Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Thank You 2013

Dear 2013

It feels like only yesterday that we were introduced. It took me almost a whole month to stop referring to you as 2012 but we soon slotted into a rhythm that at times was way too fast for my liking. You were certainly keen to keep me on my toes, one minute it was Easter and then we were breaking up for the Summer.

Talking of Summer, that was an interesting one. There I was all prepared for a solo 6 weeks while the Mr worked away, and then you threw a curve ball and instead had the Mr at home all summer recuperating from a dodgy leg. Our original holiday was cancelled but you blessed us with a much needed late break to Scotland which rekindled my faith in you.

I cannot believe how fast you moved, because if it wasn't for the 365project and the photographs that prove they existed, I'd swear you completely skipped most of September and October. November started with climbing walls for the Big One's birthday but I blinked and then I was eating turkey and pulling a cracker. I feel like we didn't really get to know each other properly, you sped past in such haste, but looking back over the last 10 days I'd say we had fun.

Hama time:

Jelly legs under the table and a cup of jelly beans above the table:

We've been really good:

Christmas cracker hat:

Blustery Boxing Day:

Seeing stars:

And rainbows:

Playing, winning and losing:

Trying not to be poorly and failing:

Raising a gin shaped toast to the New Year:

Tomorrow you'll be gone. I won't miss you for long, sorry, because I'll have 2014 to get to know in your place. Rumour has it that it's going to bring a whole new era, by taking away my preschooler and giving me 3 school age children. I may have to spend the first 9 months of 2014 working out what the last 3 months will entail. Best not wish those months away though, they are precious, so I'll capture each day in just the same way as the last 731 days with a snapshot to remind me.
It was fun while you lasted.

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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Counting down

Only 3 more sleeps, 3 more times of asking "How many sleeps till Santa comes?", 2 more days to forget to buy sausage rolls, 1 more present to buy (I hope) and hopefully NO more lists!

I was on the cusp of a Christmas spreadsheet you know, a plan of which presents for who from who was right up there, a necessity given so many relatives decided to send me money with which to buy presents for the children. Spreadsheet crisis averted, and a very tatty list of lists in hand, I have Chrisrmas sussed. *smug face* Well, when I say sussed, it would technically be more accurate to say delegated. The Mr has a list for tomorrow that he caught sight of earlier. It is fair to say his Christmas spirit was suddenly lacking.

And while we are counting down, only 10 more sleeps until another year of 365project is completed. 741 days of photos done, 10 to go. Well actually an infinite number of days to go. I'll still be snapping daily snippets next year, to my children's delight, catching them caught in a moment, or posing them artistically, whichever suits my mood, or causes most embarrassment.

For example, this week we have feral poseurs...

... Ghostly torch walk poseurs...

... caught unawares but still posing...

... Disdainful 'have you taken the photo yet because its your turn' pose... 

... posing nativity shepherd...

... not posing at all so gave up and used an inanimate object for today's subject...

... mass posing/crushing...

... and another week of me snapping, them posing/dodging the camera to come. 

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Silent Sunday

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Not enough sleeps

Counting down the days till we can relax and enjoy the Christmas festivities. The to-do list doesn't seem to get any shorter despite furious activity. My chilled, gentle, simple days are officially behind me and I am paying for it now. Top of the to-do list is to get some craft supplies together and knock up a time machine. Which reminds me, must add a hot glue gun to the shopping list.

Ticked off this week was:

...finishing up some salt dough decorations.

... Popping to see Rudolph.

... buying the tree!!!

... and smothering it in decorations!

... I will not cry. I will not cry. Not part of my planned activities.

... unbelievably a gorgeous door without a wreath. Going to get them one and hang it on their door, knock and hide ;-)

... Princess rustled up a potion for me. Hoping it has time bending properties.

Ten more sleeps people!

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Silent Sunday

My favourite Twelve Things Christmassy

~ sings to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas ~

In the run up to Christmas
Center Parcs asked of me
My favourite 12 things Christmassy

On the twelfth day of Christmas my favourite things would be

Twelve hours of laughter

Eleven facebook greetings (LOL)

Ten toes toasting

Nine IG tree shots (#nofilter)

Eight Baileys on ice

Seven snowflakes falling*

Six cracker jokes boom-tish

Five gold sequins

Four leftover sausages

Three excited children

Two weeks free of school runs

and a Christmas special Downton Abbey!

*In truth I am hoping for more than seven snowflakes. At the Center Parks Winter Wonderland they use 2700kg of artificial snow which would be a rather nice addition if the weather doesn't oblige..

I hope your Christmas brings you all your favourite things too x

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Simply Christmas

We are starting to feel the Christmas spirit smiling in through the window, slipping in under the door and peeking its head around the corner. We don't tend to put up the decorations any earlier than a couple of weeks before Christmas Day but a couple of little things have managed to find themselves a home for the next few weeks - a star light in the window and a pair of beautiful felt deer on my mantle. Little things. Not overly exuberant, or bling, just gently pointing towards a celebration and lovely family time. 

Days are hurtling past and the pointing is becoming more urgent but i dont seem to feel a need to rush, just taking pleasure in each day and finding lots to smile about like...

... catching a rainbow,

... breathing the sweet scent of banana muffins,

... hearing the crunching and whooshing of a scootering boy over leaves,

... playing in the park,

... finding a peeping Tom on the fence,

... enjoying a crafty advent,

... and making salt dough decorations with the children.

I know I will need to step up a gear very soon to get everything ready for Christmas but I am enjoying the lazy meander as we head towards the day.

How are your preparations going?

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Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

I could tell you but then...

 ...I'd have to kill you.

Not exactly in the spirit of Christmas you might be thinking but when it comes to hiding the Christmas presents my lips are sealed. Over the years, my hiding places have had to evolve into ever more cunning and elaborate cubby holes, evolve at a pace faster than my eldest child's imagination and ingenuity.

The back of the wardrobe is no longer safe, not even under the shoes boxes containing the heels that I can no longer wear without fear of falling or blisters.

Under the bed is a favourite hiding place, for children that is. Hide and seek sees them fighting over who can squeeze between the occasionally used suitcases and my stash of crafting goodies.

The loft has potential but the sound of a ladder being extended and the delicate footsteps of Santa's reindeer on the ceiling may just be too much for a three year old to bear at midnight on Christmas Eve.

The garage? Would definitely be an excellent hiding place. As long as I left a trail of glitter. I still haven't found the crabbing buckets I started looking for in July.

We do have a shed and I know for a fact that they would never think of looking in there. Not because it wouldn't occur to them but because of the family of spiders that have taken up residence. I may put up some Christmas stockings in the shed for the spiders actually. If I wasn't scared of the arachnids myself I would definitely use the shed to hide the presents.

I have had a dry run with the Big One's birthday presents in the back of the Mr's wardrobe. Hah! He so didn't think of looking there but then he spotted me putting something away and wouldn't let it lie. Twenty minutes of grilling and me sitting in front of the wardrobe doors later I admitted defeat and removed the 'something' and handed it over. He was less than impressed with the Argyle socks I've bought for Dad for Christmas, but at least he stopped his nagging.

So where oh where will I hide his satsuma, bag of chocolate coins and rubber ball?

Right in full view, in the toe of his stocking in the fireplace, to taunt him and teach him a lesson.

And should Santa deem that he has been well enough behaved over the last 12 months to grant him a Christmas gift, then he can keep it tucked away in his grotto with all the other presents until Christmas Eve when he can hand deliver it down the chimney. Because he still believes, and long may that remain so ;-)

This post is an entry into the Hudl Christmas cheer competition.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Disappearing Days

Where did November go?
It felt like only yesterday and I was wishing The Big One Happy Birthday and then I blinked and the whole month has fallen away as fast as the leaves on the trees. 
At least that means no more raking up in the back garden. Especially with
little legs who love nothing more than kicking them up.

The dark winter mornings are taking there toll.

But christmas is coming and there is nothing better than extravagant decorations.

Amazingly still clinging onto some blue skies even as the garden decays.

Nothing beats a hot chocolate.

Tis the season for festivities and Princess had fun creating this gingerbread house.

It may still be November but Santa made an early visit at the school fair. 

November disappeared in a swirl of golden leaves so I am clinging onto each frosty day of December to make those memories stick. 

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