Photographic diary, Uncategorized

Summer is drawing to an end…

Well who agrees with me, Summer went so fast… One minute my children were finishing school and we were all looking forward to switching off our alarms and laying in bed in the mornings with no real plans for the day, then just like that it’s August, back to alarms as Heat Week kicked off, then early morning soccer practice every day, followed by thoughts of school buses, school supplies and back to school haircuts.

Summer for us always begins early, we are so lucky to have good friends with a beautiful pool… Once the weather turns and Spring is in full bloom, we are in the pool, and this has become over the years a big part of our Summer fun.  We usually visit two or three times a week, sometimes we stay for a BBQ too, but this year it’s been much more difficult to juggle with our kitchen renovation, we’ve managed it somehow and it has been so worth it, Florrie is now swimming without her armbands and Tate has gained so much confidence it’s crazy, he loves jumping in now and going under, it’s a pleasure to watch them.

 

We kicked off our Summer with some fruit picking at a local farm, it was a hot and dusty day, but we all had fun, ate way too many raspberries and Florrie discovered she loved fresh peas straight out of the pod… This made me very happy.

When we arrived in England earlier this year we discovered everyone was drinking Prosecco, what? It had become a craze, and I’m not going to lie we thought it was crazy, but as in all crazes we got hooked on our return home, this Summer has become a Summer of drinking Prosecco on the deck, with no kitchen to speak of we have grilled and grilled on our brand new BBQ and drunk copious bottles of Prosecco.


  

We Spent our Fourth of July at our friends pool, we had a BBQ too, then grabbed our suitcases and caught our late flight Down to Jacksonville, Florida for our 10 day vacation.  First stop the beautiful town of Saint Augustine, it was VERY hot, extremely picturesque and so busy, but we had a fantastic time, our condo was beautiful, the pool was warm and it was so much fun to swim every evening before dinner.  Next stop a flying visit to Daytona Beach on our way to Orlando, home to the Happiest place on earth… Disney World, it was extremely hot 103f, extremely busy but it was so magical to watch Florrie and Tate’s faces take in the whole experience that is Disney.  The first of our two days in Orlando was spent in Magic Kingdom and the second was spent in a slightly quieter Hollywood Studios, both very full long days, two days was more than enough time for me in theme parks, next year I’m taking a year off from them completely.


On our return from Florida the kitchen renovation kicked up a notch, permits were attained and contractors began to arrive, also Summer Birthday Season began with Jordan’s 26th celebration, a quiet one at home, followed by Farrel’s 22nd, Mabel’s 15th and Blu’s 17th Birthdays.  Farrel was flying to Arizona on his special day, so we had a Birthday Starbucks for breakfast before he left, then Both Mabel and Blu had soccer practice on their Birthdays so we celebrated around the coming and going that is August Soccer, Mabel with Hibachi and Blu with smokin BBQ.  Mabels friends also organized a surprise Beach party for her, which of course involved some parent help too… The sun shone, Mabel was totally surprised and had a fantastic time.

The first week in August came and it meant that my Mum was going home, with kitchen contractors in most days it was difficult to get out and make the most of her last few days here.  We did manage an afternoon at Dingmans Falls, it was a beautiful stroll through cool woodland, the Falls were relaxing to say the least.  The first weekend of August was Lumineers weekend, 6 tickets were purchased for the Stone Pony concert arena in Asbury Park, our car was loaded with beach stuff and people, the day did not disappoint even though we got absolutely soaking wet when a short heavy storm came in. I sat in the outdoor free concert on the beach with my Mum, Florrie and Tate, whilst the others all stood for hours and watched the show from inside the outdoor arena.


The last part of the Summer has been quiet for us, lots of swimming in the pool, eating Rita’s custard ice happiness, Florence’s absolute favorite, soccer practice, dinners with friends, contractors coming and going, trips to IKEA for kitchen parts, family BBQ and prosecco time on the deck, the Great British Bake Off on a Sunday evening, shopping with Dom for vacation clothes, including lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, Moms Taxi rides and let’s not forget the Sunflower Maze, a family tradition for us year after year, we love the sunflowers and getting lost in the maze, it’s always so hot in there so of course after numerous photos being taken I bribe Florrie with ice cream for just a few more shots, it works and I snap a few more before we buy sunflowers to take home and head off in the direction of something cooler.

…And that was our Summer 2016, almost over for another year, just a few more things to do on this holiday weekend. ✨

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Reflecting on choices…

There are just times in your life when you have to reflect on choices you have made throughout your life, and right now is one of those times for me… What if I’d never moved 3500 miles away from the home I’d always known… What if I’d taken up yoga earlier in life, would I be fitter and more in control… Why did I choose  the house I live in?   All of these questions run through my head and fill my thoughts, but I can’t change a single choice I have made in the past,  I just have to move forward with new choices in my life!

  The best thing in my life is my family, I’ve been lucky to have my Mum stay with me for the last 3 months, it’s been a busy few months with big Birthdays and small ones too, we’ve celebrated Mother’s Day together, watched endless soccer games together and celebrated huge milestones in my children’s life’s… We’ve also stared at the clock endlessly together feeling helpless 3500 miles away from my nephew having major surgery, we’ve sighed with relief together as we heard he was in recovery… We will also both cry together next Saturday as she leaves to go home… But I am so thankful we have had this time together, I love her so much! 
 May is always a busy month for us… Soccer season is fully operational, we are flying from one field to another, we have had two Birthdays to celebrate, one Anniversary and Mother’s Day all in a few days… This year though we had two extra reasons to celebrate, my two eldest children graduated from University with their degrees, to say we are proud is an understatement, unfortunately Dom chose not to walk, I was truly disappointed but I had to accept his wishes, but Lewis wore his gown, no cap allowed, the sun shone and tears flowed as we watched our second oldest child proudly receive his degree that he has worked so hard for… Is there any reward greater for a mother than watching her child work hard and achieve so much… I think not!  

 This month  saw my little girl turn to the ripe old age of 4… Really, how could that be, I only had her yesterday!  She really is a ray of sunshine in all our lives, she is an excellent dancer, she loves to sing and watch all kinds of kids u tube videos… She constantly chatters and asks questions about everything and anything, she is just so happy and beautiful.  To say I love her to the moon and back would be an understatement, there are no words to describe my love for this beautiful, funny, crazy little girl 🙂  

 

And now as this crazy hectic month draws to an end I look forward to a calmer summer, maybe, hopefully, possibly not as I embark on trying to get some estimates for contractors to do some work on our house… Life is full of change and I need to learn to embrace it and move on, be happy and smile often, I am one very lucky Person 🙂

 

Uncategorized

… And just like that, it was over!

As summer draws to a close I am reflecting over these past few months… We started out in a very unorganized way, we have had very little BBQ’s this year… Really not like us, we haven’t sat out all evening drinking a chatting, again very unlike us, and I personally have just felt tired and drained… Now I can’t even blame Tate for lack of sleep as he is such a good baby… I just really feel there is something lacking about this summer… And now it’s almost Fall!

IMG_4664.JPG

I think my lack of energy is because I need to find a direction and. stick to it, I feel like sometimes, I just wander aimlessly around, but these past few years have been tough for our family, due to a series of events, life just seems hard in every direction… So I’m trying to find some positive vibes in each and every day, because despite everything we are a close, loving family and that means everything in life… Well that and a glass of wine, of course!

The one thing I will remember this summer for, is our pool days with our very kind friends, this year there have been a lot of fun wet days spent in their pool, and for that I am truly grateful to them… Florence’s confidence in the water has improved so much, her love for swimming has increased so much over the summer months, each pool day has seen her grow into a happy diver, swimmer, racer and her smile each time she jumps into that water is magical!

This was Tate’s first summer pool experience, although he was dubious at first I think his confidence has grown too… We even got a couple of smiles from him as he kicked his little legs, splashing away!

IMG_4494.JPG

This is also the summer we discovered that Florrie loves sand, the Cake Boss shop, movies in the park and Twix Bites… Now we are all totally addicted! Mabel has become a very competent swimmer and Blu has actually left his Xbox and his room and sat with us for long periods of time… We even got him to chat a little… Now that is crazy!

IMG_4680.JPG

Summer also saw Mabel hanging out with her friends more, movie dates, swim dates and of course shopping trips to the Mall, this was also the summer that she became a teenager and went to her first concert, which she absolutely loved!

IMG_5073.JPG

We have been to the beach a total of three times this summer, and I have decided that beach days out of season are the best… The long drive sat in traffic, the high costs to park your car and then the charges to get onto a extremely busy beach in the height of summer are far outweighed by our after Labor Day beach trip… The drive was easy, parking was not only easy but very cheap, 4 hours on the beach plus one hour having ice cream equalled $5 prime position parking versus $15 for a dusty long walk parking place in the height of summer. The weather was fabulous yesterday 93f, the beach was free and much quieter than it was a few weeks ago… My thoughts are summer may be almost over but I can see a few Fall beach days in our future… Maybe!

IMG_9111.JPG

Well school has already started for my older children, universities/colleges are back, but tomorrow truly signifies the end of summer for me… Blu heads back to High School as a Sophomore and Mabel starts her final year in the Middle School as a newly fledged teenager, I’m starting this semester with a new project, homeschooling a three year old… But that’s a story for another day!

Good luck to everyone for this new school year and to all us parents with the love and support each of our children need!

Uncategorized

May…

Can you believe it is May already… Ever since the beginning of March I feel like I’ve blinked and totally missed both March and April! I usually love May, it’s my favorite month of the year if only it did not have my birthday in it (turning one year older is just no fun anymore)… I love the trees turning green, I love the warmer sunny days, I love the longer evenings of daylight and I just love the thought of the next few months of summer! This year is different… The trees around our house still look like it’s winter, the weather is not as sunny and warm as usual and I feel like if I blink May will be over too, it’s already the fifth of May and we are heading into our long weekend of celebrations in five days time… Wedding anniversary, has it really been 28 years, when I last checked we were celebrating our silver wedding
anniversary, Mother’s Day followed by yet another birthday!

The month of May is now all about Florrie for me these days… Despite other celebrations her birthday is all I can think about, planning her cake, planning her presents and making sure she has a wonderful day! Florence is a complete Frozen fan, or ‘Let it go’ as she calls it! From the moment she watched the movie she was hooked like so many other little girls, she watches endless YouTube videos of each song, she constantly sings the songs and wants to dress up in the costumes! Frozen came out in December, five months later the shelves are empty in places where Elsa and Anna should be… Really five months later… Is this a marketing ploy by Disney to keep us all interested, well really they did not need to do it, all these little girls are totally hooked!

As you may have guessed the theme for her Birthday this year is Frozen, not that we are having a party, as the day will be spent at various soccer games, but as it is on a Sunday we will be able to celebrate in the evening with nearly everyone home from work… As we could not get a dress up costume we headed to Jo Ann’s for the perfect fabric to turn my little Florrie into Queen Elsa, and yesterday after Dom did a little bit of research we managed to get an Elsa and Anna doll, very, very happy about this! I’m planning a very easy coconut cake with a frozen theme and of course you need a few balloons in icy colors to make a little three year old’s Birthday a Frozen Day!

Here are a couple of links to tutorials for Queen Elsa’s dress if you need a costume and don’t want to spend $150 and up…
Queen Elsa costume ideas
Queen Elsa cape… no sew
Frozen dress up costume

20140505-073704.jpg