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Articles tagged with: Mr E

{The Ordinary Moments 15} #27 'Sunshine Funtime'

on Sunday, 05 July 2015.

Summer has finally hit the UK and this week we have been lucky enough to have a fair few days of sunshine and heat, which has been the perfect antedote to the post holiday blues. I can honestly say if that we could guarantee the UK would be sunny all Summer long, then there is no where else I would rather be, I love being at home when it's hot, although every evening I do wish for cold tiled floors and air conditioning. 

We have had a really lovely week here. We haven't done an awful lot, in fact work wise the sunshine has made us pretty unmotivated, but we have had a great week all the same. In fact I took a fair few photos (with my phone) so my 'Ordinary Moment' for this week is actually about the whole week in general. 

As I write this, it's Saturday night and I am sat in our garden with Mr E sat next to me reading a magazine. We have a nice little garden, although neither of us are particularly 'green fingered' and as such we definitely don't have it how we want it. It's our aim for this Summer to really work on the garden and make it a place that we feel proud and relaxed being in. We started work on it today actually, we went out this morning and bought a pressure washer and Mr E spent the majority of the day blasting the patio, it's come up looking like new. I spent the girl's nap time re-varnishing our patio furniture, and while it' certainly doesn't look like new, it definitely looks a lot better than it did. 

I have just finished my book and so I thought I would get the laptop out and write this post quickly. My husband has very kindly made us the most delicious drink, it's Pimms in a frozen watermelon, and we are just chilling out and enjoying the late evening sunshine. The girls are fast asleep in bed, one of our neighbours is mowing his lawn and I can smell that lovely freshly cut grass smell, and I am sat here thinking just how lucky we are to have our little home. 

Here is our week of sunshine in iPhone photos...

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On Tuesday we were working and the weather was just so hot and sunny that we decided we would sneak off to a local pub a few minutes down the road from us for lunch. It was probably a little naughty seeing as we were meant to be working, but I can't remember the last time we went out for lunch without the girls so it was lovely to get some time to ourselves in the sunshine. 

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Such a pretty view while eating our lunch. 

 

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My best friend, husband, colleague, father to my girlies and the person I laugh with more than anyone. Cheesy but true.

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Getting a spot of sunshine by the river. 

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On Friday we went to meet a few of our friends at the lido in Cambridge. The sun shined all day and we had such a lovely time. We had a picnic, did lots of splashing, playing at the park and there were a fair few ice creams consumed. All the signs of a good day. 

lido july 2015

These ladies loved splashing around in the lido, it honestly felt like we were abroad.

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On Saturday we went to Mads new school's Summer fete. I was a bit nervous before hand, because it is small I thought we would stick out like sore thumbs even though they asked us to go. But it was lovely and everyone was so welcoming, plus we chatted to some parents of children who will be in her class and they all seem really nice. We played hook a duck, yucky dip, (cold spaghetti and beans!) had a bounce on the bouncy castle and ate some BBQ food and cake- it was a great afternoon and I am so, so thankful that it all worked out with her school in the end. We couldn't be happier about the little community school she is going to attend. 

watermelon cocktail

The watermelon cocktail I mentioned above- I knew my husband was a keeper! It's just frozen watermelon, pimms and lemonade, with lots of strawberries, cucumber, mint and ice. It was delicious.

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On our fifth 'bowl' by this point!

 

All in all it was a lovely sunshiney week of fun. Let's hope the weather stays like this. There's nothing better than the UK when the sun is shining!

{The Ordinary Moments 15} #25 'Working Together'

on Sunday, 21 June 2015.

Two months ago we made a huge decision that would truly change our family dynamic. That decision was that my husband would give up his full time job and set up a business from home. A business that both of us would work on together. Sometimes I still can't believe it's actually happened, for us it really is living the dream, and I am so glad that we took a risk. It definitely isn't dramatic to say it's completely changed our lives.

It definitely wasn't a decision we made lightly. I have been working freelance on and off for about three years, but took the risk and ended up handing in my notice in my previous travel industry marketing job when LL was 11 months old, after deciding not to return after maternity leave. I have always been career orientated, having a great job before the girls, but for my previous role I had to go away a week of every month and that just wasn't right for me after having my babies. I've been properly working freelance for a year and a half now and it's the best thing I ever did. I work mainly managing social media clients, doing blogger outreach, writing and of course having the odd opportunity that this blog brings. Sometimes it can be scary not knowing what money I could be bringing in each month, but luckily I have some great long term clients now who I hope won't be going anywhere for a while. Mr E is a designer and had been working for a local company for a couple of years, with some freelance work on the side in the evenings, and for ages had been saying he would love to work for himself. However we just didn't dare take the risk, after all we really relied on his full time wage.

But then just before Christmas he got given the opportunity to do a short term freelance project on the side in the evenings and at the weekends. That freelance work went really well and the company he was doing it for offered him a full time six month contract. After much discussion we agreed that this seemed like the perfect opportunity to set up on our own as we had the security of six months worth of work and therefore six months worth of pennies coming in. And that's where we are now. We decided on a new business name, set up our company, and created a lovely, motivating little office space for ourselves.

Sometimes I still can't believe we are doing this. It sounds cheesy but I feel like I am utterly living our dream. I didn't know what it would be like at first having him at home constantly, but I genuinely couldn't be happier. In fact we have both commented that our relationship has actually got even stronger as a result of this change in our lives. We are joint parenting our girls, we get to be together so much as a family, and to put it quite simply my best friend is by my side non stop. We have settled into a routine that I work 'properly' on a Tuesday and Thursday when the girls are at nursery all day, but in reality I work a lot more than that in the evenings, nap times and whenever I can squeeze some more time in. If Mr E has got a lot done in a day, he will often finish at 3pm and let me do a couple of hours work for a while- and that's where it's just so fantastic and flexible.

Mr E has always been an incredibly hands on Dad- he gets the girls dressed in the mornings and gives them breakfast, and has done from Day One. Because he worked locally he was home for tea time and he plays a huge part in their lives, he has never been a parent who is frightened to have them on his own, he would have them for a week at a time if he needed to. He has also always been incredibly supportive of me and my work, and now it all seems to have just slotted into place. We both help each other, bounce ideas off each other, but most of all we have fun. There's nothing better than having a 'work mate' you can suddenly stop working and cuddle, or someone who can tell if you are having a bad day and will go and get some chocolate and a diet coke from the shop. We laugh all day long, it's never serious in our little office, and I genuinely do enjoy spending time with him.

Of course I wouldn't want to paint a picture that it's the perfect working life, because of course nothing is rarely perfect. At the moment he is still in this six month contract, but I am sure life will be a little bit more stressful when that ends. After all he will have to find new clients all the time, and we all know that isn't always the easiest when there is so much competition. When Mads was just a few months old Mr E got made redundant and it was such a scary time, I remember at one point crying my eyes out as we couldn't afford to pay our mortage one month. Luckily now we are comfortable, but I don't want it to be like that again. And yes of course we bicker, like most couples, although I wouldn't say working together has made us get sick of the sight of each other and argue more. But some days he can definitely drive me mad and I know he would say the same about me. I also massively struggle with a work/life balance, some weeks I am fine and feel like I switch off, but some weeks I struggle and am up till the early hours catching up, or just generally feeling stressed with what I have to do. I am not good when stressed and sometimes, especially when you factor in this blog and all I like doing for this, I just feel so worked up and on edge.

Above all though, it has been such an amazing time for our family and I couldn't be more thankful. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have him at home with me, and helping me raise our children so equally, but at the same time it isn't solely luck- all those years of 2am finishes, years of stressing about money, wondering how we were going to pay the bills, all those cancelled trips away because we had to work, and all those weekends where one of us went to a local hotel to work and missed out on family time have finally reaped rewards. It might not last forever, one day the money might not come in as regularly, and one or both of us may have to return to  other employment as opposed to working for ourselves, but for now I am going to treasure every single minute of having no boss, (Mr E if you are reading this you are not my boss like you like to pretend sometimes!) the fact that we can sneak off for a lunch together, have an impromptu day out as a family, and above all raise our little girls lovingly together.

It's been years and years of very hard work to get to this point, but for now I'm living my work dream. And actually I am living my life dream too.

It's not always perfect, most definitely not. But it's my perfectly imperfect life. And for that I couldn't be more thankful.

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 *****

I'm away this week and silly me forgot to ask my lovely friend Donna (hi Donna!) to host it as she usually does, but fear not, I will read the other ordinary moments when I am home!

Have a good week everyone! x

 

 

{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.  

MrEmeapril15

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #48 '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

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