Little Loves: June 2017

Well, that was June (I think!) – I feel like I’ve blinked and missed it because it’s gone so quickly.  How are we half way through the year already?!  June has been a bit of an emotional month, full of lovely things and important milestones as well as a couple of less-lovely and unexpected things that popped up just to add to the chaos that we embrace on a daily basis.  Such is life.  I’m still riding the waves of it and choosing to focus on all the positive things within our little family.

Here are all the little things I’ve been loving lately throughout June…

Read

I actually managed to read a whole book this month!   In fact, I read it on a train journey to and from London (without falling asleep – this in itself is a bit of a miracle).  Ella, my eldest daughter, borrowed ‘The Honest Truth’ from the library one Saturday and read the entire thing in an afternoon.  When she’d finished she looked at me with that slightly dazed expression you get when you’ve been so lost in another world that it takes you a moment or two to realise where you are, her eyes brimming with tears and resolutely told me “Mummy, you MUST read this book.  It’s the best book I’ve ever read”.  Coming from someone who might just be the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world, that’s a bold statement.  Especially when she’s saying it to possibly the second biggest Harry Potter fan on the planet.  So, I read it.  And it was brilliant.  Thoughtful, moving, insightful and truthful – it’s a story about cancer and friendship and loyalty and climbing mountains.

I’ve also been flicking through the National Trust handbook, having signed up for an annual family membership on our visit to Attingham Park in Shropshire.  There are more properties near(ish) to us than I realised, so we’re going to have lots of fun exploring those over the summer.   I’ve also been making a list of other National Trust places I want to explore that are a little further afield so we can start planning little trips across the UK over the next twelve months.  The girls are loving the ’50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 3/4′ booklets too.  We’ve already ticked off quite a few (though there are still plenty for us to be working towards).

Watched

I should have been writing about having watched the girls’ Sports Day at school, but it was cancelled due to the appalling weather we’ve had over the last few days.  Honestly, after the heat-wave we had a week or two ago it feels more like November now!  Torrential rain and a definite chill in the air – where has summer gone?!  The girls were so disappointed.  Thankfully Sports Day has been rescheduled for the end of next week so as long as the weather cheers up a bit they’ll still get their chance to have some fun.

I did get to watch the littlest one as a narrator in her class assembly at school.  Their topic has been ‘The Seaside’ and they’ve covered everything from the sinking of the Titanic, to finding out which whale has the heaviest brain & which is the most poisonous jellyfish, to pirates.  She did brilliantly, remembering all her lines and speaking clearly and confidently, her eyes seeking the husband and I out in the audience, grinning wildly when she spotted us.  I’m so proud of her.

My little pirate 🙂

We have a bad habit of recording shows we want to watch and not actually getting round to watching them until six months later (because we’re still finishing off a series from six months previously!).  Westworld is one such example – it’s been on our Sky box since before Christmas.  Having finished Big Little Lies (which I loved) a few weeks ago we wanted something completely different and oh boy did we get it – it was that good we finished the entire series within a week.  My brain still hurts from trying to figure out all of the different layers and storylines within it, but I loved the ideas about consciousness and the stories we tell ourselves about how we live our lives – it fits really well with my day job as a therapist.  Apparently there is going to be a second season and I’m looking forward to it already.

Heard

Mid-month my eldest two girls went off on an overnight camping trip with the school.  Ella has been away with school once in the past (plus a couple of sleepovers at her best friend’s house), but Mimi has never been away from us overnight before and neither of them had ever been camping.  They were so excited about the trip bless them and while I was inevitably feeling a little bit wobbly about watching them go off with their rucksacks and sleeping bags, I also knew that it was an important milestone for them both to cross.

They arrived home the next day utterly exhausted from next to no sleep but brimming with stories of what they’d been up to.  I loved hearing all about the adventures they’d had – stories of shelter building, animal tracking, fire-lighting, marshmallow toasting and scavenger hunts spilled out of them as they excitedly recounted their trip to the Wilderness Academy.  I’m so glad they had such a great time (though I did secretly get a little warm glow when they both said that they’d really missed my cooking!).

Ready to head off on their overnight camping trip

Home safe and sound 🙂

She had a great time but was pleased to be home

A little nap before dinner time. Bless her – she was exhausted

Made

Summer seemed to put in a bit of an appearance for a few days, so we took full advantage of it and made banana smoothies.  I remember my Mum making them for me when I was little and I introduced the girls to them last year.  They absolutely love them and they’re so easy to make – just ripe bananas and milk, plus my secret ingredient – a couple of scoops of yummy vanilla ice cream to thicken it up a little.  I’m sure there are probably much healthier versions out there but I figured if it helps me get some fruit into them then that’s got to be a good thing.

For her half term homework Ella had to choose to research and create anything she liked related to World War Two (her new topic at school).  She chose to make a ‘wartime teatime treat cake’ – basically an eggless fruit cake – and she did pretty much all of it herself, weighing out all the ingredients, stirring the mixture and popping it into the oven.  She even tasted a little bit of it, which was nothing short of a miracle for my fruit-avoiding eldest daughter.  She was super-proud of herself, bless her 🙂

Wore

In last month’s post I mentioned that I’d made an appointment to go to the optician’s after years and years of putting it off.  Mimi’s teacher had noticed that she was struggling to see the whiteboard at school as well and she was really nervous about having an eye test.  In the end everything went really well and it turns out she does need glasses.  So we each chose some frames (with Ella and Lola’s assistance – “No Mummy they make you look like a strict headmistress, definitely don’t buy those ones!”) and she was sooooo excited, literally counting down the days until they were going to be ready and she could wear them at school.  I’m pleased with mine too and it’s actually rather brilliant being able to see clearly for the first time in years – I feel like I’m seeing everything in HD!

Twinning is winning 😉

Mimi is absolutely thrilled with her new glasses (chosen from the boys section, of course)

I think I kind of like them!

and finally…

It’s been a busy old month really, when I think back over it properly.  The husband and I celebrated (sort of!) our three year wedding anniversary, I went on my best friend’s hen-do in London and my car got declared a total loss after I was involved in an accident.

I’m so glad that we managed to have a much-needed bit of downtime over one of the weekends in the middle of the month – we loved the little week-long heatwave we had and spent most of our time in the paddling pool in the back garden 🙂

July looks set to be another manic month with all the end-of-term activities the school pack in throughout the weeks leading up to the summer holidays.  I can’t wait for this term to be over – we’re all tired and looking forward to lazy mornings and fun-filled afternoons, sunshine, ice creams and plenty of family time together.  Lots of little things for us to love 🙂

Linking up with Coffee Work Sleep Repeat’s ‘Little Loves’ link:

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12 Comments

  • Reply June 30, 2017

    Morgana

    What a gorgeous Little Loves Chloe!
    Your eldest girl looks so like you, especially now you both have glasses. I love that she was so impacted by the book she read, it’s so magical that feeling isn’t it? I can’t wait for my girls to reach that point in their reading.
    We had NT membership when I was a child living in Cornwall and I absolutely loved exploring the stately homes and endless gardens. We don’t have many properties up near us, but I’m still considering getting family membership, as it will come in handy in the summer hols.
    Have a lovely weekend xx
    Morgana recently posted…The Maccabees, Mad Men and vegan food #LittleLovesMy Profile

    • Reply July 1, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Aw thank you Morgana, coming from you that means a lot! There are only a few NT properties near us but I figured it’ll make us explore a bit further afield o visit some different ones if we got a membership. I didn’t know you lived in Cornwall as a child – whereabouts did you grow up?!

  • Reply June 30, 2017

    Angela Webster

    Gorgeous photo’s of all your girls. My little girl recently got glasses, we had no idea until a routine test at school threw up some problems. You both look very smart in your new glasses. I loved Big Little Lies, I’m not sure about a second season I think it ended perfectly. Have a lovely weekend. #LittleLoves
    Angela Webster recently posted…Word of the Week – MigraineMy Profile

    • Reply July 1, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Aw thank you Angela. I had my suspicions about her maybe needing glasses but it wasn’t until her teacher mentioned about her struggling to see the board that I did anything about it. Very true what you say about Big Little Lies – it did end well – I kind of want to find out what happens next with all the characters though!

  • It sounds like June treated you well overall – lots of lovely photos of your girls!

    So much praise for The Honest Truth; I’ll have to look into that title. Ella’s cake turned out great! Happy July!
    Jade @ Captured By Jade recently posted…Little Loves | The Month of JuneMy Profile

    • Reply July 1, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you Jade! It’s a young adult book (probably ever so slightly too old for her if I’m honest – she’s ten and a half and I think it’s aimed at about 12 years) but I often enjoy books like that, maybe because I still feel like a teenager in my head! It’s definitely worth reading.

  • Reply June 30, 2017

    Claire

    I loved big little lies. I love that your daughter loved a book so much you had to read it too. We are also new national trust members. We’ve used our lots already. #littleloves

    • Reply July 1, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      She’s like me and loves a story that gets you to feel – I knew that if she loved it I would too!

  • Reply July 2, 2017

    Sarah Christie

    I don’t think we have many national trust places near us, but the concept is such a great one. I have loved the great weather its been amazing and so thankful we have had a fab weekend. The smoothies look fab our boys love them too and happily make themselves xx

    • Reply July 11, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      There are quite a few within about an hour of us but so many more that we’d like to explore that are further afield – that’s kind of why I bought the pass, in the hope that it’ll make us visit some new places!

  • Reply July 5, 2017

    Suzanne

    Wow look at your little mini me in glasses – you both look great! So much fun-packed stuff in this month’s Little Loves to comment on, I don’t know where to start! Your girls all look super happy in these photographs and doing things that summer should be all about. I LOVE the fact that your daughter found a book that made her well up and get ‘lost’ in – just how books should be. Nurture that wonderful hunger for reading. And Big Little Lies – I know exactly what you mean about taking ages afterwards to digest it and work out all the intricate layers. Wasn’t the last episode fantastic?!

    • Reply July 11, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Suzanne! She’s in the middle of writing a book review all about it for the blog at the moment because she loved it so much. And yes re: Big Little Lies – the last episode was brilliant and I now can’t wait for the second season – I want to know what happens next with all the characters!

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