Siblings October 2019 twitter

Siblings project – October 2019

On the drive home from school the other day Rhys said he can’t believe how fast this year is going.  And all I could really say was, same buddy.  Same.

The weeks and months are flying by and as much I want to stay in denial about it it’ll be Christmas before we know it.

For now though I’m throwing back to the last of the summer evenings.

These photos of the children together were taken on our trip out to Rhossili to watch the sunset.


That evening is right up there in my top moments from this year.

It was something I had never done before and it was amazing to feel the same level of excitement and wonder as the children did.  I think so often we can get a bit jaded as we grow up, so these moments of magic are absolutely priceless.


The other photo that I took of Rhys and Nerys together this month was from when we went into Singleton park on the way to their swimming lesson a few weeks ago.

It was the one sunny day in a week of grey and wet and it was just what we needed that week.


I wrote about it in my Living Arrows post for that week, about how we went into the park to hide a book we’d found as part of the ‘look for a book’ scheme that’s taken off here.

While we were there we met a lady walking her dog and had a really nice chat.

Rhys is a big dog-lover and always wants to stroke any dog we ever come across.  While Nerys is slowly overcoming a huge fear of them.

I love it when we come across people like this particular lady who are really understanding.  She gently encouraged Nerys to meet her dog, without forcing anything.  And she happily chatted to Rhys about her dog, and dogs in general.

I never really saw myself as a dog person but I think if we do get a pet one day it’ll quite likely be a dog.


Do your children like them or are they quite scared of them like Nerys?

Living arrows

Living Arrows 2019 – 41/52

After the out-of-routine-ness of the week before last, last week was nicely back to normal.

Nerys was back at school and seeming more like her normal self and I managed to remember what clubs were on what days so all was right with the world.

This week’s photo was taken one afternoon after school as Nerys was happy watching videos on the ipad.  We were sent some headphones to review recently and she has been absolutely loving testing them out.


She has a pair of Snuggly Rascals headphones that she still loves, but they get a bit hot on her at times so she was really happy to have a new pair like these to try.

What she’s been most amused by is the fact that they’re wireless, so she can wander off into the kitchen and still listen to her video as it plays in the lounge.


It’s things like that that make me laugh when I remember the flimsy, uncomfortable headphones we had as children.  For our walkmans.  I just could never have imagined the technology that my children are so used to when I was young.

I remember when we first got the internet at home.  We had to run a cable up the stairs from the phone socket in the study to the bedroom where the computer was.  And you had to wait through that beautiful screeching waiting for it to connect.

Now, my 5 year old can sit on the sofa with a screen in her hands watching videos of random American families on YouTube, any time she wants.

Blows my mind a little bit really!


Living Arrows
living arrows

Living Arrows 2019 – 40/52

Well last week was a bit of a weird one.

I got myself all mixed up at the start of the week, convinced that Nerys’ yoga club was after school on Tuesday when it was actually Wednesday.

Luckily I checked just before I went to pick Rhys up so I was able to pick her up like normal!  She was a bit funny going in to school on Monday and Tuesday, getting upset and not wanting to leave me.  Which isn’t really like her at all.

So it didn’t come as a huge surprise when she came out of school on Wednesday looking really pale and sorry for herself, clearly not feeling well.

Steve was home from work that day for his birthday, so he ended up carrying her all the way back to the car.  Then she helped him to celebrate once we got home by being sick on the kitchen floor.

So that meant she stayed home from school with me for the rest of the week.

By Sunday she was seeming much more like her normal self so I took her and Rhys to swimming.  We stopped off in Singleton Park on the way there, and had a play in the little park by the shops on the way home.


After a week of rain we had some lovely sunshine on Sunday so it was nice to have the chance to get out and have a blast of fresh air.

We also had two books that we’d found recently as part of the look for a book scheme that’s been set up here in Swansea, so we needed to find good places to hide those.

In the end we left one in each park that we visited, so hopefully some other children will find them soon.


I’m hoping that we’ll be back to the normal routine again this week, with everyone feeling ok and me remembering what day of the week we’re on and what we’re supposed to be doing!

Anyone else find it hard at times to keep track of what’s happening when with school-age children?!


Living Arrows
Things I'm never without

5 things I’m never without

When you leave the house do you take the bare minimum with you, or are you more like Mary Poppins with a bag full of anything and everything you could ever possibly need?

I think I fall somewhere in the middle most of the time.

There are a few things though, that I’m never really without when I’m out and about.


The big three

The standard things that I think pretty much everyone has with them wherever they go.

Wallet, phone and keys.

Sometimes if we’re going to the beach I’ll leave these things at home, but I feel really strange not having them with me.


Baby wipes

My children have been out of nappies for years now, but I still always have a little stash of baby wipes with me in my handbag.

And I can’t tell you how many times it’s come in handy!

I’ve used them to clean up mud, chocolate and dog poo from the children on the way home from school.  I’ve used them to spot clean clothes and faces when I’ve realised at the school gates in the morning that one of the kids isn’t as clean as they should be.

They’ve also come to the rescue when we’ve had cuts and grazes out and about.


Lip balm

I don’t wear all that much make up, so I’m not the type of person with mascara and foundation stashed in my handbag.

But I do pretty much always have a tube of lip balm or small pot of vaseline in my bag or coat pocket.

In the winter my lips get really dry and in the summer I could feel that I needed something to help protect them from the sun.


Sticks and stones…

…and shells and conkers.  And all sorts of other flotsam and jetsom.

Now I don’t want to never be without these things, it just seems to be the way it goes with two children.

At any given time I will have at least one of these things in either my handbag or my coat pocket.


A sense that I’m forgetting something

One more thing that I’d prefer to go without, but seem to carry with me.

No matter what, I pretty much always have this feeling that I’m forgetting something.  I get it in the mornings when I take the children to school, this niggling feeling that I’ve forgotten an important letter that I was supposed to sign, or left a lunchbox on the kitchen counter.  I think it must come from the fact that there seems to always be something extra to remember!  Homework is due back, someone needs to wear trainers or wellies that day for PE or outdoor learning, donations are needed for something or other, or the kids need to be dressed in spots for children in need.

And I don’t even want to go in to how badly this feeling comes with me when I go away for any length of time.

I spend the first few hours with a real sense of “I’ve forgotten something” before I make my peace with the fact that it’s too late if I have forgotten anything.  Then I can start to relax a bit.


Do any of these things make your list, or are you able to get away without having these things with you?  What other things are you never without?

Things that make me smile

5 things that make me smile

Today is world smile day and so to celebrate I’m sharing 5 things that make me smile.

I’ve decided not to include the big, more obvious things that make me smile on a daily basis.  Things like my family and friends, it’s a given really that they make me smile.  Coffee, chocolate and Netflix too.

This post is a few of the slightly less obvious things in my life that make me smile.



Whether it’s with my best friend about uni days, my sister about our childhood or my husband about when our kids were babies.

Talking about the past is almost guaranteed to make me smile.

I’ll quite happily spend a few hours looking back at old photos, listening to songs that take me right back in time and having “oh man do you remember when….” chats with the people I’m lucky enough to have known for a long time.


The beach

There is something about the beach, standing on the sand and watching the water that just makes me feel so happy and at peace.

I didn’t grow up by the sea but have amazing memories of days (and late nights) on the beach on our family holidays in France.

And now I live in Swansea I see the sea so often and it always makes me smile.


Bonfire night

I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s only once a year that makes it so special but I do rather like bonfire night.

When I was little we used to walk to the meadow in our village for the local fireworks display. I have memories of cold hands, muddy wellies and a huge bonfire.

For the last few years we’ve taken the children to the big fireworks display here in Swansea and it has been amazing.

Fireworks are brilliant anyway, and to get to see your children watching them, transfixed, is just so special.


Shooting stars and Orion

I’m not sure if this is a bit odd, but I always smile when it’s a clear night and I can spot Orion’s belt in the sky.

There’s just something reassuring to me about looking up and seeing those particular stars in their familiar positions.

And shooting stars, well, who wouldn’t smile at seeing a shooting star!

We always try to get out and see some around my birthday each year during the Perseid meteor shower.  For a few years it was too overcast to really see any, but this summer we got really lucky.  We had a super clear night and spotted a couple of the biggest, brightest shooting stars I’d ever seen.

And oh my word did it make me smile.


The internet

Or the people on the internet.  The humour is so quick, and so random at times, it always makes me smile and laugh.

When the last season of Game of Thrones was going to pot the thing that made it amazing was all the memes and jokes being made on Reddit.  And when people started to worry that the actors might be upset by all the criticism (which was never aimed at them), a fantastic amount of money was raised by the same community.  For charities close to the cast’s hearts, to show how much they were loved and how none of the negative comments were aimed at them.

There are some bad sides to the internet, of course, but there is so much humour and joy to be found online.  And so much support for people who need it, a lot of the time from complete strangers.

And who doesn’t smile at the parenting memes that do the rounds on Facebook!


So there you have it.  5 things that make me smile, just in time for world smile day.

Do these things make you smile too?

What else is guaranteed to put a smile on your face?

The more things change the more they stay the same

The more things change

“The more things change, the more they stay the same”

This quote from Jean-Baptiste Karr seems like a good way to start this post for the first day of Blogtober 2019.

It’s the first time I’m joining in with Blogtober.  If you’ve not heard of it before it’s basically a challenge for bloggers to write a blog post every day for the month of October.

There are prompts to work from if you want to, or you can go freestyle and post whatever you want.  I’m going for a mix of the two approaches.

For this first post I’m using the prompt, which is ‘about me’.


I wrote a bit about myself when I first started this blog back in 2015, including a few random facts about me.

Looking back on that post from 4 years ago is really quite strange.  It feels like a lifetime ago that I started this blog, and I feel like I’m a different person from the woman who wrote those early blog posts.

The facts about me are still true.

I still have a birthmark between my shoulder blades.

There’s still a height difference of a foot between me and my husband.

My wrist still aches when it’s going to rain.


Beyond those unchangeable facts though, a lot of things are different now than they were then.

My children are, obviously, years older than they were then.  And parenting them through all these different stages has changed me.

It’s made me slow down.  See more.  Feel more.

It’s made me bolder.

I’m still not all the way there, but I’m a lot more confident in who I am now.

When I started this blog I had just come to the end of my maternity leave after having Nerys.  I was due to go back to my office job but just as my leave ended I was offered voluntary redundancy.

I jumped at the chance to be home with my children, and to test the waters of working for myself.

To be honest though, when it came to all things blogging I had no idea what I was doing.

I stumbled my way through putting a website together on weebly.  I had no idea about the amazing communities there are in the blogging world.

Over the last few years I’ve surprised myself with everything I’ve learnt.

I don’t think of myself as being a ‘techy’ person, but I managed to move my blog over to WordPress.  I’ve taught myself how to use it, how to change themes, and make my site look how I want it to look.

I’ve discovered groups of amazing, welcoming, supportive bloggers who have offered advice and kind words when I’ve felt lost.

My blog is still the same at its core, but it looks different than it did at the start.  My graphics are more consistent, and much more polished than they were.

I think my writing and editing style has evolved over time, like most things really.


In early 2015 I was still in the sleep-deprived days of breastfeeding with Nerys.  I was up multiple times in the night with her, binge-watching Alias and Charmed while she fed and fed and fed.

Now I’m one of the lucky ones and both my children sleep well as a general rule.

So I stay up later than I should binge-watching Stranger Things, The good place and Working Moms.


It’s a funny thing, growing older, especially when you watch your children grow older at the same time.

I know I’m different now than I was before.

But at the same time, I’m still me.

I suppose it is true.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

And now I have ‘put your records on’ stuck in my head.

Me and mine September 2019

Me and Mine – September 2019

Well September just flew by didn’t it.

The summer holidays feel like ages ago and we’re nicely back in the swing of the school routine.

We did break from our usual routine a few weeks ago though, and headed out to gower one evening.

Steve took us to Rhossili and we climbed up to the top of a hill to get the most amazing view of the sun setting over the sea.

And if that wasn’t the perfect time to get a family photo for this month’s me and mine project I don’t know what would be!


It was an absolutely gorgeous evening and a perfect reminder of how lucky we are to live where we do.

The children honestly have no idea how spoilt they are!

I tried to explain to them on the walk back down to the car how many people out there haven’t even seen the sea in person, let alone watched the sun set over it.  But I don’t think they could really grasp it yet.  Heading to the beach is such a normal thing for them, I don’t think they can get their heads around the idea of people never having paddled in the sea or dug their toes into the sand.


The last month also saw the children both running in the 1K race as part of the Swansea bay 10K, which they really enjoyed.  They’ve done it for a few years now and really look forward to it.

Rhys ran by himself this year as he’d moved up to the next age group, and Nerys ran with Nana.

They both did so well and are really proud of their special medals that they got at the end.


Now we’re at the end of September it definitely feels like autumn is here.

It’s been wet and windy and it feels like all of a sudden it’s getting darker earlier.  It won’t be long before I’m taking the children to cubs and rainbows in the dark, which Nerys is already excited about.

Do your children seem to enjoy being out and about after dark?