I am so late in writing this post, but I have just not had time to blog lately due to being unwell and suffering an injury to my arm. Anyway, I am back to blogging today and I have so much to catch up on and what better way to catch up on blogging than to have a look back at the year gone by. 2016 was a strange year for us, we did not do a lot as most of the year was spent waiting to move which put all of our plans on hold. The move was worth it though and we love the new house. So let's have a look at what we got up to in 2016.
January is always a quiet month for us, we did not do a lot from what I can remember - no day's out other then soft-play. Thing's were quiet blog-wise too, which is always the case although I was still very much a hobby blogger back in January who had no idea what I was doing. I joined Slimming World for the second time and got off to a great start but it did not last long, I have left and rejoined slimming world four times since I had Jacob two years ago. January also saw me face up to the fact that I was suffering from PND, a year later I can honestly say I feel so much better than I did back then.
February was another quiet month for us, we had a few family days out and meals out to local places but nowhere special. We were busy saving money ready to move house as we originally planned to move in March (we ended up moving in November). Jacob turned 18 months old at the end of the month and finally started sleeping, after 18 months of no sleep I was so relieved. Jacob also had his first ever haircut and he instantly changed from looking like a baby to a proper little boy which was so strange. Myself and the other half started having monthly date days and they were very much needed, like most parents we hardly spent any time together since having the little ones.
I also decided to take blogging a bit more serious and started taking on more paid campaigns and I set up my guest post series Other Bloggers Family Lives, which I am amazed has done so well. And now a year later I have decided to take my blog up a level and hopefully, make a success of it this year, fingers tightly crossed.
The children were off school for Easter and we had a lovely time at home with them, we went for afternoon tea with the Easter Bunny which they all really enjoyed. My teen had a really busy month as she went away with her cousins, went to see Little Mix and went on lots of days out with her friends. My blog turned two and I celebrated with a week of giveaways and I worked on some lovely campaigns. I also met up with my blogging friend Nikki when she was in Newcastle with her boys, it is always lovely to meet up with other bloggers as non-blogging friends just don't get it.
April was a great month for us, the girls were off for half-term and it was nice spending time together as a family. We went to York for the day thanks to Virgin trains and my teen went to see the Vamps in concert. Myself and the other half had a very rare weekend away in beautifully Ox Pasture Hall in Scarborough which was very much needed. I also travelled down to Manchester at the end of the month to attend the brilliant Blog on conference, gutted I am not going this year! I attended a Hotter shoe event and seriously had no idea they sold such nice shoes, I thought they just sold grandma shoes!
In May Sophia turned three and we celebrated by going to Edinburgh so she could go to the zoo to see the pandas and penguins. We had such a lovely day out and she adored seeing all of the animals, she was very taking with the monkeys and could have spent all day watching them. We had a wonderful meal out at Jesmond Dene house and afternoon tea at St Mary's Inn which we thoroughly enjoyed. The girls were off at the end of the month and I always love when they are off to spend time together as a family.
It was the other half's birthday so we had a lovely meal out to celebrate at the local Chinese (my favourite). Myself and Jacob featured in June's edition of Mother & Baby magazine as product testers, it was really strange seeing myself in a magazine that's for sure. I started working with Talk To Mums handing out samples which I actually really enjoy as it pushes me out of my comfort zone as I am naturally quite shy. Jacob decided that he would potty train himself at 21 months old and he cracked it pretty much straight away, which was amazing. We visited the animal inside out exhibition at the Centre for Life in Newcastle which was fascinating and we also had some nice family days out at the beach too.
Sophia left nursery which she was a bit sad about as she really did love it and had made some great friends which she won't be going to nursery school with. It was also the start of the summer holidays which I love so much, there is nothing better than having all my children home with me and being able to have lazy days or days out whenever we want. Myself and the girls had a day out at Northumberland national park, I really do forget that I live in such a beautiful part of the country. I travelled down to Leeds to attend a Spa day at Oulton Hall with Little Angle nappies with some other bloggers, it was bliss. We also visited Thaikhun Metrocentre to review the kid's menu which we loved and we got to try out Debenhams personal shopping service for kids which was fab and the little two got some lovely outfits.
Jacob turned two in August and we took him to Scarborough which he loved, we had a lovely time visiting the sealife centre and the bustling seafront. The other half had time off work so we had lots of family days out - to the beach and local parks and a few meals out. Myself and the other half celebrated our five year anniversary together, crazy how much life has changed in just five short years for us both. I love August as it is summer and there is no school and it is just a great chilled out month.
September was a super busy month for us, we finally found out we were moving at long last but it was nerve wracking waiting for all the reports to come back on the new house. The girls went back to school, my teen went into year 9 and started her GCSE's and Sophia started nursery at the local primary school, which she loved from day one. We also decided to send Jacob to nursery a few days a week and he settled in straight away and adores it. The other half got promoted at work again which he was thrilled about and it was good for us as a family as he works more sociable hours now too. We went to two family weddings and it was nice catching up with family although it was so stressful having the little two there, I now don't want to get married myself until the children are a bit bigger as they probably just stress me out. We were so busy in September that it just seems to have whizzed by in a blur if I am honest.
My teen Chloe turned 14 in October during half term and we had a nice day shopping in Newcastle, she also went to see Joe and Casper live at the city hall. Half term was a bit of a let down though as we were all unwell, so we ended up spending the week cooped up indoors. We did get to go out trick or treating though which the little two thought was great fun. We had a few nice family meals out but most of my spare time were spent packing and getting ready to move.
We finally moved house in November after months and months of waiting, even though we had tried to be prepared and packed weeks in advance moving day was still super stressful as we just have so much stuff. The house move pretty much took up the whole month for us, unpacking and finding homes for everything. We really love the new home though and it was definitely worth the long wait and stress that came with moving. It was my birthday in November too, on moving day so we just celebrated with a Chinese takeaway in the new house. The rest of November was taking up with illness, poor Sophia was really unwell and she even ended up in hospital with dehydration. We did get to go and visit Santa and Fenwicks window and for a few meals out with the children though which really got us all into the festive spirit.
December is all about Christmas to me, it is my favourite time of year and I love everything about Christmas. December was a crazy busy month blog-wise with so many reviews with tight deadlines. I was so glad I was able to enjoy a few weeks off over Christmas, we had such a wonderful Christmas this year at home which was much needed.
Looking back we have a really quite year with not as many days out as normal, however, this was purely down to the house move taking longer and being more expensive than we initially expected. We did still get to visit Edinburgh, York, Scarborough and have a weekend away in North Yorkshire as well as a lot of days out to the beach and local parks and soft plays.
2016 was the year that Jacob turned two, went to nursery, potty trained himself and turned from a little baby into a proper little boy. It was the year that Sophia turned 3, started nursery school and started talking properly, she has changed so much and is a joy to be around now. It was the year Chloe turned 14 and went into year 9, she has been to lots of concerts and had some great days. It was the year the other half got promoted again and found a better work/life balance which has benefitted us all. It was the year that I faced up to the fact I had been suffering from PND and started being kinder to myself. It was the year we moved into our new home and we are all so happy here, I can't wait to finish decorating and turn it into our perfect family home.
2016 was a great year for my blog too, it has gone from strength to strength this year and from being totally unknowing it is now ranked number 50 in Tots 100 out of thousands of blogs (totally going to drop next month after saying that). Last year I decided to try and make a bit more of an effort with my blog and I did a bit, but I rarely had time to blog and lost my way a bit with brand work. This year I have decided that I am going to work harder on my blog and turn it into something that I am proud of, wish me luck.
2016 was a good year for us as a family overall and I can't wait to see what 2017 is like, hopefully, it will be full of adventures and lots of happy memories we can treasure forever.