I'm going to preface this post by saying that I realise it is nearing the end of October now, but I wanted to share with you what an epic month September was for us as a family. So pop the kettle on and have a read...
I adore September.
Long, hazy summer days gently give way to the nights starting to draw in, burnished leaves floating to the ground and the promise of fresh starts.
I left university many moons ago but still live from academic year to academic year. Maybe it comes from having school-age children? Perhaps. I think I will always see this month as a new dawn, though. Reenergised after the long summer break, September seems a natural time for planning, setting new goals, self-reflection and of course: NEW STATIONERY 😍.
I'll share more about what I'd like to achieve this coming year in a future post, if you'd like to see?
So this particular September started as it always does for us: with a whirlwind of birthdays. James, Reuben and Freya's birthdays are all within the same week at the beginning of the month. Reuben turned eight and celebrated with a trampolining party and sleepover for his little chums; Freya opted for a girly day shopping with a bite to eat and her friend to sleepover. I've felt that this year their celebrations have been more loosely organised and low-key and I would say that they've actually enjoyed it far more than the structured parties we've held for them in the past. Definitely the way to go for the future!
Going back to school this year was a monumental change for us this time around. The little ones were fine; Sophia has another year left at nursery before starting school next September and Reuben returned as a Year Three. Freya, though, moved up to secondary school and I just cannot get my head around the fact that the period of time that has elapsed since my firstborn started primary school is the same amount of time again that she will be off to university. Seven years of school down, seven to go. I'm really starting to see why people say that childhood passes by in the blink of an eye!
Freya's had to adapt from a village primary school of 70 or so children to a secondary school where there is nearly 300 pupils just in Year 7 alone. From being dropped door to door by the MamaBus for the past seven years, to now having to leave home at 7am and negotiate a 45 minute bus journey across the city by herself. To be responsible for her own time management and take care of her personal possessions. To take pride in her uniform and learn how to tie a tie.
She's had to get to know new faces, new teachers, new rules and expectations, new subjects, new social etiquette.
And I've had to learn to let go just that little bit and have faith that I have equipped her with all the skills she needs to make this transition. So far, so good! (for both of us...!)
Weekends have become busy again as we've gone back to all the usual term time activities that come with having three children. We have been trying to squeeze in as much time outdoors together as possible to appreciate the change in seasons; walks in the woods, National Trust visits, wandering around the cathedral and castle in Lincoln... which is no mean feat when we have all been struck down with the lurgy at one point or another during the month!
Fresh starts for me too: first, taking a leap of faith with this blog and second, I've enlisted the help of a personal trainer at the gym. I want to promote a positive body image to my young and impressionable children, so I'm quite careful with the words I choose for these type of conversations, but I started on my fitness journey about 18 months ago now and while I'm definitely not overweight, I do feel that my body doesn't reflect the amount of effort I have been putting into training.
My friend very wisely pointed out recently that, as a society, we should stop thinking about 'diet and exercise' and instead focus on 'nutrition and training'. I couldn't agree with her more. Absolutely spot on! I have fitness goals that I would like to achieve, like running the Paris Marathon in 2018, and I'm just looking for a bit of extra help to get me there. It's too soon to tell whether the PT sessions are having a positive effect physically, but it does already make me feel more in control and makes me accountable to somebody that is going to push me to my limits.