2014: Little Moments

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For me, life is all about little moments.

I’m not one of those people who thinks happiness is a destination – it’s a moment, a day, a feeling. One of my favourite things about blogging is the ability to capture those moments and turn back to them during times when life isn’t quite so much fun.

2014 was a pretty good year.

My resolution for 2014 was to get a better work/life balance and I made a decent stab at it – we’ve had a proper break at Christmas as well as taking a month off for summer.  The one sure and certain truth of my job is that the longer I sit at my desk, the more work I’ll find to do. This year, I really made an effort to walk away from the computer and take time to visit friends, or just hang out and watch TV box sets.

That has meant treating myself better, too. In May, I started swimming three times a week, which I think has made me more relaxed, as well as working wonders on my fitness. Losing more than three stones in weight has been a pretty good bonus (let’s not talk about the half stone I’ve gained since injuring my leg a few weeks ago, and being advised to take a few weeks off. Although to be fair, the 5,000 festive mince pies might also be a factor, here…)

Anyway, for 2015, my resolution is to make more time for my friends.

I know I’m guilty sometimes of prioritising work over my social life. I’m guilty of investing too much time and energy in people and relationships that don’t really make me happy. My hope for 2015 is that by letting some of those relationships go, I can devote more time to the people and things that DO make me happy.

Of course, top of that list comes Flea. This year my girl turned nine, and I’m loving seeing the steps she’s taking towards independence. And we are the most fantastically, ridiculously fortunate pair, really – our year has just been packed with fun experiences. As is traditional, I’ve pulled together some of my favourite little moments from the past year:

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It was Spring. It was sunset. We were barefoot on the beach. Throwing stones. And everything felt … perfect.

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We’d taken a trip to Grizedale. We got hopelessly lost. But while we were trying to find our way home we had a few adventures. Including an hour on the most amazing playground. Sometimes the best adventures aren’t the ones you plan.

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Nobody was more surprised than me than when First Choice invited us to review a bunch of holidays, kicking off with a trip to Mauritius. I remember snapping this photo just after we’d arrived, following a 12 hour flight. I looked at it and thought, “If I didn’t know better, I’d think this was Photoshopped.” It was the most amazing week, and all the better because we met Alison Chino and her incredibly smart, funny and Lego-obsessed son Simon.

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Yep. That’s us. Parasailing. After 5 seconds of terror, it’s wonderful. And the views? A-ma-zing.

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This photo was taken on an incredibly hot Sunday afternoon just after Easter, after our first session practising for the flash mob that we organised at the MAD Blog Awards. Everyone had danced their socks off, and I remember thinking, “Bloody hell. I think this might actually work!”

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In blogging, things come and go. But these three ladies have been some of the best friends I could hope for. I hope they all have an amazing 2015, because they’re all properly Good People and deserve it. Although Ruth might shoot me if I make her play Pictionary again…

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I confess, I wasn’t at all sure what to expect when First Choice invited us to Ibiza in July but we had a complete blast. The weather was glorious, the island laid back and much more glamorous than I expected. But for Flea, things didn’t get any better than this – high wires with a view of the beach.

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Our month in California kicked off with a rafting trip on the Russian River, north of San Francisco. The sun was beating down, the water was refreshing and we spent the most amazing day paddling down river, stopping off to swim whenever it got too hot. It really was a perfect day.

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My little surfer dude. I think a year ago, Flea would have been too nervous to paddle far from shore and then fall off a surf board 20 times before managing to ride her first wave – but this summer, she ADORED it. I had such a lot of fun watching from the shore.

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Highway One. Scariest. Road. Ever. But memorable. Very, very memorable.

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Our last day of summer vacation was spent in the Lake District with Flea’s cousins. As you can see, they had a great day of being incredibly violent to one another. Actually, this was Flea’s birthday present – a game called Mashinga that involves hitting one another with foam sticks. Best. Fun. Ever.

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In late September, I nabbed some great tickets to see Ed Sheeran live at the NEC. It truly was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. How one little guy with a guitar can captivate an entire stadium really is quite something.

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October half term and a really lovely day out with Flea and my niece at Chill Factor-e. This photo makes me laugh because I was getting impatient trying to get Flea to pose and finally growled, “Can you just TRY and look pretty?” I deserved the face she gave me, frankly.

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November saw me realise one of my life ambitions – appearing on the Today programme on Radio 4 – I took Flea along with me for the experience, thinking she’d find it interesting. She spent the entire time watching old episodes of Castle on my iPad. The magic of radio is clearly lost on her.

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December saw more travel – this time to Tanzania. This photo reminds me that even in the most beautiful of places, life can be hard. One in nine children in Tanzania don’t make it to their fifth birthday, which is a truly shocking statistic, isn’t it?

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This year saw us kick off what I hope will be an annual tradition – a Mum and Daughter weekend in London to kick off Christmas. We stayed in a hotel, saw a show, explored Covent Garden market, and ate in some gorgeous restaurants. It was so lovely to spend time together and I find as Flea’s bigger, she has the stamina to keep going and really pack a lot into a trip like this.

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And Christmas. We had a lovely Christmas. There was family and friends, great food, lots of fun presents, movies, special days out and we wrapped up with a long country walk on a frosty, sunny day. Perfect.

So that’s it. Another year done. Another year of memorable moments, and thankfully one with more reasons to smile than to shed a tear.

Here’s hoping your 2014 was filled with the same – and we wish you a peaceful and fun-filled 2015.

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

27 Comments

    • 1st January 2015 / 7:01 pm

      It’s scary how much fun she has.

  1. 1st January 2015 / 10:11 am

    lovely post, with gorgeous pictures. I totally agree that life is all about the little moments. Wishing you a fabulous 2015.
    I popped over from the Tots100 resolutions linky 🙂 x
    Rachael recently posted..Embrace Happy – My word for 2015My Profile

    • 1st January 2015 / 7:01 pm

      Thanks Rachael – and thanks for joining the linky 🙂

  2. 1st January 2015 / 11:48 am

    Love your photos! Looks like you’ve both had an amazing year and well done on losing all that weight too! Completely agree with you on making time for real friends this year and I may have to learn to step away from the laptop too. I never just sit and watch tv anymore, I can’t even remember what it feels like to sit on the sofa without a laptop glued to my lap or a smartphone in my hand – how unbelievably sad! Hope you and Flea both have a wonderful New Year!
    Mum Reinvented recently posted..My Word for 2015My Profile

    • 1st January 2015 / 7:01 pm

      Thanks for commenting – you know, the more you disconnect completely from the online world, the easier it is to do, promise!

  3. 1st January 2015 / 1:15 pm

    What an amazing year you’ve had, and what great memories for you and Flea. Here’s hoping 2015 brings more of that.

    And here’s to more fun times, crazy blogging stuff and meals with friends. Maybe even more Pictionary. Maybe…
    Ruth (geekmummy) recently posted..A Photo A Day – Weeks 51 and 52 RoundupMy Profile

    • 1st January 2015 / 6:59 pm

      It’s been another really fun year, we’re very lucky, I know. Here’s to more blogging nonsense and blogging dinners in ’15

  4. 1st January 2015 / 3:21 pm

    LOVE that last photo. I’ve been pondering this business of a word for the year and had decided not to bother, just to plough on, but you struck me with making more time for friends. Too often I rush through and give cursory replies. I don’t dwell long enough, chat like I used to, or make an effort to laugh with friends in the same way. And that has to stop. Because if you don’t have good friends, I’ve learned that life very quickly becomes unhappy. And you only get as good as you give. So I’m joining you on that one. Happy new year x
    Actually Mummy… recently posted..Merry Christmas from LondonMy Profile

    • 1st January 2015 / 6:59 pm

      Thanks Helen – I think you’re right, not having good friends around takes a lot of fun out of life and the older Flea gets, the more I realise it’s okay for her to be the centre of my world, but she shouldn’t be my whole world, necessarily – or I’m going to be a bit stuck when she grows up!

  5. 1st January 2015 / 4:05 pm

    It looks like a great year Sally and I need to learn your work/life balance a bit more because I definitely don’t have it nailed yet. 2015 is also the year for my friendships too.
    Happy New Year to you and Flea- wishing you lots of happiness. x
    Katie @mummydaddyme recently posted..Reflecting on 2014 and Looking Forward to 2015…My Profile

    • 1st January 2015 / 6:57 pm

      Thanks Katie – hope 2015 is an even more successful year for you, wishing you all the best!

  6. 1st January 2015 / 7:04 pm

    It looks like you had an amazing year! Those are lovely photos – how nice to have a record of such wonderful experiences. I hope your 2015 is just as good!

    • 2nd January 2015 / 7:15 pm

      Thanks Amelia, I’m a complete shutterbug these days it’s true 🙂

  7. 1st January 2015 / 7:04 pm

    I love looking back over the year and realise how much we have accomplished, and you certainly have done so much! And flea is bloody gorgoeus! X

    • 2nd January 2015 / 7:14 pm

      She’s a keeper, it’s true 🙂

  8. 1st January 2015 / 10:17 pm

    Thank you for the well wishes for 2015! I couldn’t agree more that happiness is now, and not a destination, what beautiful pictures, to capture a good year. May 2015 bring you more of this. Happy New Year x

    • 2nd January 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Thanks Tanita!

    • 2nd January 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Naturally 🙂

    • 5th January 2015 / 9:36 pm

      We had a LOT of fun, hoping 2015 will be just as good 🙂

  9. 4th January 2015 / 9:05 pm

    What a thoroughly gorgeous post Sally, so full of adventures and love. I too am determined to find greater balance with work and life and this Christmas was just so flipping magical- time off, a chance to regroup and have more time with the most important people in my life….It also gave me time to structure ways to move forward feeling a lot happier and less frantic when it comes to juggling freelance life.

    … So impressed seeing you guys paragliding by the by (and the Today Show of course even if it washed over Flea)-I screamed my lungs out on a Santa rollercoaster in Liverpool this Christmas-think it was about 8 feet high! Happy New Year!
    Honest Mum recently posted..Be Who You Want to BeMy Profile

  10. 4th January 2015 / 10:48 pm

    Wow, those high wires were really high!! That last pic of Flea is just amazing. Am hoping I can get some that good of my girls now I have a new camera 🙂 Love your idea of a pre-Christmas weekend, you have inspired me to try and spend some more special time with my eldest. Thanks, and I’m not in the slightest bit envious. Much. 😉

    • 5th January 2015 / 9:36 pm

      They were epic, luckily Flea’s not easily scared! Oh, and I’ll tell you a secret – these are all smartphone photos – they’re all from my Nokia Lumia 1020, which is an awesome camera phone!

  11. 5th January 2015 / 11:05 am

    So may gorgeous photos. One of my aims this year is to practice with my camera. I just need to make the time to do it. Hope you and Flea have another wonderful year.
    Emma recently posted..What to wear when you work from home.My Profile

    • 5th January 2015 / 9:37 pm

      Smartphone photos – you need a Nokia Lumia, Emma!

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