With us being away in Tuscany at the end of October/beginning of November, I missed doing our October family update. I really love reflecting back on the month and seeing what has happened in our little family and seeing what we have done. I enjoy capturing the family and seeing us change and grow throughout the year!

Because so many lovely things happen for us both in October and November, I felt the need to write about both months for our family update here in this one, as November 2018 draws to a close! All of the pictures are from our recent holiday and I love looking back on the adventures!

October 2018 

October 2018 not only saw us take a great family adventure with grandma to Tuscany for half term, but it was also a month that will long be remembered as being the one that saw Mr Smith finally get a job closer to home! It was certainly one of the best pieces of news for our family this year, and felt so exciting. Since moving to our lovely village in East Yorkshire last year, it has been hard for us all having him still working in Leeds, but in 2 weeks we all all finally be over here together and begin to experience our lives in the way we hoped and imagined when moving. We will have him home for longer on a morning and earlier on some evenings, and especially in the Summer it will be great to have evening country walks or dinner at the beach. We are so excited that October gave us this and excited to be starting the new year with us all over here and living our new lives together.

Ethan also made the choice to be Baptised in October. He turned 8 (which feels so big) and decided he wanted to be baptised! His birthday weekend was another lovely one that month and seeing him take what was such a huge milestone in his life, was really lovely. It was a special occasion to share with all of our family and friends and one I am thankful for. I only wish we had taken a family pic that day!!

October also marked 9 years of marriage for Mr Smith and I (which we still need to celebrate properly ha!) and Baby loss awareness week. We had some great weekends with a trip to the fair, a family walk to Wharram Percy (a forgotten medieval village) and also some time to get cracking with the decorating. I had some great theatre review opps that I experienced with friends and we of course saw many wonderful places in Italy. We didn’t do our usual halloween things to wrap it all up, but being in Italy, it didn’t seem to matter at all as we were having our own beautiful (and very wet) adventures!

For sure October 2018 was filled with many things to celebrate and many wonderful adventures that I hope we will long remember.

November 2018

And now to November – This last month seems to have just flown by (which I seem to say so often) but I cannot believe that we only have 31 more days of 2018 left – it’s mad! It was a scary end to the month, which saw me and Alice and the hospital last night after a bad fall. Thankfully it wasn’t anything too bad… just some grazing and bad bruising, but boy was it a worrying ans stressful end to the month!

Aside from toddler accidents, this month has seen a lot of prep for Christmas, my birthday and more family moments! It began with us being away in Italy (we got back on the 3rd on November) and during those last few days we went to Florence and Pisa. They were great adventures and days out, and very warm too (which felt so funny to be all “summery” when we knew it was already November)! It was great to start the month off with so much fun and adventure together.

When we landed we headed straight up to Stamford to stay with Nath’s Sister. She recently had a baby and that first weekend of November was his blessing day. We had a lovely weekend with family and a lovely walk around Rutland waters before we all headed back North to our homes! It was of course Bonfire night the following day, but after travelling and a busy weekend, we didn’t (for the first year ever) do anything for it!

The following week I turned 34 and had a lovely birthday with friends and family. I spent the day with my sister in laws and mother in law, had a date night with Mr Smith, a take out with my sisters and a hot tub party with my pals! Turning 34 felt great, as I feel I am in a pretty good place in life and am really loving and knowing myself now. I like my roles and I am confident in my path! I received some lovely gifts too and I am just so thankful for that fun couple of weeks and getting a little bit older (and hopefully wiser too!).

Our weekends have been mostly chilled, but it has been great to chill together and get the house nearer to looking how we would like it!

Megan has moved up another reading level and Ethan has started to take trumpet lessons (heaven help my ears!). It is great to see them both enjoying going to school and doing their little extra curricular things. I love to see their interests evolve and see them enjoying things and spending time together too.

Today we will decorate for Christmas, and get cracking on doing good as a family leading up to it. We have many more Christmas movies to watch (we already made a start in November!) and family things to look forward to. I feel like this December is going to be a good one for us, as we are all in a better place and I certainly feel more excited than I have in a while! We are looking forward to Christmas meals, Christmas plays, carol singing and doing good to bring Joy to others. We hope your December is filled with treats and lovely moments to treasure too, so I guess all that is left to say now is – Let the festivities commence!!!

In October & November we are Grateful for:

*A family Holiday to Tuscany with To Tuscany
*Seeing many more new and Beautiful places in Italy
*Safety when we have travelled
*Mr Smiths New Job that means he can be closer to home
*Help to get our home looking lovely
*Megan’s reading improving so much
*Ethan being in our family and celebrating him
*Seeing Ethan be Baptised
*Mummy’s Birthday
*Date night to the Cinema
*Time with Family
*Country Living and Lovely friends around us
*Alice being okay after a bad fall

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This week, in most ways has been all rather ordinary. We have had a few more mornings of mad dashes to school than I would have hoped for, and we have our usual trips across to soft play and a swim with some friends too, but then in and amongst all of the ordinary day to day stuff of parenting and family life, we have celebrated 9 years or marriage, walked with friends across the Humber Bridge, and on Monday evening I had a lovely evening out to see Fame – The Musical.

This weekend has been another good one, with seeing the kids do a presentation at church, and yesterday we spent the day with friends remembering their baby girl who was also stillborn almost 3 years ago. The weather was lovely and we met on the South bank of the Humber bridge, then in the lovely Autumn sunshine walked across to the North bank. Once there we enjoyed our picnics, chats and a balloon release in her memory. It was a lovely way to spend the day, and they are a truly inspirational family –  we were glad to be able to share in something so special.

Grateful For

This week I feel really grateful and have so many things to be thankful for too! Here goes …

I am grateful for my marriage and to be married to such a wonderful man. I am grateful for all that has been created in life because we fell in love and married 9 years ago and, I am grateful for the love he gives me in life!

As I mentioned, today at church the kids had their annual presentation – It was all about the creation and God Plan for us! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing them all sing and watching each child give a little talk and I am grateful for the confidence of my kids, for their willingness to do things like this, and for the teachers at church that take the time to love and teach them about the gospel. I am also thankful for their simple presentation of things that mean so much to us and the reminders of good things in life! I am grateful for them both and their goodness!

Finally this week I am also grateful for opportunities to be with people that understand loss and talk openly. I am grateful to have gone swimming with friends from the village and I am grateful for my therapist and the great session I had yesterday afternoon! I am grateful for sunshine and beautiful scenery and opportunities to think and understand.

Succeeded At

This week I succeeded at gaining another year of marriage with Mr Smith. I love him greatly and I am so thankful to be celebrating 9 years of marriage! Whilst we haven’t officially celebrated, we did mark the day with some posh food at home (Lidl spec haha) and nice drinks (who says romance is dead?!). We are looking forward to planning a night away together (or 2) once we have half term out of the way and once we actually decide where we want to go!

Found Beauty In

Yesterday was a very beautiful day – the Humber bridge and the autumn leaves were really lovely and I enjoyed walking over the Humber bridge chatting with people! I always find it a little nervy, but it is also an incredibly beautiful and exciting thing to do. It was beautiful to see a family remember their baby and to see balloons a plenty with loving notes attached float off up to “heaven”!

I also found beauty in seeing Megs and Alice play so lovely yesterday in the leaves and in the car, whilst Ethan was out with his Grandma. I found beauty in Ethan and Megs singing today and in the general loveliness of the whole thing!

I have found beauty in driving around where we live this weekend and I have seen beauty in our marriage and lives together. I have also been blessed this week to have opened my eyes to find more beauty in motherhood and that was such a good feeling. I often mix up the mundane house keeping stuff with motherhood and then it doesn’t always feel so great or I find the days unfulfilling. But when I focus more on being a mummy and enjoying my children, then I feel like it is such a wonderful and incredibly thing. I feel far more blessed and it feels a much more beautiful life, than cleaning and laundry!

This week has been especially beautiful and one with much to be thankful for. Six more days to our Italy trip, and I truly am thankful for that too.

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I am sad to have come to the end of August, purely because we have had such a wonderful and adventurous month! The Summer holidays have been a real treat and we have made some fabulous memories together (as well as with family and friends). I am going to miss the kids when they go back to school on Tuesday – our relaxed mornings, our plans and days out together, those picnics and mad dashes for the train!

Yes, things will certainly be a lot quieter and less eventful than they have been over this passed month.

In August we have had multiple beach trips, country walks, our first family camping trip and Megan and I finally baked together! We have watched countless movies, had a cinema trip, being rockpooling and the kids have played out on their bikes with their friends. We have had sleepovers at Grandma’s and been twice to one of our favourite museums! We have fully embraced the Summer holidays and it has been both fun and relaxing!

Whilst we haven’t done half of what was on our Summer Bucket list this year, and although Mr Smith spent 2 weeks of August plagued by illness, we have nevertheless had an absolutely wonderful Summer holidays together!

Our Pictures this month are taken on 2 separate occasions over the bank holiday weekend last week. We stayed in a lovely big house on the cliffs of the scottish coast in the Galloway area, along with all of Nathan’s family. It was a lovely getaway and I love these pictures of us all. We do look rather Autumnal (due to the much cooler temperatures we had) but it was one last fabulous adventure as a family before getting ready to go back to school!

We will all miss our casual days and beach days… the taking it easy day to day and not clock watching, but as we head into the changes of September and what has always been a bit of a funny month for our family as we look to celebrate Poppy, we take with us our memories and all that we are grateful for this month.

In August we are grateful for…

The Summer Holidays
A trip to Scotland with family
Having some of our friends from Leeds visit (and stay over)
Lots of trips to the beach
Excellent weather
A great first camping experience and tent adventures
A beach day with our neighbour friends / Lots of days out with them
Eating waffles/Doughnuts on the Harbour
Seeing lots of new lighthouses
Spending time with Cousins
A visit to Chatsworth House
Mummy getting her Level 3 certificate in Counselling
Adventures through the caves
Living in the countryside and having lovely walks

Thank you August – you have given us fabulous adventures, weather and friendships!

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful
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Almost a month ago now, on the 19th of July, our little rainbow and baby of the family (Miss Alice) turned a big 2 years old! Like last year, I meant to write about it around when it all happened, but as it always falls so close to the end of term and at busy time of year, we unfortunately got so busy and swept up in the start of the Summer holidays that writing about it all just passed me by!

I suppose being an end of July baby, this could be a sign of things to come. Thank goodness she has her Dad’s laid back tendencies with things!

This year it was another simple affair, which I am also quickly realising seems to go a long with Alice’s chilled nature. As it was her 2nd birthday (and by family tradition we would normally have their first party), we soon realised unlike her siblings she doesn’t particularly mingle with any kids her age on a regular basis that we would think to invite. She has a couple of girls at church but barely will go near anyone, and then her cousins are all spread out and so we decided that we would have a simple family picnic on the green and a family day out at the weekend.

The weather was great on her birthday and I spent the day with her at the Deep in Hull with a friend and her son from the village whilst the kids were at school. She loves fish and animals and had a lot of joy and excitement from this trip. That evening Grandma Smith came over and we headed to the village green for a picnic tea with lots of her faves. It was so chilled that we didn’t even have a cake for her, but rather she was simply delighted with a little chocolate cupcake and candle (that she soon realised was not edible!).

At the weekend we headed to the coast and took her on a boat ride, followed by chips and an ice cream on the Harbour. It was a lovely evening and a great way to celebrate Alice. She quickly cottoned on to what “A Happy Birthday” meant and she thoroughly enjoyed it all!

At 2 I want to remember her belly laughs and how she laughs at “goggys” (dogs) whilst signing “dogs”!

I want to remember how she stands on her tippy toes to put the bathroom taps on and then laughs her head off as water sprays every where!!

I want to remember her brilliant horrified face and the way she turns her nose up at any foods you push her way that she doesn’t like.

I want to remember how she says “bah-bye” to anything that disappears, how she adores her daddy and watches him leave for work from the bay window, whilst shouting “bah-bye daddy”.

I want to remember how she goes nuts and panics over the teeniest of creatures and calls them all “piders”!

I want to remember how much she loves playing with her siblings, how she fights them back and how cheeky she is with them!

I want to remember how loving and kind she is and how every morning on the way to school she signs birds as she hears them in the trees!

I want to remember how she climbs up on to the counter tops and then sits on the window sill to help herself to the fruit bowl!

I want to remember how she loves to pick daisys on the school run, hates being in the pram and can undo her car seat and climb out (every journey!).

I want to remember how she snuggles, holds my little finger instead of my hand and how she hold my shoulders when I carrier on hikes!

I want to remember how girly and pretty she is in style and how everyone loves her big blue eyes and blonde curls.

Happy 2nd Birthday Alice (even if it is rather late). You are fierce, loving, really nuts and life is better with you in it!

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