I am just back from a secret-squirrel trip which involved me flying over the pond to suprise my Mum for her birthday (a special big birthday that is all I am saying!) She was indeed suprised seeing her daughter casually walk down the stairs of Cally and Robin's house whilst she was washing up at the sink. Tears followed, as did lots of hugs and then the realisation that there must be a fair few people that knew about this and managed to keep it a secret!!
This was my first international trip alone, without any kiddies or Hubby. I was very scared about navigating Chicago alone and managing to get connecting flights on time and then also hiring a car at midnight and finding my way to my Aunt and Uncle's house in the dark along country roads (with no lighting)
It all came together perfectly with a fair few thank you prayers said along the way :o)
This trip was well needed for me and my family. I am blessed to be a stay at home mama, but it dawned on me that I have never really had the chance to miss my babies because I have never been away from them! Combine this with a deep sense of homesickness and I was ready to head back to England for just a few short days alone.
The trip was amazing - I got to spend time amongst those that I love deeply and catch up with over 4 generations of our family at my Mum's Birthday party. I got some precious one-on-one time with my Mum, Dad and Brother and even got to steal an hour away to sit and have a quiet coffee with my Uncle Robin (which I don't think I have ever achieved before) Conversation subjects didn't matter - just being in the moment and feeling blessed to be there was what mattered with me.
I had forgotten how naturally funny my brother is, how sweet (and athletic!) his Jenny is, how accomodating and loving my Mama is and how sensitive and wonderful my Dad is - even when I ate almost all of the Hot Cheetos I brought back for him from the States!
I got to experience sweet family togetherness with Jay's family and was spoiled with a wonderful lunch and relaxed conversation...followed on that evening with a slightly louder conversation and lots of champagne-filled laughs with my crazy Sister-in-law Kirsten and my best friend Amy. I would post the pictures from that evening, but they all seem to be on someone elses phone, so no can do! (phew!)
The whole trip reminded me where I come from, how proud I am to be a part of the huge and loving family on both my side and Jason's side.
It also showed me I have been given such a precious gift by being able to be at home with my kiddies and I need to stop throwing that a way to achieve things that don't really matter. I have been geting very stressed of late - trying to cope with the demands of doll-making. I feel lucky that there are so many sweet mama's that want me to create dolls for their kiddies, that makes me feel very warm and fluffy. However, the reality is that over the past few months, it has been at the detriment of my family. I have dropped the ball with them - squeezing in 20 minutes of doll making at a time when I should be squeezing in 20 minutes of mothering - doing a puzzle, reading a book and all of those things that I know I will look back and regret if I don't get a handle on it right now.
Right now I have no answers to what that means - I just know that a doll-making break is in order. I need to be present with my family and fully embrace my role as a mother and wife and also as a daughter, sister and friend.
Stephanie, my partner will still be making beautiful doll clothes and she will be listing them on etsy imminently (and there are some amazing outfits) but for me, for now I will be snuggling with my babes, doing far more jigsaw puzzles, making huge amounts of cakes and looking after our little fluffy babies - Hope and Holly.