2018: The Recap episode

As we hurtle towards the end of another year I can’t help but be reflective and think about the year that was. All the things I got done, the things that I didn’t. I hate this “set new goals & intentions” that come at this time of the year that inevitably just make you feel a bit shit about yourself. I much prefer to look back on all the small (and big) stuff that I got done, the wonder and mess of just being here, alive and well and be grateful for all that.

This year for me hasn’t been one of my best. Emotionally it was tough for me: work took a downward spiral and I felt out of control as no work came in, cash flow became non existent and my self worth took a battering. I dusted myself off and tried again many, many times and I am so happy that by the end of the year things had turned around and I felt back in control of my own ship again. It’s been hard bloody work, the lot of it. And there have been lots of tears along the way – the freelance world of work that Rob and I are in is feast or famine and I hope that in the new year we can maintain something in between, just some bog standard meat and three veg will be just fine.

Next year will be filled with changes for the family as we navigate his school for the first time, and Maggie at Preschool. High school AND preschool seems full on just by thinking about, I know living it will be even more so. There are health challenges ahead for loved ones, but I know that so long as we are together, we’ll be OK.

I am so grateful for all the lessons I have learnt this year. About myself and how I deal with challenges. I am proud of my resilience and not being afraid of hard work and being out of my comfort zone. I know that Rob and I are stronger than ever as we have worked through our frustrations and vulnerabilities, the girls adjusting along the way and being sensitive and caring. Here’s to a new year with not too many plans. To be able to change tack as the landscape changes and we head into new horizons. To be grateful for the mundane. For health. A roof over out heads. Happy, confident kids that want to go to school. To work that is challenging and fun. To the mist that rises from the frozen ground in June. The washing drying on a full clothes line in February. The fire keeping us all warm as we pile together on the couch to watch a movie in July. The pink clematis all around the house in October. That magical Autumn light in March. That’s the important stuff: love, and to be loved. To push our minds. To push our bodies. Family. Friends. I’ve got it in spades and I am grateful for it all.

For swims at the farm in January.

For 11 year olds in February.

For ribbons at the show in March.

For Easter Sunday mornings in April.

For 3rd Birthdays in May.

Not to mention being in LONDON. My god did that really happen?!

For village balls in June.

Trips to celebrate blogging in July.

To turning 41 in August.

To the arrival of Spring in September.

To opening an online shop in October.

And 9 year olds.

To girls weekends away in November.

And to family time at Christmas in December.

Some of my favourite posts on the blog throughout the year were:

Life Lesson #587: Setting yourself up for failure
Tales of a wound-up woman
Number One
To a Mundane last Tuesday in Summer!
Trying to connect with your partner in a house full of kids
January the 116th
London: my favourite bits
A check in and feeling the feelings Susan
The lies we tell ourselves
Lessons in rest
Every little thing
So the blog turned 12 on the weekend
Shit your husband will never have to think about
On jumping out of your comfort zone

I hope that the new year ahead is a happy, safe and healthy one for you. I think that’s all that really matters: our mental state, the health of our bodies and keeping the ones we love safe with us. I hope you get some down time over the next few days, that you don’t beat yourself up about not doing this or that, or looking like this or that, or not being here or there. We have now, and that’s something powerful. Make the changes you want, have the strength to push and challenge yourself and when all else fails, laugh. It makes you feel better.

Happy new year friends, thanks for being here again x


  1. Another incredible year Beth, so many happy times & exciting moments interspersed with some lows.
    I have loved reading along for another year, thank you for sharing your life with us, for helping us all feel ‘normal’
    Wishing for you & your family good health, happy times & success!! Xxx

  2. High school! My goodness, it’s big isn’t it. We’ve just had one of those “new chapter years” with both kids being at school, and it’s a lot. It took longer for me to get used to than I expected.

    Thank you for continuing to share so beautifully Beth. Yours is the one blog I have consistently continued to read for the past 7 (or 8!) years, and I’m so grateful that you continue to show up. It’s incredibly inspiring.

    Big love to you and your family for 2019. xx

  3. I love how you have pulled something great for each month, I don’t doubt there was shit stuff in every month too, but look at all the good you experienced as well.
    Thanks so much for keeping it real and sharing it with us, that alone is an awesome achievement. I really hope you do take a moment to let yourself feel that.
    I too am so over the whole “set new goals and challenges for yourself, reinvent yourself, be thinner, muscle-ier, shorter, tall, smarter, happier, busier, less busy, superwoman, more positive, happy all the time, neater, cleaner, a better mother, partner, lover, sister, daughter etc” shit. All it does it makes me beat myself and miss all the good moments that do happen. Here’s to just being me!
    happy new year to you and your family
    may it be enough, however that looks for you

    cheers Kate

  4. I love your blog, Beth. It is such a joy to read (even when the content isn’t necessary joyful). Wishing you a great 2019 xx

  5. Thanks Beth. I’ve been reading your blog for the past year or so, ever since you appeared in the SMH article on “tree changes”. I love your writing, your honesty about the ups and downs of having small children (I have two of my own) and your fabulous recipes – your pea, feta and mint salad has become a regular on our meal rotation. Looking forward to what lies in store on the blog in 2019!

    • I forgot about that article! Thanks for sticking around and being here – hope 2019 is a good one for you and your loved ones too x

  6. What a great year Beth. Thank you for sharing it all with us. I love reading your blog every day. My youngest starts high school too this new year and my eldest goes into Yr 12 so a big year ahead for us.

  7. Another beautiful post – reflective, grateful and true. Had a roller coaster of a 2018 myself and glad to see the end of it. But when I think of the good bits (as you just did) it was actually not that bad of a year for me! It’s funny what we can focus on if we’re not careful to look hard for the positives. Happy and healthy 2019 yo you and yours too.

  8. You made it Beth!
    Thank you for another year of sharing your life with us. The posts where you’ve shared your vulnerabilities and the posts where you’ve encouraged us all to amp up our stick-to-it-ness are the ones I’ve been most moved by.
    I look forward to seeing what’s in store in 2019, for you, and for me.

  9. Pauline Walden says

    Such beautiful writing, you need to do a BOOK. Blessings to you and your family for the year ahead, may we all be happy, safe and healthy.

  10. What can I say, thank you for being the first blog I open every morning, for sharing your lovely family, thoughts, travels and feelings. I don’t comment often, but wanted to say how much I love your blog, roll on 2019. xx

  11. Kelly Finselbach says

    Thank you for sharing all that you do. Yours is the one blog I have consistently followed for 8 years and actually take the time to sit and read. I love your recipes – thank you chicken fried rice and I love your brutal honesty. I am in awe of how clean you keep your house with three children and you inspire me to mop more often than I would!
    Without sounding like a stalker (is that how all stalker stories start?!) we were holidaying in Jervis Bay & Wollongong between christmas and New year & I saw Burrawang on the map so we did a slight detour (up and down a mountain!) to visit your much frequented Burrawang Hotel. Your gorgeous village instantly reminded me of the country villages I grew up in back in the UK and the beer garden of the hotel had me reminiscing many childhood memories.
    May 2019 bring you and your family much love and happiness. xx

    • Well worth the trip up the mountain! Hope you enjoyed it – how lucky are we to have that as our local?! Hope 2019 is a good one for you too x

  12. I’m with you, Beth, as usual. No fancy or far flung resolutions this year (learnt that one like a hole in the head in 2018). S I M P L E is my word of 2018. Actually, even having a word is complicating things too much. Just head down bum up. Every day, not just January 1st, y’know? Gratitude and grace. Thanks for all that you share and your hard work, you know it doesn’t go unnoticed by moi xxx

    • Let’s keep it real simple I agree – the only way is up from there! I hope 2019 is a good one for you Emma, I know how tough it’s been for you last year x

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