If you read my blog regularly, you will know that things haven't been easy this year for me or for us as a family. I don't know if it is as a result of this, or because I am now practising mindfulness regularly, but I have started to appreciate the little things in life a lot more. So much so, I have started writing down the things that make me smile.
Some of them are very personal to me, and some might make you smile too, so with that in mind...
I'm going to start with this one. For a while now, I have wanted to learn how to make films. I am a huge admirer of Xanthe Berkeley and her very clever Instagram films, and I have finally gotten round to taking one of Xanthe's online courses. The film below of a few weekend scenes, is my first week's homework. It is not perfect by any means, in fact my thumb is even slightly covering the lens on one bit of footage, but I still love it and it really does make me happy to watch. The singing accompainment is Elvia, she sings constantly and this has been her song of choice over the weekend, so it is as much a part of the weekend as any of the clips, our weekend theme tune so to speak.
Talking of Elvia, she has made me smile for so many reasons this past couple of weeks. By showing me what true courage is, and coming first in the school talent show, after a bad experience with nerves a few weeks before. With her brilliant school report, but more than anything with a little booklet she created called "Why I love my Mum', the most treasured gift anyone has ever given me, and needless to say, that smile turned to happy tears.
If you are in the UK, you will know that the weather has been pretty awful this summer to date, but one afternoon when it was pouring with rain, Dottie and I sat for a long time in the door way blowing bubbles into the rain, such a simple activity, but a memory that will make me smile for a long time to come.
A couple of week's ago, I visited Perch Hill, a garden owned by author, chef and well known gardener, Sarah Raven with my Mum. It was absolutely beautiful and so inspiring, once again opening the debate on whether we should leave the City for a life in the country.
The last few weeks, I have been treating myself to a babysitter one evening a week. Greg works extremely long hours which means that I am effectively a single parent most week days. My night off, as I like to call it, is a really luxury, time for me to do whatever I want by myself. And it seems that sitting on the beach watching the sea, is what I have wanted to do more than anything else!
Sound advice from a friend; Dottie is incredibly shy, something I struggle with, I get so embarrassed by the fact she won't acknowledge people when they talk to her. But after school one day, my friend Katherine and I chatted about it. Her advice made absolute sense, to do nothing and remember that what Dottie thinks of me, is much more important than what anyone else thinks. So there will be no more pushing her to say hello to people, instead I will just accept that this is how things are at the moment. Letting go of what people think is another good reason to smile.
Finally, this little video from Taylors Teas, as you can imagine, I get sent a lot of emails from different brands, but this film about a bee hotel, really made me smile. I hope it makes you smile too.