Monthly Archives: August 2013

Back to school reflections

That’s it – school bag, PE bag and kit; and school uniform all ready to go. Ellie managed to find almost every item with Hello Kitty on it so she’s happy and I’m just happy it’s done!

school ready

Ellie’s excited to be going back to school. As for me, I just find it unbelievable that my little girl will soon be in year one and I can’t help but reflect on the last year. Not only did Ellie start school last year, she moved schools, we moved house and area, and we moved in with what is now the other half of our family; my partner and his son. It was indeed a busy year.

I’ve posted several times throughout the year about how I worried, but how Ellie consistently showed me I didn’t need to. It turns out that Ellie really is a strong little girl and literally took it all in her stride. All that said, there’s no denying the relief and pride I felt when I got her first ever school report just before the summer and it once again confirmed that Ellie really is just fine. I literally sobbed as I read some of it:

As Ellie is so friendly and positive she has made many friends and is loved by all the
members of the class. She is extremely thoughtful and polite, preferring to help others before
helping herself. She always works hard and is keen to impress her teachers.

Ellie has benefited from the love and encouragement she has received at home. She is a happy little girl and as a consequence she has developed good friendships with other children in Reception.

I am simply amazed at how Ellie has grown and changed before my eyes in the last year. The growth that Ellie has done in terms of her confidence, her knowledge and her maturity during this year has been astounding and all that was on top of the changes happening in her life. My daughter literally amazes me.

In just a few short days Ellie will move into year one to start a whole new phase and I have no doubt that she will rise to the challenge just fine. As for me, I want to make sure that I remember what a tough cookie my little girl is and that I enjoy every moment of our family life in the next year. I wonder what the next year will bring for all of us, but whatever it is I’ll try to remember that I don’t need to worry.

I’m pleased to say that I’m linking up this post with:

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A treat for the grown ups

So it’s not very often that I blog about anything which isn’t directly about our children, our family or being a mum, however this post is absolutely nothing to do with any of that. Last week, whilst both children were away with their respective other parents, we took the opportunity to have a very grown up mini break.

We went away for a one night stay in Suffolk. I used to live in the area and it was a chance to share this part of my past with my other half; and to spend some time together. The plan was simple – relax and unwind.

First we went to one of my all time favourite beaches – Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh

Then we went to Snape Maltings which is not only set in beautiful surroundings, but offers a series of super shops, a cafe and a pub – all perfect for browsing around.

Snape maltings

Finally at the end of the day we headed to our hotel – Seckford Hall. We had specifically looked for somewhere that would feel like a proper grown up treat and we were not disappointed. Helpful staff, beautiful grounds and beautiful rooms – perfect for romance and relaxation.

seckford

I also simply have to share this picture – It doesn’t get more romantic than this.

IMG_1134

The next day after a fantastic cooked breakfast at Seckford Hall we took a drive around some of my key memorable places in the area. Finally we went to visit to one of my closest friends – the perfect way to end our mini break.

I know it’s not easy for most parents to take time out for themselves and even as someone who has every other weekend without my daughter – I rarely take the opportunity to relax but instead rush around doing things. On this occasion though, I feel no guilt at all in saying that I really, truly enjoyed every second of our break. It took my mind off missing Ellie, it felt like a lovely treat and it was great for us, as a couple. We walked, we laughed, we held hands and we shared a wonderful couple of days.

So whilst I would absolutely recommend all of the above to anyone who wanted a get away in Suffolk – my main hope is that this post reminds me that we absolutely can and should find time to relax together.

Still making me smile

As I write this post Ellie is away with her Dad for a couple of weeks holiday. As always, I’m missing her like crazy, but despite the fact that she’s not here, she’s still managing to make me smile.

Skype surprise
Just a couple of days into her holiday, I got a text from her Dad to say that Ellie wanted to skype with me. I fired up the laptop and eagerly awaited her call. The first couple of days without her are always so hard, so I was really pleased to get to say hi. The screen showed she was on and then suddenly I could see her laying in the bath completed nude with the biggest, cheekiest, smile you can imagine on her face.

As I exclaimed ‘you’re in the bath!’ she promptly burst into a laughing fit and rolled around in the water for what felt like ages. Her pleasure and joy at surprising me was simply infectious and even hours later after the call, I was still smiling.

Sharing her news
A couple of days later Ellie was lucky enough to go on the London eye. We’d known beforehand that she might be doing that, so we had talked a little about it before she’d gone away. Clearly our conversation wasn’t forgotten, as in the middle of my working day I suddenly got a missed call from her Dad. I quickly text to say I was at work, but was everything OK. He said she was on the London eye and wanted to talk to me! That made me smile.

Later, when I did get to talk to Ellie, she excitedly told me she’d been on the eye and that she could see ‘lots of things’. I asked if it went slow like we’d said and she burst out enthusiastically that it had gone much faster than she’d thought, but she still really liked it. Her desire to share how it was and what she’d been doing with me made me smile yet again.

My cheeky girl
Finally, I was sent the following picture and all I can say is that her cheeky face just did make me smile!

photo (30)

So there it is – even when she’s away and I’m missing her she still has this knack of making me smile. I don’t know if she realises that she’s making me smile so much but either way, there’s just a few more days to go and I simply can’t wait to give her a big hug and watch our faces both light up with huge smiles once again.

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Planning ahead – a little competition

It’s a commonly known fact that I’m a bit of an organiser – I like to know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and what I’ll need. What’s slightly less known about me, is my love of stationery…but I’m not ashamed to say that spending half an hour or so pouring over the stationery in any one of several well known stationery shops is, as far as I’m concerned, time well spent.

Imagine then my excitement when I went to #Britmumslive this year and was given a beautiful note pad and pen, as well as a voucher for a free personalised planner from personal-planner.co.uk. I neatly made my copious notes during the conference in my new note book and it was in fact the first thing I showed my family when I got home after the conference. ‘Look how many notes I wrote in my fab new pad…..pause……it’s lovely isn’t it?’

I should note that Ellie, at just 5, clearly has a very good eye for these things as she quickly tried to negotiate whether she could have my new note pad. I managed to distract her with some of the other great freebies I’d picked up and kept the pad for myself – I love her very much, but the pad was just toooo lovely for scribbles!

I’ve since ordered my new personalised planner and I enjoyed every second of choosing it’s size, colour and contents – right down to choosing the format of the internal pages. It was easy to do and I’m now excitedly waiting for it’s arrival. It’s a funky looking planner that is simply perfect for me in it’s contents, size and style…it feels a like a lovely treat!

It’s with considerable excitement on my part then that I’m sharing the love so to speak and running my first ever competition on the blog for a free personalised planner courtesy of personal-planner.co.uk. I’m going to keep it simple so to enter you just need to comment on this post – telling me in one sentence why you should win the planner.

This competition has now closed and I’m pleased to announce that the winner is @victoriaborman with her entry of:

I should win the planner because…..if I carry one around, everyone will think I am organised and not notice I have my jumper on backwards and porridge in my hair.

Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to Victoria.