Joining in with the Me and Mine family portrait project means the last week or so of every month is a kind of challenge to get a family photo which is passable and where all three of us are looking at the camera – or at least two out of three anyway.
This month, it was a little easier as we took so many photos over Christmas and it’s been quite nice going through them just now and working to which ones to use. Some of my favourite ones were taken on an iPhone so the light isn’t always the best, but I’ve included them anyway.
The kids and I woke up on Christmas morning at my parents’ house in Yorkshire, and it was lovely to spend a few hours opening pressies and playing with them before getting ready to go out. It was the first year that Sam and Florence had hung their stockings by their beds rather than downstairs, so there was the added stress of creeping into their rooms before I went to sleep to fill them up – how tense is that?
I breathed a sigh of relief when I was woken up at 6.45 on Christmas Day rather than the expected 5am. It later transpired though that Sam had woken up in the night, told my mum that Santa had been and opened one of his stocking gifts – before managing to go back to sleep! Full marks for that.
We spent Christmas Day at my sister’s house and there were 10 of us round the table for lunch – five of whom are under seven. That meant it was a pretty lively affair but kept us all smiling and for me, kept my mind off feeling low for a while and focusing too much on who was missing, the wonderful Rog who would so loved to have been there. He wasn’t the biggest fan of Christmas but he always loved seeing the kids open their presents – he would have loved to have seen Sam and Flo’s faces light up as they saw their presents under the tree.
Although I was dreading Christmas as the first one on my own (well as a widow, a widowed parent, or a single mum, whatever I should be called), I have to say it was definitely less upsetting than I had imagined. Like most things we fear, it is the thought of it which is worse than the actual event, and I found I even enjoyed myself on the day, enjoying being around my family, being looked after and having fun with the children. Sam and Florence love being with their cousins and they get on so well (most of the time!). It reminds me of Christmases spent with my own cousins and how special they were, how much my sister and I looked forward to playing with Sally and Rob. It was nice to see my own children have a bit of that fun too.
So with the build-up to Christmas over, I do have a sense that yes, I survived, and that’s another hurdle jumped. As for New Year, well I can’t tell you the last time I went out so in that sense there isn’t really anything to miss. It’s such an emotional time still, so I imagine I will find myself nursing a glass of wine and feeling slightly maudlin before heading for an early night. Rock and roll it is not.
Here are some of our photos from over Christmas, and a few from a day out at Erdigg in North Wales the weekend before. These were taken by the lovely Rachel from The Ordinary Lovely who invited us to go with her and her family. We had such a nice day, despite the heavy rain, and it’s somewhere I’d love to revisit in the spring.
I hope you have a happy new year – I will be writing more about my thoughts for the coming months in my next post.
This post is linked up with the Me and Mine project – hosted by Dear Beautiful, Bump to Baby, Capture By Lucy, Let’s Talk Mommy, Mummy Daddy Me and Tigerlilly Quinn – where you take a photograph a month of your family all together.