First…let me take a selfie!

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What an adventure we have had!

Up in the high arctic for a Christmas we’ll never forget!

Our log cabin in the woods was a slice of heaven on a plate! I checked the wardrobes for a secret panel but realised we had only to open our front door to enter Narnia! If you EVER get the chance to visit Lapland – take it! Make it happen if you possibly can…WOW! WOW! WOW! Lapland saw one of my long held dreams come true…finding the Northern Lights…

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With temperatures down to -38 (before the windchill!) it was an experience like no other! Our night safari on snowmobiles on Christmas Eve was a real highlight… I watched nervously as the kids were whisked off on a sleigh into the pitch black woods…and, after a 4 minute lesson, we were heading off behind them, Matthew driving a snowmobile that purred like a ducati! Never have I felt more alive and more excited! I had what I can only describe as a mad ‘Kelly McGillis’ moment, reliving the 80’s as we sped through the snow, clinging on to the back of the bike I started singing..’Take me to the danger zone!!!! Over and over again! As we arrived at the campfire in the middle of the forest the boys were already sipping hot berry juice and, as if by magic, the northern lights began to rise above us!! Snaking through the sky they danced a show that made me literally cry! Jack urged me to grab my camera and take a photo…

“You’ve ALWAYS wanted to see them Mummy!’

They all knew that seeing the lights was such a long held dream of mine…A top of the bucket list moment and, on Christmas Eve, with my little family, my dream had come true! Jack jumped up and down, begging me to get my camera out of the rucsac but, to my surprise, the girl-with-the-camera, wanted nothing more than to enjoy the moment, hug her boys and seize the moment!  What a night! There, under the northern lights on Christmas Eve, we hugged, laughed and cried. Pure magic! The moment was only broken when Callum announced he needed the toilet!

He now holds the dubious accolade of having wee’d under the northern lights (and survived the sub zero temperatures!)…

Saariselka is an incredible place. Our time there is something I’ll never forget x That moment (our hug, not Callum’s wee) is something I’ll NEVER forget!

So, wherever you find yourself…be it at home…on a mountainside… in the middle of an arctic wood on Christmas Eve, take a moment to take a selfie…not with your phone…or a camera… but with your heart.  Grab those you hold dear and take a moment.  Put that selfie safely into your memory bank and hold it tight.  When times get tough…bring it out and smile. xx

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Planes, Trains, Automobiles…and sleighs!

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They say that home is where the heart is…

I find it intriguing how, when we go off on holiday or have a night away the first thing the boys do is find their beds, tip out all their stuff, and are instantly ‘at home’. They don’t even need a bed! Just a space on a floor and they ‘set up camp’ and make themselves at home! If they have each other, their iPads and a pair of pants they are sorted!

Yesterday, our little herberts heard that they would be OFF TO LAPLAND the very next today! A parcel had arrived from Mr. Claus inviting them to pack their bags, get dressed and head off to the North Pole!

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Today we are heading 250km ABOVE the arctic circle to the tiny Finnish village of Saariselkha. It seemed like a good idea back in the summer…but, having now located it on a map, I n0w realise just HOW far north we are going. To the village that boasts Europe’s most northerly hotel! My google weather app shows sunrise at 11.15am and sun set at 1.30pm! This is going to be interesting!

The car journey today was almost unbearable (we have now cut half the bells of their annoying costumes!!). At one point we seriously considered using the roof box for Tom! Having arrived at Gatwick we took a high speed shuttle to somewhere else in the terminal and found our hotel for the night RIGHT on the edge of the runway! It couldn’t have been more perfect for three excited little boys. IMG_8614Perhaps they’d heard them in the background when we’d tried to book our room…but, either way, we were right at the very end of the hotel, tucked away..facing the runway on two panoramic sides! It only took 3 minutes before one little elf decided it could be a fun idea to flash his bum at a landing pilot…and only 1 minute before the little elfs mum threatened to take him home!

Our start today was an early one…5am! As we checked in, the ‘flashing elf’ of the night before laid down his coat and informed me he was going to ‘have an extra dream’ before we got on the plane… What an ability… to just relax and chill wherever you are. He was dreaming of reindeers…

As we touched down at the tiny and VERY ICEY Ivalo airport in northern Finland we were told by the captain to expect -26 degrees…their coldest day of the year so far! Matthew learnt the hard way that you don’t touch a metal luggage trolley with no gloves on…and, having collected our luggage, it is now time to head off by coach and then, to find a sleigh to complete our journey…

The adventure begins here!