Articles tagged with: Love

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.


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. 



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...

















We Didn't Get The School We Wanted.

on Thursday, 16 April 2015.

Until you become a parent you don't know the true emotion that comes with truly knowing you would do absolutely anything for another person.  That overwhelming feeling of raw love that meant quite simply life wouldn't ever feel the same again.  Of course, it doesn't come instantly.  When my eldest daugther was born and was placed into my arms on that cold Christmas Eve morning in 2010, yes, I had never felt anything like it.  But that true love, that fierce, protective motherhood instinct- that develops over time.  It happens quickly and you only really notice it unless it has reason to show itself.  It may not even be over anything particularly worth being concerned over, perhaps your only just toddling little girl may get pushed over in soft play, but even that stirs a tiny feeling deep down inside.  Those butterflies, that raw emotion, that protectiveness that comes wtih being a parent.  The one that you can't quite put into words, even if you tried.

As parents we just want the best for our children.  The very best.  We want them to be happy.  We want them to have the best start in life.  Ultimately it's about choices.  Do we breastfeed or bottle feed?  Do we sleep them on their backs because that's what they tell us to, even though they go down happiest on their tummy?  Do we give them 'food from a jar' when all their friends are being baby led weaned organic vegetables?  More often than not it's about guilt.  The guilt is a constant part of being a parent.  Are we doing it right?  Are we being the best we can be?

We all have that dream for our children.  That dream of them doing the things we didn't quite manage to do.  The things that may have made us sad in the past, we don't want them to have that.  Name calling, teasing in the play ground, the bullies at school- we pray that they don't go through a similar fate.  We want them to fly.  To soar.  To be the very best they can be.  We want them to have the opportunities that we didn't, whatever those opportunties may be.  Way in the future, I have a funny vision of sitting round a table somewhere with my girl's, just as I myself do with my own Mum today.  We are chatting over a glass of wine, and there are little grandchildren running around our feet.   Of course, that might not be what they want.  Their dreams may be different, they may pursue a completely different path.  But whatever happens, whatever they want to do, as a parent ALL we want is for them to be happy.

As I write this post it's 1.10am.  A few minutes ago I tiptoed into my girl's bedroom, as I have done almost every evening for four years.  Nothing out of the ordinary, except this time I pause a little bit longer when I kiss my biggest daughter.  She has kicked off her covers and her legs are contorted into a funny shape.  Her arms are thrown over her head and her wild, unruly curls are splayed out across her pillow.  I place my hand on her chest and feel it rise and fall slowly.  As I often do, I marvel about just how much she has grown up, it's hard to fathom her as that tiny baby we bought home from the hospital that day.  I remember being absolutely terrified of putting her in the car, even though we live about five minutes drive from the hospital.  We must have checked the car seat about ten times, and I hobbled my post c-section body into the back of the car, just 'in case'.  I didn't even want to let her out of my sight for that five minute journey and sit in the front.  It felt a strange mixture of emotions- utter joy and sheer fear, taking this little being home to start our lives together.  

That strange mixture of emotions is back again.

Like countless parents up and down the country, I have waited up to check on our primary school application.  Refreshing the screen about a hundred times even though it wasn't yet midnight, that strange feeling of emotions that so often comes on my motherhood journey is there again.  And after one more refresh, at 11.57pm we were told the news.  We didn't get her into our first choice school.  Nor our second.  We got into our third and final school, our catchment school, one that we really only put down because we were told not to waste a choice.   My intial reaction was disappointment, real disappointment.  So I cried.  That feeling in the pit of my stomach knawed away at me, making me feel truly upset.  Because yet again, it comes down to that same old thing- we would do anything for our children.

It was inevitable we we were going to get that school.  Deep down I knew we would, but I was still hoping and crossing my fingers that we would at least get our second.  We are lucky to have an education system in place for our children, I know that.  We are lucky for a lot of things.  This isn't about that.  But walking through that school a few months ago, both myself and my husband didn't think much to it at all.  It's under achieving in all areas according to it's reports, but again I don't know enough about the education system to know what this means.  All I know is walking around there, we just didn't get a 'feel' for it like we did with the others.  There were parts we just weren't keen on at all.  It just didn't feel like the vision I had of my little girl going to school, I couldn't imagine waiting at those school gates for her to come out, in her little school uniform, her hair blowing behind her, and her face all flushed red with excitement as she ran to me at the end of the school day.

But fate has done it's thing and Mads will be going there in September.  It's the next morning now and I am a little embarrased to admit that I have shed a fair few tears.  I know deep down how lucky we are that she even has the opportunity to go to school in the first place, but I can't help but feel a huge amount of disappointment.  I have spent the night tossing and turning, discussing possible solutions with my husband- but deep down realistically I know that I need to resign myself to it now and accept the fact.  I need to start seeing the positives.  

Because that's the thing.  That little girl asleep in the room next to me- she doesn't know all of this.  She doesn't know that her Mummy spent half the night crying.  She just knows that come September she is going to 'big school'.  We drive past the school that she got into every morning and she always points out 'the big boys and girls'.  She doesn't know what the future holds for her, what school entails, what she will do all day.  She just is excited and happy about the possiblity of going.  She's completely innocent, unaware of the bad in the world, and just perfectly happy to give anything a go.  She sees the joy and positives in everything.  

So that's what I need to do.  I need to suck it up and see the world through my little girl's eyes for a change.  To be excited about the next chapter of her journey.  Yes it's not quite the journey we had planned for her, but she will continue to make us proud as she does every single day.  I will stand there with all the other mums, waiting for her to excitedly to run out the doors and tell us what friends she has made.  She will pull artwork from her bag that she has done that day and we will display them on our kitchen wall like they are masterpieces and works of modern art.  We will help her with her writing, her reading and her maths, and do the best we can by her, just as we have done every day since she was born.  We will have life experiences, make memories and raise her the way we are already doing so, outside of those classroom walls.  

We will continue to be the proudest parents alive.

Really, I think I am just feeling a little nostalgic and sentimental right now.  These milestones are passing us by at a rapid rate and it's hard to fathom that it wasn't yesterday that we took her out of that car seat on that first trip back from the hospital.  When school seemed like an eternity away.  I'm not entirely ready for this stage of our lives to be over, and I am not sure I ever will be.  But that's life and we will enjoy this Summer and make it a happy few months of memories.  Although I am a little sad about it all, I'm also incredibly excited too.

And come September we will start this new chapter in our lives.  And I know my little girl will soar and grow in whatever environment she is placed in, of that I am confident.  

Because we will continue to support her always.


the grove hotel 26


{The Ordinary Moments 15} #14 'Mr E'

on Sunday, 05 April 2015.

On Good Friday morning myself and the girls went to soft play with some friends while Mr E did a bit of work that he had to do.  While we there we were chatting about our weekend plans, when I suddenly realised that the long weekend would be a perfect time for Mr E and I to go out on a 'date night'- we were long overdue one and with not many plans for the weekend it seemed a great idea.  One quick call later and we found out our 'babysitters' were free.

We rarely take advantage of the fact that all my family live nearby.  Considering my girls are so close to my Mum they have only ever stayed over at her house once in the whole four years that we have been parents, and they have only stayed at my Dad's twice.  This is in part us not wanting to worry anyone and also in part the fact that we are happy to take our girls away with us and have adventures as a family.  Coupled with that my sister is always around to take the girls off our hands for a few hours too.

For the first couple of years of Mads life, and indeed pretty much until last year, I could seriously count on one hand the amount of nights out we had been out just the two of us.  A lot of it was due to being pregnant, saving money, breastfeeding or the fact that we are always pretty busy going away or seeing friends or family.    But the last few months I would say we have started trying to go out more, even if it's just out for dinner or the cinema.  I still wouldn't even say it's once a month but it's definitely more regular than it was.

A few years ago I actually sat and wrote down what I called  'My Little Love Story'- it was a series of posts about how I met Mr E and the start of our relationship.  It actually makes me really cringe reading it back, it's really soppy and a bit OTT, but the sentiment is still there.  Even after all these years I still can't believe how lucky I am to have my husband.  Our relationship has changed a lot over the years, of course having children will do that to you, but he still is my best friend and that is one of the most important things I think.

He used to be my favourite person to go out with.  We would of course go out with friends, but we would also go out just the two of us all the time and drink for hours.  Nowadays my hangovers last a lot longer and to be honest I don't really go what we call 'out out' (when did I get so old?!) and have a few drinks all that much anymore, especially not with him, but when we were younger with no responsibilities, we would go out most evenings.  I have such fond memories of that period in our lives, and some such funny stories to tell.  

Nowadays on our 'date nights' we usually go for a meal and then to the cinema, but there wasn't anything on that we wanted to see on Friday, so we decided instead to go for a meal and a few drinks- something we haven't done in absolutely ages.  We live on the outskirts of our town and it's not exactly the most exciting place to go out in, but we visited a couple of the pubs and bars after our dinner.

We laughed all night long and I drank more than I have in ages, but above all it was just a really nice evening.  At the end of the night we decided it would be a good idea to walk home, which is a couple of miles, and on the way we discussed so many different things.  We are both at a really exciting point in our lives at the moment having just started working together, and it was great to have one of those deep and meaningful, and slightly silly chats that you only do when you have had too much to drink.  Of course we laugh and chat every day, but there's something about a good drunken evening that reinforces just how much fun you can have together.

At the start of the night we took this photo and it's one of my new favourites- we rarely have photos of just the two of us anymore, inevitably there is usually a small person in the frame somewhere, but I really like this one and it's now in the 'privileged' position of being my new phone screensaver.  I love that after all these years, I still get butterflies in my tummy when I go out with Mr E, and I love that he still can literally make me cry with laughter all night long.  I don't want to get too sentimental or soppy, but I really am so very lucky to have him.  Day to day life isn't always sunshine and happiness- it can be stressful, we can argue and I know I can take him for granted sometimes, but I really am glad that my most 'ordinary moments' are with him.  



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