It's been another busy weekend in the Welch household. This is our "Birthday season", in which we celebrate 3 sons' birthdays in the space of 6 weeks!
It's lovely - but I look at a post from this time last year and wonder how I ever managed to fit in decorating for a wedding and making a wedding cake! (Mad May roundup).
Thankfully the sun has shone on us this last week and Ben was able to have his Lego themed birthday party out in the garden, under a hastily erected piece of camouflage tarp for shade.
I love making their cakes, if I have enough time not to get too stressed and as this year, my lovely mum took the remaining children off my hands for the day on Friday, I was able to be quite relaxed about it. I'm learning to be a bit more like this with birthdays. I always have about 3 times the number of ideas as I can fulfil at these times, so I have to be realistic with myself and learn not to be disappointed if I don't get to do them. After all - they never knew these things were even being planned, and to be honest, are more than happy with having friends over and a special cake. With 5 children, I try to give them one day a year that is just about them, and let their creativity run loose a bit too. If it's a Lego Chewbacca cake they want, then off to Pinterest I go. (Trouble is, you find so many more things there you want to have a go at!)
The garden is blossoming too and Jonny's new fire pit has been christened with a meal of Mexican wraps for the birthday boy, who managed to fit in a 5.30 pm trip to the doctors for some urgent asthma attention in the middle of it all too.
Yes, that is an old trug basket burning on the fire....I too was concerned when I saw this - but after Jonny told me he had found it under a bush, rotten and beyond repair and that he thought it was kind of appropriate that the fire pit built from Dad's old Truggery was lit for the first time with one of his baskets, I felt better and actually thought how beautiful the moment was. Dad would have loved it.
The decision to forget veg and go with flowers is paying off now too and the new border is blooming marvellously.
I am so pleased I can hardly stop smiling when I walk out there and although today my favourite chair is covered in folded washing - it looks increasingly at home in our little patch. Jonny lifted this chair out of a rubbish heap behind his house when we were teenagers after my insistence that it was beautiful and could be restored....it had no wooden slats and was covered in rust, but I could see potential! It took me the next10 years or so to get round to stripping the old paint and cleaning it with a wire brush - after a promise from my dad that he would make new slats for me if I did. I didn't get round to painting it, and unfortunately, Dad never got the chance to finish it for me. Imagine how touched and emotional I felt this Christmas when my older brother presented it back to me after sneaking it away from my mum's house - fully restored and ready to be sat in! It's a gift that so special, because it's not just about the time and skills that went into it, but about the skills passed on from my Dad and the honour it does his memory.
I have tidied my studio this morning, all ready for a new burst of creativity. June is my month for Redeem to get going. I keep telling myself! Trouble is, my brain is suffering from a touch of "too many directions". But I'm trying to go easy on it and let it settle a while! It can easily become a race to try to "do something creative" while I have a minute without children, which ends in frustration, because you can't force these things.