I really can’t believe that it’s the end of 2015. We spent a good proportion time this year wishing the year away, it felt like such a big mountain to climb but here we are on the other side, happier and stronger.
We celebrated the arrival of Ava in May, after an extremely hard pregnancy, she arrived over a week early on election day, and due to an infection we had to stay in hospital for nearly a week, we were so glad to come home.
Shortly afterwards in June Mr T had an operation on his spine, which couldnt arrive soon enough. He was living in a lot of pain, and the pain medication made him constantly feel tired, unwell and unable to concentrate. His recovery took around 2 months, but by September he was pain-free, after 2 long years in pain.
In October we made another huge life changing decision, for Mr T to go ahead with a Vasectomy. It was a hard decision, but it was completely the right one for our family. We are a family of six and a family of six we will stay, Ava will forever be our baby.
November and December have disappeared in a blur, mostly do to sleep deprivation. It has been hard and I completely understand why sleep deprivation is a successful form of torture! It was luckily just a phase, as in the last few weeks we have had a few beautiful nights of sleep as the older ones settled, and Ava decided to sleep through the night. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. All I can say is that its amazing how much positivity, creativity and energy that comes from a few decent nights sleep!
I think our main achievement this month was to celebrate Christmas and stay within budget! I nearly blew it by panic shopping at a few days prior to Christmas, worrying the children didn’t have much to open, but I managed to resist. We saved their ‘big’ present untill Christmas Afternoon (a android tablet), and to be honest they were completely happy with what they had received in the morning. The whole day completely reaffirmed that Christmas is all about love and togetherness, not about gifts.
We started building our own chicken coop this month. We were given a garden full of pallets last November and we have stripped them all down ready to used the reclaimed wood and nails at our allotment. We were also luckily given some reclaimed posts and some plastic roof sheets from Mr T’s Dad, so our chicken coop is completely recycled and so far hasn’t cost a penny. The work has being delayed as because both myself and Mr T have been ill this month, but hopefully by spring I will have a coop full of chickens, and will be collecting fresh eggs daily. (I am a little too excited about this!)
We have all throughly enjoyed Christmas together. Our first Christmas with 4 children has been chaotic, but equally magical. From school nativities to family walks with elf hats, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
We considered homeschooling this month, after a few incidents at school over the last term. I think it’s something that would work for our family, but, at the moment I am not sure I have the capacity to teach J & L, while looking after a toddler and baby. After talking to the headteacher too, we were reassured that school is the best option.
We are hoping to complete the base of the chicken coop next month, before Mr T goes back to work. I also need to plan our allotment for the year and decide what vegetables we want to grow, and what seeds we need to buy. The french beans, tomatoes, and munchkin pumpkins were all huge hits last year, so they will be making an appearance as well as strawberries, apples and spring onions.
The Year Ahead
My resolution for 2016 is to make our house feel more like a home. We have a tight budget so its going to need creativity and time! I foresee a lot of pinterest and planning. A lot of areas are looking tired, and now we have four children, we need ways of being better organised. I am a minimalist at heart and like clear surfaces, no clutter and lots of neat organisation. Mr T is a horder and hates throwing anything away that could be useful, but luckily we share our passion for organisation, so we let each other live!
We love monochrome / greys & and using accent colours, (which works well when you are on a budget, as changing an accent colour is better than changing the whole room) and I hope to incorporate some aspects of that into our home this year.
I am planning to relaunch my little business Little Owl Designs towards the end of 2016. As I don’t have much extra time on my hands I plan to sell pre-made prints, and avoid anything personalised until I have more time. I created some prints to sell at our school fair recently and I really enjoyed it, I am really looking forward to every aspect of the setup, including the web design and prints!
Our Me & Mine Photo : December
This is our Me and Mine photo for December, my cousin Reanna kindly too a few photos for us, but this one was the best one of us all together, and we arnt very smiley!
Some more of my favourites
My cousin Reanna joined us for Christmas day, and she kindly took our Me & Mine photo for December. We managed to capture her too, I love this photo of Ava smiling at James’ funny face.
This is also one of our favourites! Mr T is doing is best to capture the attention of everyone, but Ava is far too interested in Auntie Reanna, which is making us laugh!
I am joining Lucy from Dear Beautiful for Me & Mine: A Family Portrait Project