May 2018 has been a really strange month for us. There has been no major trips or adventures we have taken, and we have no big news to share, but then there has been a few, more serious things (like a day at A&E) that has meant that it has just felt all a little bit of a strange one! We have been fortunate to have lovely weather, but our weekends, half term, and those bonus bank holidays, have all been spent locally and I have actually really liked that! We have been appreciating where we live and remembering why we fell in love with this part of East Yorkshire, and it has brought some tranquility in the madness!

The month began on a high with a bank holiday weekend, and we made the most of the sunshine we had with a lovely 5 mile walk with the family, which saw us leaving from our house and trekking around the local countryside to a lovely spring. I love where we live – it is stunning, and being in open, pretty spaces makes me feel at peace. It is good for the soul and I hope I never tire of the fields, woodland and cosy cottages that surround us in our village! In just a few days it will have been a whole year since we moved over to East Yorkshire from Leeds, and whilst some things have been a challenge for us in this time, and some adjustments have had to be made, overall it was the best decision for our family, and we are lapping up the peace and tranquility of living in a place filled with so much nature and beauty (and lovely neighbours). With the generally milder weather of May, we have embraced all of this by getting out on several walks and strolls around the countryside where we live, and each time we feel incredibly grateful to have our home here.

Our pictures this month are taken in the local woods a couple of weeks ago when we had a spontaneous Sunday afternoon stroll and dinner with some of my family after church. I look wrecked, and have been ill now for almost 2 weeks (not knowing until last week that it was my kidney!), but despite that, I love how chilled we all were that day, and how it is reflective of our relaxed approach to life now. Comparing me last year to this, I would say I wear trainers and Ts a lot more than I ever did, and I have more make up free days too. I love wearing cool things of course, but my lifestyle now is more chill and seems to have become much more about the joy of getting out in nature with my kids and for myself, and dressing for that! I like the balance we have there in life (and this pic)!

Aside from country walks and noticing our chilled life, the month of May has also seen Mr Smith having a car accident, me a kidney infection, and us both heading to (and very much loving) a Bryan Adams concert in Manchester. It has seen Alice learn new words, and Ethan and Megs having an epic sleepover with cousins at their Grandma Smith’s house just this last weekend!

I would say this month has been lovely, eye opening, and also rather weird and strange too with illness and accidents (resulting in an A&E day trip).

Next month Megan turns 6, we celebrate 12 months living in East Yorkshire, and I finish my counselling course I have worked so hard to get through! I hope both Mr Smith and I feel well, and can enjoy the celebrations of June!

This Month We Are Grateful For…

*Nathan not being too badly hurt
*The NHS – it has helped Nath in his accident and me with being ill recently
*Sunshine to enjoy nature
*Grandma for having the kids for the weekend
*Family for babysitting so we could enjoy a concert in Manchester
*A pimped courtesy car whilst ours is in the garage
*Bank Holiday weekends and time together
*Our newly decorated kitchen

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Like many places across the country today, we are ending February on a rather snowy note! The village looks gorgeous dressed in white, and we have already had a really good walk across the fields, kitted out in all of our snow gear.  I never tire of living here and the kids are excited to the max to be able to run free in snowy fields before school!

I have really fallen in love wih snow (especially now I have the right attire) and have been hoping for a decent covering since November time, so this morning, when we woke up to lots more snow on top of yesterday’s dusting I was super pleased too! Thanks to this “big freeze” our wish for “proper snow” has finally come true, and with the later school opening time, it’s turned out to be a great last day of the month for us all.

Our pictures this month (bar 1 on the cliffes) were taken a couple of weeks ago in the grounds of our Temple in Chorely! We had an overnight stay at a nearby hotel and then spent the day there. We go rather regularly and it’s a very significant and special place for us as Mormons! On this day though I wanted to remember that with every picture we took, the kids left a space for “Poppy”! I have one of the 3 of them on their own with a gap for her, and then these family ones took me by surprise afterwards when I came to edit them, because I noticed Alice had automatically left a space too like they had been doing earlier!

They might just be a few quick, imperfect and crazy family pictures, but the space reminds me how missed Poppy is, and how special my little ones are. They are taken in a place that reminds me we have a hope of being a forever family!

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this family update for February that I realised we’ve actually had some really hearty moments this month. I thought I would be scratching my head, trying to come up with things as all I could remember was lots of rainy days and dull moments! Instead I am struggling to fit in all we have done and enjoyed together in the shortest month of the year!

The snow these last couple of days is obviously a highlight for the kids, as is us all going to see “The Greatest Showman” on Monday evening for our family night (and we haven’t stopped singing and dancing since). But we’ve also had the adventures of half term, a Valentines date to see “Coco” with the kids and their cousins, and then our cliff top walk last week. A soft play visit (wahhh) and a London visit for Ethan and I at the beginning of the month to see Pinocchio! For such a short month, February has given us a lot!

This month I have noted a huge change in Alice and she has us all laughing on a daily basis – she is so funny! Her vocab is increasing daily, as is her thoughtfulness, hysterical laughter and ability to follow instructions. She is still rather clingy (mostly with Nathan) but her little singing voice and snuggles are just the best, and as she gets older I am enjoying more and more our days together.

Megan is loving her weekly Rainbows group and has moved up a reading level too which is just great. Ethan has quit Judo this month as he realised he “doesn’t like fighting” after all! Which I was fine about as our rule is that you must try it for a term before making any rash decisions. He’s been doing it since September and at first I imagined he would be doing it for years, but the less games and more real “fighting” they have done, he has become increasingly uncomfortable with it, to the point that he didn’t want to go. Instead he wants to pursue music, so we’re currently just looking into guitar lessons and piano for him.

Ethan has also turned a corner from being the messiest child in the house to the cleanest! He has been cleaning his room all month as I said he could get a new disco light if he did… it’s a huge shock he has kept it up, but I certainly admire his determination and persistence for something he so desperately wants. I am proud he has kept to his side of the deal and it’s great to see the effort and enthusiasm to clean his room.. the Hoover is out every week and it’s wonderful to walk passed daily and see it neat and tidy, as oppose to the tat and dirty socks everywhere!

The 2 of us (Ethan and I), had a lovely trip to London at the beginning of the month and since then we have had a really good February – we have done loads, and whilst moments have been very trying, we have had some really lovely moments for our family. But of course we can’t get to the end of February and not look forward to what is coming our way in March. We are now officially into our 3 week countdown to our USA trip and are ecstatic! I have lots of chocolate to buy for our friends, and a few Summer style clothes for our ever growing kids, but other than that it’s a matter of counting down the days, packing, and looking forward to lots and lots of amazing adventures coming our way!

In February we are grateful for

*Snow
*Snow
*Snow
*Megan moving up a reading level
*Surviving a rainy half term
*Discovering “The Greatest Showman
*The Joyfullness of “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack
*Seeing friends in Leeds
*Ethan keeping his room clean all month
*Joining the RSPB
*Seeing London and Pinocchio
*Valentine’s love
*Pancakes
 
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And just like that Christmas is over and here we are on New year’s eve of 2017!!! What the heck!! Where has this year gone?! It literally feels like no time at all that we were welcoming in 2017 and now we’re saying “good bye” to it, and “Happy New Year” to all! But what a lovely end to the year we have had, and year in general. It has been filled with life changing moments, lots of lovely and crazy ordinary moments, and adventures we have loved. It has been (mostly) great to do it with this crazy bunch and build new memories and experiences together.

This month has been so incredibly busy for us, but so great too. I have loved all of the little things we have had the pleasure of doing to #LightTheWorld. We have sung carols, baked treats and delivered gifts to the homeless. We have sent gifts of appreciation and cooked meals to share with family. We have bought gifts for underprivileged children and families, delivered treats to the elderly and met asylum seekers and refugees. We have donated to good causes, and given our time to others, yes this December we have been truly humbled by so many, and felt grateful to have crossed paths with them. I feel with all of that, we have sincerely felt the spirit of Christmas, and therefore felt an ease to our grief.

I have loved that amidst the busy things, projects and general shopping/wrapping, we have had moments to just be and enjoy the season. I loved seeing the kids nativities, all of the Christmas films and the brief snow showers we squealed over and dreamt about. I have loved the freezing country walks, and the cosy lazy days. I have loved been together and bringing sparkle to Poppy’s grave.

This Christmas morning was our first one at home. Whilst we still spent most of the day at Grandma’s, we slept at our own home and then spent the first few hours of Christmas morning there in our new home. It felt so lovely and was absolutely great. The kids slept on our floor and then gathered round the bed to open their stockings. We all crept together to see what had been left downstairs and then just sat on our sofa’s taking in these special little moments of magic. Moments I often miss in the chaos and giddiness of so many. I didn’t really take pictures, their little squeals and smiles were enough, but I love that because we live so close now, we can enjoy these ordinary moments of present opening just together before the madness of Christmas with so many. I love both, but I especially loved this years Christmas – it was a great balance of making new traditions and spending lots of time with family.

I love the crazy poses in these family pics, once again taken in Grandmas garden as it’s been our second home this season. I love how Ethan and Megs are discreetly holding hands, and I love how Alice is not bothered!

Well it’s that funny time of year now with the new year fast approaching. The time of year where I suddenly feel pressure to make goals and big decisions to change life for the better. I have a few things I want to see and do, But in the meantime I am taking a few minutes to be grateful for all the good in 2017.

8 years of marriage
A 1, 5 & 7 year old
A beautiful adventure in Italy
A fun Scottish road trip to Edinburgh
The national Space centre
A weekend in Oxford
Seeing Alice grow and develop
Go Ape
Lots of walks, days out and little treats
Theatre Trips
Yorks Chocolate Story
Remembering my wonderful Granddad who we sadly lost!
A beautiful new house in a place where dreams are made!!!

We are blessed with lovely neighbors scenery and a home we love. Family all around, great scenery and fabulous memories and lessons. Thank you 2017 for such wonderful memories and experiences. A hearty year for our hearty life – I love seeing the changes and remembering such great times!

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Okay so we are actually in November now and I am only just getting around to our family update! It’s been a little bit of fail with getting a family pic for this month as we’ve had another packed one with outings and celebrations. I hoped weeks ago to have a lovely Autumnal shoot, but instead here we are on the 5th of November, with thoughts of bonfires and fireworks, and wondering where the heck the time has gone?!

I have had the details of this post written out for well over a week in preparation for the 31st of October, but couldn’t hit publish as we had no pics with it. So instead of wasting more time, waiting to get some decent shots, I give you some rather chaotic (and shocking quality) selfies reflecting both the joy and pure madness of life with these lot!

October was a wonderful month for us, and I have been so happy that with it came half term and some chilled time with the kids. It was wonderful that the end of October coincided with both half term and Halloween as it has meant that October 2017 has gone out with a bang!

In previous years, and since losing Poppy, I have avoided making a thing of Halloween. I just found it uncomfortable and distasteful, but I knew like everything with life after loss, there would come a time I would need overcome that and make it something for the kids to enjoy. With both the kids getting older and moving to a lovely community spirited village, it seemed that time was now. Yes, Halloween has suddenly become a thing and something (dare I say it) also quite enjoyable. On the last night of October we carved pumpkins, decorated the front door and took the kids trick or treating!

It was so lovely to see their excitement over it. Their first time experiencing the spooky houses of others and getting bags of sweeties and then answering the door to each of their new friends as they made the rounds. I enjoyed creating new family traditions and I realised whilst the whole death thing still makes me uncomfortable, there are many more fun things we can take from it to join in the fun and have a good time! I am grateful we could turn this awkward season round into something more fun. I look forward to more Halloweens, costumes, parties and trick or treating with the kids!

The rest of October, I have to say has also being very good to us too. The beginning was all about counting down to Ethan turning 7, followed quickly by our 8th Wedding Anniversary. I really love this time of year where we have an opportunity to celebrate the day it all began, and our first born child the following year. I love Octobers for remembering the wonderful blessing that is us. Its always lovely to reflect on those joyous and life changing occasions for our family and have a night away as a couple – kid free!

November is another exciting time with bonfires and my birthday (yup I’m 33 this week), and we are so very much looking forward to this new month with many more exciting things already pencilled in on the calendar. We hope to get some more rooms decorated and get organised for December and the countdown to Christmas – I cannot believe how little of 2017 we have left to enjoy and create memories! Seriously…How are we only a matter of weeks away from the end of the year?

In October we are grateful for

*First time trick or treaters
*A positive Halloween experience
*A lovely neighbourhood
*Pumpkin Balls at school and a first school disco
*8 years of marriage
*Ethan in our family
*Williams Den being so close
*Each other!

 

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