TTOT – The New Year Roundup!

I was debating whether to end the year with a slightly different, entertaining post that was not related to ends, beginnings and all that jazz. Then I saw the TTOT blog hop was up for the week and decided that I had to join the challenge.

A look back over the year, hmm.


I started 2013 with a blogger award, which is a particularly lovely way to start the year, to be fair. In fact I may have a rummage around and see if I have any I missed waiting to be replied to as a way to start 2014. I also tentatively put my toe into writing a (very noncommittal) opinion on religion and a few other posts to test my blogging nerves for stirring the pot. January was all about learning to blog – and I am still learning now.


In February I celebrated the way that children have changed me, by removing large amounts of my self-consciousness and embarrassing me in public so much that I no longer care. I accepted that a long term friendship may have reached it’s end and let go. Then, by no longer trying too hard, the friendship resurrected itself. Sometimes you really do have to give people space!

I also wrote my 100th post. Amazeballs!


Along with the spring came a month of renewal – oh, and snow! Lots of snow. Mr G and I celebrated our 1st year of marriage by taking the kids on their (my) dream holiday to Disneyland. I also had a catch up with my Great Mate B (GMB) and got be a zombie for a day.


In April I took the scary steps of going self-hosted. I think I lost a few people in the process but I met a lot more – all in all I think it’s been a success. I also got a call from a headhunter, prompting me to take stock of my life and to decide whether I wanted to return to the rat race. I didn’t!


Hmm- not a lot seemed to happen in May. Which is a good thing I guess. Life was clearly running smoothly, although we did have an issue with pants!


June started with giraffe sex and my taking a small step out of the closet. It ended with my GMB moving all the way from Cumbria to live near me – a wonderful decision I made for her am glad she took.

Well, June is also where our year turned upside down. My children lost their beloved nana, my husband lost his mother. The rest of the year has been a spin of emotions as we noticed her missing in so many ways.


My little boy left his pre-school, as I enrolled him in a new one linked to the school he would be starting next year. Then, after an emotional leave taking, I sent him right back to the same pre-school thanks to the new place failing before it opened. Which takes a special effort, right?


Summer holidays mean extra stress as we try to juggle kids, fun and work. So Mr G and I enjoy one week each year when we send the kids to grannies and we get a week to ourselves. Except – we didn’t. I also had my 36th birthday and behaved appalling badly – as did the weather.


September is where the cracks started to show in Mr G’s stoicism. It was a hard month and the start of more hard months to come and of recovery. Luckily blogging Lizzi came to my rescue and allowed me light relief by abducting me for rides on a space faring Orca, which meant more to me than she could know.

Lizzie and Order


The rest of the year was a little sparse on the writing front, as we continued to deal with our real lives. We did manage to sneak away for a family holiday and spent some healing time together.


I joined the TTOT bloghop and spent some time indulging the horrors of getting older. I don’t like the idea of approaching middle age, but so many kind comments helped me reach an even keel again. I am reassured that I have only the best of times to come! Honestly, if you keep looking at the policeman in the street and thinking how young they look, go read the comments left on that post and be reassured. It gets better from here on in!


The year is reaching its end, but there were some surprises left in store for me. A close friend has some wonderful news, and I can’t wait till I get to shout it out to everyone. I also finally got my break and it looks like I am starting the new year in a new role – professional copywriters R Us!

My son has got a nasty immune related illness – HSP. Nasty, because it’s causing him pain and causing us worry, but luckily it’s also fairly harmless (most of the time) and finally starting to clear up. I am so very very thankful that my beautiful boy is healthy and happy. In fact, as life has taught us this year, people can be taken away from us so suddenly, that I am so grateful that I have two happy and healthy children, who make me laugh and give me cuddles. So long as they are with me, everything else is peripheral.

Sackgirl and Botboy

Sackgirl and Botboy

Happy New Year everyone!

Connect with me!


TTOT – The New Year Roundup! — 29 Comments

  1. What a nice review, Piper. Sadly, I missed quite a few of your posts as the year went on. I know you’ve had some trials. I’m really glad to read Botboy is doing well. And that picture is adorable! Good luck with your new job, too!

    I’ve made the decision not to work with time frames and deadlines next year. I enjoy reading blogs, and I miss when I can’t get around to keep friendships going. I’ll still write, but I’ll just let it all come at it’s own pace.

    • Morning Maddie. Well, evening for you. My Great MAte B is in your neck of the woods right now. I should tell her to look you up for me! Thanks for the comment, it has been a tough year and I think there may be more fall out to come before it gets better. But I am looking forward to getting on to the new job.
      You can only do do much – I am always happy to have you stop by to comment, whether it’s every post or not 🙂 xx

      • Yes, you can only do so much. It was a bit of a tough year for us, too, especially with my mother falling and her health deteriorating. It seems a bit silly, but one bright spot was that our son moved back home with us. He’s 26, but it’s hard to make it on your own at times. We’ve been enjoying him. The relationship is so much different when they’re mature and not teenage know-it-alls. I’ll definitely be by more often. Right now, I’m off to bed! It’s 4:17 in the morning. 😉

        • So sorry to hear about your mum. Actually there are more and more ‘grown kids’ moving home. My bro lives with my parents and I think it’s better for them all – he has company and they have someone around who can help out.

  2. Your conversation with your daughter in January was very cute. I think that’s the first religious conversation I’ve heard of that mentioned gremlins! 🙂

    • Thanks – I learn a lot from my daughter’s point of view. I was just reading about your grandchildren – lovely to have babies around, especially when you can hand them back 🙂

  3. This was a great read! I enjoyed the chance to go back and check out your links and learn a bit more about you and your family. One of the things we all learn and share in common at TTOT is that life has it’s ups and downs, good months, and months where we struggle to keep our heads above water. Thru it all, if we hang tight with family and others who care, we somehow get thru it and brighter days return. TTOT has been a wonderful place to share that kind of support and encouragement. As you note at the end, life is very fragile and can change in a moment, that’s why it is so very important that we treasure the people we love, and that we appreciate every good moment we share. Wishing you a great year ahead!

    • Thanks Josie. I’ve found lots of lovely people and encouragement online – funny how people separated by thousands of miles can be so similar in so many ways

  4. Funny how kids force you to face how you are going to react to being embarrassed in public. I’ve decided to not care, until they are teens. Now that I have teens who are embarrassed by my mere presence, I am having a ball paying them back for all of the public temper tantrums and fist fights of ol’.
    I have to remind myself quite frequently that getting older is ok, and even fun. Sure, I can’t stand up without lots of moaning and groaning, but life is easier in other ways. Can’t think of what they are right now, but I hear they’re easier. 🙂
    Here’s to a healthy, fun 2014!

    • I shall enjoy having teens to embarrass. Only if I’m doing it deliberately though – I wouldn’t want to embarrass them by accident! 😉
      Hope your 2014 is great too.

  5. (hey Christine! still looking… not seeing any “thank god I’m older now! how did I tolerate that curse of youth!”)


    very nice TToT…the kind of Post that I read and make mental notes, ( i.e. this is how real people who have skills at the writing thing, write!)

  6. THis hit home in tons of ways… my kid is much older now but I totally get what youre talking about with getting embarrassed in public… I too gave it up eons ago…its just not worth it! Congrats on the new job! Getting older is/can be/has been a priviledge as well….

    • I’m glad to be part of your Twitterverse too – thanks for all the superb support and encouragement you gave over the year – so glad I found you on t’internet.

  7. Well, I’ve been dancing around your blog getting to know you, then flipping over to Twitter to follow you and really glad to have done it. Now I will stop flitting about and comment that I love this post! I am sorry for the heartache of the year and tremendously happy for all the good. I wish you more of the good in the New Year!

    • Thanks Sandy – it’s lovely to have people stop by, flit about and decide to stay – I hope you find more to read very soon. Hope you have a lovely year ahead too.

  8. Well done you! There are many things that need to come out of the closet as it pertains to my family. I have already gotten some flack-subtle of course. That said, I am very inspired to continue pressing into that topic.

    Chronic illness and death do put a damper on things, but you sound as if you are facing each challenge with grace and love.

    • Criticism from family can be so much harder to take than the same comments from strangers. I still have one foot in the closet – and one out. Kinda doing the splits between hiding and waving madly.

  9. Yes–so much to be thankful for. And 100 posts! I think I’ve been doing this for a year and a half and I don’t think I’ve come anywhere close! Congrats to you on that achievement alone!

    I’m glad I’m not the only mother that’s been embarrassed in public by her children. It’s been awhile since that happened, but I remember those days. You are way ahead of me–sounding like you’ve accepted and become immune. I don’t know if I ever achieved those two things. But wish I would have. Happy 2013!

  10. I remember hijacking that orca conversation on Twitter – you and Lizzi were cracking me up! Wishing you a 2014 full of many things to be thankful for, Piper!

  11. Pingback: TTOT – Bright, fresh and unstoppable . . . maybe

Speak up and tell me what you think!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge