I briefly considered naming this gratitude list 'The Birthday Edition' or 'The Flu edition' or 'The School Holidays Edition'. All of which are relevant seeing as in the past week I've celebrated my 31st birthday which coincided with the first day of the two week winter school holidays and then got sick a couple of days afterwards with a nasty cold/flu which I still can't shake off. I decided against each of these as the one thing that actually stands out amidst all of it is friendship.
Friends that are more like family, since (with the exception of my sister) my actual family is many oceans away. Friends that hand over their no-longer needed baby items and clothes without a second thought. Friends that invite us all to their home to share their food and conversation. Friends that send parcels from the other side of the world containing the most thoughtful gifts. Friends that let me bring loads of laundry over and put it in their drier for me whilst ours is broken. Friends that hold my baby so I can eat a meal. Friends that come to visit and bring a freshly baked cake to share with us. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. You all know who you are if you are reading and I don't know where I would be without you.
Here are a few other things that have kept me smiling from underneath my mountain of tissues and helped distract from the most hideous of hacking coughs (sorry to everyone who has been subject to how annoying this cough is. But believe me, it's annoying me more).
1 // Slow mornings and a generally more relaxed pace of life now we are not chained to the ring of the school bell twice a day for two glorious weeks.
2 // Having my big girl around all day. She's become such a help to me these past few months and has stepped up to her role as big sister to two with such grace and acceptance it has really taken me aback. She is what makes it possible for me to take a shower of a morning and feed and tend to the chickens at dusk.
3 // Hitting the jewellery jackpot with a beautiful bracelet bearing a tag inscribed with each of my girls names, sent to me by one of my oldest and dearest friends from home and a dainty gold bar necklace hand stamped with the letters L & R & P on a fine chain from Curt.
4 // A birthday high tea celebration with (most of) my main ladies. What a treat to be able to have a conversation blissfully uninterrupted by our offspring whilst indulging in a full spread of sweet and savoury treats.
5 // My one birthday request for the day itself (not having to cook dinner or do any washing up) was fulfilled thanks to Curt picking up pizza for us all then rounded off nicely by a delicious chocolate cheesecake and then cosying up for the evening to finally watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
5 // A garden bench and two huge pots offered up to us for free by our neighbours, which serendipitously completed our new outdoor deck area like it was meant to be.
6 // Hearing Lila reading stories to Rose. She can read now, actually read, and I am so proud of her. It all seemed to fall into place for her during the past month or so and she now picks up and fluently reads any of the books from their shelf or the library box. She is unstoppable.
7 // Taking care of our friends sweet bunnies whilst they were out of town for a couple of days. These gorgeous little creatures stole our hearts completely and I now have two children hell bent on us acquiring our own fluffy friends to add to the family.
Photos....Warm toes and cups of tea...a thank you in the form of a cinnamon teacake which we devoured in minutes...the very cute Jonathan and Rosie...birthday bracelet...our newly completed deck area.