2018 Recap

The last year went by in a blur but when I sat down to put these collages together I realised just how much we had seen/ done/ achieved in those 12 months. Having not written in a year, this set of collages sums up the whole of 2018 perfectly!

January

Guilt Trip Donuts / Unicorn flats / I went to Prague with a friend / We celebrated Nate’s 6th birthday / Ju Jitsu / Joey asked me to be a bridesmaid / Helen’s Bay / We celebrated James’ 38th birthday / Me and my boys

February

Nate had his birthday party at Clip n’ Climb / We visited Whitehead / I went to the theatre with Mum / Valentine’s Day / Strangford Lough / We saw The Front Bottoms + The Smith Street Band at Mandela Hall / We put our house on the market / We bought our dream home / It snowed

March

Marcie in the snow / We took a few snow walks / The boys treated me on Mother’s Day / Nate joined in on an Easter bonnet parade at school / Ollie’s left home for the first time on his school residential trip / The boys got their Ju Jitsu white belts / We celebrated world book day / Helen’s Bay / Cool dudes

April

We celebrated Easter / Played Escape The Dark Castle / Visited the beach at Hazelbank / My brother and I went to see Frank Turner in Dublin / Frank Turner played in Belfast the next day / We moved house / Spent plenty of time enjoying our new garden / Spent the good weather eating outside / eating outside more!

May

Beach visit / Nate got into baking and baked a lemon meringue cake / James and I went to London / We saw Frank Turner for 4 nights at Lost Evenings/ I got a night out with Bex / Hungout with my Mum / Our new sofas arrived / We visited gorgeous Murlough Bay / Got to play in sprinklers in hot weather!

June

Shorts for school / We celebrated Ollie’s 10th birthday / Joey and I took an evening Tyrella trip / We went to Scotland to visit family / The boys took part in Sports day at school / Ollie recieved an archery for his birthday / Jack had a wee op on his paw / We loved Ollie’s school concert / School’s finished up for summer!

July

Visited Donaghadee / We celebrated Harry’s birthday / The boys got to experience their first music festival at 2000 trees / Little rockers / I turned 34 / Me and my brothers / Ryan and I saw The Gaslight Anthem in Dublin / The boys and I visited Rossglass beach / Out with Bex

August

I took a day trip with the boys to Scrabo Tower / James and I went to London / We saw The Lawrence Arms + Lagwagon + Bad Cop Bad Cop / We visited Kew Gardens / The boys advanced to yellow belts! / Took a day trip to Carrick-a-rede / James built a den for the boys / I got to see Billy Talent at The Limelight /Nate learnt to ride his bike

September

The boys went back to school / I started again at yoga / We visited Rowallane with my Mum / Hungout with Ryan / Had brunch with Joey / We climbed Hen Mountain / Ollie started tenor horn lessons / We celebrated Mum’s birthday / We celebrated Flo’s 70th birthday

October

I started studying with Open University / Friday Starbucks with Charlene / Nate joined in math week dress-up / James and I saw Tiny Moving Parts at the Oh Yeah Centre / I went with him to Bucharest and visited Pasajul Victoria / and the Roman Anthenaeum amongst other things / We found a swear in a tunnel / We bought a fire / We went to Co. Galway with friends for Halloween

November

Galway / We Hungout with my brother Jason / Ollie sat his first AQE paper / Ollie sat his GL paper / More fire times/ I submitted my first assignment / Ryan and I saw Mumford and Sons at the SSE / Ollie sat second AQE paper/ James and I saw Chewing on Tinfoil at The Speakasy

December

Ollie sat his last AQE paper / Ehe elf arrived / Nate lost a front tooth / We went to see Skinny Lister and Flogging Molly at The Limelight / Nate was a shepherd in his play / Christmas photo / Ollie played tenor horn and sang in choir at the school carol service / We saw reindeer in Phoenix park, Dublin / Christmas!

Hopefully 2019 is as happy and exciting and filled with adventures!

School’s Out!

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Wednesday was the boy’s last day of term!  They don’t return to school until 24th April and I’m so looking forward to spending the next week with them.  The weather is almost brightening and we are making a list of what we would like to do including:

A trip to Dublin to stay with Grandpa Crispy and visit Dublin Zoo.
A breakfast picnic at Minnowburn.
A beach visit or two!
Swimming!
A sleepover at Grandma’s house!
Visit the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge!
Feed ducks.
Plant some flowers.
Fly the kites.
Dye Easter eggs and do Easter baking.
Visit Hillsborough Lake.

We might not get ALL of this covered but they’re the ideas that came up when I asked the boys.  They’re excited.

Don’t you love Springtime?  The first quarter of the year, every year, I find very hard to shake off the slumpy after Christmas feeling until the weather changes, the nights get brighter and the flowers and blue sky make the world look pretty!  It then becomes easier to be enthusiastic and motivated.  I find myself becoming productive and full of new ideas.  The ‘shake off the slump’ phase is well underway and I’m feeling excited. Goodbye winter!

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Hello 2016!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I LOVE having a brand new year with no mistakes in it yet… a big fat new chance to try and be better and chase your dreams.  I’m enthusiastic to move forward on 2016’s plans and adventures.  Every day I feel like I could do better and be better and so I thought up some things that I’d particularly like to work on this year.

Goals.

Because I don’t like calling them resolutions.  Resolutions carry with them a lot of pressure to be perfect and a self imposed feeling of failure when/ if we slip up.  A goal is something that is aimed for… so long as I’m trying my best there is nothing to fail at.  Right?

This year I want to work on my photography business.  I want to be a photographer and I want to capture lovely moments.  I have all the gear I need to get started, now I just need the guts and with Nate in nursery school every day, I have no excuse but to get to grips with my gear and get my portfolio in order.  Plus, one of my amazing best friends double dared me to work towards this dream this year.  I don’t bail on a double dare.

I want to say yes more often!  This goal features in my list every single year because it’s important!!  Too often I find myself telling the boys that I’ll be there “in a minute” or that “I’m busy” and “we will do it later” when really, the matter at hand is rarely urgent.  Who knows what opportunities to connect with my amazing boys I am missing by being ‘busy’!  So I’m consciously going to say yes.

I want to spend more time nurturing my best friendships and spend less time worrying about friendships that are broken (that I’ve tried to mend) and friendships that are one-sided.  This year, one-sided friendships have hurt my heart… I’ve spent too much time worrying about things that aren’t my fault.  Time that could have been spent appreciating those that I’m lucky enough to love on and call my besties.

Roller derby, I hope, will feature big this year.  I wanna rock roller derby and I’m going to give it my all, because I’ve already learned so much!  Never before have I loved a sport and here I find myself doing something that, one day, I might actually be really good at!  Roller derby in 2015 brought me amazing new friends and so so much fun and I hope 2016 will be as awesome.

Other goals that need no explanation are to save money, blog consistently (because I sucked at blogging in 2015), become a morning person, drink water, cook more, be more patient and take positive steps in becoming the person I want to be.

2016, I’m ready!

 

Blog Burnout and a Thirty Update

I’ve kept this blog now for 7 years.  I’ve so far recorded the majority of happenings in the life of my family and occasionally I’ll go through a period of having NO motivation to sit down a blog.  It’s only ever once before lasted 6 months.  I could say that nothing blog-worthy has been happening here, but my Instagram feed would tell a whole different story.  I guess we sometimes just find ourselves overwhelmed with life that it causes us to crash when we get the chance… crashing instead of blogging!

In just 11 1/2 weeks, I turn 31.  That sounds so much older than 30.  I had hoped that this would be the year I would get my s*** together. Has this happened?  Kind of.  Not really… but I’ve 11 1/2 weeks left.  My thirtieth year has been crazy… it has been both amazing and crummy… unproductive and chockablock.  I’ve achieved so much but also dealt with some of the hardest obstacles I’ve ever encountered.

To sum up the last six months…

The Bad:

I got behind on my degree course and had to defer.
James and I had our biggest relationship road block in 10 years of being together.

The Good:

We celebrated a lovely Christmas.
We got super into playing board games as a family and decided it was proper quality time.

I decorated some.
We celebrated Nate’s and James’ Birthdays.
James and I went for a weekend away to the castle that we got married.

We discovered Spoon Street, a local froyo place!

Went to the beach multiple times, the farm, the zoo, swimming and gigs!
James took the four of us to Swansea for a few days!

I started roller derby and got on my way to getting fit and healthy!


James and I fixed the road block and got ourselves to a place better than ever.

Life isn’t all peachy but I have a hell of a lot of good stuff going on right now.  Nobody ever said that life is supposed to be easy or plain sailing!  I’m trying to have it more figured out before my birthday so I can enjoy 31 a little more than I enjoy 30.  The same productivity but with a little more happiness.

Life Lately in a List…

Wow… life has this way sometimes, of being absolutely insanely crazy… but on the flipside so slow… well my life has been both lately.  Not slow as such, that’s maybe the wrong word, but I’ve been feeling so unmotivated and uninspired for months… I know for a fact that there is a ton of stuff that i’ve neglected to blog about and so I am spending this post catching up on all of those things.

{one}  A few weeks ago I went to Preston to see my BFF Aimee.  She has been my BFF for approx. 14 years ago and it was so lovely to get away and spend a few days with her and her beautiful children (one of which happens to be my amazing Godson, Leo)… we celebrated the Christening of her newest addition, Holly, and we had some amazing catchup time.

{two}  I got tickets for some gigs this summer!

{three}  James and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary!  Can you believe that?  7 years married (a decade together)… to the wonderful man in my life and father of my amazing kids.  I tried on my wedding dress as I do every year and it still fits.  Ollie told me I looked beautiful and believed I would be wearing it out to dinner! We celebrated by going to the cinema and then afterwards we had an amaaaazing meal at Deanes Meat Locker.  I had steak and lobster! Wow. 

{four}  I enrolled to study with The Open University!  I am so excited.  I am set to study for a BA(Honours) in English Literature and Language, starting in October.  Squeal.  This has been a long time coming and something I am insanely excited about.  I’ll write more about it in another post.

{five}  Ollie turned 6, had an awesome birthday AND a pool party for his birthday party. 22 kids came to the pool to celebrate with him and I noticed an immediate change in him.  He seems much older already.  Time goes too fast.

{six}  After a week of coughing, little Nate ended up in hospital with bronchiolitis.  It was so sad to see him poorly.  We spent days (James spent nights) at the hospital and by Thursday we got to bring him home.  He still isn’t back to his old self but he is definitely on the mend.  It did mean though that I didn’t get to fly out to London for Britmums Live as planned.  So disappointed, but that’s the life of a parent right… things change at any given moment and I gotta be where I am needed and my littlest needed me here.

{seven}  I’ve decided that I would like to start running.  I’ve been walking Marcie for super long walks recently and I am really enjoying it… so I decided to take it up a notch and went out and bought running trainers.  I haven’t put them to use yet though because we ended up in hospital last week.  I want to train to do 5k and hopefully enter the colour run in August.

{eight}  Ollie had Sport’s Day at school last week.  It was a lovely day for it and he did so well taking part in all the races.  He isn’t the fastest by any means but he is the one child who runs every single race with a full grin the entire time.  Love him.  I can’t believe that he has just one week of school left of P2… and then 8 long weeks of summer!

The Training Wheels Are Off!

A huge milestone has been reached in our home… Ollie has learned to ride his bike without stabilisers.  This was the second attempt at having him try without his training wheels, but this time he decided to do it himself after seeing a friend ride on just two wheels.  He became adamant that he wanted to learn before he turned 6 (in just a few weeks!).  His previous attempt didn’t go well, I think the whole balance thing just has to click.  This time it clicked!!

He went out with James on the Saturday and in less than an hour he was home telling me he could do it!!!  He was still a little wobbly because he was finding the ‘push off’ a little hard to master but by Easter Monday he was riding like a pro.  He brought his bike with him to the church BBQ and he LOVED showing off.  Everyone made a huge deal about how brilliant he was to ride without his stabilisers and he soaked up every ounce of the attention.  It really built his confidence.

Now, his bike…. it’s pretty annoying because it has a police siren on it.  When we bought the bike we had no idea quite how loud it would be and I am dreaming of the day that the batteries run out.

A Messy Home Is A Blessed Home

So a text from a friend yesterday got me thinking… it was actually as soon as I replied to her that I really began thinking and I realised that the advice I had given her was sound… though it wasn’t advice I had ever taken on myself!

Her text message was something we all think… and that’s the simple fact that as parents, our houses are never sparkling… because we have young children running around like whirlwinds all the time.  With their sticky fingers touching the tv, chocolate handprints up the stair walls, pencil and pen and crayon drawings artistically and spontaneously displayed on random doors and furniture.  As soon as we tidy up one area, they empty the toy box in another.  Legos EVERYWHERE…crackers and sandwich crusts under the sofa cushions… the list never ends.  My friend’s text also included that there were bite marks on the tv table.  This made me giggle to myself as I thought of the baby in ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’.

My reply was something along the lines of the following: “You gotta keep a spare tub of paint to cover up the marks and I got my floors because I was sick of having to get the carpet cleaned. It’s normal.  You’ll miss the sticky tv when they are grown and married and you’ll be begging for your grandchildren to come over and mess your home up a little.” I then thought of it this way…. “We’re LUCKY to have sticky tvs and marked walls.  Some people are out there now are wishing that their house could be a little less pristine.”

The more and more I thought about this the more it resonated with me and today I looked at my house a little differently.  I didn’t glance at the pencil on the walls and the clutter… and the things that were just not in their place, with the same exasperation as I did the day before.  I felt exactly what I wrote in my reply to my friend.  I felt lucky… SO lucky to have these two little terrors, destroying my furniture, walls and my sanity!!  A day will come all too soon, and these boys won’t live here anymore.  My house will be tidy and clean and I know it won’t feel the same.  I’ll miss it.