Wednesday, 18 May 2016

My hopes for you, my baby boy

During the 38 weeks I carried you, I spent so much time dreaming of what you would look like, what colour hair you would have, would you even have any hair. I would lay awake at night stroking my tummy, telling you all the exciting things we would do together once you were here safely in my arms.  Would you be sporty like daddy, or musical like mummy, or would you break the mold and be an artist (something neither of us can do!)

It was clear from a young age you had something special about you, a spark, a fire in your eyes. I hope that never, ever burns out.  I hope no matter how bad a day you are having, no matter what is happening around you that you can always keep your passion for life, your passion for exploring.

Watching you run through fields yesterday moved me. I have seen you play outside a million times but this was different. This was the biggest field you had ever been in, I could have watched you for a thousand years.  I love the way you run like a little penguin, running like you will run forever, the excitement you have for everything around you, the grass, the sky or 'ska' as you like to call it, the leaves on the ground and the aeroplanes in the sky, I adore the way you squeal every time a bird swoops by or a dog runs past. The world can be a scary place, I wish I could keep you safe in my arms forever but I know before long you will be desperate to spread your wings, I wish I could make the world a safer place for you but sadly I don't think I can.  So I hope you never stop seeing the goodness in everything around you. Appreciate the beautiful world we live in, and be kind, always.

I could hope for you to be top of your class, become a doctor,  an astronaut or something else cliche. But I hope for something so much more for you than wealth.  I hope you will be the kind of person people want to be friends with, don't be the kind of person who turns their nose up at the homeless man outside the station, or looks away from a person in need, we are equal, we are all human.  Always take the time to smile, you never know how that smile might just change someones day. 

I hope you always follow you dreams, no matter how scary they may seem, grab hold of the opportunities life throws you and run with them. If I hadn't followed that same advice, I wouldn't have you.  And follow your heart, or at least always give it a try, even if it all goes tits up, at least you tried (and dad and I will always bail you out!)

I hope you find your passion in life, and I hope you always do your best. Work hard at school, education opens doors, but if academia isn't your thing, just do your best and we will find where you excel, whatever path you choose we will be so proud of you. 

I hope you find love, real gut wrenching love. Whatever form that love might be, everyone deserves to be loved and have someone to love, to talk until 3am with, to explore the world with and argue about whose turn it is to do the dishes with.

I hope you always make time for fun, laugh until your belly hurts.  It can be hard sometimes when bills need to be paid and the dirty dishes are piled in the sink to remember not to take life too seriously.  I never take anything too seriously, something which drives your dad mad, but life is too short not to have fun and I hope your life is full of fun and silly antics.

Above all my darling, I hope for you to be happy. Be happy, work hard, laugh hard, follow your dreams and believe in yourself, because we believe in you. be proud of who you are. Never stop exploring baby boy, never stop believing in the goodness of the world.

I know these things seem strange now, you are still so tiny, still my baby.  But every day you are growing, getting braver and more independent.  I love how fiercely independent you are, it makes being your mummy hard work, but I wouldn't have it any other way, plus you get it from me anyway!

I can't wait for all the adventures we will have together Freddie William. You make me feel happier and prouder than I ever knew was possible.

Lots of Love, always, Mummy x

PS I hope you never stop shaking your booty when you hear a good tune. I also hope you might consider eating vegetables.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Wedding Series - The Perfect Venue

 After a fab meeting with our Wedding Planner today I thought it would be nice to write a post all about how we chose our perfect venue and share some sneak peak photos!

When planning a wedding, the first thing most couples do is start searching for their dream venue.  Before we started our search we wrote a list of the essential things we wanted from a venue, this enabled us to quickly rule out some of the venues we liked. 

Here are the things on our essentials list;
  • Lots of outdoor space with the possibility of an outdoor ceremony
  • Music until 12am (believe it or not, 4 of the venues we loved had to have no music after 11, and one was no music after 9pm?! boringggg) 
  • Room for up to 90 people for the Wedding Breakfast and at least 40 extra for the evening
  • Flexible food options, as we were not keen on having a formal three course meal
  • A stunning staircase - this sounds a bit of strange one, but I had always dreamed of coming down a big dramatic staircase, with my dress sweeping behind me!
  • Location - we originally started planning get married in Santorini, Greece but we realised as beautiful as it was there, it was really important to us both to get married in close to home.
We looked at a couple of venues, both really beautiful, we even set a date and put a deposit on one, but after thinking and thinking and thinking about it, we realised it just wasn't the one for us.  At 4am one morning I woke with a place in mind, a place I had totally forgotten about. A place that I loved. I emailed them asking if we could come and visit and to my surprise they emailed me back first thing in the morning and fitted us in to visit the very same day.  I really do think it was meant to be because the moment we drove in I just knew it was the place we would be married and when I looked over to Mr P as we drove up the driveway he was grinning from ear to ear, he knew too.  One of the lovely things about this venue is that my Auntie and Uncle had their wedding here about 15 years ago! I never would have guessed as a little 8 year old that I would also one day marry my love in the exact same place.

I love how grand the venue is, you get so much for your money.  We are on a very strict budget and this venue certainly doesn't give that away. With its sweeping driveway, huge grounds, beautiful rooms and detailing and views as far as the eye can see it really is just spectacular.  Mr P's 'Wow' as he walked around to the gardens really says it all! 

We will be getting married outside on the beautiful terrace and we will stand elevated, looking out onto our guests and the valley, on the veranda which has a stunning tiled floor, I am a sucker for a beautiful floor! If the weather isn't good to us however, we can choose to have our ceremony in the 'Gold Room' which again is very pretty with high ceilings, chandeliers and gold detailing.

Our drinks reception will also be on the terrace for guests to enjoy the views, explore the grounds and games competitions on the lawns.

We also have a conservatory where guests can rest their stilettos and still enjoy the gorgeous outside, a large yet cosy bar area, and the Drawing Room where we will devour our Wedding Breakfast and dance the night away.  The drawing room has dark wood floor, large windows and doors onto the terrace and a high ceiling which will be covered in twinkling lights.  It really is going to look beautiful, I am so excited!! A large venue means more decorations and I am more than happy to oblige. I think I officially own the contents of Hobbycraft and The Range!

The venue also has rooms for us to get ready, so we can enjoy those stunning views while we get our hair done! we have our own little  balconies, and it will be so exciting knowing the boys are getting ready there too, so close but not being able to see each other will feel so exciting.  And, I will get to come down my sweeping stair case!

Love how the terrace is covered in lovely flower arrangements
These are the stairs I will walk up to marry Mr P... hoping I don't trip!!

Now we have past the three month mark I am feeling SO excited and looking forward to sharing some more wedding details with you soon. How did you choose your wedding venue?

Now time to pray for no rain...

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Days out in Kent - Sissinghurst Castle, Lake Walk

We had the most beautiful day on Sunday and I just had to share.  We went 'out out' on Saturday night and were a touch hungover at my mum's house on Sunday morning, but the sun was shining so we all jumped in the car and headed for a spontaneous trip to Sissinghurst Castle; Somewhere I have always wanted to go.  We have been National Trust Members for a year but still had not ventured over to Sissinghurst.
I was pretty taken with the view that greeted us!
I was amazed from the moment we drove into the driveway at just how stunning it was. As we had the dog with us we were unable to explore the actual castle and castle gardens so headed off on the Lake walk instead. The lake is a mile walk but as we ventured off course a few times I would say we walked a good three miles.   I am not sure you could really appreciate it all in one day anyway and we plan to go back soon with Fred in the Ergobaby to explore the buildings, castle, gardens and vegetable gardens properly.
Fred was fascinated by all the surroundings and was 'ooing' at the view, as we all were. There was a gorgeous little cafe and shop full of yummy treats and so many places to have picnics.  In fact, there was just so so much vast space you could find a lovely spot to have a peaceful picnic, the children can run and play and you can take in the beautiful views as far as the eye can see and you could be completely alone. It was just wonderful.  We headed off on the lake walk which started by the castle, so we got to see it from the outside and followed the path around the beautiful lake and enjoyed exploring cute little bridges, hideaways and picture perfect bluebells.

Our walk started here at the entrance to the Castle.
My words and photos couldn't possibly do it justice, so you must must go! And if like us you want to take your dog there is so much you can still do, unlike some of the other NT places we have visited. Or if you are not members and don't fancy paying to go into the castle, exploring these beautiful grounds will cost you no more than the car park. As it was a bit of a spontaneous trip I borrowed my mum's camera which isn't quite as good picture quality as mine, but I am still pretty pleased with what I took, my photography skills are slowly getting there! So sit back and enjoy the photos!

Beautiful Spot for a picnic

Playing poo sticks!

Grannie and Grandad!

The reason Fred is MIA is because he was busy screaming in anger about holding the dog lead!

Anyone who knows how I can get rid of this shadow, message me, I am such a technophobe and I adore this photo. What a view.
I hope you enjoyed our photos, let me know if you go to Sissinghurst Castle! And keep your eyes peeled for a post on the castle and castle grounds which we will be off to explore soon.

Oh, and of course we finished the day with ice creams, which ended in carnage!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Telltale signs you're parenting a toddler

You know the people who tell you newborns are so hard and it's gets easier? What the bloody hell are they on about. Do they even have kids?! 

My life has changed more since Fred became a 'toddler' than it did when he first arrived. Here are the tell tale signs your life has been taken over by your toddler.

1. You are ALWAYS on full alert. You must remain on full alert every second of every day and watch for any signs of the following; removing of clothes/nappies in public places, attempts to play with electricity, turning into Jaws next to precious Joseph and always be ready to catch that flying plate of food. 

2. Your house will always need hoovered. Even when you've just hoovered, it will need hoovering again. The floor will be gritty and you can't be 100% sure what the brown thing is stuck to your foot. 

3. Walking at a normal speed will now be considered a luxury. It's wonderful when our children walk and want to be more independent. But sometimes it's just nice to walk at a normal speed and not stop to point to every bit of chewing gum stuck to the pavement. 

4. Pretending your child has learned to say duck when you know full well they are saying fuck because you said it earlier forgetting about the tiny sponge that is following you around just waiting to catch you out. 

5. You will use bribery daily. Yeah yeah I know you used to judge that mum in the queue in Tesco giving her kid sweets but now you never leave the house without a bag of chocolate buttons ready and waiting for bribe emergencies. 

6. You will constantly find weird things in weird places. Toddlers have some kind of invisibility, you think you are watching them but somehow they manage to sneak a tampon and put it in the toy box without you noticing. 

7. You've managed to perfect the manoeuvre of using the toilet, wiping, flushing and pulling your kaks up whilst stopping your over eager toddler dipping their hands in the toilet bowel. Remember when you used to pee in peace? Ahh the gold old days. 

8. You will do ANYTHING and I mean Anything to get your child to eat. You've slaved in the kitchen to make a deliciously healthy meal and if you've gotta get on your knees and pretend to feed it to the washing machine in the hope that your child just might eat some, you will do it without a second thought. Funny how they won't eat what's on their plate but they are more than willing to take a bite out of every Apple in the fruit bowel. 

9. It will become normal procedure to karate chop your child in the tummy to fold them into the car seat whilst they throw almighty tantrums. What is it with toddlers turning into ironing boards when you want to put them in the car. 

10. You will finally get something back from all those newborn days of constant feeding, changing and no sleep without even a smile back. You now have a little buddy to chat too, play with and when they take a break from destroying the house you might even get kisses and cuddles!