We invited the crowd in yesterday. Our house can hold a surprising number of people, and even survived hosting ten children at once. I’m so glad the craft table downstairs has an extra leaf. I think the casualties are limited to a broken car (whose scratches have yet to be discovered) and some rocks in the pond which is overdue to be drained anyway.

Family and friends came from all over to see where we live, some of whom I’d not seen for about 12 years. That makes me feel so old. It was so nice to reconnect and meet each other’s children. We laughed with some friends who explained not minding the drive with their two young boys since it’s a rare occasion for them to speak together uninterrupted. That’s another family within driving distance we could spend time with.

J and I are finding it helpful to meet other young families who understand things like 9pm bedtimes – for parents. Every so often it’s nice to sit up late talking, but we pay for it the following morning week.

We had a lovely day and everyone went to bed late, so today is a rest day. For Joy if no one else.

My family brought a birthday cake and sang as I tried to figure out how old I turned this week. I think I just lost count after 25, it doesn’t seem to make much difference anymore. To Bella, however, age is very important. She will be four next week.

I’m pleased that this time there hasn’t been a big build-up to her birthday. At least not yet. Last year she was so excited so long in advance that by the time the anniversary rolled around she was almost too wound up to enjoy it. This time we’ll be camping, so there won’t be a party, just a few friends at our tent for cake.

In the meantime I’m going to enjoy the fact that I’ve finally got all the books unpacked and hung some family photos. Feels like home.