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So we are finally home and I am writing this from my hammock as the day is finally starting to cool down. We hit a barmy 35 out in Kirkstall today, beautiful as long as you don’t require me to actually do anything! This moment is even more exciting as I am also writing this on a laptop that allows me to move away from a powerpoint.

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DSC_8542Despite the start of our time in the UK it was great to see friends, manage to get to a wedding and hang out with Dad. The kids made good use of their woolly hats and welly boots. I learnt not to go walking with Zachary as I just end up carrying the lump, usually up hills and through mud that threatens to tip me head over feet into the nearest puddle.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI loved waking up to frosty mornings and clear skies, I liked less the pouring rain and days stuck inside. Plus I have completely lost the ability to drive in the UK, all the roads seems way too narrow and Dad’s car too big. It was so much fun to meet my gorgeous god daughter, now to persuade Jamie to let me travel back for her christening – without the kids 🙂

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Too soon we were heading back to the UK, although I’m looking forward to a bit of warmth. The kids were so excited to be home and see Jamie, I think its the longest they have been apart from him. Zachary woke up, twisting and turning trying to see his Daddy and then flung his arms around his neck and buried his head into him. Utterly adorable.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe made it home safely from the airport, arriving at 3:30am, and the kids hit a second wind and had to be yelled into bed. I am pretty sure Abi and Jack did not sleep, it would count for the sobbing that happened the next day. Zachary refused to sleep anywhere bar on me with a hand down my top, it didn’t make for a great night. But we shoved jet lag to one side and celebrated Christmas II with the family. It was a full house of kids, dogs and craziness. The perfect way to have a home coming.

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Zachary has got opening presents down pat. I have learnt to move all wrapped items well out of reach as in the last week he has squirrelled away and opened two presents, slightly disappointed that neither were very interesting to a 2 year old boy.

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Jack started school, so far he has bolted in the middle of assembly. Although you can’t really blame him as they asked all the preps to stand up the front of the whole school and introduce themselves. Nice idea unless you are a 5 year old boy who is slightly suspicious of school in the first place. But so far he has seemed pretty happy. He doesn’t like PE, completely nonsensical as it’s basically playing with slightly more structure. And he slightly gets a little lost when he’s abandoned by his sister during playtime, every day she promises to look after him and pretty much every day she gets distracted. Sisterly love.

Jamie and Pauline have moved offices. Slightly chaotic as all moves are but a new start for them. Hopefully it’ll be a great new time, earlier nights, more weekends off and ideally more family time!

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Dad has settled into life in Kirkstall. Heading out into the paddocks to spray the thistles, with Meg lopping behind barking at the cows and chasing imaginary hares. Except on days like today when she spends most of her time under the house or trying to get into the air conditioned rooms. He’s been playing tennis, zooming the kids to school and the park, and generally spoiling them rotten. Returning today with a paddling pool, which 3 naked children spend the day merrily hopping in and out of, well except Jack who burst into tears the moment someone splashed him. And by someone I of course mean Abi.

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It has been fun filled, crazy, busy and ultimately bittersweet. For all the fun and joy she is still not here and I can’t help but remember that this was our plan. A family Christmas, a hot January of fun, followed by the start of school. That is what she wanted, to be with her grandson on his first day of school. I can only hope that she was, in her own way.

So now we home, settling into life with 2 at school and one at home, a little lost without his big brother but managing to get into enough trouble by himself. And I’ll finish with this….earlier this week I dropped the kids at school, got back in the car and as I drove away passed a wallaby hoping down the road. Only here, and a great way to feel like I am home.