Our half term is almost over and even the eternal optimist in me thinks it has been awful. One after the other we all caught the worst sickness bug we have had in years. By Friday we were feeling much better, except we were still feeling tired and grumpy and (or In Ava’s case, teething with temperatures) Hands up, I was probably the grumpiest. (Is that even a word?!).

We caught the bug in the middle a huge bedroom move around, and our house was upside down, furniture everywhere, piles of random stuff without homes, the stuff of nightmares when you cant get out of bed or have sick children to nurse back to health.


We have missed the opportunity to do any Halloween crafts and the days out we planned we had to cancel. We only have costumes & decorations that we saved from last year. We didn’t grow any pumpkins this year or visit a pumpkin patch, and our monster pumpkin from the supermarket sits uncarved in the kitchen.

I suffer from anxiety, and it can be overwhelming. So despite the urge to rush to fit everything in, we have been taking things really slow and telling ourselves its okay NOT to do everything. Because when you think about it, you don’t really need all that stuff or those experiences. They are nice, but are they worth the pressure they put us under to achieve them?

I read this post by Leo Babauta who writes;

The fewer requirements we have, the less of a burden these requirements become.

I am excellent at making myself lists of things I ‘need’ to do, to be happy, or for the children to be happy. But really, they are just nice extras, and the strain I was putting myself under on Saturday to fit EVERYTHING into one day. Do you do that too?

Inviting in the good

And so I’m giving myself a break from negative self-talk and impossibly high standards. And I’m leaving lots of room for the positives and with inspiration from Caroline at Unfancy, I am inviting in the good. The positive thoughts, kindness, compassion and gratitude.


We decided on a walk on Sunday to escape, combining three of my favourite things. Family, photography and exploring.

These four all loved climbing and taking photos on the mushrooms we found around the nature reserve. We took our walkie-talkies and collected lots of sticks, is it really a woodland walk if you don’t compete to find the best stick? James also loved the thistles he could collect since he always has gloves in his pockets, even in summer! All was going well until Ava tried climbing onto a mushroom and Lily tried to help, sending Ava toppling head first over the top! Poor Lily cried more than Ava, and I gave her a piggy-back to cheer her up.

Lilys piggy-back to cheer her up 🙂

Ava exploring ahead

James loved the thistles

Their new wellington boots, on their first outing

Keeping Warm

We bought the children’s new coats about a month ago, but the weather has been so undecided that we haven’t had much chance to wear them until recently; It was definitely cold enough for them today! I wanted to get something matchy and really colourful to brighten up the winter days and after hours of searching, these were my absolute favourites.

But they are from the boy’s section at Monsoon, and I know its a bit silly, but I did spend a while worrying that someone would realise they were ‘boys’ coats and say something to upset my girls. We just wanted something bright, practical and comfortable, and when we found these we thought they were perfect.

I wonder if this is the last year I will get away with buying matching coats? ? I am also knitting matching hats, and all the children want the one that I have managed to finish. Naturally the littlest won, but only because she has her older siblings wrapped around her finger. She is as determined as they come when she wants something, but usually she’s equally as laid back as her siblings. As a fourth child I suppose you have to have a loud voice to be heard! I love our little mix of characters, we all work so well together. I was sat eating tea today and I had tears of happiness in my eyes. Those who know me well know that this is usual, and I am REALLY emotional, even on a good day. I know that we are so lucky, and I’m so proud of our little family team. We will never be rich, but we are time rich and we are happy & healthy. I couldn’t wish for more. ??

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But then I read a post from Katie and noticed that her girls have the same coats, which instantly made me feel better about them. I think seeing something with fresh eyes on someone else helps put it into perspective, they just look warm, practical, comfortable and gorgeous!

I love how blogging helps me in so many ways, and recently reading other blogs has become one of my favourite parts of my week. It helps me to put things in perspective, to know that I am not alone.  I look for ideas and inspiration, reviews and there is such a genuinely lovely community of people behind their blogs. If you are thinking of blogging you really should take the leap, it’s easy to get started and it is an amazing way of recording memories and moments you might forget otherwise.

P.s. Does anyone else think that Mr T should definitely get a red coat so that he fits in with the rest of our family team?!

Living Arrows