Oh I’ve been so excited to start this post. I am loving reading everyone’s blog reviews from the past year. 2018 was just the most fantastic year – We are looking back at so many events and still can’t believe most of it happened. There’s no denying that it was a year dominated by water, synchro and travelling but so much more happened too.
This time last year we didn’t have any idea what the year would bring which makes it all the more exciting for this year. I can always tell when life gets super busy as my blogging seems to take a dip. I want to improve on this during 2019 even if it means lots of short posts documenting what we are up to.
Before I start I just want to share my personal favourite moment from the entire year. It’s not every day, your daughter is featured on the BBC highlights on a Saturday night. This was during Glasgow 2018 which I’ll take more about later. Can you spot her? (Clue: She’s wearing a swimming costume & looks like she’s banging a drum)
So lets get on …
We started the year as we always do with our infamous New Year’s Day walk. Family & friends come together to walk in all weathers stopping off at the local pub for a Hot Chocolate en route. We have been doing this for about 12 years now – its one of my favourite days of the year.
January also saw the first of our travels with a trip to Centre Parcs in the Lake District. We had scheduled this to celebrate Dermot’s 40th birthday in February when we knew we would have no time to go. It was the most lovely break for the 5 of us. So relaxing and obviously a lot of pool days!
All 3 girls had great parent’s evenings (not an ‘easily distracted’ in sight). Millie had a team bonding weekend away with GB where she discovered she will never be a skier . Tara played yet more chess & drank tea & Violet settled into school so well. Sadly, my weekend away with my friends from my school days had to be cancelled as one of us got snowed in Yorkshire – fingers crossed that we manage to actually get away next weekend now we have finally rescheduled.
We made a pact that when Millie is at training we would make better use of our afternoons and so began the love of our National Trust membership. Our visit to Dunham Massey was just what we needed to blow the cobwebs away.
February is big birthday month in our house with Dermot turning 40 & Tara turning 7 on the same day. Lucky that we had already celebrated early as on the day most of us were poorly so it was very low key!
We did manage a trip to London during half term where we visited all the landmarks for the Great Fire of London. Tara had recently covered it in school & was totally obsessed. Those 311 steps to the top of Monument nearly killed me off!
Apart from watching endless hours of Winter Olympic coverage, some actual sport went on around here too. Millie headed off to Milan with the GB girls for a training week & Violet took part in the School Games Swimming Gala.
The travels continued in March as Dermot & I travelled to Paris to watch Millie compete in her first senior GB competition. Safe to say Paris wasn’t quite as exotic as we previously believed but we had an incredible time anyway. The girls swam brilliantly – how they held their nerves, I will never know. Time for a tiny bit of sight seeing so we went to see the Eiffel Tower.
We also managed a very rare child free trip to the cinema – So rare, it was 16 years since we last went!
I had loads of trips out with WI – The AGM in Southport where Beth Tweddle was so inspiring to listen to, Breakout Liverpool & getting tipsy at our Pub Crawl in Liverpool.
Best on the blog: Double Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake
Another busy month in April with British Champs in Nottingham. Well done to Millie for coming home with medals and this huge Holland Trophy. Must remember to polish it in time to return this April.
We spent the week in Bristol while Millie was at training, exploring the area – once again our National Trust card came in very handy. We had day trips with friends & visited local beaches too. So lovely to enjoy the weather getting better.
Violet ran EVERYWHERE! Those long legs definitely got into their stride. Tara got active on her bike & had the best experience when we delivered some homemade teddies to the local fire station. They got the engine out for her, even letting her have a go of the hose.
Best of the blog: Chestnut Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting
Four letters dominated this month – GCSEs. Training was super intense in preparation for major international competitions so the pressure was on to juggle time. Our dining room table was covered in Art materials & revision notes.
There was time for some fun though as we celebrated friends’ 40th birthdays. I had a rare trip down to London for a blogging event. The weather was blistering as we visited Devils Punchbowl & found #HiddenRocks.
The month started with GCSE’s still in full swing & Millie leaving school. She sadly had to miss her prom as she away training. Violet turned 12 & completed a virtual marathon, running 26.2 miles during the month. Tara started a new football club. Little did we know that she would love it and live & breathe football ever since! Violet took & passed her first flute exam – I think I was more nervous than she was.
We went to the opening of a new restaurant in St Helens (& have been back several times since!)
We finished the month with a fantastic trip to Tampere in Finland where Millie was competing in the Junior Europeans. Such an incredible opportunity to visit a country that we would never have thought to go but for synchro.
Best on the blog: Storecupboard BBQ CousCous
July was no quieter – in fact it was even crazier! Millie turned 16 – she was away in Milan & Hungary so we couldn’t even be with her on her birthday.
We all travelled to Budapest mid month & even took my Mum with us to show her what an international comp was like. It was great to show her the sights of the city but it was so hot!
Junior Worlds was incredible – the venue and the athletes were amazing to see.
Tara finished in the infants & played her first proper football match. Dermot did a charity 10K in sweltering heat alone as poor Violet was unwell. And Alan the cat turned 1.
Best on the blog: Oven Baked Salted Maple Pecans
The biggest month of the year for us all. We didn’t know what to expect from Glasgow 2018 – the first competition of its kind & so exciting for our girls to compete on home turf. The atmosphere was fantastic – the Glasgow people were so friendly & the city was taken over by sport. The support that we all had from our friends was lovely – The girls loved it.
We had a tiny window between Glasgow finishing & GCSE results day & miraculously managed to squeeze in a last minute holiday to Cyprus. That week of relaxation was just perfect. I celebrated my 45th birthday on the beach with my girls & Derm.
We arrived back to brilliant GCSE results, a place at 6th form college and good news from Violet’s flute exam. Our 18th wedding anniversary was spent in Lytham eating chips by the sea.
Best on the blog: Jamaican Ginger Cake
Back to the rhythm of 3 schools in 3 different towns! This month was all about getting back to the routine – starting back at clubs, trials & normality.
Tara collected her certificate from the Summer Reading Challenge & many more days out were had around the North-West.
I went to Blog On conference in Manchester & loved seeing some of my blogging friends. I also went on a Gin Night with my WI friends which unpredictably was great fun!
On the blog: Toasted Coconut & Passion Fruit Roulade
We waved Violet off on her school trip to Austria where she had an incredible time. We missed her so much!
We were back in Glasgow for Scottish Nationals followed by a flight straight down to Bristol for training.
There was trick or treating with friends for the youngest 2 & poppy making with the WI for me.
Mr C & I enjoyed a wonderful night away in Liverpool thanks to winning a stay at Jury’s Inn.
On the blog: Vegan Carrot Cake
On the blog: Mini Pumpkin Spice Eclairs
This was the month that we decided to eat out for Christmas Dinner for the first time – What a great result. Our Festive curry was fantastic. Tara didn’t eat hers but then I remembered that she never eats Christmas Dinner at home either. Possibly something to do with eating Quality Street for breakfast!
At the start of the month, I went to watch Sarah Millican live with friends. The rest of the month was a blur of Christmas Plays (Tara was Mary for 4 whole minutes), Carol Services & eating out. Football continued along with GCSE Awards evening
Dermot took more time off than usual between Christmas & New Year so it was lovely to catch up with friends and family. The end of the year was spent at the pants with Mum & the younger two as Derm was poorly in bed & Millie was partying it up in Leeds.
On the blog: Walnut Whip Swedish Gnome Tutorial
And so there we are – A snapshot of our year. There’s so much more I could have told you but this post is already too long. I’d love to hear what were the highlights of your 2018 were and what you are looking forward to in 2019. Let’s get ready to do it all over again!
Linking to Mummy in a Tutu