On the 2nd January 2014 I sat down and wrote this post. In it I outlined what I hoped 2014 would bring our little family. That week I had handed in my notice to work, something which was scary and exciting in equal measures and I had no idea how it would work me working freelance and for myself. I also wrote about how I was determined to try and lose weight and to change my lifestyle, something which I have never been able to stick to before. It's now the 1st January 2015, the start of a New Year and time to say goodbye to 2014.
What can I say about 2014? It was a truly special year. We had no significant milestones or events, but we have grown as a family and it has been really exciting. I feel like I have learnt so much about myself and where and who I want to be. About the balance between being the best Mummy I can be but yet finding an identity that isn't utterly defined by my children. When I handed in my notice I had no idea what to expect but it turns out it was one of the best things I ever did. I work harder than I ever have before, way more so than in my old job where I could more often than not switch off at the end of the day. I have to fit in work around my girls, with them going to nursery two long mornings a week, but other than that I do things whenever I can- mainly at nap times and during the evenings.
I have to sacrifice occasionally- I often go to a local hotel to sit in the bar and use their wifi on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when I really want to be at home or having fun with my little family and some evenings Mr E and I don't talk a word to each other hardly, but for the most part working for myself is more than I could ever have hoped for. It's flexible, I love the clients I have, and coupled with blog opportunities means that I am helping support our family and bring money in each month. I say it a lot but I genuinely feel thankful every single day for what my blog has brought into our lives.
I turned 30 in March and this definitely made me reflect on life. I started running back in January last year and if you had told me a year ago I would still be doing it I would most definitely not have believed it. I have never stuck at fitness fads for more than a couple of weeks before this year, but I have two half marathons under my belt and plans to do lots more in 2015. I have a whole post on a year of my fitness mission coming up in a few days but I most certainly have stuck at it, I have lost two stone and although I have periods where I don't exercise (hello Christmas) and my weight fluctulates a little, overall its become a way of life for me now.
This year we finally became a little more comfortable with money. Don't get me wrong, we certainly aren't flash but our ridiculously high five year fixed mortgage rate ended and so we have a little bit more than we are used to. It had been a tough few years, especially with Mr E basically being made redundant when I was on maternity leave with Mads, so while we still are very careful with money, the pressure has eased off a little.
As such we have had done some updating to our home this year- we had our living room redone in a yellow and purple theme, we completely gutted and redid our bathroom (I love it so much!) and we also had our bedroom redecorated in a pink, white and gold theme too. We have plans in 2015 to put the girls in a joint room so we can get our study back so expect a few more interior posts coming up!
We have had some amazing adventures this year, I feel so lucky to have made some incredible memories as a family. Travelling has always been a passion of mine (I worked in the travel industry for six years) and so I love that we are taking our girls on adventures. We went on some really love mini breaks in 2014- a magical weekend away to a treehouse in Wales, a weekend glamping adventure, a trip to Center Parcs with our Besties and a trip to Brighton with my sister. I've also been honoured to work with some great travel brands this year, including being chosen to be a Mark Warner Ambassador and work on a campaign with KLM where we went to the beautiful city of Amsterdam. I hope that we will continue to travel and make adventures in 2015- already we have a holiday booked, a hopeful trip to Disneyland Paris and a potential trip away with our besties again, as well as my first girls weekend since I was at uni bar hen do's! In November I became part of an exciting project- Space In Your Case is a website dedicated to family travel that I am part of with three other bloggers and I am excited to hopefully see that grow over the next year- I am honoured to be a part of it.
It's been an amazing year but it's not been perfect. I am well aware that with a blog you only see a very small part of someones life. While I will always be honest and talk about the not so good times as well as the fabulous ones, inevitably when you post about adventures and memories, they generally will paint a picture perfect document of family life. And sometimes I feel like people may think it's a little nauseating- but this is our life and for the moment we are happy. We are lucky, we are blessed and life is good. Of course life is mundane and sometimes stressful- we argue, we have family dramas, we have life worries or money worries, but for the most part it is good.
This year I have struggled with my health a fair bit- I have touched on it here and there on my blog but in January I started getting sick and having tummy pains- they go away for a while and then come back with avengence. This hasn't been easy and I have had some tough times this year, but luckily I am under consultant care now and hopefully they will get to the bottom of it soon. At the moment I am having a good stage so let's hope it continues for a while. After all your health is by far the most important thing of all and we will never take it for granted.
So what do I want from 2015?
It sounds a cliche to say it but I just want my family to be safe and happy. Ultimately that is all that matters to me. You take away the opportunities, the fun days out and the material posessions and all that matters is our family. As I get older, I inevitably reflect even more. Becoming a mother has made me realise how quickly life can change for both the better and for the worse and I just want to enjoy the little things and the ordinary moments with my family. I am not one for particularly making resolutions, but I do make goals. My main one for 2015 is to enjoy every minute, I have done that this year, but I want to put my phone down a little more, to really play with my girls and to try and switch off as much as I can. Myself and Mr E work so hard and I wouldn't have it any other way, but I want to try and find a balance so I can enjoy the evenings with him more.
Blog wise, I want my blog to grow of course I do, however in 2014 I decided just to blog when I felt I had something to say and I am sticking to that in 2015. Sometimes I feel like I should write about more topical things, or do more posts that people may find interesting- like gift guides, blogging related things, style posts, recipes or things like that, but if I am honest I just can't get to grips with them. I often worry my blog content is pretty boring if you aren't a long term reader- I just write about our life nowadays, but I find it hard to think about what else to write about. I sometimes think I should be blogging every day or writing more reviews (some of my favourite bloggers post most days), as I really admire the people who do, but I can't seem to do it. Therefore I shall continue just writing about our adventures and slightly boring, mundane life and hope that people want to continue to read them.
I would like to improve my photography and also learn more about video. I am loving taking videos of our adventures and learning more about it, although I am a complete beginner. I wish I had started sooner as while photography will always be my number one passion, there is something so lovely about looking back on our videos. I would love to grow my You Tube channel, but I really have no clue what I am doing. I am still going to be recording our Ordinary Moments each week as I love that I am documenting things I might otherwise forget, and I am still going to be taking part in Me and Mine and Living Arrows too.
Fitness wise I want to continue the way I have been, although I have been a bit lazy the last couple of weeks. I started off the year doing quite a few tummy exercises with my kettlebells, but I got lazy towards the latter part of the year. I want to try and get abs as they were starting to peek through but have now got hidden behind an over excess of cheesecake and Quality street at Christmas time. I have a few more races that I have signed up for, including two more half marathons. I started off the year drinking lots of water but the last few months I have become awful, I hardly even drink a glass a day. I am going to really make an effort to drink more water and less Diet Coke- of course I won't be able to give up my number one vice totally, but I do need to cut down a little.
I want to make more time for my friends, for my husband and for my girls. I know I am a pretty good wife, Mummy and friend, but I want to be better. I need to take more time to call friends I haven't seen in a while, to touch base and tell them I am thinking of them. I have a husband in a million who supports me every single day, and sometimes I need to look after him a little more- even just little things like cooking more, letting him sneak off for a bath in the evening or sending him a little card to tell him how much I love him. Just little things to show I care.
And that's it. Like I said, the main thing I want to do is enjoy life with my little family, to continue making memories and having adventures, and to make the most of every minute. They may be simple goals but they are the ones that mean the most. If I succeed these things in 2015, then I couldn't be happier.
Thanks for the memories 2014...
Here are a few of my favourite posts and photos from the last year...
Just click on each photo to read the post.
Happy New Year everyone...