Wednesday, 16 December 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

I thought I would just use one of my favourite Christmas songs as the post title. Doesn't it just scream Christmas to you? I love it!

I absolutely love Christmas and all things to do with it. Obviously as a child I loved it then when I was around 12 to when I was 18 or 19 I sang in my church youth choir. We would put on carol concerts each year and we would start practising for them in September so Christmas always started early for me. I loved singing in the choir and as soon as rehearsals started it just felt like Christmas had begun.

We put our Christmas tree up at the beginning of the month. It's the first time that Caleb has actually helped to decorate the tree and he loved hanging the baubles on the branches. I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to tree decorating and I always like the baubles to be evenly spaced. I had to surrender control this year as Caleb carefully placed the baubles in clusters on the tree. But I loved it, he was so enthusiastic and really enjoyed decorating the tree. It was nigh on impossible to get a nice photo of him in front of the finished tree though, as soon as I try to get him to pose for a photo, he starts doing crazy things! I kind of love it though, it makes for much more fun, interesting photos of him. (excuse the rubbish quality, the fairy lights were doing weird things to my camera!)

Caleb had his preschool Christmas nativity a couple of days ago. Seth was able to come to it too and we were there early to get good seats in the church. The place was packed full of parents and grandparents, I'm so glad we got there when we did! When all of the children came in in their costumes, they looked so adorable! Caleb looked confused, like he really wasn't sure what was going on, ha! He was right at the back so we didn't get to see him for most of it. I was a bit gutted about that; I was really looking forward to seeing him singing all of the songs (I have heard them a lot over the past few weeks, he has been practising them a lot!!). He and some of the others who were also innkeepers came out and did a little dance to one of the songs, it was adorable! Preschool nativities are just amazing. My little innkeeper did such a good job, I was such a proud Mum!

My Mum came down to see us last week and bought the boys matching Christmas jumpers. Seth isn't a fan of the matchy matchy thing but I think it is so cute to do when they are young! They both wore their jumpers for the first time a couple of days ago and they just looked so cute! Yes, I know I am biased but I don't care, I think my boys are lovely! I knew that Mum would want a photo of them both in their jumpers so once again I set about the task of taking a nice photo of them. I wanted one of them in front of the tree but Levi kept crawling away so we ended up taking them on the sofa. As you can see, they are completely not posed but the pictures capture the boys perfectly!

I can't wait until Christmas and am looking forward to doing more Christmassy things with my Manning men. Let me know if you have any fun things planned so that I can steal your ideas ;)

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Friday, 11 December 2015

Why I've decided to carry on...

I have kept a journal from around about the time I was 11. I used to write in it sporadically but from the time I was around 14 until now, I have written in a journal every day. To be honest, there really is nothing particularly interesting or juicy in my journal; sometimes it seems like anyone could just pick it up and read it and that would be fine because for the most part there is nothing I have written that is particularly private or personal. Not to mention the fact that I'm really not a very private person anyway (hence the blog :))  so even if they did read it, it wouldn't really matter. 

A few months ago I decided that I didn't really want to keep a journal anymore. Often when it came to writing in it in the evenings I just didn't feel like doing it. I started to write in it once every few days but then I would find that I would have to play catch up to explain what had happened a couple of days before as it would relate to what I was writing about on that particular day. So, it seemed like an all or nothing thing for me - either carry on writing pretty much every day or stop.

My mind was made up a few days ago when I took Caleb to preschool. As we were waiting outside to go in, one of the other mothers there was admiring Levi and she asked how old he was. She then asked when he had started to crawl (he literally started to properly crawl yesterday, before that he was kind of commando crawling everywhere. He is going to have amazing biceps by the time he is one!). I couldn't really remember and then she asked how old Caleb was when he had started. I gave her a rough guess and that was it. Then I came home and cried about what a terrible mother I am because I couldn't remember the small details and milestones in my children's lives. I thought that I would have probably written it down in my journal somewhere but I didn't have it written down anywhere else that I could quickly go to to look up details like that.

The next day I went to Paperchase (where all of my journals have been from from around 2007 onwards! They're just so pretty!) and got a nice new notebook to document the boys milestones. I have been filling it in in the mornings while Levi is sleeping and Caleb is at preschool. I started with Levi (being only 11 months old, it was easier and quicker to start with him and then do Caleb afterwards  - his life has been longer, there is more to write! Start small, people!) and I looked back in my journals to find all of the information to put into the new book. I was so glad to realise that I had actually written down more than I had originally thought!

I am now onto writing down Caleb's milestones and it is so interesting to read back on everything. Not just on Caleb and the things that he has done since he was born, but the day I found out I was pregnant, my first midwife's appointment, how we announced the news to our families, etc. I also found loads of other stuff that I had completely forgotten about, like how Laura and I had played a game of name that tune all the way from Norwich back home after being in Norwich for my niece to open her mission call (it was an epic game, it literally lasted two and a half hours). I also glanced back in some of my older journals and read about how Laura, Mum and I had played an epic game of "who am I?" on a roadtrip from St. George all the way to Vegas when we were on holiday there, when Seth and I had started dating, etc. I had always thought that I was pretty rubbish at keeping journals or at least writing anything interesting but it turns out that I'm not as bad as I thought. There were so many things that, when they happened I thought I would always remember but I had actually forgotten them and it was only in reading back that I was able to recall them.

Needless to say, I have decided to keep writing in my journal. Since making that decision, I have also been paying more attention to day to day stuff; the little things that Caleb has said that I have thought were really cute, sweet little things that Levi has done, etc. and I have been making a note of them on my phone so that I don't forget about it when I come to write about it in my journal that evening. And yep, there will still be times that I can't be bothered to write in it but I know that I am documenting some great memories that I will be able to read back on one day.

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