It feels like it’s been ages since I wrote an Ordinary Moments post. Remember my weekly blogs that talk in more depth about those little regular and ordinary moments in our lives that make life what it is? The moments that make you smile, and the moments you notice your children grow, achieve and change. The milestones and the traditions, the little habits of the family unit and our little ordinary love’s that day in day out all seem just that – so ordinary. But when focused on and remembered, accumulate to become the grand picture of life together!

We have had a rather extraordinary few weeks, and I suppose when you are busy packing for a holiday, and travelling, life is far from the ordinary and as a result those things are just taken for granted or overlooked. Life is dominated by the new, and the exciting and the ordinary moments just go with the flow. It’s only now as I look back on these weeks and adventures that I see that there was one obvious and constant ordinary moment that couldn’t be overlooked. There was one particular thing that throughout all of the new, all of the excitement and long drives from state to state that was ever present, and it was the thing that everyone noticed and commented on (aside from our English accents), and that was our little Daddy’s girl – Miss Alice!

I often joke with people that once I finished breastfeeding her at 9 months, that she deemed me as useless to her and began to gravitate towards Nath. But seriously, I swear she just tolerates me during the day til he comes in from work, and will often squirm when I pick her up or just scowl at me and toddle off!

We of course have lovely moments during the day; our silly mad moments of laughter and play, and we take wanderings around the village and adventures on the train. We have little dance sessions in the kitchen or lounge, and fun with snacks and games. But it is plain to see that despite these moments, she would much prefer to have her Daddy rather than Mummy, and that is just the way it is!

When she’s sad it’s always “Dada” first before me, and when he leaves the room she chases after him in a mad panic.

She cries when he goes to the bathroom (and waits outside if she can), and is heartbroken when he goes out to work.

She repeatedly kicks me out of the way if he brings her into our bed for snuggles, and dhe literally sprints to the door when she hears him return from work or a trip just to the car.

Alice will follow her daddy with her eyes around the room whilst he goes about his business and soon as he makes a wrong move, she jumps down to investigate where he went.

She is always watching, always wondering, and always following after her Daddy!

As soon as Nathan is in the room she lights up and a huge grin spreads across her face. If she is able to then she will run to him, and if not she whines with outstretched arms and wriggly legs; beckoning to him to come get her! When he picks her up to his 6ft 3 height, she nestles on his chest and looks so smug  snug!

She wants to be by his side always, or up on his shoulders, or just sat on his lap. She yearns to have him hold her in his arms and whatever he is doing she just wants to be a part of it.

She is allowed to play with his watch, his phone, and whatever she wants really. All she has to do is look at him with her pouty lips and big blue eyes, and much to her siblings dismay, will usually get her own way because she’s just “so cute”!

At bedtime she will lay in her cot crying “a-dada….dadaaaaa” until he comes and reassures her. If I go into her she is more sad, and then points at the door asking where “a-dada” is?!

She misses him when he’s out of sight, and adores to have him near when he’s home. She is the ultimate Daddy’s girl and is most content when by his side – it has been a dream for her to have him “home” for the last 2 weeks!

Megan and Ethan didn’t particularly favour either one of us in such a fierce way as Alice does with her Daddy, and even now it’s whoever didn’t say no, or made them do a chore that is the fave (it changes hourly)! But Alice on the other hand is all about Nathan, all of the time and has been for a while. Everyone sees it and most people comment on her being “A daddy’s girl”! Even from being with us for even a short few hours (sometimes minutes) they start commenting on how Alice is “A daddy’s girl”, and we all laugh and nod along that she totally is.

To us it is ordinary now – she adores her daddy and wants to be with him always and he is often the answer to her tears and despair! He is way softer with her than he was with the others and will often give in quicker too. He panders to her more than we ever did with Ethan and Megan, and it’s plain to see that the tiniest member of the family has him round her finger and wrapped up in her heart!

I find it quite funny sometimes, but mostly I love the ordinary moments of seeing Nathan with his cheeky little “Daddy’s girl” by his side! Its really cute and beautiful and also is rather convenient at bedtime and when we are out as it means I am hands free!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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Welcome back to another week of #MyHeartyLife – an opportunity to celebrate the small moments of gratitude, success and beauty from the previous week. Life is so busy (and at times hard), that I find it therapeutic and empowering to look back on the previous week and notice the little ways I succeeded in my life, and the moments that made me appreciative and grateful. I love recording and noticing the beauty in life, because together these things make me see that life is good and blessed, despite the really hard days. They help me smile and feel good.

I hope you will join me, either by linking a blog below, or sharing something on Instagram with the # “MyHeartyLife”. I love to see all of the little moments that are bringing people Joy!

This week…

This week has been so surreal. We were in Utah when it began, and enjoyed a lovely reunion with great friends there, and now 7 days later we are home in Yorkshire attempting to fight Jet lag! In between we have been to Vegas and Hollywood, flown 10 hours from LA to London, eaten lots of rubbish, watched some great films on the plane, and driven home. It has been quite the adventure, and I have loved it all.

Grateful for …

I am grateful this week for my faith and religion. This last weekend was our churches semi-annual General Conference, and I loved being able to sit and watch it live on TV.! Nathan and I also had tickets for the Sunday morning session, and so had a couple of kid free hours, to go to Salt Lake City and watch Conference in the Conference centre. This is rather a rarity as we usually just get the broadcast of it in the UK, but we watched some beautiful pieces sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir followed by the conference session. It was incredible and felt so enriched being there in the midst of it on a lovely sunny Easter morning.

I am also once again so grateful for old friends and being able to pick up right where we left off. For all of the laughs we have enjoyed with them, and the lovely fake cafe Rio meal that was put on in our honour last friday evening. We are grateful for our Family for having us stay in America, and a lovely Easter dinner too, as well as unlimited root beer’s, copious amounts of tasty rubbish food, safety whilst travelling, and generally just the opportunity to travel as a little crew and make memories!

Succeed at …

We successfully made it to Vegas and then to LA driving – It was quite the journey, but a most beautiful one too! We also successfully made it home again from the states on a 10 hour flight with the 3 kids, and without any accidents or drama. The kids did well on the plane (mostly), and whilst that final drive from London to Yorkshire felt the hardest with only a snooze on the plane, we did it!!!

Found beauty in …

Children hunting eggs on a sunny Spring day, bright blue skies and the sun on the Salt Lake Temple. Friends faces and hearing of their lives, laughter with loved ones and time with family, followed by driving through Canyons – all of these things were beautiful to me this week and made my heart full!

I was rather sad to have to say goodbye to it all and I wished we could have an extra week. But, like one of my friends said as we left “No time will ever be enough”!

I love seeing old faces who we share great memories with, and I love seeing such majestic natural beauties! This week has been greatly blessed and I am thankful we have had an opportunity to live the dream. Now back to reality and some more local adventures in East Yorkshire!

#MyHeartyLife Rules

You can link up one post a week that fits into either or all of the “Prompts”, and I ask that you at least comment on mine and one or 2 others too. Kindness costs nothing and a comment on your blog feels amaze!

Please use the #MyHeartyLife on Social media whenever you want to share the goodness and cheerful moments in your life that day! It might also help when summing up the week into a blog post to link up!

 

The Hearty Life


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Our Family in March have travelled about 6,600 miles in the last 10 days. We have flown across the atlantic for 11 hours (yes all 5 of us), and then driven across 3 states of America, seeing everything from giant cacti and Native American hieroglyphs, to the Grand Canyon and Salt Lake City Temple – to name a few! We have had blazing hot sunshine and snow storms, and eaten stacks of pancakes, lots of Pizza’s, and are drinking root beer galore! The kids love that they have been allowed chocolate cereal here and chocolate milk and “Soda” – it’ been epic as basically all of the things we say no to at home, we may have said yes to on this holiday, and of course they have absolutely been loving it!

 So yes… with treats and travels, this month has been quite the adventure for the Smiths!

This month we have so many gorgeous and special pictures of our family, it was hard to choose which ones to use. People have been eager to capture us all together and I have loved it, because I have loved all of this time we have had together as a family. It has felt such a treat to spend so much time with Nathan, and to have hours of driving to have some great chats together. We have seen some incredible things and I am grateful that we have been able to share them as a family, creating wonderful memories!

The pictures I have chosen were all taken last week when we were in Mesa Arizona. The hiking ones are when we went with my friend and his kids to Superstition mountains and walked up to some Native American Indian hieroglyphs. It was only a 4 mile round trip but going up hill in hot weather was a little bit of a challenge, but then the incredible drawings in the rocks, and the views and scenery made it so worth it – They were just fantastic and super cool!

During the hike Megan had a run in with a giant cactus (true story), and ended up having to have the spikes pulled out of her leg. It was rather sore, but she was brave and it didn’t bother her too much. Towards the end she skidded on the rocks and grazed her arm and knees, so it was certainly a day to remember complete with scars to prove it! I loved being out in the desert together – the views and scenery were amazing – and we loved the history of the location. Ethan had a blast climbing up rocks and exploring with the little boy that came with us, and he was totally in his element all day.

The other picture I have chosen were taken at the LDS Mesa Temple where we went to see the visitors centre and have a walk around the beautiful grounds, and then the other was outside this cute little pancake house we had breakfast at before we left to drive to the Grand Canyon.

The Mesa Temple is an iconic spot in Mesa, and it is where I had the privilege of serving an 18 month mission for our church back in 2006 – 2007. The same day the picture was taken we had fun playing in the splash pad in the park opposite, and then a picnic tea on the grass with our friends whilst we watched the annual Easter pageant. It has been 10 years since I was there but it was great to reminisce and soak it all in.

Mesa was such a great few days, with great people and an opportunity for us as a family to experience a glimpse of what my life was like when I lived there. I just loved being back and seeing everyone, but ultimately sharing it with Nathan and the kids.

Before we left on this trip Nathan and I had a great night out with several couples in the village to celebrate our next door but 1 neighbours 40th! It was a lot of fun as it was great to chat and get to know everyone better and dance, and generally socialise in the village. It was also great as it was a 20’s theme and so we were able to dress up and have some laughs. It felt lovely to become more a part of our neighbourhood and made us feel even more settled than we already did.

it was also great to see both Ethan and Megan go up a reading level at school, and also have a really positive parents evening too. It was good to come away and leave as things felt mostly in a positive place, and the things that didn’t (I had a low period following mothers day and a few other things) were soon in a distant memory as we immersed ourselves in our travels.

The kids have had their moments here on holiday, but mostly they have been so brilliant with all of the people we have seen and all of the driving we have done. It’s been so tiring, and of course that at times has been way too much for them (and us), but ultimately they have been great and we have had a great March. It ‘s weird to not be having Easter in England, and therefore no tasty big chocolate eggs, but  this month will be long remembered as the ultimate adventure for us all.

 I love that we still have another few days running into April to build more memories and see more exciting things together here in the states. I love our little crew – this family we have made and built, and I love that we are not afraid to take the plunge and see the world together… it has been so fun and joyful and a great month for us!

This Month We Are Grateful For…

Safety whilst travelling
US family and friends (and some free accomodation with them)
Root beer
Water in the desert
Sunshine
Beautiful Desert scenery
Cheap “Gasoline”
Our cool rental car
Our holiday in America
New friends
Hardworking kids
Great Neighbours
The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful
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This week has been pretty exhausting for us all as we drove (over 2 days) almost 800 miles from Arizona upto Utah for the next leg of our holiday. We have been here for 3 days now, having laughs with Nathan’s family, and seeing old friends and it’s been wonderful! The cooler temperatures and mountain views of Utah have been really lovely.

Grateful For … 

This week I am grateful for safety in travelling, water, family and friends – Each one has been vital to us having a lovely family holiday here.

I think we often take fresh water for granted, but being in the desert was a huge reminder of how vital (clean) water is. You can’t drink the tap water in Arizona, so it takes more planning, but I was grateful for a crate of water in our boot and water machine at our friends house, that has meant we didn’t dehydrate and could grab water when we needed it.

With all of the driving we have done so far (we still have about another 600 miles or so for Vegas/LA), it has been a huge blessing to have done so safely. I am grateful we have been kept safe, especially when our drives have meant that we have been on some crazy altitudes and windy canyon roads at times, along with some snowy ones too … safety is a huge blessing.

Finally I am grateful for Nathans family who we have been able to see and stay with. It’s been a good laugh!

Succeeded At … 

My biggest success was most certainly driving over here on the “Wrong side” in an automatic! When I lived here I never really got on well with driving on the opposite way round, and so just stuck to being driven as opposed to driving. I have also never driven in an automatic either before which I suppose is surprising too.

Although I keep looking for the gear stick when I slow down, With Nathans patience and a little extra thinking, I have successfully driven several times this last week and really enjoyed it!

Found Beauty In … 

The most beautiful sight I beheld this week was the Grand Canyon! It was absolutely spectacular and hugely breathtaking. The whole drive through the park (complete with lots of deer) was so beautiful.

I also felt peace and saw beauty in the snow capped mountains driving from Southern Utah to the Salt Lake area where we are staying, and have loved looking out on them daily. I can’t believe this time next week we will be back in the UK, and all of this will just be great memories! Its truly been an adventure and I am going to miss it greatly.

#MyHeartyLife Rules

You can link up one post a week that fits into either or all of the “Prompts”, and I ask that you at least comment on mine and one or 2 others too. Kindness costs nothing and a comment on your blog feels amaze!

Please use the #MyHeartyLife on Social media whenever you want to share the goodness and cheerful moments in your life that day! It might also help when summing up the week into a blog post to link up!

 

The Hearty Life


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