In the interest of being positive and happy, I’m going to try and focus on the fact that the summer is here! It’s warm and sunny and we have six (or is it seven?) weeks of fun ahead of us. Deflecting from the fact that I’m feeling very emotional about my baby finishing pre-school and moving on to the big school in September.

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Lili on her way to pre-school on the first day

Yesterday was Lili’s official last day, which was celebrated by having a big picnic in the park – with all her pre-school friends, parents and teachers. Everyone was presented their pre-school report and played games while us mums sat and watched on with a tear in our eye. It seems silly to feel so emotional about what is inevitable and in fact a positive move but to me it marks a real turning point. Come September she’ll be moving on and becoming even more independent, mixing with new friends and influences. I know I’m being slightly dramatic about this and when the time comes, I know I’ll be completely proud and happy for her, as she’s very excited about the prospect – but today I’m just going to wallow a little in what I can only describe as the end of a very happy and cute year in her life.

The lovely poem that Lili's teacher gave her as we said goodbye

The lovely poem that Lili’s teacher gave her as we said goodbye

As you may already know, I finished work last week to become a full time mum (follow the full story) and the girls also finished going to the child minder we’ve known and loved for the past three and a half years. So yesterday was another “end” and for someone (like me) who doesn’t deal well with change, I’m really starting to struggle.  On the plus side, we have a lovely summer planned in Wales and I honestly can’t wait to get going! Today we’ve spent the day playing in the garden with lots of water and bubbles, laughing and signing – so I can’t feel too bad!

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Writing this blog, gives me the opportunity to write about all the things I love – the things that make me happy and bring a smile to my face. One of my most favourite things to do (and we’ve literally done it every year since Lili was born) is to go up to the Mayfield lavender fields near Banstead, in Surrey.

The first year we went up, Lili was around five weeks old and just a tinny bundle in my arms. At the time we’d lived in the area for over ten years and I was amazed that this beautiful place had passed me by for so long! The following year, Lili had just started walking and enjoyed the vibrant colour and gorgeous smell for the first time. I was pregnant with Poppy the year after, and by now Lili was strong on her feet and ran through the beautiful rows of lavender – there was literally no stopping her!

Last year Poppy joined us for the first time and Dom and I took turns in carrying her (as she was around 7 months old) while we all played and again ran through the fields. We had a picnic and made a big day of it. As you can tell, this little ritual of ours has become a real event in our summer calendar – and is the inspiration behind the name of my blog.   Here are some shots of this years trip…

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You knew it was coming… running in lavender

 

 

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Lili picking me some lavender.

 

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Dom and the girls…

 

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My little baby in lavender!

 

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Lili in lavender

 

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The girls taking it easy at the end of our visit.

Mama and More

 

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‘One Day’ – Have you read the book? Or maybe seen the slightly underwhelming film, staring Anne Hathaway? Here’s my (much more upbeat) personal version…

On the 10th of July, fifteen years ago I met my husband. We were both at a beautiful summer wedding in west Wales, I was a school friend of the bride and he was a University friend of the groom. After spending much of the day catching each other’s eye, he finally approached me at the bar and the rest as they say is history… but I’m sure you’ll get to find out more as this blog gets going.

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Five years later, on the 10th of July (as fate would have it) Dom and I moved in together. At the time we talked about how this was becoming a bit of an important date in our relationship and so continued to celebrate the day every year.

Another five years past and on the 10th July 2009, while on holiday in Provence (one of the most beautiful places on earth!) Dom proposed under an amazing lantern lit tree, cementing this as a truly special day for us.

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The spot, where Dom (finally – after 10 years) went down on one knee…

Fast forward another 5 years (one wedding and two babies later – yes it’s been a busy few years) and tomorrow, on the 10th of July I will be leaving my current role as Digital Marketing Manager at Clarins (where I’ve been for the past ten years) to become a full time mum and enthusiastic blogger.

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My family…

Do you have a special date, your very own ‘one day’? I’d love to hear your story.

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As all working mums will tell you, achieving the allusive work/ life balance is near on impossible. Inevitably something has to give, for me it was precious time with my girls, while also feeling guilty for being the only one in the office running out the door (every night) at 5pm – so I could be home in time to collect the girls.

Going back to work after both maternity leaves was difficult but if I’m honest, I loved being back, I missed getting dressed up and having structure to my day. I was ‘me’ again and of course, I missed the banter and company of my lovely colleagues and friends.

When Lili started preschool last year, she started asking if she could have ‘play dates’ and ‘do ballet’.  She now needed me in a completely different way and I realised that I wanted to be at the school gates, I wanted to get to know the other mothers and I wanted more than 30mins in the morning and an hour and a half at night with the girls.

 

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Me and Lili after her Christmas concert – proud mama!

But could I give up a job I loved?  After talking it through with my husband, mother, friends, (anyone who’d listen) – I decided that it was time. I resigned and now after ten long, happy years it’s time to leave ‘Clarins towers’ and start my new life.

Scared? Yes!

Excited? Totally!

What’s next? Who knows but what I can say is that I’ll try to document as much as I can in this blog. My personal journal of LAC, Life after Clarins.

What’s the first thing I did? Went Running in Lavender with my daughters…

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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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