2015 in review

25 Feb

 

As New Year’s Resolutions don’t typically kick in until Feb 1st (right?), reviewing our year before the end of January is surely timely also. Ahem… and finishing it before the end of February. 2016 you’ve been fun so far, obviously too much fun!

So anyhoo, 2015. We kicked off our year from home, knocking down the back garden to make it more user-friendly. With the muscle power of our incredible friends Suzzie and Davey, our back limestone wall came down late 2014 and finally our new back garden went up February 2015, complete with sandpit for the kids (and our house was never totally clean ever again #thesandpitspread).

We went to Busselton and I ran in my first running race in a looong time and managed to run the whole 5km with a pint-sized helper, Miss Stella, down the finish shoot. Sean raced in the criterium, my heart was in my mouth the entire time of course and managed to finish second in the B-grade race, which was pretty legendary.

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Stella’s 3rd birthday was an ode to the movie Frozen where Sean organised a whole heap of old school party games from egg and spoon races to treasure hunts while I created the best paper mache effort of all time that dropped the treats after one hit (the kids didn’t mind, the sugar high distracted them). I somehow built a dolly varden style Queen Elsa cake which rocked Stella’s world.

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At the end of February, we built a deck in three days to surprise one of our best friends Suzzie for her 50th birthday, which was an epic effort and so rewarding when we saw her reaction. They’ve since said it has changed their whole lives, not only opening up an outdoor hub for their family but they’ve built a shed underneath for storage so David has created a yoga studio in the house. Amazing!

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Soon after it was family wedding time! The youngest of the O’Neills Bridie married the gorgeous Jim and we traipsed down south to Dunsborough for a brilliant weekend where all the family were together. Someone else needs to get married so we can do that again… Maybe Paddy will surprise us!

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Stella took up ballet lessons at Silhouette in Shenton Park, which was one of my favourite times of the week, watching her bounce around with Madison as they giggled away.

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Next up, our O’Neill Derby Road tradition carried on another year for a big Easter egg hunt and we had cousins Billy and Louise, Bel and her girls and Suzzie and Davey join our family. Watching the little ones race around discovering brightly wrapped chocolate is one of my favourite holiday traditions… the sugar comedown is probably not, but life is all about ups and downs am I right?!

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For Anzac Day we finally set off on a Dongara trip to visit my Dad and stepmum Sue which was such a relaxing getaway. We stopped on the way at the amazing Pinnacles then pretty much spent the rest of the weekend at the beach.

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When winter set in, we escaped for my first trip to Singapore! What a fun city, so fabulous for kids and adults with theme parks, free gardens galore, the incredible zoo, so many amazing eateries and the shopping. Let alone the resort hotel experience with buffet breakfasts, fancy gyms and beautiful pools. We headed there with Mum and Paul and I think we all had a blast. Take me back!!

I properly got back into running and Stella followed suit by running her first event at The Pikelet Run which preceded the Pancake Run I partook in. CUTE

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Then Archie turned one and I marvelled at simultaneously speedy months that flicked by while somedays crept by at a snail’s pace. Needless to say, we’ve been blessed by the most beautiful, happy natured little boy who makes us laugh every day with his cheekiness. There has to be something seriously wrong for this guy not to be singing to himself, cracking up laughing or setting off around the house and garden on adventures. If I am to have a cuddly one who is content to be still for more than a moment, I suppose I should consider a third hah hah (just joking Mum).

The end of September I achieved something I’d wanted to do for ages – do a meditation course! One of my resolutions/goals for 2015 was to be more peaceful and meditation seemed a key piece of the puzzle. I learnt Vedic meditation from my lovely friend Emma at One Meditation and I’ve practised pretty much every day since and it’s become an important part of my daily routine. As a mum, it’s tricky to balance the tiredness, dealing with irrational 4-year-olds, understanding why your baby is upset for seemingly no reason (teeth? Wonder week? Bad hair day? Who knows?), the sense of overwhelm when juggling everything gets too much – all of which crop up from time to time (and when they all crop up together, meditate twice a day and have some chocolate). It’s also helped me focus and as my wise friend Sue told me the difference between prayer and meditation is that prayer is speaking to your god, while meditation is listening him/her. Often the answers I’ve been searching for come during or post-meditation. If you’ve been thinking about it, do it. It’ll make your life better in ways that will surprise you.

Stella visited her fourth royal show and Archie his second (although as a newborn he didn’t see much last year apart from his pram and my boob) with Nanny Liz and me. They both totally loved it and their delight at all the small animals helped distract me from the fact I seemed to have mild gastro that day. Animal smells and poorly stomach are not ideal to mix. What is an ideal mix, is Stella and Frozen apparently. Stella’s first showbag was purchased this year and was a total hit.

Family fun at Lucas’s 1st birthday!

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Then we were off for our next family adventure with our favourites, Suzzie and Davey to Rottnest. What a sublime place to visit with kids. Without the worry of roads and cars to contend with, it’s such a relaxing place where the kids can roam and the parents can kick back just a little. Oh and Sean just happened to do his first triathlon in a few years and won it. No big deal #proudwife.

At the end of October, we discovered the gloriousness that is the Gloster Street Halloween party! Face painting, street performers, kids and parents dressed up and treats for days.

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In November, I ticked off another goal and wrote 50,000 words of a novel as a part of National Novel Writers Month (Nanowrimo). What a fabulous idea to get you in the chair and writing every day. Having a daily word count goal really clicked with me and now we have some routine with Stella in full days kindy twice a week and Archie in daycare the same, it’s time to self-motivate with some daily word count goals!

Sean and I also celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary (no signs of the 7-year-itch yet!) with a night’s stay at the Alex Hotel while our darling Suzzie slept over with the kids. First night away from my little guy and while I missed him, what a treat!

Stella then graduated daycare, her last day at Mercy Care and now onto bigger and better at Rosalie Kindy in 2016! She had such a great time there on Fridays.

Then, it was the most magical time of the year again – Christmas!! And what a special one it was. Sean worked tirelessly when we decided less than two weeks out that we’d like to build the kids a cubby house for Christmas. He did an incredible job and while it was tricky keeping it a complete secret, Stella and Archie were both thrilled on Christmas morning to discover “Santa’s sleigh” was actually their new cubby house. What an amazing dad you are Sean. We kicked off the day with a Cottesloe beach swim as per tradition, we hosted a family lunch at our house and finished the day with friends and swims. Perfection!

The year finished on an absolute high with our first family camping trip down in Gracetown. We stayed at a fabulous campsite with our friends Bel, Mark, Zoe and baby Eve where there were outdoor movies, mini golf, tennis courts, playgrounds, water slides and of course, the beautiful Cowaramup Bay Beach only minutes away. It was so relaxing despite Archie getting up with the sun and occasionally racing it to greet the day. Having Dad and Sue, plus some gorgeous mother’s group girls Yve and Em down there with their fans was extra special.

2015, you were a little exhausting with a little baby and the testing times of a threenager but you were filled with all the good things and I will remember it as one of the loveliest years of my life. Here’s a sneak peak at everyday stuff that made it just as special as the bigger things above…

Weekends spent at the markets with the Wallmans…

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Afternoons hanging out at Shenton lake…

On a sad note, 2015 we also said goodbye to our beautiful Oscar. I’m so grateful for the many, many beautiful (and hilarious) memories I have of this boy spent with him while I lived in Gloster Street and later years while he was so sweet and patient with my babies. For a long time, when asked who her best friend was, Stella would announce “Oscar” in a most definite tone.

Slow mornings in our PJs…

Mid-morning lattes and babycinos…

Those Friday mornings spent with Archie asleep with the paper and a latte… best ever. I appreciated every single one, with the foresight of a second-time-round mum knowing soon enough he’d be destroying the cafe.

Mornings with Great Grandma which always include special biscuits, play time on Grandmas walking frame and big cuddles from our family’s beautiful matriarch.

And on that note of incredible cuteness, I better be off and carry on making brilliant memories within 2016. Til next time, whenever that may be! xx

 

 

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One Response to “2015 in review”

  1. Linda Bynon February 25, 2016 at 7:18 am #

    Happy days! May 2016 provide as many wonderful memories of special times! X

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