In what is likely to be the penultimate post for this 365 blog, a reflection of the last year and all that has gone on. It has been a fairly dramatic year with many ups and down, with things really kicking off early on in February with the arrival of the fourth member of the Vokes clan, our beautiful daughter Chloe, and ended on somewhat of a lower note with a member of the family being rushed into hospital. With many visits to the hospital going on, it has been tricky to plan things and get out as much as we’d like, but we did what we could and made it through christmas. It was a very different Christmas and Boxing day than we were used to, but it didn’t seem to affect the kids too much, and as much as I love this time of year, it really is for the kids after all. So moving on, here are some of the last few photos of this 365 project, with the final ones coming soon.
343: The school autumn term is drawing to a close, but wouldn’t be complete without the annual carol service, although this year broke with tradition and turned the service into something a little different. We were still at the same church, where we have been going every year for as long as I can remember, and it really is lovely inside!
344: Good times! he christmas holidays are almost upon us! Bad times! The thought of someone close becoming very sick still plays heavily on my mind. So I decided to raise a glass to them both!
345: Not usually a nursery day for Olivia, but Clare took her in today anyway as they were having their christmas party for all the children, where they got to play games, dance and meet santa. It all seemed a little much soon after we’d got home, and it turns out that those mid afternoon naps haven’t completely gone!
346: The mothers birthday, and whilst I would be heading out that evening for a meal with her and my sisters, I wanted the girls to see her during the day too! Olivia loves visiting her grandparents, especially when they give her ice lollies!
347: Little Gracie turns two and we’re off to her birthday party at a soft play centre. A frozen themed afternoon of fun, party food and dancing.
348: Chloe is getting so close to standing on her own, she keeps giving it a go, and will happily stand for a few seconds each time… but this girl likes to be on the move, and without being able to walk yet, the act of standing leaves her a little stranded, so she soon gives up quickly and drops to the floor to crawl again… on all fours she can move!
349: The one thing about christmas is that there is always junk to eat in the house, and I get used to satisfying the cravings on demand once they start, but when the snacks have all gone, you have to go back to the one thing that never fails… Cheese on toast with a drop of brown sauce and/or worcester sauce. Nom!
350: The holiday hasn’t been two weeks of me putting my feet up just because I am off work, with the wife visiting in hospital daily, trying to get anything done between all the naps and dinner for both of the little ones has been tricky to say the least. Thankfully I did find an hour to help a friend out with a few headshots for their business page and website. The feedback was fairly positive, and they were very generous in thanking me with a nice bottle of bourbon!
351: Last day of nursery before Christmas, and while I am off work it is usually me that takes Olivia to nursery in the morning. She loves to walk there, as it is only a few minutes from home, and so even in the cold weather we wrap up and enjoy the crisp, winter air. Of course, these days we seem to be doing everything on the scooter, which we happened to buy last christmas, but has only recently apparently become one of her favourite things! We don’t actually need to send Olivia to nursery during the holidays, especially while we are both at home at the moment, but she loves seeing her friends there, and doing the activities she may not get to do at home, as well as giving us a chance to wrap presents, tidy the house etc. So its a win/win for everyone!
352: Christmas eve eve, and you can tell someone hasn’t been out enough recently. Early evening is often about slowing down, putting a film on the tv and chilling out a bit. Not today apparently, we’re doing stuntman dives from her step onto the sofa! I had to do a bit of prep to get this mid jump shot, not too difficult as she was repeatedly jumping, but totally worth it!
353: Finally, we reach the end of the advent calendar, Christmas eve is here and the big guy in red is due tonight. He got his letter and Olivia got her reply, she’s definitely on the “nice” list, so now its a case of final preparations before bed. Carrot for reindeer – Check! Mince pie and red wine for Santa – Check! Right, lets do Christmas!!
354: There was lots happening on Christmas day, and I didn’t get chance to take many photos with unwrapping presents and cooking dinner, but I did capture this shot of a lovely gift from one of my sisters, which will now definitely make its annual showing every christmas as it looks lovely and reflects my thoughts on Christmas, which is all about family and being together. The gifts are a nice bonus, but its about who is around the tree, not what is under it!
355: The afternoon naps may have been dropped a while back, but this little lady still gets tired easily, especially during the winter it seems. About to visit relatives and we need to wake this one up first!
356: While the wife is out at the hospital visiting again, Olivia has chosen to play with the fake snow while Chloe sleeps (can’t do it while she’s awake!!) and enjoys getting lost in it for a while. It comes as no surprise that this stuff is all over the floor by the time we finished!