february in london

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by the time we got home from oman, it was nearly valentine’s day! i think being a parent is especially fun when it comes to celebrating holidays. moses was soooo psyched about valentine’s this year, and the boys and i got to do lots of fun things together to commemorate love day. i’m especially glad for this because my true love valentine was really sick around valentine’s day 😦 😦 (i think ian caught what i had in january…) so what was lacking in romance was made up for with some pretty intense three-year-old enthusiasm and a little brother very happy to be along for the ride.
we did a lot of playdough hearts, and moses had a blast making valentines for all his joy school friends, who we had a party planned with!
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playing in the garden on love day, while daddy was home from work sick in bed 😦
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every valentine’s day that ian and i have been together i have made him heart-shaped cinnamon rolls – from scratch – for breakfast. it is so hard for me to break from tradition…but this year i just didn’t have the time or energy to make the cinnamon rolls. a good consolation prize was some “cinnamon social” slices (maybe the best pastry you’ll ever have, from a swedish bakery in our neighbourhood) for breakfast, with chocolate hearts on top 🙂 the boys were absolutely thrilled.
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first thing in the morning, moses spotted a red balloon hanging from the fence outside our big bay window. he was excited … and then he looked down the street and realised there were a lot of red balloons tied all along the fence down the street! on the way to school, we were delighted to find that the festive surprise extended throughout the neighbourhood – red balloons with hearts lining almost every street. they were put up the night before or early in the morning by a local letting agency – so fun!
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some pretty scenes on the way to swimming lessons that afternoon:
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and opening the sewn paper hearts (filled with goodies!) that grandma sent that evening!:
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ian and i had a nice little valentine’s at-home date that night – ordered in dinner and looked through the pictures in this post. i’m sure grateful for our love and how it grows and stretches and deepens each year.
our joy school valentine’s day party got postponed to the monday after valentine’s, because a few of our little friends were sick. moses and i had so much fun making heart-shaped snacks to share with our pals. (you can’t see them very well in these photos but those heart-shaped cheese, cucumbers and strawberries were a hit!)
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we had such a great time doing a little craft, exchanging valentines, and playing with our dear joy school friends!
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one week at the end of february was half-term break, so moses didn’t have school. we filled our days with lots of fun activities, including a tube trip to a trampoline park (i love that mo is a blur in this photo because it captures the experience well – he was a blur the entire hour long session!).
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and another tube trip to kew gardens, our favourite place. we spent a whole day there, and it was so great. we love our urban lifestyle, but sometimes the soul just yeeeearns for open space, nature, and fresh air. this time at kew we met up with a bunch of friends and played at the playground and indoor play area for a while, and then went to the orchid show (incredibly beautiful and incredibly crowded!) and then we just roamed in the outdoors: climbing on logs, collecting acorns, stomping in mud, etc. it was wonderful.
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that saturday, we had a temple day planned. i totally forgot that my temple recommend had expired, so i couldn’t go in the temple! since we’d already rented the car and had full saturdays for the next couple of months, we decided to go anyway and i’d hang out with the boys at godstone farm (one of our favourite places ever!) while ian went in the temple. moses, gabriel and i had a blast with all the animals, and especially in the awesome play place.
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gabriel was much too terrified to actually touch a bunny, haha. but he was very, very interested in looking at them. he’s obsessed with the song “sleeping bunnies,” and i tried to snap a quick photo to remember the sign he uses for both “sleeping” and “bunny”!
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ian picked us up and took us back to the temple so the boys and i could bask in the peace of that place a little before we had to head back to london.
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one of my favourite things about our daily life is watching the boys say goodbye and welcome home to ian through our front window. it’s just the sweetest – sending waves, hugs, kisses and “i love you”s.
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swimming lessons are right around the corner from chelsea town hall and we see brides & grooms on the steps taking photos every time we pass en route to the pool! i love it. there’s always confetti on the stairs! // our beloved “green truck” at the grocery store was recently replaced by a sleek new. ice blue convertible! exciting stuff for these little boys.
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we spent leap day in a random british town about an hour outside of london. we met up with some of our good friends and went to an indoor waterpark (complete with legit crazy waterslides!) and then to a discovery centre (a cool science museum/children’s museum/play area). it was such a great family fun day, and we are so grateful for good friends.

and that’s a wrap on february! london is now really busting into bloom a few days into march, but it’s still so chilly and grey-sky-ed and spitting rain. here’s to spring coming sooner rather than later!


    • The standard Temple Recommend authorizes a member who has been baptized at least one year prior to take part in all temple ordinances and is valid for two years.

      To obtain a temple recommend, Latter-day Saints have two such interviews — first with a bishop, bishopric counselor or branch president, then with a stake or mission president or one of his counselors.


        • while *everyone* is so, so welcome to come and participate in all events, meetings and gatherings at our churches, the temple is different. it’s a place where prior knowledge and choices are necessary, and there are requirements to enter the temple, just like there are requirements to participate in many places/things in the world. anyone can go to harvard, but they must meet certain requirements to do so. i hope this clarifies things a bit.


          • Charity,

            I do understand what you’re trying to explain but I urge you to think about your response more carefully. Since Harvard is an elite school your analogy seems to suggest that the LDS temple goers/or the LDS religion are elite as well. Following your logic are other denominations the equivalent of of community college or something? I know that’s probably not your intention but that is what the use of “Harvard” suggests. There’s a reason you didn’t use SUNY (state university in NY, just as a random example) which also has entry requirements as well.

            Well…. Come to think of it one of the big activities in the Temple is converting dead people from other religions to the LDS Church (including Jews who perished in the holocaust, so problematic) so maybe that’s exactly what you mean?


            • Glad to read that the LDS church tries to prevent Holocaust conversions but my comment still stands on converting dead people from other religions.


              • jenny, of course that’s not what i’m trying to convey. as stated in my comment, i was trying to convey that many places/things in the world have requirements for entry/participation. i’m sorry i chose an example that made you think of a totally different type of comparison/analogy. i chose harvard because it was top of mind, not suny. but any university, job, event for a particular demographic, club that has specific parameters, etc etc etc would also work.

                converting dead people is not one of the big activities in the temple. performing ordinances (baptism, etc) on behalf of those who have died is – it is entirely up to that individual to decide if they accept that ordinance and if they are in fact converted. i am also glad that ordinances for holocaust victims are prevented, but i hope it’s clear that nothing is forced on anyone (that would be hugely in conflict with our doctrine).


                • How can you perform a “ordinance “like baptism on “behalf” of someone who died? I mean if they’re dead how do you know what they want to be baptised?


                  • Late to the party, but:
                    They don’t know our the dead wants it while doing so. The dead person can choose whether to accept it (while being dead).

                    I’ve looked up the questions for a temple recommendation and no 12 really stuck out (very positively).


      • whoops, sorry about that 🙂 it’s a bit random for us to spend time there, but i gotta say with that waterpark and discovery centre across the street from each other, it is quite the family destination!! thanks for the comment 🙂


  1. Charity, You went to the look out didn’t you? five minutes from my house! I go there a lot to walk with my family and used to take my daughter when she was little. Did you they filmed a lot of the scenes from the Harry Potter films?Marisa x


  2. Hi Charity,
    I just wanted to say that I hope you & your family aren’t suffering from the Coronavirus, or it’s effects. x

    Take care.


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