I never considered myself a country girl, but rather always thought of myself as a city dweller. My style and interests are mostly suited to urban living and growing up in a small seaside town I liked the idea of living in a place that was happening! I guess I always wanted to be somewhere rich in opportunity, culture and things to see and do day and night. I love to explore museums, shop, see cool architecture and eat out, and I couldn’t wait to break out into life and live in the big city.

I think Nathan found that all attractive too, and it was great that years down the line, what started as housemates and friends between 2 small town people, turned into dating, marriage and us creating a lovely life together in Leeds.

For possibly about 9 mostly great years (more for him), I lived in Leeds and found it to be a brilliant life in a fab Yorkshire city that I love. But then our kids started to grow up, and a fog of grief and tear stained memories hung over our home and the city we once loved and thrived in, held to much pain and bad memories. We felt trapped in someways and we both realized that the dream shifted. We fell out of love with city living and I suddenly found myself craving a slower pace of life surrounded by nature. We discussed at length where we might like to live next, and some days we felt drawn to the coast, on others it was smaller towns around Leeds… but in the end, and after several months of viewing houses all over Yorkshire, we both decided (and felt right about) a village location in East Yorkshire. The wolds are beautiful, the little market towns charming, and the coast and family are close by – it seemed the most appealing choice for what we wanted in this stage of life and so we headed home.

Last Summer we packed up and headed over here to start our new “Village Life” Chapter!

I of course then feared I might not like it. It was such a vast change, and whilst the idea sounded fabulous, I couldn’t help but wonder what life might be like going from such a bustling town on the edge of a City, into living in a small village surrounded by fields! Would we feel cut off? Would it be cliquey? Would we fit in and would it fit us? How would we get to the shops? What about emergency’s? Would a new school be good for the kids? Would we be bored?!

But now I see that all of that was minor because our neighbours are great and the village has a train line which means I can get to local towns in anything from 5 to 10 mins. I can get to the coast in about 25 minutes, and the City of Hull in about 40 minutes. I am surrounded by lovely people, there are local toddler groups, a farm shop and SPAR, and I do not feel cut off at all. Surprisingly I have actually found that since being here I enjoy not having shops nearby me or busy things. I like to be able to just wander – be that wandering home… wandering around the village green… wandering up to the farm shop or wandering over fields. I like that I have the option to stay in our village bubble enjoying the beauty and chilled pace, or venture out and be busy. I love the freedom to step out into fields within a couple of minutes and see little old churches, tractors and farm animals. I love to see the kids en mass riding their bikes to school and horses passing by our window on occasion. I love how everyone smiles and greets you, and how many birds we can hear 24 hours!

Yes it is lovely, and nothing to fear! In fact when we first drove into this village and onto this street I simply felt at peace – I knew this was where I wanted to live and that we could be happy here. Now after a whole year since leaving Leeds to start this new life in the country, I have to say it has been such a great and wonderful adventure, and we are happy here!

We have seen the village in all seasons now, and each one has brought with it excitement, beauty and joy. I love the traditions the village have and I love that because we are out in nature more we really get a feel for the season and can embrace it in its fullness! I have loved this huge change to our lives, and how we appreciate and find beauty in the smallest things around us now.

With 3 young nutty children and grief in our hearts, we desperately wanted somewhere that felt healing and peaceful to us. We wanted a place we could explore and enjoy in all seasons, and we wanted an adventure. We imagined a slower pace, less traffic and stress, and whilst some of that is still present (stress and busy lives), and we have a few things still to sort to fully live our dream here, overall life is just what we wanted and needed – slower, more peaceful and that wonderful feeling of being free in the outdoors!

Here’s what we love most about Village life in the 12 months we’ve being here

Peace – Despite the normal stress and craziness of being parents and having a busy family life, the first and biggest thing we noticed from living here was peace and quiet! We love the peace of village life – the sounds of nature and children playing, and we love the peace in our hearts that we have found somewhere to raise our family that feels so right!

Community – The community spirit and incredible friendliness of the people here caught me off guard initially – people in cities just aren’t so chatty and I found it odd that so many people wanted to know about us! Immediately we had lots of smiles, chats, welcome cards and invites to local events and it was lovely. People would talk to us at the park, in the street and at school and still even now this is the norm. It was so weird and a huge change to let our guard down, but now I love taking interest in others too and we love belonging to a community and living in a place where people genuinely care for one another and look out for each other and their kids. All the kids play out all together like we did when we were kids, and the village has so many lovely traditions each season and holiday to bring everyone together.

Our favourite has been seeing the little lit up nativity scene on the island of the village pond at Christmas, the daffodils that fill the green in Springtime, and the village show and music festivals that all sound great too.

I love how everyone smiles and greets you each day – I love how trusting and kind everyone is, and that we have discovered that village life means living in a place with great community spirit. It restores faith in the goodness of people and makes life very joyful indeed!

Wide open spaces – I think this was the most obvious change and thing that we wanted from village life and it hasn’t disappointed. Whatever the weather we love the wide open spaces all around us – it is so pretty and we thoroughly enjoy our wanderings, hikes, adventures, and the opportunity to rejuvenate and heal via all that await us in nature!

A Little school – Thankfully when we lived in Leeds we were able to have our kids in a little faith school, but I would say this one is definitely a little smaller.  I love that too about living here – and we have found the school and parents are lovely, and they run some fantastic free clubs too (gardening being a fave). The kids have settled well, and especially love ice cream fridays, parents being able to go for school lunch, and stepping out of school on to the green and playing with friends.

I never considered myself country girl, and elements of my style and interests still aren’t particularly country girl, but I do love an adventure and being outdoors and this move has helped me discover new things I love to do. I now own a pair of joules wellies and am mostly rocking life in the country!!!

Overall I would say that village life is wonderful though and is far less about style and more a new lifestyle with a young family. Life generally could do with a couple of improvements here and there, but that is life isn’t it?! And I often say to Nath that I would prefer to deal with life’s challenges here in such a beautiful chilled place, than in a busy city with some bad memories, because when it comes to where we live, I couldn’t have imagined how blessed we would feel to live here!

I didn’t realise how much my soul needed to live in such close proximity to nature and the coast and how it would help me discover more about myself. We each love the peace, the sound of the birds, the people we live around and are getting to know, and we love how right it feels to live here. The kids often say we live in the best place (they love it), and I suppose for us right now it is.

I feel so grateful everytime I take a stroll around the fields, up to the farm shop, or across to the neighbouring village that this is our new home. I love to see the joy of the kids playing out with friends and having independence, and having a childhood chasing nature. Even the school run is pretty, and I am thankful in all of these little moments that this is our life now. I love how close we are to the beach…the ocean, seaside and family – it really is so fulfilling and I love that we all feel settled and happy with this move. We have slotted in seamlessly, and are enjoying our new village life in the country – it is pretty, and just what we needed!

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If there is one thing I have learn’t from last weeks move, it is that Nathan and I are a team – and a good one at that too. We are both workers, both strong, and when there is something to do that requires us both then we get on with it side by side mostly with a laugh and lots of chatter, and we accomplish our goals.

It hasn’t always been that smooth (my birth with Ethan is a prime example of us “singing from different hymn sheets” with regards expectations of our roles), and there are times when I feel that we’re not on the same team and that maybe we are pulling in different directions, or rather our expectations of one another aren’t understood by the other. There are times of course where I may get quite mad at him or wound up and frustrated by all manner of things (and especially when I am tired I may be extra snappy)! And I am sure that I annoy him too, though he does well at hiding it, biting his tongue and his patience, love and quick forgiveness with me despite my attitude helps us remain on the same side!

But now after 4 kids and almost 8 years of marriage, we are showing the world in many scenarios we have faced and do face, that we are on the same team and it’s something that brings me great joy!

I love the feeling of accomplishing something together, the feeling of knowing we have both pulled our weight, put in the work and succeeded as a team. I love when we can celebrate at the happiness we have created and the things we have achieved.

I often wonder what I would do without Nathan…or even what life was once like without him in it. I wonder what I would do without my team mate and bestie or how I would have got through all we have faced? I am better, and life is better/more fulfilling (and he says the same) for being married to each other.

Our most recent adventure together of course has been moving house. People like to say how stressful this is, and I can certainly agree with that, but not in the way I thought. The actual idea of moving, finding a new home and the reality of being in a new place is all rather exciting. The jobs along the way with solicitors etc were mostly expected and now this weekend we have actually loved settling into our new life back home in East Yorkshire.

The Packing, cleaning and then driving all of your life elsewhere isn’t even that stressful either, it feels like an exciting new adventure and something I can only describe as being right. But for me, I found that the stress comes when you move with kids in tow. When you pack something and turn around and find it unpacked. When you clean a room and they mess it up again. When you’re trying to load/unload a van and they’re just there nagging away. When you tip something and they pull it out. When you need to unload the van to storage and realise you never arranged for anyone to watch them…Now that’s stressful.

But we worked together in the way we know how – side by side and as a team. Slowly and surly it came together with the help of friends and some family, and we did it! We were exhausted, homeless and at now at Grandma’s, but it was together that we got here in our lives, and it was as a team that we did what we set out to do and created happiness and a new chapter.

I am so glad that I found someone that loves me like he does, that can be clam under pressure, work hard alongside me and be my team mate and supporter of our team every step of the way. We have so many dreams and goals that I know we can fulfil because we are in with both feet, each others supporters and playing for the team!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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As I have sat in a house looking much like an episode of hoarders special this week (and squashed in one corner), I have enjoyed catching up on a few episodes of a programme I love – “Shop Well For Less”! Have you seen it? It makes me laugh and I find it fascinating to see how people choose things, the psychology behind marketing and people’s purchasing behaviours. It’s really interesting to see other peoples homes and their thoughts into spending money. I just love to see why people opt for pricey products and cringe at bargains, but mainly I feel like if I ever had a TV show it would be something like that! I love it!

This week has been a super busy one with the move, but of course we always have time to make a few savvy choices along the way and squeeze in the odd barg!

Legoland Free Tickets

No joke here you can get 2 FREE Legoland tickets when you collect tokens from The Sun newspaper. You need 10 tokens, and then you send them off with some possible dates, then they send you 2 FREE tickets for one of those dates. I am hoping we can go somewhere around Ethan’s Birthday in October  … we currently have 6 or 7 tokens and it runs until next week.

Moving ourselves

Moving house is unavoidably a very expensive affair! We have chosen to save money by doing it all ourselves. We hired a van for 2 days at a cost of £48/day, and then used a mix of free boxes from friends and good ol Morrison’s banana boxes. Then with the help of friends from church and family, we managed to load and unload all of our stuff.

It was obviously way more demanding, tiring, and at times very stressful compared to if someone did it all for us, but for that price it was well worth it!

A 15p Yorkie?

Finally I saved 50p on a sneaky chocolate bar this afternoon when I nipped into Asda for our lunch! Being exhausted from 2 days of cleaning and moving, I felt in need of a little choccie pick me up. As I reached for the Wispa’s I noticed that the Yorkies were reduced to 15p each… a chocolate fix for 50p less – what a barg!

Right now I am so done in, rather achy, but so very relieved that our move/sale went smoothly. I expect that come Monday when I realise that this is my new life I will suddenly go into panic mode that I am now homeless and living with family for a few weeks out of a handful of bags! I will then realise all that is still to be done, and be busy sorting the kids new school and planning our new life here. But for now I shall soak up the view, eat more chocolate, enjoy listening to the birds, and just pretend I am away for the weekend at Grandma’s!!

 

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There are moments in our lives that we can clearly pin point as being the end of one chapter and the start of another. Sometimes these moments are natural ones that come with age like finishing High school and moving into the chapter of college, work or uni. And yet at other times they are sprung upon us and completely out of our control and miles away from our plans – like tragedy, redundancy or when a person close to us dies, and we have no choice but to be dragged along with the current into a new place and chapter of our lives.

Often though they come as a result of our choices…We choose to get married. New chapter.  We choose to have a family. New chapter. We choose to apply to a new job. New chapter. We choose to move house. New Chapter. And that’s where we are at right now – a choice and a moment that puts us on the edge of a new chapter in a new place, with kids at a new school and closer to where we came from, and yet further away from what has been so familiar to us.

I have talked a lot over the last few years about the prospect of us moving house in the near future. Nathan’s university graduation, an extra child in the home, and even bereavement have all played part in propelling us closer to that choice and the idea of our little family living somewhere that is more peaceful in a house offering more for our needs now. And so this year we set it as our goal. We never envisioned it happening so quickly but it has, and it feels so right! Whilst it is for most of us one of those ordinary moments in life, it feels like a huge extra ordinary moment too. Something so big and a little scary all at the same time, but it is something we are ready for, ready to embrace and excited to jump into with both feet. We are moving house!!

We sold our house in 5 days and the following week (this week) had our offer accepted on one we have been eyeing up for a while. Nothing is final yet, we still have all the solicitor things to go through, but our house is sold…the house we want is now sold and we are hopeful that things will go ahead smoothly from here, and within a matter of weeks we will bid farewell to our friends and the city we have called home for the last 9 year’s. We close the door on the city that held huge chapters that saw us dating, marrying and having our family (and all the highs and lows that came with that), and open the door to our new home and with it, a chapter of life in a little village over in East Yorkshire where we can raise said family with a different pace of life. It will be our 3rd home as a couple, our 2nd with kids. We will have a new home that fits our families needs now in this chapter of life, in a place to offer us more peace, more natural beauty, more rural living, closer to where our Poppy is buried, and ultimately more opportunities for us to spend time with both our families.

These pictures were taken last weekend when we had a glorious day together in Scarborough, and I remember that day just feeling so blessed in that moment as I looked out on the calmness of the sea and felt the sun on my skin. I felt like a new season was almost here, spring was in the air and with it a new season and chapter for us too. We felt exciting things were on the horizon for our family and we talked about how lucky we would feel to have both the Yorkshire coast and Wolds right on our doorstep. How different life would be. I watched the kids charge to sea, so free and happy and I knew this was what I wanted for them…

Life is built up of chapters and full of moments that start and end those chapters, and we are greatly looking forward to this next one and cannot wait for a new home, new life and new moments together.

The Ordinary Moments
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