Happy 33rd Birthday to Me!

Three is my favourite number. I’ve loved three for as long as I can remember. The number three has a lot of significance in my life, and I also find it rather aesthetically pleasing. So for many reasons, I like three!

Anyway. Today I doubly pleased. I am thirty three. All the threes! (Appreciate not *all* but doubt I will live to 333, well actually hope I don’t, that would be pretty scary..)

So how has the thirty-second year been? I read last year’s post earlier… It made me smile. Full of reflection as I always on Birthday-Eve! How has the year been? What have I achieved and been part of ? Did plans go ahead and what is there to look forward to in the next twelve months?

Well, much like my thirty-first year, the last year has been filled with some fantastic blogging opportunities. I attended my first ever ‘blogging event’ last November and met three of my great blogging friends. It was perhaps a life changing event for me in many ways, but it gave me the confidence to write and to meet more bloggers, it encouraged me to reach out to new people and it also taught me how not to get drunk and miss trains.

The next few months blogging wise were great. More reviews, more collaborations and fun opportunities. I work reasonably hard on my blog, but it makes me sad that often, I just don’t have the time to write as often as I’d like. But saying that, the emails keep landing in my inbox and I will keep going, because I love to write.

Last year I’d just returned to work, full time. It’s been a year and at the moment it’s tough going. Dave’s no longer a stay at home Dad and keeping on top of everything at home, whilst juggling all my commitments has been pressing at times to say the least. But, hopefully change is afoot and stress levels will reduce.

Halloween 2013 was fun and we carved pumpkins together for the first time! Gabriel was initially scared, but predictably by the end he loved it! Willow was rather baffled, but to her credit got stuck in anyway!

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The Matilda Mae Welly Walk in November was a great day too. We drove down to Reading, met some fabulous people and made some lovely memories at Beale Park. It’s such a great place and the event was perfectly organised as ever by Jennie and Susanne.

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Willow turned one in December and we had a lovely time celebrating. A huge party and a nice family day too, which went unsurprisingly to plan! She loved her presents (wooden pram and dollies) and thoroughly enjoyed eating her Brother under the table at the local Pizza restaurant!

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Christmas came and went quickly but it was enjoyable. I spent most of the time studying, but we managed to have a lovely Christmas Eve on the local Santa Special steam train (now a firm tradition!) and the kids loved their presents from Santa and time with us both at home. For the first time in years I didn’t cook and we ate out for Christmas lunch, it was fantastic and I plan to do this every year from now on!

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In March we took part in the wonderful Team Honk relay challenge enduring the ‘Riddlesden to Haworth to Huddersfield’ leg. We had great fun in our ‘yellow jerseys’ and on the Toddlebikes!

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April & May saw two great holidays for us, a much needed break from work. Butlins in Minehead with good weather and lots of toddler based fun first then spending time in beautiful Whitby with my Grandma for her 80th Birthday was a massive highlight of the year for me! It was great to have the whole family together and create some lovely memories, especially over afternoon tea!

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Later in May I took Gabriel down to London on the train for his first ever jaunt in the Big Smoke at the end of May. We went to the 02, visited some of the sites then went to the Baby Tilda Barn Dance in Kent. It was a lovely weekend and actually apart from the tube on the way home, pretty straightforward and stress-free. It was so wonderful to spend such quality time with him, especially having worked so much of the year. His patience, manners and lovely laid back attitude are just some of the traits I adore in him. We had a fabulous time.

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In June I finished my studying (yay!) and Gabriel turned three. A rather rushed but successful party and trip to CBeebies Land due to my University commitments felt a little fraudulent, but we did the best we could and gave him the attention he so deserves. Next year, I want to make sure his Birthday is better-planned, especially his party and cake!

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I also attended two blogging conferences this Summer. Blog on, and Britmums. They were both great and I am hoping to return to both next year. I learned a lot at both events and would definitely recommend attending these type of events, especially to network aka drink wine with friends!

In July Dave went back to work and I decided to take the kids away for a week to the East Coast. I needed the break and Dave needed he peace and quiet to settle into his new role. As it happened, I got a great deal on a caravan in Mablethorpe and the weather was fantastic. We had a really wonderful time and I have such fond memories to cherish from that week. It was especially great to have that time with the kids with no distractions, just sun, beach and water fights!

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And finally in August the Matilda Mae Skydive (part 2) took place! I did my second skydive a few weeks prior to this in the Lake District, which was a wonderful experience! (And view!) Team Matilda Mae is still going strong and again this year, we managed to trend in Twitter!

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Phew. And that’s just the highlights!

It’s been a really good year. Sometimes difficult, sometimes sad but all in all bittersweet, which is actually just as I like it! The next twelve months will hopefully see my work hours reduce, a more relaxed Christmas and hopefully a holiday in the sun in the New Year.

The plans are underway for another Matilda Mae skydive and I already have my ticket for Blog On! July also means the Wedding of the century as my best friend gets married, and I’m extremely excited about this!

Gabriel begins ‘big school’ next year which I am sure will be eventful and I am also going to be an Auntie again soon, so lots of happiness and family time expected too!

I hope that my 33rd year will serve me well. Fingers crossed it will be filled with love, laughter and happiness.

Happy Birthday to me!

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