Hey everyone – I’M BACK!

I’ve had an amazing Summer and gave myself permission to take almost all of the holidays off to spend decluttering my house ready for my upcoming move (yay for the amazing KonMari method!!), and to enjoy some fun times with my kids, my friends, and just to spend some time on my own. There were no big fancy holidays or entertaining the kids every day, but it is a Summer I will remember forever as it was the most magical, laughter-filled, tear-filled, emotional and exciting seven weeks that I have spent in a very long time.

KonMari & Coffee

Getting to grips with the KonMari method of tidying!

The hard bit…

This Summer wasn’t all smiles and skipping through meadows. I spent the first two solid weeks EVER away from my amazing children as they went off on holidays with their dad. Whilst they have been away for a night together or individually on camp for a few days, this was kid-cold-turkey for a week at a time. It was heart-wrenching saying goodbye to them and not being able to kiss them goodnight every night or hearing their funny stories. But you know what? I survived. Not only that, but the revelation and relief of not having to look after anyone but myself for the first time in over 9 years (and actually probably longer than that to be honest) was immense.

I cried, lots, and it was great. It was like clearing over a decade of feelings out and decluttering my head just as I have been decluttering my house. I also admit to spending an entire day watching the Twilight saga as the rain fell outside… I think I only left the sofa 4 times for food and toilet breaks! I also spent some time crocheting and working on a blanket for my youngest (so he will finally relinquish control of my favourite crochet blanket!).

Crocheting a 'Sun' blanket for my youngest son.

Crocheting a ‘Sun’ blanket for my youngest son.

It was hard but rewarding and I am so much better for it. It also meant that I got to spend a night with some amazing girlfriends without having to worry about getting up the next morning for the kids. Yup, it was a biggy and only the first of many more to come I’m sure!

The middle bit…

Between the hard bit and the best bit came the middle bit. These were the weeks when I tried to keep my kids from killing each other as brothers so often try to do. My boys are pretty close in age so seesaw between being best buddies and mortal enemies – on an almost hourly basis! We got lots of stuff cleaned out of the house and they have been amazing during this difficult time. There is nothing like the resilience of children to make you realise just how out of proportion some things get blown.

We made dens, met with friends and played in the park, we watched movies when it rained (and as that was almost every day, we watched a lot of movies!), we cooked together, we visited owls at a local sanctuary and just chilled out after a busy and emotional year.

Owl

My boys with Rohan at the Owl Experience at Red Lion Farm.

The best bit…

I  left the best until last this Summer as I’d planned on taking the kids away at the end of August. A good friend went on a PGL break last year and suggested it would be a great place to take the boys. Not only did I get both boys booked for free, but I also had a whole week with catering provided! Now that’s what I call a good deal! Did I mention that we all stayed in a tent and had activities such as raft building, trapeze, archery, rifle shooting, canoeing, climbing, abseiling, zip wire and giant swing to contend with??? What a brilliant adventure.

All ready for the Giant Swing during our week at PGL in Shropshire.

All ready for the Giant Swing during our week at PGL in Shropshire.

Usually the domain of school groups and children who go on their own over the holidays, PGL (named after its founder Peter Gordon Lawrence, but now more commonly referred to as Parents Get Lost) runs family adventures for a few weeks a year. What made it the best week ever was the three other families we were grouped with. My kinda women – they all knew each other but welcomed the three of us into their bunch so that by the end of the five days we felt like we’d always known them. So four women and eight kids had an amazing five days and four nights.

The Wacky Pizzas all ready for rafting!

Our raft all built and ready to go on the water!

What I learnt

I believe that there is always something to learn from every experience and this Summer was no different.

  • I learnt that I can survive without my kids, but that I don’t like to for long periods of time (well, at least not yet)
  • I learnt that I have some amazing friends and there is always room for more!
  • I was reminded that all emotions are valid and getting through the ‘bad’ ones just makes the ‘good’ ones feel even better
  • I am so proud of my kids just for being who they are
  • I remembered that we all need some real ‘down time’ to recharge our batteries and help us face new challenges coming our way
  • I was reminded that my kids are only young for such a short while so it’s important to enjoy my time with them NOW

So, that was my Summer & it’s set me up for a fantastic end to 2015. Friends old and new, good times and bad – they all made this a Summer I will remember for a very very long time! And I look forward to getting back to my weekly blog posts set to inspire and empower.

H x