July has been a brilliant month for us: we started off with a quiet weekend, knowing that it would be the last for a while. Our summer seems to have got booked up somehow! I know it’s my fault – I put off so many things because I’m too busy during term time and they all end up in the summer holidays.
Then our friends Carina, Andre and our godson Sebastian came to stay with us for a couple of days, which was brilliant. Andre and Tim played in a local touch rugby tournament, and Tim’s team actually won, which he is suitably modest about. Andre’s team were only one point behind him, so they both deserved their beers in the pub afterwards. It was lovely to spend so much time with them all, and Ben loved collecting up all the rugby balls at the end of the tournament. Yes, he is wearing a South Africa rugby shirt in the photo above – Andre and Carina are South African, so it’s acceptable.
The last week of term somehow ended up incredibly busy, especially considering I’ll be going to lighter duties in September before maternity leave. Somehow, I had to fit in loads of marking, an observation and awards evening before the end of term. One day, I’ll learn that the last week of any term is always horrendous, but this was intense. Fortunately, all went very well, so I can have a stress-free (almost) holiday.
Then on the first weekend of the school holiday, we drove to Derby, where we met up with a whole group of other parents and nearly- or just-3 years olds. This was an amazing group of mums that were all due to have their babies in August 2012. We originally met on Mumsnet and since then have become close friends on Facebook. It sounds crazy, but I know so many relationships and marriages that have started online, and this is just another alternative.
I made the cake this year, so the Smartie-covered number 3 was my offering. It was a slightly frantic effort, and involved a LOT of Smarties. Somehow, there were fewer green Smarties than any other colour. But it seemed to be enjoyed by everyone there, especially the children.
Then, after staying in a local hotel, we went to Thomasland, which I’ve already blogged about. It’s a brilliant day out, and it’s where we took this month’s family portrait. Yes, that is a family selfie, complete with two dinosaurs. It’s been that kind of month!
We’ve ended our July with a family holiday in the Cotswolds with my mum, dad, sister, brother in law and nephew – and my parents’ dog, Petra. We’ve just got home from a brilliant week away in the Cotswold Water Park. We’ve been swimming, walking, fishing, pond-dipping, sand-castle building, as well as visiting Farm parks, hunting dinosaurs and eating a lot of ice cream. It’s been wonderful. We now live nearly 250 miles from my parents and sister, so a family holiday is a lovely opportunity for us all to spend lots of time together.
August looks like it will be just as busy, with Tim starting a new job, Ben’s 3rd birthday and my birthday to fit in, as well as more visitors, lots of day trips out and lots of fun.