2017 in review

2017 has been a strange year.  I started the year with great intentions and some firm goals in mind, but somehow I stalled quite early on in the year and I never really got back into my groove.  My word for the year was "Thrive" and I'm not entirely sure I did that this year, so I'm ending the year feeling a little bit frustrated with myself, BUT I am going into 2018 optimistically, hoping that my mojo is back to stay and that I'll achieve more in 2018.  Anyhow, having said that, this is what we got up to in 2017:

The year started off with a bang, when our dear little Danny-boy arrived early and unexpectedly on the 25th January:

My precious Issy-boo turned THREE in March... can you believe it?!  Three!!  Love this little girly more than words can say!

Lis, Cait and Sam came over from the UK to spend a few days with us in March, which was awesome!  We spent the weekend in the berg.

In April we welcomed Tombi into our home.  She was an old girl, who had been part of our extended family since she was a pup and her living situation had become intolerable.  Unfortunately we had to say good-bye to Tom-tom in December, her poor old heart wasn't strong enough to give us too many months together.  Although she only lived with us for a short while, I'll always treasure those months together and I'm really grateful that her last few months were full of love and spoils.

We also began renovating our kitchen in April... the stuff of nightmares!

This is a collage of a couple of my favourite photos of my sweeties taken in April:

In May we did the East Coast Radio Big Walk as a family, it was so much fun.

I always try to get a couple of pics in the park in May:

We became the proud owners of 3 Hyline hens this year - Elizabeth, Catherine and Charlotte.  (We actually started out with four, but poor Diana was an ill-fated hen, and met her grizzly end when an eagle took a shine to her)  These girls have brought us so much joy, they are real characters, each one with its own personality.  And they're mighty fine egg-layers too!

Grant's Dad turned 80 in May this year.  We've spent some lovely quality time with him over the course of the year, which has been so precious.

Lisa came out from the UK again in July - not often we get to see one another twice in one year! - and we had a lovely week together.  I'm so incredibly lucky to have Lis in my life, we've been friends for well over 40 years now!

While she was here, we spent a night at the log cabins at Lake Eland which was lovely.

Lissy and Paula also did this.... which was insane!

Our Issy started pre-school in the 3rd term of 2017.  She settled in without a single tear!

In August Paula and Cal got back together - yay!!

In August we also booked our flights for our next Camino - the Camino Portuguese Coastal route, which we plan to walk in June 2018.  So excited!

Paula went and got measles in August... never a dull moment!

More pics from August:

In September Paula and Cal had a rather traumatic experience when a troop of monkeys got into our house and chased and cornered a poor female monkey in the bathroom, where they viciously attacked her.  Monkey helpline came and rescued the poor creature, which they have since named "Paula"...

September was clearly not Paula's month, she also had a terrible reaction to an antibiotic and landed up in hospital.  Her entire body developed a rash which looked like sunburn.  She had to take a couple of weeks off varsity and see a physician once a week.

In October Paula and her research partner, Noluthando, handed in their thesis - the culmination of a LOT of work 

They then got to present their research at "Research Day"
Rox and the kiddies spent a morning with Aunty Wendy

Roxy and Jon had Dan and Issy dedicated at church:

Issy started ballet lessons, which she loves!

And finally, Danny started crawling, much to his disgust (he'd far rather be carried from Point A to Point B!)

Paula finished her degree in November!  I can't believe my baby girl is a qualified Speech Therapist!

We went out for an impromptu lunch to celebrate

Paula and Cal also spent a weekend in the berg with Tiff and Mike, to celebrate Paula and Tiff completing their degrees.  So proud of these girls!

In December we spent a weekend in Hartebeespoort and then spent 5 days at Sun City.  

French Toast Cafe, Hartebeespoort

It was quite amazing to be at Sun City with our grandchildren, after visiting the place so frequently while our kids were growing up.

When we got back Danny had to have surgery to have grommets inserted, poor little lad

And then it was time to turn our attention to Christmas.  No Christmas would be complete without attending our local SPCA's carol service:

And of course a drive to see all the Christmas lights:

And then the big day arrived:

Danny's first Christmas
And so 2017 comes to an end.  A year with many blessings, some struggles and lots of wonderful time with my family.  Hoping 2018 brings more of the same!