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Articles tagged with: Memories

A Lovely Week At Center Parcs...

on Wednesday, 17 September 2014.

Last week we went on a little week long break to Center Parcs with our good friends Lucy and her family.  After having a lovely long weekend trip last year we decided to add an extra night this year.  I was really looking forward to it, but was prepared for it to be a little hectic, with four young children in a pretty small villa.

It turns out it was the perfect week.  The children were all so well behaved, thoroughly enjoying each others company and making us smile with just how cute they were with one another.  Yes it was hectic, but we also got some relaxing time in the evenings when they all went to bed.  Lucy and I managed a spa evening which was just bliss, while our husbands cemented their bromance by two nights out.  

We all loved swimming, last year Mads was a bit unsure in the water but this year with swimming lessons and lots of trips to the pool this Summer, she was a changed girl, jumping in and splashing about without us holding her.  LL is also a little fish, loving all the slides and generally being more of a daredevil than her big sister.  I loved watching them in the amazing Center Parcs pools.

It's so lovely to be able to find a family to go on holiday with who have similar aged children, whenever we go away with Lucy and her family it just seems to work so well and we did genuinely have a great time- I felt so sad to come home on Friday with so much washing and cleaning to do.  It almost feels like this little break signals the end of our Summer.

Head over to Lucy's blog too as she has posted a video of our adventures too.  We were going to do a joint one but us and technology don't mix clearly!

Here is a snippet into our week through photos and a video...

 

a center parcs trip 1

I love this photo capturing my girlies cuddling- they really are that affectionate with each other, although they do fight nowadays too!

a center parcs trip 2

Her little Toy Story characters come with her everywhere, she loves them.

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It is compulsory when you are little to share a bath with your friends.

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It is also compulsory for your Mummy to take photos of you to make you laugh when you are older.

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These two were absolutely adorable together and we often found them cuddling up on the sofa.

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Her hair is so long and unruly, and she absolutely hates having it brushed but I couldn't bear to cut it.

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Whereas this little one is getting exactly the same curls as her sister.  I do love my little curly mop heads.

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Too much cuteness.

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These two are looking so alike nowadays, and their bond is growing stronger every day.  Although she's still a Mummy's girl.

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Two peas in a pod.

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The Roberts.

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Weeeeeee.

 

A little video of our adventures.... Roll on next year!

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #34 'Friendship'

on Sunday, 14 September 2014.

I have never really had a 'best friend'.  I had my closest friend growing up at school, but also was in a little friendship group of four other girls, each of us as close as the other.  Then at university, I had a little group of special people, who I lived with and spent an amazing three years with.  Since I was twenty one I have had my husband as the best friend in my life, we were close friends for two years before we got together and I don't really remember a time in my life when he wasn't in it.

I have moved around a lot, living in Cambridgeshire, Leeds, London and back to Cambridgeshire in my adult life.  As such I have made friends in all of these different places.  I am still especially close to my uni friends, and I am still in touch with my school friends, but being in different places means we don't see each other as much as we would like too.  I tend to live 'in the moment' meaning that I am constantly in touch with my 'baby' friends who live near me and who I met through having Mads, but sometimes I realise I need to make more of an effort to see my oldest friends too.  That said, whenever we do see each other, it's like we saw each other yesterday, which to me is a sign of a true friendship.

One thing I didn't bargain for when I started blogging, was making friends online.  To me, online friendships were a bit strange, not something I could have ever imagined doing.  Although I wrote my blog and chatted to people I didn't know on social media, I wasn't one of those 'weirdos' who met up with people online.  Fast forward and three years later, I class my 'online' friends as some of my closest ones.  I speak to them most days, and there's a few select ladies who probably know more about me than some of my oldest ones.  I meet up with different people regularly at blogging events.

One thing I definitely couldn't have imagined was that we would make such amazing family friends.  I  think finding friends who you can socialise with as a couple are quite rare, it always tends to be that one of you is closer to them than the other.  This isn't a bad thing, but I do think it's often the case.  And then I think finding friends who have the same family dynamic as you is even harder- we have close friends who don't have children, or who have older children, and this often makes days out or weekends away not quite the same.

When I first started talking to Lucy on my blog three years ago I had no idea we would become such good friends, and I definitely didn't think that we would all become so close.  But ever since our families met at a blogging event, we just seem to have clicked and I would go as far to say they are definitely the closest friends we have.  Our children are very similar ages and love to spend time with each other, our husbands have a quite freaky bromance going on, and when we are with them it just works.  We have a great time together (mainly as we all have a sarcastic sense of humour!) and as we don't live too far away from each other, we tend to meet up relatively reguarly.

This past week has been spent at Center Parcs (another post on that soon!) where we spent a lovely few days with the Roberts family.  It was hectic, with four children running loose, but it was full of happy times, laughing until we nearly cried, and lots and lots of banter.  Our children couldn't have been cuter together, our husband's were actually probably more sad to leave each other than we were, and we just had a fantastic time.  It's our third little break away together (check out here and here) and I definitely think it has become a yearly tradition.  

It's lovely to think I have blogging to thank for bringing a friendship into our lives that I know will last far beyond my blog.  And that in years to come we can look back at our little spaces on the internet and smile at all we got up to.

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My Sisters In September.

on Wednesday, 10 September 2014.

As you read this we will be at Center Parcs with Lucy and her family.  This weekend has been a bit of an intense one to say the least, we are having our bathroom redone which I am really excited about, but on Sunday when Mr E was ripping it out he hit a dodgy pipe and water leaked through to our living room below.  Having no water, plus trying to pack, and having our house turned upside down has been slightly stressful.  I thought I was organised and all ready to go, until I realised that my Siblings post was due this week.  Cue a little panic as I hadn't taken any photos for it.

But in actual fact, sifting through my phone in a mad dash to find any suitable, I couldn't have not used the following photos this month, even if I had taken the most beautiful photos with my DSLR.  These photos completely sum up my sisters this month.  I have a bit of a thing about using too many iPhone photos on my blog, while I love my phone and it is the camera I use 90% of the time, I often feel like my phone photos aren't the best and I should make an effort to take my big camera out more.  However I just haven't had the time, and as such my phone has been my only weapon of choice the last few weeks.  I have mentioned before that recently Mads has really got in to developing her own style and choosing what to wear, and as such I have been taking a photo of her each day in front of our slightly scabby garage door.  We take a couple before she gets fed up and says 'no more photos' but the last few times we have done it, LL has decided to get in on the act too.

They both stand there and giggle and pose, and every morning they ask to go and have a photo outside even if I wasn't planning on taking one.  Bizarrely they actually love it and it's the only time they will willingly let me take a photo of them!  It's become sort of a strange, weird little tradition, and one that really makes me smile.  Since LL started walking, their relationship has grown and developed and it's just the most incredible privilege to watch them together.  

So although technically I forgot this month, actually these photos couldn't portray my sisters any better...

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*****

This month I am sending you over to have a look at Jess and her gorgeous pair of siblings.  Jess needs no introduction, her blog is one of my favourites and has been ever since I started blogging.  If you haven't already been over there, you most definitely should!

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #33 'A New Ordinary Friday'

on Sunday, 07 September 2014.

I have spoken many times before about how I am a creature of habit and how we have our little 'during the week' routine down to a tee.  Most afternoons are taken up with nap times, so it's only really mornings we need to fill.  On a Monday we see my Mum, Tuesday and Thursday morning the girls go to nursery while I work, Wednesday we go to see one of my closest friends and her children and then for the last couple of years Friday's have been taken up with seeing the friends I made via my NCT class way back when I was pregnant with Mads.

For a long time I had guilt about putting my girls into nursery.  When it was just Mads, she went to our wonderful family friends while I worked three days a week but I was in a really fortunate position after having LL that I was able to hand my notice in and work freelance.  However because I work from home sometimes I felt guilty about the fact they were at nursery, but at same time I couldn't work while they were in the house.  Nowadays, I feel we have the balance just right for us, they have time to learn and grow without me, I get some time to myself, and I also work in the evenings when they are asleep.  I don't feel guilty anymore for enjoying the time I get away from them, as I think it makes me a better Mummy when we are together.

However as of last Friday our routine changed again.  For a while now we have been considering putting Mads into nursery an extra session, partly because we feel that it will help her be more ready for school next year (the jump from two long mornings to five full days seeming quite a lot) and partly because we felt LL would thrive on having some one on one time with Mummy.  While I know every child is different, Mads was talking non stop at LL's age whereas LL still hardly says a word, and we just felt that it would be nice to dedicate some time just to her as it is something she has never had.   

Mads first extra session has coincided with her moving up into the big 'pre school room' so the change has made her a little unsettled, while she is all smiles when I pick her up, when I drop her off she is a little clingy as she misses her keyworker in her old room.  This of course has set off the guilt all over again- I feel guilty that technically she doesn't have to be there, that she is not there because I am working, but because I am enjoying time with LL.   When I dropped her off last Friday I genuinely felt a little strange and emotional.  A lot of it is because I am aware just how quickly she is growing up, how this time next year it will be me posting proud photos of her in her school uniform and waving her off on her first day.  I feel like we are almost on 'borrowed time' before school gets her and our life changes dramatically, and this week I have felt a real sense of treasuring these moments even more than usual.  Coupled with the fact that she was a little bit teary about going, meant that I felt really bad as I drove off and I wondered whether to turn round to go and get her and take her with us out to lunch to meet our friends. 

But then I went home and snuggled on the sofa with my little LL.  It was almost like I saw her in a different light.  We spent an hour or so at home where we played with almost every single toy in the toy box, her never leaving my side and glueing her little bottom to my lap.  She giggled and smiled non stop and was visibly so excited to have my one on one attention.  We then went out to lunch where my friends commented how happy she was.  And I realised that we both need this time together, I enjoyed every single second of it and I know that she did too.  She made me smile all morning and I loved watching her.  We went to pick Mads up and she was happy and excited, telling me all about her day in the 'Lions' room and how was thrilled that she got to do Gymnastics on a Friday from now on because a man comes from outside to teach them.  I know now we have made the right decision to change our Friday routine.  

Because looking at this little face and the smile that didn't leave it all morning, I am looking forward to giving her the one on one attention that she quite rightly deserves.  And I am looking forward to the cuddles when I pick Mads up even more...

 

happyLLSept14

 

 

 

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