Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013 end of year review.

This year has gone by so quickly! Of course, it was always going too because I was wishing the time away, hoping our November Disney World trip would hurry up!

I have spent the last couple of days reading through posts from the last year. It seems the children and I did lots of baking! We started the year off by making these yummy flapjacks, and finished it by making the Pinwheel cookies for Father Christmas! Of course I couldn't forget about the time Chester asked to make cupcakes and chose the ingredients all by himself, he really takes after me!

The year will always start with Millie's Birthday, this year she turned one and since then she has changed so much. She learnt to walk in February and since then there has been no stopping her! I can tell already that she is very strong willed, she knows what she wants and how she can get it! Her vocabulary, especially in the last half of the year, has come on so much. Her baby babbles turned into mimicking sounds, and then single words. In June she told me she loved me and that was the start of her now very large vocabulary. She can point out and say all of the Disney Princesses names, and can easily string words together to tell you what she wants. Millie gave us all a scare at the beginning of the year when we found a lump on her rib, luckily after lots of tests and a couple of visits to the consultant we found out that her rib has simply grown abnormally, hopefully there will be no need for surgery and if there is it will more than likely be for cosmetic reasons.

You can tell that Millie is very close to turning two, she is very stubborn and will drop to the floor and tantrum at the drop of a hat! I have a feeling the next few months are going to be very challenging with Millie! Having a boy and a girl I can honestly say that they strop in very different ways. I am actually dreading Millie's terrible twos as she already seems to be a lot more dramatic than her brother! 

A big blogging highlight of the year for Millie was swimming with Karen Pickering.

Chester has had a busy year, we had the nervous wait to find out what Primary School he had gotten in to. Thankfully he got into our first choice and we could not be any happier with our choice. As I have said before, he has settled in really well and has really amazed us with how much he has already learnt. It can't of been easy for Chester, leaving all of his Nursery friends behind and starting School knowing no one and in totally unfamiliar surroundings. But he took it all in his stride and seems so happy and at home there. He is 5 now, and getting more and more grown up by the day. I try so hard to not let him grow up quickly, these childhood days just fly by and modern technology only makes it go faster! Thankfully Chester still has his fantastic imagination and still loves to be in the great outdoors looking for sticks to build dens at every opportunity! That's not to say he doesn't enjoy a modern childhood too, he got a tablet for his Birthday and a 2DS for Christmas, its amazing how much he picks up from technology. I work hard to make sure he (and Millie) has a healthy balance of variety when it comes to play time. 

Blogging highlights for Chester this year include a cupcake decorating class and the Lollibop festival!

Well as most of you know my life mainly revolves around the children so their highlights are my highlights too. I aim to change that slightly next year as I feel I have forgotten about myself recently. I will write separately about my thoughts on that. But Craig and I did manage to get some bits in the house done that we had been meaning to do for some time, we decorated our dining area. Which I used to hate, but now love. We can now all sit together and enjoy our family meals, we have more space for baking and crafting too! Then whilst I was away for the weekend at Chesford Grange with my Mum and the Kiddies, Craig surprised me and decorated our hallway and landing! We still have a couple of pictures and a hook board to hang so I would say we are almost complete there. Lastly we decorated our front room, it is now a lovely calming pastel colour. Sadly it is still overrun by toys haha! So that's almost all of the boring magnolia gone from our home, leaving just the main bathroom to do!

My Sister went off on her travels, she is still on her travels. At the moment she is in Australia but she has already travelled around most of Asia and New Zealand. Its been really tough on Chester as he adores his Auntie and Uncle. Thank goodness for Facetime and free wifi! The children have been able to speak to them 2 or 3 times a month and they really love telling them what they have been up too! My Sister was even brave enough to do a skydive last month, none of us can quite believe she went through with it, but Chester loved watching the video and often laughs about it!

As a family we were treated to a fantastic day trip to Lille in France. We loved that day so much, Chester still talks about it a lot. Craig and I often say that we would like to go back and explore for a little longer. Its great that the Eurostar allows us to just hop on a train and pop to the middle of another country and back in a day!

So we had a lot of highs this year, the biggest one I will save until last. However, we also had one very big low too. Sadly my Nan passed away at the beginning of our Disney World trip. Sadly we knew it was going to happen, she had a short illness, Cancer. I spent a lot of time with her in the weeks before our trip. Its strange really, because I wouldn't say that my Nan and I were close. But I really am finding it hard and can't quite let it sink in that she has gone. I am not sure if this is because we were totally away from the situation when it happened? I thought that the funeral would make it more real, but even then it was like some weird spaced out dream? Chester has asked about it lots. He is only 5, but I try to be as honest and upfront with him as possible. He is a clever little boy and likes it to be told how it is. I know deep down he is too young to understand it all, he probably will have very little memory of her and Millie will have no recollection of her at all, which I find very sad.

But lets not end on a low, let me tell you about our biggest high of the year... The Children's first trip to Walt Disney World! I have been dreaming of that moment for as long as I can remember, taking my own Children to the most magical place on earth. In November it happened, and the memories will stay with me for a lifetime. The reactions from the children were everything I had dreamed of. From that first glance of Cinderellas castle whilst walking down Main Street to the meeting of their favourite characters. Chester is a little dare devil and loved the rides, Millie is a true Disney Princess at heart and loved meeting her heroes! On many occasions I had a tear or two in my eye, Disney World is my happy place. Its a place I can forget everything in the real world and immerse myself in a world of imagination and joy. That may sound sad for an almost 30 year old but I really can not explain it. If you have every been to Walt Disney World, you will know what I mean. The have a nice day attitude is catching and I love it! I am yet to write up about our trip and that is mainly because I am so sad that we are home! I will get around to blogging about it I promise!

Well that's it, 2013 is very almost over. I can honestly say I will be sad to see the back of 2013, its been a great year and lots of memories were made. But 2014 is coming and I intend to embrace it, we have no Disney holiday to look forward to, but we have new adventures to look forward to instead. My parents recent move to Dorset means that we can holiday with free accommodation whenever we like. I intend to make full use of this! Its also the year that I turn 30! I know shocking isn't it?! I want nothing more than to spend it with my family and have a nice break to Center Parcs. I am realistic though. My Birthday is in August, the most expensive holiday time of year! So I am willing to postpone my birthday until October half term (if any of my family are reading this hint hint lol). My Sister will be back from her travels by the middle of the year and I think by then we will all be pleased to see her! We are getting updates from her blog, and that is lovely, but it will be nicer when she can tell us her stories face to face and we can have proper two way conversations about her adventures! Chester and Millie will no doubt be more excited than all of us put together!

All that is left for me to say is I hope your 2013 has been great and that your 2014 will be even better. Happy New Year everyone!

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