'Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.' – Melody Beattie.
When I was younger, a lot of the time it was material things that made me happy. I think it's probably the same for a lot of people. Getting new toys for Christmas, or a new book when I went to the supermarket with my Mum. As I became a teenager it was the same really- I remember being so excited when my parents bought me a new laptop, or I was given spending money to go out for the day with my best friend to buy make up and clothes.
I think in a lot of ways I was selfish. Not in a horrible way, just in a typical teenager way. I was always really close to my family but I went through a stage where I would just always rather be with my friends. My Dad's side of the family live on the England/Wales border and I would travel up there and feel sad to be missing out on a party with my friends, or seeing my boyfriend. I have some ridiculously happy memories of my childhood there, but as a teenager there were just other places I would have rather have been.
When you have children it all changes. You realise the significance of family, of making the brief period of their childhood full of special times and memories. You realise how time is so fleeting. You realise that the simple days, and the simple moments are the most important.
At the weekend we travelled to see my Grandparents. My Dad and his wife were there, as was my sister, my Uncle and my cousins. It's a five hour round trip and we had to do it in one day because there wasn't any room at my Grandparents house, and we didn't really want to cram the four of us into a hotel room.
We had a simple day. There were lots of cuddles, with two little girls who stole the show. There was lots of reminising, reliving memories, and of course creating new ones. There was hide and seek in the garden, chatting to teddies, and going on an Autumn walk.
It was a lovely day, and it further reinforced to me the importance of my family. Of snatching these moments whenever we get the chance. Of filling our heads with times to treasure. Of taking photos. Lots of photos.
We never know when these moments might no longer be possible. My grandparents are getting very old, and you never know when that 'Goodbye' might be the final one. It's incredibly sad, and doesn't bear thinking about, but inevitably you do each time. It's life. So we need to continue with these wonderful moments and soak up every minute of them while we can.
I'm incredibly lucky to have these special family times.
For that I am grateful.
Chatting to Great Nana.
Stealing the show with her gentle nature.
Sharing a joke with Great Grandpa.
Paddington Bear wanted a crisp.
With my Dads bear- 60 years old but still good for cuddling.
Learning about flowers with Nana.
The crew. (Minus Mr E who was behind the camera)
Even in the excitement, sometimes a sleep is needed.
Every walk we go on, we invitably end up with 'treasures'.
A girl can never be too careful in case the heaven's open.