Life, Lately | Christmas 2018

Thursday 27 December 2018

Have you been enjoying celebrating Christmas?

I can never believe another year is about to pass by, and this one has certainly been a quick one for us.
With an excited 3 year old and a new baby, we were always going to be full on festive.

In just a few short years, we've gone from having quite grown up, chilled out Christmases to the madness of seven young children in the extended family, and it's predictably nuts - in the best possible way!

As it was Romilly's first Christmas, it was an extra special day for us. We had plenty of little festive milestones along the way. From going to buy all the sweets to fill up the giant family advent calendar to baking mince pies and gingerbread men with Theo, who loves to bake at the moment.

We visited the local Christmas tree farm where we've been going for years to pick out our tree. Sebastian is really particular about trees! Normally we spend quite a while debating the merits of this one versus that, but this year we walked straight in and found the one - the last 7ft Norwegian Spruce!

Each year, since we first got together, we have bought each other one special tree decoration- and now the kids get them too. It's a family tradition and it means that decorating the tree is always a lovely moment as each ornament has a story behind it.

There were a few festive events on the calendar too. First, we went to Wheatcrofts to visit Father Christmas. Last year was Theo's first visit and although he loved it he was very shy. This year he was much happier to say hello, show off his Christmas jumper, and give his wish list!

Then Sebastian and I both had our work Christmas parties on the same night. I was in two minds about going to mine. Romilly is only four months old and she won't take a bottle, so leaving her is logistically tough right now.

She's teething and has been fairly clingy so I'd had one of those weeks where it was all getting a bit on top of me. Sebastian and his mum were amazing and said I needed a break and encouraged me to go.

I even got treated to a makeover at Beauty Temple here in West Bridgford. With a glass of fizz to enjoy and the beautiful Delilah Cosmetics products they used on me I was soon feeling all glammed up and good to go!

We went to Belgo for a meal and drinks and it was so lovely to catch up with everyone, as work feels like a million miles away at the moment. My new boss, who starts in January, came along too and it was reassuring to meet her informally before I go back to work next spring. I had a delicious confit duck dish and Belgian waffles with salted caramel ice cream - yum!

We went on to Das Kino for a drink but I decided to call it a night around 9.30 and head home. Babies and hangovers are not a good combination! Still just to have a few hours with adult conversation was a lovely break and just what I needed.

After that, we had a couple of Christmas parties - one for Romilly's baby sensory class that she goes along to, and one for the local playgroup I take Theo and Romy along to on a Monday.

They were really fun, with lots of festive activities, crafting, dancing and party food for the kids to enjoy. We also had Theo's preschool nativity play where he played a very shy little sheep and I just about melted!

On Christmas week itself, it's been all about family get togethers. As my mum is down in Cornwall, I don't get to see her which is always a bit sad, but it's just too far to travel. She's going to come up in the New Year though, so I will look forward to that.

Instead, my dad came over to my mother in laws house on Christmas Eve and we all had a beautiful dinner with roast lamb and beef.

On the day itself, Sebastian and I were up before either of the children again! Then we heard excited shouts as Theo woke up and discovered that Father Christmas has visited and left a stocking full of presents for him!

Watching how excited he was was amazing. It may be cheesy but it's true- that is the real meaning of Christmas, right there! Then he very kindly helped Romilly to open her stocking in our bed and we all snuggled up to watch some cartoons.

We ventured downstairs to discover all the presents under the tree - again, it was beyond exciting to see Theo's little face. I think Christmas Day as a parent is even more thrilling than being a child to be honest!
He got a ‘big boy bike with pedals’, while we had got Romilly a personalised toy box.

They also both got a joint present - a wooden play kitchen so they can hang out and ‘cook’ when we do, plus lots of other toys, books, clothes and games.

We also got both children a beautiful musical snow globe which I hope they can keep as a sort of family heirloom and maybe pass on to their own children when they start their Christmas traditions.

In the afternoon, we headed over to my sister in laws to visit the cousins and she was in charge of Christmas Dinner too. She and her husband are amazing hosts and do a brilliant job - she's the type of person who makes the puddings a week on advance and freezes them.

We haven't hosted for a couple of years but I think we would like to next year, we sort of miss it!

Theo and Romilly love hanging out with their cousins as well and it makes the whole day more special having a whole big crowd of us.

Romilly tried her first solid food at Christmas dinner as well. She's just short of 5 months old (although had she not been overdue, she would be 5 and a half months!) but she's been getting increasingly interested and will now stare you down if you eat in front of her!

We tried her on some mango puree and a little mashed banana - she took to it like a duck to water. There was no hesitation - in fact, she was practically wrestling the spoon from me. That was definitely a special memory to make.

We actually went back to my sister in laws for dinner on Boxing Day as well - she had 19 people over and made delicious pulled pork with red cabbage coleslaw and roasties followed by the most mouth watering sticky toffee pudding. She is definitely a domestic goddess!

It meant a very low-stress Christmas for us, which we definitely appreciated.

Father Christmas visited the adults as well as the children, and I must have been on the nice list.

I was lucky enough to get a new workout wardrobe of running leggings and tops from Nike, Asics and Joules (who knew they did activewear?) plus some wrist weights to make my at home HIIT sessions and runs more effective.

I'm so glad as a lot of my gym gear is very old and quite literally had holes in it! New gear is also a great incentive to get moving again!

A beautiful set of Elemis Pro-Collagen skincare that I have been wanting for a while after trying a few sample sizes. Now. I'm a bit older I try to be very strict with my skincare routine!

I love Willie's Cacao, which is like single estate chocolate from different places around the globe, so my husband always manages to track it down - this year I got Los Llanos Gold Colombian Dark Chocolate, Rio Caribe Passionfruit Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate with Raspberries.

Chocolate I don't have to share with the kids is rare so I'll enjoy those with a pot of coffee during January. I'll also got a Reese’s selection pack which I'm sure Theo will want to sample!

A beautiful Travalo Milano leather perfume atomiser so I can easily take my favourite fragrances in my handbag or on my travels - it comes with three different refill chambers so you don't have to keep washing one out.

Sebastian has always gotten me something from Molton Brown at Christmas and this year I got the Gingerlily Body Wash and some of the Body Lotion - it smells absolutely gorgeous. A bath on a Sunday night is my little bit of me time so I'm looking forward to trying this out.

Hortus is my favourite gin, so he also got me some of their Rose and Rhubarb Gin Liqueur. Last Christmas I was pregnant and couldn't drink so I'm definitely looking forward to sampling it.

The Nars Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette from the 2018 Holiday Collection was definitely on my wishlist so I was super excited to unwrap it. The shades are just stunning - a review will be coming soon!

Amaretti biscuits are a big favourite treat of mine, so I was really pleased to unwrap some Strawberry and Orange & Lemon biscuits.

I also got this beautiful pair of Tom Ford sunglasses as I lost my old pair last year anyway and needed some new ones.

Then I got a beautiful cosy Joules knitted hat and slippers (which aren't pictured because I basically haven't taken them off since I unwrapped them!) and a lovely set of Oliver Bonas hand creams - Moroccan Rose, Lemon Balm & Samphire and my favourite, Sea Salt and Crushed Mint, all in  gorgeous colourful tubes.

My heart skipped a beat when I unwrapped the box of this beautiful Mulberry Coin Purse - it's classic, stylish and beautifully made and perfect for me as I really don't like massive wallets.

I thought I'd been super lucky, and we were clearing away the wrapping paper when Sebastian said to me ‘What is that Romilly's holding?’. I turned around and he'd tucked a very special surprise gift away with her - a diamond eternity ring. He said it was a special present to Mark the birth of both our children. I was completely overwhelmed - and to think I say he isn't romantic! It was an incredibly generous thing to do.

The band has channel set baguette cut diamonds, so it matches the stone in my engagement ring. He really is an amazing husband.

For the rest of the holiday, we are just planning on getting out for a few welly walks, seeing friends who are home for the festive period and enjoying some time as a family of four.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all of you.

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