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Hannah’s Big Weekend

A couple of weekends ago we celebrated a rather big birthday for my sister, and what an amazing time we had! A group of us hired a holiday home in Chichester near the sea for the weekend. We celebrated by eating a LOT, playing games and quizzes about Hannah’s life, catching up with old friends, enjoying walks on the beach, and snoozing by the fire. It was such a good weekend filled with such lovely people. If only we all lived closer to each other!

Below is our “grand designs” house:

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The parents of little children having a rather early breakfast:

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The little men at the bar:

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A group of us went to Mass on the Saturday and wow was it the quietest most peaceful Mass I have experienced in a very long time! Benedict fell asleep in the car, and then remained asleep on Dom’s shoulder for the duration of the whole Mass… Incredibly thankful for this gift. Although, I think Dom’s arm was pretty dead by the end!

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Back at the house, a very intense game of chess:

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Yes, I was the embarrassing sister who brought along the baby photos:

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Snoozing by the fire:

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Hannah birthday dinner:

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I love these next two photos! Joseph really wants to play but Benedict just has other things on his mind:

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B chasing after Sebastian:

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One of our walks by the beach:

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A holiday special {phfr}

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

We’ve been back from our holiday for over a month and I still haven’t written about it! I thought a {pretty happy funny real} post would describe it very well…

Eoin, Benedict and I travelled to Germany with my sister and some friends for a few days in July. We had also wanted to visit Eoin’s sister and her two children in Spain, so after a beautiful stay in Germany the three of us flew to Spain. There’ll be quite a bit of jumping back and forth into different countries in this post, but bear with me!

{pretty} Germany

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This is the German holiday home we stayed in… Inside was just as beautiful and quirky, and the surrounding views were stunning. The shutters were perfect for napping babies during the day!

Below is one of the downstairs rooms:

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My sister, Hannah and B in the garden:

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Below is Lake Constance where we boated, paddled, sun-bathed, painted nails, ate, played beach volley ball, and entertained little ones:

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{pretty} Spain

Now skipping to the {pretty} Spain photos! The photo below was taken when we first arrived in Granollers, Spain and the first time Benedict met his two cousins, Anna and Quim. I think we were all so excited!

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Anna and Quim with mum Fiona and Uncle Eoin:

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And some pretty close ups of Quim:

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And Anna:

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{happy} Germany

Back to Germany for some {happy} photos! On one of the evenings in Germany, we went to our friend’s mother’s home for a BBQ with proper german sausages and barbecued cheeses.

Marcus’ mum had a hammock in the garden which the little (and big) ones very much enjoyed!

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Mary and Phil with their lovely little boy Sebastian:

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Below is back on Lake Constance with our friend Marcus’ boat:

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{happy} Spain

Ahead to Spain for some {happy} photos! Because it was Benedict’s first time meeting his cousins, it was really lovely seeing the three of them play together; I think he was fascinated by them, he just kept watching them!

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{funny} Germany

Back to Germany… This wasn’t funny when it first happened, but by the end of it we were in hysterics. I’m not even too sure how it happened, but we ended up in the middle of a German field, stuck in the mud in the rain… It wasn’t very funny! We were trying to find our holiday home which was really poorly sign posted, and our friend thought maybe one of the signs was pointing into a field with no road…

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After lots of spinning wheels in the mud, Marcus went off into the woods in search of some help. For about half an hour we wondered how on earth we were going to retrieve our car from the field, and then Marcus comes out of nowhere riding on the side of a digger… You really couldn’t have made it up, it was brilliant.

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Another funny German moment on the lake… While the boys were hard at work figuring out how to put the boat together, the girls were sunbathing and painting their toe nails!

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We also had a session of beach volleyball on one of the days in Germany… well, we tried to have a session of beach volley ball. It was exciting when we managed to get a rally of two hits over the net:

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{funny} Spain

To Spain… Anna, Quim and Benedict had tons of fun in Fiona’s hall way with human tunnels:

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I thought Benedict looked quite funny here just in his nappy playing the grand piano!

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{real} 

Something has to bring you back to reality at the end of a fab holiday… Eoin’s wallet got stolen in Spain, and our flight was delayed! So he used that time to cancel all his cards. He took it all very much in his stride though, and dealt with it really well.

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One mammoth {pretty happy funny real} post for a brilliant holiday with such lovely memories!

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More than two?!

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When the conversation with my “non-religious” friends turns to how many children we’d like, they look at me as if I’m absolutely crazy when I say at least five would be incredible!  I know the norm nowadays is two, preferably one of each, and I think even that “norm” is increasingly decreasing to one child in a family. But I’m from a family of six which I guess is relatively big in today’s world; Eoin is from a family of ten! So I think we’ve always hoped to have our own big family.

Recently I’ve been reading Kimberley Hahn’s book “Life-giving love.”  It’s a good book to dive into when you have a quiet moment; a baby-napping moment!  It’s refreshing to read about children in a positive light; that it’s actually exciting to find out you’re having a baby! The main point throughout the book is openness; it doesn’t matter how big or small your family is, as long as you’re open to life.  The book also addresses the moral issues clouding marriage today like contraception, infertility and sterilisation, as well as talking in depth about the Church’s teaching on natural family planning.

If Eoin and I do have a big family, I know it will be challenging/chaotic/stressful/noisy etc, and my friends are probably right to think I’m crazy. But I know it will also bring about generosity/joy/laughter/fun/happiness.

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A Bank Holiday Picnic

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We spent the Bank Holiday picnicking with our “Newman House” friends in Kensington Gardens. I lived at Newman House for two years while I was doing my nurse training. It’s a residential Catholic chaplaincy for the University of London; it’s also a good place to find your husband!  It’s where I first met Eoin and since leaving Newman House nearly three years ago, there have been at least six weddings and two engagements!

We had a lot of fun entertaining Benedict. It was the first time he’s been “let loose” in a big outdoor space and free to explore. I think he would have carried on crawling out of the park if we’d let him – he was pretty excited, much to the amusement of the passers by.

Benedict trying to escape:

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Climbing over a sleeping daddy:

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Blowing bubbles with Will and Gosia:

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With Auntie Maria:

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