Time away from blogging was supposed to do me a world of good. It was supposed to be time where I spent quality moments with my family and ignored all the rest. What I didn’t expect to find was it was hard to shut off completely. After sixteen months straight on a daily basis how could I shut the ideas off in my head? How could I not run to the laptop while the kids were napping just to type a few words out? How did I break the routine I have been living for so long. Then it happened…
I turned it all off. The laptop got set aside, as did my big camera, although I regret the latter, but it was only fair that the kids got a break too from the lens in their face. I slowly learned what life was like without my blog. It was Christmas time what better time to take off with all the festivities ahead to enjoy and fill my days. Here is what we got up to during my time off blogging. There may have even been a little birthday celebration for myself, during this time too.
We started our Christmas holidays with carol singing with a brass band at Mr P’s golf club and morning breakfast and bacon sandwiches. It was a lovely way to kick off our time off together. I had my iphone at hand for a few captures but otherwise I was more engrossed with the kids and singing. It was a great feeling to go out for the day knowing I had nothing waiting at home that I had to do, no ‘to do’ lists to accomplish. The brass band was amazing.
My birthday came and went along side the left over vibes of Christmas, as it does every year. A boxing day birthday isn’t the greatest in this country. Last Christmas, it was a bigger event as I turned 30th but this year turning 31 just isn’t a big deal anymore. Birthdays after 30 almost seem silly, either way it wasn’t a bad day, I still got to celebrate it in style.
Birthday playtime with the kids.
Then the kids went to bed and it was time to celebrate with the adults and some drinks. We had friends visiting from London so we took advantage and went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Manchester, Gaucho Bar & Grill. It truly has the best steak I have ever tasted and the only place I will ever order it medium rare instead of medium well!
Putting all the chores of Christmas aside, yes, please admit it, Christmas is hard work. The prepping, the cooking, the cleaning, the wrapping, the decorating, it’s all lovely and festive but hard work. Putting my birthday celebrations aside too, my time off blogging was mostly spent like this…
I spent the days with my hair not done, no makeup on, and lots and lots of cuddles on the couch watching movies and playing with the kids new toys from Santa. We may have even had a few late morning starts and pjs all day. Don’t judge me, you know you all have done it too.
It made me realized I need more ‘balance’ in my life. I felt like I missed out on too many things with the kids or missed adventures we could have had because I was trying to literally ‘do it all’. I have always had the ‘do it all’ personality and lately it’s been really bad. What happens when you try to do it all is you actually neglect everything slightly. You don’t do your best in one area because you are so stretches across everything else that things get done rushed, or half assed or in my case without sleep.
So I sat back during my time off and soaked up all the little moments, all the amazing moment, the ordinary moments because that’s what really matters most. I sat listening to their laughter as they tickle each other on the couch. And hearing their feet pitter pattering on the kitchen floor as they chase each other in another silly siblings’ game. Those giggles and those bare feet hitting the tile are my memories of my time off. They are what I hear and see when I close my eyes.
I sat down to make a list of what I wanted to do with the kids before Buba starts school in September. I want this list to make sure that I am not missing out on this tiny bit of time I have left with them at home together. I want Buba to start school having memories full of family adventures and feel loved. I want him and Missy Moo to feel like Mommy gave them her all while they were home with me as I am truly grateful I have this time with them. My own mother’s words come back to me, “I only wish I could have stayed home with you”. I know its a luxury and whilst I work full-time from home as well, I still want that time with them to be very special.
The photo above is a photo, bad one but nevertheless one that I will never forget. It is a memory of a special afternoon where we sat on the couch observing the world as it went by us, together. Nothing huge happened, there was no amazing words exchanged. I think us sitting in the window all cuddling in one way or another without words made it more magical. Their touches are full of love and their smiles full of innocence and when I stop to see all this it melts my heart. It’s one of the amazing things about being a mother when you can feel the love from your children without words or eye contact. I want more moments like this and I know they will fast become few so I am stopping more in life to soak them in while I can at home. Before I have to wait till the holidays for them to come visiting old Mommy and Daddy.
It has been awhile since Mr P and I could go off on one of our many adventures without the kids but while I took time off ,we had the chance for lunch and a wander around together. We used to hop in the car every Sunday without any destination in mind and just drive to a town to eat lunch and explore the village that surrounds wherever we ended up. It’s our thing and as the kids get older we do it with them now but it was a treat to go back to just being us. We laughed, we talked, we kissed, and we enjoyed quality time as a couple even if it was in a pub eating tuna sandwiches in midday.
Each month I do a little ‘come dine with me’ style dinner with my close friends. We have faltered for a few months but back on track now. There are three of us and each one of us makes a dish and I always get the task of desserts, my favorite dishes to make. If you follow me on instagram you would have seen my creation. I made this yummy, berry brownie parfait which was a hit not only with my friends but it would seem that my instagram followers loved it too. A funny thing tickled me because it’s not even a great photo and it’s not styled at all and yet it’s my most popular photo on my instagram ever. Not sure if that says something about all my other photos but at the moment it stays the favorite.
We ended the new year with our close friends over drinks flowing, games played, and a whole lot of laughter. I love new year’s eve staying in and it was the best way to ring in the new year together relaxed and cozy in our own home.
Time off blogging taught me a lot of what I want and don’t want for the coming year. It also showed me just how much I love blogging and how much it truly has changed my life. I missed it so much but it was good to take a break, refresh and recharge those batteries that were worn out from a busy, busy 2014!
There you have it, what we have been up to while we have been making the most of the holiday season and taking well deserved time off. Life is just as much about the little moments as the big so make sure you are taking time out for yourself, for your kids, for your partners and enjoying it to its fullest. We only get one life!
Linking up to #PoCoLo at Vevivos.