Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 in review

The last day of 2011 has caught me by surprise. In fact until yesterday evening (i.e. the evening of Friday 30th 2011), I was convinced that the 31st wasn't until Sunday, but it turns out it's today. I was hoping to have time and inspiration to archive 2011 properly in my cramped brain but that may now have to wait until early 2012. However, this is exactly what in my mind sticks out most after the last 12 months, the constant wait to have or catch a break.

The Secluded Tea Party - January 2011
The year started with the Secluded Tea Party that inspired this blog, making friends and getting to know people better. Attending a Business Mums conference and getting to know inspiring women, hiring the accountant who sat at my table before attending her talk about tax.

March saw me going back to work full-time, trying to juggle my work as a freelance translator and the deadlines it involves with a baby without any sort of childcare.

40th birthday cake
In April I had my first Mothering Sunday and planned a surprise 40th birthday party at home for my husband, on the day of the Royal wedding. The grocery delivery arrived towards late morning, fortunately when he was outside doing the gardening so I managed to hide the party food and drinks in all sorts of places, like the dryer! Two old friends of his were the first to turn up, one of them he hadn't seen for over a year because she had been travelling. People kept popping in throughout the day, he told me off because he hadn't showered and was dirty from gardening. Well, yes it was meant to be a surprise!

In May I had my first Spanish Mother's Day. We also rented a fabulous Best of Suffolk property in Middleton, The West Ring, to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday catching up with his closest friends, who joined us for a couple of days of good food, drink, luxury and general togetherness, friendship, fun and laughter.

June was LittleT's first birthday, another party at home, a lovely birthday cake made by her auntie, lots of lovely visitors and rain! Unfortunately no one came from Spain to celebrate this milestone with her and us.

First birthday table layout
June ended with LittleT's first unaided step a week after her birthday, two days later, as July started, she was taking 10-12 steps at a time before falling on her nappy-padded bum. She was walking.

August was my birthday, my husband took the day off and we had a lovely day together.

September brought the sale of the flat where I lived for many years before moving in with my then fiancé. It marked the end of an era and in a few weeks time it should mark the start of another as we buy a new bigger home for the three of us.

In October I finally had the chance to finish an article that had been going round my head for a while, Little known changing bag brands worth knowing. At the end of the month I went to the Baby Show in London and had the opportunity to meet some of the people behind two of those brands. As well as the opportunity to meet some of my new blogging friends at The Fisher Price Party.

Drive Confident with the AA
September and October also saw me trying to beat my fear of driving with refresher lessons and the AA Drive Confident Course.

In November I had huge amounts of work and therefore little time for blogging, Mr Tapas' work took him away from us for a while both in October and November, but we did manage to find some time to put in an offer on a house and are now buying it. Hurry up conveyancing process!

November also took me to The Secluded Blogfest.

December brought a lovely date with my husband and a special Christmas day for LittleT with lots of lovely presents.

On the last day of the year I have spent some time in The Sanctuary, I first had a facial and then I half wrote this post while sitting in the relaxation room, taking advantage of the fact that the lights were too low to read my magazine and that I had some time to put the year in perspective. I may turn it into a yearly thing, a couple of hours of the last morning of each year to take stock and relax before tackling another year.

Me in 2011? Good overall, although on occasion not great to be honest, a bit down at times, not always the happiest person but, despite my return to work, I have spent a lot of time with my daughter and I am happy to say that that means that I haven't missed a single one of her landmark moments, I really don't know how I would have felt if I had got to a nursery one day to be told that she had taken her first step or said her first word. I am delighted that I was always there to see her triumphant face.

It is hard and challenging at times, I do wish I had a bit of time to myself once a week to take stock like I did the other day and to put things in perspective. Spending a little time away from LittleT and Mr Tapas is weird but I think it's very helpful. It's good both for me and our relationship that I get to feel like me.

I ask 2012 to give me more time to be a mum, to play with my daughter or sit down and cuddle with not a care in the world. I ask the piles of unwashed clothes to calm down. The dishes, pots and pans to stay cleaner a bit longer. I ask family pressure to go away. I ask my self-esteem to come back. I ask for freedom to go out with my husband. I ask for flexibility to have time to think, moisturise and look after myself, and to once in a while have a duvet day!

Happy new year everyone or, as we say in Spain, feliz año.
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