Dearest Athena, Tomorrow you are three and I can’t quite believe that my baby is so big. Every first for you is also a last for me and I must admit it is bitter sweet. No more babies in this house, no more wobbly toddlers taking their first steps. But as the dust settles after those first few sleep deprived years I can truly see what we’ve been left with, what our family looks like. And what a beautiful sight it is. You may be the smallest in our family but you certainly have the biggest personality! You fill our…

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Dear little Lyra, Tomorrow you turn five! I probably say this every year but I cannot believe where the time has gone. In between getting everything ready and perfect for the morning I’ve spent the evening indulging myself by looking at your baby photos. So much has changed, you’ve grown beyond belief, and yet you are still that quiet, expressive, inquisitive, child you were then. These past twelve months have been dominated by you starting school. We learned which infant school you would be attending the day before your fourth birthday and then what felt like immediately there were forms…

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Although I was first diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis when I was a teenager I was largely asymptomatic for most of my life and didn’t often spare it a second thought. It was in July last year that I really consider my first diagnosis of a chronic illness. When I could barely walk and there was steroid injections and talks of regular medication. I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t find that hard but once I’d settled on Methotrexate and given it time to work the swellings went down, ,the pain eased, and I felt like I was…

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Since Athena was born it’s become a little tradition of ours to head out to the lavender fields on a sunny weekend in July. I mean, check out our trip in 2016 with eight week old Athena. How was she ever this small?! Earlier this month on a very hot Sunday we headed out for this year’s visit.     The day starts with our customary hang out in the car whilst we wait for both girls to wake up. All doors wide open, trying desperately not to overheat, they finally wake and we wander towards the lavender fields. The…

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After the joy of seeing Sutton Lane Meadows in the sunshine we couldn’t pass up a chance to see another wild flower meadow. This time it was the turn of Dyrham Park, a place we have been countless times before but usually we focus on the other side of the park. The heat and lingering illnesses mean both girls need a little more encouraging to explore than usual but Lyra is soon running off ahead to explore. Athena only wants to be in my arms so progress is slow as we bring up the rear. Lyra and her Daddy are…

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The beautiful weather and the time of year tempts us from the woods. We head to Sutton Lane Meadows, a collection of wildflower meadows owned by the National Trust that we haven’t visited since last summer. On our last visit Thee clung on to her big sister still wobbling in that adorable way toddlers do when they’ve just learnt to walk. This time that wobble has long since disappeared and both girls run ahead at full speed together pointing out butterflies and bees as they go. No room for sorrow at the baby days that are past us though as…

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22/52 + 23/52

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Dearest Athena, Tomorrow you turn two. Two! I can’t quite believe this because I can’t quite believe that you’re not already two. You are such a big character, so outgoing and chatty, that your baby years seem so far behind you. In your birthday letter last year I wrote that you were ‘curious, single minded, exhausting, quick, clever, brave, and beautiful’ and honestly this still perfectly sums you up twelve months later except I would add two more words to that list. Fierce and fearless. Oh Thee you challenge me daily, you are constantly ‘on’ and don’t stop from the…

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