The post-holiday blues have hit me hard. This time last week we had just woken up for the first day of our little Holiday to Center Parcs (Sherwood) Why is it that when you want time to pass quickly - it goes slowly, but then when you want time to slow down it goes way too fast?
We enjoyed our Holiday so much last year that we were quite happy to return this year (I think we're also going back next year). Martha wasn't walking by herself the last time we went so I knew she'd get much more enjoyment this time around.
We arrived a little after 3:30 on Monday afternoon, unloaded the cars before taking them to the car park and picking up our bikes, unlike last year I hired a bike for myself as well this year.
Our villa backed onto a little lake, the girls loved going out there. You really do feel like you're in a cabin in the middle of the woods (rather than a Holiday resort) it's so peaceful.
Our only plan for Monday was to go o, ut for dinner. We had enjoyed lunch at Strada last year and we wanted to try it for dinner this year, it was lovely to have an excuse to get dressed up to go out. The highlight of my dinner was the chocolate fondant dessert.
We had booked for Osh and my sister to go caving on Tuesday morning, while they were out we took the girls to the play area for a bit of fresh air and to get our bearings again. We spent the afternoon at the Subtropical Paradise which is just amazing. Martha was able to go on the slides propery this year and they really didn't want to leave. Me and Mam took the girls back to the Villa while Osh, Mark, my sister and Dad went for a Laser Clay Shoot.
We had beautiful sunny and warm(ish) weather for the whole time we were there, we really couln't have chosen a better week to come away and it was lovely to be able to get outside and take some photo's of the kids, and even the odd visitor!
On Wednesday we had arranged for Osh to go wall climbing and for Isabella and Martha to go wall climbing. I honestly thought Martha would have loved it and that Isabella would have been the one to scared to anywhere near the horse, as generally Martha is always the more daring sister.
Martha was petrified, she was hysterical to begin with but she calmed down enough to stay on her horse the 15 minute ride. Isabella was a total pro, she had a smile on her face the whole way round and I really think that it might be the start of a very expensive hobby!
Osh is at the awkward age where he's too old to play with the girls, but he finds us grown-ups too boring to hang out with. However, just like his Mammi he loves to read, in between activities we'd find him tucked up on his bed reading his book.
It was just me and my Mam taking the kids to the pool on Wednesday as Mark, my sister and Dad were booked to go on the Segways. I seized the opportunity to take the camera to the pool with me and get some quick pictures. I love comparing the photo's of Martha in the pool last year to this year, she seems so much older and she's so much bigger.
I'd forgotten to ask for a new Wetsuit from HeartLine before we went this year so I bought this black and purple one from Trespass. It did a great job at keeping Martha Grace warm in the pool; her lips, hands and feet stayed their normal colour and she was able to enjoy the pool comfortably just like her brother and sister.
On Thursday we took the girls to a "Cake-pops" class. They mashed up chocolate digestives with buttercream, put them in the freezer for about 10 minuts before dipping them in candy melt, sprinking them with decorations then leaving them to set. When they were ready they got to wrap them in cellophane and bring them home.
I spent Thursday afternoon with my Mam and Sister and the Aqua Sana Spa. It was absolute heaven; three full hours without a Husband or a Child in sight. It was amazing to experience the various sauna's and steam rooms; being in the outdoor pool when there wasn't a cloud in the sky - we really could have been anywhere in the world, it didn't matter that we were only a few hours away from home in Nottingham.
I really dislike not having something nice to look forward to. I hate the fact that the next big thing in our diary is Martha's appointment at Great Ormond Street; I'm petrified at what news we'll get. I want to be able to look forward to the summer holidays like everyone else and make plans for a few more days away as a family. But this is what it is to be a Heart Family. We appreicate our family times more because we don't know when we'll get to do these things again, they are more precious because of the hard times we've already lived through, because there have been really sh**ty times when we've prayed so hard to be able to enjoy family holidays like this. We make more of an effort to enjoy our time together because we know that at the exact same time - another family is praying they will make it out of hospital soon and will enjoy a holiday of their own.