Our first mini holiday 

When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the things I knew I would miss the most was travelling. Since my early 20’s I have been lucky enough to enjoy four to five holidays a year, and have been steadily ticking off the bucket list. I knew that once I ‘settled down’ and started a family, the trips abroad would have to take a backseat. 

We have a big trip planned for next summer for my sister in laws destination wedding, but until then, we will not be leaving anywhere on a jet plane anytime soon. This will be the longest I have gone without a holiday. So until then, I am hoping to make the most of things to see and do in the UK. 

My sister turned thirty this September, and to celebrate (or commiserate) she wanted a trip away with us all. My sister and cousins have always been my travel buddy’s (we are lucky enough to have five girls all born within 12 months of each other). But, my sisters birthday was just two months after my due date, and much to her disappointment I told her many months ago that a trip abroad with such a small baby was not happening (not sure what we would have done in New York with a newborn anyway). 

Being the ‘organised one’ I have always been responsible for our travel plans, so as always I was in charge. I searched for a location no further than one and a half hours from home, and came up with a lovely lakeside lodge in the Cotswolds. The lodge accommodated 10 adults and backed out onto a lovely lake, and had a outdoor BBQ space, which fitted my sisters requirements perfectly. 

Don’t underestimate how much you need to take for a long weekend away with a baby. Luckily we had enough cars to fit all of Sami’s things, but we left one vital thing.. The baby monitor. But we used our imaginations and set up a Skype call, which meant I could relax for a couple of hours in the evenings.

The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed some lovely meals out, aswell as a BBQ and some family games (my family are geeks). And of course, me and my sister had a squabble. No weekend is complete without this. But we were best friends again the next minute, as always.

We took Sami for a lovely long walk around the Cotswolds Water Park and Beach. This was a lovely place filled with families going for walks, enjoying a picnic or a BBQ, or taking part in water sports. I made a mental note to return here one day when Sami is older and has siblings. This was the first time Sami enjoyed a walk and actually stayed awake (he usually sleeps through), he was amazed by the colours and loved taking in the new sights.

All in all it was a lovely weekend, and I still managed to enjoy it with a 9 week old baby. The distance was just about manageable, I am glad we didn’t venture any further. The amazing weather and beautiful scenery made it feel like we were so much further from home, I cannot wait to explore this area again in the future.. And for now I have had my ‘holiday fix’ until our big one next year.. Only ten months to go.

  
   
   

   
 

38 weeks and still going..

So I have almost reached the home straight, but no signs of baby just yet.. Although, I have finally encountered swollen feet and as of today we now have a baby car seat (hooray). 

The reason for the swollen feet is my very active weekend for my cousins wedding. We travelled down to stourhead in Wiltshire (hospital bag in tow) on the Friday afternoon, and the horrendous rain did not bode well for the wedding the next day. I was lucky enough to be staying in a Natural Trust Cottage with the bride and two of the bridesmaids on site, which was lovely and quaint. 

Despite the rain, we decided to take a midnight stroll to check out the marquee which had already been set up for the reception the next evening. It looked magical, with lots of mood lighting, and quirky decor, making us all even more excited for the next day! 

On the morning of the wedding, we enjoyed a lovely full English breakfast with all of the other guests that had stayed on site at the Spread Eagle Inn, and then excitedly went our separate ways to get ourselves ready. 

I opted to wear a bright blue summer dress (dress details on previous post about my maternity shoot) with flat sandals, due to the rain the day before I didn’t fancy heels and my other dresses were too long for flats. And I am so glad I did! As the day involved lots and lots of walking around the beautiful grounds at stourhead. 

The ceremony took place in the Pantheon, which was built in 1753 and modelled on the Pantheon in Rome. It’s a beautiful little building which is visible from across the lake when you first enter the gardens. Enroute we also walked past a waterfall, not something I have seen in the UK before! Just as the bride and groom had said ‘I do’ the sun came out just in time for some lovely photos outside the Pantheon and lake, it really was perfect timing. 

All of the guests then took a stroll around the gardens, stopping in the grotto for a drinks reception, ending up on the other side of the lake for canapés and more photographs. The sun stayed shining and it was a lovely and relaxed atmosphere, I was amazed when I realised it was 6pm already (and took a quick opportunity to go back to the cottage and freshen up a little). 

We then moved over to the stable yard to the Marquee where the evening reception was to take place. By this point my feet had ballooned so I had decided I would be staying in my seat for the rest of the night. The evening began with some traditional speeches, I particularly enjoyed my uncles ‘father of the bride’ speech which made us all a little emotional. Dinner was traditional roast lamb with lots of trimmings and was yummy! 

The bride and groom then cut the cake and took their first dance to ‘dream a little dream of me’ by The mamas and papas. The band for the night was The Wurzels which fitted the barn theme nicely.  Even I got up for ‘combine harvester’ before I called it a night to put my poor swollen feet up. The bride and groom looked so so happy together and my cousin looked simply stunning. It was a lovely wedding and I cannot wait for future baby cousins for my little one 😄