Yeah, okay, I'm a day late. I'm not even sure how that exactly happened, but I was really stunned when I realised today was not the 15th. It's got to be a good sign. It's also an indicator of just how busy we are at the moment - we're getting out more. It's definitely a good sign.
Life is becoming more normal, we've had some amazingly successful trips out this last month and one of the big differences is we've begun to 'last the day', rather than wanting to go home after an hour to the safety of our own surroundings.
I've always known life has to carry on, it has to be good for the little boys. They have a right to enjoy the things the big kids had. My teenagers have to be teenagers, they have to do normal teenage stuff. Sitting down and giving in would be so easy at so many points, but then what? Nothing. You can't lie down and give in, you have the rest of forever to consider.
I talked last month about reaching the top of our mountain, and I know that upset a few close friends who felt that we were climbing out of the mire to a kind of 'freedom'. There will never be freedom. Elspeth will always be a part of our lives, and every morning when I wake she will have died. My friends were disappointed that what we see is all the broken bits with more clarity, but that view allows you to start collecting and rebuilding. The relief is very evident, the relentless plodding behind, you have more time and effort to start gathering up pieces. We are beginning to put back together some of those shards.
One of the biggest things that we have managed to do, with the help of some awesome friends, is get my partner's Volkswagen Camper back on the road. It was emptied so that we could do some bodywork, and within a fortnight he developed Meningitis, and it has sat since then. Today it has an MOT, Tax and insurance, and although we're back to where we were 3 years ago in some respects, we are ready and (I hope) able to resume where we left off.
My partner and I met through Campervans, and our older children spent almost every weekend away - our younger children have not had that benefit, and I think they deserve at least a bit of it...
I have some awesome smiles this month, including from our trip to London with Skylanders, a meal at Bill's Restaurant, and a photo which is my favourite ever of my youngest and his Dad, courtesy of the excellent professional photographer when we visited The Blackpool Tower.
Few photo's of the older teenagers who are still doing their exams - best of luck to everyone who has exams left to take this year.
Feel free to share your smiles on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #TBCSmiles. I always like to see them. If you cannot see your smiles, keep looking, they will be there... the smiles are the reason and the reminder for why we carry on.