Sleepy and soppy…

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(DISCLAIMER: tonight’s post, due to a slight hangover and being really exhausted, is rather rambling, disjointed and soppy! I’m not sorry!)

Our littlest girl turned 6 months old today! And a blog post seemed 1) well overdue but 2) very apt as we’ve come to the end of an extremely busy Summer! The last few weeks especially have been a real manic whirlwind including a week intensive stage combat course (complete with 12 people staying in our home), a 4 day trip to Malta, 2 weddings, and some extremely important planning! 
My reason (ahem…excuse!) for not having written in so long, is the hectic nature of the last couple of months. Scarlett is well into her terrible twos, and despite growing into a funny, intelligent, loving child; she is going through the classic tantrums and tears stage! Holly has cut her first tooth (and bless her is having a much tougher time of teething than our eldest did!) and is determined to be crawling imminently! She gets very frustrated not being able to keep up with her big sister, whom she adores. Scarlett is reciprocally very kind, gentle (mostly!) and includes her little sibling in playing. Watching the close relationship between the two of them develop is a real joy for my husband and I!  

Malta was our first holiday as a family (of four) and we timed it to coincide with a Europe wide heatwave! With temperatures at 41 degrees for most of the time we were there, the air conditioning and the pool were both a godsend! The heat, the two long days of travelling, and the general disruption to their normal routine were a bit of a challenge for the girls and we saw the distinct difference in having two kids instead of just one! We were lucky that on a couple of occasions, as we were out there with my husbands parents, and later on my brother and sister in law; one night we had a date night dinner, and one afternoon we had a trip to the spa together. So it wasn’t full time madness! And the moments we had together as a family were truly priceless. I will forever remember several moments: my husband and I giggling in our room with the two girls at what was supposed to be naptime, waking up on two mornings with both of them sprawled across our (luckily very large) bed while the two of us had manoeuvred into ridiculous positions to be able to stay on the bed, the last morning round the pool – all eight of us messing about and having fun and a final drink before we had to leave (ahead of the others who are still there today!), and an emotional breakfast where my mother in law and I took it in turns to make each other cry!! Moments that, for me, made the tiring 2am arrival and the heat invoked tantrums, more than worth it. It was also so nice to have some quality time with my husband, especially having left a couple of days after 12 people had checked out of our house! We LOVE the chaos and the stage combat week was one of the most fun weeks we’ve had in a long time, however, sitting at dinner opposite my very best friend and comrade, with a few drinks, great food and so many laughs my tummy hurt, was bliss. And the afternoon in the spa was an event we plan to arrange much more frequently, I can HIGHLY recommend couples massage and facial plus spa for romance and relaxation! 

We’ve watched four close friends get married in the last couple of weeks (in two weddings, we haven’t been to a double wedding or some kind of polygamous event!), one wedding with the kids in tow (fun and chaotic) and one without (a much higher consumption of gin and a trip to the playground at midnight!). But both weddings were fantastic and next weekend is going to seem rather boring when not accompanied with dressing up and pretending not to cry at the soppy parts! 

With all the busy times, we tonight took an hour to look over the last six months. This time last year, we were entering, hands down, the hardest periods of our lives so far without realising just how tough and emotional it would be. The last six months have seen us get back on track, we’ve slowly recovered and mended from what we had been through together, and the last few months have felt practically euphoric. But somehow we’ve blinked and we have a 6 month old! Which, I know, to parents of teenagers or fully grown adults, will seem ridiculous. “Just you wait” we hear all the time…! And I am fully aware that we’ll blink again and we’ll be dancing at our own children’s weddings or babysitting our own grandchildren, but right here and now, it’s hard to believe that our newborn baby days are over and we got through all the bits we both thought we might not. 

Scarlett started nursery within the stage combat week and she’ll soon be going regularly, Holly will soon be mobile. Yet we can still so clearly remember sitting in the house we lived in in the Christmas I was pregnant with Scarlett talking about how weird it was that it would be our last Christmas without our own child present. I still remember as if it was yesterday chatting about the fact that as our child was due to be born in six months we really needed to sort out a place to live that wasn’t my husbands parents or house sitting!! But at the same time, that now feels like ancient history! We caught up with someone the other day who we were reminiscing about a massive nerf battle with, and we all said ‘gosh that must be a couple of years ago now’ before realising that it was in fact nearly four years ago! 

A close friend of ours recently had a baby girl, and in the card we sent, I almost wrote ‘savour every second because it all goes so fast’, but I stopped myself – we all know it goes fast, but in those beginning days when it’s all a blur, it does go really fast but also really slowly, you really live every second when learning to be a parent, which is perhaps why when looking back it feels as if it’s gone by like lightning! There’s no non cliched way of saying any of it. We all experience it!

I’m so proud of my daughters for how they’re developing and growing, and although right now I can’t imagine how quickly Holly will reach her first birthday; I know full well that I’ll blink and we’ll be there! 

We’re planning our wedding for 2018*, which when we talk about it seems like AGES away, but that too will come and go in the blink of an eye. 

Anyway, before I ramble on anymore about the inevitable passing of time (I’m ever so slightly hungover today as well so the ramblings of my brain are much less eloquent today!) I will sign off by saying that this Summer has been hectic, and ridiculous, chaotic and a lot of hard work, but also incredible fun! When life goes by so fast, it’s so important to make sure you’re not wasting it. There have been times in my life when I’ve settled for things, maybe not held myself in a high enough regard and so ignored any niggling doubts about what choices I was making in my life and charging on regardless because day by day, it doesn’t seem like much time is passing. We must all choose the best possible lives for ourselves, the best parts of life are worth working incredibly hard for; whether that means travelling for twelve hours with two tiny children, or having a slight hangover when you know your kids will be up at 6.30am regardless because every so often the pros of the fantastic night before outweighs the cons of the difficult day afterwards! Or if it means choosing to spend your time with certain people and not others, or deciding that you’re worth more than the way you’re being treated. You are fabulous and you deserve the tough times to be worth it. The last year has taught me that life is very difficult and we are all fighting both secret and public battles in various areas of life. But we owe it to ourselves to choose the best possible paths to travel down so despite any hard times, when you look back, you see beautiful views with the knowledge that happy times and stunning scenery, (regardless of how tough it will be on the way) are on the horizon. 

The new academic year has started now which is almost more of a new year for us than January is, I think that’s the case with quite a lot of people in similar professions! Our baby girl is six months, and our little lady is almost two and a half. Life isn’t easy, we work damn hard as a team for everything we have, with some invaluable and amazing support from those around us, and we hope the people around us know that we would similarly do anything to make sure they get all wonderful things they deserve too, our doors and ears are always open to the people in our life. But what does make it feel much easier is how much we love it. And the knowledge that I made such a good decision in choosing the man I married, and the decisions we’ve made for our family, makes anything else worth while! It really isn’t worth settling for anything better than amazing!

So ‘happy half birthday’ to our precious little girl, thank you for the last half year of joy and for completing our family. And while both children sleep, as we raise a glass tonight together, here’s to many more happy years to come. And here’s to all of you, may all your hard work be worth it and may you always choose the best (regardless of difficulty!) and happiest path for you, you’re more than worth it comrades, cheers!
*= regular readers of my blog will know that my husband and I are in fact already married but are planning to do it again when I’m not pregnant and struggling with epilepsy, and incorporating all the things we weren’t able to do the first time round. It will be a celebration of our lives together with a lot more freedom to do things in our own special unique way!! 

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