Friday Focus 29/12/2023 – Family

It’s been good to be able to switch off and focus on enjoying family time over Christmas. We spent some time away over Christmas and headed to Cornwall with hubby’s parents. It was our fifth Christmas spent at Coombe Mill and, as always, it was good to get away and enjoy outdoor time. Sophie and Thomas loved starting the day going out on the feed run and seeing all the animals. I quite like being a bit more cut-off from things with limited phone reception and WiFi – it’s quite nice having the feeling of being in our own little bubble – although less good when trying to help the Tesco driver find the right place in order to deliver the Christmas food shop! Thankfully we did get there in the end!


The word 'family' in blue text


After getting back from Cornwall, we then spent a couple of days catching up with my mum and seeing some of my siblings and niblings. I got to meet my newest great-niece for the first time which was lovely.


As always this time of year has been very mixed emotionally. Christmas Day was a bit of a struggle for me, and while I tried to stay upbeat for the children, the mask did feel very heavy at times. We also have the anniversary of Jessica’s Fontan procedure shortly after Christmas, which was a big step on her journey at the time but now comes with the awareness that it was a step she never completely recovered from and therefore feels like it was the beginning of the end. This time of year brings a lot of sadness but there are many moments of joy too watching Sophie and Thomas enjoying Christmas and there were funny moments which made us laugh too.



What I’ve been grateful for this week:


Thomas sitting at a table in a restaurant, playing with tangrams; Thomas with Santa on a steam train; one of my Jessica angel Christmas tree decorations; Sophie and Thomas opening Christmas presents; a stream running downhill over rocks; Sophie holding a chicken; Thomas and my great-nephew sitting with my twin sister - "#365daysofgratitude 2023 - Week 52"


  • Day 356 – I am grateful for tangrams helping keep Thomas entertained while out for lunch.


  • Day 357 – I am grateful for a visit from Santa on a steam train trip.


  • Day 358 – I am grateful for excited children and beautiful memories.


  • Day 359 – I am grateful that Sophie and Thomas have had a lovely Christmas Day.


  • Day 360 – I am grateful for a lovely Boxing Day walk.


  • Day 361 – I am grateful for another lovely stay at Coombe Mill.


  • Day 362 – I am grateful for time spent catching up my family.



Other things that have made me smile this week:

  • Thomas trying to catch the ducks on the feed run.


Thomas chasing ducks


  • A day out at the Eden Project.


Sophie and Thomas looking at a waterfall at the Eden Project


  • Holding the baby guinea pigs on the feed run.


Sophie holding two baby guinea pigs


  • A visit from Father Christmas and his reindeer at our lodge.


Sophie and Thomas opening the door of the lodge with Father Christmas and two people dressed in reindeer onesies standing at the door


  • Toasting marshmallows on Christmas evening.


Sophie and Thomas toasting marshmallows over a firepit in a BBQ hut


  • Getting to hold one of the goats on the feed run.


Sophie and Thomas holding a goat


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9 thoughts on “Friday Focus 29/12/2023 – Family

  1. I love that family time for you and your family. Despite the sadness, it had moments of brilliant togetherness and seeing the light and laughter on the faces of your loved ones. We take this opportunity to wish you and yours a good 2024.

  2. Lovely that you were able to get back to Coombe Mill again, and have a lovely Christmas with the animals there. Sounds like it was a nice time there.

  3. I’d have loved to have visited Coombe Mill when my kids were younger, I’m glad you managed to go, it must be lovely to just switch off and enjoy. Then come back to family time. Of course the grief likes to hit you at these times but you handle it so well. We all miss Jessica and her gorgeous smile. Happy New Year to you and your family x

  4. It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas. I am glad you got to go to Coombe Mill again. How nice to spend time with family. Your photos do make me smile. That last one did make me chuckle, goat cuddles look like lots of fun. x

  5. Coombe Mill looks brilliant. Very peaceful – apart from the animals I imagine! Glad you had a good time. Wishing you a happy 2024

  6. It seems the children had a lovely time at Christmas, which is the most important thing, of course.
    Happy New Year!

  7. I can’t imagine there is anything you will ever do without the heartache of Jessica, I really feel for you all x. SO lovely to spend Christmas at Coombe Mill, glad the Tesco driver was able to find you in the end. The weather looks quite warm with you. Not sure who is cuddling who or if the goat is just being squished by Thomas and Sophie lol

    1. Thank you Suzanne. Sophie was cuddling the goat and I think Thomas was probably just squishing it!

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