Thursday, 18 September 2014

Our Autumn Bucket List: Savouring the Season

It's my favourite time of the year; and, just as at the start of every season, we have made our bucket list...

Have a read and let me know what you think...

Any autumnal traditions that we've missed?


Savouring the Season is all about celebrating the season we find ourselves in...whether it be recipes, crafts, outdoor adventures or reflections on life, link up and share some comment love! And don't forget to grab a badge!

Anything autumnal goes!

ClarinasContemplations
<a href="http://clarinascontemplations.blogspot.co.uk" target="_blank"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4KY8M1LiJ5g/Ujn_8UoeggI/AAAAAAAAGOc/DpuD69JkrnE/w125-h118-no/mini+badge.png" alt="ClarinasContemplations" width="125" height="125" /></a>



Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Life Lessons: From the School of Motherhood

A new little project I'm going to be launching on Wednesdays, chewing over the wisdom of mothers who have gone before.

I don't know about you, but becoming a mother was one of, and continues to be, the steepest learning curve of my life.

I muddle through most days, getting beautiful glimmers of satisfaction where I truly think there is nothing else in the world I'd rather be doing. But there are also those moments where you feel like a failure,where it all gets a bit overwhelming, and where you truly fear that you might be ruining your own child...

Anyone else ever felt like that?!

So I had this idea that it would be good to grab some sage advice, top tips and life lessons from wise women (and some men) past and present...

So here's a little kick starter...


                                   
   

I'm realising that I'm not the only one who often feels like I can't get this parenting thing right... I'm pretty sure I've never met a mother who said; "Oh? Your struggling with parenting? Come round for a coffee and I'll tell you how to sort it all out..." It seems instead the vast majority of us are brutally aware of our own flaws as mothers.

It's all growing, and learning, and relying on daily grace, right??

It's allowing your child to see you make mistakes, and modelling repentance and forgiveness.

It's being big enough to admit your faults to your child as well.

The other night, Ava was talking about times when she doesn't think she's honouring God...

"Like when I push Heidi..." She said seriously, "and for you, it's when you shout"

My three year old had called me on my temper. Ouch.

And it's in those moments when you really do feel like your screwing it all up. And you're about to start mentally destroying yourself when your three-year-old finishes her sentence...

"But God can forgive anything Mama"

Wow.

Praise God for grace!

We do screw it up sometimes, but you know what? There is forgiveness and grace and strength for every day if we'll only ask for it!

So what do you think, folks? Do you sometimes feel you're screwing up as a mother? How do you handle those feelings of failure? How do you try and savour the incredibly satisfying moments?

Comments below! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Musings on Cleaning Day...

Yesterday was cleaning day.

As my little lady worked her way through puzzles, danced to Disney tunes, and cooked up a storm in her Hytta, I washed and dried two loads of washing, changed bedding, dusted, hoovered and bleached.

Monotonous work. 

But time to think.

And sometimes its helpful to just log what you're thinking, and realise those disjointed thought processes are the stuff of my little world right now...

* Thinking how thankful I am that my big girl has settled so well into nursery
* Thinking how pretty washing looks while drying on a sun-kissed line
* Thinking that the caterpillars killing my broccoli are annoying, but also rather adorable...
* Thinking that the girl's playhouse is our own little piece of Norway in the back garden
* Thinking that getting into crisp, fresh bedding is one of the best feelings in the world
* Thinking that I love September sunshine
* Thinking about lovely friends and hard situations
* Thinking that watching our 18-month-old running round the garden with a tablecloth over her shoulders singing "Let it go!" is just about one of the cutest things I've ever seen.
* Thinking that its a shame the library is closed on Mondays
* Thinking that when I isolate all those little thoughts, I realise how very blessed I am... 

And then I'm left not just thinking, but thankful...

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Monday, 15 September 2014

When Big Sister Comes Home...

We are slowly but surely adjusting to our new ordinary... quiet mornings with just little H and I, and time with our big girl in the afternoon. It has been lovely to do things with Heidi that I just haven't managed to before... but we do miss our Ava.

Heidi perhaps most of all.

When Ava arrives home from Nursery, I nip upstairs to grab some clean clothes for her while she changes out of her uniform, leaving the two girls downstairs on their own. One day I came down to find them snuggled up on the beanbag, as Ava "read" Heidi a story, and on Friday, when Ava asked me if she could watch an episode of "Jonalu" on the iPad, I came down to find them like this...


Just a very ordinary moment I had to capture on camera.

I love watching this little relationship blossom. They may fight like cats and dogs sometimes... they know exactly how to wind each other up... and they aren't always the best at sharing. But moments like these make me so very, very glad that they are such good little friends.

And I hope they always will be.

mummy daddy me








Friday, 12 September 2014

The Back to School Feast...

There is something wonderful about traditions, isn't there? Whether it be Advent activities, Easter countdowns, birthday breakfasts, Sunday afternoon roasts or Friday night pizza (to name but a few!) they are, in many ways, the stuff that a childhood is made up of.

They are what we hang our memories on.

And so starting school, and the yearly "back to school" that will therefore follow is most definitely an event in need of celebration. Another year older... a fresh start... a new beginning. We may have been doing all these things for the very first time this year, but I knew I wanted to start up some yearly traditions that would make that start back to school that little bit special (as if a pencil case full of brand new stationery isn't enough!)

And so the idea of a School Feast was born... a celebration for the School children as they look forward to another year, and lets be honest, a grand finale to a summer hopefully full of wonderful memories...

A feast. Food. A few nice serviettes. Homemade crowns for the school children. It doesn't break the bank, but still makes that last night at home something to remember.


We were joined by my family and a feast was had...

It was noisy... and busy... and delicious.

And our little school girl was thrilled that it was all in honour of her (even announcing to the family that it was her birthday... OK, slight misunderstanding there!)


We devoured all that yummy food and then packed two tired little girls off to bed right on bedtime.

No late night allowed when you're starting school the next morning!

It was a simple, fun tradition that I'm excited to repeat every year.

What back to school traditions do you have?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Savouring the Season: Starting PreSchool

This season, for us, has been a season of new starts. I think September always is, isn't it?

Not least of all for our Ava...

Yesterday our Ava walked into Nursery class for the first time. She found her name and stuck it on the board. We found a new book for her book bag together. And then she was ready; "I'm going to play with the animals Mama... bye bye!"

I walked back out of that classroom feeling a strange mix of joy that my little girl had gone in so happily... and gulping back the tears. The end of an era.

So here's my little lady - delighted at her Schultuete, excited about her uniform, ready to take that next milestone in growing up.


Link up your Savouring the Season posts below... have you celebrated back-to-school/starting-school yet? Do you have that strange mix of emotions? Is that what this season represents for you?

Savouring the Season is all about celebrating the season we find ourselves in...whether it be recipes, crafts, outdoor adventures or reflections on life, link up and share some comment love! And don't forget to grab a badge!


ClarinasContemplations
<a href="http://clarinascontemplations.blogspot.co.uk" target="_blank"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4KY8M1LiJ5g/Ujn_8UoeggI/AAAAAAAAGOc/DpuD69JkrnE/w125-h118-no/mini+badge.png" alt="ClarinasContemplations" width="125" height="125" /></a>






Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Dear Ava... Off to Preschool!

To my beautiful Ava M,


This day seems to have crept up on me. I have known it was coming for so long, and then suddenly it was only a few days away... and now its today. You are so very excited. You could talk all day long about your teachers and your classroom and your little friend Sophie, and you haven't even started yet! After three years of us three girls at home together, you are stepping out into the big wide world all on your own for the first time.

I am so very proud of you, Ava. Of your sensitive heart and your caring nature. Of your inquisitive mind and creative hands... I know you will thrive in Nursery class. You may be the youngest in the class, but I know you'll do just fine. You've had to grow up a little quicker than most the past eighteen months; becoming a big sister when you were still just a baby yourself, and then dealing with the emotional trauma of that dark season when you barely saw your Mama and your baby sister for a month. You have always shown such resilience... and we are so proud of the caring, loving little girl you are becoming.

Of course you have your moments, and they will no doubt raise their head in Nursery too, but you are eager to please, and most importantly, you want to honour God. I find it amazing all that your young mind can comprehend and understand in your own little way... a little faith, a young faith, but I praise God that that is all that is needed.

I am praying that this year will be wonderful preparation for your transition to big school next year, I'm praying that you will learn lots in Nursery... perhaps not so much letters and numbers and forming words, but rather what it means to put others before yourself, to share well, to care for those who are a little bit different to everyone else. You're a sensitive little soul - not in the sense that you cry easily, but in that you seem to notice how others are feeling (something you've inherited from your beloved Papa - not like your oblivious Mama!) and I love that about you. You see someone is sad, and you want to make it right for them... however you can.

So I am not putting mascara on this morning because I think there will be a few tears on my part... not because I want to stop time, or I'm regretting any of this... because I know this is so right for you... but just because I'm so very thankful to have had these three years of every day ordinariness with you, my Ava. And a little part of me is sad to say goodbye to the all-day, everyday intensity of being with you... a little part of me is afraid of allowing other people to become important to you... because I know this road eventually heads to your independence.

And I'm just not ready for that yet.

But I'mm praising God I don't have to be.

This next chapter is a journey too... and I'm so excited to share it with you Ava!

Lots and lots of love,

Mama xx