A Wale of a time (sorry!)
It feels like months ago when in reality only a few weeks have passed since we were last in Wales, filling every spare minute with the beach, soaking up the sunshine, dipping our toes in the water, smothering the children with so much sun cream they end up looking like miniature sand monsters within minutes of our arrival. It doesn't always stop the stress, travelling with young children can be a challenge in itself (though both the boys are amazing in the car, opting either to sleep or entertain themselves with passing landmarks; only occasionally choosing to partake in the battle of the last Wotsit) and Jesse was unwell with a fever so all the medicines, syringes and thermometer refills were packed, but there's also something refreshing about handling the stress in a different setting, where the mundanity of the old routine fades away for a short while and allows you to focus that leftover energy on simply being a family.
As well as umpteen visits to the beach, we visited Colby Woodland Garden as it was just down the road from us and it was a wonderful place to adventure and explore. The gardens are huge and a small stream zig-zags through the middle of them, awash with cobblestones and log bridges, rope swings and climbing trees, plenty of places to bare our feet and paddle and gorge on ice-cream whilst watching the little robin with the big personality (who clearly gets a lot of attention from visitors) hop around our feet, preparing to snap up the leftover crumbs dropping from the boy's sticky fingers.
Folly Farm is just down the road from where we stay and as Jesse was but a babe in arms for our last visit, we knew he'd love it now he's a walking, talking almost-two year old (*sobs*) whose favourite words are "LELL-LOW" and "MORE!". Jesse is the sensitive one, an animal lover, so feeding the baby goats, nattering away to the donkeys and stroking the rabbits and guinea pigs would've been the highlight of his day; Archie's, on the other hand, were the funfair rides and go-karts. We didn't realise we'd forgotten the baby essentials, nappies & wipes, until Jesse had dropped an almighty number 2 and the seagulls flew in and devoured the last of our chicken bites, but we still had a great day.
The week we were away also happened to be during the 2018 world cup and I'll forever remember the evening where I took the photos of the boys above in the golden hour because a) England got kicked out and b) I got some beautiful shots as the sun was setting and they're probably some of the best photos I've taken (the better shots from our shoot will be featured in Jesse's birthday letter next week and I'm so proud of them).
On the way home, we stopped in at Tredegar House to break up the journey and happened across a few unusual things (I loved those old boots they'd planted in above) and stumbling across the Halloween models in the last stable on the right (sounds like the title of a horror movie) scared the crap out of the boys (and possibly me).
We managed to squeeze a lot into one week whilst still being able to keep within our own little bubble. I'm trying to stop myself worrying about the little things (something I'm very good at) and enjoy it instead; I'm all too aware that the boys are growing so fast and I love this, being parent to two young kids, it's blissful and difficult and challenging and awesome and I know I will miss it one day, so for now I'm aiming to feel every moment, whether it's good, bad, or a carpet covered in poo (that happened just this morning).