As parents, we're learning all the time. There are the things we learn day to day - a handy trick to settle a cranky baby, a funny sound that will make her laugh every time, an object that will keep her occupied for ages - and there are the things that we learn over weeks and months.
Amidst our recent illnesses, and all the chaos that can bring, Ben and I have learnt how important it's going to be to simplify our lives. To clear some of the clutter we've gathered over the years and to plan our meals to avoid after-work stops in the busy supermarket and a spiralling food budget; to not pressure ourselves into pleasing everyone all the time or stretching our time too thinly.
We love living in a busy city. The hustle and bustle of the centre and the constant rumble from the main road are things we find quite comforting. Don't get me wrong, Bath isn't exactly the hectic hubbub of some sprawling urban areas, and since we moved from the centre to a quieter corner of the city complete with village atmosphere and community spirit, we are enjoying a slower, more family-friendly pace of life. But being able to walk 20 minutes into town and having the best shopping and restaurants on your doorstep is something that, for the foreseeable future at least, we cherish.
However, within the sprawling twists and turns of houses, roads, shops, bars and eateries, we want our home to be a sanctuary. Where things are easier. More pure, if that's the right word. Simple.
Yesterday was the start of a nine day holiday from work for Ben, and all three of us are very excited about it (Josephine was certainly thrashing her arms and smiling away when she was informed she'd have Mama and Papa to play with all week). But amongst street parties and jubilee celebrations, family BBQs and some lazy time lounging around enjoying each others company, there will be sorting and no doubt numerous trips to the charity shop or tip.
A couple of weeks ago I had a serious wardrobe clear out, with a secondary sort through earlier this week. When I have five minutes to get ready in the morning, searching through piles of never-worn clothes and accessories just doesn't appeal and I found myself wearing the same few items day in, day out. My new-look, streamlined drawers and rails make life so much easier and I'm wearing things I'd forgotten I even owned. Next up are the kitchen cupboards, garden store room, bookshelves and my ridiculous stash of fabrics and ribbons.
We're also going to undertake a food overhaul. From planning our meals for the week to cutting out the crap from our diets, it's time to save some money, experiment with new flavours (because we all get stuck in the rotation of the same eight or so meals, right?) and get healthier. Shed a few pounds and cleanse our bodies of all the rubbish a winter diet can bring.
I'm looking forward to it all. I think that a clean house (and I mean that in the clutter sense, not necessarily in the polished and hoovered sense!) will mean a cleaner and clearer mind, which will make room for other, more important things. Like quality family time and the exciting development of knitted-related opportunities.
I'll keep you informed of how it's going, but if you have any advice or tips to making life a little more simple, do tell.
Oh, and did you notice I've even simplified the blog and got myself a new header? Just the start of things to come...
Same pose as the last post, another awesome outfit. This one's from here. During these last few rainy days the three of us have been enjoying plenty of time playing on her mat, making eachother laugh. She picked up her little fabric letter block and showed us the J completely on her own. What a fluke.