Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Leary Life 2019

on December 20, 2019

Every year for at least the last half a decade I have planned to spend a fabulous festive evening listening to a ‘Cracking Christmas Compilation’ album and sipping red wine whilst writing lovely, personal, from our home to yours type cards detailing what we’ve been up to over the course of the year and making heartfelt enquiries about you and yours.

Last year I came to the realisation that, despite my best intentions, I wasn’t realistically going to have the time or wrist strength to pen 50 or so caring Christmas cards and so realised to my horror that family Leary were stumbling into full on Christmas letter territory- I even wrote it but, again, time got the better of us and it was finally sent, in April and in email form; not quite in keeping with the original vision!

So, this year, since none of us are getting any younger and, since none of us really know what’s around the next bend AND- since we really genuinely DO care about you and yours and want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas, we thought we might as well spread a little sparkle whenever and wherever possible so, set aside the eye rolls, ignore the embarrassment and embrace the Christmas Chintz; here it is…

The inaugural Leary Christmas Letter.
You’re welcome!!!

For Christmas last year the girls were lucky enough to be given some amazing experience presents including a trip to Cardiff to see the RSC production of Matilda in January from Grandma which we all loved, the staging and singing was brilliant and it definitely added fuel to Bethan and Hannah’s love of drama and singing, it was a lovely way to finish off Christmas and gave the girls some quality time with their Godmothers Michelle and Vicky too. In February a gang of us headed over to Rome to watch Wales v’s Italy in the VI nations and to celebrate Soraya’s 40th birthday- it was a fantastic weekend with some delicious food and a great result – if you ever go we would highly recommend lunch in L’isola della Pizza- it is the best!

rome restaurant

Next year we’ll be heading over to Dublin hoping for a similar experience and outcome so if you have any recommendations for us, let us know. March and April provided more days out with a family trip to Chill Factor in Manchester (thanks Uncle Martin and Auntie Laura!) where we enjoyed sledging, the ice slide and donuting down the hills.

chill factore

There was also a trip to watch the British Gymnastics Championships (courtesy of Auntie Soraya and Uncle Pete), Disney on Ice with friends and, a brilliant Easter Bank Holiday weekend when our friends David, Josefine, Noah and Nike from Sweden came over to visit. We took them to Liverpool, Llangollen and on the traditional Good Friday Walk along the Wirral Way. Despite the language barrier all 4 of the children had a really lovely time and are already planning our next visit to Sweden… April also saw Tanya run her 5th London Marathon- as always it was a great day and Tan finished in 4hrs 56mins- not quite challenging Eluid Kipchoge yet but it’s the taking part that counts! Thank you to everyone that sponsored, we raised over £1,500 for Wellchild.

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In May we were invited up to Glasgow for Christina and Grant’s wedding celebrations- Ad worked with both the bride and groom so it was really special to be a part of their reception and the Ceilidh dancing was certainly a steep learning curve!! We stayed in a great little air b’n’b in Hyndland in the West End and showed the girls around the city and a few museums. Adam’s brother Martin and sister in law Laura were very kindly in town too which was ideal for babysitting 😊 Ad had time to catch a match at Ibrox too so all in all, another winner of a weekend.

The Summer term was chock-a-block with school trips, fairs and sports days but we still found time for some theatre trips and gigs including Danny Baker, Paul Weller and ANNIE the Musical. At the end of June Tanya, Soraya and Janet headed over to Belfast for a cheeky spa break at the Merchant- we took an early flight from Liverpool and were at the hotel in time for breakfast after which we headed to the Titanic museum and for the Red Bus tour. We learnt loads about the troubles and the history of the city, smashed our 10,000 steps and were chilling in the roof top hot tub by Sunset- we’ve had worse days for sure! Half way through the year and we’re in danger of sounding as though we have more holidays than Judith Chalmers- oops! But- Ad and Tan took a trip to Berlin to see P!NK live in the Olympic stadium which was out of this world! Adam used up his entire data allowance on his phone following ball-by-ball commentary of the Super Over at Lord’s – whilst probably being the only person out of the 80,000 people being bothered there was something special about celebrating an England World Cup in Germany!

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And then, quicker than a flash another school year was done and dusted and the Summer holidays arrived with the end of term drama show. Hannah played Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz which was super cute! Aside from that, we had an absolute ball at the weird and wonderful Maui Waui festival in Suffolk and the Leary ladies loved a week in Tenby with Janet, Soraya and her brood despite some changeable weather!

maui waui

Ad started a new job and the girls began in their new classes in September, add an 8th birthday and a trip to Legoland (Thanks Nanny and Grandad) and a new cycling event managed by Tan into the mix it was all systems go. By October half term Ad was begging for a break so we headed to Center Parcs in the Lakes and enjoyed a week of gorgeous Autumn weather, swimming, treetop tekking and crazy golf- bliss.

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Bethan has settled into year three really well and has loved her first few months at Brownies; she has already been on a two night sleepover and laid the wreath at this years Remembrance parade. Hannah can not wait to join her in January- first trip is to the Pantomime! Han is all about the singing and is over the moon to be Mary in the nativity this year. She is a real book worm and has settled into year two nicely. They have both got a lovely little group of friends and are happy so, that’ll do for us!

school 2019

Throughout the year I have been working towards my yoga foundation course which she passed in October and an ILM Level 5 qualification in Coaching and Mentoring with a view to working with children and young people in this area going forwards. It has been a lot of work with classroom days, essays and 1:1 coaching and 10 all-day yoga learning days but it has also been really interesting, eye opening and definitely worthwhile- I am loving how it is unfolding and can’t wait to take my first workshop in January.

Obviously letters like this always focus very much on the highlights so we’ve left out any mention of attitude, argument, questionable manners, boring life admin, work-related stress, emotional wobbles and the general mundane day-to-day business of adulting but- be assured there has been plenty of all of this  across the course of the year as well as all of the highlights! We have also said a few very sad good byes this year which has probably been the push I needed to put pen to paper to say;

We love you, we think of you often and we are sorry that the days fly by so we don’t seem to manage to see everyone we’d like to as often as we should.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy start to the next decade!
With lots and lots of love and hugs to you all.
Adam, Tanya, Bethan and Hannah.
Xxxxx

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