Okay so my first question is how are we in the middle of 2016 already? This year has passed so quickly that I really would like for it to start slowing down! The end of… More
It’s been a busy April for us, we started it on holiday which saw us travelling all over the UK and the month finished in London on our first trip there as a family. It’s been great having some quality time together and making some memories and we are definitely happiest when out and about
The hectic month has started to take its toll though, I’m in desperate need of sleep and rest as my throat has started to play up and J is starting to cough again, so aside from the bank holiday weekend I think May will be a quiet one, obviously with a few walks and adventures but maybe on a scaled back level
Mid-month we decided to venture somewhere new for a walk and ended up at Micheldever Woods north of Winchester, bluebells have sprung and there were carpets of colour throughout the woods, the best level of bluebells I’ve seen in a long time, and I vowed to go back again to take my monthly photo with the family
The following week we did just that, my mother-in-law was home for the weekend and came along with us for a walk at our new found woods and stood to the side of the photo as we took it. After the initial shots were complete I asked her to join in with a photo so although they are mostly us I wanted to include her too on this months photos
These are the first photos this year that we haven’t worn coats, the south has been so warm and sunny and on more than one occasion we’ve not even had to wear jumpers, although the last few days it’s been pretty chilly and the coats have crept back in much to our dismay. Shortly before the photo J fell over and has the muddiest knees, her face was a picture when she fell and she made us laugh quite a lot!
I really love these photos, the dog is looking at the camera in one of the shots and there’s lots of colour and smiles amongst us. We included an outtake photo again this month and a shot of J using the remote. I love having the perfect family photo but I also love having the not so perfect side of us to see to each month.
The hubster also decided to have a silly shot and told us all to kick our legs and you can see Lexi looking at us as if we are mad. I love my little family and that we are now documenting portrait photos
Never one to sit still, on our week off we managed to visit 4 counties in 4 days; North Yorkshire, Hampshire, Dorset and East Sussex
After arriving home from York we decided to visit Corfe Castle with our National Trust passes. Travelling to Dorset from Hampshire after a day confined to a car we didn’t think that J would manage another lengthy trip but she surprised us and was so well behaved. She sat and chatted happily to us in the car throughout the journey
We arrived late morning and the sky was stunning, with cotton wool type clouds and very little breeze. We took the longer route from the National Trust car park to get to the castle, walking along the nature trail which was quite scenic and with a little river alongside it, and then began the trek up to the top. We chose not to do the children’s activity paper this time round and instead explore together
With it being a beautiful day and school holidays, there were a lot of people present and to our dismay dogs too. We had made the decision to leave Lexi at home for the day and instantly regretted it as soon as we saw the others
As we were walking up the hill J found lots of hiding places and wandered around with interest, and we stopped for a picnic overlooking a hill that I promised J we would visit and climb another day. She loves hills at the moment, Butser Hill is next on our list and maybe even Snowdon in the future(!)
After lunch we continued walking to the top of the castle, J asked to take a photo of the hubster and I. Giving her my dSLR is never an easy decision but for a 3 year old she doesn’t take a bad photo!
As expected at the top it was pretty windy, but we enjoyed the views looking out over Dorset and played a couple of games of hide and seek before heading back down
The walk back to the car had a little adventure, we did the long route again, played on the children’s equipment and I also managed to totally submerge my foot in the river trying to retrieve a stick (of all things) for the hubster, and was quite grateful that we were heading home instead of heading into Swanage
It really was a lovely day out, and I will definitely be heading back there with my little family again in the future and to fulfil the promise of completing another hill!
Linking up for Country Kids with Fiona at Coombe Mill
We have recently purchased annual passes to Paultons Park and last Sunday my mother-in-law was home for the weekend so we decided to make a day of it
The weather was beautiful with the sun shining throughout our time there and my mother-in-law did every ride with J which considering she is in her 60’s is pretty impressive. We did quite a few rides in Peppa Pig World, the more tame end of the park, and I love the photo of these three on the dinosaur ride.
Every Tuesday night I ask J what she wants to do on her Wednesday with me and 99% of the time she asks to take Lexi for a walk. She’s such a good girl and the bond between her and Lexi grows stronger and stronger
Lexi pulls and it’s something we’ve never managed to remove, instead opting for a halti where we control her pulling with as little force as a little finger on the lead. It also means when J asks to take the lead I’m not as hesitant as I perhaps would have been
Our lovely Labrador also seems to understand who is walking her and adapts her pace to the person with the lead. J is a tall girl for her age but next to Lexi and on top of one of the hills in the South Downs she looks so small. A simple shot of a girl and her best friend, Lexi the dog.
This week J and I visited Mottisfont Abbey for their National Trust Easter Egg hunt. We were in York for Easter and thought the National Trust hunts had finished, but it turns out that Mottisfont Abbey were running them through to the end of the Easter holidays
J and I had a great time running around and collecting the clues for the chocolate prize at the end, and it was so nice to spend some one-on-one time together after a few days back in our routines. Along the route I took this photo of the River Test as I loved the colours. Spring is finally here and although we are experiencing lots of April showers, the blossom and the green grass is what makes me love this season and love living where we do
Each time we have visited Mottisfont Abbey there is something new we find or a new photo that I capture that I want to have framed, and this is one of them. Only an hour before I took this there were grey, cloudy skies, but it soon cleared and we were carrying our coats and umbrellas with us as we explored the grounds.
Linking up with Darren for My Sunday Photo
Life in general and holidays seem to have got in the way these past few weeks and I’ve struggled to find time to put pen to paper so to speak. Hopefully April will see calmer times and a much needed catch up as I have so many photos from our adventures
A couple of weeks ago we visited Longdown Activity Farm for Mother’s Day and took my mum along with us. We last visited on Father’s Day in June last year, and it’s quite nice as parents go free depending on which day you’re celebrating. Mum hasn’t been to any farms or zoos with us since having J, and it’s been years since she last visited Longdown with me as a little girl so it was nice to experience it with her and for her to reminisce from when I was young
As soon as we entered the farm we went straight to the hens and see if there were any eggs available for collection. J found one in the access holes and was pleased as punch, taking it straight to the farm shop and receiving a big sticker. She was a little sad to see it go, but I promised her that at the end of the visit we would buy some eggs to take home, hopefully including the one she had found
The next stop was the calf shed and bottle feeding the calves. J got straight into it and the calves greedily gupled on the bottle as she was holding it. Mum and I helped her as she fed the calf and the hubster looked on, snapping away at the camera. I mentioned a while ago that there’s so few photos of mum and I, and even fewer of mum, J and I, so this was a perfect opportunity to rectify that and I find that I struggle being on the other side of the camera but he did a pretty good job!
We have been off since just before Easter and aside from our usual meet up over the bank holiday weekend with our York based friends, we made no plans. In the weeks leading up to our break we were asked by quite a few people if we wanted to do something, or make plans for the weekends or the evenings, and we declined them all in favour of doing our own thing
Why? Quite simply because although we’ve had a good few breaks away the past few months, these have been with other people. We’ve had a great time with them all but we hadn’t had any quality family time since our holiday to Florida in September, and I needed to reset. I needed to reset the bond between the hubster and I, reset the closeness of a family unit, and reset and focus on our little girl who is becoming more demanding and wanting our attention, probably because it’s often shared with others
We extended our break with our friends in York by an extra day and made the trip home on Tuesday. The time up there was amazing as always and each time feels harder to come home, but family time was looming. Our first stop on our week off was Paultons Park, having not been there since our annual passes expired last May
I decided at Paultons Park I was going to try to be the ‘fun mum’ as I sometimes feel I can be a bit boring or too hard on J, I’m always reminding her to be polite and say please or thank you, and I try to encourage her independence, but giving her lots of cuddles and affection when she needs it. In contrast I think the hubster is the fun one, always throwing her around and making up lots of games with her. I agreed to go on the big yellow slide first with her, the log flume ride which got J and I very wet, and I even braved my fear of going on the high spinning swings which made me feel nauseous for a good few hours afterwards
The hubster looked on at us, slightly bemused at his wife, possibly a bit upset that he wasn’t doing the rides first, but pleased that his daughter was happy. We both shared some moments and looks as the day went on, knowing that the choice of unshared family time was the right thing to do and as we drove home we made our plans for the next day
I’m doing a separate post on our little adventures over the week, but as I sit here watching Scandal on Saturday night tucked up in my electric blanket (how old am I?) I have a feeling of contentment. In the past week we have visited 4 counties, travelled 850 miles North, South, East and West, been in the confined space of a car for over 24 hours during the process, and we’ve barely argued
I feel closer to my little crew and happier than I have been in a while, and that is simply because we’ve had some overdue quality family time. The memories have been pretty awesome too and it’s a shame that it’s a necessity that I have to be going back to work next week without them. It’s been a steady, great week off.
Linking up with Katie at Mummydaddyme for the Ordinary Moments linky
I’m still trawling through my photos from our week off and I’m not quite ready to return to work next week. We’ve had a great time and even extended our stay in York by a night after visiting the sights in and around the local area with our friends. On the weekend we visited Mother Shipton’s Cave in Knaresborough, with a nice walk along the River Nidd, a look at the Petrifying Well and we stopped for lunch
The Petrifying Well is on the bank of the River Nidd and is thought to be the only one of it’s kind in England. I had never heard of or seen a petrifying well before and was quite intrigued. As we arrived we saw that objects were hung with the water dripping on them as part of the petrification process. It was a pretty spectacular scene and the museum afterwards showed many objects which had completed the process. I will definitely be visiting again with J when she was old enough to understand.
Linking up with Darren for the MySundayPhoto linky
We have had quite a few adventures in March, a trip to Center Parcs and a visit to see our lovely friends in York. Each has had a family photo with us in it, but mid month I made the decision to head to West Wittering for the first time this year with a view to take some photos for this month’s project
I love West Wittering, it’s one of my favourite places to visit in the South. We have some amazing memories from our summers there, long days of sun and sea with friends and family, finishing off with a BBQ at the end of it with rosy cheeks and sun-kissed skin, and being able to walk Lexi at the East Head section of the beach all year round makes it perfect for us
When we visited in March last year it was so windy and blustery that we were quite apprehensive about taking photos for this month’s portrait project and whether we would look windswept and it would be a total fail, but the weather was with us(!) there was very little wind but with a little cloud and sun present
We decided to hide in the dunes for our photo and I really love the shots we captured, even though in one of them Lexi was going a bit nuts and is poking me in the stomach! The photo of all four of us looking in the direction of the camera will be one we are going to frame, and I think at the end of the year I may get a photobook with the main photo from each month
We are very lucky to have been given a tripod by one of our good friends and it has made such a difference to setting the photos up. I also happened to find my camera remote at the beginning of the month which has meant I now don’t have to run back from setting the camera up – it’s been a good month for camera equipment
Health has been better this month, J has been back to her normal self, but it appears the “three-nager” that everyone jokes about has joined the household. On a couple of occasions we have been at our wits end wondering when our lovely girl would be rejoining us. We are desperately hoping this is just a phase which ends soon as we had no issues when she was two and aren’t quite sure where to head next with discipline
We are currently on a week off work, having some more adventures and some quality family time together as we haven’t really had any since September. We returned on Tuesday from York and on Wednesday visited Paultons Park with our newly purchased annual pass. We have a few small trips the next few days but we are really focussing on time together without the madness of full time work
These months really are flying by and I cannot believe we are in the 2nd quarter of 2016 as of Friday! April has more quality family time planned, I think we will plan a couple of trips to local areas and attractions but nothing too extravagant after a busy March and a few busy summer months ahead
I have included our ‘out-take’ from March, the hubster looking at the camera, J playing with the remote and Lexi looking on wondering where her ball is and who will throw it next. I really enjoy taking the family photo, but the out-takes make me laugh so much that I have to include them as I know I’ll look back on them fondly in years to come.
Linking up for the monthly Me and Mine Project
J has a bit of thing for castles and buildings that look like castles so this week we visited Titchfield Abbey. It’s been years since I have visited and we pretty much had the grounds to ourselves, playing football and running around
As soon as we arrived J was shouting and pointing with excitement at the abbey, and we spent a good hour in the grounds having some one on one interaction. It was such a lovely day as the sun was out and we had our first opportunity to strip off our coats and roam around in cardigans. I’m so glad Spring is finally here!