Life Lately

You may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet on the blog recently and that is because the last couple of months have been all about surviving the weeks, holding everything together as much as possible and letting go of anything that wasn't absolutely necessary.
Honestly, we're in an draining season of life at the moment full of sleepless nights, illness, discipline and work. It's all fulfilling and we're in exactly the right place but it's also exhausting.

I know I'll regret not writing down what we've been up to though so I'm going to try and wrack my brain and record a few memories. Here goes!

// At the end of February Ivy got really bad tonsillitis. It took me a couple of days to even work out what was wrong with her because she didn't have any obvious symptoms, she was just being really grumpy and tired. I got it as well a few days later and felt like death so I can't understand her grumpiness! Unfortunately the illness really took it out of Ivy and it took her a good month to get over it, which led to lots of 'fun' behavioural issues which made home life a joy(!)

// March was pretty busy with the run-up to Easter and all the craziness that brings to a clergy family! Both sets of parents came to visit which was great, and I also managed to escape on a two night retreat to Nicholston House on the Gower. It was the first time I had left Alys for more than an hour or so and the first nights of interrupted sleep I'd had for months!

// We managed a few trips out and about, and had a quiet Easter holiday trying to rest and recover from illness. We love enjoying the surrounding beaches and Ivy is getting much more confident in climbing and exploring.

// Josh and I went out on a rare day-date for his birthday which was wonderful! We had a beautiful meal and walked a bit of the coast path near St David's. It was so good to reconnect and feel like a couple rather than just parents for a few hours.
I also enjoyed a belated Mother's Day breakfast!

// Josh had a few days off after Easter to try and recover from all the busyness, but we had a fairly disastrous trip away which left us even more exhausted! We were meant to be visiting Lincoln for a dedication and decided to make a weekend of it and see friends in Harlech and Stoke-on-Trent as well, staying in Travelodges along the way. Ivy was ridiculously excited to be staying in a hotel which was pretty cute but sleeping all in one room and trying to settle two children was a nightmare! After a couple of sleepless nights and lots of driving (but some nice visits with friends) we arrived in Lincoln only for Alys to start being sick everywhere! We didn't even make it to the dedication but had to turn around and drive seven hours home with a vomiting baby! Nightmare!
It was inevitable that both Ivy and I also got the vomiting bug (although Josh has miraculously survived) so the last couple of weeks has been a haze of utter exhaustion and lots of laundry.

// Alys has been doing really well and started crawling on the 14th April (it only took her eleven months! ha!) so she's now into everything. She can say Mama, Dada, Hiya, Baba (Ivy) and ta and loves to lean in to give 'hugs' and say 'ahhh'. So cute!
Her sleep is still terrible (seriously, I don't even know how we're functioning!) but sleep training starts this week! I think...maybe...!
Ivy knows her own mind, but is so fun to be around. She is growing up so quickly now and loves draw and cook, as well as explore outside and ride her beloved scooter.

So, that's the last couple of months. It's been a bit of a blur and all I can concentrate on is the exhaustion although I know there have been some fun times too. Here's hoping for more sleep in the next couple of months!!

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Liberty Floral Theme Birthday Party

Over the weekend we threw Alys Rose a party to celebrate her first birthday! We welcomed around twenty-five guests for afternoon tea and sunned ourselves in the garden while the children played.

Although I know Alys won't remember her first birthday I love any excuse to throw a party and make a special effort; it's nice to release some creativity now and again and I consider it necessary to celebrate surviving a year of parenting two children on very little sleep!

A few weeks ago I won a bundle of Liberty goodies from a photo competition and fell completely in love with their delicate floral prints. It seemed like the perfect theme for our beautiful Alys Rose so I quickly got into planning mode and put together ideas for some pretty floral decorations!

Two of my favourite parts were my DIY cake topper and the string of favourite photos from the last year set up behind the food.

Oh, and let's talk about the cake.

I saw the idea for an ombre rose cake on Pinterest a while ago and thought it'd go great with our floral theme but I rarely bother to make elaborate cakes and don't have much experience with icing. However, it turned out to be fairly easy and everyone loved the result. My only mistake was not putting enough pink colouring in the bottom layer of icing so the ombre effect wasn't quite right, but I'll learn for next time! It's probably best not to think about how much butter and sugar went into it though...

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we had a great time! Alys was spoilt with lots of lovely presents and it was special to celebrate with some of the people that have cheered us along and helped us in so many ways this year.

Alys' favourite part was having her first ever taste of cake! There will be no stopping her now!

// Meri Meri for Liberty party wear from Little Maldod & Liberty - Photos printed by Square Snaps //

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A Year of Alys

Excuse me while I grab a tissue and BAWL. My baby is one!

Where has this year gone?

12 months of parenting two (oh wow, it's busy)

52 weeks of smiles and giggles and snuggles

366 days of sleep deprivation (I can count the number of nights I've slept more than 6 hours in one go on one hand)

8784 hours of sisters learning to love each other

527040 minutes of exploring new things

31622400 seconds of motherhood

Alys Rose, you have brought so much joy to our family. You are so precious and your happy smile lights up our days. Thanks for making the last year an adventure.

Happy Birthday my love!

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