My Top 7 of 2018

My lovely friend Lauren tagged me in a post looking back at 2018 – whilst also looking forward to 2019 and everything it has in store for us. I love these kinds of posts as it makes me take a step back, take stock and look at the year, everything it has brought us and the places it has taken us. So here goes:

My favourite seven posts of 2018

I wrote about learning to swim and I know that as each year passes I will always look back and think of last July as a pivotal time in my life. It was such a big thing for me and I wrote this post to reinforce how life changing being able to swim was for me and my whole family.

Learning to Swim has Changed My Life

Another huge part of last year – and another life changing thing for me – was getting my teeth straightened. I loved writing about the whole process and making a video diary too. There were times when I couldn’t eat, where I was really miserable and where my whole face hurt but it was so worth it.

Getting my Teeth Straightened as an Adult - The End Results

I like writing about things that are important to me and a lot of my favourite posts stem from a date on the calendar, a news report or a random thought process. Last summer I wrote a letter to the NHS on it’s 70th birthday and I found it so emotive and a post I’m really glad I wrote.

Dear NHS – On Your 70th Birthday

A post that equally shocked people but also resonated with people was my open letter to my online stalker. Last year was hard for me for a lot of reasons and through a lot of it I was being stalked online. The police were involved and I am confident it won’t be happening anymore but it was a really tough time and I’m glad I came out the other side of it. I’ve included this post as, like with a lot of emotive posts, it was cathartic to write and I’m glad I wrote about it.

An Open Letter to a Stalker Online

At the start of the year I wrote about the Florida Dream, a dream I had always had from my very early years. A few months later that dream came true and we got to live that Florida dream for two weeks and had the holiday of a lifetime. It was incredible.

Living the Florida Dream {The Ordinary Moments}

Another post I’m really pleased I wrote was about where I was half my life ago. I think it’s really healthy to look back and see how far you’ve come without dwelling on negative aspects of your life and so this was another really cathartic post for me.

And lastly, a post about blogging – things I’ve learnt in six years of blogging. It seems like yesterday that I started writing this blog and yet the years tick by so regularly. I love looking back at those years, sharing advice and tips and getting to know more people in the community too.

Things I've learnt in Six Years of Blogging

Seven things I loved most about 2018

2018 was a pretty good year overall for us as a family – and for me individually too. There is so much I loved about the year but the main things that stand out are:

Our trip to Florida. Experiencing the Disney parks, meeting Disney characters, going on an airboat, seeing Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Centre, our day at Discovery Cove, visiting Legoland Florida, the children’s first long haul flights… There is so much that I loved about that holiday and I would love to do it again some day.

Getting my teeth straightened. It’s changed me so much – making more confident, smiling more easily and just being happier in my own skin.

Learning to swim. This was huge for me and has made me more present on family holidays, it’s made me more involved and happier to participate in more activities. I have overcome so much fear, gained a new level of confidence and it also taught me that I’m pretty happy in my own company after a solo week in Wales.

Finishing the house. We are at a point now where I’m content with our home. We all have nice bedrooms, downstairs is finished, the bathroom is nice, we have a lovely garden and we have a lovely new sofa too. I am happy now to spend a year just enjoying our home before we start thinking about a loft conversion. Ticking all those odd jobs, decorating plans and new furniture purchases off the list was a really positive part of the year.

Our holiday to Cornwall. 2018 was the first time that I took the children away overnight by myself and we spent Monday to Friday of February half term in Cornwall, just the three of us. It was a really lovely break, we did so much and it made me more open to having breaks away by myself with the children in the future.

Discovering Crealy. The children and I discovered Crealy last year and it has to be one of our favourite places. We glamped with our friends in the Easter holidays and went back again for a day trip a few months later. We’re already planning another break there at some point this year.

Running. 2018 was the year when I really embraced exercise and I realised that I am happiest, where exercise is concerned, outside with nice scenery around me. I started going to Virginia Water to run and I’m looking forward to it being a regular part of this year too.

Seven things I’m looking forward to in 2019

Aside from running, there is so much that I’m looking forward to this year:

Blogging events. I have this year’s Flea Retreat and two Blog On conferences to look forward to. They’re the highlight of my blogging year.

Holidays. We have a trip to Rome booked for May half term and are looking to book a summer holiday too. We’re also spending a week with friends in the UK in April – I can’t wait. Holidays make my world go round.

School holidays. Generally, I live for the holidays. I really miss the children when they’re at school and love having the school holidays with them. We’re already planning where we’ll be spending the holidays this year and I can’t wait for more time with my favourite people.

Reading. This may sound really odd but I am looking forward to reading more in 2019. I have so many books on my list to read and am looking forward to switching off more and just enjoying the simple things – like a cup of tea and a good book.

The garden. I’m really looking forward to the weather warming up and the garden coming into its own again. I’ll do gardening and hang the washing on the line. The children will run up and down and play. We’ll have barbecues and garden parties. We live for the months between April and October where we spend our whole lives outside.

Concerts. Last year Dave and I embraced one of our joint loves that had been put on the back burner for years – concerts. We went to see Lenny Kravitz and Bryan Adams in London and this year we are doing more of the same. We have tickets booked to see George Ezra and Ed Sheeran and I cannot wait!

Work Life Balance. Slowly slowly catchy monkey – or however the saying goes. I have been self employed for over two years now and feel like I am starting to really get a good work life balance. This is the year where I get an even better balance – where I switch off for whole weekends, have regular nights off every week and where I just say no a lot more too. Isn’t that exciting?

And there you have it, last year and this year wrapped up into one post. Where is your year going to take you?

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4 Comments

  1. January 8, 2019 / 9:31 pm

    Thanks for joining in with my tag. I have loved following your blog and will be again this year. I’m hoping to get to go to blog on again in September too this year

  2. January 8, 2019 / 10:45 pm

    I want to travel more this year too; not just abroad holidays but even weekend breaks in the UK too.

    Hope 2019 is a great year for you xxx

  3. January 9, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    Such good choices for your favourite 7 posts! Thanks for joining in and I cant wait to see what you get up to! (and to see YOU in person haha)

  4. January 10, 2019 / 7:38 pm

    This is lovely Donna and what a fantastic 2018 was for you both personally and as a family. We have 2 holidays booked to Greece this year, but sadly the teen has decided to stay at home. It will be different in so many ways, but I guess that’s what happens when kids grow up x

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