At the beginning of this week Jim and I took the first steps towards a huge new chapter in our family life. After a year and a half of talking about it, the two of us finally made our way to the Isle of Wight, to look for a new place to call home.
On New Years day 2014, I woke up feeling miserable about the fact that I was facing another year without Mum, with Jim living away during the week, on my own with the girls Monday to Friday, in a house that's too small for us and in a big city that I really no longer want to be in. And I decided there and then that it all had to change. Somehow. Because life is too precious to waste being unhappy.
And it's taken almost a year and a half to start making it happen, but that's what we did this week.
It was Jim's first visit to the Island (he has a lot of faith in me!) and he loved it as much as I hoped he would. We spent two glorious, childless days driving around, looking at houses that we've been looking at online for months now (and discovering why they haven't sold for months.....) and getting a feel for the specific areas that would suit all our needs.
While we were there we walked on the beach and wondered around the most beautiful villages. All the while looking at eachother and asking if we could really have this, as our everyday life. While knowing that the answer is yes, we can!
We viewed incredible homes like this one, and sadly accepted that as incredible as it is, is doesn't meet our needs. We will have three generations plus a business, all in the same home, so it really has to work hard for us.
In between house viewings we took a walk in a nature reserve, and almost immediately were blessed with seeing a woodpecker (it's there in that tree, you just can't see it!).
One of the places that we also stopped at was The Piano Cafe in Freshwater Bay. It was suggested to me by a friend on the Island, but I'd also seen it on the Junkaholique blog I think. It's only 15 minutes from where we were staying and it was the perfect place to sit in the afternoon sun, while eating a huge slice of lemon drizzle cake! Our only disappointment was that we missed out on having lunch there. But we will of course have plenty of opportunities to eat there in the future!
This was just a view as we drove from one house to the next..... we spent almost all of our time saying "Oh My God" as we drove around!
The Island really is as beautiful as you would imagine. With beaches and countryside and chocolate box villages, plus town life if you really want it (we don't).
We know that moving there won't solve all our problems, Mum of course will still be gone. But this move means that my Dad can live with us, which will make us all feel a lot better, and it means that Jim will be home every night, which would be wonderful. It also means that the girls can have space to grow, in relative safety. And that I can be near nature, which is what I need more than anything, to start healing properly.
Everything about the trip was wonderful and it completely proved to us that we were making the right decision. Which is good because while we were there.....we found the house.