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Celebrations and the taste of discovery {phfr}

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Joining Like Mother Like Daughter for this week’s {pretty, happy, funny, real}.

{pretty}

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This river is just off the high street from where we live, and you often see ducks, kayaks and canal boats floating past. I saw these two swans together and then noticed the two cygnets in the middle of them. So so pretty.

{happy}

On Saturday, we headed down to Whitstable to celebrate Fr Stephen’s silver jubilee to the priesthood. What a great day! A really joyful celebration. Fr Stephen is the head of vocations for Southwark diocese, and used to be the parish priest in Balham when Eoin and I lived there. He is definitely a priest working hard for the new evangelisation. These aren’t photos I took but they do capture the event very well.

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When it finished we walked down to the nearby beach with some friends, and with all the buggies lined up on the pebbles, it really made me thankful to know so many other young families.

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{funny}

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Our food shopping got delivered yesterday morning, so I was busy putting it all away and didn’t realise Benedict had taken a bite out of a whole kiwi… I think the furry skin really took him by surprise! But once he’d eaten his way to the good bit, I think he really liked it…

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{real}

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Benedict never lies still, he doesn’t even sit still for more than a few seconds unless I’m reading him a story. So I had to catch this moment – I think the day just caught up with him!

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The Language of Love

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On Thursday this week, Eoin and I were lucky enough to attend a talk by Bishop Conley of Lincoln from the US. The talk was based on a pastoral letter he wrote in March for all Catholic families and healthcare providers called ‘The Language of Love‘. It gave me so much joy reading it! It’s beautiful. He talks openly and simply of the overwhelming joy in a marriage when contraception isn’t used.

The Bishop’s constant message throughout the letter is that sacrifice is the language of love, a sacrifice that brings about real joy, real happiness in family life. Within my own life, I can really see the beauty of this truth. I’ve included a small quote taken from the letter, but I’d really encourage reading the whole thing:

Today, openness to children is rarely celebrated, rarely understood, and rarely supported. To many, the Church’s teachings on life seem oppressive or old-fashioned. Many believe that the Church asks too great a sacrifice.

But sacrifice is the language of love. And in sacrifice, we speak the language of God himself. I am calling you… to encounter Christ in your love for one another. I am calling you to rich and abundant family life. I am calling you to rejoice in the love, and the sacrifice, for which you were made. I am calling your family to share in the creative, active love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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For my dad – Happy Father’s Day!

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With the shops focused on Father’s Day this Sunday, I noticed a common theme in the cards and presents being advertised… a lot of them are along the lines of “grumpy old git!” Ironically this is occasionally used in my own family to describe my grandfather!!! But it made me realise that a lot of the ideas about fatherhood are pretty negative; they’re a bit hopeless, a bit of a joke. How Mothers Can Support Fathers is an article on fatherhood addressing this issue (another good read!).

In my own life I have been blessed with an incredibly dedicated and loving dad, and I wanted to write some of my best memories from childhood that really made me smile when I thought of them…

Dad this is for you!! Thank you…

For the made-up stories you used to tell us before bed, about a talking car visiting the garage!

For genuinely looking excited with the fathers day gift I made you about twenty years ago – two cardboard toilet rolls stuck together to make binoculars..!

For building sand cars for us when we went on holiday to the beach.

For that game we all used to play where you would sit in the middle of the sitting room pretending to have your eyes closed and we would try to pass you without getting caught!

For sitting with me by my bed when I was little and a pain to get to sleep.

For playing the CD “In the Hall of the Mountain King” on demand so we could battily run round the table in excitement!

For teaching me to pray the rosary, even when I was in disbelief at how many whole ‘Hail Mary’s’ you had to say!

For encouraging me to carry on with my confirmation classes – it was the best gift I ever received, and it wouldn’t have happened without you.

For your faith you passed on to me.

 

Thanks Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

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{phfr} Summer is here!

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Joining Like Mother Like Daughter for this week’s {pretty, happy, funny, real}.

{pretty}

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Its been really sunny here these last few days – summer has definitely arrived! And I couldn’t help but take this photo while I was on my way to the doctors with Benedict. Beautiful!

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{happy}

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Our weekend trip to Kiddicare! We’re going on holiday with some friends to Germany in July so we wanted to get a travel highchair and travel cot. But with Benedict waking up so early in the morning, we had a lot of time to spare waiting for Kiddicare to actually open, so B happily occupied himself in the driving seat!

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I had to include this photo too! Benedict’s play date with Isla on our balcony. They really are very sweet together.

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{funny}

I know I’ve already posted this video this week… But this is possibly one of the funniest things ever – the McCarthy war-dance! It really makes me laugh.

{real}

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This sums up cleaning in our home – clothes drying in the bathroom and Benedict sitting on the cable stopping me from getting anywhere with the hoover! He is absolutely fascinated by it and won’t take his eyes off it, I think it’s in case it comes to catch him! But when he isn’t sitting on the cable, he would easily let me hoover for hours he’s that fascinated by it. So there’s no excuse for not doing the vacuuming!

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The Perfect Mum Myth

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As a new mother, I’ve found myself looking at other mums with young babies and thinking “how do they do it?” It looks as if they have it all perfectly under control – their baby sleeps through the night from 7pm until 7am (and has done since birth), their baby never screams in the supermarket, they seem to know everyone and anyone who has a baby, and they always look so calm and collected. I can’t help but wonder how these mothers do it.

And its nice to know I’m not alone! This topic came up at different points this week and that made me realise that most mums, if not all, at some point feel like every other mum seems to have got it right while you’re struggling with the nitty gritty daily worries.

The first time this topic came up was in an article on catholicmom.com called The Mythical Mom; when we see the good things in individual mothers, we start to put them altogether in our head to make one crazy super-mum! It’s a really good read for any mother.

The second time it came up was on ITVs lunchtime Loose Women (Yes… I have been found to occasionally have it on in the background! Haha!). They were interviewing the mother who founded mums net and she said she mainly started the website to gain support from other mums; she lived away from her close family and felt very isolated, and when she went into town she saw all these other mums on their way somewhere and just wondered where they were all going!

So the next time you walk past a mum who seems to have it all perfectly under control, know that they’re probably thinking the same about you!

 

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It’s All in the Cooking

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Eoin has started to take cooking pretty seriously lately. He loves it and loves doing it “properly”. I love cooking too, but usually a weekday meal consists of putting things together that are already in the cupboard with some semi-thought-of idea I’ve had beforehand.

But if Eoin makes something, it will be a well thought out three course meal – no cutting corners and definitely no cutting out ingredients. It’s a real treat. Our children in the future will probably ask why dad doesn’t cook every mealtime. The answer will probably be time, money, and… I still like to cook!

He’s managed to get us both hooked on Masterchef – we watched the last series religiously; to the point where we started presenting our own meals the way the voice-over does with chip stacks and tomato-ketchup jus… yes, sad I know!

He made this seriously scrummy cheesecake when some friends came over the other week. It was so good!

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I think it went down really well…

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