Tag: family life

Autumn Thoughts

“We’ll be needing a leaf-vac” my husband says to me as he surveys our big garden.

“Pfft” I say to him “All we need is a rake and I’ll get raking!”

Scene from our back-garden.

I had images of myself going out with a rake in hand, wellies, wrapped up nice and warm in my brown coat (the one I use to walk the dog), complete with wooly hat.

I had visions of myself raking away, deep in thought, while Doc as usual, would be lumbering around like a silly billy.  After while, I’d have a whole mountain of lovely brown and golden leaves on one side.  Maybe later if there was still enough light, T can do a leaf dive and I’d manage to catch everything in my camera (I rarely do, by the way), perfect captured moments, to be later posted on Instagram.

When all this is done.  We’d go in, hand-in-hand, mother and daughter, the husband will be slaving away in the kitchen with a lit fire, making us delicious hot-chocolate, complete with whipped cream.  He’ll also be slicing us a piece of cake fresh from the oven.  Lovely.  Life is bliss.

 “Dean, look at all those trees” the husband pointedly says, interrupting my reverie.  Can you imagine all of those leaves on the ground?

 View of the side-garden from the Historian’s study.

“Yep, we’ll need a leaf-vac”  and just like that my husband bursts my bubble.

Are you a dreamer like me, or practical like him?

Goodbye September

September went by in a whirr.  The last thing I remember was getting T ready for the first day of school and now the first month is gone.  Pfft, just like that.

She’s well settled now.  To be fair, we didn’t have any problems with her settling in. It was different of course when she was in reception and even parts of year 1.  My husband and I are really pleased that year 2 seems to be working out really well for her, in spite having a new teacher.  All is definitely well.


Little T has also started with ballet and is loving it.  She’s pleased with her pink leotards although she did wonder if she could have a different colour.  When I queried it with her teacher, she said that their students are required to wear regulation leotards, not wanting to offend, we decided to just get them from the ballet school.


After the closure of T’s gymnastics club in Bodmin and then following her announcement of early retirement and then coming out of it, we were a bit worried that we wouldn’t find a new club within reasonable driving distance from where we live. I’m glad my husband persevered in looking for another one.  Luckily for us, the North Devon Gymnastics Club decided to open up a pilot class in Bude where it’s nearer to us.  Since they are still new in the place (their main club is in Bideford), they don’t really have much equipment yet, I’m hoping that will change soon.  And since it’s nearby, close friends of T’s from her school have decided to join in with her.


Admittedly, T didn’t practice her cello over the summer break in spite her teacher giving her some exercises.  I guess it’s because I wanted her to enjoy her summer break more.  But I’m glad to say she’s back in the groove and is practicing as much as she can.


I’m glad to say she’s still doing well.  To be fair though, she went to swim club over the summer-break, so she didn’t really get much of a break from swimming which is good, because she hasn’t lost her momentum.  Her coach is really pleased with her progress, especially since little T had a bit of a trust issue with her.

Yes, we are all settled and definitely back in our school routine.

Our word of the week is routine.

What’s yours?

Game Over

I’m talking about the Christmas season and New Year’s Eve, nothing as dramatic as Graham Greene’s novel “End of the Affair”.

So all the presents have been unwrapped, our kids are still clutching and playing happily with their new and favourite acquisitions (Little T’s current fave is her talking Woody), drinks have been consumed (hardly for me though), bellies full and visits from family and friends are over, just for now of course.  Our tree is looking a bit withered now, but still looking lovely.  I’m actually thinking of taking it down today.

To sum it up, as you all know we spent our Christmas holiday with my in-laws, went to the theatre in London and managed a bit of an amble in the big capital amidst the crazy Christmas crowd.  Came back on the 27th, and since we lowered our storage heater really low so our Christmas tree will survive, we came back to a very, very, very cold wintery house.

Here’s a little collage of T’s Christmas and some of her new toys:

Yes, that is indeed a Frozen suitcase which was a present from her grandparents, complete with a personalised name tag.  She actually took that thing with her to church, I was just really thankful that everyone didn’t seem to mind and even admired it, especially her grandparents’ friends – they were all lovely.

The last two photos are our latest addition to our decorations, a tradition of choosing one Christmas decoration yearly which I’ve copied from the lovely Kate.  Little T chose the reindeer, but I wanted the Father Christmas, so instead of buying just one, we got two! Thank goodness they were on sale 🙂  These are breakable ones, so I’m hoping they’ll last for years and years to come!  Yes, I know, it might be wishful thinking in my part.

Before leaving for Bucks, little T helped her dad pack all the presents under our tree in our car.  She saw the Christmas tree look empty.  Unknown to her, once she was safely in her car-seat, I snuck some presents and put them under the tree.  These were presents that came from my side of the family (from the Phil and the States), so when we came back, imagine her surprise when she saw more Christmas presents to open!  Let’s just say, we really need to put more of her old toys up in the attic.

Phew!  Christmas is over and done with.  It’s funny how we prepare for it months in advance, only for it to be over in a few days.  Ah well, that’s all part of it!  I wouldn’t have it any other way, well maybe, minus the stress…

Are you relieved that it’s all over?  Or mixed feelings?

Have you put your Christmas decorations away?

Have a lovely weekend folks!
I have a feeling though, that most of us will be busy with the tiresome chore of putting things away up in the attic 😉

November Chat with a Mum: Tracie of Life in the Wylde West

Three Reasons why I love Tracie’s Blog Life in the Whylde West, and why you should too.

1. Her photographs are poetry, so if you’re into poetry or photography, or just like looking at lovely photos, then you’ll love her blog too.  They don’t only tell a story, but also stirs feelings inside of you.  I want to be the kind of photographer she is.

2.  She’s a wonderful mother.  One I really admire and if you’re a mother, you’ll most probably relate with her posts too.

3. Her blog-posts are honest.  If she’s having a bad day, she’ll tell you and when she’s happy, you’ll know it too, you’ll feel it in her posts, in her words and in her photographs.

Here at Chats with Mums and Dads I often wonder if I should stop with the Q&A. It’s almost two years now, but reading Tracie’s answers, reminds me why I even started with it.  I started the “chats” because I wanted to hear their stories, the mums and dads.  I wanted to know what it’s like for them, their birth stories, the ups and lows of parenthood.  I love reading all their stories – because they all inspire me.

Read below you’ll know what I mean:

Tell us something about yourself and your children (age & sex)

I have been married 21 years and 19 years of those 21 have been spent being a mama to two boys and then a little girl. Austin is 19, Dylan is 16 and Abbie is 12.

What were your children’s birth stories like?

Well first of all, I’m not very patient so with my first baby boy I took my brother’s famous really oily salad dressing for dinner 10 days before Austin was due. That night my water broke, labor began and we headed to the hospital early in the morning. I swore I would do it all natural and I held out as long as I could and finally said “give me that epidural! NOW!!” and then everything was relatively okay, I delivered shortly after and still could feel everything on my right side.

My second delivery was similar, only I “thought I was having a girl because my intuition told me so” HE also arrived early by a week with the same salad dressing, water broke but this time right when I walked into the hospital room I said “give me that epidural now!” I felt no pain whatsoever with this child and it was relatively quick and very painless. (STILL TO THIS DAY HE IS THE SAME AS HIS DELIVERY)

Then the littlest and only girl came along. The salad dressing didn’t work with her, I tried twice. (stubborn little girl) Then when she was a few days past her due date, I said “that’s it!! I drank the Castro oil straight” terrible idea. I drank the oil, went for a walk and while I was walking my water broke. I barely made it to the delivery room and there was no time at all for anything and she came out fast, hard and bloody. I think the castor oil was a very bad idea. So thanks to my little girl, I got to experience child-birth without out drugs at least once.

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

I sort of already knew this, I was told but I didn’t quite believe it. They grow up really, really fast. Like lightning speed.

How do you manage your “me-time”?

I take bathes where I lock the door and read my magazines. I went away last spring to our local mountains and spent a weekend with a group of close friends (all women no children or husbands) and most recently I flew all by myself to Portland Oregon to meet up with kindred souls who also love to photograph anything and everything that makes our hearts sing. It was the first time I had met any of them in real live person. I can’t begin to describe in words how therapeutic and necessary it was to just BE with them. I felt like I grew up a little. I had to rent my own car, find my way around and fly solo. It was good for me.

Do you have any favorite anecdote of your kids?

Austin once said when he saw a rainbow “mama, God is the best artist of all!” It made me smile.

Abbie once said she wanted to marry her daddy when she was 4. Smart girl, he is a catch. She will have a challenge when it’s her turn to find love, the comparisons will be tough.

Dylan said when he was 4 he wanted to marry a man because he didn’t want any children. It’s funny how the little ones think. I wish I could be in their head sometimes.

What is it about Motherhood you absolutely love about?

That those little people (kind of big now) need me. They really do. Even my 19-year-old man-child will come to me when he is sick, when he is sad or when he just needs a hug. It feels so good to be needed.

If there is anything about Motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

The growing up fast part. Although my oldest will reach out to me still, he is so independent and I can tell is pulling away as each day goes by. I know its normal stuff but it’s still not easy. So I cherish the time spent knowing they will all grow up and go away…hopefully not very far though.

What’s a typical day like for you and your family?

I’m a part-time working mama. Which is pretty awesome. I can get up and get them off to school, head to work, work half a day and then be off work in time to pick them each up from school. It feels at times like a lot of just taking and picking up not to mention any outside activities they are involved in. I somehow fit in housework, walks, and making meals and finding that bit of time for me to be creative, take pictures, blog and things like that. Time management is everything.

Best advice you’ve ever received about Motherhood?

It was from my own mother after I had my first baby. She said “the housework will always be there the children will not. Take that time with your kids, it goes quickly.” This came from someone who ironed her sheets, and cleaned until it was bedtime. It meant so much because it was so different than what she did. It was like she realized and she didn’t want me to make the same mistake.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

That each stage has its challenges and not all challenges are equal but they are equally as important.

How do you manage your time or blogging between work and your family?

It’s not easy. I recently took to writing lists. It helps me get things done. I find time before I leave the house for the day (sometimes I write a quick blog) or as I wait to pick up a kid from school…via my cell phone, or every once in a great while very late at night and sometimes I take the weekends to gather my pictures and thoughts and will write a hand full of posts to go live as the week progresses. It’s the one thing that I really, really look forward to, writing and sharing images via my blog. It’s my outlet for sure. And since I’m often in a rush, my grammar can be wacky or my spelling not quite right but I don’t’ care about that. To me it’s more about getting out my thoughts. It’s truly therapy.

Thank you so much Tracie!

 If you liked what you’ve read in this month’s feature, there’s more of that in her blog.

 Go over and be inspired!

And if you’ve missed last month’s chit-chat with a dad, click here to read.

Have a lovely weekend folks!