30 Days of Wild: Day 6

Today we ordered our caterpillars. We’ve done this for the last few years and the boys and I love the crazy miracle of caterpillars turning to butterflies right before our eyes.

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30 Days of Wild. Day 5.

(Just getting this one in at the last minute…)

An evening outside.

Chilli around the fire pit.

Conversations deep into the night.

Starting to swim the depths and find our way on in this journey of life.

Starting to speak out the name of the Maker again.

An evening outside.

We raised our gaze to the beyond and tasted more of the divine.

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30 Days of Wild: Day 4

We’re back in term time routine today so the smallest and I headed off to some Rock Gardens this morning to hang out with friends. We had a bit of breaking through son2s grumps to do but once he’d worked out that he could have fun scrambling over rocks and exploring around trees he got into the swing of it all.

All in all a lovely morning outdoors, ending with some puppy sitting for a friend.

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30 Days of Wild. Day 3

Sometimes it’s good to be pushed to think creatively about how to get outside.

Today I ran 10k down to the sea. The family joined me and we ate bacons rolls, then cycled/scooted/walked along the seafront. Beautiful morning for it.

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30 Days of Wild: Day 2

I think for this month we’ll just be taking photos of our normal lives with a few extra treats of wild thrown in. Today on our potter to the park we spotted lots of wild flowers and ants crawling up trees. The sun making a welcome return to our lives helps make everything look beautiful.

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30 Days of Wild: Day 1

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Today was the first day of our 30 days of wild challenge set by The Wildlife Trusts. The idea is to do one wild thing each day. I’m not entirely sure what counts as ‘wild’ but the aim is to get people outdoors in whatever capacity and appreciate the natural world around us. I am all for this. I loved doing it last year with the boys and am looking forward to doing it this year for my sake as well as theirs. The wild of each day doesn’t have to include them.

I’m also going to confess straightaway to my jealousy of anyone who lives near mountains and posts them for their wild of the day.  I am putting down the need for great wild adventures and we are deliberately looking in front of our eyes in our day to day life for the wild in our neighbourhood. We may manage a couple of adventures further afield this month, but, in our season of slow and small, we shall be looking for the wild right underneath our noses.

Today me and son1 had the best plan. We would start our wild month going on a nature hunt through the woods about a 4 minute drive away, we would then bring some cool twigs and leaves we had found back to the house and make some art together. The best laid plans always go awry. My smug happy bubble at being such a lovely outdoorsy family was well and truly crushed when son2 wailed 2 minutes into the walk that he wanted a sofa and to go home. No amount of persuasion worked (if they could harness the power of a stubborn 3 year old we could solve the fossil fuel running out problem in an instant…). Feeling like I wanted to cry we stumbled back to the car. It’s hard to forgive and move on from such a letdown, I wanted fun in the woods, son1 wanted fun in the woods and now we were heading back home after 20 minutes outside. Slowly we regrouped.

We made cake, ate lunch, had a much needed quiet time whilst they listened to stories and I read 4 pages of a book in peace. Some of the old NCT gang (as son1 has labelled them) came around and we sat drinking tea in the garden whilst the small ones had fun with a bit of old rope. Outdoors felt like a good place to be. After they left we had a scoot around the block before they ate dinner in a hideout in the garden. All in all it was a pretty good outdoors day. I’ve learnt that organised ‘wild’ isn’t always appreciated but that my smallest will happily skip around the garden all afternoon.

And one day son1 and I will do that nature trail treasure hunt. One day.

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Weekly/er/half-termly round up?

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It’s Friday…

Time for a round up?

I hesitate to write here. What could I write? What of life in this now? What’s happened? How are we at the end of the first half of the summer term? How have I had a job for the last 6 weeks? 

I hesitate to write because I am doubtful of my heads ability to work out what is true at the moment. I’m fairly wiped out and so anything I write may have a hint of weary self pity. Let’s see eh. You can judge. 

So. Where are we? 

6 weeks of a new job. It’s going well, I think. Obviously, as I wrote two weeks into it, change is tiring, newness is exhausting, blah blah blah. It’s one thing acknowledging that change is hard and a whole other thing daily living with that change and choosing to be ok with the tiredness. Anyways. What’s still true in the midst of tiredness? Ah yes. I love getting to do what I have been made to do, I love supporting our small group leaders and knowing the wonderful value of loving them so they can love their groups well.  I love thinking about something that is not my home or family for a bit. I loved our women’s retreat and giving us all space to talk to God. I am looking forward to our weekend away and getting to know more people, and calling attention to the reality of living in our Makers world. All true. Even in the midst of tiredness and adjusting to having a line manager and colleagues and learning how to communicate again on a work level and being accountable for some of my time and other new weird things that come with you know, having a job. 

Life with the boys is a continuing whirlwind of guiding them through their emotions and trying to be patient in the midst of their weirdness. Shouty lady made a return recently, in several moments that were not my finest. I was helped by some old blog posts that reminded me of the need to be slow and patient, that 3 year olds are button pushers and also facing huge challenges as to how to deal with life each day. I was helped by the wonder of being able to say sorry and be forgiven. I returned to the mantra of ‘that can wait’, knowing that an ordered house is less important than a small boy helped through his enormous feelings.  

Both are tired from a long half term. I still trying to wrap my head around how Son1 is heading into his final half of term in reception. I’m also looking forward to hanging out with them in half term. Son1 has a good plan “Lets build dens and then watch some tv and then go back in our dens and snuggle”. I like it. He is also a reading and writing machine at the moment and I’m astounded by his development. It’s so delightful watching his brain grapple with concepts and fascinating seeing him getting to grips with a new world of words open to him at last. 

The husbandface is still ill. There isn’t much to say here that hasn’t been said before.  We do life one moment at a time.  I don’t know how to process it in any other way. It’s a long slog for him and us. We adjust to new normals and we have to stop with the plans and live with the reality we have each day. I’m not going to pretend that’s easy. It sucks. But it’s life right now and so we keep putting one foot in front of the other and holding onto hope somehow. Sometimes that’s easier than other times. We get it wrong. We say sorry. We forgive and keep on walking. We laugh at YouTube randomness, we smile at the weirdos and we hope to find a level and way of living that it is possible to be ok in.

As for me. At the end of these 6 weeks I’ve realised my self care is slipping, hence probably, the return of shouty lady. I still run but that’s the only regular thing from my need of reading, running and talking to the Maker of the world on a daily basis. I know things that would help, getting away from the phone more, accepting tiredness and not drowning it in YouTube, being kind to myself, getting hold of a good novel to grip me away from the screen (any recommends?), taking time to reference the Maker as I cycle and run around this city. Things I know I need to do. 

Life feels like it has less margins and maybe it does but also maybe I could live better to create more. Hmmm. I’ll give it a try and let you know how it’s going. 

For now I’m going to leave this coffee shop where I was a month early for a meeting and cycle home. I’m going to sit and talk to my Maker and friend and ask for the grace to love my husband, boys, friends and church. I’m going to pick up the small ones and see how their days were, make chilli and embrace a long weekend and the chance to hang out with my boys this week. 

Life goes on. 

There is grace. There is hope. There is redemption. It’s worth it. If you see me around remind me eh. 

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