Friday 3 January 2014

Looking back at 2013 - A massive year of change

At the start of every year it is of course important to look ahead and to visualise where you might be going that year and where your priorities lie but before you do that it is great to go over the year before and remind yourself of what has gone before. 2013 feels as if it has been really eventful for us as a family but generally it has been a great year. I've had a look back over my blog and chosen a pertinent picture and post from each month to help me remember 2013 in years to come.

I was really surprised when I looked at my post from the end of 2012 about all the things I wanted to do in 2013, I can honestly say I met or made headway on them all. What a fabulous feeling.

If you are new to my blog you might find it interesting to have a peek at some of the posts and find out a little more about Mummy from the Heart.

The year started with me musing what it means to be a 'normal' mummy blogger. I realised there are some rites of passage which mean you have made it as a mummy blogger, things like shopping at Boden and reading a broadsheet paper. I failed on all counts and you know what? That is OK - read Confessions from a normal mummy blogger and see that Mich is just a regular kind of imperfect girl.

I had had a fab trip to Wales with JJ for a blogging event and we just loved our alone time.

My lovely Nan passed away at the beginning of February after a rubbish battle with cancer. I am so proud of how my Mum has dealt with losing her mother and I know this month will be tough for her.

On the blog I held my third New Bloggers Forntight and I hosted posts by new bloggers for new bloggers. There was a whole wealth of great posts, full of lots of tips and advise.  Check out the posts from 2011, 2012 and 2013.

March/ April
We had a lovely family trip to stay at the Cavendish Hotel in London in early March. This was the most luxurious hotel we have ever stayed in with the kids and boy did they have a ball!

At the end of March our family found out that we would be moving to the countryside and that our everyday would change beyond recognition. I’ll always look fondly on this post, I can really read the excitement in my voice as I share about our move.

I then started to ponder about this big move and found myself asking ‘do I really want the simple life, is it all it is cracked up to be?’ I think nine months later I can safely say that yes, simple really does suit me and I'm so glad I no longer have to feel totally compromised.

In May I found out I was a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution category for the MAD blog awards and that I was shortlisted in the BIB awards for the Commentary and Inspire categories. It is always heart-warming to be recognised for my blogging but I think I will probably be out of luck this year as I am just too much of an old timer now!

I also wrote about repentance and my desire to stop living to excess and we enjoyed a family break over half-term to Butlins in Bognor, it was fantastic!

In 2012 I was privileged to travel to Ethiopia with the One Campaign and Belarus with Operation Christmas Child. I of course wrote extensively about my travels on my blog but then this year I realised it was important to share some of the knowledge I had gained so this next post takes you through my top tips for successful blogger/ charity partnerships, something I sat on a panel and spoke about at BritMums Live this month.

After much frantic activity this month I also finished work at the University and became a self-employed writer and stay-at-home-mum, something I never thought I would do!

July/ August
July was the month that the children finished school, we packed up the house and we moved to our new life in East Sussex. Everyone was very excited and the summer went by in a flash. A holiday to Bournemouth for the kids and I along with my Mum and Dad was very welcome and we all enjoyed started to live life outside more, oh and I turned the big 40 as well!

In August I was struck by how perceptive Miss E is and really intrigued that she thought she might have swapped personalities with her twin, I end by saying parenting is not easy but it is worth it and now looking back I see this was very much my theme for the month as I also wrote a post about marriage and how we must try harder to preserve our marriages.

At the beginning of the month before the kids went back to school we had a short break to Shorefield Country Park with my parents. We had a lovely time exploring the New Forest and dh really needed this rest after an intense first six weeks in his new job. I really enjoyed watching the kids and capturing the ordinary moments.

The kids started at their new school and I actually for the first time in years had time to myself.  I wrote up a bucket list for autumn and I managed to achieve all the items!

The month ended with me attending the MAD blog awards and also a community day at our home, it was all good.

At the beginning of October my parents came to stay so dh and I could have three nights away together, it was divine and so needed. JJ then turned 10 and we went to our first family barn dance, a taste of the countryside.

It then found me looking back on my life as a working mum, so glad that I no longer have to be part of the daily grind. I'm thoroughly enjoying my time to just be and also to be really present with my kids, I found myself saying 'I don't know how I did it!

I was going to write that November was a bit of a non-month and much of my writing is very heavy and seems unhappy but I think I was just shedding the dark and getting ready for the new. I decided to hand Reasons to be Cheerful, my log standing linky over to Becky and Jo and I finally did something I had been musing for months and I advertised on my blog for other like-minded Christian women bloggers to come forward so we could start a supportive community. We have done that and it is fabulous to have woman who understand this madness that we call blogging to support me fully but in line with my beliefs. Do shout if you are interested to join.

I ended the year feeling much better and more settled with life. I started my new faith Linky - My Picture: His Words and I blogged when and as I wanted to. A really popular post was my one about having difficult conversations with your kids, namely about bullying.

Our community Christmas for around 80 people was busy to say the least and the kids had a ball. I feel dh and I have got closer and I looked back on our last 19 years together.

And there ends the year, 2013 has seen some massive changes. I look forward to what God has in store for the family and me in 2014.

Wishing you a happy new year friends. Mich x


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