Happy New Year people of the internet!
I can’t believe it’s 2014 already, so much has happened in the last 12 months. We moved off our floating home, not only onto land but 200 miles west to the lovely Devon. The kids have changed so much but especially Isaac, that leap from 1-2 is just magic to watch. And most recently Dan has succeeded in getting a new job which will be a complete career change and I’ve booked onto a doula training course to hopefully become a doula.
I’ve recorded a lot of what’s gone on in our lives here but not as much as I’d like. Especially recently, we’ve been on 2 home education trips to the farm and visited the zoo for Sophia’s birthday which haven’t reached this blog and I didn’t even post properly about her birthday. But such is life with 2 little ones in tow and a handmade Christmas to organise!
This time last year I didn’t know what to expect and was very nervous about our plans but I think I can safely say, it was a good decision for us. Of course we still really miss our friends from Brighton and I’m so chuffed that we are able to see them as often as we have this year and long may that continue but Devon has got our hearts. The quality of life down here feels better, the moors and numerous beautiful beaches are within 30 minutes, the home education community seems fuller and more active, the pace of life is slower and feels more genuine, more real. And the fact that we get to see my family more often and the kids are building a lovely close relationship with them is a massive added bonus.
Highlights from this year include wild swimming on Dartmoor during the heatwave, a late evening trip to the beach and swim during the same time, camping in Dorset in our new bell tent, playing several gigs in and around Topsham over the summer, having good friends coming to stay, visiting Brighton, reconnecting with one of my oldest friends who lives down here, seeing her more regularly and the incredible night that was her second album launch show (shameless plug…check out Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin here) and my amazing weekend away to Big Sky Retreat with Dan for our 5th wedding anniversary whilst my lovely parents had the kids.
So, what does 2014 hold for us?
Another move is on the cards as Dan’s new job is work from home so we need (would like) a 3 bed so he can have an office and not work from our bedroom. This time it won’t be far, we’d like to stay near Exeter though we are aiming for a village, rural or coastal location and a large garden. I’m enjoying that there is no rush to move this time so we can really take our time and choose wisely rather than doing our usual trick of rushing in feet first and moving in before realising there’s a gaping hole in the roof or no hot water (ok, ok…so it’s never been that bad but we do have a habit of choosing houses, usually won over by some eccentricity or cuteness, before realising it’s probably not the best choice). We’re also hoping to reduce our rent so we can actually save some money rather than using all our hard earned money to pay someone else’s mortgage off! So possibly a tall order but we shall see.
I’ll be hopefully attending the nurturing birth doula training course in Crowborough in March which I am very much looking forward to. I’ve wanted to do it for the best part of 2 years but had various niggles or constraints stopping me but I think I’ve covered as much as I can in preparing and deciding whether it is compatible with home education and Dan’s new job and the only way to really find out now is to get on and do it. I’m aware that a lot of people haven’t heard of doula’s and I will write a proper post about what they do and what has led me to wanting to become one but for now, you can find some information here if you’re interested.
In terms of the children, I want to make some time every day for a little Bible study with Sophia as I was given a lovely daily reading book for children so we did the first one today which was well received. Let’s see if we can stay on task! I also want to sit down and do a bit more ‘educational’ things with her this year than I have been recently (but I’ll do another post on our home education goals so I’ve got it saved and recorded somewhere in case I need to look back later in the year) and I want to facilitate more play for Isaac. Basically, I want to switch off from everything else that my head is telling me to do and make sure I spend a good amount of time really engaging with them and their wonderful little worlds.
Finally, Dan and I have decided to really try and live a more healthy lifestyle. We want to eat better, exercise more and be a bit (ok a lot) more regular with our ‘quiet time’ (bible reading and praying together). I think we’d also both like to try and be more musically active. I’d also like to be a bit more consistent with growing things. After an active spring and summer, I never got going with planting in the autumn so I want to try and be an all year gardener, not a fair weather one. Though, knowing we’re moving makes me reluctant to do too much with the garden here. I should at least tidy the beds and maybe plant some flowers – I’ll aim for that in the next few weeks!
Other than that, 2014 for us is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. The only way to see what is going to happen is to be in it, to live it.
So I wish you all dear readers, a most blessed and exciting 2014. May it be full of laughter, adventures, peace and love.
One of the few family photos of us from 2013, perhaps a mission for me – to get a few more in 2014!