Since starting to blog almost 11 years ago, at the end of each December I usually write a post or two reviewing the past year.
At first I would use the blog posts of that year as prompts to the significant events. When I began taking daily iPhone photos in 2013 for instagram they would be my reminders of what to include. However things evolve and change, and whilst I blog less, and my daily iPhone photos are still shared here on my blog as well as on Instagram …… my daily photos are less about life and more about faffing and flatlays!
As my family become increasingly camera-shy about appearing on my blog or on Instagram, there is usually some negotiating to be done to get a back-to-school photo that everyone likes and is prepared to be shared.
Fortunately cats are not too bothered by socia media fame or maybe they have just become resigned to it, and know resistence is futile!
So my change in photography subjects and new found love for flatlay, still life photography (aka faffing with pretty things) came from the discovery of Emma and Steph and the Makelight Community. They run free taster courses which help in improving your photography and instagram, but more than that too – marketing, branding, blogging….so much to learn and they share it in a very accessible way.
So I discovered flatlays ….. a few of my favourite images once I worked out what I was doing!
The next significant event, was a significant purchase ……. our shed!
The final pic is the kids playhouse which was literally falling down, so very pleased with our decision to go ahead and replace it!
It too has had a significant impact of my social media, blogging etc – it is my quiet, uncluttered (ish!) happy place where I can faff with my flatlays thanks to wonderful light from the large glass doors. I can do instastories there too without feeling TOO selfconcious. It is a lovely space to create, write, and occasionally snooze too!
In June the significant event was our 25th wedding anniversary …..
We had promised ourselves we would return to New York without kids and hopefully stay in a room overlooking Central Park. We would walk across the Brooklyn Bridge late afternoon and watch the sun set over Manhatten ……. it was an incredible few days, and a lovely way to celebrate 25 years.
In August I turned 50 – eeek! You know what, I am quite happy that I am 50 ….. and if not to get to turn 50 is the alternative, I will choose being 50! My 50th birthday coincided with a lovely week away with just the 5 of us, a villa with a pool and a sea view – lots of relaxing, laughter and lovely meals out.
At 50 I have been blessed with …..
- a supportive (and tolerant of my faffing and clutter-y ways) husband,
- 3 kids growing up and reaching for their dreams,
- my business which allows me to be creative, to teach others (added blogging classes to my range of workshops I now teach), to intereact with other local businesses, to have grown my online business significantly this year too …… I love taking “happy post” (aka deliveries) to the post office.
- Friends, family and my church family too who are there for me no matter what.
- My parents continue to show such love for eachother and their faith is a strong as ever ….. they are an inspiration to me daily
Another significant event which will make 2017 memorable is the Blogging Country Retreat organised by the lovely Emma, from Amble and ash (yes, she really is that genuinely lovely) which happened in September. As a result of that day I have so many new Northern Irish friends and connections who together form a community that goes much deeper than a “like” on an instagram squares, These (mostly) women share their lives, hopes and dreams through their daily instastories …… until I started using Instastories (multiple short 15 second video clips within Instagram) I hadn’t appreciated how these could be used to connect with others.
A few times now I have been part of meet-ups with other local instagrammers and although we vary in ages and life-stages and interests we have a common bond. New friends and connections …… social media can have so many negative conatations but it can also be a place of postivity, encouragemenet and support.
The other most significant change this year has to be our emptying nest – you raise your children to grow up into indepentant adults, capable of leaving home ….. and then they do!
We are so proud of how our eldest daughter has blossomed in her gap year with the Methodist TOM team, and is now embracing uni life at Stirling in Scotland ….. I reallly have been fine about it, no tears (honestly) (although it has been pointed out maybe I have a heart of stone) ….. she is so settled and happy, and she is still in daily contact with me …… so it has been all good!
Middle daughter passed her driving test and turned 18 – so quite a year for her too
Our youngest has sprouted this year, now much taller than me, turned into a teenager and thernever a dull moment with him around!
So there you have it, a slightly different review of 2017 ……
as for 2018 ……
watch this space!