Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A very happy New Year to you!

As 2015 slips away I know without a doubt that it was the best year we could ever have wished for. We couldn't have had a bigger year and I feel so blessed to have gone through it all with James. We have been truely blessed with our daughter, a new home and a beautiful wedding we had dreamed of. Friendships have grown and grown as the people we love, fell madly in love with Elin. Its been really tough at times, but honestly, all the harder moments pale into insignificance when we look at what we do have. I know that I have grown and changed massively. Parenthood has tested and continues to challenge me daily but I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel so unbelievably lucky to have such a healthy happy babe and a contented marriage with my best friend. I can only hope that next year lives up to this one, although we are both looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet for a while! We do have lots of plans for 2016 (some big, some small) which I hope I can share with you in this space too. So today I'm just recapping this last year with a photo for each month from it. The theme of the year is pretty obvious but it was fun to dig out old captures and see how much has changed, although keeping it to only one shot was a challenge!













We will be spending a quiet New years eve with each other in our home, with good food and wine. I hope that whatever you get up too, you see in the New year with loved ones. 

The New year always brings an element of change, of hope, which is no bad thing. But its also good to recognize all the wonderful things we are taking with us into the next calendar. Family, friends, children,a loving home, good health and a positive outlook are priceless and it is those things I'd like to hold on to and resolve to keep throughout 2016. 

I'l take this chance to wish everyone a beautiful end to this year and a happy and healthy New year too. I hope that 2016 will live up to any and all expectations and we can all continue to grow and to love as fully as we are able. 

Love, Us.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

A little bit of Chistmas!

In case it wasn't obvious, I'm a pretty massive fan of Christmas-time. And obviously I'm Elin's biggest fan too, so Elin's first ever Christmas is about as exciting as it gets for this mumma. Obviously hundreds of photos were needed to document the day in all its festive glory. When I looked back through them to narrow them down into this post, it felt as though the earlier shots from the morning were SO long ago. Like, neither James or I could believe that that was the same day. We both agreed that that was a sign of a cracking day. SO here you have it, Elin Grace Lathey's first Christmas, 2015

Could those get any wider? They are gonna break hearts one day, I tell ya!

James and I decided to keep things pretty minimal this year. Knowing she will never remember and get equal enjoyment from cardboard boxes and wrapping paper, we agreed to keep things as simple (and cheap) as possible for as long as possible. Having said that, Santa did manage to squeeze this bad boy into our studio flat. Elin's loving life in her Princess ball pit as you can see- her face was a picture and we have dozens of shots like this with the widest smile ever. It was magical to see. And the pic above, her just kicking back after a busy morning unwrapping presents! Bless.

Wrapping paper really did amuse her so much. It went without saying that her grandparents still spoiled her so it still felt really festive and we had lots to unwrap and play with too.

All this before 6 o clock! Elin's sleep is pretty horrific lately but she's usually a fan of a lay in. Not today apparently; she was raring to go and the lure of Santa meant James and I didn't mind, really.

So, if you're from the south west you may know the (totally ridiculous) tradition of having a quick Winter's swim? Just within a ten mile radius we have the Charmouth Challenge on the 25th, the West bay Wallow on boxing day and the Lyme Lunge on New years day! Loads of people rock up to take part or just to watch. As I was pregnant last year we were just spectators, but there was the most festive atmosphere and its a real tradition. This year, though the weather and winds were against us we still decided on joining in. And as totally irresponsible parents Elin was the youngest swimmer on the day! Here we are before hand, I didn't get any after shots, but it was brilliant fun! Honestly, we left the beach on such a high and surprisingly not as cold as you'd think!

*Disclaimer- alright, no Elin didn't actually swim, she just had lots of cuddles as I paddled in the surf and her Daddy divebombed everyone. She was also in her thermals below that waterproof snowsuit and was lovely and toasty. Despite, you know, it being the beach in December.

It'll be something to tell her when she's older, and maybe we can achieve this every year from now on!

Elin's first Christmas Dinner! We're one of those families that probably counts the roast as the most important part of Christmas day and we also cook enough to feed a small army. Come to think about it, that's nearly every family on Christmas. But this year was extra important- I mean a kids first Christmas dinner is a major first and step on the weaning journey. Boy, did our baba eat good- 5 bird roast, cauliflour cheese, a yorkshire, sausage meat, stuffing, carrots, parsnips, green beans, spuds... You get the gist. She'll be eating left overs for a week, but I'v never been a bigger fan of baby led weaning than I was today! We had so much fun. Plus any baby sat happily feeding herself in her elf hat is just the cutest thing ever. And that I got to eat my dinner hot was a major bonus. No more pics, because you know, eating was way more important.

I bang on constantly about these two's special and beautiful bond. But my God, this picture of her gazing at him just breaks me. They are so lovely and I'm so grateful that they are my people. Words aren't enough!

Elin's great uncle spoiled her with these brilliant finger puppets! We had a lot of fun witht them and I love this capture too. It also reminded me that while it was Elin's first christmas is was also our first as husband and wife. That's worth celebrating in itself.

Christmas day, family selfie alert! Yep- we are that family, and proud!

After dinner and before dessert we braved the outdoors again to have a blustery walk down the beach and pop to the pub. I like to get out and about on Christmas day as everyone you meet is happy and joyful and its nice to be part of that even among strangers, perhaps especially so. And Elin's coat? I bought it months ago with Christmas day in mind and the fact it fitted just made my already amazing day just so much better. She was the most stylish baby thats for sure!

Obviously Elin lights up our world a huge percentage of the time, but on this day she also brightened everyone she met. She was flashing THAT smile constantly and winning everyone's heart. Christmas is even better with babies I think!

So there's a little look into our first Christmas as a family! Festivities will continue over the next few days visiting family but on the day itself we kept it just for us three. It was a perfect, relaxing day I was blessed to spend with my two most favourite people on this world. Christmas is the perfect time to say it, but I feel it all the time too, but I really do love my family and the life we are building together. We really celebrated what Christmas is all about for which I am exceptionally grateful.

Friday, 25 December 2015


Just a flying post today to wish everyone a very happy Christmas! 

I hope that you all have the most magical of days. full of cheer and kindness. 
We are feeling full up on good food, wine and the best family I could dream of. 
Today especially, I am feeling a little extra love for my people; and so blessed for what we have in our lives. 
Lets wish the world a very merry Christmas.
May it be a splendid day!
Love, Us.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Winter beach!

Sunday is always a family day for us. No matter where we're both working or whats going on in our lives we have always made a conservative effort to allow for traditional family Sundays. James has been working ridiculously over December, plus the move, and we haven't had a huge amount of spare time so this week we knew we wanted to do something really festive and family orientated to get us in the Christmas spirit. In the end we decided to head down to Weymouth for the great Santa race! It is exactly as it sounds; hundreds of people dressed as Santa take part in a 5K across the beach. The weather turned out to be beautiful and watching 200 odd Santas hanging out on a lovely sunny beach was really something. It was pretty surreal to keep spotting Santas at every turn, like some Christmas version of Wheres Wally. While I didn't get photos of the race itself (we were eating along the sea front at that point and food took president! I mean food is seriously important ;)), I am in love with some of the shots we got of our Elin!

Even though we live so close to the beach, Elin has never actually been let loose of a lovely white sand beach before today. The weather turned as she started crawling and we are local to much more pebbly beaches. As it was so lovely this day and shes forever fighting to crawl and move if we hold her still for even a moment, she had a little adventure while we ate. It was lovely to see her crawling and rolling n the sand, and I was pleasantly surprised that she didn't once try to put it in her mouth either! Made my job a  little easier. We get quite a lot of stick for letting her crawl on the floor or ground, or this case the beach. I know they probably aren't the most hygienic but I am a big believer that a few germs won't hurt. I'm hoping shes building herself a cracking immune system with all this. Plus, I never want to stop her exploring. Its how they learn and I feel its my job to really encourage that. Plus it gives my arms a break too! Shes her happiest when she has loads of free space to move and play, and happy baby means happy mummy. Even if she is playing on a beach in the middle of December.
(PS, in the background you'll spot some running Santas! How cool is it that on this day that was standard?!)

I don't know if I'm the only one, but I almost prefer beaches this time of year than the summer. Where we live they get so ridiculously crowded with tourists so its actually lovely come October when, yes it colder, but they become ours again. I love a good bit of winter sunshine and a walk down the beach totally blows away the cobwebs and is so refreshing. Today was certainly one of those days.

Also, I have to admit I'm strictly an Auto girl when it comes to photographs. I'd love to learn how to actually use my camera. But for now I'm stuck on Auto. But I did love yesterdays shots as we were so blessed with beautiful sunshine! That was a great bonus and made these captures a bit better than I can usually do!

Now this first image may well be my new favourite of James and Elin. I love it so much- her looking cheeky as ever and personally I think James is looking pretty handsome too! These two people are my whole world and I just can't get enough of them both. James is an exceptional Dad to Elin; his patience is incredible, far beyond my own and he is always striving to be better. I can't imagine anyone better for starting parenthood with. Its a huge learning curve but he makes it look effortless. And for his troubles he's made a complete Daddy's girl out of Elin! Mummy's completely boring compared to super Dad here and I can totally see that theme cropping up throughout her childhood.

Even though i've said so many times how Elin is indeed such a Daddy's girl, I do like to think we have  pretty special bond too. Honestly, we're always together; Elin comes with me. Whatever that is we make a pretty good team her and I, and I really hope and pray it continues like that as she grows.

Anyone else check out the Santa run this year? I really enjoyed it. The combination of Father Christmas, good weather, beach food and family really put me in the Christmas spirit just in time for Christmas week. Plus its such a surreal event it just puts a smile on your face no matter what! I'd love to see what you've been up to? Anythings kick start the festivities for you?

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Here comes Santa Clause!

The Christmas jumpers have made their first appearance! And for a brilliant reason too, because little Elin Lathey had an important date with SANTA. We booked Elin a place at Otter Nurseries Santa's grotto and I literally have been so excited all week to take her. But I was also seriously anxious in case she screamed the place down and I knew I'd feel so disappointed even though that a bit silly. I worried for nothing though as she had a great time! And so did this mumma too!

For a grotto that cost a mere £6 they put on a great show for all the kids. We started by singing the reindeer hookie cookie with our special reindeer ears and were then led all around Santa's home. We saw the talking reindeer, enjoyed snow and a winter wonderland in the garden, before making reindeer food in the kitchens. Obviously this all completely bypassed Elin but it was a great experience and we'll definately do it when she's older. It really was magical. I was so overwhelmed I didn't get too many photos but take my word for it- it was SO good.

They created such a lovely little world in the grotto and the whole thing lasted a good 20 minutes. I can't recommend it enough so if you're local make sure to check it out for next year. It is madly popular though and we booked our tickets back in October as its sure to book out. Elin spent the whole time crawling around and exploring- I'm counting this as her sensory play for the week, so it wasn't just for us after all!

And there's the money shot right there! Just look at her little smile. I was so chuffed that she was happy and bursting with pride for some irrational reason. The present comes down the chimney (obviously) and our little monkey leapt on it. Yep, that is for you young lady- finders keepers and all ;) We left and I can't explain how overwhelmed I was! In my head I was imagining all the future years when she can really appreciate all the magic and I felt so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter to make all these memories with. Shes got so much to look forward to and its our job to make her childhood as magical and meaningful as possible. I think looking at her I just realized all the possibilities she has in front of her. Okay, I may have cried a little. But in my defense I had just met the man of the moment! I'l finish off with that Santa picture again because its just such a cracker!

I'd love to see your Santa pictures! Any grottos or experiences worth considering for next year? I'm all ears!