Happy New Year: Here’s to a Mental 2015

This is my 100th blog post at Mental Parentals.  Even though the blog has been live for over 12 months, I’ve only really started taking blogging seriously since August 2014.  I know that my writing has developed tenfold since the first few posts (of which you’ll have to look for as I’m not bringing them to light now!) and I hope my skills develop as my blog continues.

 2014 has been a good year to us here in the Mental Parentals family.  We have now been in our beautiful home for just one full year and we are starting to make memories living here.  It’s great living just around the corner from members of our family and I’ve made some good friends that live in the village too.  O will be starting school in September at the village school, that can be seen from our driveway, and I can’t wait for us to embed ourselves into the village community.
In January and February of 2014, we were trying to settle into a new house and find homes for our belongings; making a house a home for our family.  I also received a promotion at work which meant increasing my hours from 2.5 days a week to 5 days, full time.  Although this was a great opportunity not to be missed in my career, I did worry about the increased hours that O would need to be in nursery for.  He didn’t mind at all and, although there were a few days where he cried that he didn’t want to go, he loved seeing his friends for a couple of extra days a week.  I was also going to the gym before work 3 or 4 days a week, so was up and out the house often before O was even awake.
 In March and April, we had adjusted to living as a family with both parents working full time.  The housework was suffering, as were our relationships with extended family.  We had been invited to a friend’s (Katie) wedding down in Cornwall, which was amazing!  I finally got to meet Donna and Amy at the wedding with their families too which was an added bonus.  It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed a few days in Cornwall visiting the Eden Project on Mother’s Day.  It was also my birthday at the end of April, where my hubby A presented me with my Eternity ring; very happy!
 In May and June, we spent our time saving up and shopping for clothes for our upcoming summer holiday at Lara Beach in Turkey.  We enjoyed a relaxing two weeks of all-inclusive holidaying with A’s mum, dad, sister, brother-in-law and our niece, who made a great play mate for O!  All my hard work at the gym and healthy eating had made me feel really good in my body; the first time since pre-pregnancy.  I didn’t feel scared to wear a bikini and gained myself a really good tan in the 30+ degree heat.  The complex was amazing at the Hotel Baia Lara, with a private beach, spa, turkish bath and wonderful food available.  We were ready to come home, although could have quite easily returned after a couple of weeks back at work!
In July and August, we enjoyed the British summer weather.  We took a few days off to visit the local tourist attractions and bought a paddling pool for the garden.  On July 13th, I ran the Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK and was rather pleased with my time for a first 5k.  August saw O turn 3 years old, where he was gifted a slide and play house for the garden.  We arranged for his party to be held at a local soft play centre to reduce the stress of organisation, but I prepared party bags and cupcakes for the kids to take home.  O had asked for a Lion King birthday cake, and so we arranged for a local baker to make one for him – she made our wedding cake too so we knew we could count on her for an awesome bake!  I also got my blogging bug back in August, which has continued into the New Year.  I became a Godmother to my oldest friend’s gorgeous baby girl on the 10th August which was a huge honour for me and one of A’s cousins got married and held one of the best Wedding celebrations I’ve ever attended.  And to end off a wonderful couple of months, we were blessed with a new niece!
September saw our second Wedding Anniversary.  We made a last minute decision to change our plans from going out on a leaving do, to going to a restaurant in town on our own.  We enjoyed a lovely meal with a gorgeous bottle of wine and just enjoyed each other’s company.  It was really nice to get out just the two of us on our own for a change!  My Mum and I also started up a Tap Dance class for people in the local area in a bid to get fit ourselves, whilst doing something we both love.  I helped a close friend organise a MacMillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning where we raised an amazing amount for the charity.  Since April, I had been rehearsing for an amateur production of Jesus Christ Superstar and the week we had been preparing for was looming in mid-October.  I had a large bout of Guilty Mum Syndrome as I was out at work, coming in for tea and heading back out the door at 6:15pm to the show.  I did miss the dress rehearsal though as we had taken O to Sunderland to see his first musical – The Lion King.  He loved it so much, although I think he thought that there was going to be real lions on the stage so was reluctant to go in at first!  At the end of October, we held a Halloween party for O and his little friends which went down a storm – we’ll definitely be doing this again!
November and December have been awesome months too.  I’ve been getting prepared for Christmas as I love the run up to Christmas so much!  We loved the local Firework display for Bonfire Night, saw Ross Noble live and made the local papers for turning up at the gig a year early (in 2013)!  Much of my time in the run up to Christmas has been spent at work trying to get to a stage where I’m comfortable in my projects and preparing for Christmas.  We did get to visit Santa on the Santa Express at a nearby Steam Train attraction which was awesome and O loved it.  We had a brilliant Christmas Eve, and even better Christmas Day and a relaxing break in the last few days of 2014 where I got to visit Cheshire Oaks with my best mate for an overnight stay, plenty of shopping and gossip!
 2014 has been fabulous; and here’s hoping 2015 will be even better!  Two family weddings abroad that we’re attending in Alicante and Las Vegas, and we’ll hopefully squeeze in another holiday for the 3 of us somewhere hot, quiet with good food.  I hope your year has been just as good and I wish all my readers all the best for 2015.
Cheers x

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