Every year people all over the world light a candle at 7pm on the last day of Baby loss awareness week to remember babies everywhere taken too soon – it’s known as “The Wave of Light”! This year however I wanted to do something different… I wanted to light up the sky for our little girl and all of the babies gone too soon, and so on Sunday we had a little trek over some local fields and let off Chinese lanterns with my family at dusk.

As we let each lantern off I thought of Poppy (of course), and then my thoughts turned to each baby I know because of their wonderful parents that in some small way have played a part in our journey. I looked up at that dusky sky and its vastness and how small that little lantern seemed in all of it … how symbolic of each little baby in the world gone too soon, and easily overlooked with such a big world and busy lives, and yet we remember each day who we carried and who is missing from life.

I love the wave of light. Its a very reflective moment with deep meaning, and yet a moment that fills me with strength to know that people all over, in each of their lives are lighting up life together in remembrance of their babies. Its quite amazing that something so small can have such meaning – each light briefly piercing through the darkness of loss and showing each little brief life worldwide!

I never imagined my life to be what it is, I mean why would you? But baby loss, awareness and the wave of light has very quickly become my ordinary and an ordinary moment in our life each year. I was so grateful that whilst I wasn’t able to let off lanterns with my good friend as we had hoped, my family were willing to come and join in remembering Poppy and babies everywhere gone too soon. 

We had a lovely family walk and some really good laughs in the process (Sorry for the scorched field Mr Farmer) and it was a lovely family moment to come together and light up the sky for the Wave of light and our little Pops! 

The Ordinary Moments
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I have so many memories associated with the city of Leeds. From McDonald’s Milkshakes and chatting to homeless people with my dad as a 5 year old, to visits of my cousins at probably the same age! Then there are all of the shopping trips with friends, The dates, Theatre visits, meals and Karaoke nights and general hang outs in my 20’s, to more recently the countless adventures with my little family. Leeds has been my home for the last 9 years but with our impending move, we are coming to the end of an Era.

I have loved Leeds for about 12 years, and when I had an opportunity to move here in the summer of 2008 with my best friend (and now Sister in law) I grabbed it with both hands and never looked back. It is a city I know well. A city I feel at home in and a place that has evolved and changed a lot even in the few short years we have been here. I suppose that in itself is very representational of how I too have done the same from being here in its midst.

Leeds is where we dated, where we became parents and where we built a home together. It’s a place I will remember with fondness for all of the adventures in my 20’s to the adventures with my children from being small to now. But our time now is coming to end and it feels strange…a little emotional, but most definitely right for us. I will miss so many things about living here, and of course so many people too, but what we are moving onto is something we hope will be great for us all, and better for our future and general lifestyle.

And so yesterday, with our move hopefully just a couple of weeks away, we spent one last day together down the familiar bustling streets of Leeds. We visited the shopping scene, ate at Subway, and wandered around the market… just one last time as residents of this awesome city. We spoke of memories here, and acknowledged that this quite possibly is the last time in a long time we will be here together as a family. We remembered how we would visit Lush, The Lego Shop and Apple store as an ordinary day out on the train before the kids started school. We remembered the weekly museum visits when they were little and how the city changes with each season. We remembered friends past and present and the great times we have shared with them. And we lapped up our ordinary moment of city living one last time.

Over the next few weeks we will be packing, moving and starting a new chapter. Life in Leeds will be a thing of the past and any future visits will be as guests! It has been a chapter and series of chapters that have been jam packed with beautiful memories and incredibly hard times too. A chapter of great lessons, falling in love, changing and personal growth. Chapters of friendships and lost friendships…laughter, tears, heartache, more love, babies and copious amounts of fun.

Leeds is where I became a mother 4 times over, where my children learnt to walk and talk. It is where I made great friends and grew in numerous ways. It is where we faced huge struggles but also felt abundantly blessed and happy. It has been home to our ordinary moments for so long, but it is now the end of an era.  And whilst we are excited to move house, I am pretty sad too to be saying goodbye to this City I love so much!

I will miss the spontaneous fun of jumping on a train and being in its heart in 10 minutes. I will miss lunches at Costco and browsing round the markets with friends…the museums on our doorstep, and Ikea and the Cinema 5 minutes from our home. I will miss city life, but I am excited for country life. This has been a great adventure of wonderful highs and incredible lows, and the time is here that we must move on and forward in life away from its familiarity, and it has never felt so right. Its the end of an era and goodbye to our ordinary…but it is also hello to new adventures, friends and memories yet to make.

The Ordinary Moments
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Last week I had forgotten that May day meant a bank holiday, and so it suddenly felt like such a bonus on Monday to have Nathan home for the day. It was so exciting to realise Monday meant no rushing but an opportunity to be able to spend some extra time as a family. So of course we made the most of it and got the kids cleaning up!!!

After a morning of tidying up and swapping around ideas of what we should do in the process with this bonus family day, we finally settled on a visit to the National Railway Museum in York. It’s been ages since we all visited there and it was great to see that the kids still loved it just as much.

Trains to most kids are an exciting concept, and more so for ours since loosing their grandpa.  They were a great love of his and it’s a place he would frequently visit with each of his grandchildren, and so they are something that ties them to memories with him. We told stories to the kids of their visits there with him it was nice and so natural to take time to reflect on memories of the past with Grandpa there.

Another exciting feature to our visit (aside from all of the amazing Trains) was that the museum also have a crime/mystery theme going on at the moment (until September) where the kids were able to use typewriters, make finger print badges and solve some mysteries for themselves! It was the perfect opportunity to get involved and get to grips with history (which is awkward seeing as though we grew up with them), and for Ethan to develop a new obsession he would later torment me with by whining for one! They also spoke to police officers past and present about crime on the railways and then went nuts dashing here and there to see all of the marvellous things on display!

They both loved letting off steam (lol) and exploring, wandering, snooping and riding on the trains – it was really nice to chill out together and I too really enjoyed myself. I felt all day that it was actually a really cool museum I have never properly appreciated and felt pretty chilled out and had a lot of fun with the kids. Now when I think back and look at my selection of pics I am feeling thankful for our bonus day of time together in a place our whole family associate with someone very special. It was just a lovely day spent together making memories in an exciting museum of all things trains!

During the visit we noticed Alice had a few red spots on her and by the end of the day we realised she most definitely had chicken pox! Its been a bit of a struggle and she looks so sad even though she is actually handling rather well. I am just so grateful we got out on Monday for a little train adventure, and were able to have a good laugh all together…because now I am going nuts with a spotty, clingy, can’t sleep properly baby!

Run Jump Scrap!
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I can’t remember a time recently when we have spent a Saturday locally. For so long our weekends have been packed with visiting family, days out to wonderful places and just being super busy. This Saturday however was not, and we welcomed a day to hang out locally, do very little and just be drifters!

We decided (at the request of the kids) to hit up the Odeon and watch “Boss Baby”, which has proved to be a great bribe at bed time this week, and turned out to be both funny hilarious and heartwarming. It was super chilled and just a lovely morning together. Alice did fab, the kids sat throughout and we all enjoyed ourselves.

By the time we came out, it really felt like Spring was in the air, and so we made a plan to nip home, park the car and grab the scooters! We went out on a mission to have fun in the park and for them to try out a few skills at the skate park. It was a lovely walk/run down, some more laughs, a few naughty episodes and a brave a little boy taking the plunge. Megs saw some mates, and we wound up in town for a spontaneous wander around the “St Georges Day” event.

I find that a lot of weekends we over plan or try to cram so much in. We get over excited and always have a million things we want to do, so moments where we have a break…time to hang locally and drift a bit is just lovely. It was nice to be reminded that some Saturday’s can be just as great spent locally, doing our ordinary little things, down our familiar streets, town and park. Moments spent doing the same things we have done so often since they were little. I just love the excitement as they whizz fearlessly down the pavement to town, and I love the loud laughter coming from the dark chairs of the cinema – ordinary moments I hope we will have many more of!

The Ordinary Moments
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