2013 Reflections

I am rubbish at reflecting.  I think most of us are.  It's such an important skill to hone and muscle to flex because it allows you to pause and take stock.  To weigh things up before swooshing on to the next (almost definitely) fast and furious thing.  I have had an incredible year, full of celebrations and fulfillment in my personal and work life.  I have travelled to 8 different countries, met some amazing, world-changing people and spent quality time with the people I love the most.  It's been fun to document some of this stuff on my blog this year so I thought I'd do a quick (and I mean quick) recap of some of the highlights & fun projects I've shared here.

January

The blog was a bit quiet this month. I returned from being bridesmaid at one of my best friends wedding in London over New Years and work gathered serious momentum so blogging took a while to get back into.  I did manage to throw up a little DIY for turning a tea towel into a wall hanging.  Check out the how-to here.

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February

One of our friends David Cavan works for Tearfund and he came to meet with me one bright and frosty afternoon in Lurgan Park to shoot some video footage about activism and how my anti-trafficking work connects to my faith.  You can watch that here. 

Dave is also a really talented photographer and took some family snaps of us after our interview.  It's so crazy what a difference a year makes when I look at how Levi has changed.  He is still so baby-like in these shots!  More pics over here.

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March

In March I posted a little DIY on how to make your own bib necklace out of felt, ribbons and buttons.  Here's the tutorial for that one. 

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April

Dave and I bit the bullet and booked 4 days away together in Paris.  It was really lovely to have some quality time together, exploring and wandering all the nooks and crannies of the city and shoving croissants and macarons down our gobs.

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May

Our wee boy turned 2! We had a bit of a shin-dig at our house and Levi was smothered in love and force-fed cake.  Look at those wispies on the side of his head!  I mourn them regularly, still.  Our friend Fraser was kind enough to take some snaps for us to capture the day.

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June

As the summer drew in we really started to feel like part of our street as our neighbours all came out of the woodwork, sharing gardening tips and crops and it made me feel really settled and comforted.  With that in mind, I posted some thoughts on how important 'owning' your community is here.

I also came into ownership of our beautiful 1950's larder.  

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July

In July, Laura and I headed to Romania for a week of networking with another anti-trafficking project.  It was an amazing trip and we learned so much.  We blogged a bit more about it on our work blog here.  

I also experimented with some homemade coconut granola.  YUM.  Check out the recipe here.

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August

At the end of the summer we headed off as a family to Canada to spend nearly 3 weeks relaxing and catching up with my parents and friends.  The thought of doing the 7 hour flight with a two year old put the fear in me but thanks to some research and preparation, it was actually not so bad.  I posted some tips for traveling with a toddler that worked for us here.

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September

The return to work and the beginning of a new term (most of our work involves young people and work in Schools) left me feeling a little frazzled as a mama.  I spewed some thoughts out about parenting guilt here. 

I also got to grips with some more homemade non-toxic skin products and did a little DIY for babywash here.

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October

I turned 30.  We had a 90's party and then went away with some friends.  We also hosted Canadian Thanksgiving dinner at our house for some pals.

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I also did a two-part post to mark EU Anti-Slavery Day on some of the systemic/root cause issues related to human trafficking that we need to care more about.  Check them out here and here.

November

Ah November.  You were bonkers.  I went to Rio for work.  Gemma, my travel buddy wrote a great post in more detail about what we  were doing there.  It was amazing and life-changing and bananas all at once.  We geared up for Christmas with family and I posted a recipe for making clay Christmas ornaments.  I also made Levi a last minute advent calendar out of empty loo rolls and things.  

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December

And here we are.  24 hours til the close of play on 2013.  This month I showed off some painted beads I made to string on necklaces for Christmas gifts and did a round up of how we spent our Christmas.  

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Thanks so much for reading my blog this year and for commenting, facebooking, tweeting, retweeting, commiserating, celebrating, answering questions and being generally lovely.  One of my goals for 2014 is to give more time to blogging and I hope you'll continue to read my ramblings in my little corner of the internet as I go.

Big huge new years love to you all,

Mel xo

Mel