Apologies for the lateness of this post. I literally walked into the kitchen this morning and wondered why someone had moved the page of the calendar over to August?! Turns out it is actually August and the end of the month completely passed me by (what a joke)!

July has been a hugely eventful, hot and busy month in our family, filled with many exciting things and moments of joy shared together. We had our first full family trip through the caves – all kitted out in wetsuits and with a blow up dinghy it was the ultimate adventure/extreme sport enjoyed by us all! Then, of course it was kicked off with the fun and anticipation of England’s brilliant performance in the world cup (remember that?!) and in celebration of it all we went out and all purchased ourselves an England shirt of some description as you will see from this months pictures. It was such an exciting time and we took these pics to remember when history was made! They were taken of us all in Grandma’s garden after the England V Sweden match and to this day I do not know why the kids chose to pose with watering cans!

I love that these family shots are so summery and that they show us so happy and loving life. I love that we are all matching and in high hopes for England and I am grateful for how much spirit they as a team brought to our country at the beginning of July! I look at these pictures and remember those nights we chilled as a family with Pizza and treats, in anticipation to cheer on our country – together.

From cheering on England to cheering on our own little athletes, July quickly brought us sports day and it was another lovely morning spent as a family. Both Kids did super well and it was a glorious day – we felt really proud of them! And then Megan also bagged a silver medal in her Gymnastics competition too.. she is such a little star!

July actually has been quite a winning month for our family, not only from Sports day, but also with the village Show last week too. This month we have attended quite a lot of events in the village (school Summer fair, Village show and a community event at the sports & recreation grounds a couple of Fridays ago). It has been so great to mix with friends and neighbours and we have had a lot of fun as a family at each one. I love that we belong to such a lovely and happening community it really brings me a lot of joy! The village show, as I say though was especially good as it was where the kids both took 2nd place in their egg decorating competitions and I won 1st place for portrait photography (as well as “Best in the show” for photography)! I actually couldn’t believe it and kinda went a little nuts at the revelation. It was such a shock, rather funny and felt mint all at once!

I also won us a National Trust day pass on the school raffel (I only paid £2 for the tickets as a gesture) and then last week, the best news ever – A trip to Tuscany with “To Tuscany”. We are so excited and cannot even believe it – I suppose it is true that things come in threes! July has certainly been generous to us with joys and celebratory moments, like mid July when Alice turned 2 and we had a little picnic on the village green with cupcakes and treats. Alice is such a special addition to our family and it was lovely to celebrate that. The day itself was spent at The Deep with friends and a picnic, then a few days later we headed to the coast as a family and enjoyed chips on the harbour, ice creams and a boat ride around the headland. As a mother it has been so lovely to share these moments with my children and see how much Ethan and Megan fuss over her for her special day… in these moments I am especially grateful.

Finally we rounded the month off with welcoming in the Summer holidays from school and it couldn’t have come soon enough!

July 2018 was quite possibly one of the most epic and celebratory months in a very long time, but with this continued sunshine and school holidays, summer trips and adventures, and more possible job opps for Mr Smith, we are incredibly excited to see where we find ourselves in August!

In July 2018 we are Grateful for:

*Glorious Weather
*Alice in our family
*Winning a Holiday to Tuscany
*Wins at the Village show
*Getting our room just about finished
*A new mattress from Simba
*The Summer Holidays
*Spending time with village peeps
*Beach days

 

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June has been such a busy month for us with family birthdays/parties, DIY, the world cup, Fathers day and more job interviews for Mr Smith! It marked a whole year since we moved from Leeds to East Yorkshire and it saw me finishing off my portfolio and completing on my Level 3 in counselling skills. We finally got Poppy’s headstone on her grave and celebrated our not so little Megsie turning 6! How much has happened in these last 12 months – I can’t believe what June has held for us this year.

By the time we reached the last day of June yesterday, I suddenly realised we had no pics of us all together from the month of June (blogger fail!) which I thought was kinda crazy really because when I think back on all of the moments we have shared this month together, I am really surprised that we never took the opportunity to snap a few shots of us all enjoying them! However yesterday evening we ended the month on a high with some family time at the coast and these pictures were taken yesterday evening before we headed home (nothing like some last minute selfies)! It was a great end to the month and some ordinary moments I needed.

After a morning of DIY and shopping for home stuff, it was lovely to be able to nip to the coast and go swimming together at the leisure centre there (with splash pool and slides). We had so much fun together going wild and letting loose! We all felt grateful to live so close to the coast now and realised that it is in these moments that we feel grateful to have moved here. Some weeks have been hard and, even though elements of it have been and are still difficult, overlooking the blue seas and seeing out to the cliffs of Flamborough are just lovely and enriching to our souls. They make me thankful for where we live and make it all feel worth it.

After a couple of hours of crazy splashes and sliding at swimming, we walked along the harbour and watched the seagulls and boats, had chips for tea and enjoyed some sneaky doughnuts! For those few hours together we escaped normal life and lived life in the way we wish we did more so! It was such a gorgeous evening and made my heart full – it briefly felt as though we were on holiday and that was just lovely!

It was so great to be together and embrace Summer, but it was also great to be reminded of how much we need to spend more time like this together as a family doing these simple fun things. And how much joy we have when we are out with each other.

I am so grateful for our little family and blessed to have each one of them. Life has been heavy, crazy and hard some weeks too, but I look into their little faces and see their smiles and I know all will be okay. I daydream of more days filled with adventures and joy together, that light feeling of simply living the life we want, and I know that in time we can make them our reality.

With only a couple more weeks left of school, we are all really excited to be so close to the Summer holidays now and have loved all of this sun we have been having recently. It has been a real glimpse of the long summer days that await when school is out and that is such an exciting prospect. We are looking forward to more trips, adventures, sports day and school fetes! We are excited for our adventures to really begin, to celebrate Alice turning 2 and to complete a few more DIY jobs!

July we are excited for you and all you will bring us this month – lets keep the sun shining, the ice creams flowing and let’s create more beautiful family moments!

In June we are grateful for

Megan in our Family
Poppy’s beautiful headstone
Sunshine (lots of sunshine)
Ice cream Friday’s at school with our friends/neighbours
A picnic lunch outside of school
Swimming yesterday at the coast
Mummy Finishing her course
Ethan going up another reading level
Alice going down the slides herself at swimming (she’s nuts)
World cup fever!

 

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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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