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Articles tagged with: Family

Our Lovely Long Easter Weekend...

on Tuesday, 22 April 2014.

The Easter bunny has been and gone and we now have at least a year's supply of chocolate currently taking up space in our cupboard causing us to have a tremendous amount of lost willpower.  Our four day weekend was just what we needed, a chance to relax and have some quality time together as a family.  I couldn't have asked for anything more and I am sad it is over for another  year. 

I have been feeling really emotional this weekend, I don't know if it was seeing the magic on my girls faces while out hunting for eggs, seeing my 90 year old grandparents and creating memories that I treasure so much each time, or just spending time with different members of my family but I have had to blink back tears on a few occasions as I have sat back and watched the people I love having a good time.  

It was a quiet yet subtly hectic weekend- Friday was spent over at my grandparents having slow roasted gammon and hunting for eggs on their farm, Saturday we went over to my Dad's where my other grandparents were visting, Sunday we went to a local farm for a day out with my sister before going over to my Mums in the evening as it was her birthday and Monday was spent being lazy and doing some tidying and baking.  It was just a laid back lovely weekend with two little girls who were on their best behaviour considering the amount of E numbers consumed.  (Although on Thursday night Mads drew a masterpiece on my new wallpaper with biro and we can't get it off but I couldn't hold a grudge with a three year old all weekend!)

Below are some photos and a (rather long) video of our bank holiday weekend together.  Why can't every weekend be four days long and full of chocolate?  

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A little early Easter treat.

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Bunnies everywhere.

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The girls Easter baskets- a gorgeous Jellycat bedtime bunny and mouse, the obligatory bunny ears, chocolate friends and marshmallows.  We normally have them on Easter Sunday but we had them on Friday this year as we went over to my Grandmas for an egg hunt.

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The little hand knitted chicks from my Mother in Law had kinder eggs hidden in them- Mads loved them and said 'Wow' when she realised there was her favourite treat inside.

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The cheekiest Easter bunny that there ever was.

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We went over to my Grandparents for lunch on Good Friday with my Mum and the rest of the family.

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Ready for egg hunts.

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Some new friends guarding the egg bucket.

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Hunting.

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Mads had a great time searching for eggs in Great Grandma's garden.

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'Found one Mummy!'

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Checking out her big sisters loot.

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My Mother in Law made the girls these gorgeous 'matching but not matching' bunnies and my Mum also made them a lovely Easter basket each.  They were very spoilt with little treats.

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More friends.

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Mads went for a walk with Great Grandma (they live on a big farm with lots of gorgeous land) and picked me some flowers.  Her little face was so cute, she was so proud to give them to me.

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On Saturday we went over to my Dad's as my Grandparents were visiting from Wales.  Nothing is more special to me than these family times, we are aware how lucky we are to be able to make these memories.

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Digging in the garden with Grandpa.

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 Sharing a joke with Daddy.

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On Sunday we went to the farm that we went to last year, Mads loved feeding all the animals.  I didn't take many photos while we were there cause I didn't want to get my camera wet (obligatory British bank holiday rain) but I took some quick video clips. 

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Because when my girls are grown up they will really want an awkwardly posed photo of their Mummy and Auntie in front of a ridiculously old fire engine.  Who wouldn't?  

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Mads and I did some Easter baking on Monday because with all the mountains of chocolate we had in the house we just needed that little bit more sugar.

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I love this photo of my Nana and Mads.  I will treasure it for all the happy smiles.

A little video of our weekend too.  It is rather long, anyone who gets to the end can have a leftover Easter egg.  Maybe.

 

 

All in all it was a lovely weekend.  One of those ones where you just feel thankful to have a slightly boring ordinary life.  Roll on the next bank holiday!

 

NB We were very kindly sent the Jellycat bunny and mouse for Mads and LL's Easter Basket. Thank you! :)

My Sisters In April.

on Thursday, 10 April 2014.

At around ten past four each afternoon I walk up the stairs and shout 'Small Bean'.  LL is the first one I collect from her cot, normally she is standing up waiting for me by this point.  She gets upset when she hears me shout her current most used nickname, frustrated I am not getting to her quick enough.  Then we pretend to knock on the door and go and get her big sister from her room.  

Every day without fail Mads rustles around under her covers and pulls out Pongo.  Pongo is a cuddly dalmation, but he isn't just any old spotty dog, he is Mads absolute favourite friend.  The one she needs to sleep, the one she wants when she is sad.  Every afternoon she holds him out and gives him to her little sister, who pulls him in close and giggles.  This simple act of sisterly love never fails to make me choke up a little bit.  The fact that Mads wants to make her sister happy by giving him her most treasured friend.

Both are still blurry eyed from nap time, and normally have damp, bedraggled bed hair from getting sweaty in their slumber.  I carry them, one in each arm (harder than it looks!) down the stairs and plonk them down on the sofa.  I turn on the television and put on a film for us to watch- the current favourites being Frozen, Toy Story 2 or Monsters University.   I leave them there together, still a bit sleepy, and go and get a biscuit from the treat drawer in the kitchen.

Most of the time it's a Rich Tea, but sometimes we are flash and have a pink wafer biscuit which is all of our favourites.  They snuggle together close, neither saying a word, just staring intently at the television while nibbling on their biscuits.  Sometimes I join them, usually with both sat on my lap, Mads playing with my ear and LL cuddling in close.  But most of the time I sit at the other end of the sofa and watch them.

That half an hour or so of quiet time is one of my favourites of the day.  Both are so cuddly after they wake up and they snuggle together closely.  Mads always puts her arm around LL gently, LL still doesn't climb so we often worry she will fall off the sofa.  LL doesn't loosen her grip on Pongo the spotty dog, she holds him tight, occasionally pressing her face into his soft pretend fur and smiling.  Mads often takes him away and gives him straight back to her, enjoying seeing her little smile when she gives him a cuddle.

The best thing about being a mother to two is watching these simple moments.  The way in which my girls effortlessly combine together.  The way in which their sisterly bond is ever present.  The way in which when I study them closely I can see that actually they do look pretty similar.  I relish that half an hour every day before the madness and loudness starts again.  

I couldn't resist taking some photos of them like this, and luckily they were so engrossed in Toy Story 2 that they didn't even notice I had my camera out.  There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing these two little girls develop and watch their love for each other grow stronger and stronger.  Of course they get grumpy and have mini stops with each other, this is happening more and more as they grow older.  I can tell that they are going to wind each other up constantly in the future.  

But as they sit on that sofa after their nap each afternoon, I see two little sisters who are the very best of friends.

And nothing makes me prouder than that.

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*****

This month I am sending you over to have a look at Carie's blog.  Her blog is one of my favourites, and the way she writes often has me feeling really teary even if there is no need to be!  She has two little ladies a similar age to mine and another on the way.   

 

An Impromptu Day Trip To The Seaside...

on Tuesday, 01 April 2014.

With no plans for Mothers Day bar dinner at my Mums in the evening, we decided earlier in the week that we would have a day out somewhere on the Sunday.  However after waking up ridiculously early on Saturday and seeing the sun was shining we concluded that we should change the plans and go somewhere then instead.  

We decided that as the weather was reasonably nice we would head to the coast for our first seaside trip of the year.  The nearest one to us is Hunstanton, which although isn't the most pretty of seaside towns, is fine for a day trip.  It's got ice cream, a beach, fish & chips and arcade machines- really what else do you need?  

We had a really lovely family day out.  In the morning when we arrived we went for a walk before having massive ice creams that were a very naughty treat but totally worth it.  Mads loved having £3 to play on the 2p slot machines in the arcade, although she was most indignant that she didn't win anything.  We then had a picnic in the sunshine, with myself and Mr E having traditional fish and chips because quite frankly eating anything else for lunch at the seaside is against the law.  The girls had ham sandwiches although LL had a couple of chips too.   Mads is a little strange in that she doesn't like chips, she certainly doesn't take after her Mummy.

In the afternoon we went down to the beach and the tide was out so far that we couldn't go paddling, but we did plenty of serious sandcastle building and rolling about in the sand.  LL hadn't felt sand before and was absolutely fascinated by it, crawling around non stop for ages.  It was a delight to watch her as she loved being able to roam free and crawl about.  She did eat a few mouthfuls of sand when we took our eyes off her for a few seconds, but didn't seem too fazed by it!

We then headed back to the car for the journey home with windswept hair, very full tummies, and sand absolutely everywhere with two little girls sleeping soundly in the car seats from an overload of sea air. 

All in all a perfectly lovely Spring day and hopefully the first of many as the weather gets a little warmer.

 

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

on Monday, 31 March 2014.

March has been a pretty good month in the life of our little family.

We started the month off with my 30th birthday something which I was dreading and looking forward to in equal measure.  I ended up being so spoiled by lovely husband and family, and we had our first night away just the two of us in three years.  It was amazing.

The rest of the month has gone so quickly, we have been busy most weekends seeing friends or having trips out, or just generally enjoying the mundanity of day to day life together.  Mads now does swimming lessons at half eight on a Saturday morning which is a rush to get ready every week but once we have done it, it does mean we are up and ready for the day ahead early.  On our quiet weekends Mr E and I have been taking it in turns going out for a run as we are both still in the throws of our fitness kicks.   

While I love being busy at the weekends, I do relish the quiet times.  As I write this it's Sunday afternoon, Mr E is on a bike ride, the girls are in bed, and I am sat on the sofa relaxing with a diet coke and a pack of chocolate buttons.  I had a very long overdue house tidy as well, I don't know what it is but there's something so satisfying about relaxing in a freshly cleaned house.  Or is that just me?

For our March 'Me and Mine' photos we woke up last weekend and the sun was shining but we didn't really know where to go.  Neither of us felt like making an effort this month, some months we are up for trying new things or new potential locations, but this month we just weren't feeling it. We decided to drive over to the little village I grew up and went to school in as it is where I am doing my first half marathon and I wanted to check out the route. (Plus LL needed a morning snooze and the car is guaranteed to make her zzzz!)

It's the most beautiful little place and is where my Mum's beauty salon is so we stopped in to say hi to her.  We ended up getting quite late for lunch and so we decided to give photos a miss but as we were driving out of the village I noticed all the daffodils had sprouted by the old castle wall.  We pulled over, laughing hysterically because there was a netball match going on at my old school and they were all staring at us strangely making funny faces at the camera stuck on a tripod.  Mr E is rather used to the humiliation now.  

I am actually really pleased with these photos.  We haven't really got any of us smiling and all looking at the camera, but the story behind them is what means the most.  As anyone with small children will  know, it isn't always the most plain sailling trying to get them to cooperate and look at the camera, especially when it's mounted on a tripod with no one behind it.  I do genuinely love capturing a family portrait each month, but sometimes I do feel like it's not the most enjoyable for Mr E and the girls, he loves the finished results but it's certainly driven by my intense desire to document our lives.  It can get stressful on occasions, and sometimes you see a happy family photo (of which we are) but the situation leading up to it wasn't exactly stress free.  

But these photos were just a happy Saturday morning with my little family.  We snapped four photos in a couple of minutes, laughed as we did it, and then went home to relax.  Simple, easy and how it should be.  It's not about a picture perfect moment with us all in matching outfits smiling at the camera. (Although we do match pretty well unintentionally!)  Unfortunately sometimes we are all victims of making life look like something out of a magazine on our blogs, instagram and other social media but it's not about always about that.

 At the end of the day it's just about the memories... 

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(I had a remote but it broke and I haven't bothered buying another one because I find that by setting the self timer then running back, it makes the girls look in the direction of the camera.  Sometimes I don't make it back in time. Like in this one- Mr E says I look like I am crouching to do a poo!  I'm not I promise.)

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...And this particular Saturday was just a simple ordinary day with not much to talk about.  But these photos captured a day where I can honestly say there is no where else I would have rather been.

A happy ordinary Spring day with the people I love most.

 

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 This month I am sending you to have a look at Charlotte's lovely blog to see what she is getting up with her little family.  Be sure to go and have a look.  

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