This week has felt all rather festive with the commencement of Christmas shopping and then a Christmas fair yesterday in the village, that saw me “elfing around” with a couple of other mum’s as we manned the Santa’s grotto on the PM shift! It has been a cold and wet week and I have suffered a little with my health, but for the first time since Poppy passed away, I am actually feeling excited for December’s approach and Christmas time, and that feels really good! That’s not to say that the season won’t still have its struggles and moments of reflection, but I am embracing the christmas cheer and excitement that I am feeling right now and living in the moment.

Grateful For 

This week I am grateful for the fun I have had with friends. On Monday I went to Hull Christmas shopping and for lunch with a couple of them and it was great (albeit a little mad too!). On wednesday one of my pals invited me to “Pig Bingo” in the village – whilst not usually my scene to do Bingo, I thought it would be funny (which it was) and had a great time with her and about 50 old folk, all playing for gammon joints, stewing steak and sausages! It was one of the funniest, most random experiences I have had in a while and I am grateful for the laughs and random things like this that come with village life – it’s brilliant!

On Thursday Alice and I had a lovely time at soft play with one of my oldest friends and then on Friday one of my lovely friends kindly accompanied me on the train for an appointment and more shopping! Once again I am grateful for the people in my life; their kindness and banter – it’s great.

This week I have been grateful for my Joules wellies I got last year and rain coats. The weather has been pretty wet and windy, and I am thankful to have stayed warm and dry (mostly) on the school runs.

Succeeded At 

This week I succeeded at making a start on Christmas shopping! I am still stuck for ideas on a couple of people but I am pleased with the progress (and little bargains) I have already made.

We have returned to the old “Want, Need, Wear, Read” approach with gifts in our little family this year, but modified it to “Want, Need, Share, Read” – they have plenty of clothes and having them thinking about gifts that they can share with the family (ie a dvd, game or family experience ) I think is a lovely thing. It is an opportunity to draw on the idea of thinking of others at Christmas time and sharing in the joy of gifts together – it feels good to have some balance in gift giving and for it to not always be about “stuff” but sometimes spending time together and having fun with one another.

Last year I felt a little annoyed and regretful following Christmas and this week I have felt initially a little stressed about what to do regarding gifts for the kids, but as I thought about it, and considered our desire to have surprises as well as bring the magic too, the “Want, Need, Share, Read” approach (along with a small surprise and stocking from santa) felt like a good balance for them having something to be excited about (one want and santa surprises) and us being able to lower the amount of unnecessary stuff and expectations.We felt it would be minimal, yet exciting and fun for us all still.

Whilst last year I said I wouldn’t have lists, I have allowed them to choose 1 thing they most want so they can get excited about it and not be distracted over so many other things! The needs are things like dressing gowns, a new leotard or a water bottle or backpack at this stage in life (but will obviously change as they get older to maybe a bigger bike, a laptop for uni or simply a new pair of wellies!). And then, as I say, the share category will either be a family gift (a day out somewhere special, tickets somewhere) or a game they can share with friends and family or a DVD they love (that again they can watch with siblings and friends)! For Nath and I we will either incorporate it as a whole family gift if one year we want to do something bigger, but this year we have decided to choose a date for each other as our “something to share”, which might be go karting, a meal voucher, cinema or tickets somewhere. Finally who doesn’t want new books or a magazine subscription(or even a framed quote)? Something to read is also something to get stuck into come New year when things quiet down – they can get lost in a new adventure or learn more about something that interests them! Or perhaps it will be a wordy pic for our home or one day a kindle (when they can look after it). I want there to be an element of excitement over new books and things to read – be them stories, facts or otherwise.

I feel somewhat successful in settling on this new way to gift in our family and that makes me feel more content. It feels good to be getting a balance of magic/excitement for Christmas, as well as them learning about wants and needs and the importance of sharing with others and spending time with loved ones having fun. I feel like it is a tradition that can grow with us all, and have them excited each year for something we might share in as a family, as well as thinking really hard about just one special thing they might really want. I am glad that Nathan and I are doing it too for each other and planning special dates as well as thinking about what we might need and love! I am looking forward to seeing what we all give, get and share on Christmas day.

Found Beauty In 

With such miserable weather this week, and not feeling 100% ,it has been hard to notice the beauty around me – i’ll be honest. I suppose the one moment that stands out the most for me though would be when we saw someone walking a pony on the way home from school this week. The pony itself was really cute, and Megan’s confidence and excitement to approach it and interact was really lovely and beautiful! It was rather exciting.

We have had another lovely week, feeling thankful for country living and excitement for Christmas. I hope this week to crack on with more shopping, see friends and family and hopefully make a start on my first college assignment (3,000 words). I hope your week has been good too and filled with lovely moments.

 

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This week has suddenly turned from mild Autumnal mornings, to blumming freezing in the space of a couple of days! I have dug out our feather duvet (much to Mr Smiths dismay) and tonight plan on bringing down all my Autumn/Winter stuff out of the loft, as I am feeling I need more knitwear and thick socks in my life. We have had a whole lot of rain and I am really beginning to miss the heat wave of Summer!

On Saturday we enjoyed a lovely visit to the Keighley and Worth Valley railway (which I will do a post about in a few days) followed by a swim party and fab little disco in celebration of my brother in laws 40th! It was a great fun packed weekend to wrap up a busy week of work, school runs and back to college, and I am thankful for ordinary moments to create special memories amidst the family life mayhem!

Grateful For 

This week I am grateful to have a dryer! It may seem really silly, but this is actually the first time in our married life that we have had a tumble dryer and I love it! We have never really had space before, and just made do with a drying rack, radiators or the odd sunny days (which has been utterly disastrous some weeks). But now with all of the rain and increasing laundry from 3 kids, it has completely changed my life and I couldn’t be more thankful to have a dryer!

I am also grateful to have been able to take Megan to see Madagascar the musical last Monday evening. We had a wonderful evening together and I am so pleased to be her mother!

Succeeded At

This week I successfully enrolled at college for my Level 4 diploma in counselling and successfully completed the first day! It was so good to be back and feel this level of enthusiasm and passion for something. My mind is whirling with theories and thoughts about areas I want to work in, and I am excited for this chapter of life and increased knowledge!

Found Beauty In

On Thursday I think it was, when we had a huge amount of rain (which conveniently hit tight on the school run), and as I reached the school gates, I looked down at Alice and saw the cutest little hand poking out to catch rain drops – it was a beautiful and very lovely sight!

I also found beauty in seeing my old friends at college again, walking across to soft play, the yorkshire dales via the steam train, and seeing the kids enjoy themselves with the trains on Saturday!

Its been another lovely but busy week!

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We are currently enjoying a lovely long (and rather wet) family weekend in Scotland with Nathans family. We arrived on Thursday after several stops on the way up, and whilst the weather has been rather wet and windy, we were blessed yesterday with enough sunshine to enjoy a day at the beach – it was so lovely and bursting with beauty!

This week has been great for seeing our friends and looking forward to this long bank holiday weekend with family in Scotland. We have done loads together and can hardly believe that in just over a week we will back to school! It makes me a little sad to be entering a new chapter when we are so very much enjoying these Summer adventures together!

Grateful For 

This week I am grateful for open fires in this spectacular house we are staying in – they are both relaxing and a big source of warmth for us on an evening! I am grateful for luxury accomodation we can all stay in together too and just generally for a family holiday with all of our great family in such a cool location.

I am grateful for friends and the lovely days out together this week. And I am grateful for the yummy cookies at LIDL bakery – they have always been a firm favourite of mine and after a whole week of no sugar, I have enjoyed a couple this weekend as a holiday treat!

Succeeded At

This week I succeeded at losing 3lb of the 10 or so I have slowly piled on! The aforementioned cookies may jeopardize that progress, but for now I shall celebrate this small accomplishment!

We also succeeded at making it to Scotland in okay time with little drama – a fine achievement for anyone with 3 kids in tow!

Found Beauty In 

This week again has been one of great beauty. My soul has felt joy to walk through the pretty countryside around our house in East Yorkshire with our friends, and to see Alice and Megan having so many moments of play and sisterhood!! I have loved seeing my children laughing and playing with cousins and schoolmates and, finally, I have loved the beautiful decor of this house where we are staying and the views and coastlines that surround us!

Scotland is so beautiful and I am thankful to be here together… It is always a lot of fun when are all together as a ginormous family.

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Our week was rather a quiet one until we hit Friday and then it has been all rather full on and non stop! We had the school Summer fair, followed by a fabulous community event on Friday evening. And then yesterday we had the joy of watching Megsie in her Gymnastics competition where she bagged herself a silver medal!

The afternoon saw Nathan and I taking Alice and Ethan to the Humber Bridge country park for a couple of hours whilst Megan enjoyed some fun activities with her Rainbows group (packed social life for her this weekend!). Finally we rounded it off with a lovely stroll through the woods at Danes Dyke and a chill on the beach this afternoon following our usual Sunday morning at Church! It has been a wonderful weekend and one I was grateful to have enjoyed so much – It has made me feel all the more excited for the Summer Holidays and more beach days and adventures!

Grateful For 

This week I am incredibly grateful for my neighbour who took me to Bridlington for “little big sing” and who takes Megs every week to Gymnastics with her daughter – it has meant I don’t have to get the train, that we have become friends and that Megan can do Gym more easily!

I am also grateful for 2 lovely school reports from Ethan and Megan’s teachers – they made me super proud! There were parts in them that actually made me laugh out loud and I love how great they both have been this school year. Mostly though I love and am grateful, that they continue to be themselves and that Megan especially is “strong willed” (Stubborn) and “independent”… I feel like she will go far!

Succeeded At 

I made it to the School Fair to be able help and successfully completed my stint on the Raffle store! I also bought 2 strips of tickets afterwards (for £2) and won a family day to a local National Trust spot! I couldn’t believe my luck – I never win things and it felt so great to have won such a fab prize when I had only spent 2 quid!

Found Beauty In 

The lovely fields on Monday when I walked my friends dog with her and the singing school kids at “Little big sing” that same afternoon! I found beauty in the many crocheted poppies lining the village station for “Village in bloom” and seeing the village gather together on Friday night.

It was also beautiful to see Megan performing her heart out in her Gym competition and the Humber Bridge on Saturday! And finally it was beautiful to see the white chalky rocks and sea this afternoon as we sat chatting and playing together!

It’s been a beautiful week in many ways and I am thankful for more positivity! 5 more days till schools out and we are a little excited and very ready for it!

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