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A Surprise Trip to Vienna

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A couple of weeks ago, we were sitting down at the table for breakfast discussing what I might do with the children while Eoin was away on a business trip in Vienna the following week. I was mid sentence vaguely making plans to go to my parents when Eoin got up from the table and took a book from the shelf. He gave it to me and told me to turn to page 95…

I actually couldn’t believe it. I found a boarding pass to Vienna with my name on it!! Eoin had been planning it for a couple of weeks, and had kindly asked his mum and sister to look after Benedict and Rose while we were away.

So the next Friday, I flew out to Vienna and met Eoin at the hotel. Our trip was absolutely perfect! I am so grateful!! We chatted endlessly about anything and everything, we wandered slowly around the streets of Vienna, we played cards and drank cocktails in the hotel bar, and we had a beautiful Mass for Pentecost in St Stephen’s Cathedral, celebrated by Cardinal Schönborn with the most amazing choir and orchestra… It was like another honeymoon!

Below are some pictures of the Belvedere Gardens. I stumbled across them on Saturday morning while Eoin was finishing some things for work. The weather wasn’t great, but it wasn’t raining! 

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When Eoin finished work, we walked into the centre of Vienna and we found this really fab place for lunch; really trendy and un-touristy.

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Pre-dinner cards and cocktails…

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On Sunday, we went to St Stephen’s Cathedral where we celebrated the most beautiful Mass with Cardinal Schönborn:

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After the Mass we dutifully celebrated Pentecost with some brunch and Viennese pastries!

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The best way to site-see a city in short space of time? A tour-bus! We did it on our honeymoon in Rome and loved it, so we decided to do it for Vienna too! 

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For our final evening in Vienna, we went to the nicest traditional Austrian restaurant and ate the biggest rack of ribs ever!

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Mother’s Day

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I was pretty spoilt this Mother’s Day – B and R (and Eoin!) had been busy working hard behind the scenes.  They surprised me with a lovely bouquet of flowers on Saturday, and on Sunday Benedict presented me with my very first hand-made present he’d made at pre-school; a framed-picture with stickers carefully placed around the edge! He’d also drawn a picture of me on the card – if you look closely there’s two eyes, maybe a body, a smile and some hair haha! I was very touched!

I think the best part of the gift was the quote inside the card which read: “I love mummy because of the buttons.” (I gave Benedict chocolate buttons when he first started pre-school as a well done!) That’s definitely a keeper…

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Eoin and Benedict disappeared to the car on Sunday after Mass and came back with this lovely mug and a Mother’s day card, and then Eoin cooked the dinner! All in all, I felt very special this Mother’s Day!

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24 hours with the McCarthy’s {phfr}

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

{pretty}

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This lovely vase arrived in the post today –  Anthropologie had a sale and I couldn’t resist… it’s a bit different and adds a lot of colour to the room – very happy with this one!

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{happy}

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Benedict made some welsh cakes with daddy this morning while the girls had a ‘quiet’ morning out!

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In the week we went to Ikea to get Benedict a table and chair set. I’ve wanted to get B a table for ages so he had somewhere he could stand at to play, and he uses it a lot already – this morning he was busy making play-doh cakes…

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{funny}

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This afternoon our sitting room turned into an amateur film set for a film my brother was making for his uni course. We had a good laugh with my twin cousins who were playing a future Benedict and Rose, although the whole film was about me and Eoin dying… (!)

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{real}

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We ended our day by putting up some shelves in Benedict’s room for his books. Eoin and I keep coming back to the same topic of conversation – our lack of storage space. And our solution is always the same – shelves!!! Use every inch of wall space!

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I was Naked and you Clothed Me

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I have been decluttering my phone and sorting out my notes and reminders ready for a new year, and I came across a bible verse I’d saved on my phone in August 2014 – Matthew 25: 35-36 (the corporal works of mercy)

I’d saved it in my notes under ‘motherhood’and it was something I really needed to be reminded of I think:

I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to see me.

So fitting for us mothers; for us to be reminded that every ‘task’ we do for our little ones is a work of mercy… Also very fitting for this year of mercy!

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Something about Rose

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Rose will be four months on the 8th December… already! The time has really flown by and yet it is as if she has always been there.

I have been very lucky with this one – she’s been one of those easy babies that I used to envy when Benedict was a baby! She’s a good sleeper at night and she spends most of the day either in her bouncy chair or kicking away on the rug. I’ve been there with the difficult baby so I know how lucky I am!

Her relationship with Benedict is really growing too. Benedict is so fond of her and he copies the way we speak to her which is really cute. He teaches her things too, for example he’ll turn to her in the buggy and say: “Look, Rose – a nee-nah car!” The funniest one which made me laugh out loud was when I was changing Benedict’s nappy, and Rose was lying nearby and he turns his head to her with all sincerity in his voice and says: “Look, Rose – poo” and he points to the nappy I’m changing! So that’s what big brothers are for…

z bathHe loves having Rose in the bath too… I’ve found its a really good way for them to “bond”.

I think Rose will learn pretty quickly how to be a tough cookie as Benedict is not the most delicate when it comes to babies… But then what 2 year old boy is?!  He wants to play rough and tumble with her on the floor, and I sound like a broken record when I hear myself say “she’s too young for that!” over and over again.

I’ve found it’s a real balancing act knowing when to let him “show his love for her” and when he might actually hurt her. I don’t want to be always hovering over the two of them telling him to be more gentle! So I find myself watching from a distance out of the corner of my eye. But it’s so nice to know he’s actually interested in her, and to see him interact with her in a real older brother way.

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Rose’s Baptism

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Rose Miriam is finally baptised, yay! I know she’s only 3 months, but l feel like she should have been baptised ages ago. She was baptised in Tonbridge by our parish priest, Fr Peter; it really feels like we belong to this parish now and are starting to set down our own family roots in Tonbridge. I think we’re here to stay…

Some of the pics from the day:

Rose’s two lovely Godparents, Jude and Ciaran

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With Rose’s Grandparents

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With everyone

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Rose is completely unaware that she has just become a child of God!

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The best photo we’ve got of Rose in her ‘after dress’

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A snippet of our dinner at Pizza Express

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The remains of a good party – carrot cake and champagne back at ours

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