I’m not going to look back or dwell on 2016 very much. For the most part, it was a horrific year for us personally, with lots of upheaval and uncertainty. The last three months, after we moved to Wales, was pretty amazing, but as a whole, it’s a year I’d rather not look back too much on. However, I wanted to look back at the good things that happened.
The one thing I am very proud of from 2016 was my improvement in photography. I am certainly not a natural with a camera, and my indoor photos still leave a lot to be desired, but with lots of practice, I think I am slowly getting there with outdoor pictures. It’s all self-taught and I don’t own a fancy camera – I have a very basic, £100 bridge camera, but I do try and use the manual settings rather than stick to auto. At some point this year I will buy myself a DSLR and learn how to use it properly.
I spent a while over Christmas organising my photos into monthly files, and it was lovely to look back and see just from those how much our lives have changed since waking up on January 1st 2016. I thought it would be nice to share some of my favourites with you and a brief story behind each one.
January was a crap month. We had found out that our landlord was selling and we had to move. I made the decision to go back to work part time, and whilst it was a good experience and I was over the moon to land the first job I had applied for in six years, I realised quite early on that it wasn’t really the best move I had made. We didn’t do a lot that month other than house hunt and work, although we did get to the woods and complete the stick man trail!
The end of February saw us move into our second home of 2016, which in all fairness, we quite liked to begin with. Again, the big expense and upheaval meant that it was a relatively quiet month, with nothing much more than a blogging event and trips to the park.
March was a little bit better. We settled into our house and got into the swing of things a bit better. We even managed to go for a day trip to Barmouth in Wales!
I can’t really remember much about April to be honest, so I guess that it means it was a relatively quiet and uneventful month, which is never a bad thing! We went on a very muddy walk to the woods at some point though!
Again, another quietish month. We had a few days out, including one to the bluebell woods, something I’ve always wanted to do!
June was jampacked! Harrison turned 5 and we had a little party at home for him. Some good friends of ours got married in June as well, and I went to the wedding with my parents, brothers and their partners. Simon, my eldest brother was best man and did a brilliant job. He and the chief bridesmaid rapped to Ice Ice Baby with their own lyrics after the speeches – they had the whole room in hysterics!
July saw me finish my job and go back to being completely self-employed. I also changed my blog from Parenthood Highs and Lows to Coffee, Cake, Kids which was the best thing I did for my blog. We managed a day out at one of our favourite places – The National Forest Adventure Farm.
August was a month of big highs and lows. Right at the beginning of the month we found out our landlady was selling which was a huge shock. We hadn’t even lived there for six months and she had told us it would be a long term thing. We blocked it out of our mind for a week and joined my parents on their holiday in North Wales. Little did we know that two months later we would be living there! When we came home, we made the decision to move to Wales. The process was so difficult – we made three house hunting trips there and were overlooked for so many properties and on more than one occasion we thought it would never happen. We found our house on the third trip and I think it was definitely meant to be!
September saw Harrison start year one and Alex start nursery, albeit it for just a couple of weeks. It was a hard month – our landlady was being vile to us and we were trying to pack up the house, save every penny we had and organise new schools and everything. However, knowing there was the light at the end of the tunnel meant we just about made it without losing our marbles completely!
On Saturday 9th October, we packed up our house, said our goodbyes to Birmingham and moved 130 miles away to just outside of Rhyl, in North Wales. I thought it was going to be harder than it was, but in all honesty, Birmingham was beginning to represent nothing but misery for us. The only thing we missed was our family and friends, but we got back for my birthday at the end of the month for a day, and my parents came to stay with us for a weekend. It was an amazing month – the kids started their new schools, we were out and about every day exploring our new locality and seeing beautiful sunrises and sunsets!
November was another fantastic month. We went out as often as we could, spending most evenings on the beach.
December has been my favouritest (yes, I know that’s not a proper word!) of them all. The weather has been pretty kind to us – lots of cold, frosty sunny days which make perfect conditions for walks. We did all sorts of lovely Christmass things, drove to the mountains and had lots of fun. Our first Christmas in Wales was magical, especially when my parents, youngest brother and sister in law came to stay!
So there are some of my favourite photos of 2016. I’m hoping that this time next year (which will be 2018!!!) I’ll have even better photos to share with you!