i love the promise and blank-slated-ness of a new year. i love making resolutions and starting off fresh. but my 2020 has been off to a pretty rocky start. i’ve decided “my” new year starts on february first!
every day of this new year i have felt pretty crummy, especially today. i had a terrible cough that turned out to be a infection that caused me torturous pain in my chest, and then i caught a head cold that filled my head with mucus one million times, and then last night a stomach bug surfaced, and i haven’t been able to keep anything down, not even water. i’m coughing and writhing and blowing my nose and barfing and it is really, really awful! in the midst of this, ian took a ten day trip to the united states for work – so those days were particularly intense. january 2020 has just not been a very good time for me (the dreary, dark days haven’t helped, either!). i am really hoping that i can clear everything out of my system in the next few days and february will be better!
it is amazing how, sometimes, the brightest beauties of life shine through most spectacularly during the greyest times. i’m grateful for the times this has been true for me the past month.
how awesome is moses’s first cereal box diorama (in the photo above)?! it was so fun for us to work on this together while ian was out of town. he was assigned to create a scene from his favourite book, and he chose a book ian and i gave him for christmas called the big book of beasts. he was so excited about it!!
a couple of days after we got back from portugal, ian and i had a date night at winter wonderland – this huge, totally chintzy fair that pops up in hyde park each christmastime. it is actually so incredible to me that they put up and take down all of this every year! we have been in past years with our kids but decided this year to go in early january (after the crowds had died down) just as a couple. and it was seriously so fun. we rode two big, thrilling rides and ate yummy food and walked around and took it all in. it was a blast!
there are so many different phases of life, especially as a parent – and with small children those phases seem to evolve so quickly! a few weeks ago i wrote about how i felt like i was in a really tough spot in motherhood lately. more recently i’ve been feeling like i’m in a really sweet spot. something about my ten days of single parenting allowed me to truly see my kids more – and somehow i was so much less annoyed by the things they do that make life challenging and so much more endeared to the things they do that make life sweet. i adore and cherish moses and gabriel more than i could ever describe. (one thing that i’m sure had helped soften and sweeten this particular phase of mothering is the amazing gift ian gave to me for christmas – a membership to a gym right by our flat that has childcare included. we’ve been going to the creche, kids’ classes, and fitness classes almost every day and it has been amazing for all of us.)
in a few days we are going on our annual winter beach trip! ooooh goodness am i excited to get out of london and to some sunshine!! (just hoping i’ll be feeling better in time for our long-haul flight and relaxing week away!) this year we are going to oman (and using points to stay for free at two beautiful resorts!). we needed to get visas and one of the requirements in the application was a neutral-faced photo of each member of the family. i love these snaps of our beautiful boys!
in the middle of january, we submitted our preferences/application for primary school for moses (he starts reception – kindergarten equivalent – in september). this process was pretty intense … in this city there’s such a culture of pressure/anxiety around school placements. we won’t find out where he gets in until april, but we are certainly praying he will be able to go to the school that is the best fit for him. as a parent you just want everyone your child spends time with to love him as crazy much as you do, and think he is the special-est as much as you do, haha. full-day school for a four-year-old seems like a lot to me, so it’s all just a bit nerve-wracking! i don’t want school to squash any of this zesty boy’s amazing exuberance!
(here’s a couple photos of him exploring at kew gardens, when we went there on one of the last days of christmas break from school. how about that red tree across the bridge?! also, some pictures from dressing up at the national army museum on one of our many excursions around the city while ian was away – we really tried to stay busy!, and from moses’s first swimming lesson (he is so into it!!) and nap times doing cosmic kids yoga, which we looove!)
the other night, moses abruptly woke up in the wee hours wailing in his bed. i scurried into the boys’ room and immediately upon hearing my voice and feeling my touch, he burrowed back into the covers and fell back into slumber. as i went back to my bed, i felt this big wave of gratitude that i am such an instant and deep safe place for another human. it’s pretty amazing.
soon after we got back from portugal, we took down christmas at our flat. sometimes putting away all the decorations and throwing the tree away makes me feel quite depressed, but this year we made a party out of it. we blasted christmas music and talked about what a great christmastime we had as we packed away the ornaments and stockings. i couldn’t let go of our christmas card corner (i love seeing all those beloved smiling faces on my wall!) or the wreath i made and put on our front door until just a few days ago, though. i appreciated neighbours that also held on to christmas for a little while into january!
one redeeming thing about january in london is … winter blossoms! pretty flowers start popping up on some trees around the city even before christmas! there’s a winter blossoming tree outside our bedroom window and it’s such a breath of fresh air. here’s a couple other pretty trees i noticed under the january grey skies lately!
happy wednesday! life is beautiful (even when it feels like it totally sucks, like my sick sick body is attesting!)!