It's been a lovely week for lots of reasons, but mainly my birthday. I love birthdays! I get the feeling you're not supposed to say that when you're a grown up but it's true, I do. The day started with two overexcited children opening my presents for me while I peeled my eyelids open. John made me a cup of tea. We decided to go to Skipton for the day, a pretty Yorkshire market town on the edge of the Dales about an hour from Leeds. The weather was mixed, to put it mildly. Sunny, showers, sunny, showers. We had a pub lunch then went to the castle and got only a little wet. John had made me a cake! We came home and they all sung happy birthday to me, our little party of four, then John cooked me tarragon chicken and we drank white wine when the kids were in bed. Honestly, I felt spoiled and loved. So far thirty six is good.
Birthday bounty; pretty gifts in pretty colours, making me think of spring.
John did good; I have him a list of websites and online shops I liked and off he went. He gave me the beautiful anchor print, yellow tree-printed cushion cover and necklace (which will match my mustard Orla Kiely shoes when I wear them both to my sister's wedding in a few weeks - hurrah!).
Other special and really lovely presents which made me grin from ear to ear include this pyrex dish. I admired it in a second hand shop in Bosham over Christmas while we were staying with my parents. My mum went back to buy it, a lovely surprise.
And my parents also gave me this beautiful, beautiful basket. I dropped heavy hints, I'll be honest. I've had my eye on this for ages. The thing is, I didn't realise quite how big it was! Duh. Still, it's perfect for yarn. And logs, when we get a wood burning stove one day...
My lovely sisters gave me this bowl. Love, love, love. I think I'll keep eggs in it, the colour of the shells will look great with the white and mint.
And there were surprises that came through the post too. Jennifer of Thistlebear sent me this handmade pot holder. Isn't it perfectly lovely? Jennifer and I got to know each other through blogging and now email weekly, chatting away and exchanging news, opinions and ideas. She has become a firm friend. (Even though we've never met.) Thank you Jennifer.
Here's a picture of me hiding behind my phone, taking a photo of a hat my friend Debora made me. I like a hat. Thank you Debora!
But, hands down, award for the best present goes to Bella for this felt-pen drawing of the four of us. She even drew me in a striped top.
The other reason I'm happy is that we finally, finally, have confirmation of a new job for John. He starts in a two weeks. This has been simmering away in the background since November, as he went from first interview to second to third, and jumped through a few hoops too. Oh, they dragged it out. He found out he'd been successful in January but we only just got the details and dates all sorted this week. It's been a long and draining process, but it's behind us now. This will a great opportunity for him with a lot of potential to move onwards and upwards and he is so, so ready to go back to work, chomping at the bit in fact. So this half term has been extra nice as we've felt we can finally stop our strict budgeting. Don't get me wrong, we're not going mad, but it's been wonderful - especially with the wet weather - to take the kids to the cinema, to go to museums and castles, to go out for lunch, without feeling guilty and counting every penny. To just relax.
Today we went to the library and baked fairy cakes.
We put the new sprinkles to good use.
A work of art, I'm sure you'll agree.