31 January 2015

Project 365 2015 #5

So January has come to an end and tomorrow we march headlong into February.
It has been a good month to start the year with plenty of cold sunny days.
Now I'm looking for signs of Spring.

Project 365 day 25 - Winter sky // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 26 - Offices // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 27 - Daffodils // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 28 - Postcards // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 29 - You are strong // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 30 - Peter Pan collar // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 31 - Snowdrops // 76sunflowers
Day 25
A gloriously lazy Sunday; breakfast in our PJs, baking, a scoot around the block, a film and time to relax in the basket swing whilst the boy gave me a push.
Day 26
The husband was working from home today so we snuck out for coffee. We have a lovely kitchen deli in a nearby village which we frequent regularly - the fact the barista knows my OH's order as soon as he steps through the door makes me believe some visit here more than others! Afterwards we went for a wander and I spotted this old building hidden away.
Day 27
Daffodils! Not the prettiest spot, on a verge walking home from school drop off, but still a welcome sight.
Day 28
The husband read a blog post of mine yesterday and thought I needed cheering up.
Day 29
I've spent the last couple of evenings doodling and hand lettering. It is very calming and  a skill I want to develop.
Day 30
It was one of those uninspiring photo days today. I noticed that my work wear is getting a bit tired looking. I wear this dress every week and  love the Peter Pan collar but I'm not sure how many more washes those beads are going to survive.
Day 31
This afternoon we spent a chilly couple of hours wandering around the grounds of Lacock Abbey. There were blankets of snowdrops scattered on the ground and I had to snap this beautiful sign that Spring is slowly coming.
Linking up with The Boy and Me
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
x x x


27 January 2015

Routine: Do we need it?

Routine: Do we NEED it? // 76sunflowers

As the alarms started to go off again for another structured day - I only have one day when the damn thing is switched off - I muttered to myself, quite loudly,
"I'm fed up with being a slave to routine."
"But we need it", the husband replied chirpily.

"Do we?"
"DO WE??!"

There was a time I would thrive on it.
I liked it.
I wasn't a mum then...

Leave for work.
Notice a familiar car go by earlier in the journey than usual.
Check clock - damn, I'm a minute behind on my routine.
Get to work.
Set up.
Check stuff.
Work starts.

My line of work has always been routine driven.
It's hard to avoid with teaching and timetables.

School starts.
Break time.
Snack time.
Lunch time.
Home time.
Meetings time.
Marking time.
Planning time.
Go home.

Then the babies arrived:
Wake up times.
Nap times.
Feed times.
Activities time.
Iggle Piggle time.
Bed time.

Then they go to school:
Get up.
Wake the kiddos.
Remind the kiddos to get dressed.
Make breakfast.
Make packed lunches.
Check the clock.
Holler at the kiddos to get dressed.
Remind children to put their coats on.
Holler at the kiddos to put their coats on.
Walk to school.
Notice a familiar car go by earlier in the journey than usual.
Check watch- damn, we're a minute behind on our routine.
Wave goodbye.
Walk home.
Write a list for the day.
Meal prep.
Do the laundry.
Prepare for work days.

All the time watching the clock as it ticks ever closer to 3 o'clock...

Walk to school.
Walk home.
Sort tea.
Eat tea.
Story time.
Bedtime for kiddos.
Clear up mess.
Husband comes home.
Has his tea.
Clear up mess.
Collapse in bed.

Work days alter the routine - oh the excitement.
Then it's a case of clock watching in order to charge back to pick up the kiddos from After School Club or to relieve Grandma who in turn needs to get back to her own routines looking after her home and Granddad.
You see, it never seems to end.

As I drafted this post earlier in bed I lost track of time.
The husband comes upstairs and asks, "Are you going to have a shower?"
It's 7:06.
Shit, behind routine already.

And so it goes on.
And on.
And on.

Do we need it?

Some days I wished we had bought this when we saw it for sale and just packed everything up and went on a never ending journey...

Routine: Do we need it? // 76sunflowers

x x x

26 January 2015

Barges & Bonding {Country Kids}

Barges & Bonding // 76sunflowers
The weekend saw us take a family walk along the much visited local canal.
You may have noticed this is becoming another favourite spot for us. I love eyeing up the barges, the boy has time to spot some birds, the girl can hone her photography skills - she is fast becoming ready to be a mini blogger in her own right, and importantly it is a peaceful spot for some family time.
Barges & Bonding // 76sunflowers
Barges & Bonding // 76sunflowers
We left the car at the in laws and headed across the playing fields which were bathed in sunshine, giving me and the husband the perfect opportunity for a 'shadow selfie'.
Meanwhile the girl was setting up her own camera.
Barges & Bonding // 76sunflowers
Barges & Bonding // 76sunflowers
The canal was looking particularly lovely in the Winter sun and while we sat for a break - ten minutes into the walk!?! - a Kingfisher was spotted across the water.
Barges & Bonding // 76sunflowers
Barges & Bonding // 76sunflowers
Then we walked, and talked, and walked some more.
As we walked along I noticed a pattern emerge.
The girl and daddy strode ahead whilst the boy stuck close to me.
The term 'daddy's girl' definitely rings true in the 76sunflowers family fold - as does 'mummy's boy'.
As they walked I could see their bond getting stronger and stronger...
Barges & Bonding // 76sunflowers
Just look how in sync their footsteps are!

Does this pattern ring true with you?

Linking up with Country Kids
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
x x x

25 January 2015

The B&W Photography Project no.2

Landrover Defender

B & W Photography Project - Landrover Defender // 76sunflowers

Last weekend the BIL came to see us.
He brought with him his new toy.
I've always loved the look of a Landrover Defender and the menacing frontage jumped out at me to be captured in black and white.
I think the monochrome suits it.

x x x

24 January 2015

Project 365 2015 #4

The cold, sunny days have been fantastic this week and that always helps with the snapping for this project.

Project 365 #4

Project 365 day 18 - Landrover Defender // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 19 - Winter shadow // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 20 - Frosty morning // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 21 - Incoming #postcircle #happymail #snailmail // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 22 - Homework time // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 23 - Muddy hands // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 24 - Snowdrops // 76sunflowers
Day 18
The brother in law came for a weekend flying visit in his new Landrover Defender. We went for a spin and dreamt of having a toy like it one day - it would be an arse to park on our lane though.
Day 19
A typical Monday full of chores which made the sunny walk home from school a good one.
Day 20
A beautiful walk again - this time to school. The weather was cold overnight and the carpet of frost on the field caught my eye.
Day 21
Incoming #postcircle today was a good way to cheer up my mundane hump day!
Day 22
The boy has decided that his bobble hat is now indoor wear and apparently it helps him to complete his homework.
Day 23
A day out in the woods today with work - someone enjoyed the mud!
Day 24
Another lovely sunny day so we all went for a walk along the canal. On the way back up the hill we spotted snowdrops on the verge - my first ones for 2015.

Linking up with The Boy and Me...

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
x x x

20 January 2015

Broody at 38

Broody at 38 // 76sunflowers

Bloggers: Do you ever go back go over old blog posts and smile to yourself at the words you wrote and the feelings you expressed?
I did the same very recently.
I stumbled across my post, Cluck, written back in February 2012.
In it I wrote about being broody and there was a list of Ifs.. regarding a third baby.
Reading them now makes me smile.
Some of them make me laugh. Very loudly.
Let's take a look...

If I had another baby I'm back 4 years on the whole work front so financially we struggle again.
Ha! Starting up a new business - the husband - has strained the bank balance quite a bit and throw in the increased costs of living and...you get the point. Lots of us are struggling. On paper can many of us actually 'afford' more children?

If I had another baby it would be squished in with it's big brother or sister in their rooms - the girl likes her independence and the boy's room is the size of a box.
So what??! I shared a room with my sister and my brother at various times in my childhood. Heck, I was the youngest of five children living in a three bed bungalow! You just get on with it kids!
If I had another baby I would probably get even fatter and fall into a bigger cycle of self loathing.
Wow! I know I'm not the most positive person out there but 'self loathing'?? I've also proven to myself a bit of exercise and fewer cakes makes a great difference to whether I stay 'fatter' or not.
If I had another baby I would have to juggle feeding, nappies and naps with the school run - heck, I would have to go out at 8.30 and 3.00 regardless of whether my boobies were leaking or not.
I'm quite surprised at this one as I like to feel I am the master of organising. However, the kiddos were two years younger then and it did take an age to get out of the door. Now they are more independent and my juggling skills are much improved. And as for leaking boobs? Who cares? Anyone?!
We move on nearly two years to the present day and the broodiness has crept back. Massively.
Ironically we, as a couple, feel more emotionally ready for a baby than we did 8 and 6 years ago yet financially things have flipped.
I look on Instagram and my feed seems to be full of babies with mums in a similar position and age to me. Yes, I know IG, and social media in general, can gloss over the crap bits - whack on a good filter and we all look like we're having a ball. But still, every little face that pops out when I scroll down makes me take another gulp.
But am I being selfish?
There would be a big age gap between my two kiddos and any future baby. My two make a great team, will a third child ever get a look in with them?
I know couples who have struggled to conceive one, let alone two, children. Should I accept that I have been extremely fortunate to have two healthy children and just let things be?
I should be thankful I have those two. They are my world and I think it's pretty fulfilled with just the two of them.
Fulfilled - my word for 2015.
I want to find fulfilment in 2015.
Fulfilment in my family.
x x x

19 January 2015

Winter sun and a village walk {Country Kids}

This weekend saw some beautiful sunshine, and it was cold - a perfect combination...

Landrover Defender // 76sunflowers
The kiddos' Uncle had visited for the weekend bringing his new toy. He took us for a spin in his spanking new Landrover Defender which went down well with the kiddos - the husband was also caught giving it the eager eye.
Long Winter shadows // 76sunflowers
Being Sunday, it was soon back to the routine of waving bye to daddy as he went off to work, leaving just me and the kiddos. The day was far too nice to be indoors so we set off from home for a walk around the local villages, the Winter sun casting its long shadows once again.
Village walk // 76sunflowers
Village walk // 76sunflowers
Gates were climbed on for a better view but the horse didn't come and say hello today - he's there in the distance though.
Abandoned Pear Tree // 76sunflowers
We took a peek at the empty village pub - it used to be a lovely setting for a Summer's drink outside or a cosy Winter's drink by the fire. Then Marco Pierre White left, apparently chain sawing down the sign on his way out, and it stands empty again.
Narcissi // 76sunflowers
The farm had its trolley of plants outside for sale - this time narcissi. Once again I had left my purse at home - one day I will get something for the garden from here!
Village walk // 76sunflowers
On the walk back home I kept feeling a little hand reaching for mine as tired legs were setting in.
I always love to walk like this and often wonder how long will this need to hold my hand last?
Linking up with Country Kids...
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
x x x

18 January 2015

The B&W Photography Project

Today was such a beautiful, crisp sunny day it seemed strange to fiddle with the colours in the photos taken on our walk around the local village. However, whilst uploading to Instagram, I played around with the filters and black and white worked so well with the shadows.
Therefore, here's my first contribution to the B & W Photography Project...
Tall shadows - The B & W photography project // 76sunflowers

 photo 4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9.jpg
x x x

17 January 2015

Project 365 2015 #3

We are all fully in the swing of back to work and school routine.
2014 seems so long ago now.
We had the teaser of a day off this week but it came to nothing.
Maybe soon.

Project 365 #3
Project 365 day 11 - Behind the camera // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 12 - Peppermint Tea // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 13 - Morning sun // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 14 - It's snow disappointment // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 15 - Mail Tag // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 16 - Beard upkeep // 76sunflowers
Project 365 day 17 - Morning walk // 76sunflowers

Day 11
A walk with the boy and my mother in law today along the canal. He wanted a go behind the camera and who am I to get in the way of young photography?
Day 12
A sneaky trip out to a lovely local café with the husband who was working at home. Peppermint tea for me as I'm trying to cut back caffeine and sugar.
Day 13
Lovely morning sun today over the fields on which we will soon have a housing estate. It won't quite be the same view.
Day 14
Back to work day for me and disappointment for the children who were hoping for heavy snow overnight. This is all we got - a slushy covering on the cars.
Day 15
I chilled out tonight after work with some yoga and some letter writing. I've created some Mail Tags for my #postcircle group and oversea pen pal.
Day 16
The bathroom shelf is being overtaken by beard preening products. I'm not complaining. I love a good beard.
Day 17
It was one of those mornings where it was best I got out of everybody's way. I walked to town with headphones in and Kings of Leon blaring, posted my mail and popped to Waitrose and Lidl for some treats and bargains respectively. This walkway from the Post Office is one of my favourite parts of town.

Linking up with the lovely The Boy and Me...

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
x x x

13 January 2015

Alpacas & Narrowboats {Country Kids}

Last Sunday saw a window in the day for some time with my boy.
We dropped his big sister at soft play hell for a party, and headed up to a local village to drop in to say hello to Grandma and Granddad, before going for a stroll along the canal.
I was on the look out for narrowboats.
The boy was on the hunt for alpacas!

Alpacas // 76sunflowers
Alpacas // 76sunflowers
We soon found them on our walk across the fields to find the path down to the canal.
One alpaca in particular kept eyeballing us - I'm not sure what he was thinking.
Canal walk // 76sunflowers
Birdspotting // 76sunflowers
Canal life // 76sunflowers
Canal life // 76sunflowers
The boy led the way down the steep path and soon had his binoculars out looking for narrowboats and trying to identify whether the bird he had spotted was a crow or a rook.
Young photographer // 76sunflowers
Country walk // 76sunflowers
On the return leg the boy decided he would like a go with my camera.
The above image was the resulting shot.
The steep path back to Grandma's for a biscuit!

I'm linking up to Country Kids here...
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
x x x
© 76 sunflowers

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