I love Easter. I love the food, the chocolate, getting together with friends and family, the crafts, the chocolate, the warmer weather and promise of spring, the chocolate...
Ben also tends to have a nice long holiday from work and our 10 days with him at home were so lovely. Just hanging out at home and in the garden, a few little adventures and plenty of fun times.
Easter Sunday especially was such a lovely day. It was so good for all the family to be together, smiling and having fun, after my Grandad died. I know he would have loved to have seen everyone happy, especially all the children. Family was the most important thing to my Grandad, and I think that in someway he was there with us all that day.
Ben entertained the children for ages with thousands of bubbles, and the Easter egg hunt is always a highlight.
Happy days :) I hope you all had a lovely Easter with your families too.
Apologies for the slew of photos...just so many lovely ones that I want here in our journal. So many portraits that show the little ones' personalities so sweetly :)
Yesterday our baby girl started nursery, and it was a big day for all of us. Since she was born I've spent one night away from her (when Coralie was born) and only one full day, plus a few afternoons here and there. Now she'll be at nursery three afternoons a week; eating there, playing there, growing there. It's so strange to think she'll have a life away from me, and I won't know every detail of how she's spent her time and what she's been up to. I'm not ashamed to say that I was apprehensive and that, after I dropped her off, I shed a few tears.
But here's the thing; she LOVED it. She was so excited about going last week (all she talks about is going to school like her big cousins) and yesterday morning she was close to bursting with happiness that the big day had finally arrived. Once we got there, we had some cuddles, kisses and 'I love yous' but then off she went, without looking back once.
Ben picked her up on his way home from work and when she walked through our front door she was beyond thrilled at just how brilliant it had been; about all the fun things they have to do there and play with (it really is the most awesome place!) about her new friends, the lovely ladies that work there and how completely awesome it was that she got to go back today. My apprehension melted away and I am just so happy for her.
She was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow last night, tired out from all the fun and games.
Today was as equally as successful. She was so tired, but came home with the biggest smile on her face and more tales of brilliant times. And so excited that she gets to go back again tomorrow.
The beginning of such a wonderful adventure. We're so proud of you, our darling little Josephine.
11 months old. Nearly a whole year.
Coralie, our darling girl. Always so happy, so so happy. So thrilled to be able to move around so quickly these days. Crawling, shuffling, walking alongside furniture. Even briefly standing by yourself. And as quiet as a ninja all the while.
You are enthralled by the world around you and, since the weather has become warmer and dryer, adore heading out into the garden with Josephine and Daddy. You gaze upwards, always, as you sit in your pram. Pointing to the sky and the trees above you. Pointing all day long.
You finally have some teeth! Hooray! Two have popped through (one of your top 'fangs' and a bottom tooth) and two are so close.
You make 'woofing' noises and say dog, you give cuddles and kisses to anyone who wants one and your hair is getting curly.
You love to dance, and if we sing or play music, you shimmy your shoulders, fling your arms and shake your bottom with unadulterated joy. And of course you'd happily play with Josephine all day long (if she let you!)
Over the last week, and over the coming weeks, I'm weaning you and our breastfeeding journey is nearly at an end. You've taken to the bottle without bating an eyelid, but I'm sad this beautiful experience is nearly over. What a wonderful thing it has been.
It's hard to believe that this time next month you'll be one. It's crazy. Lunacy. I want to freeze time. But I'm also so excited to watch you continue to change and grow and see more of the little person you'll become. It's so awesome being your Mama, such a privilege.
We love you sweet Coralie xxx
I've always been a city girl. I was born in the city (in fact, my first home was opposite our current house), grew up in the city, and I'm now raising my own family in the city. I get that the countryside has it's advantages, especially when it comes to the amount of space (often for much less money) making it perfect for growing children; that it's peaceful and there's not as much traffic but I wouldn't switch our city abode for any of it. And, believe me, we've thought about it. When it comes to a house with more bedrooms and a cheaper price tag, moving into the countryside would certainly make sense, but we just can't bring ourselves to do it. We love living so close to the shops, the buzz of town, the supermarket, museums, galleries, restaurants - the whole shebang.
So, I thought I'd start a little series all about our life in the city; raising a family in the middle of the mayhem. You never know, one day, when we're old and grey, Ben and I may look back on these words and these pictures, as we sit in the garden of our little country cottage, remembering what crazy cats we were to live in the big smoke... but, I doubt it ;)
As a family, one of our favourite past times is to simply go out for a walk. No matter what the weather (although, the arrival of spring definitely makes it more appealing!) and no matter how much spare time we have, there's nothing like a walk to reconnect, have some fun, talk and relax. Plus, well, it's free! And that's always a bonus. We walk a lot. In fact, we rarely use our car, so our feet can carry us all over the place; to the supermarket or the local shops, along the canal or through the meadow, into the town centre or round our neighbourhood.
We walked these streets when both our babies were due, and then when labour had started. Both Josephine and Coralie's first outings were short strolls along these pavements. Ben walks to work every day. We've talked about the little things and the life-changing things. We search for treasure with Josephine, pretty leaves being the loot du jour, we choose our favourite dream house and look out for cats and birds and planes. Once Josephine and I stumbled upon a house that had unfortunately been broken into, but one of the attending policeman waiting outside let Josephine look in the police car and he even turned on the flashing lights for her. Another time a builder taking a break from landscaping someone's front garden with a mini-digger saw us looking at it and started it up so Phiney could see it in action. Such things make a three year old's day, for sure. We never know what we'll see when we're out for a walk.
Sometimes we head out for a quick stroll around the block when tensions before bedtime are running high and sometimes we pack drinks and snacks and seek adventure on foot, and everyday the girls and I head into the village near our house for groceries, to post letters or just have a rummage in the charity shop.
Climbing the steep hills and meandering down the little roads and busy roads of our beautiful city, perfect moments and ever-lasting memories are made doing the most simple of things.
Ben and I would love to thank Brantano for providing us with our super cool kicks, perfect for city walks. We were both spoilt for choice when we looked at their website, but are so happy with our picks. Ben's Adidas look awesome and are perfect for walking, with 'the comfiest insoles ever' apparently, while my Espirit trainers and ideal for the warmer weather especially, are crazy comfy and are, well, gold! We are both ready to walk our way into spring now, and can't wait to see what adventures our new shoes take us on.
This is a collaborative post. All thoughts, words, images and opinions are my own.