Everything changes in this village in May. It's like fairies fly over the rooftops in the night and blast the gardens and hedgerows with bursts of colour and poof, you wake up to carpets of Forget-me-nots and Wisteria that seems to have blossomed without a whisper, but in spectacular style.
All the lanes have started to feel like a maze, green walls that let just a peek of sunshine through them, leaving dappled sunlight all over the pot holed roads. It's quiet but alive all at the same time. You can hear the boys on the trampoline, the neighbour's boys doing exactly the same on the opposite side of the road, you can hear dogs calling each other every now and again the rumble of a tractor hurtles by.
We've been so caught up in the house, the inch thick dust, the midnight staring competitions at the laptop trying to decide on window handles and taps for the bathroom sink, that we've almost missed what's been blooming around us. It's felt like there hasn't been a moment to stop, there's a room to pack up, un pack and repack, as we make progress with filling, sanding and painting the tired walls so battered and bruised by the new pipework. I think we are only just starting to appreciate that when you take on an old house, there is always something on the list left to do. Some things can wait until your children leave home and some need your immediate attention. But the ones that are most fun are the ones in between! Not the vital foundations of the house, the things that are pretty, but they have to wait for a little longer.
But we decided on Saturday that everything in the house could wait, packed up a picnic and dragged the bikes out of the garage. Ollie has an obsession with dandelions at the moment and every time he spies one he clutches it so tight, you can see he's wishing with all his might. Of course we never get to find out what he wished for because "Mama, then it won't come true" but you can just about make out his hushed little voice and the murmur of something Minecraft related.
So off we tootled in search of a field full of wishes.
We stopped to say hello to the horses at the bottom of the hill who I suspect are quite spoilt with small people passing by. They trotted over with glee at the sight of our two with hands full of lush green grass, normally out of their reach. They are so magnificent and overwhelming all at the time but the boys didn't flinch. They spoke to the three beautiful creatures in front of us like they were old friends.
Their fuzzy soft noses tickled the palms of their hands, and the boys roared with laughter at their loud huffs into the air. I love their whiskers, so wiry but delicate and their eyes feel like so soulful, like they can understand you.
We found the perfect spot to stop and my muddy boys hopped the gate and scampered off into the distance while we set up the makeshift blanket (who needs a blanket when you have a tablecloth) and watched them literally skip through the buttercups and dandelions. It was completely and utterly idyllic.
Until they discovered the next door field of cows and darted over to say hello to be greeted with a full on mating show by a very rampant bull!
I wish that there were more days like this. We panted back up the hill and decided to abandon the jobs left over from the morning's to do list and race down to Lyme Regis for the afternoon. In one day we had more family time together than we've had in months. Everything has been off balance lately and we needed sea air, a cycle and chicken sandwiches to set ourselves right.
I love these photos because they capture the boys just as they are. Sammy and his impossible to contain and quite frankly control, exuberant personality, a smile as bright as his neon glasses and Ollie's competitive streak fighting against an overwhelming desire to be adored by his big brother. The grazed knees from running through life at 100 miles an hour, the little fingers who see a wilting flower and pick it for their mama. The pursed lips that have got blowing for a wish down to a fine art but can't quite master a whistle.
Our boys are the very best of friends. They eat together, sleep together, fight and wrestle together, but they are very rarely apart. And when they proclaim their frustration for each other in a barrage of poo related put downs I tell them really calmly how lucky they are to have each other. We can see they can sense the unsettledness that has swept over the house as quickly as the dust sheets covered the furniture. It's remarkable we are all still speaking to each other at the end of a day sometimes. There have been tears and tantrums but we are in it for the long haul. The house is testing us, almost like testing our love for it.
I had my camera but I sat back and watched more. Snapping life as it happens, rather than corralling my brood to face the tripod. I still want those photos, every time we drive pass a beautiful field of yellow rape seed Rich knows I would love to stop but I must remember that these everyday snaps are just as precious. These are the photographs that fill our digital album. I look at our big traditional albums and scrapbooks and they are filled with happy moments. Firsts, family and friends, sun kissed skin in holiday outfits and cocktails in one hand, but life is what you live in between those special anniversaries, birthdays and milestones. And that's what a blog is, an evolving album for the movement of millennial parents writing about life as a family.
I need to remind myself that perhaps the everyday moments might be just a nice to read about, in between the bigger adventures. That these simple pleasures tell our story as much as the parties and the plane rides. Perhaps even a little better.
Linking up with The Ordinary Moments
If you haven't already voted there's just a little time left to vote for your favourite bloggers in this year's national parenting blog awards. I owe so much to these awards and the people who nominated me.
You can find me in the Photo Shortlist for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards which closes at midnight 17th May and I am thrilled to be a Finalist in the Photography category of the MADs.
It would be an honour to be at those award ceremonies amongst some incredible photographers.