With the summer holidays now well and truly into the second half and just over two weeks left, we begin to realise that there is still plenty left on our to-do list that we haven’t yet ticked off. With the poor weather that we’ve seen for so much of August, a lot of the things we wanted to do have been repeatedly delayed, leaving us with less and less time to do them.
Whilst its nice to plan days out and energy burning activities for the girls, its just as important to find time for both sets of grandparents, as it means a great deal for them all to see the girls. With the in-laws living just a few roads away, they do get several opportunities during the week to see the girls, its easy for us just to pop in, even just for half an hour, but with my parents living on the other side of town, and no longer having a car, its no so easy for them to get to us, and not so easy for us just to drop in for a cup of tea with the driving alone taking an hour for a round trip, before we even consider the time we’re actually there. All the same, its important to make sure we find the time to get over, as they really enjoy seeing the girls, and the girls love all the attention and being spoilt of course, its a grandparent thing!
If there is one thing that the girls love more than seeing the grandparents, its when we go over and they get to go out in the garden as well. The girls just love being outdoors! Sadly, today was not going to be as straight forward, the crazy weather meant that we saw clear blue skies, dark clouds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning, hail, and clear blue skies again… followed by more rain! Finally the rain seemed to pass, for now anyway, and the girls had a window of opportunity to get out in the garden for a while. Poor grandad gets run ragged when the girls turn up, I’m sure he sleeps well at night after we’ve gone.
After a family orientated Saturday, it seemed like the only way to spend Sunday was to complete the family based weekend with a visit to my mother, who hadn’t been able to make it over to yesterdays BBQ. Its easier for us to go to them, and I like to make sure I get over at least every other weekend so that they can see the girls, as they no longer have use of a car, and it really brightens their day to spend some time with the girls.
Originally we had to fit the visit in between Chloe’s nap and dinner, a tight squeeze, but we could do it. However, I never like to rush a visit, and so we ended up taking the dinner over with us, meaning that we didn’t have to rush home any more, and my mom didn’t have to cook. Everyone wins! One thing we DID have to try and get home for was the Canadian Grand Prix though. Eating at my mom’s had at least bought us a bit of time, but Formula 1 is about the only tv I watch, and being the geek I am, I try to watch it live where I can, so I can enjoy all the lap times on my iPad! Its sad, I know, but it keeps me happy!
The girls had clearly not learnt from an exhausting Saturday running around my uncles garden and continued to do the same this afternoon, meaning another quiet car ride home, and presumably two exhausted grandparents!
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
The day started dark, cold, windy and not very inviting… which fairly reflected my mood when I got up, as the first thing on my agenda was the funeral of my friend and work colleague Frank, the gentle giant. Tea and toast from the wife helped start my day as I put my suit on and got ready to head out of the door. It may have been monday morning, but the traffic was especially kind and I was at work in no time to meet others and drive one of the minibuses that we were taking to the crematorium. The service was lovely, and very emotional, and I was quite overwhelmed and totally not prepared for the sheer volume of people that had turned up, it was completely full and there were more people standing than sat down!
After the service we stopped to chat with family and old friends over sandwiches and hot drinks, before I took the bus back to work, dropped the staff off and headed home in the car. The next part of the day was going to Merry Hill with the the wife and daughter. I wasn’t prepared for the traffic that was also there trying to find the same parking spaces that we were! After much crawling through slow traffic we got lucky and found a space pretty quickly, although the ridiculously busy shops didn’t inspire me to hang around any longer than absolutely necessary!
On the way home we stopped in at the in-laws for a cup of tea and I felt especially glad to see Olivia spending time with her grandparents (hence todays photo) after this morning and losing a man who was so loved by so many and clearly a fantastic family man and grandfather. Maybe i’m just a bit tired today, maybe i’m just more acutely aware of time, maybe its the funerals i’ve been to this year, maybe its the fact that this entire year has gone in a flash, especially so since Olivia arrived… even keeping a record of events in the form of this 365/blog haven’t helped slow the days down at all, maybe its just feeling a bit reflective at the end of the year. Who knows, but I’m hoping that 2014 is a time we can slow down a bit and spend much more time with family and friends. If we take away the funerals, then 2013 has actually been a fantastic year, a complete roller coaster of amazing events for the wife and me. The house, announcing the pregnancy, our first wedding anniversary, our babymoon to Paris, the arrival of Olivia, friends having babies or announcing pregnancies, the fantastic summer and so much more. Next year will not have many of these events, but I will be totally preoccupied by the development and growth of our daughter as she explores and learns to do so many new things. It is going to be an amazing year, and I can’t wait, one more day to go!.