In my almost-five-years of writing this blog, I think I have only done a year in review post once before.
But this year has been one of our most fun and enjoyable yet, and with the new adventures and life events set to continue well into 2016, I am feeling particularly reflective this New Year´s Eve, and I´ve found myself eager to reflect on the year just past.
I´m not going to include every single month (There are still far too many boring months where all I did was moan a lot or wrote about wishlist home decor to put you through that), but here are my highlights of 2015 – the adventures, the proud moments, the happy times.
At the very start of the year, I turned 30. I wrote about feeling strangely content at reaching a milestone birthday when the previous few years had felt chaotic and a little bit unhappy.
A Birthday Trip to New York
Sam surprised me with a birthday trip of a lifetime. This was not only our first trip away without the children, but actually one only a handful of holidays Sam and I had ever taken together (we didn´t have much time to cover a lot of ground in this department before Arlo came along).
Arlo´s favourite place in the world
In February, we went on our second ambassador trip to Butlins, this time visiting the Skegness resort. Butlins is definitely a place for the kids rather than for the grown ups, but seeing Arlo so happy really made this a special time for all of us.
A Holiday to California
In May, we were back in the US – but this time with the kids in tow. Our first trip abroad as a family was, quite simply, THE most special, once-in-a-lifetime family holiday we could ever have wished for. A Californian road trip: taking in San Diego, OC, LA, and of course, Disneyland.
My littlest boy was so excited to turn two, I still love looking at these photos of his cheeky chocolate-covered grin.
Our Summer Holiday
In July, we experienced the benefits of holiday childcare for the first time when we went away to the idyllic Greek island of Lemnos with Mark Warner.
Helping Rory to Sleep Better
In August, I embarked on what seemed like the mammoth challenge of night-weaning Rory and moving him to his own bed. Although I LOVED sharing my bed with him for over two years, I had grown a bit sick of my boobs being on tap all night, and sleeping in a small double bed with two adults and a growing toddler was becoming less than ideal.
Starting Primary School
In September, Arlo started school and embraced it with all his enthusiasm. Rory also started preschool, and for the first time since I became a parent, I got some scheduled time to myself – groundbreaking.
Arlo and His New Bike
In October, not only did my biggest boy turn five, but he surprised us all by learning to ride his new pedal bike in all of two seconds. This still remains a seminal parenting moment for both Sam and me.
Buying a New House
In November, after years of working towards it, we were finally granted mortgage approval, found a house, and had an offer accepted.
My Sweet Boy
In December, I unexpectedly experienced one of my proudest moments as a parent when we went along to watch Arlo´s first ever school nativity.
Baby Number Three
The last month of the year also saw us revealing a secret we´d been keeping since September, with our pregnancy announcement video.
I don´t have any particular resolutions. Just to keep focusing on the things that make me and my family happy. And to dwell less on the things that don´t. I started this year like this. I didn´t need to read that post back to remember that empty, unmotivated feeling, and actually, it carried on for a good while after I wrote that post.
But now, things are different. I´ve taken slow steps to improving the things I could control (specifically my work/life balance), and things are FINALLY happening with the things that I thought were never going to be changeable. The last half of this year has been the most positive out of the last six years.
When I look back at the last few years, I feel bad about all the time I spent being miserable about our financial situation. It was a seriously difficult time, but it was transient. What I couldn´t possibly imagine at the time, was that it would get better, and all we needed was some time to get ourselves in order. I thought it was forever, – I would focus on everything we couldn´t have, when I should have been focused on ways to be more positive (easily said in hindsight, ha!)
Reading back on that post I wrote at the beginning of the year, reading it from a completely different perspective now that I´m out of that funk, I can see that I´ve already made big steps in my not-a-resolution to concentrate on being happy and try not to dwell. This blog has always been my catharsis, I find it extremely helpful to come here and have a huge vent when something is getting on top of me, so that´s probably not going to change. But alongside the cathartic ranting, I will always be able to read back and find a whole load of happy memories to smile about.
For now, I am full of excitment for our big year of change ahead. I can´t wait to see what lies in store for us in 2016.