We started the year on the “big ship” otherwise known as Britannia out in the Caribbean. And ended the year here in Doha, at 9pm in bed.
But what a year we’ve had. A little bit of a whirlwind. We’ve had amazing holidays on the cruise, in Tbilisi, in France. I found out I was pregnant in April with the final member of our family arriving just before Christmas. We’ve bought a place in the UK and moved house here in Doha. My husband took on a new job at work. The middle one started school. And countless fun times with friends.
All in all a hectic one. But here are my favourite photos from the year.
Just call me Bond, James Bond…. the delight that my eldest in his tuxedo was a joy to behold.
If you’ve never been on a cruise before I have to say I thoroughly recommend it with children. From epic kids clubs, to the run of the ship, seeing a new port everyday and the fabulous food it was amazing. And did I mention that there was something about an inside cabin in the dark and the gently rocking of the sea that made my sleep hating children sleep every morning until 9am. Yes. 9am. I was the first awake and relished that time with my kindle!
Coming home and then celebrating my 35th birthday with the most delicious carrot cake homemade for me with love by one of my friends here.
And we can’t forget taking part in Color Run with the lovely Emma over at Wanderlust and Wet Wipes.
Was a quiet month after the epic trip that the cruise was, taking us across 8 time zones and the jet lag that came with it.
A time for spending with friends. Exploring Qatar and numerous coffee shops. We spent time at the beautiful national library, a place that I have come to love and adore. Filled with amazing books.
Towards the end of the month my husband took a trip to the UK, househunting. And naturally, a weekend away meant a sleepover with pizza for me and the boys.
And of course with Qatar National Sports Day falling on the 14th February we had our second ever schools sports day.
Beginning March with Book day and going all out for his costume (total lie) with George from George’s Marvellous Medicine.
Then a weekend in Tbilisi, Georgia. A place I had never considered as a destination. Ever. But was the best city break we have done as a family.
Beautiful crisp cold weather that needed us to wrap up warm. Something we actually kind of miss living here in the desert!
Trips of funicular, the cable cars, Mtataminda Park (where we terrified our then 2 year old on the ghost train), walking around the beautiful streets, the stunning scenery and the food. Oh my, the food! The sharing concept with everything in the middle, the yumminess that was khachapuri.
Fun with friends at our first murder mystery evening – we didn’t do it!
March also saw my last running race, complete with dodgy hip, where I dropped down from a 10K to a 5k. But still did it! Complete with my husband.
Began with a visit from “Uncle” Harriet, my husbands sister. A week with relaxing, Easter barbecues, swimming fun, a failed beach trip due to the wind and ladies night, just because.
Followed by a second failed beach trip, where we were meant to camp but got rained out….
A little time out to have a family photo shoot with “With a little grace photography” down on Doha’s corniche.
We continued with our social butterfly lifestyle with a wildly hectic evening at the beautiful beach barbecue at the Four Seasons with book club. A leaving do and a baby shower all at once.
Then the next day we discovered something special.
The three year old got sick, a week of vomiting and sleeping continually over his actual birthday. Poor little monkey.
And to end the month I headed to Singapore with my mum to celebrate her 60th birthday. Where I got to indulge in a Virgin Singapore Sling. I can confirm it’s not as good as the real thing but wasn’t a bad second!
A beautiful meal for my mums birthday here in Doha and the actual baby shower for the first of our three Doha baby boys being born in 2018.
We flew to the UK to celebrate a wedding of friends, one of my husbands closest friends from University and (just about) the whole crew were in attendance. And celebrate we did. These WAGS had style….
Ramadan began and with it fasting in public. For the first year we ventured out for Iftar at the Souq to hear the cannon. It was wonderful to observe the tradition of the country we live in.
And of course our first baby scan. The one which terrified my husband because at one point they thought they could see two heartbeats (turned out there was a glitch in the machine).
We were able to announce that our newest arrival was coming in December
Time for the annual exodus to the UK….
As well as embarking on sleep training the three year old in a bid TO GET OUT OF HIS ROOM!
And a family holiday to France. With friends. Seriously. It’s the future of holidays the kids played for two weeks, there was no mention of the dreaded screen and we got to eat a lot of cheese. I’m all for going back next year so I can drink all the wine!
Found out this one was a BOY.
Lost our first tooth.
Met up with Louise (aka Pink Pear Bear) and Beth (aka Twinderelmo) for an adventure. 7 kids, one bump and a puppy with hay bales. Perfection!
Then the husband came home for a holiday and we crammed all our final adventures into August. The ones that my eldest asked to do, you know the small things. Mountain climbing, Go Ape, bike riding. Nothing was too much, and given that we don’t get to go outside much in Doha summertime we embraced the outdoors.
So we climbed a “mountain” (otherwise known as Thorpe Cloud in Derbyshire, and it’s more of a big hill)
Then we went on a big bike ride. Mixed in with lots of moaning and complaining, to be told at the end it was the best day ever. Kids. Who’d have them?
Before we flew home to Qatar. Back to the sandpit, the heat and normal routine!
When the three year old started school!!! With his big brother leading the way naturally….
And the bump continued to grow!
My biggest baby turned SIX! I’ve no idea how that tiny baby I had six years ago has turned into this wonderful human being. Wonderful TALL human being. Who is kind, funny, affectionate, smart, caring, full of attitude and backchat, happy little boy.
And I embraced my mental health journey for World Mental Health day.
Time to get ready for the baby….. by moving house naturally.
A lovely baby shower breakfast to celebrate his highness impending arrival.
A personal best at a marathon (not by me!) and an amazing achievement from my husband who once again shows me that training, persistence and determination pay off. A true inspiration and driving force. (And as he’s just interjected – all round hero….)
And a photo shoot to celebrate getting to 34 weeks, my own personal milestone as at the start of my pregnancy I was told that this is the date they’d want to induce me….. with the amazing Shehar from the PMP Mom Studio.
Getting in the Christmas spirit early in readiness for the latest arrival at the party.
And on the 9th December welcoming the littlest member of our family. With a wonderful experience at Sidra with my elective c-section.
Since then I’ve had a go at twinning.
And of course getting our first photo as a family of five.
Bring it on, this year is going to be our chill out year, our year of travel. And we can’t wait.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!