I can’t remember a day recently that was so chilled and tranquil for me as Wednesday was. The sun was shining, I had on my shades and trainers, only a cardigan, and I met up with some friends (and their’s) for a walk and wander around some localish RHS Gardens. With Spring in the air and nature coming alive again, it was just a lovely day and opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a while, have some jokes, and enjoy the outdoors and fresh air!

It has been a long time since I went anywhere like this just because and to enjoy it for me more than the kids, or rather have an opportunity to enjoy it for me without the madness of rowdy kids!

For the last few years I have hunted for places where the kids can be outside in beautiful surroundings; to just play, picnic, explore and chase nature! RHS Harlow Carr was always one of these favourite spots we went to in the spring and summer (along with some national trust places too) and memories of walks there flooded my mind as I entered again this week. It seemed like 2 minutes ago I was there with Megan last year hunting for Easter bunnies and now she is in school (sob)! This time it obviously felt different; quieter and more chilled and a feeling of tranquillity filled my soul (especially as I solo’d it back to the car in the afternoon) and it made for the lovely time I had.

There seemed to be more opportunities to look and appreciate the daffodils, babbling beck and sun beams through the trees. I noticed a little robin hopping about on the branches and signs of a new season all around me. My whole mind was in the moment as oppose to looking around to see what mischief they were up to and it felt a little foreign, but refreshing too. It felt great to realise that I like to walk around gardens and woods too and that I like to do this for me – outside of mummy duties to give them a childhood. It got me thinking about how I can have these ordinary moments for me and don’t need my little crew of kids with me to visit our favourite spots, but I can push (or carry) Alice and do this for me too (if I can get passed the emotions of nostalgia).

It was also nice to chat with other mum’s in a similar stage of life and for them to talk about Poppy too in an easy/non awkward way – those moments are always appreciated and make her feel more present and my loss validated and me a little less weird!

I realise now, or maybe am accepting that I am in a new chapter now that my oldest kids are in full time school and just have a little content baby who is happy to go with the flow and is no trouble at all. I often am reminded I should have a toddler too and think sometimes that stops me from seeing those with toddlers more often, but I don’t and this is my life now. I haven’t been out a whole lot with Alice aside from the odd park walk with a couple of friends or shopping and the occasional baby group – its all kind of random and sporadic. But Wednesday reminded me how good it is to get out with people and laugh and chat. How good it is to go to places like this that I enjoy just for me and just because.

It won’t be long before we are back in the stage of seeking places for fun and daily adventures with an inquisitive tot in tow, but for now I can and should make the most of having a baby that goes with the flow and take her along to places that will bring me a sense of joy and contentment too, places that fill my soul with joy and a sense of tranquillity (gardens, forests, beaches). I need to make more plans for opportunities to chat and laugh and I need to be less of a hermit… How nice it is to have moments of peace and feel the sun on your skin – opportunities to “smell the flowers” and appreciate the changes and beauty in nature.


 

The Ordinary Moments
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One of the things I love most about Spring is definitely how much the world around us awakens. I love all of the newness and babies that surround us in nature and it all just feels so beautiful and pleasant to be around. There is nothing like nostalgia to go pond dipping, see baby lambs, find frog spawn and admire the oodles of daffodils, everything about it wakes me from winter hibernation and makes me want to be in it as much as possible on adventures with my little ones.

On Monday however, with what seemed like the biggest downpour and torrential rain here in Yorkshire, being out in nature and admiring Spring was far from where I wanted to be. I craved a snugly rest day, quiet kids, some movies and catching up with some serious chocolate eating from Easter…the kids though did not and so by the afternoon, after faffing around Grandma’s house doing very little, we got in the car and met the other grandparents and cousins and took off up into North Yorkshire on an adventure headed by my Dad, hunting for Newts not far from Dalby Forest!
Share2016-03-28-d8851d647e04313226c2452040831c344d6dbbf45e4893eb9f0ba3262cbf545d-PictureWhilst still a little damp, we were lucky to have some late afternoon sun, peaceful woodland wanders and exceptionally giddy children as Granddad found some Newts for them in the ditches. They passed them around, mesmerized that they were holding real baby crocodiles?!?!?!?! and were just so happy to be together experiencing life in that moment together. What an adventure for a 3 & 5 year old!
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This was certainly a 1st for my kids, but a childhood ordinary moment that will long be remembered for them. I love how the simplest of activities always bring so much joy and excitement to our kids and I love to live in Yorkshire and being out and about exploring it and all it has to offer with them and with our family, its really such a wonderful place to live…Megs is still regretful she didn’t bring the “baby cwocodiles” home so hopefully this year we can raise tadpoles and caterpillars and enjoy seeing life grow together to compensate!
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#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire Tots
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My sister in law passed some clothes on to me yesterday, most of which came from Megs at 12-18 months old and my goodness me, I was not prepared for the emotions of looking through those and remembering her so small; in Spain, toddling on the beach, at the park…summer at 1 yrs old. It all seems a life time a go now she is approaching 4, but these little tops, leggings, dungarees and play suits just brought it all back and I realised just how much has changed in such a short window of time. I thought about how much this little baby girl has grown up into a big girl filled with passion and awareness, humour and an energy and love for life. I felt a real weight in my heart that another little girl had missed out on wearing them and that we had missed many adventures with her and that latter thought prevented me taking back too many of them. But the ones I did pop in my bag are lovely and useful and reminded me of a great summer and more to be had, made me excited to connect a big sister to her new baby, and create new memories with them.
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I feel like these 2 are growing up and changing so quickly, even the seasons and years are passing us by at what seems like such a rapid rate, so I especially love moments where we can just be, where we can explore the world and enjoy it together. Walk and talk, laugh and embrace all each season has to offer us. That hasn’t always been an easy task, but our endurance has enabled it more naturally again now, and I feel I can see a little clearer and appreciate more things.. How glorious was the weather on Friday? Didn’t it just feel like “ahhhh Spring is here at last”? I absolutely loved it and being out and about with my little chicks, sun glasses on and no coat – it was blissful and lovely that something I had written in my diary for the last few weeks, panned out how I hoped and brought about a lovely time for us and a real opportunity to embrace the season and appreciate everything about it.
InstagramCapture_179841d7-c16d-415e-a192-a9c7ade4d800I took them to our local National Trust spot for an Easter egg hunt, walk and play, and of course a cheeky ice cream. Whilst we always do an egg hunt on the Sunday morning at Grandmas house, this year I just felt like I wanted to build the excitement a little more – I wanted to make the most of a day off school and I wanted to get out and about with them both in nature and soak up Spring after the dreadful weather of winter. Those clothes reminded me of something huge and that is that chapters quickly pass and in few months life will not look this way, these 2 will both be in school full time, we will have a new baby to find a new routine with and days like this will become more of a weekend/school holiday thing as oppose to our every day ordinary.

I think that’s why I noticed how it really felt like old times when E was home full time and we weren’t bound by school runs, and that part was wonderful. It was lovely to see the changes in conversation and the excitement that came with age and therefore more awareness of the season from them both and I certainly enjoyed his presence on our adventures again and hearing his insights and seeing he and Megan loving being together with racing imaginations and energy.
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I loved how eager they were to enjoy with me Spring and its message of new life, sunshine, beauty, and just soak it all up. How great to have a window of opportunity to enable us to be back out wandering and embrace this season before it passes into a memory.
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Linking up with mummydaddyme for #OrdinaryMoments

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I am not one, nor ever have been either to style my home for the season. Other than some tulips in Spring and decorations at Christmas, though last year I didn’t particularly enjoy decorating my home at Christmas, and found it to be more of an ordeal/expectation rather than something I really wanted to do. I know it had a lot to do with feeling rough from early pregnancy, combined with the emotions that Christmas brings, but either way I didn’t feel the usual excitement.

I have however, and more recently especially with the connections made through blogging, always admired the homes and little seasonal touches that people bring into their homes. I think its lovely to have garlands, seasonal colours, little accessories and general touches that just make it feel a little more Spring or Autumn, Halloween or Valentines. And so this week I thought I’d like to start the tradition of adding decorations to our home for various events/seasons and have things that I can keep/collect to put away and get out each year, as our income isn’t huge right now with Mr Smith finishing up uni, this was done as cheaply as possibly, but it hasn’t stopped me been rather excited to get started with it and bring into our home the newness and brightness of Spring.
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Our lounge accessories (as you can see) are already rather bright and so I used some of the pinks and greens to tie into my decorations. I made some bunting from some lovely fabric I picked up at the market on Monday (£2.50/mtr) and pinned that on the chimney breast. I really like it though I could be slightly longer, but as its my 1st attempt I shall admire my skills for now.
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Then there was the bookcase corner I wanted to spruce up for Spring, as the other side of the chimney (where we have the TV) always has a vase of fresh seasonal flowers in. SO… I hit Ikea for some cheapo colourful picture frames (65p each) and then swapped some of our regular pics into these brighter frames. I bought a little rabbit plant from Asda for £2.50 and a candle from Primark for £2.00… and my fave is the postcards from Ikea @£1.75 that I popped in the distressed white frame I received a couple of years ago for Christmas. I love the birds and rabbits especially for Spring time and this looks such a cheery spot.
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I still think I need one more touch to the left of the plant, but for now I am happy at my excitement in contrast to that of decorating at Christmas time. Its just a few cheap little touches touched at the moment, but combined with a little bit of home made happiness it really makes me feel happy for Spring and Easter time. I look forward to getting out annually some of these little decorations and adding to them as I see little rabbit ornaments or whatever. How exciting to style our home for the spring time with some simple spring decorations.

Also if you enjoy my little weekly/biweekly thrifty and frugal living posts, I would absolutely love it if you would vote for me in this years MADS from Tots 100, under “Best Thrifty Blog”!! Many Thanks and HAPPY EASTER xx 

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