It is the most cliché statement in the world, but I can’t believe we’re just about to enter a new year. It has rushed by so fast that I’m only just getting the chance to take stock of everything that has gone on.

Over the last few days I’ve been reflecting on the year. I thought it was going to be horrible year, but 2018 has been a year of taking root, of building and strengthening the foundations of my life. It has been a year full of discovering more joy and more happiness with myself than I thought possible.

Here’s a little run down of the highlights of each month

January

I put making sustainable changes to my lifestyle as one of my goals, and I kick started the new year with some long walks with Sarah, starting to prep for Snowdon

My love Lola came to visit and we headed over to Yorkshire sculpture park and the Hepworth gallery – two places I meant to visit for an age and seeing the Henry Moore sculptures in person was a dream

February

Basically the highlight of my year right here- My niece was born in the first week of February,

Driving down south whilst my sister was in labour and meeting my neice just half an hour after she came into the world will be one of those moments I’ll cherish forever.

March

After a moment of madness in January, Rebecca and I went on a trip to Paris. We stayed in a boujie hotel, ate all of the food and walked all over the city. Paris had some horrible memories for me and it felt amazing to exorcise them with new, happy ones

April

It kicked off with Easter back down south, will baby snuggles and family time- I’ve come to appreciate these even more this year.

I did some celebrating with friends (both very old and new) on a glamping weekend in the Cotswolds- the hangover from day one is going down as one of my most hideous of the year but so worth it.

Best of all in April, I climbed Snowdon- one of my goals for the year and I am SO glad I did it. It ended up being more of a psychological hurdle than a physical one and it meant much more than I thought to actually go up and down that mountain

May

My sister and niece came to Manchester and we spent 4 days exploring the city with a teeny babe, including going to view flats- ending up in me putting a deposit down on a conversion!

I also headed on more adventures, this time to Liverpool, which I had failed to visit in the 8 years previous! Sunshine, gin and street art; I was taken with it.

June

This month was all about trying new things, including aerial hoop- the classes which Sarah has put on have been absolutely some of my favourite. Again, another of my goals was to try things and to say yes, and it has been so much fun to do that.

I also discovered I lost a full 2 stone from the previous year- my lifestyle has totally changed, and I’ve been able to put my health and activity first in a sustainable way, largely thanks to Sarah and her sound advise and personal training. I had been told I never stuck at health and wasn’t motivated enough so finding my path to what actually works for me has been huge this year.

July

This month was summer in full swing, with visits down south and dips in the sea. Swimming in the sunshine will always be a favourite experience of mine and I’m glad to grab every opportunity I can to soak up the salty air.

Dressing up with my fave girls for our company summer party was also a great excuse for a new dress- the first time in a long time that I’ve felt really great in a dress (Silly expressions included)

August

I moved flat in august, back into the very centre of town. Thank you very much to my crew of helpers, I promise I will pay a man with a van next time! I’ve fallen totally back in love with Manchester and it has confirmed that the city centre is where I want to stay for a while.

I also had my divorce finalised, which gave me such a sense of relief and freedom I can’t tell you. Being able to change my name back felt like being truly me again. It’s been very cleansing to get all my info returned back to my real name,

August was also a month of starting to meet some new friends, while enjoying a lot of good beer and good walks in the peaks. Not too shabby

September

The month kicked off with a trip to Leeds for a glorious day of culture, food and drinks- I’m sorry I fell asleep on the train home before 11 rebecca, day drinking got the better of me!

The second highlight of the year happened when Clare gave birth to sweet baby Eva- I have felt totally humbled watching her become such an incredible mother and all our days have been sweetened by Eva’s gummy smiles

October

October was a blur of work and play with a trip to London to celebrate lola’s Birthday as well as nights out in Manchester and a visit from my mum and sister, in between some very busy weeks.

I also carried on with the walking and exercising, with a big old hike up kinder scout- the first I’ve navigated myself, which felt like a good hurdle. Plus, we saw snow!

November

November is my birthday month and it was full of celebrations as well as a whirlwind of works,

I toasted turning 30 in Wales with some of my favourite people. Drinks and laughs in the hot tub as well as my essential birthday swim in the sea!

I also got myself the tattoo I’ve wanted for years- a flower for each of my family- I’m so in love with it and so glad I was finally able to take the plunge. The timing was total serendipity

I headed down to Brighton to celebrate with my family too- we learnt pot throwing together and went for a fancy meal by the sea with all the lobster and champagne

To finish the month, I survived another Black Friday at work, with a ridiculous 46 hours in office over 4 days

December

Most surreal of all, I exchanged on my flat in December. Contracts are signed, my mortgage offer is confirmed and it is just a matter of waiting for all the work to be finished! Roll on March and completion! It has been a year of saving, talking to banks and my family and it feels incredible that it’s real.

Christmas parties are part of the ridiculous fun of December so of course, we got dressed up for our work do- any excuse to put on some false lashes and dance dreadfully after too much wine

I finally took some of my annual leave and headed down south for Christmas- our first with my niece. It has meant a lot of wrapping paper and squeals!

Now January is drawing near and I’m ready to dance my way into 2019 with some of my favourite people. 2018, you’ve been good to me.

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