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Sunday, 28 December 2014

christmas snapshot

 







glasses were a favourite present this year.

Emma

Christmas snow


The snow fell at night time.....


And brought morning joy...









It doesn't get better than this at Christmas.


Jane

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas countdown - one day to go


So after 24 days we are now finally at destination Christmas. The last 24 days have been fun, chaotic and full of lists, sparkly lights and online shopping. But now we are here? All that matters is time with family, friends, noticing the small things in the day that will make you smile, and remembering the reason why we are all celebrating Christmas. Enjoy.

Jane


coffee with friends, presents received and given, family for dinner, the present game threw up great games and novelties which were fully embraced. a full house. tired but happy.

Emma

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

christmas countdown - two days to go


today was the day everything caught up with me; the travel, the celebrating, the wrapping (or lack thereof), the food shopping still to be done, the extra guests descending, the cleaning, the washing. but then. evening plans are cancelled, the wrapping gets done, the shopping list is made, friends are spoken with, better plans are made and carlito's way is found on the tv. the almost went under day made good.

Emma 

Monday, 22 December 2014

christmas countdown - three days to go


Christmas ice skating....watch out for the orange seal in the corner they go quick but we didn't fall over :)

Jane


travelling to see my cousin in her new place we drove through the centre of town. we marvelled at the christmas window displays, shops lit up like christmas trees and everyone stopping to take photos with their phones and ipads. "i can still see it in my mirror" vics said, so i passed the camera and she snapped the photo. the christmas lights made everything look magical. 

Emma

Sunday, 21 December 2014

christmas countdown - four days to go


Carols by candle light, all ages together focussing on the birth of a baby.

Jane


family, friends, christmas cinema trip all enjoyed, london with christmas lights, champagne, dinner, relaxation.

Emma

Saturday, 20 December 2014

christmas countdown - five days to go


"i do feel very lucky to have a best friend like you" said jane. "don't make me cry, i'm wearing black eyeliner" said emma. let the christmas party commence.

Emma

Friday, 19 December 2014

christmas countdown - six days to go


i love night time driving. especially when it takes me to loved ones to celebrate christmas.

Emma

Thursday, 18 December 2014

christmas countdown - seven days to go


wrapping night take two. glass of wine poured and the masterchef final on tv.

Emma


Christmas carols - mother and daughter time, matters so much more than the mess.


Jane


thankful thursday

one of the discoveries i made this year was you have to fit your own oxygen mask before helping others. that phrase is something i have reminded myself of when i have felt guilty for reading a book or watching a film when i should be "doing" some kind of work around my house. 

these past couple of weeks i've not had very much oxygen time. it's the season isn't it? everyone has a deadline and it rolls ever closer until you get to the 25th of the month. in my lunch hour one day last week i went to grab a sandwich, from the minute i drove into the car park you could just tell everyone was in a bad mood. everyone was in a hurry; deadlines to meet, presents to buy, people to see, places to be. i commented on this to the cashier who couldn't have agreed more wholeheartedly "they really are in a bad mood, everyone" he said, i had never felt anything like it in a store before. perhaps previously i was one with them and too busy to notice. of course a couple of days later, when the to do list was long and panic was taking hold and i was cold to my bones from working in an office without proper heating for almost a week, it was me that had my head down refusing to notice the sunshine of the season.

this week i am thankful there is just a little space. sure, i have masses to do like everyone but i have a little breathing space to get organised within that. i am thankful i can see the finish line of my working year, it's tantalizingly close, i can feel myself getting ready for the big exhale. I'm ready to leave work behind until the new year; i'm thankful for the gift of holiday. i am looking forward to travelling to see friends and family; i am the fortunate one who gets to see people and drop off and collect presents from and for everyone else who can't make the journey. 

as i write this i realise it is one week until christmas day. i could let the groundswell of panic that is at the pit of my stomach come to the fore and give in to what, let's face it, is a usual feeling at this time of the year. couple that with worries that always seem to push themselves to the front of my mind when i feel overwhelmed by to do lists, even if they are nice things like travel or parties, i could well and truly put myself down a big black hole. 

slowly i remember to be kind to myself. slowly i remember to put my oxygen mask on. slowly i remember the reason for the season is a childs birth and that child wants nothing more than for me to surrender and trust that all of this thing called life is part of his great plan for good. only when i remember does my stomach knot relax. only when i surrender does my peace return. only when i am thankful for where i am, with what i have and with who i am with; regardless of hopes and dreams fulfilled or unfulfilled, of expectations met or dashed, only then does my joy return. and with that joy i want to celebrate, embrace life and expect the best of outcomes for future hopes and dreams. i can think of no better time of year to do it.

thank you for reading along with me here this year. many were the weeks when disciplining myself to write my thankful thursday posts helped me change my perspective, because really that is what being thankful does; it enables you to see something good even when you are at your lowest ebb.  i hope that by reading some of my weekly thankful thoughts you have been able to identify with at least some of them and perhaps too your perspective changed.

this time of year we try to get ourselves into the seasonal mood by listening to christmas music. the repetition of old songs alongside the new enables us to relive memories of christmases past. chris rea's driving home for christmas will forever remind me of my brother driving home to manchester from london during his early twenties to celebrate with us. he'd play it in the car to remind him what he was doing, we'd play it at home to remind us he was on his way. when his 6'2" frame arrived through the door all were in the hallway to greet him, arms enveloping each other, kisses freely given, his booming voice echoing the lyrics of this soundtrack (usually "top to toe in tailbacks"). i am thankful i have always had family to celebrate with and grateful there are so many fond and happy memories from the legacy of the years spent celebrating with close friends and family.

so here is chris rea singing driving home for christmas. tell me which songs remind you of happy memories at christmas?


Emma

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

christmas countdown- nine days to go


Sometimes Christmas is just chaotic with a bit too much going on, and today that's how it is, so no beautiful pictures from me today, rather the other side, which is a bit messy, with cards still in their boxes waiting to be written.....and the list just feeling slightly too long within the time available..... And somehow Em is sleeping in this room on Friday :)

Jane


operation wrap father christmas presents completed. now just to find hiding places so the nieces and nephews don't find them when they are here before christmas day.

Emma

Monday, 15 December 2014

christmas countdown - ten days to go


that'll be my miniature christmas tree itch scratched then. 

Emma

want to see the previous days pictures? just click on the series link underneath our picture on the right or click here.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

christmas countdown - eleven days to go


love it when even the deliveries tell you everything's going to be alright.

Emma


It takes all ages to arrange those Christmas lights, some things about Christmas just bring everyone together.


Jane

Saturday, 13 December 2014

christmas countdown - twelve days to go


-2 this morning. my car froze beautifully overnight.

Emma



Christmas and even the plants are sparkly.....


Jane

Friday, 12 December 2014

christmas countdown - thirteen days to go


after standing bare for almost a week i finally got round to decorating the tree.

Emma



Christmas sparkle and love


Jane

Thursday, 11 December 2014

christmas countdown - fourteen days to go


wine poured, candles lit, homemade soup warming on the stove. the perfect antidote to the weather outside and a working day without heating.

Emma




Tempting treats...but packaged with love :)

Jane

thankful thursday




in a season of hurry i am thankful i can roll with the punches. when plans change at a moments notice sometimes it's hard to find energy to change with them but this year i am grateful to have the reserves to draw on; it has not always been this way. i am grateful for friends who make contact to make plans and thankful family celebration plans are now in place (i'll think about the food shopping later). the lists both mental and actual are getting ticked off (the only way to go during this season). while the days fly past at breakneck speed I'm thankful our photo project reminds me to slow down and seek out the daily moments i might otherwise take for granted. 

Emma

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

christmas countdown - fifteen days to go


the stage was set, the audience filled up, we were cued in; our first performance of the season.

Emma



Sometimes you just have to look up.... and be amazed....

Jane

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

christmas countdown - sixteen days to go


driving to meet a friend for dinner, trees were illuminated all over the village this one shed light on a church i've never noticed before.

Emma


Late night shopping...

Jane

Monday, 8 December 2014

christmas countdown - seventeen days to go


a plethora of multicoloured choices.

Emma


The smile says it all -free mistletoe brought home from work with the obligatory Christmas jumper.....

Jane

Sunday, 7 December 2014

christmas countdown - eighteen days to go



At the first Christmas they follow the stars.....tonight you could follow the moon...a complete ball of light illuminating the darkness.


Jane


a day of changed plans. at the end of it, a perfect place for sisters to hang out; under a seasonally decorated tree.

Emma

Saturday, 6 December 2014

christmas countdown - nineteen days to go


trees bought locally. nieces and nephews decorated while my sister and i drank tea. the girls, chatting as we drank, discovered perspective. many baubles were put on. half were taken off again. 

Emma


Only at Christmas do golden bears with their marmalade grace shop windows and look just perfect.....

Jane

Friday, 5 December 2014

christmas countdown - twenty days to go


the railings of the visual branding company next door to our offices have been transformed into a christmas scene. impressive as you can only see it at certain angles.

Emma