Posts filed under ‘#myheartylife’

#myhearty life May 2018 |gratitude| success| beauty|

#myheartylife – reflecting on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes.

Highnam Park - toddler spinning - nipitinthebud.co.uk-1

You may have noticed I stopped writing my weekly #myheartylife posts? I haven’t stopped feeling grateful or finding beauty in the every day moments but measuring successes as a stay at home Mum was proving a little harder. The #myheartylife linky was created by Mary at The Hearty Life and although she’s now closed it I enjoyed sharing the gratitude|success|beauty journey and the structure it gave me for writing more regularly.

I’ve started sharing #myheartylife posts as part of a weekly positive blogging community called #BestBootForward hosted by Kate on Thin Ice. There will come a point that I run out of previous posts so I thought it would be good to return to my reflections on a monthly basis as I really enjoyed the discipline of a gratitude practice. I’ve been reading a book called ”Better than before” in which Gretchen Rubin explains why some people are good at doing things for themselves and some people aren’t and need some sort of external accountability to remain motivated. Gretchen writes about four tendencies (personality profiles) which relate to your ability to meet external or internal expectations. I fall into the category of Obliger, a person who responds productively to external pressures (even though I hate the anxiety and fear that creates in me) but let myself down constantly by not following through with the things that would benefit me, even things I take pleasure in. Gretchen explains that as an Obliger I need to create a sense of external expectation in order to help me keep a commitment to myself. For example, I’m unlikely to stick to healthy eating choices simply because logic says I should or because it’s sure to benefit my own health but am highly motivated by the wish to be healthy and strong for my boys.

So I’m going to set the intention of writing each month about a few of the things that have brought me joy, some of the things I’ve struggled with and what I’ve learned along the way. I welcome your thoughts in the comments especially about what you’re feeling thankful for.

I am grateful for…
The month of May and double bank holidays. I’ve always loved May for the sudden changes you start to see in the garden and the lightness of spirit that comes with warmer weather. We had a wedding in Falmouth over the second bank holiday weekend with George’s family and extended our stay in Cornwall to spend time with one of G’s oldest friends from school. It was our first break away this year and relaxed beach days with lots of fresh air and play were just what we needed.

Helston_George and Euan

George’s birthday was in May too but juggling his various freelance jobs conspired to squeeze the time and energy he had for celebrating so I’m planning a re-run birthday lunch for him in June instead. While George’s month has been filled with work and little downtime Euan’s has been filled with wonder and excitement. He had a school trip to Cotswold Wildlife park and spent the day at Cub camp where his highlight was doing archery. My highlight was special time with my big boy at Giffords Circus where Euan was mesmorised by the difference circus acts and laughed loud and long whenever his favourite circus clown Tweedy appeared. I was so grateful to George for making space in his schedule to have Luca so I could take Euan.Giffords Circus - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Giffords Circus - nipitinthebud.co.uk

I succeeded at …
Selling more things on Ebay. I’ve been having a bit of an on-going de-clutter (not at all the method recommended by Konmari who first sparked my urge to reduce the amount of tidying we have to do by having less stuff). I’d listed several items on Ebay and was disappointed when they didn’t sell and in fact a few hadn’t even been viewed. I sought the advice of a friend who runs an Ebay shop and she gave me some pointers about how to describe items (who knew you can’t say ”velcro-fastened” shoes without Ebay hiding your listing because it breeches the use of the trade mark Velcro!). My friend also suggested listing as ‘Buy it now’ instead of as an auction. This made total sense when I realised that shoppers looking for particular items want it immediately rather than waiting for an auction to end. I’m not about to make my fortune with the £2-3 items I’m selling but I’m happy to say I’ve just packed up my 26th item. For me it’s more about re-homing good quality items and avoiding landfill than making money (unless it’s the kids toys and then I love being able to give them the money for their piggy banks). Although I could just donate to my local charity shop I think sometimes it just creates a headache for them to get rid of stock if they then find it doesn’t sell. Old technology like DVDs is a case in point and when we had our last purge we used MusicMagpie to recycle them instead.toddler with wooden ice cream - nipitinthebud.co.uk

On a mental/emotional level I succeeded at keeping a commitment to myself to attend a Mum’s group in Stroud run by Hand in Hand parenting instructor Steph Parker. I’ve had to miss the last couple of meet ups as G’s work had been falling on weekends but I made it to the May get together. George appreciates that I’m a better Mum to the boys when I have a little bit of time to myself in a space that provides support and encouragement and practical tools for creating closer connections with our children and skills to handle the challenges parenting throws up more calmly. I’ve written about Hand in Hand parenting before here and if you’re in the season of bringing up children I really recommend looking at the Hand in Hand website. There is a Hand in Hand parenting podcast which is brilliant if you’re an audible learner like me and an amazing variety of resources on their blog . Hand in Hand parenting founder Patty Wipfler has written a book called ”Listen: five simple tools to meet your everyday parenting challenges”.

I found beauty in …
Watching my 6 year old son dance his heart out at Giffords Circus. At the end of the grand finale the circus performers were reaching into the audience to help children over the barrier and into the ring. I turned to tell Euan that children could go down and join them but not before hesitating for a few breaths. It was as if I was the 6 year old child being invited down and my instinct was to hang my head and shyly refuse! For a split second I had wondered if he’d have a moment of uncertainty and want me to go down with him and I knew I didn’t want to for me but that I would for him. What was so beautiful was that the words had barely left my lips and he’d shot up and out of his back row seat and was flying down the steps two at a time. He was so topped up from a brilliant show in which he laughed and smiled and whispered ”wow look Mummy, that’s amazing” over and over that he had no hesitation or fear about joining in. He danced and twirled and this photo just makes my heart sing. I’m so happy he doesn’t have the insecurities I carried through childhood and most of my adult life and still have to activate the mute button on sometimes.Giffords Circus - happiest boy in the world

My heart sings for Luca more and more each day as well – turning two has brought with it more words, cute-isms and cheekiness. Luca’s always communicated surprisingly well with few words but it’s delightful now he’s putting two words together to such great effect and accompanying his talking with such sweet little tilts of the head or quirky actions. If he falls and gets hurt it’s a ”ba-bang’‘ and he stops to point at every ”arrar”, ”niaow” and ”gack”* on our walk to school.  He enquires ”alright?’‘ if he sees someone is hurt and if Euan cries he silently moves over to him and strokes his head (not always welcome if he’s been part of the cause of big brother’s tears!). Luca’s first three word sentence was ‘‘Mumma milk pleasch” and he’s recently discovered the word ”now” so is peppering his requests with it to great comedic effect.  Luca still can’t say Euan (Eudon has been the closest) but happily potters around the allotment calling ”Hiya Dave” or gifting every passer by a cheery ”bye bye”. It really is such a privilege to watch a little human grow and develop new skills every single day of their life. And an even greater gift to know that you have a hand in making their life experience the best it can be. There’s beauty everywhere in the ordinary moments.

What have you found beauty in this month? Are you celebrating your successes or making a regular practice of gratitude? I’d love to hear what little strategies you practice to create more contentment in your life.

* dog, cat, bird in case you didn’t guess!
Keeping it real logo - debsrandomwritings.com copy

June 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm 7 comments

#myheartylife 15 – gratitude| success| beauty

Reflecting weekly on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes with the #myhearty life linky.

12-4-18- Slimbridge visit playground

I am grateful for …
Living near to Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Centre.  The school holidays have been a bit dreary weather wise and while we’ve loved our indoor time over the Easter weekend we’ve also had to cancel some activities when being out in a downpour would have been a bit miserable or created epic muddy clean up jobs.  When you have a special place you like to visit as a family it’s easier to push through any reluctance and as we only had one day this week with George we made it work for a trip to Slimbridge.  It was cold but dry and we had a lovely time doing the Dusty Duck Easter hunt and then claiming the prize of a delicious Pulsin bar.  Luca was in his element bimbling about saying “Hiya” to the birds and calling every bird variety we saw “wack“.

12-4-18- Slimbridge visit_12-4-18- Slimbridge visit with Dusty Duck12-4-18- Slimbridge visit stepping stones

I succeeded at
Creating our first video review.  I’d not used iMovie before but George has been making trailers for his Spaces music project.  He gave me a few pointers and we put together a short video of the boys bimbling about on Selsley Common with their OXO Tot water bottles.   My initial plan had been for E to talk about why the bottles are so great but that proved tricky to capture and edit as I’ve never used my camera for video before!  I did get some lovely footage and some funny outtakes but quality was poor from shooting indoors and it just didn’t stitch together very well.  So I decided to use the small amount of outdoor footage from our Easter Sunday amble.  The funniest thing about the whole process for me was being named a ‘composer‘ by GarageBand when we used it to create the music for the video.  GarageBand was George’s solution to my question ”how do you put Music on it without having to worry about copyright?’‘.  I wouldn’t have dreamed of making my own track but when you know someone who can their confidence and ease rubs off.  Of course, it wasn’t really like I made my own song as the loops were samples but if matchmaking two country style loops, inspired by Luca’s Benny Hill like bimbling, is successfully writing a theme song I’ll take it.  Anyway here’s an outtake from our first video making attempt when I didn’t even realise you couldn’t shoot in portrait!

I found beauty in ..
Wildlife and seeing how much pleasure our boys (and kids in general) get from being around animals.  First at Slimbridge feeding the birds and seeking out Euan’s favourite otters.  And then during a visit to our local city farm where we saw lambs, cows, pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits, goats, ducks and chickens. I loved watching how curious Luca was peering into the guinea pig hutches and E running up to tell him what they were and read their names out. Parenting outside feels easier too, they’re not the only ones who feel lighter for the fresh air!

Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Centre swans
Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Centre
My previous #myheartylife reflections can be found here

If you’re publishing a blog post that fits in with one or all of the #myheartylife prompts why not join the linky? Simply add your blog link at the bottom of Mary’s latest post here. Sharing comments with other #myheartylife bloggers is always lovely and if posting your cheerful moments on social media too please use the tag #myheartylife. Enjoy living and sharing your hearty life.

April 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm 1 comment

#myheartylife | 14 – Gratitude| Success| Beauty

Reflecting weekly on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes with the #myhearty life linky.
(all rather Easter orientated this week!)

Father and son looking at bugs inside a fallen down tree trunk

G and 3 year old E bug hunting in a fallen down tree

I’m grateful for . . .
The school holidays and not having to rush to get up and out in the morning. Euan has stayed in his pyjamas all day a couple of times and he says it’s one of his favourite things about school holidays.  As Easter approached I had that feeling that we should make the most of the break and visit somewhere using our National Trust membership like we did last Easter.  The poor weather however made it easy to choose the opposite, to switch gears and savour the slow pace of staying in. On slow mode, no timescales, no agenda.  Our days over the Easter weekend were a lovely blur of playing, lego making, snacking and hiding mini eggs.  We did attempt an Easter egg hunt at Woodchester Park on Sunday but the rest of Gloucestershire obviously had the same idea and cars were lining the entry road for half a mile or more from the car park.  We’d had to make an emergency stop en-route for E who felt car sick so we turned tail and headed for nearby Selsley Common for some fresh air.  It was the right decision as poor E emptied his stomach as G turned off the engine and immediately felt better.  Our amble on the common was just what we needed and the boys enjoyed being the masters of our route with us following slowly behind them. They barely noticed we were there as raced off happily (can you tell from that first photo that G is running to keep up with L!). They loved exploring in their own little world of imaginative play in the dip of a small quarry calling out from time to time only to point out something interesting they’d spotted or had made. Luca gave a few dog walkers a surprise when he kept scrambling up steep slopes and appearing as if from nowhere over the top.Easter sunday walk Selsley common_Dad and toddler running - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Easter sunday walk Selsley common_boys making names using rocks - nipitinthebud.co.uk

I succeeded with …
Containing the chocolate fest that is Easter to the weekend and letting the boys decide how much they ate. It sounds mad even reading it like that but when presented with an Easter egg the size of your head you’re not going to easily wrestle it from a toddler’s grip. E didn’t even have his first Easter egg until he was about 4 years old and it lasted for about a month. Luca’s first egg at age nearly two lasted an hour, albeit shared beautifully with his brother who was happy to delay opening his realising it meant double chocolate for him in the long run. In the afternoon E wanted to re-hide the eggs from his morning hunt, a concept L just couldn’t grasp so he was given his share of eggs. My instincts were screaming ‘just one, save them, think of how much sugar that is if he eats them all” but I rolled with letting him work his way through them. And it turned out he really liked the process of unpeeling the foil wrappers, would take a bite and then move on to the next one. So the total amount of chocolate he ate was not even half as much as it looked like. And the result, no adverse change in behaviour or affect on sleep overnight (he did have more energy by bedtime than he would normally after a 2 hour bimble outside!). Confirming perhaps that by limiting sweet treats as part of a healthy lifestyle the seasonal blow outs aren’t going to do much harm. And an important lesson noted that children do stop when they feel they’ve had enough and it’s important to give them that experience occasionally rather than always leaving them with the sense of wanting more.

I found beauty in …
Hiding Easter eggs around the house and watching the boys race off to find them. It was probably a common sight in many homes last weekend but what moved me so much was how it spoke to the relationship between my boys. There’s 4 years and 3 months between them so it could be understandably annoying to have your nearly 2 year old brother trailing round after you. But E is always so nurturing with Luca and they share in a way that pours right out of their heart and not because anyone tells them too (this was evident in Luca sharing with E but grabbing his egg to his chest saying ”my, my” when I asked if he had a bite for me.  If these brothers continue to be the best friends they are at age 2 and 6 then I know I’ll have done a good job of parenting.
Easter Sunday egg hunt_brothers sharing eggs
My previous #myheartylife reflections can be found here

If you’re publishing a blog post that fits in with one or all of the #myheartylife prompts why not join the linky? Simply add your blog link at the bottom of Mary’s latest post here. Sharing comments with other #myheartylife bloggers is always lovely and if posting your cheerful moments on social media too please use the tag #myheartylife. Enjoy living and sharing your hearty life.

April 6, 2018 at 8:50 pm 3 comments

#myheartylife | 12 – gratitude| success| beauty

Reflecting weekly on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes with the #myhearty life linky.
toddler with green pants on his head laughing at selfie - niptinthebud.co.uk
I’m grateful for ….
Toddlers wearing pants on their heads obviously!

This month I have been feeling particularly grateful for family.  My parents have been visiting every Tuesday afternoon since 6 year old Euan was one and I had returned to work 2 days a week.  We had a gap in childcare between George needing to leave for work and me returning home. I always appreciated Mum and Dad’s love of spending time with Euan and it’s been heartwarming to see their relationship deepen from having 1:1 time.  I was especially grateful for the pause Tuesday afternoons brought when I was pregnant with Luca and then when he was a newborn.  I’m still grateful for the weekly meal Mum brings with her and the pause it gives me to put the laundry out or dash around picking things up without being following by Luca or being ask lots of questions by Euan.  The boys love hanging out with their grandparents and with each visit I’m reminded of how lucky we are to have them nearby.  Last weekend it was my Dad’s birthday and I took Euan to the Kingfisher Treasure Seekers Hub in Gloucester to make him a present. It’s a fab craft shop where you can take part in a Make and Take workshop and create anything you like from the huge range of craft materials available.  Euan chose a wooden bird picture frame and made it beautifully unique with tons of PVA glue and shiny things.

I succeeded at …
Slowing down when all my instincts scream ”faster faster, more more”.  It’s not a regular occurrence so I’m taking the win when I can and hope it’ll serve as a reminder in future.  I’ve been feeling a bit frustrated of late that I can only be creative in the short time that Luca naps each day.  If my mind wanders in the daytime and I pick up a notebook to jot something down Luca pulls it from my hand and flings it on the floor!  If ever a child communicated by throwing things it’s Luca.  Sometimes if he’s sat on my lap facing me and I look away to say something to G he puts his hands on my cheeks and says ”this way” as he turns my face back towards him.   Determined not angry, forthright in his actions where he lacks language.   For a boy of few words it’s pretty powerful – his only other 2 word sentences are ”Mumma milk” and ”Dadda burp!”.   After a particularly vexing day last week I resolved to just be present when we returned from the school run; to do less, observe more and enjoy most .  And the irony of it was that by sitting alongside him and participating in his play only as an observer and cheerleader I was able to appreciate that there are moments during our time together when I can find pause and quiet thought without it unsettling Luca.  It reminded me of the value of Special Time where you top your child up before trying to get things done rather than zipping off to do it first impatiently calling over your shoulder ”I’ll be back in a minute, just hang on”.  I quietly reached for my camera and took some photos of Luca absorbed in car play.  I pondered what blog post they might tell the story of.   We played together, he played alone.  I photographed him and thought out this blog post.  Zero frustration,  two hearts brimful and two peaceful minds (well mine was, I suspect Luca’s was something like this ”car, car, brrrrmmm, bang, car”)

I found beauty in …
Nature and the industrious work of a pair of magpies who had spent a couple of weeks preparing their nest in a tree opposite the back of our house. From our bedroom window we had a perfect view straight into the tree and enjoyed their comings and goings and the fact that their presence kept the seagulls quiet.  On Sunday as the boys enjoyed the beautiful sunshine while playing in the yard they suddenly heard the buzz of a chain saw.  Luca ran in to me in the kitchen and Euan fearfully called out ”what is someone chopping down?’‘.  I went upstairs to look through the back window and saw two men cutting branches from the tree with the Magpie’s nest balanced within its branches.  I hoped it was just a bit of sprint time pruning.  It wasn’t.  Half an hour later they had chopped all of the branches off and spent the next couple of hours burning the wood.  The next day at breakfast time Euan spotted one of magpies up on the rooftops and looked sad as he remarked ”the magpie is up there Mum looking for his home but it’s gone hasn’t it”.  We all felt really sad for the magpies and hope they find another tree to build a new nest in before they are ready to lay their eggs in April.  It’s hard having to explain to a kind hearted child that the beauty we appreciate is not always appreciated by others and can be destroyed so suddenly.  I was reminded of gentle parent L R Knosts perceptive quote  “It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”  We hadn’t taken any pictures of the Magpies so here’s a photo of the boys drawing in the back yard on that lovely sunny afternoon before the chain saw shattered their peace!  I see such beauty in watching a child absorbed by their own creativity.

Thank you for reading.  My previous #myheartylife reflections can be found here.
I’d love to hear what you’re finding beauty in, feeling grateful for and celebrating success with in the comments.

If you’re publishing a blog post that fits in with one or all of the #myheartylife prompts why not join the linky?  Mary is away this week so there’s plenty of time to get your thinking cap on for next time.  Enjoy living your hearty life.
#myheartylife linky logo copy

March 31, 2018 at 1:00 pm 5 comments

#myheartylife | 11 – gratitude| success| beauty

Reflecting weekly on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes with the #myhearty life linky.

I love Beavers a lot!

”’Yeeeeessss” to the question ”Do you love Beavers?”

I’m grateful for ….
.. being taught to sew as a child by my Mum just as her Mum had taught her. She made it fun and encouraged me when I became frustrated. We made a skirt together when I was 15 which landed me in hospital when a lose wire in the sewing machine gave me an electric shock. I’ve hoarded fabric cuttings over the years but never made anything else. I have bigger ideas in my head than my abilities can maintain! But I am grateful for the unshakeable confidence in my ability to stitch and have no fear or loathing when it comes to stitching jobs for E like adapting World Book Day costumes or sewing badges onto his Beavers uniform. For someone who lacks confidence in many other areas of my life it gives me a warm feeling to know I’ve got this. Thanks Mum.

I succeeded at …
..prioritising sleep on my one child free morning. On a Tuesday I love to start my day with a swim. Night times with Luca can be exhausting and this week I was tired and headachy the moment my eyes opened on my swim morning this week. I felt a slight lump in my throat when I swallowed and wondered if I was developing the cough the boys both have. The cough that kept E from his swimming lesson on Sunday. I decided a swim for me was likely to lead to further exhaustion and potentially earache or a cold so after getting the boys dressed I crept back into bed. I fell asleep listening to the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Centre’s ”Body scan for sleep” (works every time, go check it out if you have any difficulty dropping off). I woke 2 hours later so clearly made the right decision! I didn’t get anything on my to-do list done that morning but I had practiced good self-care and felt like my mind was clearer, calmer and more able to work out what my priorities really were this week.

brothers in blanket - nipitinthebud blog

I found beauty in …
Father and son. One learning, one helping. Both smiling, both exhausted by the end. E showed no interest in riding a bike until fairly recently. We don’t have a garden and live near a main road so even trips to the park would have involved carrying the bike there for him and restricting his use of it. We figured we’d wait until he was older and asked for one and he just didn’t until this Christmas. The poor weather has meant only now is he learning to ride it.

My previous #myheartylife reflections can be found here

If you’re publishing a blog post that fits in with one or all of the #myheartylife prompts why not join the linky? Simply add your blog link at the bottom of Mary’s latest post here. Sharing comments with other #myheartylife bloggers is always lovely and if posting your cheerful moments on social media too please use the tag #myheartylife. Enjoy living and sharing your hearty life.
#myheartylife linky logo copy

March 17, 2018 at 12:16 pm 2 comments

#myheartylife | 10 – gratitude| success| beauty

Reflecting weekly on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes with the #myhearty life linky.

I’m grateful for ….
People who share their wisdom and resources to help others find peace, joy and purpose.  I was feeling a bit glum last week in that can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it kind of way.  As an Introvert with a tendency toward anxiety I find comfort and clarity in listening to others talk about the issues I struggle with. From the safety of my own home, with no pressure to interact, I often find the encouragement I need to fine tune my intuition about what I need to do by listening to audio books or podcasts. I downloaded the Stitcher Radio app to my phone last month and it’s like finding a kindred spirit and having a loving friend in your pocket whenever you need one. I no longer need to wait until the evening to unravel with a book (by which time I’m usually too exhausted to concentrate and it feels like work). I can listen to podcasts while I cook, tidy or hang out with the boys. Sometimes I look for a podcast title that is my exact concern. Often it’s enough to know that others struggle too and calms that critical voice that tells me it’s only me that feels like this. Sometimes I can then just accept how I’m feeling like a compassionate friend and stop looking for the fix-it. Often I scroll through episode titles and click on something unconnected to my situation that piques my interest and still find a positive take away from my listening time. My 5 favourite listens from the last couple of weeks have been:

Oprah’s super soul conversations – talking to the late Maya Angelou about her childhood, her relationship with her Mother and standing up for what you believe in

The other F word – how personality types deal with anxiety (the other F word, in case you were wondering, is ‘failure’)

Hand in Hand parenting – how brain science fuels our upset behaviour and how by understanding it, we can create calmer, more contented households and better relationships with our kids.

The Savvy Psychologist – 5 ways technology is making us anxious (highlighting how on-line communication provides connection and support but reduces our ability to deal with in-person conversations and uncertainty)

The Life Coach School – being decisive (how staying in the confusion of uncertainty is a decision to stay stuck!)

(illustrated by the inspirational Emily Rutherford @artwithanxiety on Instagram )

I succeeded at …
Using my one child free morning a week to do something that fills me with joy by completing my photography coaching with Shane. Instead of doing a 1 day session he kindly allowed me to split my time across a few weeks so we had some workshop time running through camera basics, an hour bimbling in the gardens with Luca (trust me that was long enough in the freezing cold) and a couple of hours talking processing and editing using Adobe Lightroom.  It was such a relief to learn how to rescue those slightly blurry-but-beautiful snapshots and revive a mediocre picture shot in poor light. I’m excited by the difference this will make to the photos I take and having Shane on hand for further advice when I need it. Here’s an example of original photo on the left and edited version on the right.

I found beauty in …
The snow and watching the boys play out in our small back yard. Euan wasn’t interested in going out during the day and Luca gets too cold as a hat and glove refusing toddler. But after dinner as it was getting dark they suddenly had the urge to play. It was beautiful watching them work together to build a wannabe snowman and help each other when something didn’t work out. It always tugs my heart strings that we don’t have a garden for them but E declared ”I’m glad we have a yard and not a garden so the snow doesn’t get all muddy”. I love the bond these brothers share.

My previous #myheartylife reflections can be found here

If you’re publishing a blog post that fits in with one or all of the #myheartylife prompts why not join the linky? Simply add your blog link at the bottom of Mary’s latest post here. Sharing comments with other #myheartylife bloggers is always lovely and if posting your cheerful moments on social media too please use the tag #myheartylife. Enjoy living and sharing your hearty life.
#myheartylife linky logo copy

March 12, 2018 at 9:24 am 1 comment

#myheartylife | 9 – gratitude| success| beauty

Reflecting weekly on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes with the #myhearty life linky.

I’m grateful for ….
My marriage to George. We fell in love at 19, married at 23 and became parents at 37 and 41. We’ve known good times and bad, sickness and health and I’m so grateful we’ve grown and changed together; that our bumps in the road have been at different times and our ability to hold and carry one another has been inter-changeable. We’ve had a reflective week having heard the sad news of a family break up and it’s given us pause for thought every day. There have been a few more compassionate looks when stretched thin, gentle hand strokes passing the breakfast table and moments of connection as we considered whether we could ever reach the point where being together was too painful. It’s our 20 year wedding anniversary this year and we always joked about renewing our vows to mark the occasion. I don’t feel that’s something we’d necessarily do publicly but I think it’s certainly worthy of some child free time over dinner at least to re-affirm our commitment to one another. Best go check the calendar and find a babysitter!

I succeeded at …
Not injuring any children in the making of a World Book Day costume. With scissors, knitting needles and balls of yarn it was so enticing for L who wanted to climb on me for a better look constantly. We had a good headstart on our costume with a fab lion’s mane that was given to E for his 2nd birthday. We made tassels out of yarn for his arms, legs and tail and I knitted fluffy pads for the inside of his gloves. It was such a relief to finally have a reason to use up random colours from my yarn stash. His props included a string bag for the hunters net and a toy mouse. Have you guessed which character he was?
2018 World Book Day_Lion and the mouse in the snow

I found beauty in …
The simplicity of sharing hugs when you’re sad and the ordinariness of heartwarming moments with the boys. I told E I was feeling sad and when he asked why and I explained he nodded his head sagely and said ”oh that is sad. Want to play Guess Who?” and pulled a funny face to brighten the mood. How light and intuitive children are. They know so easily what they need and can often give us inspiration for what we need – a giggle, a hug, an invitation to set our worries aside to play.

My previous #myheartylife reflections can be found here

If you’re publishing a blog post that fits in with one or all of Mary’s #myheartylife prompts why not join the linky? Simply add your blog link at the bottom of Mary’s latest post here. Sharing comments with other #myheartylife bloggers is always lovely and if posting your cheerful moments on social media too please use the tag #myheartylife. Enjoy living and sharing your hearty life.

#myheartylife linky logo copy

March 4, 2018 at 8:00 am 9 comments

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Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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Lunch served on a bed of allotment grown lettuce to make up for the distinct lack of a certain green ingredient from my Greek Salad (I can't really call it that anyway as I can't resist adding balsamic vinegar). #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
Easily the best event at Es sports day - bundle Daddy 😍 #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog @musicalgeorgemoorey @georgeawmoorey
Bottled sunshine #eldefflowercordial #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
My fab little elderflower forager #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #foragersdelight #foragingisfun
It's the season - elderflower cordial making. Everything about this activity was sheer delight from picking with L to making with a friend. And the smell and taste, so yummy. Details on the blog (link in bio)
Fathers Day came and went with G having to work away for the day and me being busy with the boys at my parents. So I didn't get the chance to say what a brilliant, supportive and kind Father and husband G is. This is Luca at 4 days old snugged into his Dad's hoody when I was too ill with an infection to hold him We were cup feeding him expressed milk because he had a tongue tie and couldn't nurse. Hard times are always made easier with @musicalgeorgemoorey by my side. #nipitinthebudblog #coparentingdad #gloucesterlife
"This is the stuff of nightmares". If you're living and loving through childhood cancer, know someone who is or simply care about others please read and share @the_tightrope_walker 's latest post. Such courage with her own son's cancer journey but determined to raise awareness along the way #childhoodcancerawarenessmonth
Both boys are home with coughs and colds today so home-made #wildgarlicpestopasta for lunch is about as wild as it's going to get today #30dayswild
Lots of redcurrant jelly makers out there judging by this week's blog stats. #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #redcurrantjelly
We haven't even left the bedroom yet and Euan's got his nature head on for #30dayswild - pretending to be Walter the slug from Beatbugs using his IKEA tunnel! @gloswildlife #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
Day 16 of #30dayswild - reading nature stories at bedtime. One of E's favourites 'The winter hedgehog'. When I said to E we hadn't really done a random act of wildness today he immediately replied "yes we did, we went outside, we looked at flowers and Luca picked up pine cones on the way to Alfie's party". Oh yes! #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog @gloswildlife
Spotted Superboy out and about in Gloucester today! #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife

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