We've finally got the keys to our new place (well nearly a week ago now). It honestly feels like I've been waiting for that particular moment for so long, like a really painful length of time but it has finally happened. Those phone calls took over my life completely and I feel amazed that it's finally over. We've got in there and decorated the majority of the house - now is the waiting game of moving in.

I've taken many 'before' pictures so I hope to share those with you some time after we're settled in as I would love a visual reminder of how the place looked when we turned that lock for the first time. It feels surreal to see the potential the house has for our family as we do have, maybe, the chance to buy it in the future so now is the time we're getting serious about a mortgage. It's somewhere I could imagine the boys growing up, but so much has to come before we get to that stage - like saving!! We've taken a serious look at our finances and are going to hatch out some type of plan. But that's for the future!

We are officially moving in on 23rd January and I honestly can't wait. Only Arthur's room to decorate and the house is ready to greet our furniture. We've spent the last 3 weeks decluttering this house - who knew you could find so much junk - we've had a skip to get rid of a massive load and it's really helped with my peace of mind in a weird sense. I think it's mostly because we've been holding onto things specially for that moment we would call in a skip and it's all just gone. Totally liberating!

We've still some packing to do, but it feels like it's going to be okay now as most of what's left is what we use on a daily basis so can't easily get packed up until the weekend. So it's focusing on cleaning up so that's not a massive stress towards the end like the oven, kitchen tiles, sweeping the patio, touch up on any walls etc etc. We have until the 31st January to hand the keys in so we've had a lovely little overlap and we feel incredibly grateful for it! (It's so stressful as it is getting the keys let alone having to panic pack!)

I'm so glad we fought hard for the house as it's going to be totally worth it for our family. There's room and I can finally let go of that suffocating feeling we've had for a couple of years now - 2018 you've been kind to us so far (except the flu type thing I had last week - that was mean!!).

I sit here on the eve of 2018 finding myself feeling really rather lonely. It's a very unusual feeling for me as I often revel in having a few hours to myself where all the boys are sleeping and Chris is out the house. It's not very often that I find myself in this situation these days! It's also rare that there's no one to really message - its that one night you don't want to 'chat' message, knowing full well they're enjoying the last evening of 2017 with their loved ones.

I'm having one of those reflective evenings where, currently we're settling into the ideas and motions of moving house. I do feel somewhat sad that we are leaving as I have so many happy memories in this house and I'm overly fond of these bricks. It's the first house to feel like home for me. Our last we always knew would be a temporary place and we ended up staying 3 years, it was our first place and it was exciting to have somewhere for us to bring Fred home and begin our life as a family. But it wasn't a house we really loved, there was issues with it such as terrible mould in the cold months, drafty windows and a creepy stair case. Yet here we moved when I was pregnant with Noah. It was exciting as it was a fresh place, light and airy, fixtures were brand new and ready for us. We've been here 4 years now. Two of our boys have come home here.

Mum moved out of the house I lived in for my teen years - that felt like home for the longest time - leaving that house, I've found that I feel her new one is my family's home. It's not mine - I guess because I'm not living nor have lived there it doesn't feel like a part of me is within the walls so to speak. I visit and oh my, I love her interiors and the general layout. It's serious house goals! But, it's not a place called home anymore. This house has become that little haven - I guess it just feels really strange that we're not able to fit in this house anymore (if I could magic another reception room and bedroom, we'd be staying!) and so we're moving into a house that is much bigger for our extended family. It's a place that's got the room we need to grow. It has so much potential and is somewhere where we can transform into another home. I think I just feel sad that there's going to be that limbo period where there is no real 'home'  - it takes time to make that special place. This next month is going to be so busy (we've got both houses for a crossover of 3 weeks) so we've a lot of work to get done. It feels a little overwhelming especially with three little boys to entertain in amongst it. It's going to definitely be an adventure!

I'm writing lists and getting myself excited. After a month or more of uncertainty it feels a major shock that we're actually going sometime soon. There's so many cupboards to sort through and so many memories to go through, but we've got this and 2018 is going to be such a exciting year! I'm looking forward to a new project, I want to make another home that we find ourselves completely in love with and where there's room for my boys to play as they should. Because at the end of the day, I always come back to the crashing reality that everything we do is for these handsome babies of mine. They deserve the world  and I'll forever try to give them exactly that!

The Loveliest Day.

Last Sunday Chris unexpectantly had a day off work. He came home early on Saturday after a long set of shifts and we were so excited to see him with the added bonus of having home with us over the next two days. Saturday evening we had a chat about what we'd like to do. We spoke about maybe heading off out to the woods for the last day of the school half term holiday, but we ended up changing our minds as the boys were happily playing outside in the garden the following morning.

I headed off out to the shop for a few items we needed and came home with two small games (£3 each) thinking they'd be great for entertaining them and something we could all join in with. The boys recently have been enjoying stacking up blocks as high as they can before they fall down and so I told them about a game called 'Jenga' that I loved as a child and promised them if I ever saw it I'd grab it to play with them. It was by pure luck I came across these and they were so excited, wanting to open it as soon as they saw the box.

We had lunch and played it outside, several games and it was just such a lovely atmosphere. Everyone laughing and just enjoying watching each other squirm and cheer as we took turns. I also bought Connect 4 and as these are smaller versions of the original they'd be great to take on a holiday or on a day trip. Later we decided to head out for a walk and ended up at the park not far from us - we're very lucky that in our village there are 3 parks to choose from.

It really helped that the weather was beautiful. We all were grinning and enjoying each others company without a care in the world. I felt so much relief seeing Chris walk through the door as it had been a testing week. It's difficult when I'm juggling everything alone so when he's there it really feels as if we're more even balanced. Life just feels that bit easier with a friend for support. It was also the morning after reading about the London terrorist attacks and boy, it was tough going at the start. I felt so sad and scared for us all that I just wanted to curl up, but I'm so glad I didn't give in as it was the loveliest, calmest day with my tribe of boys.

I'm so glad that I thought to snap some pictures that day as it'll forever be one of my favourites to look back on in years to come.