Back in 2019, I published a post titled “2020 Goals, Intentions and Travel Wishlist“. 25 year old me sat down and wrote down things I’d wanted to achieve in 2020. But let’s face it, did any of manage to achieve what we set out to do?
I think having such a strange 2020, I know a complete understatement, meant that come 2021 I had zero intention to sit and write what I hoped to do or achieve. If anything, I just wanted to make it to October as quick as possible.
Why? Because in October, our lives was about to change in the biggest way possible, and we couldn’t wait.
If you only read my blog and don’t follow me on social media then you might not even know that in October, we welcomed our first child. A beautiful baby girl. She has been the greatest gift and the biggest blessing. The journey was incredibly tough, but she is an incredible reward.
I never posted on my blog about my pregnancy or the lead up, because it felt too negative. I was exhausted. I was in constant pain. I struggled every single day and just wanted it to end. I hate that I didn’t have the kind of pregnancy that you read about online. I hate that my pregnancy and childbirth was difficult and, at times, touch and go. Medical negligence is a tough thing to comprehend, the professionals you are trusting didn’t have your best interests. It’s a scary concept.
Combining with the ongoing pandemic, I think 2021 was just a year I needed to solely exist. Get by day by day. I needed to show up for myself and nothing else. I couldn’t do walks and commit to being a positive presence when I was feeling nothing close to it.
Don’t get me wrong, we did lots of fun things. We travelled around Spain to Segovia, Madrid, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Pamplona and other places. We had an amazing baby shower with our friends and family in Leicestershire. We were finally able to see family and friends after over a year. It’s the kind of year that felt like it flew by, but also took forever. 2021 leaves me lost for words.
But 2022 is about to be a wonderful year. Come the birth of our daughter, 2021 was starting to come to a close. I spent November recovering after emergency surgery and finding our feet in our new world. December was a month of anticipation. We had got so excited for her first Christmas, only to spend it with the virus catching up. But 2022, we have high hopes. The year we get to watch our little girl grow and learn every single day.
12 before 12
This year, we’re hoping to do 12 before 12. A mini challenge I’ve set us to visit 12 countries as a family before our daughter hits 12 months old at the end of October. Using Alex’s paternity leave and school holidays, we’re hoping to travel and hit the milestone.
We’re no strangers to road trips now, and with Rio having 14 countries tucked under his collar, we think it’s something we might be able to achieve. With a road trip already pencilled in, it’s looking like it will be possible to do so. Of course, this also depends on restrictions and seeing what happens in the foreseeable. If we’ve learnt anything over the past two years, it’s that we have to act on impulse. Planning in advance is a thing of the past and we need to book last minute.
Considering her middle name is named after a beautiful city in Switzerland, top of our list is to visit there with her. We’re also keen to take her to Paris and a Disney park too.
Film a One Second Everyday for baby girl
I have filmed a one second everyday since 2016 and I love watching our time stitched together. This year, to make it even more special, I’m going to film a second private video of just our daughter. Each year, it will be so special for her to see her growth from birth to however long I keep it up for.
Be a better friend
I want to be a better friend. Properly. I want to show up for my friends. Be there for their milestones. Celebrate their successes. See our children grow together. I have been a distant selfish friend for far too long. Being the friend who shows up for a weekend and then goes again. The friend that misses the birthday parties. The friend that had to reintroduce themselves to their kids every time.
Now we have our daughter, who is months, if not days, apart in age from some of my best friends kids – I want me and her to be there more often. Not just for me, but for our little one too. I want to be able to take her to soft play and to sensory play and to birthday parties with our children.
Use my blog more
For something that actually costs me a small fortune to keep up and running, I barely touched it last year. There was times I considered closing it down altogether. I wasn’t using it and all it was doing was costing me more money in an already difficult financial position with me losing work left, right and centre with the pandemic taking its toll on more and more businesses.
But, for two reasons I kept it going. Firstly, it was still gaining traction with people wanting to know about different things related to my blog. There was questions to answers that people were looking for. There was information about restrictions that were still relevant. There was step by step guides for government bureaucracy which hadn’t changed.
And secondly, it was my outlet. It was the safe place that I wrote my lockdown diaries. It was the place I had felt like I had a friend when we moved to a brand new country alone. I felt like I had grown with my blog and even if I wasn’t writing at that time, I knew there would be a time I’d come back to it.
That time is now.
So, if this is your first time here, or if you’ve been here in the past. I’m back. I may not be a girl anymore, but I feel like I have grown with Diary of a Spanglish Girl. So, whilst I may not feel like I’m a girl, I’ll always be Spanglish Girl at heart. And hey, perhaps the true Spanglish Girl around here is now our girl, born in Benidorm.
My wish for 2022 is that there are many, many highs for not just our little family, but all of us. Every single one of us.