Best of 2013 – part 3

September

 

September

 

September

 

September: September was a very special month because Tiny Tin Bird celebrated his first birthday! Hurrah! A whole year. We had a family party for him and then a soft play party on his actual birthday for his/our friends. He got some lovely, generous presents and we’ve had great fun playing with them. Andy’s dad came to stay, and while he was here he did the Park Run. TTB and I watched. The market had Dahlias, my mum came to stay for YARNDALE (which meant yarnbombing, and finally finishing the crocheted houses.) We went on lots of walks, including to see the chickens and to Bolton Abbey (twice!)

 

October

 

October

October: In October I embraced all things Autumn and surprised myself by really enjoying it. I made soup, bought a pumpkin and made TTB pose for photos with it, went for Autumn walks and got excited about leaves. I made vegetable cobbler and bought bread at the farmers market. TTB started to walk well enough to walk outside! I went to visit my mum and we went to Milton Keynes. I started to buy some Christmassy things, and felt excited about TTB’s second Christmas. In addition to this there was of course more swings fun, and I made the Raspberry not Ripple blanket. Andy had some time off work, and made good headway on our lounge. Oh and I got star shaped biscuit cutters. That’s worth remembering because they are pretty!

 

November

 

November

 

November: We started November with some baby-friendly fireworks at a friend’s house and it made us both feel so grateful for the friends that we’ve made here since having TTB. My sister turned 21 (eek!) and took lots of photos of the lovely Autumnal things, marvelling at the quality of the weather we were having in November. I went to Leeds to see Vic and Violet (and buy a new coat for TTB). I also made the little bunny ripple for Violet’s bunny, and started to make a colour swatch sample of crochet. The town put it’s Christmas lights up, much to the delight of TTB, and we detoured almost daily to go through the arcade and see the big Christmas tree. There were some spectacular skies, particularly on the day that we saw What the Ladybird Heard at the theatre in Bradford. As usual, we walked in the park, played at the playground, and walked in the woods. We saw the first frost of the year as well and it stuck in my mind just how much later it was than last year, as it was frosty when I was in hospital with TTB in September.

December

December: I don’t have many photos from December because I was so busy doing bits and bobs. TTB turned into my full time kitchen helper and that slowed things down considerably! I made lots more soup, went to Saltaire with Andy and TTB and finally, finally, finally had a Christmas tree and was able to get all my decorations out. We had a super Christmas seeing our families, and I got to be Father Christmas for the first time ever – a definite highlight of the year for me :-)

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2013 has been a brilliant year. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so fulfilled in my whole life and that makes me very happy. At the end of 2012 I didn’t think that anything could top that year simply because it was the year that I welcomed my son into the world. I was wrong about that – I mean, of course it was wonderful welcoming him into the world but it was bloody hard and I didn’t get much done, and this year I feel like I’ve done really well. I have worked really hard this year and a lot of it hasn’t been easy and I was still very sleep deprived for most of it but when I look back at these pictures of the year as a whole, it’s not any of the bad bits that stand out to me. It’s the good bits: the cuddles, the baking, the making, the walks in the park, the time spent with family, the being excited about leaves and pumpkins and seasonal things. Seeing the good in as much as I can, and appreciating the small things and being just as grateful for them as for the big things. Making the most of it and being as happy as I can. And I am. Happy and grateful. I’m grateful to you for reading my blog as well, and all of you who take the time to leave me comments or send me emails. Thank you all for sharing this year with me.

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2014! xxxx

Best of 2013 – part 2

May

May

May

May: May saw the town celebrate the Waterways Festival, there was lots of beautiful cherry blossom and the sunniest, most perfect days ever when we walked around the meadow and the park. We went “up Dale” to see my friend’s son Christened and I made the Summer Girl blanket. I went to Salts Mill with Rach and Vic, and to Leeds with Katherine where I bought the sweetest pair of dungarees for TTB and made him wear them almost every day. My mum and Grandma came to visit and we went to Bolton Abbey, TTB learnt to pull himself up to standing, took great delight in being in the baby walker in the yard, spent lots of time on the swings and really started to enjoy toys a lot more. He had his first feel of grass beneath his feet (and er, daisies beneath his fingers) and I bought lush yarn, yippee! I bought yummy apples from the market and went on lots of walks and took pictures of garden-y inspiration. I did some gardening in our yard and it finally started to feel like a homey, useable yard. At last! We even ate lunch out there a few times. I did a few rows on my never-ending Rialto stripes blanket before putting it away again, and preparations for Yarndale picked up, including me starting the biggest crochet project of the year: the Attic24 houses for Yarndale.

June

June: We took a train ride to a nearby village to play at their super duper park and we had a picnic too and I felt like a competent parent who can whip up picnics on the spur of the moment. I had an icecream on the way home, thoroughly decadent and very nice, wish I hadn’t had to surrender the cone to TTB though! The weather was gorgeous and I spent lots of time in the yard with TTB (and got lots of washing dried too, fabulous.) ┬áIt was my birthday: I bought a birthday sunflower, sweet williams, and cherries from the market. I had a happy day walking in the woods, and we enjoyed a visit from my in laws. TTB played with his friend really well and it was the beginnings of him really enjoying playing with other people rather than just watching what was going on. I took the train to my mum’s again and ate delicious birthday cake and “in your face pret a manger” flapjack, made by my sister. We went on some walks, watched my family do canoeing, and celebrated my sister’s 23rd birthday with red peonies, a trip to Stratford upon Avon and simply super ice cream. We went to Stowe and TTB pointed at the ducks a lot. We spent time in my mum’s garden and he made friends with the guinea pigs. We got our old childhood books out and had a lovely time looking at them all and reminiscing about them. One of my favourites is Gorilla, by Anthony Browne. At the end of the month my mum came up to stay with us so that we could go and see The Wildhearts in Leeds, and we went to the first Open Studio event at Tracy and Lucy’s studio. TTB worked out how to put little dolls in the pockets of my sister’s old fabric dolls house and discovered how to push a toy car back and forward. Both of these things felt like huge milestones!

July

July

July

July: My mum was still visiting and we went to Leeds and had lunch in Wagamama (mmmmm) and went on some walks around town. I took some “beat the heat” walks with TTB in the early mornings, they were beautiful. The town celebrated Sheep Day, which delighted TTB no end. Me and Lucy did an evening walk around the park to plan some of the yarnbombing. I bought a gorgeous new fruit bowl, and worked on my Big Rainbow Ripple. The market had pink peonies, we bought a new car and took a spur of the moment trip to my mum’s, where we had lunch outside – lovely. I worked on my Honey & Roses blanket, TTB discovered bread (this was a BIG moment in his life), we did lots more walks and playing on the swings in the park and I got the train to my mum’s again where we went to Stowe, celebrated my Grandma’s birthday and had a visit from my father in law. We walked around the reservoir and I got excited about bees and butterflies. I finished my Rainbow Ripple blanket, TTB learned to walk with the aid of a baby walker and discovered just how much fun playing in a tub of water is.

August

August

August: My mum visited and we went to Ilkley, buying some treats in Betty’s and then standing on top of the world (the moor). TTB turned 11 months and Panda became his most bestest toy ever. We played with Happyland a LOT, and he did lots of unloading the washing machine for me. I bought some pretty posters for his room, and spend an evening unpacking bunting for Yarndale with Lucy. I went to Leeds to see Vic, Rach and Emma, and TTB played so nicely with Violet. He played with sand for the first time. I tried out some recipes from the River Cottage baby cookbook and resolved to start feeding my family better. A pop up printing shop appeared in the town (so interesting to watch.) At the start of the month we were at my mum’s (the July trip overlapped) and we had a wonderful morning in Stratford sitting by the river and picnicking. So simple, but one of my favourite days ever.

:::: Click here for Part 1, and Part 3 ::::