in may 2021, we were keenly aware that our days in london were numbered. so we started doing all the things we wanted to make sure to do before we moved, and we really cherished all the things we loved about our london life. here’s a lot of photos from our second to last month.
may means wisteria! i loved going back to my favourite wisteria spots, and finding some new ones!
we started having the boys practice wearing masks. masks were never required or even encouraged for children under eleven in the uk, but we knew mo and gabes would have to wear them on our long-haul flight back to the usa so we had them wear them on random outings to start getting used to it.
from an afternoon at our dear friends’ garden square – one of my favourite spots in london and some of my favourite people in london:
playing at favourite playgrounds, loving the sunshine and warmth that was finally pretty regular after the looooongest winter we’ve experienced in london:
this started happening (eve rolling over august, ha!) … and i couldn’t resist snapping a photo of these sweet, sweet slumbering babes one nap time:
flowers and fun in our garden square:
and beautiful buildings and blooms around our neighbourhood:
visiting the wisteria at chiswick house and gardens:
this month ian took each of the boys on a full-day daddy date, anywhere they wanted to go. gabriel chose whipsnade zoo.
and while he was gone with daddy, i took moses on a mommy date (with the twins 🙂 ) to the lego store in leicester square. mo had gotten his first little lego set in his easter basket and we weren’t sure if he’d be into it … he definitely was. so he saved up his money and got to pick out a proper set at the lego store!! he was soooo into it and it was such a fun outing!
big ben made entirely of legos!:
and other really cool london stuff:
he settled on a 3 in 1 dino lego set and that thing has been super beloved ever since this day!:
we also went across the street to the m&m store because moses thought it was super cool. then we walked through picadilly circus and through mayfair to get on the tube.
and we happened to see this billboard on the big screens in picadilly circus! how cool is that?!
i spent a lot of time in april and may agonizing about what to have everyone wear for the family pictures we had taken in the middle of may. it was silly but it was all wrapped up in my sadness about leaving london and my anxiety about capturing our family in our city before we moved. // moses had suuuuch a great time with his new lego set – his deep love for legos really flourished in may 2021:
snapshots of wisteria and other blooms around kensington:
and snapshots of family life around the flat:
(translation: “it is great to listen to my mom and dad.” yes, that’s right moses!!)
grandfather’s half-birthday letters (he sends one to all thirty four grandchildren!) for august and eve:
the laundry pile. completely constant in may // moses loves creating and when he couldn’t find a piece of paper he went ahead and drew/wrote something about a beach and a “gabriel moster” on a paper towel 🙂 :
more lego building // more laundry pile 🙂
and a card to a kid brother (and his parents, i guess):
playing a chasing game on the play structure in the garden:
and throwing petal dust like confetti:
and pushing baby siblings in the swing!:
ian really wanted to re-visit chatsworth house and go to salisbury cathedral before we moved. so he took the boys up north for a day!
moses fell in the cascade on the chatsworth house grounds and got all wet…
but luckily an extra pair of clothes was packed 🙂
these photos give a sense of how massive salisbury cathedral is! i’m excited to visit there myself one day 🙂
a boy excited to see his baby siblings after school (and clearly the feeling is mutual!):
for moses’s big daddy date, he chose legoland! dad and mo had such a blast that they didn’t have a second to take any photos! so when we were driving past legoland a different day the popped out of the car to snap a picture to remember their super fun time.
one evening ian and i went down to the city of london…
to have dinner at the restaurant at the top of the gherkin! i had no idea there was a restaurant up there, and when i realised that i immediately made a reservation! the gherkin is by far my favourite skyscraper in london and i was giddy to be at the top!
we had a pretty stellar view:
and the food was really yummy, too … especially the desert which turned out to be honestly one of my favourite things i’ve ever eaten. since my birthday was coming up in a couple weeks we decided to celebrate that a little 🙂
back at home, the babies interacting with each other more and more with each passing week:
a new playground discovery, and more mask practicing:
an afternoon outing to kew gardens (yes we love, love, love it there):
and a date night to see the staged concert of les miserables (west end theaters were open again, but les mis wasn’t doing the full production again yet – the concert was incredible though – i was sobbing at the end):
museums reopened in may!! it was super exciting to go back to our beloved natural history museum.
and back to the wonderlab at the science museum (i didn’t get any photos inside the wonderlab, but it was especially thrilling to go back there because after a long wait gabriel was finally tall enough to ride the slides!).
i thought these photos at this cool mirror at the entrance of the wonderlab were a good capture of my life right now – completely surrounded in so many small children! ^^
more swinging in the garden:
and enjoying the blooming trees there … also i randomly snapped this photo on the right because i get a kick out of the “american sweets” stores around london – packed full of sugary junk, haha:
babes in bonnets at the playground:
visiting the wisteria at bishop’s park one afternoon:
when gabriel and i opened this library book one day we were blown away and delighted by the first sentence!:
even more neighbourhood wisteria … how could i possibly walk past these scenes and not take a photo?!:
taking a photo of the babies in some darling jumpers gifted to them by a blog reader from the faroe islands!:
a haircut day (and some more wisteria, for good measure 🙂 ) :
i took gabriel on a little mommy date during the babies’ nap to victoria embankment gardens (where we used to spend quite a bit of time when we lived in covent garden!). the tulips were sensational.
a tube ride home, and some more wisteria, of course!
eve jolly jumping, and all kinds of lego creations cropping up each day:
one sunday we took a very rainy outing to a national trust site called polesden lacey.
these two pictures are sooo england to me:
the interior of all the national trust sites continued to be covid closed, but the grounds are usually the best part anyway.
when it started pouring we sought shelter on a covered bridge, and the light was so beautiful i had to snap a few portraits of our beautiful children. oh my goodness i love these faces so much!
we spent a saturday in windsor and eton. we walked the “long walk” towards windsor palace, admiring the gorgeous horse chestnut trees that line the path:
then walked around the town of windsor a little…
…and crossed the river into eton. we happened upon this awesome field of flowers:
and loved seeing all the union jacks lining the streets of the town of eton.
we happened upon organ practice at a beautiful church – that was magnificent.
and i made ian stop the car on the way back to london so i could take a photo of this awesome wisteria house 🙂
a photo i snapped on a bike ride home from somewhere – the sunset over the serpentine in hyde park was wonderous:
babies chilling in their bouncy chairs at home:
this photo reminded me of…
…this photo — so wild to me that they were once that tiny!
a date night along the thames … we were trying to get into a really popular restaurant that i’d been dying to try but didn’t make it on the waitlist in time, so we ate nando’s by the river.
and stopped by borough market.
before heading home across the bridge.
one day i went with two good friends back to nymans, a national trust site we had been to as a family that had an insane wisteria tunnel i wanted to see in bloom. with such a long, lingering winter, it still hadn’t blossomed! but amelia, jess and i still found tons of beauty, especially in a patch of the grounds that we across the road that i didn’t realise before were part of the site!
there were even lingering magnolias, and bluebells galore!
in may i got to go to two baby showers, which meant i got to celebrate two wonderful women and their babies coming and spend time with basically every one of my beloved london friends. this made me so happy, especially after all those months of not being able to gather.
a few other great things happened in may and those get their own posts, coming up 🙂
Thank you for sharing all these beautiful images, and the stories that go along with them. I hope it’s been a balm to your soul to be re-living what in the moment were undoubtedly very hectic days of young family life, but in retrospect, were absolutely golden days of young family life in one of the world’s greatest cities. It’s a delight as a reader to view London, and England, through your lens and your voice. What strikes me the most is your unfailingness (despite the unrelenting demands of young motherhood!!) to notice, and document the beauty all around you. Every flower, every expression of your children’s gorgeous faces, every curve of a lovely street, every detail. One expression I love is: “Lead Without A Title.” You may not realize this, Charity, but this is exactly what you are doing. You are reminding us to always look for the good in the hard; to see the beauty in both the grand adventures and in the minutia of daily life. Thank you for this.
wow, what a kind comment – thank you so so much!