We were awake and dressed early so had our last breakfast with everyone bar the happy couple (who didn’t finish until 2.30am). After breakfast we did our final packing and decided to go see BattleDad’s sister in Kildare for lunch as unfortunately a trip to Dublin was just too far in order for us to make it back to Shannon on time for our 6.30pm flight.
It was a miserable day but we made our way to Kildare, arriving just after 11am. It was lovely seeing my sister-in-law and the kids who are all growing up so fast. We had a lovely lunch and a lovely few hours with them before we got on the road back to Shannon. The road system has vastly improved in Ireland since we left over 10 years ago with the motorways cutting down travel time dramatically. It’s so much easier to get to places these days.
Before we dropped the car off we filled it up and then got the courtesy bus over to the terminal. We did the quick check in at the kiosks as the desk for our flight wasn’t opened and then got rid of our bags at the bag drop desk. Before going through to departures we stopped at the Aran Sweater Market and bought a lovely ‘Clann’ picture, which means family in Irish. My idea is to one day have a ‘Family’ photo wall in our house (from ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest) so thought this picture would be lovely for it. One day!
We went through security and found somewhere to sit down. BattleKid hadn’t napped in the car on the way from Kildare which worried me. To top it off our flight was delayed by an hour and a half so we had more time to kill and more time with a toddler who hadn’t napped!
We found a kids play area and took it in turns to go there with BattleKid until we got our food. He ate fairly well and then was back to more playing, this time on his Trunki!
We eventually took off at 8pm and landed just before 9.30, the time we should have hit Wales on the drive home. I wasn’t very happy. BattleKid didn’t fall asleep on the plane despite having his bottle and being in his pj’s. He’s a proper nosy parker and I’m sure he doesn’t want to sleep in case he misses out on something!
When we put BattleKid into the car I put him into his Grobag as I knew he’d most likely nod off. We packed up the car and set off for home. Just after we left Birmingham Airport we had an idiot nearly crash into us on a motorway slip road. I took the van details and am in the process of compiling an email to the company. He could have wiped us out with the way he was behaving!
We got home just before midnight and took a sleeping BattleKid inside, changed his nappy and put him into bed, with us following suit soon after.
We had a lovely time at my sister and new brother-in-law’s wedding and have memories to treasure. I can’t wait to see the pictures! We didn’t do some of the things we had planned but did others instead like see my sister-in-law and the kids!
Next for us in terms of travels is a trip to Thomasland in December when we will be meeting up with my sister-in-law and the kids, and bringing BattleKid to meet Father Christmas for the first time in the Castle of Dreams for Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas. I can’t wait to see what he makes of it. Tune in in December for those holiday diaries and keep an eye on my Snapchat (battlemum) and Instagram for live pictures and snaps of our time there!
BattleKid thankfully didn’t wake too early despite the clocks going back and we joined my cousin’s wife and their son, my sister and my niece and nephew for breakfast. Soon after my parents arrived and sat beside us. Again, the breakfast was heavenly and I filled up on a full Irish with fruit.
After breakfast we took the toddlers and my nephew out into the garden of the hotel for a little photo shoot. Unfortunately the light wasn’t great so we didn’t stay outside too long. Once we were done outside we took the toddlers to the playroom in the hotel. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Yes it was just a large room in the hotel but it had loads of toys in it, enough to keep BattleKid and his cousin occupied for a while. We were filling in the time before joining everyone for a swim in the hotel pool.
We made our way down to the pool just after 10.30 and BattleKid and his cousin practised their Waterbabies moves together. It was great seeing both of them happy and confident in the water. When we were dressed we met my parents in the bar and had toasted sandwiches and a baby bowl for lunch as we were too early for the carvery. After lunch it was time for the youngsters to have their nap and BattleDad joined BattleKid while I went off with my mum to do a bit of shopping.
We visited my favourite Irish store, Dunnes Stores, and I picked up a few bits for BattleKid and also a lovely outfit for my niece for my mum to put up until next year. I just couldn’t pass it by. It was a lovely little denim dungarees dress with white and yellow (mustard shade) top and the most adorable mustard yellow duffel coat to go with it. I can’t wait to see pictures of her in it. After returning to the hotel I stopped off at the bar where my dad and brother-in-law were watching football over a cold drink each. I ordered a Rock Shandy, which you can’t get in the UK, and enjoyed chatting with my dad and then uncle before going back down to BattleDad. BattleKid was still snoozing. It was a lovely relaxing afternoon, much-needed after the hustle and bustle of the day before.
Around 5pm we joined our family in the bar for dinner and finally saw both the bride and groom who were off out into town for an evening with their friends. I font know where they were finding the energy. I got us mostly packed up after dinner before we put BattleKid down and, thanks to BattleDad, spent another hour or so with my family before returning to the room to watch the MotoGP race on the laptop with BattleDad. We turned in early and got a good night’s sleep. It was a lovely relaxing day overall. The next day was home day!
We woke early enough and joined my nephew for breakfast with my mum and dad joining us soon after. I have to say it was the best hotel breakfast I’ve had in a long time. The Irish sausages, white pudding and soda bread all tasted so so good.
After breakfast I didn’t have much time with BattleDad and BattleKid before I had to go get my hair and makeup done. My hair was due to be done at 9.30 and I got into the chair soon after that time. My sister was having 5 bridesmaids so her room was a busy place that morning. As well as the bride and bridesmaids, the hairdresser had the mums and one of my aunts to do. But in fairness she horses through the bridesmaids hairs in no time.
Soon after my hair was done it was time for makeup. I brought my own makeup and brushes in case the makeup artist wanted to use them but she used disposable brushes on me as well as sterilising others in between each application on me and after she was done with me. A week and a half later I haven’t heard of anyone else having conjunctivitis so she did the in-between cleaning well. I also didn’t feel too bad as another bridesmaid had a stye in her eye. What were we like?
The false eyelashes were a new thing for me and took some getting used to as I’d never worn them before but I have to say they did look great on all of us. After we were done it was my sisters turn. The photographer turned up at 11am so managed to capture her getting ready but up until then I took a few snaps for her.
At 11.30 I left to go back to BattleDad and found him and BattleKid snoozing. It was much needed rest for both of my boys. At midday I ordered sandwiches and a baby bowl in the bar and brought them down to the room. I was starving and definitely wouldn’t last until dinner without it. BattleKid ate well and at 1 I got dressed and had to abandon my boys again to go get the bride finished and dressed.
It was a military operation to ensure she wasn’t spotted by the groom and an even bigger one to get her into her dress!
“I can’t breath” was repeated several times and I reminded her she wouldn’t breath properly until the dress was off her in the small hours of the morning. I remember my own and how I couldn’t breath fully until well into the evening when the dress started to relax a bit. The next thing she discovered was going to the toilet was a challenge. It took 2 of us to help her! I don’t think she factored that into things when choosing her dress. Thankfully I never had any trouble in mine. However, that said she looked amazing, certainly not like my little sister. It’s funny how your sisters transform before your eyes when you’re the eldest and you all grow up and become women, wives and mothers. I still can’t imagine Geri with kids but I’m sure it’ll happen one day for them!
At 1.50pm we started to head towards the ceremony room, bridesmaids shielding the bride from any windows she could be spotted from. The groom had to be told to go get ready as he was in the bar! She didn’t want to do the whole ‘fashionably late’ thing, like me. I ended up 25 minutes early for mine and my car had to park in an estate near the church to ensure BattleDad didn’t spot me!
At 2pm on the dot we gathered at the doors and that’s when the enormity of it hit Geri and some tears came out. She composed herself, with no help from our Dad haha, and I went in first with BattleKid who was carrying the rings on a cushion, followed by our other sister and my niece who was flower girl. The plan had been for them to walk down together followed by me, then for me to bring them down but my niece was having none of it. So Plan C sprung into action. I have to say BattleKid looked great and BattleDad dressed him well. Everyone commented on how cute he looked and his curls were in fill swing, much to my delight. If he needs a hair cut now then at least I’ve got the pictures of his curls from that day!
This was the first civil ceremony I’d ever been to, all the others had been Catholic Church weddings, and it was lovely. Afterwards there was the obligatory receiving line. Following this the bridal party were bundled into cars/taxis to go to a nearby nature spot for some pictures.
Most of the females, especially the bride, were not happy with the 15 minute walk into the wood but I kept reassuring my sister that it would be worth it once she sees the pictures. The setting was beautiful. It’s just a pity the ‘wedding organiser’ had forgot to pass on the message from the photographer to bring flats for the walk in and out. I’m dying to see the pictures. While we were there it looked touch and go as to whether it might start raining but it help off thankfully.
We returned to the hotel an hour later and went into the hotel garden for the family pictures. While there I started playing with BattleKid and didn’t realise BattleDad had captured some stunning pictures of me and my boy. I’m thrilled with them! While we had been doing the bridal party pictures, BattleDad had tried to get BattleKid down for a nap but he wouldn’t go down. However he was in surprisingly good mood despite only having had a short morning nap.
We mingled with everyone, me with a cup of tea, and caught up with those we hadn’t seen the night before. Dinner was due to be called for 5pm but was delayed due to the Rugby World Cup match on. This unnerved me a bit as BattleKid and his cousin were overdue dinner and BattleKid hadn’t napped so I worried about them starting to get cranky. But I need not have worried as they were both really well behaved.
The speeches were held before dinner was brought out and both myself and my other sister said a few words on behalf of our family, me doing the traditional Father of the Bride part, my other sister doing the funny bits. We did this as our Dad is a man of few words and doesn’t like standing up in front of crowds of strangers. With the speeches done we could eat, drink and be merry for the rest of the night. BattleKid ate well and just before 8pm I took him to our room to get him his bottle, bedtime story and put him down, while BattleDad ate his dessert in peace. It didn’t take long for him to fall asleep and I got changed, ready to do the first dance photos as the wedding photographer left after the speeches!
BattleDad then swapped with me and I went to join my family who had kept my dessert for me! The band took ages to set up so the first dance was delayed until after 10pm. At 11.15pm I grabbed my sisters and took them to the Photo Booth my sister had hired for pictures of the four of us. It’s very rare these days we’re all together for pictures so I took the opportunity while I could. And they kindly let me take our copy home with me. I’ll need to order more from the website!
After this I went to our room to turn in for the night. It had been a long but lovely, exciting day and I was pooped. I was also conscious of the clocks going back that night! Thankfully the next day was a rest day for everyone with nothing planned!
A fortnight ago we travelled home to Ireland for one of my sisters weddings. Geri is the middle girl of four and the time had finally arrived for her wedding!
I woke up with a swollen eye and thought “oh no!”. This was all I needed the day before I was due to be bridesmaid. I had the Friday off thankfully to drop the dogs to kennels and to do final packing before we needed to pick BattleKid up and head for Birmingham Airport. So I called the doctors and got an appointment to see the nurse early enough. I went down and was told it was conjunctivitis. Oh brilliant! Armed with eye drops I went home to drop the dogs off and finish final packing before we collected BattleKid and got on the road.
We had to travel from Birmingham as no airline flies from either Cardiff or Bristol to Shannon, so Birmingham it was. We were flying to Shannon as the wedding was in County Clare so that would be easiest rather than flying to Dublin and facing a long drive to get to Clare. It did mean we wouldn’t get to see BattleDad’s family but it couldn’t be helped.
I got things sorted early enough on the Friday and we collected BattleKid shortly before 1pm and got on the road to Birmingham, me driving as BattleDad had a conference call he had to do. Everything was going fine until we hit the M5 and then we faced lots and lots of traffic. It was just as well that we left when we did as we needed to avoid parts of the M42 and didn’t get to check in until after 4pm, with our flight due to take off at 4.55! It didn’t leave much time to find something for BattleKid to eat who was due something, nor ourselves as we hadn’t had time for lunch! Our flight was on time and we were soon our way to Ireland. It had been 10 years since I had flown from Birmingham Airport and boy had it changed. I used to come in and out of there every three weeks visiting BattleDad while I finished my PhD in Ireland.
After a smooth flight in which we got another signature and note in BattleKid’s Simply for Flying logbook, we went to pick up our car and drive the 20 minutes to the hotel. The girls at the Budget desk were lovely and so friendly, especially with BattleKid. It was lovely being back in Ireland.
We arrived at the hotel just before 8, checked in and had help from my sisters to unpack before bringing BattleKid down to the bar (in his pj’s) to see the rest of the family. It was lovely catching up with those we hadn’t seen in a while. We fed BattleKid his bottle and then brought him down to our room to get him into bed. BattleDad kindly stayed in the room so I could catch up a bit longer with my family and some friends who had travelled down from Dublin. I retired to our room before 11 and went to sleep quickly enough. It had been a long day and there was another one facing us the next day.
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