas.  Snuggling up on the sofa, in darkness except for the twinkling fairy lights shining on the tree, there is literally no where else I would rather be.  

December is my favourite month of the year- not least for all the festivities, but for the fact that it is our wedding anniversary on the 20th and of course Mads birthday on Christmas Eve.  We welcome it excitedly and there is nothing better than to celebrate it's arrival than with our annual festive day.

Here is our festive day 2014 in a few photos and a little video...

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I had to dress them in their matching Christmas Next jumpers I bought them a few weeks ago- they are so cute.  They had a great time picking out their decorations at the garden centre.

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Mads decoration for this year- a little felt deer.

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LL's is a slightly more blinged up, glitzy deer.

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The piece de resistance- putting the star on top of the tree.  I remember so fondly doing this with my Dad each year so it makes me feel sentimental watching Mads do it with her Daddy.

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Opening their festive boxes.

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They got new matching Christmas PJ's in their boxes this year- Mads has a reindeer on hers and LL has Father Christmas.

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I love this photo of my happy ladies.

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A spot of bed jumping before nap time.

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Mr E rarely takes photos but he managed to capture this one of myself and my big girl- I love it so much.

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We spent ages wrapping up their books ahead of the 1st December.  This year we are doing a book advent, I rewrapped some of last years books, bought a lot from charity shops and also bought a few special new ones too.

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A couple appropriately named books that we wrapped up, the Madeline's Christmas is for my Mads to open on her birthday on Christmas Eve. I have been collecting them for months and can't wait to see their faces each evening as they open them.

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We also have this little reindeer who is looking after some little surprises- sweets, little tiny prizes like keyrings, minature figures etc.

 

And here is a little video of our day...

 

 

(Our festive day 2013)

(Our festive day 2012)

 

Miscellaneous Memories #13 - The Festive Edition.

on Wednesday, 08 January 2014.

The festive period is over for another year, the tree and decorations have been packed away, and it is back to our usual routines after a lovely couple of weeks at home with my little family.  I am sure everyone is completely over Christmas now but this is the last you will hear of it from me until next year.  Promise.

Christmas time was fun, if not a little hectic with two small children, a three day sugar overload, late nights, and more presents than were actually needed but still gratefully received.  We went over to my Mum's on Christmas Eve, where we had birthday celebrations for Mads.  Christmas Day was spent eating far too much food, and passed by in a blur of wrapping paper, matching Christmas onesies and of course a fair bit of fizz.  Plus the obligatory turkey sandwiches which you really don't need as you are already far too full by the time the evening comes.

We went home on Boxing Day and had a quiet day just the four of us, where I spent most of the day organising cupboards and old toys for the charity shop. The 27th was then spent at my Grandparent's in Shropshire with my Dad's side of the family, where a repeat of the above happened.  Since then, we have been busy seeing friends, relaxing at home, and just generally enjoying spending time together.

Believe it or not I didn't take that many photos, but here is our Christmas 2013 in photos...

 

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'He's been!'

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Reading one of our many new books from Father Christmas.

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Matching Onesies and a post Christmas Eve/no make up look.  What a sight.

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True.

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All ready and set up. 

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Yum.

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Who needs pressies when you have baubles from the tree to eat?

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Pretty tags.

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Opening pressies.

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It's a hard job, you have to concentrate.

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Mads totally not wanting to go outside for a Christmas Day photo.

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'Present looting' at our second Christmas with my Dad's side of the family.

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Looking at the photo book we made for Nana and Grandpa with Nana and Paddington Bear.

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Wouldn't be Christmas without stinky cheese.

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Sharing a joke with Great Grandpa.

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Obligatory dodgy family portraits.  Terrible but priceless for the memories and sentiment.

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Mads got this amazing scooter from Yvolution for her main birthday present. She absolutely loves scooting around, and loves the fact it is pink and she has a matching helmet!  My baby is growing up far too fast!

Last year I started a project for all of the random photos that I took on my 'big camera'.  You can check out the rest of my Miscellaneous Memories here.

 

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