This weekend has been full of quite, simple, content moments, sunshine and plenty of delicious food.
For us it was actually quite a quiet weekend. We are always dashing about, seeing friends and family and we don’t have that many spare weekends to spend as just the three of us. Because of that, I sometimes really crave them. We had plans to meet up with some friends on Sunday, so Saturday was our ‘home’ day. You would probably think it was boring – a gym class, a trip to town to do a few errands and time in the garden. But amongst the ordinary, were moments of laughter, tickles, and smiles which were so wonderful I felt like my heart could burst with love. When you become a parent, even the boring parts of life become sprinkled with moments of pure joy.
After lunch in the garden Miss Belle did something unheard of, and had a two and a half hour nap. Every parent I know longs for nap time, or bed time (or both, no?!) Miss Belle often powers through on just 30-40 minutes sleep all day, so when she sleeps past an hour I’m always torn between celebrating (in this case I was thinking of sunbathing in my hammock with a cold cider) or cracking on with the chores. Our garden looks like a small jungle in places and I’d been moaning about it for months, so we decided to tackle it whilst we had the chance. Plus, it was sunny and I refuse to do the gardening unless it’s hot. It’s surprising how much you can get done when you’re free from toddler demands and the drain of constant entertainment and supervision. We totally transformed half the back border. Score!
Once Miss Belle was up we played in the garden all afternoon. There were silly moments of playing peekaboo under the gazebo which she found hilarious. I even got five minutes in my hammock. She looked at me and for a very brief moment (probably for all of 30 seconds) she was still and lay there mimicking Mummy sunbathing.
These simple moments made my day. As I prepared the salad for our BBQ I looked out the window and saw Miss Belle and her Daddy playing on her slide, laughing as she pushed her Gruffalo teddy down it. I was overwhelmed with happiness. It was just a boring day at home but I realised, yes, this is what being content feels like.
Too often I am guilty of not feeling content. I always want more. Something else to chase after. To be thinner, with better hair and skin, to have a high flying job, to live closer to my family. As we did our gardening I started the monthly “when are we going to move?” chat, which nearly always ends in tears or me in a massive grump. Needless to say we went around in circles like we always do and we ended up agreeing to think about it properly at the end of the year. You see, always wanting more. Now! But when I stood at my kitchen sink washing the tomatoes, I realised that actually, if I stop and stand still and see what’s really in front of me, right now, I am content. In that simple, boring, everyday moment, I felt like the happiest person in the world.
Roll on Sunday and we had a proper foodie day and went to the Sandringham Food Festival with a couple we met at our NCT classes. As soon as I met Michelle and realised she was also a foodie, we became instant friends. We drool over our BBC Good Food magazines, discuss Masterchef (amateur, professional and celebrity), and my favourite, The Great British Bake Off.
One of the things I love about Norfolk, in addition to the warmer weather, is that it’s a great place for fooides. It was the first time we had been to Sandringham Food Festival, but it did not disappoint. We spent the day browsing the stalls, sampling the produce – cheese, sausages, bread and oils, dressings, gin, cider, more cheese…. We also saw Holly Bell and John Torode give cookery demonstrations. They were both awesome, but as a massive Bake Off fan, Holly was my highlight. She gave some great tips and baked a delicious Bramley Apple Crumble cake which we all got to sample. I think it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted, with the lightest most delicious custard flavoured buttercream! I’m going to try to bake it next weekend for Matt’s Grandad’s 95th birthday party. 95 – I know!
Aside from the food, it was great to see our friends and catch up. It was lovely to watch the babies interact together, or rather watch Miss Belle steal another babies food! My friend’s little boy has just started walking, so Miss Belle was watching on and then trying to copy him, albeit holding our hands.
We came home happy and full of food.
The day confirmed that all I need to be truly content, is good food, sunshine, my gorgeous family and fab friends.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend too.
Here’s to finding more moments of contentment.