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!

Hello Blog and Hello 2019

New phone who dis?

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Only kidding.  It has been a heck of a long time since I last posted on my blog and I’ve been meaning to get back to it for so long, but each time I sit to write, I don’t know how to start back.  So instead of a big catch up or explanation for being off the radar for so long… I think it’s easier to just jump back in and get that out of the blue post done and dusted.  Break the seal.

I also changed the name of the blog!  I am hoping James and the boys will start contributing to it regularly too, so it is more of a family blog.

So excited for this year.  Happy 2019 everyone!

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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!

 

Goodbye 2015!

 

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I love the feeling of saying goodbye to a year… New Year is a chance to set your life on a path of your choosing and to set new goals!  2015 for me has been relatively quiet… ups and few downs, some travels, new adventures, amazing new friends and I’ve learned more about myself this year than any other.

I love that I got to experience so much this year, thankful to be loved and to have so many to love back too and thankful that we’ve been happy and healthy!

Excited to see where 2016 takes us!

2015 Goals

Each year I make a list of goals for the year… and I call them goals because I think the word resolutions holds too much pressure.  Goals would suggest trying…. resolutions carries a lot more in the way of failure if you can’t rigidly stick to them.  Here are the five things I most want to work on this year!

1.  Establish my photography business!  I want to be a photographer.  I’m practicing and practicing and am still getting to grips with my camera and lenses and I want to work hard on my portfolio this year.  Nate starts nursery school in September so I’m going to have a lot more time on my hands!

2.  Take better care of myself!  This one is more because I turned 30 in the last year… I know I need to look after myself better.  I want to get into a habit of either running or doing yoga 4 times a week, lose a little weight and I need to drink more water and A LOT less Coke.

3.  Say yes more often.  This is a goal I set every year because it’s super important and there is always room for improvement.  I am guilty of saying “in a minute” or “we will do it later”, when really the most important thing is the boys, chores etc can wait.  I also need to consciously put my phone and computer away for a while and really absorb all the wonderful things that are happening in my day.

4.  Knuckle down and STUDY.  This year I started on a degree course part-time.  I love it and I am doing well, but to be honest, there is so much room for improvement where study is concerned.  I am getting good marks without putting all my effort in, so imagine what I could get if I REALLY TRY.

5.  Get serious about saving.

I’m late to the party in posting my goals for the year but it’s still January, so it still counts!

Resolutions 2014

I think I like the word ‘goals’ a lot more than I like the word resolution.  To me the word ‘resolution’ implies something definite and unchangeable.  SO MUCH PRESSURE.  ‘Goals’ is a word that I like a little more because it implies that one is trying super hard in whatever area.  There is no pressure, just a want to do better.  It doesn’t mean you HAVE to reach your goal, but that you should try and keep trying.  It’s just a little more light-hearted I think.

This year I have a ton of things I want to work on… I am never short of things I’d like to be better at/ change/ improve… maybe because I am an awful person?  I’m kidding.  I have a short list here of the things that are most important to me but I am also reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and intend to structure some goals throughout the year in a similar way to that in her book.

I love the new year.  I am all about new starts, decluttering and making things better.  2014 is going to be exciting for our family, but scary too because James is due to leave his job on Feb 6th and will thereafter be self employed.  It will all work out good but the pre-empt is scary. 

Anyway… without further ado, here are some goals for 2014.

1.  Be a better friend and make more of an effort to stay in touch with family.

2. Take a NICE photo of the boys/ our family each week.  

3. Lose weight!

4. Pass my driving test.  Failing 3 times this past summer really dented my confidence but driving is something I need to be able to do, for the good of me and the family.  This year is hopefully my year.  Scared.

5. Concentrate on getting to grips with my camera, build my portfolio and pay attention to growing my business.

6. Say yes more often.  This is a goal I set every year because a) it’s important and b) because this is something I can always improve on.  I am guilty of saying “in a minute” or “we will go it later”, when really the most important thing is the boys, chores etc can wait.  I also need to consciously put my phone and computer away for a while and really absorb all the wonderful things that are happening in my day.

7. Try 20 new things.  List to follow.

8. Take up yoga properly… properly meaning, do yoga for a good hour at least 3 or 4 times a week if not more.  I dipped my toe into yoga in 2013 and loved it.  I need to make time to get into it properly.

Wish me luck! I’m so excited for this year.

2013 In Review Part 2 (July-December)

July

July started off Ollie’s summer holidays.  His first year of primary school went by so so fast and he learnt a lot!!  We took Ollie on a cinema James, just he, James and I, to see Despicable me 2.  We had a ramble in the forest with the boys… the sun was shining bright and it was a lovely day.  The weather heated up quite a bit!  So much so, that we got the paddling pool out and I got my bikini out!  I took both of the boys to get a haircut.  James took a fortnight off work!  I left the boys for 3 days to go to Dublin to hang with my dad and to go see Mumford and Sons in concert.  It was amazing!  I also turned 29 and we had a great family day.… first we went to Il Pirata for lunch and then we went to Stormont park to play.  I wore a dress and James and Ollie made me a cake!  I took my driving test again and failed for a second time.  Grim.  We went to mum and Harry’s for a birthday BBQ.  Later in the month we went to the beach to spend some time… only to find it deserted and a storm on the way.  It was cool though, the boys loved the thunder and the dash to the car in crazy rain.  We went to St. George’s market and picked out a lobster.  The Ark Open Farm received a visit from us and both boys loved seeing the animals!  I got a new Macbook Air!!!!!  I dealt with the loneliness that comes from having a husband work away on business.

August

I left the males of the house to fend for themselves again when I went to England for my Auntie’s birthday party/ extended family gathering.  It was great to see everyone and nice to have another weekend away!  We got a dog… an amazing puppy and we named her Marceline.  Marcie for short.  Belfast turned into riot central.  James started working away in London.  I got my hair done!  My friend won tickets to Kings Of Leon and she took me!  We attempted to teach Ollie how to ride his bike without stabilisers… it didn’t go well.  I took the boys to W5.  My lovely Uncle Trevor passed away after a long battle.  My dad took the 4 of us on a lovely holiday long weekend in Mayo… it was a gorgeous place to spend some days together as a family and we all relaxed.  

September

Ollie started P2!  On his first day he walked into his class and sat down without so much as a glance towards me before he waved and told me I could go. Proud.  Girls in the neighbourhood started calling for Ollie more often and Nate turned into a tantruming toddler.  We went to Seaford Butterfly Farm.  My mum and I went to Crumlin Jail for the tour and then to Pizza Express for food.  it was a great girly date!  Ollie took another chest infection and Marcie visited the Vets to get vaccinations and was found to have some health concerns.  Poor tote.  The boys entered the phase that is brotherly love… they began playing together, properly and Nate’s speech came on leaps and bounds. Doughzy Donuts sent us a box of 12 to review and we had them for breakfast.  Culture Night in Belfast was also a hit!  My mum and I went out for sushi to celebrate her birthday and then we had a birthday party for her here, complete with pass the parcel, as per Ollie’s suggestion.  Ollie started Wildcats.  Frank Turner decided to come here and play a gig, so of course I got tickets to go and see him with my brother.  it was GREAT!!!  

October

I started yoga!  Loved it… it didn’t turn into a habit though… need to start again!  Marcie had more Vet visits… and was found to be coming on leaps and bounds.  Ollie started back at Squirrels after a long summer break.  We took Marcie out for her first walk and she hated it.  I got a job interview.  Weather got super cold and we dug out our hats and gloves.  Nate moved out of a cot and into bunk beds with Ollie…it went surprisingly well!  I thought it would be a nightmare but he didn’t attempt to get out of bed too often. Hubby took me for surprise Mexican, because he is wonderful.  We went back to the vets with Marcie, this time because of her legs and paws.  We were given anti-inflammatories and xrays for her.  We went to Scotland for a holiday/ my Granny’s 80th birthday… Nate’s first flight and sooooo good to spend the time with my family.  I’m so glad the boys got to know my Granny a little better.  We celebrated Halloween with a small kids party, trick or treating and pumpkin pie!  The boys dressed up as Devils.

November

November started well with a family trip to Nando’s and a Tom Odell gig with my brother.  Both were awesome.  I purchased the majority of my Christmas presents for the boys at the start of the month too!  Nate got a tummy bug which caused him to puke through the night.  James and I had an awesome gig date… we went to see Frightened Rabbit and went for a meal too.  I made homemade sausage rolls that everyone seemed to enjoy… and then we went to Hillmount to see the reindeer that had arrived for Christmas!  It snowed.  I spent more time parenting alone.  We tried to take Nate’s dummy away but it was a no-go… maybe when he is a little older.  We started to feel a little bit Christmassy.  People started planting bombs over Belfast.  We went to a nativity night at church and Ollie dressed up as Joseph.  On the last day of November, we put up our Christmas tree!  It looked gorgeous and Elfie (our Elf On The Shelf) arrived.

December

The boys and Marcie got stuck into their advent calendars.  Elfie got up to a ton of mischief, each and every day… it kept Ollie entertained, though Nate was still a little young to even notice. I took a Christmas card photo of the boys to send out with the cards.  My dad took me, James and my brothers out for dinner to Howard Street for a real slap up meal, while the boys stayed overnight at mum and Harry’s so they could go on the Santa train.  Ollie wrote a Santa list which included toy poop.  He also encountered some nastiness at school so I took him on a much needed mummy and son date.  We went iceskating and he loved it.  I won tickets to a Christmas gig of Tim Wheeler and Emmy The Great.  I took Ryan and it was ace!  Ollie played the part of a Dove in his school play.  Nate loved watching him perform and loved seeing all the other kids dressed as angels, stars and animals.  We hosted a cookie swap party for Ollie and his friends, and they dismantled our handcrafted gingerbread house.  We saw his school carol service too.  So so sweet.  Nate had his first trip to the cinema when we went to see Polar Express… he sat like a statue, hardly moving.  Ollie was excited to see his favourite movie on the big screen.  The boys saw Santa at Castlecourt.  We had an awesome Christmas Eve at my mum’s house, a wonderful Christmas seeing both James family and my own with good food and lots of fun opening presents with my boys, and a fun Boxing day also with family.  James and I had a relaxed New Years Eve after celebrating it with the boys before they went to bed.  Last but not least, we went to another gig… this time it was And So I Watch You From Afar.