2018 has been another busy year for us, day-to-day. There’s very rarely a day where I’m not rushing around somewhere after school. But it has been quieter on the ‘big stuff’ front – with no exams and no new schools. So we’ve just been ticking along with all the everyday stuff and a few highlights.
This is our 2018…
January was a fairly quiet month for us, as it often is. My eldest and I had a tour of Radio 1, which I didn’t blog about, to say thank you for something he’d done for them the previous year. It was pretty special for both of us. I was still struggling to run after an injury the previous year and my younger son played football for the school for the first time (they don’t do football until year 9). At the end of the month, I noticed that my beloved guinea pig, Eric, had lost some weight.
At the start of February, I knew I had to take Eric to the vet. I received the devastating news that he was very ill and would have to be put to sleep. I know it’s silly, but Eric’s death was the worst thing that happened to me all year. It took days for me to stop bursting into tears and, even now, I find it hard to look at photos of him. A few days later, Cedric joined our family. Also in February, my daughter auditioned for the Junior Associates of the Royal Ballet and my younger son went to Germany for the return leg of his German exchange.
In March, it snowed at the start of the month and the schools were closed. My daughter turned 12 and it snowed again on the morning of her birthday party, so we had to reschedule it. Also in March, my daughter and her friend did their own version of a triathlon for Sport Relief (in freezing temperatures) and, after four years, my dream came true and work started on a new ensuite bathroom.
The bathroom was finished at the start of April and it was even better than I’d hoped for. In the Easter holidays, we went on holiday to Copenhagen, which is a really lovely place to visit. And we even found time for a parkrun while we were there! Talking of parkrun, after years of running slowly, my daughter finally got a new PB in April. At the end of the month, my daughter auditioned for Elmhurst ballet school. We thought this could be the one for her, but sadly it was not to be.
In May, I ran Tewkesbury half marathon for the first time – and I got a PB! And the parkrun PBs were coming thick and fast for my husband and younger son. My son did his D of E Bronze expedition in May. It’s a bit of a sore point, because he STILL hasn’t done the presentation for it, to finally sign it off and actually achieve his Bronze.
June for our family started as it always does – with the Wychwood Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. We always have a great day there. At the start of June, I had to deliver the devastating news to my daughter that she wouldn’t be doing panto this year, as the theatre had decided to work with two local dance schools, rather than hold open auditions. I’ll be honest, we’re still not over that. All three of my kids had end of year exams in the same week in June, luckily it wasn’t too stressful. During the summer, my son had been doing brilliantly with his athletics and got the opportunity to represent the county in the regional championships, on the day we watched Ed Sheeran. Also in June, my younger son became the third member of our family to go on Roaccutane, the most powerful acne drug there is. It has worked well for him and he should be off it in a few weeks. At the end of June, my biggest boy turned 17.
In July, my husband and I had our traditional wedding anniversary trip to London and we braved our first teenage party, an experience I’m not keen to repeat! My son had his first driving lesson at the start of July and quickly went from strength to strength with his driving. School ended for the year, my eldest and my daughter’s first year at their new school. At the end of July, we had our annual holiday to Padstow, which my daughter and I loved as much as ever (the menfolk were slightly over it though!).
In August (and in July), my daughter and I made a number of trips to Bristol hunting for Gromit on the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail. Straight after our holiday to Padstow, my younger son went to Scotland for the week with his best friend. And my husband and I ran three new parkruns in as many weeks, to fit in with all our travelling. At the end of the month, we had another amazing holiday – to Center Parcs with my entire family to celebrate my mum’s 70th birthday.
It was back to school in September and my daughter auditioned for an amateur panto. Her rehearsals started at the end of the month. My husband ran his 100th parkrun. My husband, brother-in-law and I were joined by my son, running his very first half marathon at Cheltenham. I suspect he was the youngest person in the whole race. We all got PBs and my son managed to cross the line in under two hours. I was very proud of him! Also in September he started a new part-time job.
At the start of October, just three months after his first diving lesson, my son passed his driving test first time. I knew he would do it! My younger son turned 15, and buying presents for him was as challenging as ever. My husband, brother-in-law and I all ran Stroud half marathon, and all found it tougher than Cheltenham. Also in October, I took the plunge and signed up for my first marathon.
In November, our boiler was condemned for giving off dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide. The 10 days until it could be replaced were possibly the slowest 10 days of my life. While our house was freezing, the German exchange boy came back to visit us for a second time. My daughter took her Grade 4 ballet exam in November. We won’t get the results until the new year. At the end of the month, my son had a non-fault car accident. Unfortunately, it pushed the insurance premiums sky high, so the poor boy is completely unable to drive at the moment. I am very angry about that as it is so unfair on him.
In December, my daughter and I went to The X Factor final and it was a fantastic experience. I also fulfilled my dream of being first lady at parkrun. My younger son has had a lot of rugby injuries over the years, including a couple of broken noses, but in December he got concussion for the first time. We ended the year with a lovely Christmas Day at my brother’s house and a family Boxing Day trip to London.
So that was our 2018. How was yours? I wonder what 2019 will hold for us all?