Thursday, 27 February 2014

Four for Four

She is four, this small girl who so nearly wasn't, yet by some amazing grace was given back to us. This girl who has bought so much love and laughter into our lives has now been in our family for forty eight months.

Grabbing a rare glimpse of sunshine on her special day whilst  watching her play with the flowers she insisted she needed for her birthday table, I managed to capture some of the emotions she was feeling.

These are my four favourite faces of her day:

and one to shatter any illusions of perfection about our lives.

Always knowing how blessed we  really are, even during diva  moments!

What is making you feel thankful today?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Eleven Month Mabel

Time has just flown by and all my intentions of keeping a monthly baby record of my last baby seem to have been absorbed in the busy reality of life.  Hundreds of images safely stored on my  hard drive until such a day when I will finally  have  time to sort through precious reminders  of her first  year.

This blog has also fallen to the back seat of busy life: I was considering closing it when I looked back at my early posts and realised my series of 'Ruby months' began at the age her small sister is now. It seemed like a great opportunity to compare them as they grow.

Capturing eleven month Mabel was not easy, she is at that put everything into your mouth stage, in the end I decided to remember that.  Her sweet little chubby hands will grow so fast.

Still using this old pram, a perfectly safe place for her to safely survey the family mayhem.

A month of new adventures for this little lady; leaving Mummy as she returned to work, the cries as I leave her are finally subsiding which makes for a much happier me. Adventures on the back of a bicycle and swimming for the first time have all contributed to a busy month.

This sweet and happy soul seems to take it all in her stride.

She reminds me so much of her older sister at the same age in this picture.

How do you store precious images? 
Do yours get lost on a hard drive too?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Day at the Palace

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will remember the exciting news we received last January;  my Grandma was nominated for a new years award for services to old and vulnerable people. Sadly she did not live to collect the award in person but her memory lived on last week as various members of the family made the trip to see the Queen and receive the honour posthumously.

As it turned out it was Prince Charles and not the Queen  who was the royal at the investiture ceremony,  although this  did not detract from the beauty of the occasion. The nominated family members received an official purple invite to Buckingham Palace along with a huge list of important procedures to follow. Day dress and a fascinator were the order of the day, which left us feeling very over dressed as we battled  the busy commuter  train.

A ride in an iconic  London taxi felt rather special as we entered the palace,  where after showing official identification we were admitted behind the iron gates. 

Missed the changing of the guards, but were amazed to see them inside the palace standing so still we thought they were statues.

Depositing bags, coats and cameras in the cloakroom we freshened up in the toilets. Not as grand as I would have expected but it was very reassuring to be surrounded by other beautiful ladies with gorgeous outfits and hair arrangements.

Walking into the beautiful ballroom, surrounded with magnificent  paintings and  listening to exquisite music  whilst sitting on a velvet bench felt incredibly grand: The perfect background for such a  special occasion.

The ceremony lasted for around an hour and a half, the musicians played from the balcony throughout as the enthralled audience watched their loved ones being called and then receiving their award. We saw someone being knighted and read of the many amazing reasons everyday people had been chosen to receive either an MBE, OBE or other prestigious awards. It was really moving to hear of the awards given in the face of death or see a sweet elderly couple enter hand in hand to  receive an award for services to fostering.

It was incredibly special to hear my Grandma's name and know all her hard work had been recognised.

It was also lots of fun to hold the award in the courtyard as we battled the freezing wind and posed for photographs.  

My beautiful mum and daughter.

The beefeaters were very obliging, even to middle girl who unbeknownst to me had  taken her plastic pig and cow to the palace, don't think they were on the official list!

Hearing the national anthem, joining in the ancient ceremonies of the investiture and  being caught up in the amazing emotion of the day,  left me feeling very proud to be British and part of something so glorious and long lasting.

Have you ever had a "proud to be British" moment?