Sometimes things happen that stop you in your tracks, right? Sometimes things happen that make you feel a little unsteady, forced to prioritise and a little like you are just about keeping your head above water. Well… As you may know, lately I have been on the verge of a New Chapter. Ellenah has started school and as amazing as it has been for us both to search Pinterest each night so that she can choose next days hair and to constantly take photographs of her in the morning before she trots off happily…Normal hasn’t yet started! All of the extracurricular clubs have started back up which have kept us busy but Els is still not in school full time. This week she is staying a little longer and her cute, little Disney Princess lunch bag goes with her each morning. As of right now, I still get to keep hold of her in the afternoons to play together. This does mean though, I have had to change my shift pattern to complement her settling period in school and because I don’t like to write and create too much when she is around (because this time together will run out in a few days and I want to make the most of her)… I haven’t been able to sit here, at my desk with a brew (and by that I mean the coldest beverage I can find as I write this in the 31 degrees heat…In Autumn??) to write and to give myself to anything that isn’t my children at this time.

I’m currently trying to focus on creating a new back to school routine that works for us. Like many Mama’s, I have to find a way to make sure that homework is done, we have read together enough and they are attending their clubs…all of this as well as ensuring that they are enjoying their childhood. Always in the back of my mind, i’m reminding myself that this is their time. My main priority is to help them shine in all that they want to do and achieve… and shine with happiness from their beautiful little souls.

That is how I envisioned motherhood. That is what I strive for. They will always come first!

Next week, it will all change once again. Ellenah will be in school full time with Noah and my work pattern will balance out. In my spare time, I will be (as I’ve said before) embarking on a new chapter and in that time I will be focussed on giving my little blog the time and  attention that it deserves. I will also be looking to create better video content for my YouTube Channels – The Sweetest Life & Ria Langner (Which runs alongside Channel Mum). For the kind of person that I am, it takes great courage for me to hold my hands up and say ‘I can’t do this right now, well I can but not well!’ and it takes great courage to remind myself that I am one human, doing all I can and trying to make it work in a way that my children are blissfully unaware because they have everything that they need from me’.

Next week, let’s meet here again, shall we? Next week I will have a plan to share with you, a new lease of life. Next week I will be able to tell you which days I will post new blog posts and video’s, so that we all know where we stand. Would that be okay? It will be here at 6.30am on Thursday 22nd September.

For now, I will be enjoying the rest of the time that I get with my sweetheart and I will be pouring time and energy in to Noah who is now in year three, key stage two… A big deal! So far we have made a turtle (Els), read a lot about planet Earth (Noah), practiced how to write ‘M M M M M M M’ (Els) and revised number ordering (Noah)… As well as reading a lot of lovely stories together. I am thoroughly enjoying it. I love watching them create things, learn things and have a sense of achievement… It’s just amazing! I love that they let me be such a big part of it all.

A New Lease Of Life

See you back here next week? In the meantime, leave any questions, comments, blog or video requests below and catch me on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, I will try and keep things lively over there when I can.

Big Love, Ria x

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Ellenah starting school is naturally something that I want to remember. Something that I would like her to look back on and remember too. So I tried my hardest to capture as much of the day as I could in a vlog (on my second channel). This new chapter for us both has at times made me feel afraid, made me feel sad, made me feel awfully strange…As bittersweet as it is, I am truly excited for her. I am excited about being a part of this new adventure for her. I’m excited for the school plays, school projects, school trips that I will nominate myself to chaperone…The school disco’s, church service’s and sports days.

In years to come, I want her to know that we chose a place that we believe to be right for her. A place that will make her happy. A place that she will enjoy going to, five days of the week. I want her to know that we chose her school in love. I want her to see how much we love her and how much these precious moments, milestones and times matter to us. How much she matters.

So I will probably show her this when she is older. And I will no doubt watch it time and time again when I am too!

With Love, Ria x

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Ellenah Is Starting School

Today is the day that my beautiful little girl starts primary school. My beautiful little girl  who has lived wildly and free throughout this summer. My little Ellenah with the grazed knees, muddy tan, bright blonde hair and big blue eyes. She still smells like summer. A little like freshly cut grass, berry stained finger tips, campfires and salty beads of sweat from a lot of running around, through the tree’s and out into the open space of the countryside.

Ellenah Is Starting School

The summer holidays are officially over…and with it goes our freedom to stay up late making Pinterest smores and snuggling under blankets so that she can fall asleep, her face aglow from the flickering fire that kept us warm.

Ellenah Is Starting School

And instead of the lazy mornings spent eating fruit salads, reading stories, playing hide and seek and making the day wait for us… suddenly, time caught up with us. And instead of the little summer shoes by the front door, now there are some black, patent school shoes which light up. They go beautifully with her little, grey skirt and emblemed, blue cardigan (which make her eyes smile). She has a book bag, a p.e. bag, plimsolls and some cute little gym shorts which make her legs look like twigs. It’s all labelled. All labelled with the name that she has spent the summer perfecting how to write. Ellenah. It is all ready to go.

But is she? Am I ready for her to leap into her next chapter?

Ellenah Is Starting School

Everything that I am has gone in to raising my daughter. Ever since I saw those lines on that pregnancy test I have tried my hardest to be everything that she will ever need from a mother. And even though some days she can be defiant, strong willed and dare I say it, tough… I love her unconditionally. I have loved watching her find out who she is. I have loved being a part of it. I love how she surprises me, everyday. I love how kind she can be. And even before all of this… I loved watching her learn to walk, talk, sing and dance. I loved watching her feed herself, hold her own cup, learn how to use her knife and fork. I have enjoyed watching her learn, reach her milestones and keep achieving. I have also held it close to my heart that she has let me play my part in it. She has let me play a role in her life. She has let me care for her, teach her and be there with and for her…each step of the way.

And now, things will have to change for us both.

Today, I have to wave goodbye to her at the same classroom door that started Noah’s ‘school chapters’. I have to stand there and hope that I don’t break..or at least that she doesn’t see it if I do. I have to let her say goodbye to me and me to her. I have to walk away. Without her. I have to start letting her go. I have to start letting her grow up and find out who she is, more than ever. She needs to know who Ellenah is…away from me.

It isn’t going to be easy.

I look at her and cuddle her at night before she goes to sleep and she is still so small in my arms, still so tiny. Still my perfect baby girl…Isn’t she?!

Ellenah has been waiting for this moment. She is desperate to know how to read and she loves playing with others. Every single day this summer, she has asked me how long there is left until her first day at school. Her smile has beamed when i’ve told her ‘it isn’t long now!’

Ellenah Is Starting School

As she goes off today to embark on her school career, I will wonder which miniature chair is hers. I will wonder if her desk has a slide out tray. I will wonder who she will sit next to and hope that she gets a seat by the window. I will think of her peg where she will hang her coat and bags. I will imagine her in her first nativity play where she may be cast as an angel. I will think of the mothers day service at the church, the easter celebrations…sports day! I will feel excited when I picture her trotting out of school happily, searching for my smile in the crowd of mums and leaping over to tell me about her day. When I think about it for a few moments, I can feel her arms wrap around me. I can feel her warmth. I can hear her say ‘hello!’… and I am so excited for her.

As she goes off today to embark on her school career, I will hope that she remembers her manners and how important it is to be polite, to say please and thank you. I hope that she will be kind-hearted to her school friends. I hope that she cares about their feelings. I hope that she is respectful of her teachers and of everything that they try to teach her. I hope that my sometimes slightly feral little girl continues to blossom and shine just like she always does and in the way that always brightens every day.

Ellenah Is Starting School

Today will be hard. Everything is changing.

But…

I want Ellenah to be everything that she can be. I want her to know and understand as much as she can. I want her to know about herself, that she is a force to be reckoned with. A beautiful force of energy who can make her dreams come true, whatever they may be…but she has to start somewhere, start small. I want her to fall in love with learning things. I want her to soak up as much as she can because knowledge is power. I want her to build true friendships with people who she will treasure in her adult years. I want her to have the freedom to love school without her worrying about me missing her.

I want her to be happy, always. I’m confident that school will make her happy…so how could I ever be sad?

Love, Ria x

 

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Happy Campers

The summer holidays started in the best way for my little family and me. As you grow up and older, knowing what makes you happy is so important, as is keeping things simple and smiling as often as you can. I don’t mean the kind of smile that is meant for anyone else’s benefit. I mean the smile that grows on your face because you are smiling from within. And I don’t mean the happiness that you are told to feel, I mean the kind of happiness that comes from knowing yourself, knowing what you like and endeavouring to always have it.

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

When we bundled in to the car with our battered, outdoorsy clothes and very minimal other things for a few days away, I couldn’t wait to get on the road and make our way to our happy place. The place with the white cliffs that overlook the sea. The place where you can fall asleep around the fire, that crackles from the wood that you found for yourself. The place that when you look up into the sky in the black of night, you can actually see the stars. The stars that go on for days and mesmerise you.

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

The place that isn’t glamorous, it isn’t exotic or in any way luxurious…but it is where we fit! It is where we are happy, truly happy. It is where we are away from the strains of routine, away from the lives that we are conditioned to lead and away from all of the ‘busy’ that sometimes conceals what is most important.

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

‘Tent Life’ isn’t going to be for everyone and back in my early twenties, before I became a mother… It wouldn’t have been on my radar at all. I was busy bouncing around different countries and places during annual leave. My passport, suitcase and best clothes were my favourite things. The life I lead now, my reality… It is so different from life back then. I’m not saying that I never want to step on a plane again, I do! I want to see as much of the world as possible, I want to show it to my children. I’m just saying, I’m glad that I am someone we are a family who can find peace, excitement and joy in being outside. We can find the humour in showering under droplets of cold water, hair lathered and standing in the cold, waiting for the water to come back to our cubicle. We can feel true delight in the high pitched whistle of the kettle, once it has boiled after about twenty minutes (way longer in stronger wind)…This means it’s time for our morning brew. Up to half an hour to make and three seconds to drink so it doesn’t get cold. We can feel good about sharing our bedroom with a variety of insects, even seeing the opportunity to whip out my nephews new microscope to take a better look at the ones we didn’t recognise. We can feel right at home in our tent, we can sleep well and we always feel sad to go back home, to the ‘real life’ one.

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

I know that I’m probably not selling it to you and I’m not sure that I’m trying to if I’m honest. I’m just sharing something special, something responsible for many happy memories, many smiley faces and a freedom for my children that this scary world doesn’t always allow them.

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

Happy Campers

Camping is what it says on the tin. Especially where we go. It is basic. But… what more do you need when you are spending time, quality time with the people that you love. You are not ruled by the ticking of a clock. You are not a slave to technology. You don’t have to tell your children to ‘wait!’ because, well, for what? They have you, in the moment, in the now…They have everything that they need. Your time, fresh air, space to run and to breathe and to laugh…To hop and skip if they want.

Camping might not be for you…but believe me, your fingernails might get dirty… your mind, your soul and your spirit however, will feel nothing but clean.

Love, Ria x

Happy Campers

 

 

 

 

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His little tongue poked out of the side of his mouth and his beautiful, big eyes grew even bigger in anticipation. His little fingers shook with concentration and focus and the room was silent. I may have stopped breathing for a tiny while, worried that he would hear and I would throw him off. And there in the living room of our home, Noah tied his shoelaces for the very first time.

Precious Shared Moments

And like most milestones and the many wonderful ways that my children constantly surprise me, I felt the familiar burn of tears behind my eyes. And like most times, I didn’t let them fall but simply replaced them with the biggest smile that I can possibly fit on my face. A smile that often hurts eventually. Probably because it stays there for so long.

Moments like this remind me why I wanted to become a mother to begin with. To be there for these moments, to see them unfold, help them become. These moments fill me with so much pride, I could burst and it gives me a sense of togetherness with my two favourite people… and that feeling makes me whole and happy.

Precious Shared Moments

And there are those times, after a long day of to-do lists and elsewheres to be, when I lift my beautiful daughter with her smile that is so enchanting out of the bath and wrap her in a big, snuggly towel. I get to be there, to hug her and lose time in the smell of her damp hair and lovely songs that she sings to me in her post bath tiredness. I get to hold on to her while she is still little and lets me. I get to carry the weight of her sleepy body out of the steam filled bathroom and hug her until she is dry and warm. I get to look at her long, black eyelashes, stuck together by droplets of water and listen to her talk to me. We get to have that time.

This happens every day as a part of our routine. It’s easy not to notice just how special it is. It’s easy to take it for granted.

The truth is, Life can be so very chaotic and it’s so important to me to appreciate these little snippets of parenting bliss in the midst of life and all the busy that comes with it. It’s important to truly make them count. It’s important that I have these moments so that my children really know how loved they are, how special and wanted.

Precious Shared Moments

And like I say, it’s about togetherness, our bond… and not only how I feel about them. Not only about how I show it.

Precious Shared Moments

One of my most favourite moments is that glance at the clock, when it is so early and the rest of the world MUST be sleeping. And then two sets of feet meet each other on the landing. My bedroom door opens and my favourite faces in the world bundle through it. They’ve got books, which we will read together in bed as daylight rises and gleams through my bedroom window. Silence surrounds us and it feels like it is just us. Us and our stolen time. Almost as if we won against the expectations of the day, everything we have to do, achieve and give ourselves up for. Like we tricked the day.

Those mornings remind me how my children also feel about me. How they love me and how they think about me when they first open their eyes. How they need me. How we are a team, always on the same side.

Mornings like this are where I am something much more than a mama desperately trying to get it right, hoping I’m doing okay, always thinking I can be better. These mornings are my belonging, where I fit. It is where I don’t need to be anything other than Noah and Ellenah’s Mama…because to them, I am exactly enough.

Precious Shared Moments

These really are my precious shared moments. These and many before and beyond. Countless moments which make me feel blessed.

What are your precious shared moments? The simple, everyday moments that matter the most?

With Love,

Ria x

 

 

Collaboration

This video was sponsored by Cadbury Buttons but all views and opinions expressed in this video are my own and I only ever work with brands I truly love.

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