I’m still slightly in shock that another year has passed by. How did that happen? It only feels like five minutes since we were saying goodbye to 2016. I probably thought the same thing at that point too.
So that was 2017. A funny old year. Some highs and some lows but that is what you would expect. My gran always said that you have to have some bad to appreciate the good and I think she was a very wise woman.
2017 was a year when my children suddenly all seemed to grow up. The eldest started his last year at university and is starting to make plans for the next stage in his life. The teen started high school and that has been an interesting transition in so many ways. The tween has started to manage his anxiety better and I think we do too. He has had periods when he has been really happy and settled. There are still bad days but they aren’t as bad as they were last year.
Then there is little miss A. She turned 8 and it feels like she woke up one morning this year and became a small teenager. She has an opinion on everything. There is attitude. She never stops talking (although that is the opposite of a teenager). She has become quite fussy about her clothes. She is amazing but definitely becoming harder work.
It’s funny how you get to the end of a year and it doesn’t feel as though you did much. One of the positives of social media for me, and in particular, Instagram, is that I can look back through 52 weeks of photos and realise that we did lots of things. We didn’t travel that far this year, but there were still lots of days out, afternoons of exploration and short breaks away. As the boys are getting older, they don’t always want to do ‘family things’ but they are growing up and they would rather do things with their friends and that is perfectly normal, even though I don’t always like it.
I finally convinced my daughter to go to her first pantomime. I knew she would love it, I was right. She loved it and we began and ended the year at the Malvern Theatres panto, both were brilliant and I always love a trip to the theatre.
Sport has continued to play a big part of our lives. Things have calmed down a bit for the teen who was doing so much at one point, there weren’t enough hours in the week. High school has made an impact as he walks to school and with a longer day, he is physically tired and so decided to leave the swimming club. He wanted to focus on his rugby but sadly has been plagued with injury this season. He is still doing Tae Kwon Do and is now a year away from doing his Black Belt grading which is exciting. His sister joined him with Tae Kwon Do this year and she is preparing for her first grading in March and she also started tennis which she loves.
A and I had a wonderful couple of days in London. We stayed in a very swanky hotel and had the best time. We were there for a blogging event with Belvoir where we had a cookery session with the very lovely Lisa Faulkner. I can honestly say that it was one of the loveliest blogging events I have been to and we had such a lovely time.
We have had some amazing days out. We all pushed ourselves on our many visits to Thorpe Park where a walk up one of their rollercoasters after hours was a definite highlight for us all. The views were stunning and it was really interesting to learn more about the theme park. We also got to stay at the Shark Hotel again which we loved.
One thing I tried to do more of last year was to explore some local areas as we live in a lovely part of the world and often don’t make the most of it. We discovered that just a few miles down the road there is a Real Flower Confetti Company who open up their flower fields for just a few weeks to the public. It was a real treat and the perfect backdrop for photos. We will definitely be going back this year.
The summer holidays were spent mostly in Wales and why not? Wales has some of the most beautiful coastlines and there are so many lovely beaches and places to explore. We all fell in love with Tenby, which was our first camping holiday as a family and far more successful than I ever imagined it would be. Although I wouldn’t want to camp for longer than a couple of days, I would love to camp again this summer.
At October half term we went Snowdog hunting in Cardiff which was great fun as the city had a trail of 1.5-metre high Snowdog sculptures all of different designs.
As excitement for her birthday reached fever pitch in December, my daughter was slightly surprised to wake up to a white birthday as we had heavy snow. Not quite what she had expected but it is the first time she has really experienced proper snow and even though her party had to be cancelled, she had the ‘best day’ apparently.
What will 2018 bring? I have lots of exciting plans. Plans for this blog, plans for my career, plans for the family and I can’t wait to get going on it all. I have decided to choose a word for the year this year, something to help me achieve my goals and intentions. I don’t really believe in new year resolutions but this year, I have written down a list of things that I want to achieve and my word is FOCUS. I want to focus more and faff less. In a world when there is so much to distract you, I know that I am very guilty of trying to do too many things at once and never really achieving much, so that is going to change. I will let you know how I get on.
Happy new year and I hope that the new year brings us all everything we want and more.