Cheerio 2016!

Don’t know about you, but I cannot believe that 2016 has been and gone! Where did that 12 months go?! I hope it’s been kind to you.

We’ve had a pretty fab 2016, with so many memories having been made. Here’s a recap of the last year in the James household…

January – I started off the year with health firmly on my mind and joined Slimming World. Without doubt, the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. It was a big decision for me to step into a room full of strangers and discuss the harsh reality I was fat and overweight but I’m so pleased I did it. Project Flab to Fab was officially underway!

February – we took another trip to the Peak District and stayed yet again at Darwin Forest. Such great facilities for a young family, with swimming pool, huge soft play, games room, outdoor play areas, walks, bike hire, gym, beauty salon, bar, restaurant, not to mention the beautifully equipped log cabins with all the mod cons. We visited Bakewell and Buxton while we were there, lovely Derbyshire towns (not at all biased, being a Derbyshire girl!)

Also this month, we hired a landscaper to turn our funny little mess of a garden into a space we could all love and use. I like to think I’m a gardener but in reality, since having the girls, I’ve just no time so at the moment, the focus has to be on easy maintenance and simple planting. We are thrilled with the outcome.

March – our biggest turned four! No idea how time flew by, it seemed a matter of weeks since she was a tiny dot in my arms. We threw a party for her and her friends at the local church, with bouncy castle and bouncy slide and mountains of food. She loved every moment and it was a total joy watching her with her friends from preschool.

Out littlest enjoyed her first Easter, complete with bunny ears but no chocolate.

April – The biggest and I started the month with a trip to Derby Theatre to watch the Northern Ballet’s Tortoise and the Hare. It was beautifully done in a wonderful theatre and she absolutely loved it. We went with a friend and her little boy, who was born just two days before our biggie.

And then, my bestie got married on April 4th. She was a beautiful bride and the service and reception were full of little quirks and touches that show the happy couple’s personalities.

We also had a couple of 4th birthday parties. So exhausting 😉

May – not so much a glorious moment for me as a Derby County fan but Mr James was over the moon when his beloved Leicester City became champions of England. An amazing feat by anyone’s standards and although I’ll always be black and white, I was proud of my current home city. I’m delighted that Poppy got to go to the victory parade with Mr J too so she could store it in her memory bank (I shan’t be a party pooper and say she’ll never experience it again!)

We had day trips to Chatsworth, Bradgate Park and our local park (several times) as the weather was beaut this month.

June – This month we took a short break to Norfolk with my parents, sister and her little boy. The cottage we stayed in was lovely, a quaint little place but well equipped and a great garden. Sadly, the weather was pretty shocking so we didn’t get to do any beach stuff but we did go to Amazonia Zoo and a stint in the arcades in Cromer.

We had a wonderful holiday to Isle of Wight. We love it there and have found an absolute gem of a holiday home in Chestnut Mews. If you have children, I cannot recommend these lovely amazingly well equipped cottages highly enough. The best place we’ve stayed with the girls by far. If you’ve not been to the beautiful Isle of Wight before and you’ve got a young family, it’s definitely worth considering. There’s plenty to do and see for kids of all ages. And if you’re a Tesco clubcard holder, save your points to spend on the ferry crossing.

July – The biggest said a sad Cheerio to Mini Professors class this month as well as her preschool. I got all upset at leaving both of them, simply because it dawned on me that she is no longer a baby and was, in fact, going to start school in a few weeks. Particularly silly re the school move because the preschool is amazing, in the grounds of the Big School, and had been working on the transition up since January – PE lessons, time in the IT suites, involvement in assemblies, playtime on the big kids’ playground and the like.

A day trip to Drayton Manor was also enjoyed this month and we loved both of them as they’re perfect for kids up to the age of ten-ish.

And of course, it was our littlest’s first birthday! We had a small family gathering for her, just a barbecue at home. I had a slice of massive chocolate cake and mini bottle of Prosecco in remembrance of the pain of childbirth 😉

August – We took a trip to London this month. We did the Emirates Skyline, strolled round the O2, Hyde Park, met with friends for lunch and took in the beach at Olympic Park. The biggest loved her first time on the tube too!

Day trips included Great Central Railway, National Space Centre, White Post Farm, Wicksteed Park, Woburn Safari Park and our local park.

September – the biggie started big school. Emotional!

we also took a return trip to Wicksteed as we loved it so much last month!

October – this month, I was proud of my old town, Uttoxeter as it hosted a huge homecoming party for its Olympic medallist, swimming legend Adam Peaty. It was throwing it down with rain but certainly a memorable day for the town.

We took a trip to Twin Lakes, Stonehurst Farm, New walk museum in Leicester. ialso bought my first ever pair of skinny jeans!

November – a fairly quiet month but the littlest started a messy play group and continued to enjoy Rhythm Time. I slowly started pulling my hair out as the biggest started having after school meltdowns. Luckliy, a short while after I blogged about it (and realised many of her friends were the same!), she went back to her normal self. She’s even eating porridge these days too!

December – all about the Christmas prep. The biggie was super hyped thanks to school and all the littlie has been interested in is removing the baubles off the tree. Much to the annoyance of her sister, who dutifully put them back each and every time 😀 We went to London to see Mr J’s uni mates and went to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland – the biggest was in heaven with all those rides. We are still in debt as a result…

Christmas was amazing this year, I think it was my favourite for a long time. I was thoroughly spoilt by all – and then again for my birthday on 28th – but it was all about what fantastic family time we had. It made  me truly realise just how lucky I am.

So that was 2016… what does 2017 hold? Who knows, but isn’t that half the fun?

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