Oh Quinny Quinn, how is it possible? Our crazy, lovely, noisy little nutter is three years old.
It’s been a massive year for you; you've moved into a big girl bed, and into a bis girl shared room with your sister. You've potty trained like a total champ. You started preschool. And you became a big sister. And you've taken it all in your stride, with your signature cheeky smiles and playful nature.
You are a total firecracker gorgeous girly. You keep us guessing, you keep us on your toes. You have more drama in your little finger than most people have in their whole bodies. You have a million different facial expressions, a wicked sense of humour and we couldn’t possibly love you more. You're a sunshine in our lives; keeping us all smiling and laughing.
You've had a quiet, but perfect for your birthday... The croissants for breaskfast, a Trolls scooter, copious amounts of Duplo, sunshine so you could play in the garden, a rainbow birthday cake, and the weather even meant we could fulfil your request for a BBQ for dinner. I can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate our favourite three year old.
Happy 3rd Birthday Ashlyn Quinn. I love you with all my heart.
Happy 6th Birthday Everly Grace... the little girl who has taught me so much about life, about motherhood and about myself in your six short years. I thank the heavens every day that I got to be your mama. Loving you is just the most beautiful thing.
You're feisty and stubborn. You're caring and compassionate. You're chaos and noise. And you're cheekiness and sunshine... all in one package. You genuinely have the kind of empathy that the whole world could learn a lesson or two from, but you can also be SO very sassy. Sometimes you feel so much older than your six years, while at other times you are so adorably innocent and vulnerable and new, that it seems hard to believe that you've been here six minutes, let alone six years.
But you have enjoyed six journeys around the sun now. And I’m pretty sure that nobody has ever looked forward to their birthday with more anticipation and excitement than you have this year. And you have deserved every single celebratory second as the centre of attention.
You're a total gem Everly and I don’t know what I’d be without you.
Happy sixth birthday. I love you so much my little sunshine.
Eight years ago today, you came along Dylan and you made me a mama. You stole my heart. You rocked my world. You made a dream come true. And... all the other cliches, that are super cheesy but that everyone says with good reason.
I’ve learnt so much in the 2922 days since then; lessons about nappies and breastfeeding, lessons about routines and weaning, many many MANY lessons about geography and maths and science that I’d didn’t think I’d ever be learning. You amaze me daily with the things you know and remember and understand; your brain really is amazing.
Our little Dylan, you've always had a big heart, a sensible head been a bit of an old soul. So clever that you blow me away regularly. You're a loyal friend, an incredible brother, and such an affectionate little character. And I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for you.
So happy birthday, to my best brown eyed boy, my favourite eight year old. You rock my world little man... don't ever change.
My little Wylder Heath. Our wild card. Our fourth and final. How can it be that we’re celebrating your first full journey around the sun already?
In truth, I don’t think I could ever find the words to do justice to what a total gift you are in our lives. It impossible to explain how incredibly happy and full of love this past year has been. I dreamed when I was young, of having four babies one day; two girls and two boys, and you have been that dream come true and more. You’ve filled a space in my heart that I never knew was empty. You’ve completed our family. You’ve slotted into our gang like you were always meant to be here, and it feels impossible to imagine life before you were here.
But just because a time before you seems like a distant memory, doesn’t mean that this past year hasn’t flown. It has. So so fast. Your hasty arrival into Daddy arms on the bedroom floor seems like a month or two ago, not twelve. And it’s always so bittersweet... to be excited for what’s to come, proud of what you’ve achieved, but also sad that those baby days are behind us.
As the fourth one I often feel like people might think it’s less special somehow, because we’ve done all these milestones before. But it actually makes it more special. Because I’m so acutely aware of how precious each moment and milestone is. And for every first of yours, it is a last for me... so I hope you’ll forgive me if I squeeze you a little tighter, hold you a little longer, and breathe in every last second. There’s just no escaping it kiddo, I’ll be clinging onto you as my baby as long as I possibly can.
This past years has been such a beautiful privilege. You’ve fitted into our crazy life, like the perfect piece of the puzzle. You love your siblings, you adore being outdoors in the fresh air, you light up and grin wide for your daddy, you have the cheekiest smile, the twinkliest blue eyes, and the most adorable giggle. You’re just an amazing little human being that we are all loving watch grow and learn. But your favourite place, favourite thing, comfort blanket, safe haven; is me, and it’s a badge I wear with honour.
Happy first birthday Wylder!
Thank you for being mine. Thank you for letting me be yours. I love you wildly with my whole heart.
Well January is finally done... it always feels like the longest month ever, huh? And it feels like forever ago that I shared festive photos of us for our December Me + Mine Project. But here we are, excited to start another year of this project. And this will be our SEVENTH year of taking monthly family photos. Which feels kind of crazy to me. Because I still love taking them just as much, I still get excited to share them just as much, and I still love seeing other people's family photos as much as I did when I first started doing this all those years ago.
It's not always easy, but it is always, always, ALWAYS worth the effort, because we have amassed such a collection of family photos in that time... Photos that shout just how proud we are of our family, and of getting to call each other our own. I'm - quite frankly - a little obsessed now with the importance of grabbing my whole family and getting us all in the frame together.
This possibly won't come as a surprise to anyone who also joins in with The Siblings Project, but this year I am making some changes to how this project works. Changes that I think feel natural and right. So this year, while I will still continue to share our photos here on the blog each month, there will be no linky, and I would instead love people to come and join me over on Instagram to share their family photos. Instagram feels like the natural home for a photo based project, and I know that lots of people already join in on there anyway, simply by using #meandmineproject on their photos, but I'm hoping that we can build a fun and supportive community of people over there who all share a passion for photographing their families. Being on instagram also gives me the opportunity to give back a bit of love to those who join in, by sharing photos I have loved from the hashtag #meandmineproject on the last day of the month.
So I hope you'll join me over on instagram (and give me a follow if you aren't already!). And I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful family moments.
This year with The Siblings Project I'm going to do things a little differently. I still intend to take and share my monthly photos of my foursome... I feel like at this point, its a habit I couldn't break. I love photos of them together, how it highlights their similarities and differences, how it shows the way they grow and change, and mostly for how it shows their relationships as they ebb and flow from one month to the next.
But this year I want to move the project over to instagram more. Mainly because I am over there more, but also because I feel like its the natural home for such a photo based project. I take so many more than the one photo a month, and I know that lots of other people do too. So I would absolutely love love LOVE if you'd share your photos over there, with the hashtag #siblingsproject. And then each month on the 15th I will still share my photo here alongside a quote of some sort, but I will also be using the 15th of each month to show case the photos I've loved seeing on #siblingsproject.
I'm hoping this might be a nice way of building a little community over on instagram, where we can all find people who love sharing photos of sibling moments (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) but I'd also like it to be an opportunity for me to share some love with you lovely people who support this project each month. And I would love it if you would do the same.
Come and give me a follow over on my instagram if you aren't already. And lets get sharing.
* Quinn sneaking off to the toilet to watch videos on the iPad.
* reading 'You Choose' with the girls.
Lucy is loving
* a fun Christmas night out with the girls.
* our beautiful white and rainbow Christmas trees.
* my new (very belated) birthday jewellery.
* how magical this time of year is with children.
Dylan is loving
* being in the choir.
* his new remote control cars.
* getting Super Mario socks from Father Christmas.
* counting down to, and then getting to see, Uncle Matt.
* amazing everyone with his geography knowledge.
Everly is loving
* planning her various different party/festive/casual outfits.
* going ice skating on Christmas Eve.
* dry roasted peanuts.
* performing shows with her karaoke machine.
* playing with her lego.
Quinn is loving
* singing Feliz Navidad with the dance moves.
* getting to eat chocolate at breakfast time from her "candler".
* playing with her new doll house.
* listening to How The Grinch Stole Christmas over and over again.
* reading "The Game Book" (You Choose) every single night.
Wylder is loving
* sitting up.
* eating fruit pots.
* twinkly christmas lights and decorations.
* wrapping paper.
* being a mama's boy.
So thats a wrap for another year. 2018's The Me and Mine Project... DONE!!! December has been crazy, magical, family filled, exhausting and exhilarating. We have made some amazing memories and I'm truly sad that it's all over for another year.
And where on earth did 2018 go? I have no idea how the year has flown by so fast. And what a year 2018 has been. We started it as a five, and ended it as a six, with adventures to Dubai and Ibiza along the way. It's been an absolutely amazing year for us.
But confession time... in all my years of doing The Me and Mine Project, November is the first time that I failed to get my post live. I had my picture, but first technical problems and then a massive lack of time, meant that I never did manage to get it posted. But I'm so glad that I still have them regardless (and you can see one if you scroll down). Taking our monthly family photos is so so important to me, and I love that as 2018 draws to a close we have a full six years worth of monthly family photos. Photos that I love. Photos that I wouldn't have if this project didn't push me to take them every month.
January made us all hibernate a bit and we began to prepare for the arrival of baby number 4.
In February Dylan turned 7 and we had a last big adventure as a five in Dubai.
March was a slow and quiet kind of month, I nested a lot, and we soaked up time as a five.
April was supposed to be our final month as a five, but Wylder decided on a wild and early arrival to make our family photos some very special ones.
May brought the start of what would be an amazing summer, and we spent lots of time in the garden and finding our groove as a six before flying off on our holidays...
In June we were in Ibiza for our first big adventure as a six (and for my little bro's wedding), it was amazing to get to step away from the grind and soak up the baby days in the sunshine.
July saw us making the most of the weather with lots of barbecuing, ice cream and trips to some of our favourite places.
In August we went back to the same old spot to take the same old photo. I do so love seeing our family grow with that same set up each year.
September was manic; Everly turned 6 and started Year 1, Dylan entered Year 3, Quinn started at preschool and Rich did a lot of work trips leaving me with a LOT of solo parenting.
In October Quinn turned 3, Rich had his birthday too, and we enjoyed some really lovely family days out.
In November we hibernated a bit in preparation for the craziness ahead.
And December was every bit as magical and exhausting as December with small children should be; a perfect end to the year.
* chicken nuggets and carrot sticks from McDonalds.
* building with duplo.
* being three!
Wylder is loving
* sitting up.
* bouncing in his jumperoo.
* chewing everything!
* trying food.
* bath time.
It's been another busy month for us, but one where we have tried to make the most of or together time, whenever we have been lucky enough to get it. We've managed to squeeze in days out, quiet days at home, and everything in between. A combination of work commitments, hundreds of birthday parties and the normal grind of family life is keeping us all on our toes. But seeing these pictures; our whole world in a single frame, makes all the work worth it.
The past month has seen so many sibling developments going on, and it still continues to fascinate me how these guys seem to weave their way through their lives together the way that they do.
The biggest change has been for the girls, who are now sharing a room and with Quinn making the move to a big girl bed, they are now also sharing a bed a lot of the time too. Honestly it's the cutest thing to find them sleepily snuggled up together. And I really do think it's going to make them even closer than they are already. Dylan and Everly loved their years of sharing a bedroom, and I'm sure thats part of the reason they are so tight even now. Dylan is a little bit miffed that he misses out on all the fun, and I'm sure we'll have to bring back the weekend sleepovers again once things have settled down. I love that the kids are so keen to share space with one another, and I really feel like those bedtime chats and morning snuggles they share are the sorts of memories that will make up a massive part of how they remember their childhoods.
The other big development has been more of a subtle one, but exciting nevertheless. With Wylder being more alert, responsive and more upright, he definitely feels more like one of the gang. The excitement on his face when he's sat up in his jumperoo or bumbo and they all gather around to chat and play is just the sweetest thing. I just love how much he clearly loves and enjoys them already.
We took this months photo at the end of a lovely, chilled, family weekend; and I just love how relaxed and natural they all are in it. Dylan the proud big brother, Everly the mother hen, Quinn the cheeky life and soul of the party, and Wylder wondering what it's all about...!
* the League of Gentleman live show in Hammersmith.
Lucy is loving
* having one-to-one time with Wylder.
* Quinn's excited face at preschool pick up.
* sorting finishing touches for the girls' bedroom.
* loads of good new tv series starting.
* girls night out with her friends.
Dylan is loving
* being in Year 3.
* helping with Wylder's bath time.
* playing Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker.
* getting his Bronze times tables award.
* croissants dipped in nutella.
Everly is loving
* her swimming birthday party.
* having three lots of birthday cake and singing.
* playing make up.
* drawing pictures of her family.
* being SIX!
Quinn is loving
* going to preschool.
* Trolls blind bags.
* chicken nuggets and carrots from McDonalds.
* starting ballet class.
* her big girl bed.
Wylder is loving
* giggling at his brother and sisters.
* trying to find his thumb to suck on.
* rolling over.
* watching trees in the wind.
Our feet have hardly touched the ground during September, and not exactly in a good way. Dylan, Everly and Quinn have all made positive starts back at school and starting preschool, and Wylder and I have got used to our new normal with quiet mornings just the two of us. But September has brought with it a lot of trips away for Rich, which we all find hard in different ways. Add to that, the fact that we've also been very busy at weekends, and with other goings on, and the who month seems to have flown by in a blur of busy. October isn't looking to be much calmer either...!
But we have made the most of the down time we've had. And we've grabbed onto together time with both hands. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" and all that. And it's definitely been cute to see how happy the kids are at the prospect of Daddy coming home, or some time all together.
I feel like the littlest two somehow manage to steal the show in our family photos this month; Quinn's cheesy face and Wylder's totally bemused expression just make me laugh so much. We decided to crack out some of our very best faces for a few photos once we'd taken the serious ones, and I like them too much not to share... so here are our not so pretty faces!