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.
The end of May saw the begins of good weather as we started to explore our extended backyard.
Nothing says relief better than this drugged up loon.
July saw Seren 'graduating' all too soon from nursery.
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.
And we had lived too fast, slept too little, and laughed enough but not enough.
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.