I wanted to get some pictures this month that felt like Autumn and also represented our new life in the country. Whilst not taken in our village, they were taken last Saturday when we visited a fairly local windmill/museusm and I like them because they are the first weekend this month we’ve been out together and felt light and more relaxed after a very intense month.

September has been such a random one; we’ve had the kids back at school, new clubs and hobbies started, baby groups and are all back into the term time routines. Then we’ve had Poppy’s anniversaries, a family wedding and finally managed to squeeze in a family day out and some country walks too. As you read this I am hopefully on my way to London (if I made the 5.30am train) for Britmum’s live 2017 (a blogging conference) where I hope to meet some of you and other blogger friends and influencers…I can’t believe how different the month end feels to 30 days ago when it started. Like I say, its been so random but we have made it, taking with us lots of new memories and friends, whilst having opportunity to reflect and talk about the hard aspects of the month.

September is a month I don’t particularly enjoy anymore and find it to be a tough one for us right from the start really with it holding all of the anniversaries of losing Poppy. I feel like the majority of the month, especially once the kids return to school, is spent preparing ourselves emotionally for them. By the 14th we have her death date, induction was on the 15th and birth date the 16th. A week later on the 22nd its then her funeral/burial date (which in someways is worse as there is nothing to celebrate there). As a result of that for a couple of weeks, the majority of that time just feels incredibly heavy and sad, and even anxious. The build up is hard and then before we know it, its all over again and we’re left felling a little dull and shell shocked.

This year we struggled with the fact that Nathans gorgeous cousin was getting married the same day as Poppy’s birthday and I felt so torn between my love and excitement for them, and my heart ache and one day for my daughter. We talked over it a lot and wondered what the best thing was to do, but in the end we followed our hearts and were glad to have attended with family and friends and celebrate their love and our entire family generally. It felt lovely and was an opportunity to scoff plenty of chocolate and cakes! On the evening we had a meal out with my family and then released balloons on the cliff tops at the light house again, in the morning we decorated her grave.

This year definitely has felt harder for some reason and has thrown us a few curve balls that have been very hard to navigate through grief, so in some ways I am so glad September is finally over… in other ways I can’t believe how fast its gone and how quickly we have moved away from the month that’s mostly about her, it feel weird. Lets just as we enter October I am almost 100% certain I’ve gained a fair few pounds over the last few weeks with all of the rubbish I have indulged in to comfort myself in my sadness and anxiety and will welcome some normality and excitement with Ethan’s birthday and our 8th wedding anniversary!

September has been a funny old month, a very hard month, and a month that has seen us settle into life back at school in the village. I am grateful for the little family we have, and the life we have together now – it feels so much nicer!! I love that in our little home and lives we can each be loved and accepted in our sadness as well as the joys, the highs and the lows and sometimes through the sheer pain that comes with September. I am grateful that whatever happens around us in the month, we have each other and together will always remember our little Poppy and that September meant we got to meet her.

In September we are Grateful for

* Kind friends
*Too many treats
*Time to reflect and remember Poppy
*The people who talk of her and ask of her
*Our new village and lovely neighbourhood
*New school clubs
*Living in the gorgeous countryside and having peaceful things around us

 

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The adventurous and sometimes lazy days of summer will merely be a memory in the coming weeks, and this time next week we will be back to school runs and schedules. I cannot even begin to think of having a child in year 2 and another year 1, but until then we are making the most of our remaining freedom and being grateful for the adventures of summer! Oh what memories we have made and August particularly has been good to us.

Our family in August took the ultimate adventure (of the year so far) to Italy! We flew to Pisa, stayed in a farm house in the Tuscan hills, and enjoyed the Mediterranean weather. We saw Pisa, Florence, Genoa and Rome, and swam in the med on several occasions. We ate Gelato galore, and far too much pizza and pasta…I am in love with Italy, and it was all a beautiful and treasured experience (aside from over tired and whiny kids), and holiday we absolutely loved!

I love venturing and travelling – seeing the world and the lives of others. I love the sun on my skin and walking where millions of others have, just to catch a glimpse of landmarks that are known world wide through generations. I wonder about those who built them and how amazing it is that these things are still here for us to learn from and enjoy.

I love to see our food growing on trees and foreign languages on road signs. I love to soak it up and I love to see it through the eyes of my kids. It’s funny to hear them whine about these wonderful buildings because “it’s just another old building”. And as stressful as travelling with 3 kids was… I would take it every time for the memories and joyful heartiness of being together on an incredible adventure!

The pictures I have chosen this month, in case you can’t tell, are taken on 3 separate days whilst away in Italy. One is of us at “the leaning tower of Pisa” (which the kids loved and laughed at) and the others at the Vatican in Rome.

I love them all because both were taken by random tourists who I thought could better understand me if I put on a foreign accent, and both capture moments we have dreamt of. They capture the whiny, sweaty and resistant kids we had in tow, and whilst no where near postcard perfect, they are us!

We had so much fun doing the cliche shots by the tower, and wandering the charming streets of Pisa. And we walked for almost 9 miles the following day soaking in Rome. By the time we got to Vatican city the kids just wanted to colour and didn’t care that right there in front of them was the biggest church in the world, or that it held so much for so many people flocking to it. They didn’t care about hearing of the Sistine chapel and it was just so funny that colouring outside was their priority!

The question of going inside was out of the question and we will forever remember that in August we saw some incredible sites, in an incredible country, and we travelled 1000’s of miles to colour outside of them!

In August we are grateful for

*Holidays

*Time to be together

*Adventures

*The opportunity to see some incredible sites.

*Sun tans

*Cousins

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We just got back late last night from a flying visit to Oxford (post coming soon), and it was both a great start to the Summer Holidays and end to the month of July. We had such a lovely time together there exploring the castle, streets and colleges. It was a fun little trip to a place filled with memories for Mr Smith and a place where the buildings and streets are simply beautiful! I plucked up the courage to ask passer by’s to take a few pics for us (instead of battling to try and get some awkward selfies), and so our family pictures this month are taken in the picturesque city of Oxford!

July for us has been another great month. Very busy, but great too. I can say at long last that our family has officially moved house, and we absolutely love it! Hooray!!! We have more space, more peace and beautiful surroundings. We feel most blessed.

We have been in our new home now for 3 weeks, and are just about all unpacked and settled. There are several more decorating projects I want to do to put our stamp on it Рmainly the lounge, entrance hall, the conservatory and finishing off our room, but for now I have neither the time or energy so it will just have to wait until after the kids go back to school. I am just grateful we have our beds up, our stuff in cupboards and that we are all feeling chilled and settled. Our new village is such a lovely place to live and we all feel at home here. The house feels cosy and homely and we are so happy its ours so the decor and little finishing touches I envision are secondary to what we have.

Alice turned one 2 weeks ago (which I’ve yet to write about also) and I have seen some big changes in her and how she seems to want to play more with the other 2 (Megan especially). Its come at a great time as now the kids are into their Summer Holidays, they all seem to enjoy being at home together to play with Alice and each other. I hear and watch them daily, and thoroughly enjoy their little inside jokes and games together. We have all loved many little adventures already, but they love most their new garden, “The Party Shed”, and playing out with their new found friends in the Village.

Life is really good and chilled out at the moment on the family front. Life is ticking along nicely and coming together. We have a whole host of trips, adventures, places and things to do this Summer and are looking forward to a week in Italy too. We thought July was tiring with moving house, but I am guess we are going to be absolutely shattered by the end of August!

In July we are grateful for

* All of the help from friends and family to move us in/Unpack

* A year of Alice in our lives

* Lovely new neighbours and a quiet street

* A trip to Oxford

* The start of the Summer Holidays

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Life this year has been moving along at a steady pace and has felt fine, but then suddenly June seems to have just gone by in a flash, and I can’t quite believe that here we are already in July! We are feeling joyful, blessed and incredibly happy in our new chapter and already seeing many more reasons why it was (and is) a good choice for us!

June for us of course will go down in the family history books – it has been massive (and therefore super busy too)! We sold our first home in Leeds, moved back to East Yorkshire, and moved in with Grandma all in the first weekend. The following Monday the kids started a new school in the village we’re moving to (which they love), we attended the funeral of my awesome Granddad, and then Megs turned 5! Alice sprouted some more teeth and conquered climbing the stairs, and finally somewhere in there we managed to squeeze in a couple of beach trips and Go Ape too!

Despite all of that craziness, sadness, farewells and lots of adventures, we still failed to get a family pic along the way and so this months photos were quickly taken on the lawn at Grandma’s by one of my sister in law’s! I actually really love them though and as they capture this month perfectly – fun, crazy and a new back drop for us!

This isn’t our permanent home, but rather a pit stop along the way whilst we wait to exchange on the new house.¬†Originally the plan was to be here for 2 weeks, which for one reason or another has quickly become 4 (and soon to be more like 6!!). We are of course eager to get to the new house, but we are happy here too and it works just fine! Ethan gardens most mornings before school with Nathan’s mum and we have loved (mostly) school runs on the trains and big family dinners!

Therefore I look at us all in these shots and see that they are ideal despite being last minute, because this is our current home and a view we wake up every morning and look out on. This is where the kids play morning and night, learn from and hang with Grandma, and where we started our chapter in East Yorkshire. They mean we can look back on June 2017 as not only one of craziness (and tiredness for daddy), but the month we lived with Grandma!

We are loving our new chapter though and whilst the move to our new house is taking longer than anticipated and we are still hoping for a new Job for Nath, over all it’s all good. I feel way more relaxed and free, and we all feel happy and content. That sounds weird saying that, and I feel weird writing it as I loved Leeds and my life there too, but I can see that life here is already way better for us all and that we definitely made the right decision.

Things are happening that I never even considered before and just the other weekend as I kicked back in the sea (and again as we drove through the countryside) I realised how much better and free my life felt now. I feel tired still but more relaxed… I even commented to Nathan just last weekend; “is it weird that I feel like we’re always on holiday but this is actually our life now?“, and at that point we realised it was what living the dream felt like. Of course there are still stresses and exhaustion from life, and so many things we need to sort…the days are as mad as always (especially with taking the train most days to school and Nathan still commuting to Leeds), but this is all temporary and the weekends spent on the beach, seeing family lots (both for hang outs and midweeks play dates), lots of lovely scenery, date night picnic’s in the meadows and having the kids even more happy and settled in school, are all worth the trade off!

In just 3 weeks we will have a 1 year old, be in our new home (at last) and the kids will be breaking up for the Summer holiday’s. We have way more craziness (and decorating) ahead, but I am excited to start sprucing up our new home and spending the Summer exploring our new county with the fam!

Goodbye June – you’ve brought huge and wonderful changes to our family and we are enjoying every moment.

In June we are grateful for

* Grandma letting us move in
*Public Transport
*Our lovely new Church family
*Lots of sunshine
*Beach days
*A great new school and Community
*Megan and her presence in our family
*Being blessed with a fabulously brilliant Granddad and having the opportunity to remember his amazing life and example.

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