Happy February Little H,
Every month my Timehop pings up photos and tweets from the same day in previous years. This month I have now started seeing pictures of you from both last year and the year before. It seems so strange that we’re doing the third time round the calendar together now! Whilst it scares me that you are getting old so fast, I also love that you are so incredibly established in our life now!
You’ve tested us a lot this month. You’ve had a lot going on: change at nursery and growing and developing so much. It’s not surprising that you have acted out a bit. I’ve found it a massive shock though at times. There were points where it felt like I wasn’t able to understand you anymore. But in reality you needed daddy and me even more. Life seems to have calmed a little for you now and the milder weather has meant you can get outside more; you find the fresh air calming.
Whilst there is nothing stopping me from doing things in the garden throughout the year, let’s face it – from the end of October through until the first signs of spring it’s not that nice out there. I’m not a hermit through the winter. I’m outside all the time and Little H and I love going on walks on our mummy-H days. But going out in the garden is generally a depressing and muddy experience. I don’t want to churn up my lawn and I can’t do much to the shrubs and flower beds at the time of year. But then suddenly the weather will change slightly and without even noticing I’ll have my secateurs out and I’ll be pruning something. When that day arrives, I swear I feel my soul lift! Because nothing is better for my physical and mental health than some fresh air, sunshine and a bit of time with my plants.
As 2011 reached it’s end, I decided to write an end of year post which reflected back on the highs and lows of the last 12 months. Since then, it has become a personal tradition to write and publish my “That was the year that was” post on 31 December every year. More than anything, this post is a personal opportunity to look back as a year a draws to a close. 2016 has been another life changing year with my Maternity Leave reaching it’s an end, seeing me become a working mum. Little H has changed beyond belief in the last 12 months and is rapidly approaching the big 2. It’s been a whirlwind of a year but a fantastic one.
Thank-you to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my blog. I have loved hearing your thoughts and feedback on what I’ve written. I am extremely grateful that you all spare your valuable time to stop by. I have also enjoyed reading all of the wonderful posts you have written this year! I can’t wait for some more fantastic reads throughout 2017. I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
But 2016 isn’t over until it’s over. So let’s dive right in…
I’ll confess now that I thought this Blogging Challenge would be quick way of getting some more blog content. But I was wrong. It’s really making me use my brain to answer some of these and looking forward they only get more challenging. Plans, goals and dreams is quite tough. I’ve always had aims but never strict plans. Also, there are a few things which I will always keep private, even from the blogging community. Sorry! However, there are things I am willing to share. So here goes…
So every month I try to post my ‘Five Favourite Finds’ for the month. They can be absolutely anything new that I have come across. The challenge: making sure I find five each month. I’m using it to try encourage myself to find new things and also share my finds with you all to save you the leg work! So without further ado and in no particular order…
Like every other kid I know, I loved Disney growing-up. One of my all time favourites was ‘Aladdin’. (It’s joint top 3 with ‘Frozen’ falling just short of ‘Mulan’ and ‘The Lion King’ which are joint 1st – in case you’re interested!) My sister and I were both quiet excited when we heard ‘Aladdin’ was being adapted for the stage; If it was anything like the stage adaptation of ‘The Lion King’, which Sam took me to for my birthday about 5 years ago, then it would be pretty darn good. So you can imagine my excitement when my sister got tickets to take me for my birthday…including LUNCH!
Over my birthday weekend we went to my in-laws (my Father-in-Laws birthday is the day before mine). My Mother-in-Law is an exceptional gardener and her garden is both wonderfully matured and maintained. So we arrived to see borders bursting with colour and life. I got back home and peered out to our garden – immature in my view, having only lived in the house since Autumn last year – and also neglected because I don’t have the time to spend on it that I used to in a pre-H world. I know my MIL and I have very different life situations but I still felt incredibly depressed about it. My garden in the old house had reached a point where year-on-year it looked amazing and now I’m back to square one. I needed to see some new life in it and I needed to see it now! So on our way to Music Train one Monday, H and I dropped by our local B&Q…
Last week I was feeling a bit fed-up about the state of the garden and the fact I couldn’t get out to do anything. But the weather has really picked up over the last week and some of the days have been delightfully sunny. Yesterday was one such day and when H went for her afternoon nap it was the optimal temperature (about 12 degrees in the shade) for gardening.
When we moved in to our last house in 2007, the garden was just bare patches of grass. After years of effort, with support from my Mother-in-Law, it had really matured and came back looking stunning every spring with minimal effort. When we finally moved in September last year, the thing I felt the most gut-wrenching about leaving was the garden; Many of those plants I had nurtured from something as small as my hand to fully matured and established plants. I would have loved to have taken them with me, but that garden was their home.
Every time I have sat down at my computer to write some blog content over the last week, I have quickly found myself struggling to think of what to write or getting distracted looking at furniture. The reason… my mind has been completely pre-occupied by moving house. My mind has been occupied with ‘logistics’ such as how I will feed H and make sure she has the opportunity to nap. But as the big Moving-Day approaches (on Tuesday, a mere 4 days away. Eeek!) I’m now starting to look round the house, realising in a weeks time we’ll have left forever. After 8 years of living here, it’s really quite sad!