"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2014".

Josephine: During these last weekdays with just my girl I'm seeking every opportunity to have quiet moments of cuddles and conversations before Baby arrives. I couldn't ask for a more wonderful girl to spend my time with. 

Baby: Nearly 36 weeks, and growing so beautifully. We are all so excited to meet this little one; to find out if it's a boy or girl. No-one is more excited that Josephine, and she will make the best big sister in the world. 

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.



Since my Dad died I've been inundated with beautiful emails from so many of you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for each of them. The fact that you've taken the time to write and share some of your own heartbreaking stories and how you've dealt with it all has meant so much. When people ask me how I'm doing, how I'm coping, I'm always unsure of how to react. My go to statement is that it's all such a roller coaster. Which is absolutely true, of course. But to say how I'm really feeling is perhaps more complicated. 

Grief is an emotion I've never experienced before. It's one that's so hard to explain, one that is so changeable. 

Grief can leave you feeling high on adrenaline before sending you crashing back to Earth with sadness. It can offer you motivation to change your life and reach for your dreams whilst simultaneously freezing you to the spot, depriving you of the desire to do anything. 

Grief can make you realise how much wonder fills your life, fills the world; and yet makes you question its fairness and challenges your understanding of why things happen the way they do. 

It can make you believe and it can leave you doubting. It can make you miss someone more than you think you can bear and it can leave you sure that they're always with you.

Grief can bring clarity and focus whilst clouding your mind with the thickest fog. It can slow down time and make months seems like years, and it can speed time up with weeks flying by in a blur. 

Grief can leave you clinging on to things like you've never done before, cherishing every item; and it can open your eyes to how the material doesn't matter. 

It can be on your mind 24/7, echoing in your dreams, and yet it can surprise you when you least expect it and will leave you gasping for breath. 

There are good days and bad days, and there are days that leave you crumpled in a heap on the floor absolutely heartbroken. There are smiles and there are tears, and there is uncontrollable crying for hours. 

Every day you wake up and remember, and every night you fall asleep wishing it wasn't true. You can spend your time trying to forget the moment you found out and yet you can't help but play it over again and again; every word, every reaction. 

And yet through all this, love remains the constant. The love of those who get you through the tough times and share the laughs, who take your mind of it all when you need to forget and who listen for hours about how you're feeling when it's all you want to talk about. The love of friends who bring new perspective and the love of those who have been through the same. The love of your family; your siblings and your children especially, who are each part of the person you've lost and who, in so many ways, keep them there with you. 

And then there is the love for the person you've lost. The love that continues to grow despite the fact they're no longer here; the love that you know will be with you forever, no matter how the day leaves you feeling. The love that keeps you going when all you want to do is stop, because you know it's what they would have wanted. The love that keeps you knowing that despite the hurt, despite the pain, despite how much it's all so completely unfair, you wouldn't change the time you had for anything. You wouldn't swap your Dad for someone else and the promise of longer. You'd keep it all the same. Because only 29 years with your Dad is better than 100 with another. 

The weeks are slipping into months and I miss you more with each day that passes, my beautiful Papa. In so many ways, it's all still so hard to believe. I think about you every day, every hour and you will always be in my heart. I love you. 

The beauty of spring can not come soon enough. The warmer sun on our backs, the idea of new beginnings, the promise of new life. With every flower I see burst open with colour, the more I am reminded of all this. And I'm so thankful for that reminder. 



There are so many things I love about blogging and Instagram, but one of the best has to be the wonderful friendships I've built with lovely people around the world. Lucky for me, some of those friendships have crossed into the real life, and I'm so happy about that. 

Amy and Edie and Amy and Bertie are pretty cool people to spend a day with. It's lovely to see three gorgeous two year olds running around and exploring with each other and it's lovely to chat to two such creative, funny and kind Mamas. 

Last week's trip to a very misty Dryham Park was our latest and, armed with a brand new lens (which is amazingly awesome - thank you for your help with that one Tim!), I just couldn't stop taking pictures. So apologies for the slog of photos up there, but when your subjects are so cute, it's hard to resist :)

Plenty more days of fun and games to come this summer with these lovely folks, I hope xx



As the rain fell and it seemed everyone else retreated indoors, my girl and I explored the Botanical Gardens; all alone, the place to ourselves. Our own retreat full of friendly ducks and squirrels, beautiful blossoms and singing birds; Georgian bridges and trickling streams, and a maze of pathways and stone steps. 

It's a special place, the Botanical Gardens, and we've adopted it as our place to go think and talk about and to our beautiful Dad. Somewhere to visit on special occasions, to lay flowers or to just sit and be. 

Josephine and I walked around, sheltered under trees when the rain got too heavy and talked all about Grandpa, with smiles on our faces; feeling him there, walking with us. 

It was such a lovely morning and something I plan to do more of, especially as the sun starts to shine and the Gardens fill with beautiful blooms. Only a few weeks left of it being just me and our little bird on a weekday. So soon we'll have another to join us and explore this place. 

We can't wait, of course, but for now I'm soaking up every step I get to take just me and my girl. She is the best of companions. 



"A portrait of Josephine, once a week every week in 2014".

Little girl, big house; exploring in the mist.  

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.



For the last few months, Josephine has tried stealing any scooter she could get her hands on. She was a girl obsessed! After a shout out on FB for a secondhand one, our lovely friend Amy said that she had a pre-loved one going unused that we could have if we wanted. I think you have a best-friend for life now in Phiney, Amy - she absolutely adores it. Thank you so much!

Last week, after her new helmet arrived in the post and as the sun was setting, we took her outside to practice her scootering technique. She's a thrill seeker this one, for sure, and there's no stopping her now...



"A portrait of Josephine, once a week every week in 2014".

Linking up with Little Sleep for an International Women's Day edition...

Our darling girl, so beautiful inside and out. So strong, stubborn, brave, kind, sweet, determined, inquisitive and funny. She could change the world if she wanted. So proud to call her my daughter. 

Taking part in Jodi's 52 Project.



When I was pregnant with Josephine, I searched for little leather moccasins everywhere, but could only find ones made in the US with huge P&P charges. As soon as I saw Amy & Ivor's amazing handmade moccasins, I knew they were a must for Baby. 

Designer and Maker Alice is the sweetest lady, and the craftsmanship involved in her handmade leather moccasins is nothing short of incredible. Coming in the most beautiful colours (new season shades are just making their way into the shop and it took me ages to make a final decision on which to order...in the end I choose soft grey and cinnamon for Baby and this amazing pewter for Josephine) they are super soft and I know will only get better with wear. 

I can't wait for springtime and for Josephine to be able to wear hers outdoors, and for teeny toes to fill those little ones. Josephine and I were equally floored by the absolute cuteness of the little grey ones - I forgot how small babies feet are! 

Josephine was pretty reluctant in taking hers off before nap time and only gave them up with the promise of them sitting on the floor at the end of her bed whilst she slept. They'll make perfect slippers for now, and when the sun starts shining they'll be the ideal alternative to bare feet when little stones and spiky sticks litter the garden. 

Most definitely one of the best mail days ever when these arrived at our door. Thank you so much Alice :) 



That face. So happy, so full of life, love and beauty. Bringing so much light to our lives, always. 

Nearly one year after this photograph was taken, and still so much joy in hiding in the garden room :)