I do love to look back at our past year. It felt busy and happy but the photos show it was even busier than I thought. We are always very conscious that the younger two don’t miss out because of the hours we spend travelling & at pools with Millie. I’m really pleased that from looking back, it seems they had a brilliant year too.
One thing I have noticed is that I didn’t blog half as much as previous year. This is definitely something I intend to fix for 2018. I’ve tried to show a mix of what we all got up to in 2017 in month order – Mr C definitely needs to get on more pics next year though!
January saw us getting out into the fresh air. We had our annual New Year’s Day walk when around 35 of us do a 6 mile walk with a pub visit being incorporated in the middle (The pub visit has been getting longer and longer each year!) We carried on with the walking theme when Millie went back to training by going exploring in Yorkshire when she was in the pool. At the end of January, Millie swam in the ISA Schools Finals at the Olympic Park. We took a trip up the top of Orbit where we met Tom Daley for one of the best selfies of the year!
What we cooked: After Eight Brownies
February is our birthday month with both Dermot & Tara celebrating on the same day. Guess who gets the most attention? Tara talked us into having a much bigger party than planned & completely loved every minute. Her favourite part was definitely being interviewed and her friends having to guess the answers. Our outdoor walks continued, making good use of our winter coats. Violet took part in the Young Voices concert at Manchester Arena with thousands of other school children. The singing and atmosphere was incredible, which makes it even more awful that only 3 months later the Arena was the scene of a terrible terrorist attack.
What we cooked: Butternut Squash, Red Pepper & Mint Soup
How could I not include this little face in my March Roundup? Tara was definitely my little helper during March – happily testing out recipes and posing for PR shots. I love my older girls being just as they are but will be so sad when the little days are over. March saw T & V entering the St Helens Art Exhibition once again – Guess who’s entry this was? Violet achieved a Gold Award through the Children’s University – turns out all those hours of after school activities & dancing & swimming are worth it! Vi and her pals also held their first book club. It was a huge success and they all said they would like to do it again one day. It was so lovely to see them so excited about getting into reading.
April was so busy – We didn’t see much of Millie as she was away training down South for 2 weeks and also on her Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition (She’s promised us that she won’t be doing gold!) We managed loads of days out including The Cheshire ice-Cream Farm (if you live near enough make sure you pay them a visit!), Southport on the arcades (Has to be done once in a while) and Yorkshire for a weekend to celebrate Dad’s anniversary (No idea why Violet, Tara & Phoebe did cat makeup!). Millie was old enough to enter British Champs competition and came away with a silver in duet plus bronze in team. Was a brilliant weekend once again.
What we cooked: Simple Chocolate Drip Cake
May was a really sad month for us. We had to say goodbye to our beloved Darren the cat, after almost 18 years with us. Our house just wasn’t the same without him and we still miss him now. We also lost one of my cousin’s at the far too young age of 45. Her balloon send off was suitably touching. Violet tackled her SATS brilliantly and celebrated their completion with a trip to PGL. Just look at her happy little face! Millie at long last received her GB kit which made her so happy (even though she is 15!) and we all partied until the early hours at my Brother-in-law’s 40th.
What we cooked: Speculoos Crumble Cookies
June was just amazing. Such a happy month that started with the arrival of a beautiful baby niece. Violet turned 11 and the kids bounced their way around the trampoline park. We all went to Croatia to watch Millie represent her country and were so grateful that the girls were given permission to miss school. Millie even sat her Maths GCSE in Slovenia the day before getting a gold in the pool. We had a few child free days in Serbia, watching Millie compete at the Junior Europeans too. Exhausting month but fabulous.
What we cooked: New York 18th Birthday Cake
July was equally crazy – We had 9 x 15 year old girls running around our close in bikinis to celebrate Millie turning 15. Her sisters obviously thoroughly enjoyed the hot tub for a few days too. Violet and Tara were in a dance show for 3 nights plus we had a Mass & plays in honour of Violet leaving primary school. A very emotional month!
What we cooked: Justin’s House Birthday Cake
We started off August in our caravan in the Lake District. After 2 very soft weeks, we decided our caravan days were coming to an end & sold it to a lovely family. We promptly booked a last minute holiday to Portugal (minus Millie who was by this time, already in Cyprus with a friend’s family). Violet squeezed in another Run With George at the St Helens Rugby Stadium – by now she properly had the running bug. Tara managed to celebrate my birthday by breaking her arm so a trip to A&E instead of a birthday meal for me! Luckily no cast as we were flying out 4 days later. Portugal was a wonderful break – just what we needed and as you can see from the flamingo pic, a broken arm didn’t stop Tara’s fun. We even managed to vlog and blog our August in a Minute.
What we cooked: Spicy Prawn Parcels
Back to school in September – Tara with a broken arm, Violet off to High School & Millie wearing a suit for Y11. The mammoth challenge of transporting 3 children to 3 different schools in 3 different towns started! We all completely fell in love with the new addition to the family, Alan the Kitten. We are all still besotted still. Synchro competition season started with an usually local event for us in Manchester. Millie was invited to join the Senior & Junior GB Synchronised Swimming Squad for 2018 following on from trials in Bristol.
What we cooked: Stepping up the high protein diet for the athlete with a Piri Piri Chicken & Lentil Bake
October was very much a settling in month – New School routine & new kitten. The girls did 2 more Run With George – the best being running down the runway at Liverpool airport one Sunday morning. There were more comps and thankfully more medals for Millie – finished off with a great weekend at Scottish champs where we could all finally spend some time together. Millie had a week’s training beforehand in Bristol, flying up to meet us in Glasgow.
What we cooked: Leftover Broccoli, Chestnut & Mushroom Bake
November was a real mixed bag – There were tons of WI events which were lovely to be around for. New braces (& the joy of orthodontist visits), Pride of St Helens Awards & National Age Group competition in Gloucester. What wasn’t so great was losing all the data from our iMac, thankfully getting it all back a few days later.
What we cooked: Tropical Ginger Traybake
I’ve got to admit we limped towards Christmas & the end of term. By the last day on the 22nd, we were all exhausted & waiting for Millie to come home from another week’s camp in Bristol. We had another dance show, attended a pantomime & Winter Wonderland in Manchester and had a brilliant morning watching Violet & Dermot run the Liverpool Santa Dash. Tara made her Beaver’s promise & met several Santas during the month (She’s not convinced they were all the real thing!). We had a family fancy dress party to celebrate our nephew’s birthday & celebrated another nephew & niece’s birthday just after Christmas. We completely embarrassed the girls by dressing in matching PJ’s & Grandma held her infamous Christmas Eve party.
What we cooked: Broccoli & Almond Soup
Just looking back at all that (& knowing how much I didn’t include) sort of explains why we sleep so soundly at night. Really looking forward to the coming year for more fun too! Do let me know if you have done a review of 2017 or share with me what your favourite moments of the last year were! Thanks for reading and a Happy New Year to you xxx