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!

Christmas 2015

Christmas didn’t start quite as early as it has done in the past… unless you count Ollie coming into the bedroom at 3am to say that Santa had been!  He went back to bed and straight back to sleep though.  When it was ACTUALLY morning, we all went into Ollie’s room and the boys got stuck into the sacks that Santa brought.

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When the boys were done going through their Santa sacks (which included pyjamas, boxers, socks, sweets, books, art things, games) we made our way downstairs to open the rest of our gifts.

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This year we had a super top secret surprise present for each of the boys that was not under the tree.  We got them each an iPod Touch and hid them under breakfast cereal and called them into the dining room.  Ollie was the first to discover his… but there was also confusion on their faces followed by much excitement.

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After all the presents were opened, I made breakfast (the real breakfast that was not cheerios) which consisted of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and potato bread.

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As is the tradition now, we all got ready to go and visit James family at his Mum’s house.  The boys got dressed in gorgeous new Christmas shirts (this might be the last year I get away with dressing them the same!) and off we went.  Christmas morning at his Mum’s is full of snacks and chatting and the boys run around crazy with their two cousins.

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This year I planned the dinner out properly so that the turkey was almost cooked when we got home.  Most years I don’t start dinner until we are back but it leaves little time in the day to do much else.  This year was a lot more relaxed.

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The boys had a ton of fun pulling the crackers and dinner was delicious.  I’d made ham the day before and this year had homemade stuffing too.  We didn’t have desert because we were too full after dinner so we sat in the living room and snuggled together watching Christmas tv while James slept.

Later in the evening, my family came round.  We had another big round of opening presents with the boys and drank shloer, mulled wine and ate mince pies.  Ollie was so surprised to see that Grandma and Grandpa had bought him a lovely half size guitar complete with everything he needed to get started learning.  Nate got a big remote control truck.  It was a lovely way to get the evening in before the boys went to bed.

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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!

Ollie’s 6th Birthday!

Oh my, how time flies.  I can’t believe we have had Ollie for a whole 6 years now.  The day to day is so busy and my kids grow so fast, I sometimes wish I could stop time just for a few minutes to catch my breath and really take them in.  We celebrated his birthday with lots of family and friends last week.

It all started on Wednesday night, the night before his birthday, when we had Grandma, Grandpa Harry, Uncle Jason and Uncle Ryan over for dinner with us.  I made a huge pot of pesto pasta with bacon and green beans (Ollie’s favourite) and garlic bread and Ollie opened some presents… including money in cards (he had asked for money to put save towards an ipod) and a robber costume which he has wanted for a long time.

…and then we had cake.

When mum and Harry and everyone had left, James and I got stuck into getting the presents ready for the morning.  James built the Playmobil police station and I decorated with balloons and wrote him his birthday blog post.  I nipped upstairs to take a photo of him sleeping… his last night as a 5 year old.

Unfortunately Ollie has had a bad cough that wakes him in the night recently and on the morning of his birthday, this cough woke him at 3am… and then he was too excited to get back to sleep! After settling him back in bed at 3am, noise from downstairs woke me at 4.30am… and I went to investigate.  There I found him playing with his new Playmobil police station with a big grin on his face.  I had to put him to bed again.  Because he had been up in the middle of the night, we were all tired and slept in, so there was no time for him to open his presents before school.

This was the first thing on his mind as soon as he got home though… and then he had to wait for Daddy to get home from work an hour later!  It was great that James was able to finish work early.

He opened his gifts at super-speed… it took probably less than 10 minutes and he loved them all, though his new pyjamas were probably his least exciting.  He got Adventure Time figures, Minecraft Figures, Minecraft Lego, new crayons, the Playmobil police station and The Lego Movie PS3 game.  Lucky boy.

We went out for his birthday dinner to Sakura for sushi and mocktails and Nanny came with us too.  He got a couple of plates of the sushi train, that he shared with Nate, the boys each had a Shirley Temple and then they shared a chicken fried rice dish.  It was delicious and after he had eaten, Ollie put his new Minecraft figure on the sushi train and waited for him to come back around.

After dinner, Nanny came to our house to hang out until bedtime and the boys played with the police station together.

Ollie, You’re 6 Today!

Dear Ollie,

Today you’ve turned 6!  Can you believe it?  You’ve been so excited for today… being the youngest (but by far one of the most confident and lively) in your year at school has had you waiting for this day since the start of P2 and now it is here.  I know I say it every year, but this year has gone SO fast… you’ve grown and changed so much!

We are SO proud of you, of who you are and all that you’ve achieved in your life so far.  You’re strong willed, inquisitive, excited about everything and you are SO clever.  You’re doing really well in school… you’ve learnt how to read wonderfully in the last year and today you showed us how you can count doubles… 30+30=60, 50+50=100… we are amazed!!  You got your dad’s brains for sure!  I was never good at maths!  You love school and you’ve some wonderful friends, but you’ve already felt the brunt of peer pressure (in the form of trying to run away from school!!) and bullying (in the form of P3s picking on you)… but still you love school and you come home everyday with something new that you have learnt and stories to tell.

You’re imagination is second to none.  I don’t know if I’ve written that in past years, but it’s true. Your teacher, Mrs. Salmon even said so!  She loves to read the stories you write and loves to hear your show and tells as much as you love to do them and I never have enough of your stories at home too.

Nate adores you and thinks you’re an awesome big brother and you are still working on your patience with him.  Other times, you guys love hanging out and Nate loves playing big kid games with you… like cops and robbers and that funny thing you do on the sofa.  You guys play better each day, the older you both get and it’s the most amazing thing.

Things that you currently love include: Police, robbers, lego, Adventure Time, Minecraft, riding your bike, jumping off everything, you love breakfast cereal… all day, you love pesto pasta and pizza and you even eat salad now.  I think you want to be a Policeman when you are older… your best friend is Max and when I asked you what you think you’re good at you told me “jumping down the stairs”.

You really are a sweetheart Ollie and I love your affectionate little soul with my whole heart and more.  Have a wonderful day today honey-bun. 

Love, Mummy.

 

Living Arrows 16/52 and 17/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” Kahlil Gibran

16/52

Ollie and Nate //  As a treat for Easter we decided to make a chocolate, sweetie thingy.  I’m not sure of the exact name, but I saw it on a few blogs.  Ollie thought this was a great idea and Nate’s eyes were wide at the sweets that I put into cups.  I melted white chocolate and spread it thinly on baking paper, put it in the fridge to harden and then spread melted milk chocolate on top.  When it was spread nicely I set the layered melted chocolate on the table and let the boys go crazy putting toppings on.  We had jelly beans, mini eggs and crunched up Ritz crackers.

17/52

Ollie and Nate  //  The boys have started playing so well together.  They really love each other’s company.  Ollie has taken to calling Nate “dude” instead.  Nate follows Ollie wherever he goes and wants to be playing with the same things.  When they got home from school they had cookies and milk and watched Ninjago on Netflix… Ollie on a stool and Nate on a little musical Fisher Price chair and as Ollie dunked his cookies into milk, Nate watched and did the same thing.  I’m so glad that for right now, they get along.  It might not always be that way!

Linking up to I Heart Snapping and Ordinary Moments