Me & Mine // A Family Portrait (July 2020)

It doesn’t seem like it was very long ago that I was writing our last Me & Mine post at the end of June. As I mentioned then, Gabe went back to school for three weeks from the beginning of July, before finishing for the summer holidays on the 17th. After the long months we’ve spent in lock down since March, July has felt like the most ‘normal’ month we’ve had for a long time.

We definitely made the right decision sending Gabe back to school, even though it was only for a few weeks. He had a few moans about going but he really enjoyed it when he was there and he did way more learning than he would have done at home! I just wish Toby had been able to go back as well – he did get to go in for a couple of hours to say goodbye to his Year 2 teacher and meet his Year 3 teacher so that was something at least.

It was Toby’s birthday this month as well. I can’t quite believe it’s 7 years since he was born, I can remember it like it was yesterday. Although there was no party with his friends this year he still managed to have a fun birthday. We opened presents at home in the morning (we got the boys a Nintendo Switch between them for their birthdays) and then headed to my parents’ house via the McDonalds Drive Thru!

We had gone to my mum and dad’s house to put our tent up and make sure it was still all in one piece. We’ve got a big garden but there isn’t a big enough flat bit for the tent so that’s why we had to do it at their house.

We bought the tent before we got married and hadn’t used it since before Toby was born but it had survived 8 years in the garage, which meant we were good to go for our first family camping holiday!

I went camping loads when I was growing up but we had never taken the boys in a tent. We’d had a few glamping experiences last year – we staying in a glamping pod in Coniston, and then in a Hobbit Hole at The Quiet Site on Ullswater. Glamping is a bit different from a tent though so we weren’t sure how Toby and Gabe would get on.

We needn’t have worried though – we had a great time! I’m going to write a post all about our trip soon but safe to say it was a success – so much so we’ve booked to go camping again in a few weeks time!

All of us sitting in front of our tent with a fire pit in front of us.

While we were away we also made use of our National Trust membership for the first time since the properties had reopened. We went to Erddig in Wrexham – we weren’t there that long but we had fun exploring the gardens and having our packed lunch in this little alcove in the garden wall…

Family picture at Erddig National Trust

Although we had our trip away we are still staying mostly at home the rest of the time. We still haven’t been out for a meal, or even been to a playground. Barry is still working at home, although he has had to go into the office a couple of times in the last few weeks to sort out a new laptop.

As we head into August parts of our county are facing more restrictions as Covid-19 cases are increasing again so it just feels safest to stay at home as much as we can. In exciting news though – the landscapers started work on our back garden last week (I’ve written about our garden and some of our plans for it before) so hopefully by the end of the month we’ll have a usable garden that the boys can play in safely. I’m sharing some updates on my Instagram Stories if you want to see how it’s getting on and I’ll be sure to write a proper post about it when it’s finished.

I think that’s probably all for this month. As I said, we’re going camping again in a few weeks, and it’s going to be Gabe’s birthday, and then I’ve got all my fingers crossed that the boys are able to go back to school in September!

I hope you’re having an enjoyable summer whatever you’re getting up to…

This is my seventh year of taking Me & Mine family portraits. You can see all the rest of the posts here.

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