For the first time in 3 years I can’t wait for November to be over and welcome in December tomorrow, with all of its excitement and festivities. Despite the excitement of a snowy day today, November has been a bit of “meh” type of month overall! We have lots planned for December, and it already feels like it’s going to be good, so I am excited to see the end of the month and welcome in a new one, with moments planned with the kids of decorating the house, baking Christmas goodies, crafting and snuggling on cold nights watching far too many Christmas films (can you ever have too many?).

Our pictures this month certainly reflect that festive feeling that seems to be in abundance everywhere (and rather early this year). They were taken on our magical day last weekend when we visited Santa on a double decker bus and aside from the odd closed eyes, I think we look pretty good/fresh this month!

November has been a mediocre kind of month and im not sure really sure why. Its normally such a fun one, especially for me, but I guess it’s been a bit of a let down in many ways due to Mr Smith being unsuccessful with a couple of new jobs we had high hopes for, and then me turning 33!!! My birthday’s are usually such a big and exciting thing. Jam packed with joyful moments and celebrations, and sadly this year it wasn’t really that at all. The day it’s self made me sad and grumpy, which of course made the rest of the family feel awkward and grumpy too!! Eventually things seemed to sort themselves out and a few days later I had a nice American themed meal out with Nath, and a scrummy hotchoc with a friend.

I don’t particularly like odd numbers so I guess 33 was never going to be great, but I don’t like that the older I get the less fuss we seem to make. I never want to feel like that again on my birthday, and perhaps my hints or lack of communication were to blame, but either way I have learnt that in future years I certainly want my birthdays to be a big deal. Whether that means a kid free cinema trip and yummy meal, or a great adventure, I want my day to be out of the ordinary and feel that little bit different. I don’t want to feel mediocre, I want to create joyful hearty moments to make me excited for another year of life!

I love to celebrate each of us in our family, and I love birthday’s, and I think after this slip up, our little family have got that that needs to be reciprocated to mummy too HA!

The rest of the month held some better and more joyful memories, with a trip to Sewerby park to see the animals, and of course our little adventure to see Santa last weekend (which has been a fave!). We have held a stall for the kids to make some pocket money, decorated our porch, and grabbed a random bargain at William’s Den one Friday evening after school! I guess remembering these things, it was a good month, but that first week or so around my birthday felt naff, and we hoped (again) for a new job closer to home for Mr Smith which right now doesn’t seem to be happening!

But December is a new month and one we are excited for. That feels strange to say that as for so long, December and the Christmas season has felt so raw and painful, and I usually am feeling a little anxious around now about it all. I am sure there will be moments that that pain of not having poppy here will consume me again, it’s only natural when we are buying and wrapping gifts and hanging the stockings for the other kids, but right now I am embracing the joy and excitement we are feeling as we celebrate Christmas in our new home. The tree is out, the house is organised and we are ready for a fun packed, crazy December and end to 2017!

How exciting we get to be in our new home, with new exciting things around us, and of course lots of opportunity to see our families too – We can’t wait!

 In November we are grateful for…

Seeing Santa

Megan getting star of the week

Megan going up a reading level

2 great reports at parent’s evening

A spontaneous trip to William’s Den

Making £7 each selling tat

Seeing Alice walking outside more and chattering to us all

A sisters night with my sisters

Snow

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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 – mainly 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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