reflections and restarting

What a year 2014 has been.

looking part at 2014 part 1

I have spent the past few days looking through photos and remembering the year that has been.  I have read some of my blog posts and read some of my fellow bloggers as they also reflect on 2014.  It has certainly been a very mixed year for me and some of it I am still trying to come to terms with. 

2014 started with me working away from home a lot.  Rarely seeing the girls, who were both in full time [8am-6pm, 5 days a week] nursery.  Putting them straight to bed when I got home on a weekday and spending the weekends either making up for the guilt I was feeling for working all week or finishing reports etc. that needed doing for work.  Work took over everything and whilst I enjoyed my job, the company I worked for had no respect or interest in family values.  This topped with a manager who bullied me to one of the lowest points I have ever been in my whole life and HR who denied all instance and refused to take action left me with very little choice but to leave.  I found another job but within days of starting the company it was taken over by a larger organisation and they reduced the UK workforce, making me redundant [the second time within 9 months].  Needless to say by the end of this my confidence and self esteem were at an all time low.

I made a decision to not put myself into that position again.  The industry I was working in had become unstable, and I was missing out on so much of the girls.  I felt guilty for working and wanted to do something which I not only loved but could fit around the girls, and not fit the girls around work.  Maybe when the girls are older or if the right position came along I might reconsider the industry again, but for now my focus is on my family.

For the past 7 months I have been working freelance, writing, social media management and consultation for various companies and of course blogging.  I am not going to pretend it is easy but it is by far more rewarding.  The girls come first and I get to do something I really love.  In September I also took on the editors positions of Mumsnet Local Sheffield and Mumsnet Local South Yorkshire.  I love these editor roles and hope to expand on them more in 2015.

looking part at 2014 part 2

2014 saw a big change in my work and also in our family.  We adopted spotty dog from the RSPCA and she has certainly made herself known.  We also have 3 goldfish Nuggets, Fingers and Snow White.  My youngest gave up her dummy and came out of nappies.  My eldest left pre school and started big school. 

We went on holiday to Butlins, Scotland, Scarborough and on a Disney Cruise around the Med.  The girls and I attended numerous shows and events and are grateful for each one we attended.  We raised money for Sport relief with Team Honk and I completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge.  We even ran through rainbows to raise money for charity.  I became part of #teamchallenge10 and am now running at least twice a week.  

I met the mayor of Rotherham and the girls met Mr Bloom.  My eldest dream came true when she got to ride a donkey, something she has wanted to do for a long time.  The friendship between the girls has grown as has their imagination and love for imaginative play.  They continue to love mud, muddy puddles and of course messy play and we celebrated this by writing the official poem for national mud week.

looking part at 2014 part 3

As I look back over the photos of 2014, I see lots of smiles and happy faces.  The girls have created lots of memories.  I am slowly getting over the horror at the start of the year with work and building back my confidence.  I have had time to reflect and remember the reason I started blogging, to capture my precious Mummy moments and as 2015 begins I am hoping to do more of this.  More blogging about the girls and our life.  More to capture those precious moments and more to create memories for my girls.  I am wanting to take things back to the beginning.  Back to when I first fell in love with blogging and back to why I started blogging in the first place.  

2015 will therefore be a restart.  A restart for my work, a restart in my education as I begin my diploma and a restart for the blog.  I am looking forward to restarting the blog and restarting my work.  I am looking forward to watching the girls grow and seeing their relationship develop more.  There will be more messy play, more baking and of course more muddy puddles.  

2015 will see me take part in my first 10K race and my first half marathon, booked for June.  I am hoping to do the colour run again and possibly the Zombie run.  I have my place booked for Britmums and Blog on as I develop the blog and learn new skills.  I will be looking at other Blog conferences and meet ups and look forward to discovering new blogs.  Of course the big thing we are all really excited for in 2015 is our family holiday to Portugal with James Villas which I won at Britmums.  I still cannot believe I won a holiday and am going to apologies in advance for mentioning it over the next year and of course the pictures I will be taking whilst there.

As 2014 draws to an end I want to thank you all for reading my blog.  To thank all those who have supported me though some very dark times and hope you are as excited about the restart in 2015 as I am.

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  1. Wow - what a year! Full of ups and downs, but also full of wonderful memories according to your beautiful pictures. I wish you all the best for 2015, happy new year

  2. well done you for taking such a brave step and walking away from a career and taking on work that is not always regular!!! wow i am thinking you are pretty amazing actually and i am so pleased that you now get to see your girls asides from bedtimes and weekends which must have been so hard.
    your photos are wonderful and i really enjoyed reading your words. good luck for 2015 - it sounds jam packed already xx

    1. Thank you for your kind words. 2014 was very difficult so I am hoping 2015 is much better

  3. awww Leyla, this made me cry! ... it was such an awful time for you know and it was such a hard place to pick yourself up from ... but you did it lovely and i have no doubt this year will be beyond epic for you!! I am wishing you and yours a fantastic new year .. and when your free we will have to have a new year catch up! x

    Here's to fresh starts xx

    1. Thanks Jaime, apologies for making you cry. Yes a long overdue catch up is needed. I am slowly picking myself up, just taking each day as it comes

  4. what a great reflection,glad things have worked out for you and you and the children are happier now. Pictures are a great memory jogger and this digital age is amazing with instagram and other formats available.
    Happy new year and look forward to seeing more of your posts

  5. Gosh, what a year Leyla, I'm so glad to hear that things are better now! What a wonderful collection of photographs :) Happy New Year to you, here's to a wonderful 2015 xx

  6. Some lovely photos and I'm really glad you've got a better work/home balance now. It's my one dread about thinking of going back to work. See you at BritMums and wow - enjoy that holiday! Happy New Year x

  7. God you've had a hell of a year but I am so impressed with you for turning around your career and realising the important bits which matter to you and your family.

    Thanks for linking up to Project 365 and completing the challenge, hope you've enjoyed photographing the everyday magic?

  8. what a roller coaster of a year, but how brilliant from something bad happening it actually gave you the chance to look at what you really want and go for you. that's not easy to do, so well done lady x

  9. Such an eventful year for you - here's to 2015! #project365


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