Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project July
I know there are people who don't look forward to another birthday, being another year older, but I am not one of them. I love the balloons, the cake, the bunting and the bubbles. I like my brother in law finding a grey hair less so but I look around and think, do you know for almost 35 life is pretty good.
I actually had a few family photos to share this month, Ollie's party, our holiday to Greece but I couldn't do them justice this weekend. After thinking I'd hardly taken any photos on holiday, not really picking up my camera until day 4, there were a good few hundred to look through when we came home!
My sister has been here for 5 days for a mini break in the country! Firsts for Yazzy, raspberry picking, a trip to the library and homemade pizzas and a chance for the boys to have some proper time with Logan. They both love him so fiercely and want to constantly hold him that when we see each other for short bursts it feels like they've never had enough time to smother him in love!
My brother in law headed to us on a train from London after work on Friday and we've had a simple weekend celebrating my birthday a little early. A park trip, a coffee table picnic, games in the garden and my sister has whipped me into some sort of shape, sorting old magazines, reorganising the kitchen to free up some space for the lovely new presents they gave me (yes to a sister who understands an Anthropologie butter dish is a top gift) and a pamper evening with face packs, a make up tutorial and a cheesy film.
So I know technically this isn't my family of four for my Me and Mine photo this month but I think the concept of this family portrait project is what is important. What it means to you.
It's not because I saw these extra two come into the world that I feel this overwhelming love for them, it's because I feel like they are mine. When we are all together my sister and I are interchangeable with the kids, Yazzy has a home from home here, staking a claim on the little bedroom as her own. I have all these ideas of making that room into a cousins' den, with built in bunk beds and embroidered hoops with their names on the wall, but right now it's all too much. The to do list of jobs to finish around the house is so overwhelming we've simply put it on hold.
Instead this summer is about relishing all the things we are so lucky to have, the people we are lucky to share them with and everything else can wait. I feel like I need to make the most of the special people, all my favourites, our family and friends. We've squeezed in mid week sleepover dates, filled up the last free weekend until November because why not? Some of our best friends have had a really awful year and deserve to be spoilt, looked after and have something to look forward to. I'm just about keeping my head above water with work and tomorrow I'll be driving to my mum's to stay the night before the boys and I fly off to Spain on Tuesday morning.
I'm taking them away for 2 weeks by myself and my mum is coming out to rescue/help me in the second week. When you both work from home the holidays become a logistical challenge and we've both had moments when you resent the boys being off school instead of enjoying their company. Because we can't just down tools for weeks on end and 3 weeks in to the long summer break, I've muttered under my breath a few times, "Urgh is it time to go back to school yet."
And I feel ghastly. Because I remember my school summer holidays and have nothing but happy memories. Games of 40/40 with neighbours who had gates into our garden from theirs, holidays with my cousins down at our family home in Southbourne and going to bed with grass stained feet.
So on Tuesday it's the start of my first real adventure with them on my own. Time to bond with my boys, be present during the day and then work like mad in the evenings. And give Rich some time to really concentrate and focus on his work instead of constantly saying "Yes in a minute."
Then we will all be together again in Southbourne when my me and mine brood will grow a little bigger and my brother, sister in law and baby niece Juliette come for her first holiday. All our babies have spent their first real holidays there just like we all did and then we can have that precious photo of all 5. Barefoot babes on the beach.
Happy July everyone. Come and join in and share your family - in whatever size, shape or form that might be.