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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Hello from Arizona! I was considering not blogging whilst away (I am on holiday after all), but then decided that it was important for me to capture our little moments of joy and gratitude along the way, and see the goodness in the small moments of our journey, as well as the big posts I will most likely write when we get home. So here we are – another week of #MyHeartyLife!

This week has been so out of the Ordinary for us, as after lots of excitement and anticipation, here we are in America. On Wednesday we left our home in Yorkshire at 7am and drove to London. We then flew 11 hours from London – LA, had a mega long wait at boarder control once arrived (with an extra helping of me near to a meltdown), found the car rental place, navigated American highways, and eventually got to bed about 24hrs later in a rather shady looking Motel!

We have had already had a lot of fun, plenty of sunshine, and are so pleased to be here together.

Grateful for…

The biggest things I am grateful for this week are friends and safety! I am grateful that our flight was uneventful, but most of all that it was safe. I am grateful we have driven over 400 miles from LA to Arizona safely and that as yet, no injury or drama has come our way, and the kids are happy and enjoying it. Alice isn’t a fan of the heat, but she is adjusting well.

I am also grateful for old friends. They have been so welcoming and hospitable to us all, and its been so lovely to see them, catch up and hang out. One of my good friends here in Arizona has opened up their home for us, and given up their room for us too, and another friend made us a lovely picnic dinner last night. Small things like this make family travel simpler and I am thankful for such kindness in my life! It’s nice to have a home from home!

Succeeded At…

My biggest success this week is most definitely travelling to America with 3 kids in tow, battling jet leg and staying sane! We are just about evened out to this time frame, and getting in some good chunks of sleep.

I haven’t tried driving here yet (translate as Nathan won’t allow me to lol), but he has successfully driven many many miles and its been quite the adventure already. We love our rental car and especially love how unbelievably cheap the fuel here is – it only cost £24 to fill the tank and that gets us over 400 miles. We didn’t know which “Gas” to put into it, but again we eventually succeeded at that too. It’s safe to say that we are basically being ripped off in England when it comes to fuel!

Found Beauty In…

It has been a beautiful sight to see the kids playing so well with each of my friends kids, but mostly the beauty has been seen in the gorgeous rugged desert scenery and my favourite – The Arizona sunsets! I miss them and never tired of them when I lived here. Its such a beautiful skyline.

The kids have been going nuts over seeing such massive cactus everywhere, and it’s so beautiful to hear and see the awe in their little faces over all things American. Whilst we haven’t done a whole lot (aside from across state driving and socialising) we are enjoying cruising around, spending time together with our friends and eating lots of treats!

#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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There is nothing like being surrounded by snow and on a countdown to an epic holiday in the sun, that get’s your mind whirling with ideas of all of the other places you might want to go to next! In just over 2 weeks we will be heading out to LA to kick start our 2 week America holiday, and being in true holiday mentality, I have found myself wondering where we might go to next. I have been dreaming of, and researching several other places I want to discover with our little family in this beautiful world …

Caribbean Dreams

Maybe it’s having “Havana” on repeat whilst I clean the house every day (and dancing to such cool beats), or perhaps it’s the amazing memories of our honeymoon in Cancun, but just recently I have been thinking a lot about how much I would love to go on another Caribbean holiday, and see such beautiful beaches and seas!

In 2009 Nathan and I Honeymooned in Cancun, and the white sands with turquoise warm seas were out of this world! The food was incredible, as was entertainment and stuff to do – from snorkeling around coral reefs and body boarding, mixed in with jungle tours, ChiChen Itza, and general chilling in paradise, all just felt like an absolute dream! I knew as we headed home to start our life together that one day I would love to return to that area of the world to discover more beautiful places with our family, and right now, Cuba looks like a splendid option for us all in the near future.

My 5 Reasons to want to go to Cuba …

Cuba is the biggest of the Islands in the Caribbean and is also a cheaper option to see that part of the world! Destinaton2 has some great deals that make it a great holiday choice for both a luxury Couples retreat, or general fun and adventurous family holiday. Here are my reasons (inspired a lot from my in-laws recent visit) as to why I would love to take our family to Cuba too!

Paradise Beaches/Sea/Sunshine – Being an Island in the Caribbean it is guaranteed hot weather, white sands and warm turquoise seas. This is obviously the main reason to visit, that and because I would love for the kids to experience such beauty, as well as enjoying it again for ourselves! I imagine even with kids in tow it would be a relaxing and chilled spot to holiday together!

Culture – Cuba is a very culturally diverse place, with wonderful people! I really love to go to places that immerse me in a new experience and really feel the vibe of it! With Spanish, African, American and Asian influences I feel it would be amazing to soak up all of it’s music, food and festivals, for a most memorable experience!

I love the pictures that show colourful 1950’s cars and buildings and I feel like wandering around from beach to city would be so exciting, as well as spontaneous music and dancing with the locals!

History – Cuba is full of History and this is often a huge element to what we look for in a Holiday too. I always think there is only so much beach time you can have on a trip (even in the Caribbean), and so it’s important for us to have things to learn about and look into further!
Being Communist, this in itself is super interesting, as well as it’s roots as far back as Christopher Columbus’ discovery and Colonial architecture. It is most definitely a super, historically interesting place I am keen to explore.

Organically Grown stuff! – Cuba grows Sugar cane, Tobacco and Aloe vera, all of which make it famous around the world, and to see these things being grown in their natural environment would be so fascinating! I think especially for the kids to see and learn more about these things close up would be another highlight and day long adventure!

Swim with Dolphins – Whilst the thought makes me slightly anxious, I think for us all to be in the sea, swimming with such beautiful creatures, would be an out of this world experience and a lot of fun! I know the kids (Megs especially) would be living the dream doing this on a family holiday!

Cuba would be an incredible holiday for us all, and a place I want to go to soon so as to really capture the culture before it becomes too Touristy! I hope it is a destination we get to experience very soon for a family adventure in the Caribbean!

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We have just enjoyed an incredibly fun and very sunny week down in Cornwall with Nathan’s side of the family and whilst 4 days later I am still feeling wrecked from all of the driving and being go go go, I am also pleased to report I am a little sun-kissed and it was pretty much everything we hoped for – family fun, banter, lush weather, beach trips and comfortable surroundings. I guess I did hope for more rest and relaxation, but who was I kidding?? I am already beginning to see that that rarely exists on a family holiday now…especially with a new-born! This busy holiday lifestyle is life now for a few years!

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It all began with a 6am start and a drive of 350 miles down to Cornwall for our “Summer Holiday” with 3 kids in tow and with one being only a few weeks old, we had anticipated lots of stops for feeds, but in the end it took 10hrs for us to arrive at our destination and the place we would call home for the next 7 days!!!

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I really love Cornwall, the 1st time I went was 2 years ago (again with Naths family) when I was about 35 weeks pregnant with Poppy, and whilst excited to be back and greatly looking forward to a break, family fun and time together, I couldn’t help but find myself reflecting once again on our baby girl, the hope we had and all we lost with her passing. I guess I realised that this holiday, whilst being a lot of fun, was also going to be a little emotional at times too because when I look at our family 2 years on, there are so many big things that have happened since we were last there..births, marriages and unfortunately deaths too. I suddenly began to see more and more truth in what my mother in law always says, that in life our joys and sorrows are all mixed up together.

There was certainly many things to smile about, laugh about and a sense of excitement to be had daily. But the heartache of the reminders of being there before, and then of course the joy of our new baby girl mixed in with the sadness I felt in seeing what could have been equalled a holiday of mixed emotions!

Whilst I refer to it a lot, I seem to not yet have learnt this… but when I look back, it would be obvious that being back somewhere again for the 1st time after a loss is bound to rustle up emotions and reflections that are sad, and there were a couple of times this happened and it felt odd to have feelings of sadness and that heavy heart again when we were having so much fun, but this is life now and I guess with time it will become normal to feel that when I visit places that remind me.
The main one was in Padstow at the beginning of the week. I fell in love with this place last time we were there; Whilst the family biked the camel trail from Wadebridge to Padstow, Naths Dad and I went ahead to meet them for lunch and a ferry ride. This time though I was very aware he isn’t here and not just that but the baby we chatted about there isn’t here either. I desperately hoped Id feel fit enough to bike it with them all, and almost did just to avoid what I knew would be felt if I didn’t, but at only 4 weeks postnatal it wasn’t going to happen. I went ahead on my own with Alice and had a little cry in the car on the way over to meet them and wandering those streets pushing my pram felt so weird, so different and somehow just not as beautiful as it was to me previously!

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Aside from these emotions when we first returned to where we were staying, when I sat on a night feeding and at the odd time I wasn’t able to join in with the various activities and remembered last time being pregnant, the holiday was mostly lush. Its hard to put into words that something as simple as returning to the same ice cream shop or driving down the same road, church in the same place, can all hit your senses and trigger reflections, sadness and grief be it for a brief moment or several hours/a day, so yes is was a real mix for me of highs and lows but the highs of the holiday really stand out. Aside from sunshine, actually being on a holiday, Poldark girls night every night, daily Lidl trips, our lovely room, only cooking once (yes it was for 26 but still), it also included;
Local delicacies: Cornish ice cream, fish and chips and a Cornish pasty! It was all delish and there is something about eating locally that makes holidays that little bit more special.

The numerous trips to the beach with AMAZING sunshine – Of course you always take a risk with UK breaks, but this one was perfect. We had several amazing days of hot sunshine and spent them on the beach. The beach is definitely my happy place and more so seeing my kids loving all it has to offer too.

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Swimming in the Sea – I was grateful for the day we found ourselves at Constantine bay…what an absolutely gorgeous spot and I couldn’t resist joining my sister in-laws for a dip in the clear blue waters!! I love, absolutely love swimming in the sea and it was amazing.

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Seeing the kids with their cousins – Nearly all of my Summer Holidays saw a 2 week break spent with my cousins. We made clubs, sand castles, trouble, laughs and bonds to stretch for years to come. I loved to sit and watch my children doing all of this with the people they call their best friends. It was lovely to see them playing, being busy bees on the beach building empires, wandering from lodge to lodge together, eating their meals and chatting together and making plans for swimming, Dvd’s and when they would next be getting together again!

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Seeing Nathan with his Siblings – Having a new baby meant I spent a lot of time sat back (and feeding) and so had more of an opportunity to see Nathan with his siblings. It was lovely to see them jumping off harbour walls, go Karting, surfing, playing beach volleyball and generally laughing and sharing stories and memories. Whilst I wish I could have done some of the afore-mentioned activities I always love to see him with his family as its so important and I always count my blessings that when I married him, I married into an amazing family too. It’s such a happy sight!

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I think I said it in a recent post, but the older I get and with what we have gone through, life is certainly a real mix bag these days of highs and lows. We lead a rollercoaster life for sure, but despite the days or just moments my heart feels heavy or something reminds me of how desperately I wish our family pics and experiences looked differently, I am so blessed to have the family I do. Call it rarity or luck that we all get on so well and are able to share in so much fun together but it is what makes life full in addition to the adventures we experience as an individual unit.

 I am really loving England at the moment and having time to explore more of its beauties together. I love Cornwall, I really love holidays both here and afar, love family and actually really loved this 1st holiday with our new addition even though it was at times hard work. I know that its only natural to think of those no longer with us, because yes the truth is that life 2 years on does look different, very different to what any of us could have thought or hoped, and that is a heavy thought, but there are joys that have graced us to maintain some highs too aside from our relationships, and because of those I feel that I can still see the joy and heartiness in life and bask in it…we can enjoy holidays even in places that remind us of our loss and we can appreciate our beautiful land.

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