Happy New Year! How’s your 2018 going so far? I’m treading softly into it, negotiating a grey January and edging forward with various house decorating and decluttering projects. I’m giving thought to the big goals for 2018 and have taken some time to reflect on 2017 too and the things I want to remember from it, such as:
TURNING FORTY AND FEELING OK ABOUT IT
So this happened last night! 🎉Amazing party to celebrate the big 4️⃣0️⃣. We shipped out the kids, filled the house with friends, booze and a photo booth and let loose. 🍾💃 The night flew by as these things do & I want to do it all again! Maybe not today though as today needs coffee ☕️ and I can't seem to move from the sofa. Am surrounded by cards, presents, plants, flowers and looking through the photo album from the photobooth though. Feeling very lucky with my lot 🌺
That milestone birthday. At the beginning of 2017 I reached my fifth decade. I can’t lie, the onset of the big 4-0 was slightly daunting but it’s suited me well, I’m even quite proud to say I’m in my forties. I feel calmer, wiser and more optimistic than I have in years and I think part of the reason for that is getting older (another reason is my children are getting older too!). I celebrated by spending half term week (and my actual birthday) in a gorgeous cottage in North Yorkshire.
I then had a party at home when we got back and filled the house to bursting with friends, a photo booth and Prosecco.
Some of my presents included more treats such as brunch at the Ivy Brasserie in Soho and a jewellery making class at Tatty Devine. In fact, the celebrations will continue into 2018 as I have a holiday coming up friends to celebrate all our 40ths (they are a year younger than me).
A NEW BATHROOM
After a few years with no “big” house projects, we finally got our hideous bathroom renovated. This was a fairly big, 3 week project and involved knocking into the airing cupboard, moving the bathroom door and overall room layout.
We were delighted with the results and it is a much, much nicer room to be in now.
ANOTHER WEEK IN NORFOLK
We made it up to the north Norfolk coast for a week at the end of July – our fourth holiday there in 3 years.
We visited some familiar haunts – the beaches at Brancaster and Wells, Blickling Hall and Holt. And also tried new places such as BeWILDerwood, the Wells to Walsingham Light Railway, a boat trip to sea seals at Moreston Quay, Bircham Mill and Wiveton Hall. Just talking about it makes me want to book another trip!
Their lives move quickly at their age (when a year is a whole third of our life, a lot happens!). There’s probably tons of stuff I have forgotten about already.
The big one turned 6 and started Year 1 at school. She misses the free play aspect of Reception but is enjoying writing stories and reading more independently. She seems to be leaving the princess dress / swirly skirt phase and wants to wear jeans to parties and trousers to school. She shows an interests in things I enjoy too like museums and history though she is way more sporty than me! The little one turned 3 and started at the school nursery. She has settled well, has made friends and loves using her imagination. We’ve started Forest School one afternoon a week which we both love (even in the depths of winter). She is still A Challenge. She never sits still, gets rather angry if she doesn’t get her own way and does not like to sleep in her own bed. But, overall, we are leaving behind the baby years and overall parenting is becoming easier at this stage.
TIME FOR ME
Related to the above and such a big deal for me! I started to feel like I had room to breathe again after the madness of the baby and toddler years.
I’ve had more time to do things that aren’t mothering and make me feel like me again. I’ve socialised a lot, been to craft classes, taken creative courses, visited museums, gone to networking events and spent time reading and gardening. Not big things. Not life changing things but things I enjoy and all add up to making me feel pretty happy about life.
I got to a point mid year when I had a bit of a re-think about blogging. I had blogged about family life for 5 years but came to a point when I didn’t want to do that anymore. Over time (and a lot of thinking and not blogging) I’ve realised that I would like to use this place as a sort of happiness journal, memory jar and idea space.
I’m not sure how much prominence I would give to Christmas if it hadn’t just happened, but we had a lovely time.
And what marked it out this year, was how relaxed it was. I tried to get the festive chores out of the way in November so I could enjoy the celebrations more. It was the first year that the 3 year old realised the magic of the occasion and the 6 year old still believes in it too. That may all change by next year Christmas I know!
We've had a pretty chilled day. Baking, cleaning, picking up a bakery order and a neighbourhood walk to look at Christmas lights. Our elf started to decorate the gingerbread house last night so the girls finished it as soon as they got up at 7am. Randomly, they are springing out of bed earlier than they have for the whole of December now that school has finished … happy Christmas Eve Eve!
We didn’t host any big meals this year and on Christmas morning, the kids were happy playing with new toys and I was able to disappear into the bath for a while. It was bliss!
I’m planning to do a 2018 goals post too when I’ve got that sorted in my head.
About Hue Me Happy
Hue Me Happy is a happiness journal, memory jar and bright idea space. Written by Sian, a 40-something Mancunian living in north London. After, 15 years working in corporate marketing roles, I took a career break after the birth of my second daughter in 2014. I’ve been trying to regain a sense of calm, creative balance every since!