31 December 2013

Year's End





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See how they grow! Twelve months of living and learning and so much the same yet everything different. Not one month goes by without laughter, tears, adventure, fallings-out, magic, creativity, and growth. Not one month goes by without wonder.

I can't help wondering what the next twelve months will look like...

Seven Days (over Christmas)

Um, yes, a week in pictures, late again. Because I am slow at surfacing from Christmas this year, which has been long and blissful. And has resulted in the house being buried under toys and coats and boxes of clean laundry that I still haven't put away. I'm still kind of busy wallowing in new books, and singing the songs from Frozen (on repeat) and doodling in my birthday journal.









1. Snowy Zen garden
2. Christingle
3. Handknit socks on Christmas morning
4. How I spent Boxing Day
5. A new coat for Ponyo
6. Cuddles
7. Family dinner out

22 December 2013

Daybook towards the end of Advent

Outside my window the rain is freckling the glass with diagonal lines, but the sky is wide and brightest blue. The hedge is overgrown, but barely rippling in the tiny breeze, unlike the way it whipped and swayed in the recent stormier nights. The light is casting colours across the room, yellow, blue, and orange, from the stained glass nativity my sister in law made for us. It is a peaceful Sunday, and the road is silent and empty.

I am thinking how wonderful it is to be surrounded by family, and how very blessed I am to have this life with these beautiful souls.

I am thankful for bread, sunlight, water, candle light, lived-in mess, painted wooden chairs, mermaid costumes, glittery pipe cleaners - and the noise of children singing carols, arguing over a cup of tea, and reading aloud from their new Flower Fairy compendium.

In the kitchen there is almost half of Maarja's delicious cinnamon wreath bread left in its tin, a most welcome Christmas gift and one of the most fabulous foods on earth. The dishes stand draining on the side, and the floor is lightly sprinkled with rainbow hama beads. Talia is sitting under the table, singing.

I am wearing slouchy red yoga trousers, and a green organic T with mismatched rainbow buttons down the front (I replaced the small green ones when the first one broke a few years ago). My (currently mid-length) hair is pulled back, as it often is in the chaos of everyday life. I have my favourite amber beads on, too.

I am creating Jenna's grey Low Tide. Well, to be entirely honest, I ball wound the yarn. It isn't even cast on yet.

I am going to clean the oven today. That is my only goal.

I am reading The Long Earth (again).

I am hoping for snow for Christmas, not because I particularly like it on my own behalf but because my children are longing for it.

I am looking forward to everything about the next few days! I'm looking forwards especially to cooking delicious feasts, reading more seasonal books with the little ones, and crisp cold walks.

Around the house you can see the usual mess of our beautiful ordinary life. In the living room the floor is strewn with a couple of dressing up outfits, a lot of wooden blocks, a couple of brightly coloured plastic ponies, two playstation controllers, a couple of new books, and some glittery pine cones (which Rowan has taken from the mantle, for purposes unknown).

Some of my favourite things: how my children cackle with glee over Mr Bean, Talia feeding Martin some of her chocolate, the jingling of Jenna dancing around in her coin belt, the smell of cinnamon, happy glittery creative messes, and hand made presents.

A few plans for the rest of the week: coffee with my mum later, Emma's birthday on Christmas eve, and probably quite a few wintery walks. :)

A peek into my day:




Simple Woman's Daybook

21 December 2013

Week in Pictures (well, two weeks!)








1. A bag of pine cones
2. The posters the girls made independently and stuck all over their bedroom
3. Dancing!
4. Cousin
5. Exploring the woodlands
6. Craft stall helper
7. Circus skills







1. "Jooosh!"
2. Abstract Fish by Morgan
3. Pretty dress, cheeky face
4. Jenna date
5. View from the Museum
6. Heading to the carol service

20 December 2013

More Advent


Smallest bean opened a parcel before I got to it, so Jenna got one of her Christmas presents early. Think she likes it? ;)


A Christmas Miracle! Four actual lined-up pairs of shoes!


Snowflakes hanging over the fireplace.


The aftermath of snowflake making...


Georgian Christmas activities at Pickford House.


In one of the bedrooms, a slightly creepy "breathing" reindeer. Which they loved, obviously.


Cloves and oranges, combined.


Glitter-frosted pine cones are also, always, necessary.


Third weekend in Advent (already). Where has this month gone?!

Talia's Second Birthday

What a week! Martin's back at work now until Christmas day, and we've been so busy the entire time he's been at home - not least with two birthdays, two craft fairs, and me taking on a last minute Christmas commission that has had me up very very late each night knitting away...

Anyhow, somebody turned two. :)
We took a walk in the woods and found interesting things. It was a really lovely peaceful afternoon after a crazy and ill-judged morning trip in to town to take the birthday girl out for cake (town is not a favourite place for any of us at this time of year)!

I'm still not really adjusting to the idea of her being two. She seems so very small and baby-like still (even if she is perfectly capable of carrying a table into the kitchen to climb up on to the surfaces and help herself to chocolate spread out of the jar). Every day she has more words (noticeably, on her birthday, she mastered "NO" and "MINE" which she had very rarely said before)!

13 December 2013

This baby...

...is not really a baby any more (shh, I'm trying to come to terms with it)!

Gosh what a year we've had! About the time you started walking, baby mine, you got really really determined. Stripping all your clothes off in public became your new favourite pastime - that and sitting down refusing to go anywhere for long periods of time, and crying when I picked you up and then crying again when I put you down again. Oh little toddler, how very hard it is to not be able to just tell us all what it is that is bothering you. I have wished so many times that I could magic away whatever those moments of stress and anxiety and total frustrated anger have been.

And yet, and yet, you are the sunniest little person. So ready to laugh, to beam, to chat happily to us. You completely love to be around people, and hero-worship your sisters.


Your list of words is getting longer and longer. I'm enjoying the gift of understanding between us. It's amazing! The ease this has brought you, and your pure joy at being more capable, more able to explore the world and share your discoveries with us. I adore how you exclaim to me over your finds. How you repeat words over and over.




Sweet funny bright baby, awesome stubborn intense lively creature! Every second I have spent just snuggling you, just being here with you, has blessed me. I wouldn't trade a moment of it. Happy Birthday, precious. Talia, I love you so.