A few weeks ago we had a long weekend with friends at a house in the Cotswolds. Our group of four friends from uni who met in the sunny heights of Stoke on Trent in 2000 has now grown to a group of 12 and by the end of the year will be at 14 with the arrival of another two small people.
Girls, boys and small ones all together. It’s always lovely to get together and we always have a great time. Now the small ones are here it is of course a different type of weekend. No more late nights partying with lazy days recovering. We still have fun though and the late nights are just a bit earlier.
For the second year in a row we rented a house in a small village near to Stow on the Wold. It’s the best option for us with such a large group and the location suits everybody for travelling. Now that the small ones are a little bit older it is lovely to see them interacting with each other. Amelia is one of the youngest and whilst there is still a slight gap in the age where they will all play together she had a lovely time chasing them around.
The best thing about the house we stayed in was the outdoor space. Our dream for the next few years is to have a house with a garden and seeing Amelia run around the garden last weekend made us want this even more. She loved the freedom of such a big space and having the extra attention of more people, she was in her element.
I loved catching up with everybody. It’s so easy to lose touch with people over the years, especially when you don’t all live around the corner from one another. We have all made a conscious effort since graduating in 2003 to stay in touch. Since then we have had boyfriends, weddings, babies and we are all still great friends.
We had a lovely time and us girls even got a few hours to ourself whilst the boys looked after the girls. We ventured into Stow on the Wold and had some tea and cake. This was so lovely and nice to have a little break from all the craziness for a few hours. Two of the girls are expecting their second babies in a few months time so it was nice to chat about that and their expectations of a second child.
Amelia is at the stage the moment where she is becoming more and more independent. Seeing the other older girls gave me an insight into what is to come. Between us all we took enough toys to entertain a nursery worth of children but all they were interested in was the dollies and the buggies. No matter how many dolls there were they just wanted the one other one had. There were a few instances of ‘my baby’ from some of older girls which is to be expected. At one point i did wonder if we would have to surgically remove one of the buggies from one of the girls but over all they did play really nicely.
Whilst the weather wasn’t as great as we would have hoped and we didn’t manage to get the paddling pool out we still managed to spend lots of time in the garden. Amelia’s favorite thing to do outdoors is to just run very fast and if there is a ball available kick that as hard as she can.
It was also really good to share stories of our experiences of being parents. We all have a mix of ages with the youngest only 3 months old and the oldest just about to turn 3. Amelia has perfected a high pitch scream in the past few weeks. It’s usually for excitement and then sometimes for no reason at all. She has also started to tap people in excitement or when she wants something. It was good to hear from the others that they had dealt with all of these things with their little ones. There is a part of me that knows that it’s only a phase but there is something comforting about hearing from others who have been through this and reassuring you that so many of them go through it.
It was lovely to spend some quality time with the girls, the boys and the small ones. We are now making this an annual event. A year seems like a long time but in between working, new babies and everything else going on the time soon flies by. That is not to say we won’t be planning a girls only weekend sometime soon. Ideas at the moment seem to be leaning towards a spa weekend where we can just do nothing all weekend. Sounds like bliss!