Saturday, 28 February 2015

Me and Mine 2015 - February

 dear beautiful

It's been a short, but busy month. We've packed a lot in, including celebrating my Granddad's 80th birthday, and meeting my youngest cousin for the first time. We've been for walks and enjoyed some sunshine. And we were able to go to mass together to acknowledge the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. B and I had some one to one time at the cinema, which was great, though I wish we could have had longer together. It's so long since we've had time just the two of us and I miss her!

Here we are after Ash Wednesday mass - ashes on our foreheads and ready to go forwards, 
trying to be the best people we can be.

This Month:

The Hubby enjoyed...
Brighter mornings and sunshine
A faster phone after doing a restore
The start of Lent
Growing his beard
Buying Lush products

I enjoyed...
Taking B to the cinema, just the two of us
Dancing at my Granddad's 80th birthday party
Listening to CDs in my car
Hanging out with my cousins
M walking

B enjoyed...
Splashing in puddles
Meeting my cousins at her Great Granddad's party
Spot the Difference activities
Joining the dots to write her name
Watching birds in the garden

M enjoyed...
Communicating more through baby sign language
Pointing out all dogs and cats that she sees
Mr Tumble

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Thankful Thursday - Three People

Today there are three people for whom I would like to express gratitude.

The first is a friend called Katy. She made the most beautiful bouquet for me when we got married, charging us only for the price of the flowers. I am so grateful that she gifted me her time and her skills to make our wedding day special. I still have my bouquet, dried and stored safely. Whenever I see it, I remember the day I became a Mrs, but I also remember the kindness and generosity of my friend.

Second is a lady called Ruth. I began following Ruth's blog, Mixed Bag of Allsorts, back in 2012 when I first took part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. I read her posts and it was like reading my own story. She too suffers from IGT (insufficient glandular tissue) and had blogged about her journey supplementing her son whilst maintaining a breastfeeding relationship. It was such a relief to discover that I wasn't the only woman in the world whose body had failed her baby. Ruth patiently answered all my questions, guiding me and encouraging me. And when she wrote about supplementing and nursing her second child, whilst continuing to feed her eldest, I was so grateful that I had her going ahead of me to show me the way before M was born. Ruth's instructions on how to use the SNS were so helpful too. I will always be so thankful for this wonderful lady, who having never met me in real life, was so willing to help me feed my babies.

The third is another lady. A friend of my mum's, Anat. She lives in Israel, but when I was younger, she lived near us and was a part of my mum's La Leche League group. One year Anat invited us to join her and her family in celebrating Hannukah. It was amazing! My first taste of potato latkes; spinning the dreidl; the music and the prayers and the candles - it was beautiful and tasty and moving, and it inspired in me a love and strong interest in Judaism. I am so grateful for Anat's generosity in sharing her faith and traditions with us, as the experience led me to discover the richness of the Jewish culture, which in turn has allowed me to enrich my own faith in the Jewish Jesus.

In writing this, I have thought of so many more people I am grateful for, but for now these three lovely ladies will have to suffice.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Thankful Thursday - A Friend

I have a beautiful friend. Her name is Suzanne. I don't think she knows how wonderful she is, but I am incredibly grateful for her. She has an enormously generous heart. When B was tiny, and I hardly knew anyone here, I had thrush in my breasts. My lovely friend - who I hadn't even met in person - brought round probiotic powder for B. She asked nothing for it, and had a 3 month old baby herself at the time. I have never forgotten that act of generosity from a stranger who has become a friend. Since then she has given me so many generous gifts - meals, a fruit basket, her time. She even came round several times when M was a little baby and played with B. I'm so thankful for those times. I worried about B feeling left out after M was born, but my wonderful friend made her feel special. 
I pray that I can be as good for my friend as she has been for me over the last 3 years. I pray that she will be truly blessed with joy and peace. Thank you, my wonderful friend. 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

52 Weeks of Memories | 7: Watching

Finding Myself Young 52 Weeks of Memories

B and I had a trip to the cinema to watch The Book of Life. A good film, and a lovely time with just my big girl. It's be such a long time since we've had some one to one time, and I really hope we can do it again soon. I've missed being just the two of us since M came along, despite the wonder that she is!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Siblings - February 2015

dear beautiful

The past month has seen M start walking properly and saying a few words. Unsurprisingly, one of her first words was B's name! It's incredibly cute to see her pride when she says a word, and B thinks it's wonderful that her name is coming out of M's mouth. We love listening to them together. B tells M all sorts of things; she likes explaining what's going on, and I've heard her telling M that "things get better when you can walk and talk" - very wise words from the elder sister! M, in turn, babbles away, an earnest look on her face and real seriousness in her voice, despite no one understanding just what she's going on about.

It's not just during the day that these two are great friends; at night they cuddle together.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Thankful Thursday - The City I Live In

Ten Reasons I'm Grateful for Bedford...
  • Last year, Bedford was declared the most generous place in the UK. (BBC News, August 2014)
  • There is a fantastic Attachment Parenting Group here. We have over 150 members and it's a really helpful and supportive group that I couldn't have done without over the last three years.
  • My husband grew up here!
  • It's not far from my parents.
  • We don't have to drive far before we're in the countryside.
  • Woburn Safari Park is really close. I have memories of going there as a child, and it's wonderful to be able to take my own children easily.
  • The train only takes half an hour to get to London, so the Hubby can get to work quickly, and we can have easy day trips.
  • There's a good network of Home Educating families, so we are going to be well supported if we stay around here.
  • Bedford is really ethnically diverse. We have a large Italian population, and a great number of Polish people, as well as many other nationalities. This also means there are lots of shops selling interesting varieties of foods. Who needs Lidl's Polish week, when you can just pop to one of the Polish supermarkets in town? And there are shops selling great value rice, pulses and spices too.
  • There are some beautiful areas nearby - the river and the embankment; little villages; Marston Vale; Harrold Odell Country Park. It's so good to have lovely green spaces to walk, play and feed ducks in.
What do you love about the area you live in?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

52 Weeks of Memories | 6: Feet

Finding Myself Young 52 Weeks of Memories

How fortuitous that this week's topic is feet, when M is finally walking - at a whole two weeks younger than B was! - and I've been thinking about her tiny feet and the shoes that will soon cover them. 

I couldn't resist posting two photos this week. M is walking. These soft little feet will soon gain the toughness of sole that comes from transporting a body through life. And they won't be so tiny and cute for much longer. Every few months they'll be measured and I'll shed a little tear as they increase in size - partly from watching my baby grow, partly at the price of children's shoes!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Raising Children in a Digital Age - Review and Giveaway

According to a BBC Learning Poll, "More than half of children in the UK (57%) have done something "risky" or anti-social online." ( 

We are living in the Digital Age. It's nigh on impossible to avoid the Internet nowadays, and our children will grow up never having known a world without it. I find it amazing to see how easily my daughters use iPhones, when some of my older friends and family need a great deal of guidance with them. But that is also frightening. In all likelihood, they will grow up knowing how to use all manner of technologies quicker and more easily than we will. There will be parts of their online life that might not make sense to me. I fear that I won't be able to keep them safe. There's no escaping the Internet, but as parents, teachers, youth workers and others involved in the care and upbringing of children, we can equip ourselves to ensure that we and our children are able to enjoy digital media safely. The Hubby works in the technology field, so we'll certainly be able to keep abreast of new developments, but there are many out there who aren't in our fortunate position. There is a great deal of fear and mistrust of the Internet. There are many people who don't understand how social networking works. 

Bex Lewis's 'Raising Children in a Digital Age' is a fantastic guide and tool

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Thankful Thursday - Something Someone Gave Me

Today I am thankful for the beautiful flowers my friend gave me at the weekend. They have just decided to burst into flower and, combined with the glimpse of sunlight shining through the clouds, they serve as a reminder that spring is on its way. The gloomy darkness is on the wane and we will soon be able to bask in daylight and warm, spring sunshine. 

I struggle with winter. The dark nights and dark mornings make me feel tired. The gloomy days make me feel sad. The occasional crisp, cold day touched with frosted sunlight helps to lift my mood, but those days are few and far between. Christmas and its excitement seems long gone. So a burst of spring on my windowsill is very welcome. It lights a spark in my soul. Spring will return; darkness will vanish; and I will feel happier again. God provides an antidote to the gloom. 

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." 
(Luke 12:27 NIV)

Check out my Facebook page: My Thoughts on Things

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

52 Weeks of Memories | 5: Bedtime

Finding Myself Young 52 Weeks of Memories

Bedtime. At the moment, I long for bedtime. M is still getting me up incredibly early, so by lunchtime I'm ready to drop. Neither girls have naps in the afternoon - B has no naps at all. As much as I love them, bedtime is most welcome. A chance to cuddle them both in bed, whilst lying down! An opportunity for a sneaky nap before I head back downstairs to be a grownup for an hour or two. And they're so beautiful when they're asleep, cuddling each other or holding hands, or even wiggling around until they're lying top to toe. 

I didn't want to risk waking them with the flash, so I had to take a picture of bedtime prep. Pyjamas lain out on the bed, while Daddy does bathtime and I get 15 minutes to myself. Bliss. 

What does bedtime look like in your house?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Wishes for 2015 - Update

How have my New Year Wishes been panning out? I'm quite pleased with myself so far.

1) Blog more - I've set myself a schedule to get myself blogging more frequently. That is working. I've published at least two posts a week, but I haven't yet hit upon that post that's going to go viral! ;)
2) Bible study - Better than last year, but this is still an area requiring much improvement. 
3) Meal planning - Yes! I've been planning our meals every Friday when our Abel & Cole box arrives. It's so much less stressful when I know what I need to do in advance. No panics that I don't have what I need; no sending the Hubby out to buy something quick because I've got no inspiration.
4) Date nights - We haven't had a specific date night, but we've scheduled in some activities other than watching TV together when the kids are in bed. We're currently working on a 1000 piece puzzle together. 
5) Read - I read A Thousand Splendid Suns. It was compelling, though I wouldn't say enjoyable. I loved taking 10 minutes each day to read, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the girls were happy to let me be for that time.
6) Walk more - It's been very cold and we've been poorly at various times, and so we haven't been for as many walks as I would have liked. Here's to a more active February!
7) Declutter - This has been our most successful venture into the world of decluttering. We've been focusing on the kitchen and it's starting to look really good. My father-in-law came and put up some shelves and now we have almost clear work surfaces, which is amazing. The Hubby is doing a fantastic job of keeping everything clean and clear when I'm getting the girls to sleep. 
8) Create an app - Hahaha! Nowhere near!