Bedtime Routines for Boys • Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project June

We had a lovely weekend planned, a trip to a lovely hotel, a real treat for the four of us, plus the westies who had hotel dog baskets waiting. And then a sick bug struck and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. 

No trip to see their little cousin at the splash park near Granny's house and no visit to the beautiful hotel and it's array of photo opportunities around every corner! I'd left our family photo for this Me and Mine post a little on the late side. I'd shared one of my new favourites of us at the Colour Run a couple of weeks ago earlier in the month and then last night it dawned on me what we should photograph.

The new bedtime routine.

I thought having boys would mean you miss out on playing hair dressers, teaching someone how to tie plaits and put on make up. Turns out boys are just as curious! It's just you who ends up the guinea pig! The boys have started this new routine, which I suspect is to eek out bedtime, which is totally working, where they want to play with my hair.

I have always been a sucker for my hair being brushed or plaited, it's like a complete wave of relaxation comes over me and I fall into a trance! So I am quite happy to oblige this calming routine before lights out.

I have to sit in a certain way, they each have their places in the bed. We HAVE to have a mirror on hand to check the progress and pretend it's the screen in the Photo Booth like we are snapping a new passport photo. "Is your face in the circle Mama" Sammy demands over and over again before making a "click" sound!

They always want to apply liquid eyeliner. Like they are supernaturally drawn to the make up that could cause most damage to your duvet covers. And as much blusher ends up on the cheek as does little tiny specks of powder over the pillow cases.

But what does it matter, because I realised it's a really intimate moment between us.

Their concentration, their close proximity, personal space gets put aside to draw on my eyelids and line my lips like a clown in cerise lip stain. I show them I trust them. 

We come to the big reveal and I have to hide my horror that I look a little like a badly made up entertainer in Bangkok because they think I look beautiful. They are so proud that they have helped me be beautiful. I remember my Mum retelling a story once about the day my brother realised she wasn't the most beautiful woman in the world. I think he was about 8 and the illusion was shattered!

The boys have no awareness of what's attractive or what's pretty. They feel love and to them that's what make something beautiful. 

If only we could all stay this way!

And how good is Rich for letting them make him up too. Not quite sure pink is his colour!

The next few weeks are a whirlwind. But a good tornado rather than a destructive one! July is a big work month for me, I am shooting a book. A real actual, I'll be able to hold it in my hands, book. It's the most terrifying thing I have ever done but I am determined not to let my nerves get the better of me. 5 days of non stop food photography with people I admire, people I have worked with for a few years, who know me, know my background, know my blog. 

So I am heading to London on Saturday to help me brush up on my skills, learn from some experts at a Food Photography and Styling course with Emily and Catherine, whilst the boys have fun at the village annual Summer fair. 

Next week is the big birthday week. Mum's 60th and Ollie's 4th Birthday bash in Paris! We have one day at Disneyland and 2 days in paris itself with my brother and sister in law who are flying in from America to join us. If you have any tips hit me with them please!

We have holidays, a big order for the tea company to deliver and extra birthday surprises for my Mum this month. Bring it on. 

Last month I felt completely overwhelmed with the pace of life but this month I am embracing it. It's amazing how a mind set can help you with that illusive balance. I am trying to think more proactively, giving myself space in a day to just plan and next on my list to to try and eat better and get fitter. I look back at photos of us last year and see a different person, whose Summer clothes feel a wee bit tight this July. Small changes lead to big changes and that's what I am going to try. Not set radical goals but stepping stones to a bigger goal at the end. 

It really feels like the beginning of our Summer adventure. I am counting down the days until we step onto the Eurostar, til I get to squeeze my brother (February feels like forever ago) and really spoil my Mum. She does EVERYTHING she can for us all. Now it's our turn to make her feel looked after. I do hope being looked after constitutes fancy dress on the train!

July is full of leap of a cliff moments for us, but we are in it together.

So let's jump!

capture by lucy.jpg

This month I want to send you to Lucy's blog. Lucy is the blogger I was talking about in this post so I owe her a lot! Without her, I wonder whether this Me and Mine Project might have drifted, but she keeps us all together. Thank you.