The end of an era
July has been an emotional month.
An end of an era month.
I like happy endings, but this month seems to have been full of endings, some not happy at all.
We lost Richard's Grandma at the grand age of 99 and 4 months. Bless her heart, she told everyone she was 100! I had known Mabel (yes our dog is named after her and actually she loved that) for 14 years. She treated me as one of her grandchildren and I know we made her so happy taking our two boys to visit her often.
She made a room feel happy. She burst into song for no particular reason, loved old fashioned Christmas family games and had a wicked sense of humour. Some of Rich and my best loved in jokes come from her sayings.
I felt like I lost a Grandma too.
It makes you realise the bond you have with those around you. That Rich, as his mother's only child is responsible for her, but that actually I am responsible too. That it will be me doing her hair as she gets older and writing letters to keep in touch, between visits. My mother in law is super fit (she plays tennis several times a week) so old age is a good way off! But honestly, I am quite happy to have two ladies to look after in 20 years and of course my father in law!
My in laws are moving too. Moving from the house they have lived in for 26 years. The house Richard has almost all his childhood memories in. The house where we first kissed when I was 16. When I got my car stuck up their driveway and had to get his parents out of bed to haul my car from a tree.
It feels sad for them to be leaving their house, but it feels like the right time too. They are starting a new chapter in Poole in a glorious house, if they let me blog some photos I will!
This month has also seen the end of preschool and nursery for both boys.
Sammy left both his preschools to start at the village school in Banwell in September and Ollie will start at the local Pre School, which means saying goodbye to the nursery the Heath family have been proud to be part of for 3 and a half years.
We had Ollie's last parent's evening at Little Bears Nursery on Monday evening and when I looked across at him, I saw a boy staring back at me, with a goofy smile, hair sweaty from suncream and flying in all directions.
I was thrilled when I spotted the 'Learn to Dress Ollie Bear' toy in The Early Learning Centre! A perfect gift for his nursery buddies.
A boy. Not a baby. (Queue an evening of feeling broody and desperate for a baby. But luckily it only lasts for a few hours.)
We have been so fortunate with the childcare our boys have received. Wonderfully kind people who genuinely love their jobs and love the children they take care of.
I cannot speak more highly of Hannah Tedder and Little Monkey's Pre School. Hannah goes above and beyond to encourage confidence and happiness in the children she cares for.
Little Owls has provided Sammy with almost, a home from home.
As Sammy has spent most of the last 2 years primarily at Little Owls I wanted to show them just how much we appreciated his time there.
So instead of chocolates, wine and flowers I did something a little more permanent. Well for a year at least.
I placed an advert in the local Post Office window. What better advertisement for a Pre School could there be than a parent's recommendation?!
My sister came to stay for a couple of days this week too. To make the most of the last month of her maternity leave. She will be back to work full time in September and Yasmin lu will be 4 months old. It's hard when everyday life means you need to go back to work earlier than you'd like, but I know they will make the most of every second they have as a family. Appreciate it maybe more than we do.
I have adored Natty being on maternity leave. Some days we speak up to 5 times a day, even if it's just for a minute. We always have something to say and I love our Skype calls, where we carry on with our daily routine but have the laptops open. It has meant that my darling niece has got to know my voice, got to know my face - albeit 3 dimensionally! But she recognises me when I see her and that melts my heart.
Roll on the last week of August as the Broadleys and the Heaths are off to Southbourne for a whole week.
We have arrived in New Jersey in America, Sammy and I had to literally run through the airport to get the last 2 seats on the first flight, we were given our staff standby tickets with just 8 minutes to get through security, leaving Rich and Ollie behind, but luckily there was space on the next flight, and at almost midnight we were all reunited. We are here to visit my brother and sister in law and see their new house for the first time. The house they will raise a family in and be our home in America.
They are coming back to England for a week at Christmas, a week! Woo hoo!
And we are already planning my Mum's 60th celebrations.
Florida summer 2015 here we come! A family extravaganza!
Endings I have realised, don't have to be sad. They are often the start of a new opportunity. Patrick moving to America has been the most incredible opportunity for him, Sammy is ready for a new challenge at primary school and Ollie will thrive at Pre School surrounded by children slightly older than him.
Both our boys became more than a twinkle when my Granny passed away and when we lost Richard's Little Nan.
I like to think they were making room for two new members of the family.
Sad endings for happy new beginnings.
There are lots of new chapters starting in September, some I haven't shared yet, so watch this space. But it's not a baby, incase you were getting excited!