Friday 15 September 2017

37 Months Smiles...September 2017 (My 1400th Post).

I am not really enjoying this 'back to school' thing. I miss my kids in the day time and my house is too quiet. I have to get used to the quiet though, as our 19 year old is going back to uni soon and our 23 year old is about to move out. One of the other big kids already moved out this Summer, so we will have only 3 children at home. It's been a long time since I was responsible for washing, cooking and cleaning for just 5 people and it's going to be a real decrease in workload.

I've decided I'm going to take that spare time between the hours of 11pm and 1am - sleeping. I have a lot of catching up to do...

We always knew this day would come and our young people would start making their own way in life, you joke about it from when they're small, and you already see just how much you'll miss them. It turns out it's actually more scary than you anticipate - you worry you'll discover that they lived on Doritos for 3 months (this happened) and haven't changed their jeans in 3 weeks (this is in question)...

And then they manage fine for a whole year (this really happened!) and you realise that actually they can do this. They're the adult now.

This is the 1400th post on The Brick Castle. I wrote a special post for my 1000th blog post, and 400 later, I'm still here. Especially now when my 'not-so-young people' are spreading out away from us, I am thankful for every post. Every captured memory, every day trip they wouldn't have gone on, the reviews where they helped, the times when they rocked it. Every time they made us laugh or amazed us with their talent. The times when they were the ones made it happen.

Thanks guys - you really have been appreciated.

Something has been really obvious from looking at your smiles this month. I was tempted to do a collage entirely of family shots because there were so many of you all on holiday or day trips, in the garden and at the park. Don't reserve it for holidays - every parent needs to get out in front of the camera and we need to take more photos of ourselves with our children! This especially applies to Mum. No more feeling you don't look good enough or you aren't dressed for it. Take a leaf out of Shrek's book and realise beauty is so much more than ticking all of the boxes for this season's fashion.

SusanKMann's Daughter
This child is a Troll and it's an awesome photo. She is gorgeous anyway, but makes you grin because the happy shines right out of her. Every smile is beautiful and creates a story around it. Side details become irrelevant. Troll hair can make a photo great far more successfully than it can break it...

Huge thank you to everyone who has added the hashtag #TBCSmiles to their smiley photos this month. I really wanted to include so many more, but you can always see the whole lot on Instagram and you can of course join in! All are welcome...

We've definitely never had this many smiles in one collage before - it's awesome.

 Thank you to the following Instagrammers for sharing the sparkling smiles shown above:

Here are our smiles for the past month - including the amazing Just So Festival, which really set our month up to the very best start.

Thank you to everyone who shares their smiles each month using the hashtag #TBCSmiles on Instagram. They are an absolute joy and it's a privilege to be able to enjoy them. Join in, don't be shy - any smile is welcome.

If you don't know why we started collecting our smiles, you can find out in this post. Everyone can collect smiles, but sometimes they're harder to spot than others, or you miss them because you are looking the other way. Keep looking, they are always there. The reason and the reminder of why we are here. Every one a win.


  1. Fabulous smiles from everyone this month and I too have seen lots more smiley family photos this month, it's lovely! It's so emotional when they move on but lovely that you have helped form them in to fantastic independent young people xx

    1. Thanks Jen! We've tried our best and they have to go sometime. I don't know how much we actually did, but I hope we did okay - it's all them really in the end :) x

  2. Aw - what a lovely post. Even though I work for much of the week outside of the home it still feels empty and rattly when my son goes back to school. You have done an amazing job with your kids - the smiles in the photos say it all. You should be proud of what you have achieved x

    1. Awww thank you! You are very sweet. It's so weird mainly in the evenings as we will have no-one here except the 2 little ones half the time. It's very different! :)

  3. I love these posts so much. Following the tag on Instagram will brighten even the darkest of days. Your own collection of smiles, never fail to make my heart swell. You have such a wonderful family, a down to earth, proper, loving family. Elspeth is smiling right down from the clouds looking at all the wonderful memories you make every day. I am so proud of each and every one of you. Thank you for featuring our fun little troll pic x

    1. Oh bless you Susan, you say the nicest things, you really do. Thank you xx And thank you for the Troll picture - it's such a great shot :)


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