Happy New Year! I know, I know. We’re almost 2 weeks in! Unfortunately, Christmas always leaves me feeling totally burnt out and I’ve only just come back to the blog this week. We have 5 birthdays in our close family in the week after Christmas and another 2 (including Reuben’s) in the week afterwards! Therefore, I’m only really just getting the time to get things sorted out and reflect on the last year. There were difficulties, as there always are, but 2022 was a pretty okay year for us, although we could have done without finally catching Covid! Here are my highlights:
Celebrating my 30th Birthday
I started my 30s at the beginning of 2022! New Year can be a pretty rubbish day to have a birthday, but I planned ahead and turned it into something awesome. We headed up to London and visited the V&A. Then we went to the Hard Rock Café for lunch (something I’ve always wanted to do). I fawned over all the memorabilia over my delicious burger, before going to the shop next door and looking at even more amazing memorabilia in the vault. We rounded off our trip to London with a cupcake and cup of tea at beautiful Peggy Porschen. Also, I had 90’s inspired nails which I loved!
Reuben’s 1st Birthday
Only a few days later, we celebrated another important milestone birthday. Reuben’s very 1st birthday! We spent the day doing his favourite things. We took him to his Tiny Talk class and went swimming. Then we took him for his first Nando’s! We also did a seaside themed cake smash with our favourite photographer, Robert Marriott.
The rest of the winter was a bit blah, as it often is. When we got to Easter, it was lovely to have a bit of sunshine and we had fun doing an Easter egg hunt in our garden. Autumn wore the Easter bonnet she’d made and a pink smocked dress and looked super cute. Meanwhile, Reuben was dressed as a bunny! I’d only seen these costumes when Autumn was too big for them, so I knew that if and when I had a second child I had to do it! He’ll probably hate me for it as a teenager, but he looked adorable. Just look at him:
Seeing Little Mix
May was a month of music. I had so many rescheduled things to go and see and I can’t even describe how excited I was when May rolled round! I saw Little Mix not once, but twice at the O2 Arena. Best of all, I actually managed to get tickets to their very last show. I took Autumn with me and she loved it. It was definitely a night we’ll never forget.
Seeing My Chemical Romance
In 2004, I was browsing the internet when I came across My Chemical Romance and I LOVED THEM. Fast forward two years and Welcome to the Black Parade was released. Suddenly all my schoolfriends knew them too. This would have been great, except I was consumed by anxiety and depression after the death of my Grandad over the summer. And so I sat in my room as they all went to go and see them at the O2 arena. So when they reunited, I could not wait for my chance to finally go and see them! The pandemic meant the wait was 2 years longer than it should have been, but it was worth every second. It was pretty emotional thinking about how the 14/15 year old me would have felt knowing that the 2022 me was seeing them live. Best believe I cherished every moment in the stadium!
I grew up listening to Queen in my Dad’s car and they’ve always been one of my favourite bands. This was another reschedule that was, once again, worth the wait! Just to be in the same room as these legends and the drop dead gorgeous Adam Lambert was amazing.
The following day, we headed up to Donington Park. I hadn’t been to Download since the first time I went in 2017, but I really wanted to go to celebrate my 30th! It was just a brilliant weekend, where I felt completely in my element. There was sunshine (!) and we were surrounded by great music and great people; what could be better? As we brought Reuben, I also experienced one of my most proud parenting moments when he was rocking out to Iron Maiden!
@autumns_mummy I had THE best weekend at Download! It was my 18 month old's first one and it was such a proud moment watching him rocking out to Maiden 🥺 Really struggling with the post-festival blues today, so I'm looking back over all my memories 🤘🏻 @downloaduk #downloadfestival #downloadfestival2022 #downloadfestivaluk #alternativegirl #alternativetiktok #alternativefashion #alternativefamily #emogirl #emogirls #emogirlsoftiktok #elderemo #metalfamily #metalhead #metalheads #festivallife ♬ Back In The Game – Airbourne
Celebrating our 7th anniversary
As the summer progressed, it came to our anniversary. 14 years of togetherness and 7 years of marriage. We went to a tearoom with the children, then had a walk in the beautiful Teston countryside afterwards. Even though it was punctuated by Autumn asking when we could go to the playground every 2 minutes, we still enjoyed our day.
Oh, and we did go to the playground in the end!
A breakfast picnic on the beach
One day in the summer holidays, we got in the car in the morning and headed to the beach with a breakfast picnic! There’s something very therapeutic about starting your day on the beach. If only that was everyday life! It was Reuben’s first time on a beach and he and Autumn had a brilliant time running around and splashing in the sea.
Thanks to bad traffic on the M25 and a problem with tickets, our day didn’t get off to the best start. However, once we got in and started to try and make it better, the day went from bad to great! Both children had a lovely time on the rides and I got to relive some of my childhood favourites. It was a hot day and they both had the best time in the DUPLO splash safari!
Afterwards, we went into Windsor to get some chips for tea. We also bought some duck food and fed the ducks and swans, which Reuben especially loved!
Autumn’s 6th birthday
Autumn arrived (the season) and Autumn turned 6. She got to have the first birthday party she’d had since she was 2, thanks to the pandemic! She was unbelievably excited. If it was possible for a child to explode from excitement, she would have done! I highly recommend soft play centre parties as you don’t need to do much preparation for them at all, just stand back and let your child and their friends run around like crazy things. They had a lunch in the party room with princess decorations and a visit from Princess Belle (who they all agreed was THE real Princess Belle).
Going back to university
With my husband getting a new job, circumstances led to me having to leave mine. I was quite upset as I really loved my job! However, it did have the silver lining of providing me with the time of continuing my degree (yay!) I’d been wondering how on earth I was going to find the time to complete it, so I was very thankful that the opportunity had come my way.
Frozen the musical
In October half term, my Mum, Autumn and I headed up to London for a girly afternoon and evening out. We had an early dinner in Covent garden and amazing ice creams at Milk Train. Then we headed to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to see Frozen the Musical. Wow, it was incredible! It was magical, even to me as a grown up. I would have loved to see it through Autumn’s 6 year old eyes. There was one particularly magical part where we were all struggling to work out just quite how they’d done it.
Ever since Autumn was just a few days old, we’ve always gone pumpkin picking in October! It was Reuben’s second trip this year, but the first one where he was walking. He was absolutely delighted to choose pumpkins and pop them in the wheelbarrow, although he did struggle to carry them!
Going back to pole classes
I’d gone back to pole fitness when Reuben was a few months old. However, I couldn’t keep it up with the lack of sleep I was getting. To return and find out I could still invert (flip myself upside down) was great – I hadn’t completely lost my core muscles! Pole remains the only exercise I’ve found that I actually enjoy. I just get so many endorphins from it!
Christmas at Bedgebury
As the nights drew in and festivities began, we went to the opening night of Christmas at Bedgebury. There is no way that this jaw dropping light display through woodland couldn’t be in my highlights of the year. It was astonishingly creative and beautiful – truly magical!
@autumns_mummy a magical evening at Bedgebury. feeling festive! 🎄 #christmasatbedgebury #christmaslights #christmasiscoming #christmastime #fyp #foryoupage ♬ All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Halestorm was undeniably one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Lzzy Hale’s voice is amazing on the album, but live…it’s a whole different level. The drum solo was incredible and funny in places. The set list was brilliant. Without a doubt, I want to see Halestorm every time they’re in the UK.
@autumns_mummy last night was just awesome! this is the most i can cut it down, it was just so good! @Mammoth WVH @Halestorm @Alter Bridge #o2arenalondon #metaltok #metalfamily #metalhead #mammothwvh #mammothwvhfans #halestormtiktok #halestormfan #halestormconcert #halestorm #halestormrocks #alterbridge #alterbridgefans ♬ original sound – Laura
Getting the hair I’d always wanted
I’ve wanted colourful hair since I was about 12. However, it’s never really been the right time to do it…until now. I finally have the hair of my dreams. Yay!
@autumns_mummy new hair, 1st (slightly awkward) transition. thank you @Ben Aldridge i had the best afternoon and I'm obsessed with my hair! 💇🏻♀✨ #newhaircolour #newhairwhodis #pinkhairdontcare #purplehairdontcare #bluehairdontcare #altgirlsoftiktok #altgirltiktok #transition #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Mashd N Kutcher
Christmas with family
Rounding off the year, we spent lots of time with our families. We had a wonderful time and I couldn’t think of a better way to bring the year to a close.