I was super excited when I was told I got "photo of the week" on Lucy from Dear Beautiful Boy's 'See It Snap It Love It, Reflection' link up.
It meant I got to choose the theme for this week and I was stuck with a few words and eventually decided on "Moment in Time".
Now I sit here with a blank head wondering what I meant by that. Where did I want the theme to go....for me of course...it's all about interpretation.
I feel guilty if I choose a photo of one boy and not the other and again this time have chosen a photo of Charles. It's not favouritsm I promise.
This was taken in June/July 2010. I'd just passed my driving test so was able to just go off whenever I wanted to whereever I wanted (if we had enough Diesel in the car that is!)
The first few weeks mostly consisted of numerous trips to the beach. We had glorious weather and it was lovely to spend just an hour or so down there with Charles in the morning/afternoon.
I want to build up the confidence to take both boys to the beach one day soon. It's obviously harder with two but with Charles' new found fear of the sea I am confident that he won't run in there without me! It's just trying to build sandcastles with him and writing his name in the sand whilst I stop Harry from creating his own lunch time meal consisting of sand, seaweed, driftwood with a side of stones that I have to contend with.
I WILL do it though.
I'll do it because looking at this photo reminds me of a Moment in Time that I felt confident, happy and freedom.
I love it if Charles ever mentions my brother, his Uncle.
The reason for this is that my brother lives approximately 200 miles away.
I talk about my brother to Charles but not too regularly because I wanted to avoid questions of "where is Uncle Dale?". Mainly because it gets me upset.
BUT I always wanted to keep my brother fresh in Charles' mind so that whenever we do see him its not like Charles is meeting with a stranger.
Thankfully I haven't had to do anything. Somehow their relationship is really strong despite the distance, despite never talking on the phone etc.
Charles has worked out himself that my brother lives far away. He says every now and again "Uncle Dale lives too far away" which is really sweet.
He involved my brother in things when we are playing. "this one is mummy, this one is daddy, this one is Harry, this one is Uncle Dale", almost as if they see each other everyday.
He got in his Little Tikes car on Sunday and announced that he was going to see Uncle Dale.
It makes my heart melt.
I would love it if my brother lived closer, of course I would, but I'm glad that his relationship with Charles is strong despite the 200 miles distance between them.
I've been wanting to do one of these for a while. The thing I find difficult is the fact that I will write one, then think of things to add afterwards.
So, with the ability to edit a blog post I am going to add each thing as I think of it, and make a note of what I can tick off.
I'm also trying to keep it as realistic as possible.....for now.
1: Take the boys to Disneyland Paris. Ideally in 2015.
2: Take the boys on a cruise.
3: Have a wedding blessing on a cruise ship.
4: Take a boat trip off the North Norfolk coast to see the seals.
5: Take a trip in a Hovercraft.
6: Become a breastfeeding support worker. (or similar)
7: Visit most of/all of the towns on the Norfolk and Suffolk Coast.
8: Swim with sealions.
9: Raise money for charity.
10: See the Chucklebrothers at the theatre in Great Yarmouth.
11: Visit all of the Canary Islands. (done Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote)
12: Go in a hot air balloon (despite fear of heights)
13: Ride in a helicopter.
14: Holiday in Wales.
15: Holiday in Yorkshire
16: Holiday in the Lake District.
17: Holiday in Cornwall.
18: Holiday in Scotland.
19: Eat muscles.
20: Eat Oysters.
21: Visit Three Vineyards.
22: Take a weekend break to Rome.
23: Jump on the Eurostar very last minute and holiday in France.
24: Visit Lapland.
25: See the Northern Lights.
26: Drive a 4x4 off-road.
27: Make bunting for both of the boys bedrooms.
28: Learn to make and bake pastry.
28: Learn about the 1st and 2nd World War.
29: Learn all the Greek Gods.
30. Take the boys to the library and get library cards.
31: Pick Strawberries
32: Have a family weekend away in London.
33: See a Musical in London.
34: Go to a concert at Thetford Forest.
35: Go to a concert at Blickling Hall.
36: Meet Royalty.
37: Get as close to the Cardington Hangars as possible and have my photo taken.
38: Go to Ness Point and watch the sun rise.
39: Drive to Somerset.
40: Ride a Jet Ski-solo. (done this before but with my dad driving)
41: Shear a sheep.
42: Learn Morris Dancing.
43: Be in the audience of a tv show
With the glorious weather the weekend just gone we took advantage of living by the coast and popped to the beach for half an hour.
I paddled in the sea most of the time and had Harry not eaten a ridiculous amount of sand and stones then we would have stayed longer.
Harry had his first paddle in the sea and Charles, despite being scared for some reason, eventually let me throw him around in the sea and get his feet and legs wet.
It felt so much like a bank holiday Monday that I thought yesterday was Tuesday!!
Before we had Charles we would regularly have bbq's throughout the summer. The bbq's would either be just the two of us or our parents.
Our garden is a reasonable size to entertain, ok it's not huge but its not small either so it's nice to take advantage of it when we can.
We had a bbq for my 23rd birthday and then, 8 months later, we had a "Before the Baby Comes Garden Party".
It simply consisted of getting people together before Charles came along. A sort of baby shower but without being so formal I suppose. We didn't expect people to bring gifts but some did which was lovely.
I set up a table of cold food (pasta, coleslaw) and there was a variety of drinks.
It was just nice to sit around together and chat.
Before our final guests left we took advantage of the balloons I had blown up for a different friends little girl.
I didn't realise my face was so puffy until afterwards but at least I had an excuse. I was also having a bad hair day.
These are two photos from the party and of me and my fellow "pregnant guests".
I'm linking this up to Flashback Friday. This week's theme, as chosen by Emma, is "party".
After discussions and encouragement from Twitter friends tonight I have mustered up the courage to post this.
It's something that's weighed heavily on my mind for years, and I feel if I don't get it out here then I may end up snapping and saying it to someone's face/on their Facebook status/photo and all hell will break loose.
I guess talking about this on Twitter has now brought around an expectation of what it could be about.
You may all be left slightly disappointed.
Every year my Facebook feed is full of friends of mine running the Race for Life. I have lost family members to cancer, this is no secret and is something I have mentioned before on my blog.
My husbands family also have experienced cancer.
Someone in our family has recently been diagnosed but to respect their privacy I won't go into any detail but it was hard news to take and we are desperately hoping it has been caught early enough.
I give to charity as often as I can. When I was young (10) I had my really lovely long hair cut short (shoulder length) in Victoria Station in London and the money went to a cancer charity. This may seem like a random and pointless thing to say but I am justifying myself for what is to come. The main reason for me getting a haircut was because of the money going to charity.
So from an early age I've been aware of charities and how I can help.
When I was 15 I spent every single little bit of spare time I had volunteering at a daycare centre for adults with head injuries and brain damage.
So it's not just about money. It's about awareness.
At school we were always taught the dangers of smoking. The damage it can cause your body. It can cause cancer. It can kill you.
Everyone knows this.
Smokers know this.
It's a fact.
There are print advertisements, television advertisements, radio advertisements.
It's written on the boxes for goodness sake.
Smoking can cause cancer.
My dad smokes. I begged him for years to stop. But he wouldn't listen. I was harsh with him, telling him I didn't want to lose him to cancer or other smoking related diseases.
He has since cut down from smoking some like over 20 a day to maybe around 2 or 3.
Growing up though I had no choice by to inhale his cigarette smoke. I always had to check his hands before holding them to see if he had a cigarette in them so I didn't burn myself. One day I did burn my hand as a result. I still remember that moment as clear as ever.
My dads dad smoked and I *think* his death was caused by smoking.
My aunty, dads sister, died of skin cancer. I don't know any details of her cancer at all and the causes of it.
I'm going off topic slightly.
I've always thought about doing Race for Life. To feel the achievement afterwards. To raise money.
Except I don't know many people therefore wouldn't get much in terms of sponsorship and the people I do know have already sponsored others.
So at the moment its not worth it unless I can give a decent amount. It's something I plan to do in the future, if not Race for Life then something else to raise money for charity (its on my bucket list).
This is not an excuse. This is fact.
So around now my Facebook timeline is full of people asking for sponsorship, sharing links to their JustGiving sites, which doesn't bother me in the slightest.
But something does bother me.
And it bothers me a lot.
"Friends Name: Doing the Race for Life this morning then sunbeds this afternoon." I know I may be over-reacting but I am very anti-sunbeds. I don't see the point in them unless if being used for treatment of medical conditions. (I know they are good for Psoriasis sufferers)
For me that status, which was written 3 years ago, totally wound me up. That person had been writing similar updates about visiting sunbeds all week.
Sunbeds increase the risk of several types of skin cancer. Fact.
Again, people know this.
And then came someone who I know very well. In fact three people whom I know very well.
All three had similar messages on their backs.
"Running for X who died of lung cancer and X who is suffering from lung cancer" (both of the lung cancer sufferers were unrelated)
The three women posted a photo of them back at their car at the end of the race. Two of them were smoking. Lit cigarettes clearly visible in their hands.
SMOKING with a message on their back saying they were raising money for people who had died of cancer as a result of SMOKING and were suffering with cancer (and has since died) as a result of SMOKING.
I didn't understand that.
And I still can't.
This year again someone, a different person to the three previously mentioned, posted on Facebook "Home now after I just completed the Race for Life. Time for a cup of tea and a fag"
Do some people think "it won't happen to me"? Or do they simply not care? Or are stupidly not aware of the consequences?
Surely the people they were running for hadn't taught them anything, which I think is a sad reality.
If people wish to take that risk then fair enough. But I find it very VERY hypocritical.
If this post has offended anyone then I do apologise. It's certainly not my intention.
I think Race for Life is an amazing event and does well to raise money for Cancer Research UK. I just personally won't sponsor someone who smokes or visits sunbeds and regularly plays roulette and takes those risks.
I would rather give my money straight to the charity or sponsor a random person. (as long as I know they are a non-smoker)
I've never really been into the Royal family before. Growing up I can't recall us ever having to sit down as a family to watch the Queens speech on Christmas Day.
My husband is different to me in this respect as he is "a royalist". He likes us having a royal family and has taught me some of the benefits of us having one.
We do tend to watch the Queens Speech if we can at Christmas.
Last year we celebrated the Royal Wedding with a small party. When I say small I really mean tiny. It was just the three of us.
We put bunting up, had a typical "British" breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It was really lovely.
I think as I get older I can appreciate the Royal Family better because the "new generation" are different.
They are "cooler" and, I guess a bit less formal than past generations. In this I mean I don't feel as intimidated by them as I do by The Queen, Princess Anne etc.
I'd feel quite comfortable meeting Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Prince William and The Duchesses.
One of the special moments for me from the wedding last year was watching my husband tell Charles who each person was as they arrived at the Cathedral.
Charles has still been quite interested in the Royals and recognises the Queen if he see's her on the television.
We want to celebrate the Jubilee this year at home and also seeing if there are any local events.
We still have our Union Jack bunting from last year but, as Charles is now older and is able to craft, my husband has request that we make some decorations.
Today Charles woke up grumpy from a nap so to distract him and cheer him up I let him create using some of my oil pastels.
We grabbed what we could find from the craft box, which happened to be paper plates, and set to work.
It was a joint effort as he was still a bit grumpy and would rather tell me what to draw or make me hold a pastel with him and help him.
We only had one rule which was to only use red, blue and white pastels.
Once we finished decorating the plates Charles said it would be "great" to line them all up, use blue (glue) and sticky tape to stick them together and then tape them onto the door to the playroom.
I'm quite pleased with them. Ok they aren't amazing but they have already helped to get the Jubilee Party mood started!
Back in September 2008 I left work with a skip in my step. I had a week off, which was amazing in itself as I worked in hell, but not only did I have a week off...I was spending that week cruising around the Mediterranean with my husband.
I had been on two cruises previously, my husband hadn't been on any and had always said he'd never go on one.
I clearly got my own way.
The cruise was amazing. We visited some beautiful places. My favourite being St Tropez. I feel so lucky to have gone there, and to have visited Uber Beautiful Barcelona.
We also really enjoyed Corsica. Infact the last time I swam in the sea was in Corsica. It was amazing.
My husband had a cold so whilst in Corsica we had to hunt for medicine in the Pharmacies. Not easy when we didn't know what to look for or ask for.
We had upgraded to a 'honeymoon package' for a few extra pounds and were treated like royalty. Although it wasn't our honeymoon we had decided that we would treat it as a second honeymoon. Our actual honeymoon was at Disneyland Paris and was rainy, busy and we were less than impressed with the hotel room. This was our second chance.
We got to sit at the Captains table at Dinner. I was sat next to the Captain (well, the 2nd Captain) and were sat on a VIP table for the show that night and given free drinks.
We were given flowers, champagne and chocolates in our room.
And one day we were greeted with a letter asking if we'd like to join the Captain in the bridge and watch as we sailed into Port at Corsica.
We obviously agreed and it was an amazing experience. I will never forget it.
And one night on this cruise we made a baby.
After a year of waiting it finally happened and so started our 9 months waiting to meet the baby we'd created.
Waiting to get off the plane.
Waiting to leave Palma and set sail.
I'm linking this post up with Emma at A Matter of Choice and Flashback Friday.
I've chosen to join in this weeks theme; 'Waiting'.
You might have seen my polite request on Friday for better weather? Well, I assume that whoever controls the weather obviously read this blog post as I am currently sat here with a sunburnt chest (irreseponsible) and exhausted from a lovely day out.
This morning consisted of breakfast in a cafe we used to visit a lot when Charles was little and then a walk along the "North Beach" at Lowestoft.
We started walking right by the windturbine, which Charles says Mister Maker made! and walked along to the new caravan park and walked back.
We then drove to Southwold and headed straight to the pub for a beer (J20 for Charles) and, one finished, then walked on to the beach.
We stopped for ice cream and bought Charles a bucket and spade so he could make sand 'parcels' (he can't say Castles) then sat on the sand for around an hour and a half. Harry felt the sand between his toes for the first time and loved it!!
I was put on the naughty step by Charles for going in the sea (just a paddle) and was told not to do it again.
We then drove the other side of Lowestoft to Gorleston and got a tray of sausage, chips and curry sauce.
Today was a lovely day. A simple day of last minute plans and appreciating the town we live in, towns we live near and making the most of things we can do for free!
I'm linking this up with Coombe Mills Country Kids.