Every year I think, ‘Oh, I won’t bother doing a round up of the year, it feels a little “Me me me”.
And then every year I can’t resist. Because I love having it to look back on. My own personal record of all the happy moments punctuating the year.
And if writing a blog isn’t all “Me me me” to begin with, then I think I must be doing it wrong.
My birthday month was marked with a long weekend in Edinburgh with Sam – a city neither of us had visited before, and we happened to visit on the most perfectly snowy weekend, which made all that old architecture even more magical.
In March, I wrote a spur of the moment post on what it’s like to earn a living online, and the amount of effort that goes into my work as a micro-influencer. As well as the mixed attitudes towards #ADS and differing opinions on where the line is between murky disclosure and clear disclosure. I still get a lot of comments on this post to this day.
In April, Sam and I experienced a once in a lifetime trip to a prestigious private members club in a Scottish castle. We stayed at Skibo Castle as part of a trip organised through Sam’s work. Normally when we go away without the children, we busy ourselves with city trips jam packed with sight seeing, so it felt like such a treat to have a slow weekend of pampering and indulgence.
An important person arrived into our lives in May, when we adopted our cat. You can watch the video of his first day with us here: https://youtu.be/0ol-lDq59aA
We couldn’t imagine our lives without Bear now, and it’s strange to think that it’s only been just over half a year since he came to live with us.
June saw us jetting off to Umbria for Sam’s sisters wedding. We had a great week partying and spending time with all the extended family on Sam’s side. This was my first ever trip to Italy and Umbria definitely left me with a taste to explore more of this beautiful country.
We were flying out of Rome, which meant that we also got to spend a day in Italy’s capital city. I made a video with some handy tips for sightseeing with kids in Rome, including how to avoid the ticket queues for the Coliseum.
Without a doubt, the biggest event of our year happened in July, when Sam and I got married! We spent a long weekend on a farm in the Sussex countryside with all of our friends and family, before heading down to Brighton Town Hall to sign the papers and make it official.
I haven’t yet written any blog posts about our wedding, so that is one of my main blogging focuses for the first quarter of 2019 – stay tuned!
In the meantime, if you are interested in all things wedding planning, you can watch our wedding debrief video where Sam and I discuss our favourite moments from our wedding and all the things we’ve learnt in the process of planning a DIY wedding:
Due to it being a year of family weddings (including our own!), we kept other travel to a minimum, and stayed in the UK over the school summer holidays. Instead, we bought our first family tent and went camping as a family – something we’d always wanted to try out. I wrote a post all about the things we learned during our first family camping trip.
I wrote about my favourite summer memories in this post. And once again acknowledged my tendency to buckle to my weakness of wanting to have THE BEST SUMMER EVER, even though it’s rarely possible to do everything, due to budget and time constraints.
Christmas in 2018 was just brilliant, the best we could have asked for. At eight and five, the older two boys are, to my utter delight, still both firm believers in all things Christmas magic. And little Otto surprised us by having a way deeper understanding of Christmas than we expected from a two and a half years old. He fully embraced the “Chri-mas” build up, and was asking me in disbelief for the two weeks proceeding, “Is Chri-mas ninnished now, Mama?”
I couldn’t help feeling that we are in our peak years of Christmas with young kids. Arlo is getting older and Rory will soon be following suit. I can’t quite imagine it yet, but I am filled with the certainty that the next years will fly by and soon we will be looking back on our years of Christmas magic with young children, saying “Wasn’t that fun?” in the way that you reminisce about things that seem like a past stage of your life.
The last quarter of our year was pretty quiet, with no major events or blog posts to write home about. To be honest, I think we were well into October before the after effects of wedding burnout and the feeling of “What next?” receded.
After such a busy 18 months, it was also just nice to NOT have anything big in the pipeline, and to concentrate on the kids and everything around the house that we’d been neglecting whilst ‘Project Wedding’ was on.
The “What Next??” feeling has very much persisted throughout the entirety of Q4. With no big plans on the horizon, it seems even more pertinent that I find answers to it before my brain will allow the constant whirring to let up.
I wrote “What happens when one of you wants more children but the other doesn’t?” earlier in the year, but it seems better placed to mention at this point in the blog post. Because quite honestly, I still can’t figure out whether I want another child, and indeed, whether I’d even be permitted the opportunity should I decide I want it.
That, along with “Where should we live?” are the two big questions that have carried over from 2017, still nowhere closer to answering them. I also feel somewhat that I’ve lost my motivation with blogging and making videos, and I’m still waiting for inspiration to strike, wondering if it will eventually strike.
It’s left me somewhat frustrated to have no resolution to the two biggest question marks in my life right now, despite vowing to do so in my 2017 end of year review post – carrying over the same goal year on year does not feel determined enough for my liking.
But perhaps that’s exactly what I need to focus on the most – taming my drive to solve everything, to have concrete plans. Focusing on living in the moment and enjoying life as it comes.
I have literally zero goals or plans for 2019. But I see that as a good thing. I think part of the issue with my 2017 goals, is that there were so bloody many of them. Blogging goals, home improvement goals, life goals. And all in a year when we were planning the biggest event of our lives – our wedding. No wonder I barely touched upon any of the other goals I had in mind.
Attempting to sift through the jumbled cavern of my headspace at this point in time – as one year draws to an end, and another begins – I haven’t been able to draw out any sense in what I want or how I want to go about making it happen.
There is just one tiny seed of a thought taking root. Perhaps the quiet years serve just as important a purpose. Maybe our own personal fallow years give us the time and brain space to allow the big plans to grow.