January has a bit of a bad rep; from the month associated with being skint following the festive season, to filled with winter blues and feeling so terribly loooooonnnggg and bleak! But January 2020 was none of those things for me this year, rather it was filled with family fun, adventure and moments that really boosted my life. I have been to a masquerade ball for my brother in laws 21st (which was so much fun), worked quite a lot, handed in another assignment (by the skin of my teeth) and got back into college.
Sadly I also had a few days in bed with some illness, but aside from that minor set back (it was so rough!), I have really loved life lately and the start to this new year.
If I could sum up January in one word (aside from busy) it would have to be “lovely”! I have been privileged to spend several weekends on some kind of adventure; with my sister in laws, with my 2 older kids and also as a family. I have been to North Yorkshire “camping” in a bunk house with the older 2 right after a low key New Years, and then we had our lovely girls weekend away near Harrogate 2 weeks into the month. This last weekend, whilst technically not January, we had a lovely little weekend in Norfolk! All of these moments were so lovely.
The masquerade ball was lovely.
The prospect of a fresh start with new chapters to write was lovely.
And, there is something quite lovely about starting a new year on good footing – it boosts moral for the year ahead, gives hope of more great moments and it makes you grateful for life and family.
Loving – At the moment I am loving my job (I got employee of the month for January – how funny!) it is so rewarding, joyful and inspiring too. I am loving planning events and activities for the elderly, hearing so many incredible stories and seeing the joy on peoples faces as we laugh and play games, craft and go on outings together. I always have so many stories and lots of banter and whilst it is tiring, it is also wonderful.
I am also loving that I had Wagamamas after such a long time, that our home is coming along and that the nights are getting that little bit lighter for longer.
Watching – In January I started (and finished) the latest season of “Anne with and E” on Netflix. This season was so moving and I enjoyed having my eyes opened to learning more about the struggles of the native Americans and the truly awful things the government put children and families through in the name of education…so sad! This season also highlights the oppression of women and how girls were only seen as having a future as someones husband… I think I liked this season better than the others for the hard hitting topics from history that it covered.
From Anne with and E, to something completely different and far more modern; Nathan and I watched “Fighting with my family” for a date night, It is a comedy that tells the true story of a top WWE wrestler “Paige” from Norwich. I loved this film much more than I ever expected to and I found it so interesting as well as being really funny, inspiring and very easy to watch. I have more to say on this film, but I will put it in another blog I have in the pipeline.
Nathan and I have also really got into “White Collar” this year after we finished Suits last year. It is a similar kind of thing, but with a little bit more of an “oceans 11 (etc)” type vein running through it. It is tense, witty, interesting and we really like it.
Finally, Call The Midwife and The Voice have both returned for another season and I am thoroughly enjoying them both. We have a little tradition with the older 2 kids that we stay up on a Saturday night with some snacks for The Voice and this has made it even more fun to enjoy it together and, to have time to snuggle and take interest in something I love. I still love Wil I am the best, but find the judges banter this season great as always…. there are some incredibly talented people out there and it is a lovely thing to look forward to on a weekend – easy watching!
Reading – As always this is a slow burner in comparison to my watch lists (films and TV are one of my biggest enjoyments and go to’s for chilling out), but at the moment I am reading the new book I got for Christmas: Braving the Wilderness, by Brene Brown. So far it is every bit as good as people have said. It is great for Self Awareness and understanding society, so is educational too. I have loved learning more about loneliness, understanding why I sometimes feel like I don’t belong and, why we try to fit in with others. I will share more in depth thoughts and quotes once I finish it, but for now it suffices to say that it is a really great read and is slowly changing my life and perspective…it is building me.
Listening to – Spotify playlists! I may be a little late to the party on this one (okay, I most definitely am), but I finally took the plunge and bought “Spotify Unlimited” last weekend! I am actually LOVING having it and have rediscovered so many brilliant songs.
So from old school RnB to cheesy party tunes/pop, Green Day, Coldplay, No Doubt, Selena Gomez, R.E.M, Stereophonics, Bastille, Jason Mraz, Tracy Chapman and Alanis Morissette (to name a few) I have been listening to play lists of all my faves. It made a massive difference to our 3.5 hour drive to Norfolk this last weekend, with us all loving the party tunes en route… as the kids say these days – it was sick!
Bought – Most of my January purchases were for the home. We finally bought a new rug for the lounge which is a lovely mash up of tropical and animal print and, I also bought some lovely new monochrome cushion covers from H&M home for £3.99 each. But, my favourite was this orange-yellow regal velvet number.
For myself, I bought a lovely evening dress for the Masquerade ball; it was a bargainous £4.99 in the charity shop! And also some cool trousers for £4 in the charity shop when we were in Harrogate (they had the new TK Maxx labels on still!). I also bought a UK map print, slogan postcard and new diary from paperchase to enhance the home and my life!
Visited – In January / first weekend of Feb I have visited some really great places. These included North Yorkshire for our overnight camp, a weekend at Washburn Valley lodges , Harrogate and the Turkish Baths, Cromer and Norwich. I have been enriched by these weekends to chill and unwind, gain some balance in life, make memories, talk and explore great places.
What a lovely month and start to the year – how truly thankful I am for an extraordinary January. Life is going to continue to get quite intense over the coming months, as both Nath and I near the end of our courses this Summer and we work alongside family and studying, but I hope in all of the madness, stresses, deadlines and busyness of it all, we continue to take a leaf out of January’s book and make time to play and build new memories together!
This month I am grateful for …
*Charity shop bargains
*Finding a rug we finally agree on
*Time with loved ones
*6 sister in laws and my own sisters
*New Years and new opportunities
*My new increased appreciation for motherhood