Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013- reflections

I remember vaguely writing my 13 in '13... and having just re-read it... well. Let's be swift:

1. Listen to more music: I did vaguely well on this, albeit I didn't keep up a monthly post. Instead I spent each month adding something old and something new to my phone. And my phone seems permanently connected to a earphones or the car speakers when travelling. I have loved falling back in love with My Chemical Romance, All American Rejects, Placebo, Counting Crows and Semisonic. I love Mumford & Sons on the 0655 to London. I have enjoyed new stuff from Stereophonics, Stooshe, The Lumineers, Ed Sheeran and, of course, Blue October.

2. Baking. Thanks to the wonderful Jenny and Helen I think I can definitely tick this one off.

3. The Advent Activity Calender. We tried this again, didn't manage it all again, but will do a round up post.

4. Routine. We've managed to keep the boys on track, although we've just started weaning them off afternoon naps. Seren remains her own boss and everytime I think we are getting somewhere a half term happens and throws everything off again.

5. Work-life balance. Didn't work at all. 2014 sees the start of 4-day weeks. We'll see.

6. Career plan. Really not happening.

7. Making the most of London. Didn't happen. Work and tiredness got in the way.

8. Photography. Didn't really happen.

9. Create a memory wall. Kept for 2014.

10. To create children's bedrooms for the little people. Kept for 2014.

11. To learn to crochet (without my mum knowing!). Failed.

12. The blog. Didn't really happen.

13. Keep the family happy and healthy. Oddly, I think this happened. Admittedly we're finishing the year with a pediatrician referral for Tom but that only happened in December. We can celebrate Seren getting through her first term without a day off sick. The children overcame chickenpox. Mr J got his operation and also managed to come off his medication. As for happy,  I couldn't ask for more laughter, cwtches and kisses. I love what the children are becoming. And yes, there's tears, tantrums and terrorising... but it always ends with "Sorry" and a cuddle every time. Because that's the law!

So, outside of what we set out to do.
Here are the best bits:

January is a month of birthdays- Mr J's, Tom & Seb's and Nana Windows'.
As the virus was still amongst us we spent the boys birthday makingthem a rainbow cake.

As a result of turning 2 the boys got to start playschool.
Excited was an understatement.

February was my mum's 60th and my parents ruby wedding anniversary. It didn't go unmentioned.
 With March, the children all upgraded their beds. From cots to toddler beds, from beds to cabin beds.
 And of course March saw Seren have her first 'proper' birthday party as she turned 4.
 And being a Butlin's Ambassador saw us enjoying a fantastic birthday week in Bognor Regis.
 Easter saw an adventure to seek out the Gruffalo at Dean Heritage Centre.
 As well as the hunt for an Easter Egg at Dyffryn Gardens.
 The end of April saw us return to Butlin's with my parents for another fantastic break.
Unfortunately it saw us return with some additions.... and May saw all three children fighting Chickenpox.

The end of May saw the begins of good weather as we started to explore our extended backyard.
The start of June welcomed Mr J's much anticipated, most feared operation.
Nothing says relief better than this drugged up loon.
 And we got to explore more of our surroundings as the weather held.
 And ended with some much needed 'girly' time.
July was a randomly busy month, for what should be the rundown for Summer.
July saw Seren 'graduating' all too soon from nursery.
 Lots of time at the beach, so much so the pushchair became the equivalent of the naughty step.
 And against my odds, the weather held for the children's Christening, as we fortunate to enjoy a wonderful day with family and friends.

 August saw lots of trips out as the summer fortunately held.

And before we knew it, September arrived. And the boys were excited to be back at playschool. And Seren got to make the trip across the playground, from nursery to reception. And my gorgeous girl began her amazing journey, as her reading and writing seems to grow every day.
September also saw my learning improve, as I finally became proud of my baking, and whilst my photographs of family need improving as I seem a little more fortunate where food is involved.
 October saw dreams come true as the boys got to go on a proper nee-naw.
 And the turning of weather did nothing to reduce the children's love of the beach.
 November saw some much needed family time, as I got to enjoy a week with the family at Center Parcs.
And before we knew it, it was December 25th.
And we had lived too fast, slept too little, and laughed enough but not enough.
Like all years before. I have worked too much and not had enough family time.
I have not switched off, nor wound down, and as a result frequently been distracted.

We have grown as a family, taking decisions to improve our family and lifestyle.
We have bickered too much, communicated too little, and spent too much time resolving problems.
We have watched our children grow into individuals we are proud of.
For every exasperation I have with Seren, I hold myself back as I see too much of myself in her.
For all the boisterous behaviour the boys bring, I cannot believe how well behaved, polite and loving they can be.
I adore their humour and their thought processes. Which can be read so easily in their expressions.
I love that every day I am fortunate enough to be loved by them.
I will make more of this in 2014, I will not cry for days not spent together but remember the fun we have had when together.

And so, the Johnson's have had the best of 2013. We have been fortunate. And we are thankful for that.

And so, we wave a fond goodbye to 2013.
Before taking a deep breath and reaching out to greet 2014.

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