This weekend we had such a great weekend with the boys, we’ve had such a busy time lately with having their birthdays and other planned activities that today we decided to take it right back to nature so we could spend some quality time together as a family.

We decided to visit Wynyard Woodland Park which is such a lovely place to spend the afternoon as it has a park, forest, walk way amongst other things to keep the little ones entertained. The boys love visiting here because they get to play on the park and they have a big climbing frame with slides and many other things that are designed for little ones and it’s in such lovely surroundings too we’re very lucky to have it on our door step. Once they played in the park we headed into the woods for a long walk and as we walked we shouted our names under the bridge so they could hear their echo, they love doing this, we collected pine cones and visited the pond and luckily enough for us there were baby ducklings all following their mother around, it was so good for the boys to see too. James picked flowers and Thomas made wishes with dandelions, all things I used to love doing as a child.

We then went further into the woods and crossed over the stream by walking and balancing over the sticks that had been laid there by someone else before us, it was a little tricky but, our boys love engaging in activities like that and we do too. They love getting dirty, wet and muddy and even though I’m not so keen on the muddy part I too love an adventure! Richard and I truly love being outdoors, although I have to admit I’m a bit of a fair weather walker, but, I’ve got better as the boys have got older, I’ve had to! The boys will be playing out on Boxing Day even if it’s snowing wanting to play footy and I’m not a mum who’ll stay indoors I like to get outside with the rest of the family and I’m usually found in my wellies and big coat all wrapped up in the back of the garden (I hate being cold). These are some of my favourite times spent with our family, we all love doing this!

Back in the woods, we all climbed hills, played tag, laughed and played – it was such a wonderful afternoon. It made me realise how good it can feel to be outdoors with the boys as you tend to have a real appreciation for nature and it’s beauty. It really made me think back to my childhood whereby my parents would take us out as a family every Sunday afternoon and take us to Richmond, Reeth (the local countryside) or the beach and seaside and we have had some amazing times altogether. Looking back I can see that my parents always lived consciously and made sure they designed and planned our weekends around quality family time and as a child I didn’t always see it like this. My Dad would always want us to go out every Sunday and as I got older I didn’t want to go but, I was never allowed to stay at home so I went but, looking back it was great – it was like having an adventure every weekend. This was the same with holidays, we had an old caravan that we used to go on holiday in for 3 weeks every year (3 weeks!) and we used to travel around Europe stopping by at different towns and places – we stopped wherever we fancied and stayed for as long as we liked! We did this every year for 16 years and looking back it was some of the best years of my life.

I made friends with lots of children from different nationalities and we played together and made our own fun, there was no IPad or tablet in sight, all we had was the campsite, a deck of cards, dominoes and the play area and we absolutely loved it, we had hours and hours of fun! Now as a parent I look back at my own life and realise how lucky we truly were to spend all that time together every summer and visit some amazing places, creating special memories along the way and now with my own family I feel like it’s come full circle because I aspire to live my life the way my parents lived theirs. They enjoyed the simple life yet had an amazing life and created some wonderful experiences in the process and that’s what I aspire to do for my family too!