I was looking through my Facebook feed in search of something that happened earlier in 2017, only to be reminded of some pretty great things that had happened, that I’d completely forgotten about. I decided I would go back to the beginning and make a note of everything great we did, so I can look back more easily and remember.
We started New Year, as always, with the kids staying up till midnight and toasting in the New Year. We all obviously headed to bed then and New Year’s Day was spent as a family, having mum and my brother’s family around for lunch. Chris wrote his car off on the way to work one morning which resulted in a new car hunt. Chris and I had a day out seeing Rogue One and Yo Yo’s for lunch (plus looking for a car), then a day having breakfast and a milkshake at Meat Inc. (while looking for a car). Megan has a boyfriend (Daniel) throughout the month and I met his family, plus took him out to the cinema and for dinner. Megan also had her first Parent’s Evening at Secondary School and it was fantastic. We took a very brief trip to DLP towards the end of January, to celebrate Liv’s birthday, but Chris couldn’t come as he was working. I smashed my car at the airport which resulted in a very long and very expensive trip home.
February saw Lily chop all her long hair off, into a cute little shoulder length bob. It was a total shocker but I thought she looked awesome. We went to the cinema to see Sing and not long after that, Lego Batman Movie. The Batman movie was part of our Valentine’s Day celebrations where we traditionally each buy a gift for the other three, then go out for dinner and a movie. We had Burger King as Chris had been working and we were in a rush on the way to the cinema. Chris and I also had a mini celebration of our own the day before Valentine’s, with an M&S meal.
March saw World Book Day and Lily dressed as Dr Harleen Quinzell. She loves to be a version of Harley wherever possible. Megan also split up with her boyfriend and I introduced her and Lily to retail therapy after a heart break! March was Lily’s 9th birthday and also Chris’ 33rd. For Lily’s birthday we went out to Pizza Hut for dinner, with family and some of her friends. We also had an offer on the house, which in turn did become actually selling the house, though we held our breath for months. I went on Lily’s school trip to Cadbury World and our SOLD sign went up on the house. For Chris’ birthday we went out for dinner to Frankie and Benny’s, then did an Escape the Room with friends. We had a great time for our first experience. Lily got given the part of the Pharaoh in Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat at school and she was chuffed to bits. I made the costume for both her and Joseph to wear. It was Mother’s Day (we went to Meat Inc.) and Lily’s school play and we started to look for houses to rent. March saw Lily getting words in her Church service and also in her Class Assembly. We went to see Beauty and the Beast live action, somewhere in the middle too though I honestly have no recollection of the date or even an entry on social media to look back on!
April was Easter Holidays and almost as soon as they kicked in, we got sick as a household. Lily and Megan got hit first, then me and as we were gradually getting better, Chris got ill too. We spent almost the full two weeks of holiday feeling rough and Chris and I slept in separate rooms for almost four weeks. Lily spent all of her Christmas and Birthday Amazon vouchers in one go, over £100 worth, completely buying Lego. We had fun putting it altogether though. We looked back and reminisced on and off, about how our Florida trip was 2 years previously. After finally starting to feel a bit better, the kids and I went to the cinema to see Boss Baby. It was funny and exactly what we needed after being cooped up in the house for almost two weeks. In mid April, we went to see Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat in Skegness, with Joe McElderry in it. Lily loved it so much after being in a production herself, I treated her to the CD as a souvenir and we ended up playing it every car journey from then on. We celebrated Easter at Mum’s, as a full family. We played a board game of Beat the Parents and adults totally kicked the ass of the kids.
Megan did a readathon via school and managed 6 books. I don’t think she’s read as many before or since then but she made about £40 for charity. Chris and I had a huge amount of paperwork to fill in for selling the house and almost lost our minds over figuring out where the soakaway was! Nat and I made our first attempt at getting Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets and failed miserably. Lily went away on her residential trip – she loved it and I hated having her away three days. One of the last things we did in April was attend a Storybrooke convention in Blackpool, with Nat. We stayed in a fairly grotty B&B but had a lovely time – the girls enjoyed collecting autographs and meeting some stars.
May was when we finally started making appointments to view some rented properties. We hadn’t dared before that for fear of the house sale falling through. However we were still left hanging the whole of May, not knowing if we were moving or not. It was really quite stressful in the end. Megan made a cake in Home Ec at school but ended up so disappointed with it that we had to re-jig it when she got home. It looked pretty awesome in the end and tasted fine too. This was given to me as a birthday cake. Took a day trip down to London and met Amy there, were we had Tale as Old as Time afternoon tea. Despite being expensive, didn’t like half the food etc. the experience felt pretty darn amazing and will remain a good memory for many years to come! Went down to London again for my birthday. We stayed in a Travelodge, went to Comic Con and met Amy and Liv there, then went out for Ask in the evening, followed by another night at Travelodge and then Harry Potter Studios on my birthday itself. We stopped at Damons on the way home which was an extra treat but – Yuck, 38!
June saw the 20th Anniversary of the first Harry Potter book and as such I bought myself and the girls some special editions. Lily managed a full length of the pool at swimming. I had my first Eskimoo. The girls and I went out to vote for Labour, but sadly in the scheme of things it didn’t make much difference. Lily was in Shine assembly. We finally found out what date we would be moving, selling, signing contracts etc. We got the keys to the new house on June 14th, then moved on June 17th. We were sold as off the 22nd. Found a multitude of missing items, when moving and unpacking. There was Lily’s lost iPod, my sewing machine foot, Megan’s watch, Megan’s headphones and the Xbox remote. Chris and I shared our last meal on the floor at 2 Ruskin Street, after spending the evening cleaning. We had Indian from our favourite takeaway there.
In July we were still unpacking and settling in. I found a bunch of old compilation CDs and spent days listening to them all the way through on the car journeys. My friend Adam came to visit, which was the first time all year and of course to the new house. While he was here, we ordered Dominos just for dessert and pigged out on Chocolate Pizza for the first time, along with amazing cookies. Went to Geekabilia in Lincoln, a very small comic con compared to what we usually go to, but Megan won a brand new 3DS and a Pokemon game. After much persuasion she kept the console for herself and gave the game to Lily (she wanted to give her both!). Game of Thrones began again, which resulted in mum coming over every week on a Monday to watch with us. We had takeaway pretty much every week which was nice too. I got asked to join a Blogger Board Game club. This has since resulted in us playing Ticket to Ride: First Journey, Cortex and Carcassonne. The kids broke up from school and we headed out to watch Despicable Me at the cinema. We also tried Chimichanga’s for the first time. We took a walk in Hartsholme Park after dinner and it was a really nice day. Amy and Liv came to visit for a few days and it rained pretty much constantly. Took a crazy quick break down to London, all to go to Comic Con and meet Wil Wheaton. We stayed at a Travelodge after traveling down late after Chris’ work, then spent the day at Comic Con and meeting Wil, before driving home. It was crazy but fun.
August was all summer holidays and largely we did nothing! There was one day when we completed a jigsaw and another when Lily tried to learn how to ride her bike. The gardener came around and smashed some of our windows, but he came a few days later to fix them! Megan and I spent the day at Meadowhall, had food from Ed’s Diner but weren’t really impressed. Lily visited the opticians and needed glasses, Megan got an update on her presciption but that also lead to new glasses. We went camping down to Chichester, to see the girls’ grandparent’s. Despite being a long way, we always enjoy the few days away camping. We called at Uxbridge on the way home, did some shopping and also grabbed Five Guys! Celebrated 2 Years of owning Closet Geek. Honestly can’t believe how much time has flown by. Lily cracked riding her bike, on only her second time trying – all thanks to Chris’ patience. We went out to Frankie and Benny’s to celebrate. We went to Bradford for the day, to the National Science and Media museum – the kids seemed to enjoy it but it wasn’t what I had remembered from childhood. The girls had a friend each around and I took them all to the Maize Maze. Lily’s friend stayed just for the day and Megan’s stayed overnight.
Just before school restarted, a few days into September, we had our first BBQ of the summer and it was very impromptu. The girls went back to school, first Lily and then Megan. We had our first house inspection at the new house. Megan got voted Form Rep for the first time ever and she was really chuffed. Lily and I attempted to get Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets, for a second time. We were much more prepared this time and managed to successfully get not one but three lots of tickets for everyone we knew who wanted them. Megan started TRSPA which costs me almost £200 a term but gives her three hours of drama, dance and singing every week. She genuinely seems to enjoy it. Great British Bake Off was on TV and Chris and I bought something to do with the theme each week to eat, so we didn’t crave it whilst watching. The new series of Star Trek began on Netflix and we started watching that too. Plans were made for a major USA holiday, but nothing was officially booked. There was A LOT of planning though.
A new IKEA opened in October, near Meadowhall in Sheffield. We visited within a few days of it opening but got evacuated before we could check out. The following day, Chris and I went to Nottingham IKEA, had breakfast and bought the things we had originally had in our basket at Sheffield – including meatballs! Found out Denny’s was opening in the UK but only in Swansea to begin with. That might be a future trip in the making. Found out a Flying Tiger was opening in Lincoln – got a little overexcited as we loved the one we discovered in Watford for my birthday. Went to see “The Band” in Sheffield, which was mum’s birthday present. The show was so much better than I was expecting (not that I was expecting it to be bad) and I cried far too much. Lily had a Greek Day at school and we got to reuse her Pharaoh costume for a Greek Goddess – win. Chris and I celebrated 5 years of being together. He bought me a beautiful Beast Danielle Nicole bag which I’ve had my eye on ever since I saw it. We had breakfast at Damons, then spent the rest of the day getting ready to go on holiday. We went to Jersey for a week, as a family and with mum. It was fairly cold and sometimes even miserable but we had a nice time and took loads of pictures. Lily got a real love for photography while we were there. By some miracle I managed to update my blog daily while on holiday, up until the last day. During the Jersey holiday, mum and I started to make bookings for our USA holiday in 2018. After the holiday, Megan went back to school a day before Lily and so Lily and I took a crazy trip down to London, saw the Primark store that was all done out with Harry Potter theme, the Disney Store and then back home again in time for Megan finishing school.
November came around and Christmas season began whether we wanted it to or not. We had our first Christmas Costa and Christmas Starbucks within days of each other. After going to Jersey and starting to feel fat, I tried to eat a bit better and lose some weight. I managed a few pounds but I’m sure they were gained again in the scheme of Christmas. I’m yet to brave the scales again. We went to the Christmas light switch on, back in Gainsborough, even though we live in Lincoln now. We made Christmas pudding at mum’s house, had a stir each and made a wish. Lily was in her class assembly and we worked on her school project for most of the month. Megan had her second Secondary School parent’s evening and it was just as good as the previous one. I updated my phone to an iPhone 8 Plus. I love my new phone. Mum treated us to a meal at the new Greek restaurant at Burton Waters. It was absolutely amazing and I realised I like aubergine. I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to cook it at home though.
Lily had her whole school share, which featured a homework exhibition of their Greek Projects. I thought Lily’s looked great and she got a lot of nice comments. The girls got advent calendars – Megan’s was a make up one and Lily’s was mostly stationery, gadgets etc. Lily made a YouTube video every day and posted it to Double the Geek. Together with mum, the girls also got me an advent calendar this year. It was liquorice and I have to admit it was definitely an interesting experience each day. We went to Doddington Hall and bought our first real Christmas tree. In hindsight we probably got it too early as the pine needles were everywhere come Boxing Day and I ended up taking down the tree then (I left up the other decorations though). We also bought too big of a tree and had to re-house a bookcase, to fit the tree in the dining room. We also visited the Food and Gift fair at Lincolnshire Showground. We all really enjoyed it and ate way too much. It was lucky we visited though, as it had a lot of the same stalls from Lincoln Christmas Market and that got cancelled for the Sunday this year, which is the day we had planned to go. Chris and I went out for dinner at the Swanholme Pub and had a really nice dinner. I started watching Christmas movies and think I got to about 15 by the end of the year. Lily managed her 100 metres swimming badge at school and I was so proud of her as swimming has always been daunting to her.
Megan’s birthday celebrations seem to take up 3-4 days. She had some friends for a sleepover, then the following day was collected by a limo, to pick up some other friends too and then take everyone to bowling. After bowling there was Pizza Hut for lunch and though we had originally hoped to go to Christmas Market (it got cancelled, as mentioned), an evening of opening gifts. The following day, which was her actual birthday, was spent mostly at school but then a family dinner at Damons, which made a nice change from Pizza Hut as in previous years. Once the kids broke up from school, we went to Meadowhall and all got our hair cut as a Christmas treat. We then spent a few days preparing for Christmas, before it was upon us. We spent Christmas morning at home, before going to Mum’s for lunch, then seeing the girls’ dad briefly and home (with the girls for a change). The following day we went to see Chris’ dad and nan and a few days after that we had an extended family lunch at my Auntie’s house with all my cousins and their kids. Finally we spent New Year’s Eve at home, waiting for Chris to get back from work before having a Roast Pork dinner. We then played board games (Competition Kitchen and Code Names) before watching the first Lord of the Rings movie. We saw in midnight with some fizz and the fireworks on BBC1. We then had ten minutes of LOTRs to watch before we all headed to bed.
All in all its been a pretty fab 2017 and I’m going into 2018 feeling very hopeful that it will continue to be great.
Movies at the Cinema:
Star Wars: Rogue One
A Monster Calls
The Lego Batman Movie
Live Action: Beauty and the Beast