Thursday photo #256

I wouldn’t class myself as someone who has a problem with saying no. I prefer to think of it as taking opportunities as they arrive. In weeks like this though, I do sometimes wonder if I take on too much. For now though, the children seem to be enjoying their chaotic week. I’ve worked late a few nights, but I seem to be managing to fit everything in.

lake with clouds behind in Cannock Chase Forest Staffordshire West Midlands

The cross country run

Last year, Libby took part in the school cross country run. She’s never been a particularly fast runner, but she has great stamina and can keep going for ages. Needless to say, she was raring to go when they announced that this year’s run was taking place on Monday.

The run is optional and a relatively small number of children take part. Libby is a child who wants to do everything and hates turning down an opportunity. I have no idea where she gets it from. Lia on the other hand, is inherently lazy. If she can get away with doing absolutely nothing, that’s exactly what she’ll do. That’s why I was surprised when Lia decided to take part in the run as well. She had a bit of a wobble beforehand and cried because she was nervous. I just told her not to worry and she didn’t have to do it. But she was determined that she would, and off she went.

I was convinced that Lia was going to run the first 50 metres, realise she was last and burst into tears and walk back to me. So when they all set off, I was surprised to see her keep going up the hill and off into the distance. In fact, she made it round the whole course. She came last, but she didn’t stop and I was really proud of her. I was equally proud of Libby who made it her mission to do well. She was among the first few girls from her school to finish and crossed the line with a massive grin on her face. Next year, she’ll be in key stage two which is a much longer run with much older children. I have no doubt she’ll be just as enthusiastic.

Living life to the max

Every Saturday, we try to have a day out as a family. It might not be anything spectacular and it’s rarely expensive. But it’s a day we all spend together, preferably outside. This weekend, we decided to head to Cannock Chase Forest. If you’re not aware of it, it’s one of the best places around for mountain biking. Whether you’re cycling as a family like us, looking for challenging trails or downhill adrenaline courses you’ll find it there. It’s also incredibly dog friendly, they even have a special activity course for dogs. The girls cycled a good few miles and I took the opportunity to run more miles in preparation for the London Marathon.

Cannock Chase Forest Staffordshire West Midlands cycling downhill

Monday was cross country run day, then the girls had their tea in the car on the way to their drama class. Libby aced her piano lesson on Tuesday and is delighted to be playing ‘happy birthday’ this week. After an hour at home grabbing some food, we were off again to see Madagascar the Musical at Malvern Theatres. Wednesday was another busy one, I had to pick them up early from school to make our way over to Birmingham to watch Disney on Ice.

I know the girls are doing a lot and I do feel guilty sometimes that they don’t get much time just chilling out at home. But by the same token, they only get one childhood. I think it’s rare to look back on life and regret that doing too much. So for now, we’re living life to the max. And quietly hoping that next week is just a little more sedate.

Thursday photo #256

Despite all the exciting things we’ve done this week, the highlight for me was seeing these two in their cross country run. I was so proud of them both for how hard they tried and the way they kept going.

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  1. Very well done to them! I would have been extremely proud of them in the cross country run too. If they’re having fun and taking all their activities in their stride, then why not? It’s great that you could combine marathon training with them having fun on their bikes.

  2. Hi Nat, well done to both of your girls! First or last, it really shouldn’t matter (and obviously doesn’t to Lia, which is great). You have to take some of the credit for their grit and determination, you are an excellent role model for getting out and doing things. It’s good to make family time a priority sometimes, it’s what childhood memories are made of and as you say, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune.