Happy 2015!

10444512_10152563532323807_2132697500710142224_n HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I haven’t written a post in a really long time, but it’s a new year and so I thought I’d start off with a look at the last year, what I managed, and what I didn’t, and what my plans are this year. My child is asleep next to me and so I’m not in the best writing position, but let’s see how it works out!

2014

It was a big year; we had just moved back in with my parents to save up for our future; Bear started his new job at Anglia Ruskin University; we gave birth to Cub, our beautiful baby girl; and my resolutions had varying degrees of success.

So in repeating order:

1. Ukulele: I have not got half as much time for this as I hoped. I would love to refresh this resolution but I am maintaining that it is about fun, not stress, so I’m not going to pressure myself to practice over… say… sleep!

2. Writing regularly: worked well until about August when everything went a little crazy. I have missed sharing a little of my world with you.

3. 52 books: This wasn’t a huge success, but I really enjoyed the challenge, especially at the beginning of the year. Although I didn’t quite review everything, I’m pretty sure that the number of children’s books and essay reading came close to my total!

4. NaNoWriMo: Complete flop mainly because I remembered I’d planned to do it half way through November when a pretty difficult essay was due. Maybe this year? Maybe…

5. Learn a little Welsh: “a little” was a success! I know the Welsh word for Monkey, and a few others, and yes, that may be due to a children’s language show, but I think I’ll claim that still counts.

6. Music: I did enjoy far more music this year. Jesse Duley’s album Wooden Boy has been bedtime lifesaver. There’s been more space for radio in my life over TV, and I have kept a little list of musicians to keep an eye on. I even attended a concert before Christmas. Success!

7. Project Eve: This has taken a back seat over the last year despite my hope to put some real time into it. Instead I have done web designs, invite & stationary designs, logo design; I also made a onesie, a Baptism gown, three outfits for Cub, Save the Date cards, thank you cards, and of course a multitude of Christmassy bits for family and friends.

8. Distance Masters: This is my great success of my resolutions. I applied for a place with the University of St Andrews and was accepted. I started a module dealing with Medical Ethics in September and despite its hard content I have loved it. Meeting a host of diverse and inspiring people, refreshing how I learn and retain information, and being officially graded on my writing (rather than hoping you all don’t notice the spelling and grammar mistakes) has been such a great thing for me. Exhausting, sometimes guilt-filled, but it’s amazing! I start the second module in just a few days! Lets hope this one goes as well.

MLitt Bible and the Contemporary World

2015

So, a mixed year of resolutions, but all in all 2014 has been a great year. Of course, there have been struggles but I have learnt that sometimes blessings and curses are hard to tell apart. This year my resolutions are a little different and far more based around my family. Interested?

Here we go. I have tried to think about resolutions as stuff to improve life for each of my family, not just challenges, but gradual improvements in our quality of life long-term. I never want to say that I didn’t give my family the time they deserved. A wise woman I’m getting to know said that when bring up her kids she wanted “to like them”, not just love them. I want the same for my family: to be great parents but become great friends too.

Guin Resolution #1

Back to training; we are signing Guin back up to a little bit of fun training. She has missed out a lot on this in the last few months because we were worried about her joints. Agility is off, but there is a fun Tricks class run by the wonderful Lucky Dog Training which should give her a little Bear-Dog time, plus some social time with other people and dogs – always a good idea!

Guin Resolution #2

Hydrotherapy: again we’ve had to hold off much longer on this than I wanted, but I am determined to get her at least a monthly swimming session. As she’s likely to have arthritis as she grows up, this is a great way to keep her exercising. Plus learning to swim is a great thing!

Guin Resolution #3

BorrowMyDoggy: this is something I want to try. It’s a network that links people with dogs that would love more walks/play/attention with those who love dogs but don’t/can’t own one themselves. My aim is that by meeting some nice people, Guin will get a little better with people, and who knows, maybe we’ll meet new friends around the area!

Cub Resolution #1

Sleeping in Cot: as the entire household was ill before Christmas, Cub became very clingy and would not sleep anywhere but on my arm. Despite gradually getting better, she has even taken to hanging onto my arm when I try to move. I need my bed back, my arm needs a free blood flow, and Cub needs to sleep better.

Cub Resolution #2

Less TV time: I was so against putting Cub infront of the TV when she was younger, and then I found one decent program I trusted to be more educational than ridiculous, then one more, and then one little dancing spider she adored. Too quickly it became a habit, and honestly one that neither of us needs. She is so inventive and loves to explore so TV is nowhere near the kind of entertainment she enjoys most. Plus as she’s getting more mobile, walks with her and Guin should become easier.

Cub Resolution #3

Swimming: This is necessary, no excuses. We must teach Cub to swim. My aim is to start going as a family after church on Sunday’s. Firstly, its great family time. Secondly, it should be at least a little exercise for us all. Thirdly, it’s a skill I refuse to let my children slip past. We could teach Guin to fetch the kids but teaching them not to drown would be great.

Guin

My Resolution #1

Writing: This is the first post of 2015 and I’m hoping to continue with some real effort to improve. I have been advised to step back figuratively from each of my essays and think about what I personally learnt, what changes I saw in myself or my opinion, and what I may have done differently. Therefore, you should ideally be seeing some interesting pieces, including one on my last module overall.

My Resolution #2

Zumba: I have fancied taking up this kind of class for years but have never found one close enough or at the right kind of time to fit with my life. Wonderfully I know have, and it’s one I plan to take my Mum to as well. With both of us hopefully we’ll have some moral support.

My Resolution #3

Food Diary: This is in part to figure out if I’m eating healthily, partly to keep track of what Cub eats, and partly to start writing down some of the recipes that become family favourites. It would be great to one day pass recipes to my children as proven, and sometimes invented, good food. I desperately do not want to pass on my bad eating habits, and so dealing with them now is important, the sooner the better in fact! Plus, two birds, one stone!

2015 will also be one of discovery and fun, as we plan trips (albeit short ones), projects, art, weddings, Cub’s first birthday, more study, and so much more.

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