Boy, am I glad to see a brand new year.  2017 had some of the best and worst moments ever. But, new year new focus.

 

I realise that we’re halfway through January, and the time for plans and resolutions etc was probably sometime about 3 weeks ago, or 3 months ago for those uber-organised superheroes that I know are out there.

 

In 2018, I now  resolve to write a blog post at least once a month, I had that in my head when I started in September and I managed one in Sept, one in Oct then, I don’t know what happened in Nov and I made a decision to post late in December following our trip to Lapland and what promised to be a lovely Christmas.

 

So, I was planning to have a full blog about Lapland and the wonderful memories we created and was ready to document every second of the 56-hour trip and then it all went wrong. 

 

The Sunday before we left we surprised our eldest two and told them we were going to meet the man himself in person on Wednesday – I recorded that and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rewatched it since and I’m so glad we have it, their reactions were priceless!

 

We headed off bright and early for the airport on a Wednesday morning, we arrived to be greeted by an elf at the check-in and the excitement just built and built and built – on the flight there were Christmas carols, balloon races up and down the plane, dancing, games and all the kids were given a goodie bag.  It was great craic and really set the tone for the whole trip.

 

When we arrived and we got to the door of the plane we were greeted by the most magical scene of deep, shimmery white snow outside and the cold hit, it was sooo exciting.

 

We met our bus elf ‘Stardust’ that was going to be with us for the two days and they drove us all out to a big warehouse where we were suited and booted from head to toe and off we went again to a forest where we were going snowmobiling.

 

The kids were all put in sleighs attached to snowmobiles and went off for a snow safari and all the ‘grown ups’ were given a snowmobile, shown how it worked and off we went – it was so much fun!!! Speeding through the dark snowy forest was brilliant – I felt like I was in a James Bond movie, we had such a laugh (I mean, we were only going about 40km/hr at our fastest but it felt way faster than that!!!)

 

We got to our hotel, checked in to our cute little wooden cabin and headed out for snowball fights and to go tobogganing around the hotel.  The kids were on a high and myself and John were so delighted to see how happy they were and to know that it was everything that we had hoped it would be, and more.

 

So really we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the whole experience.

 

The kids went off to bed that night exhausted from the day and so so happy and we were so tired ourselves that we weren’t far behind them.

 

I was fast asleep when the call came in so I was kind of disorientated anyway but I knew that when I saw my sister’s name on the screen that something was up.  So, I picked up the phone and I don’t know exactly what she said but I remember hearing ‘I’m so sorry’ and ‘Dad has just died’

 

It was Wednesday 20th December, my other sister’s birthday and I was in Lapland on the trip of a lifetime with two of my kids. WTF?

 

Dad had had a fall a couple of weeks before, he was in the hospital and we knew that he wasn’t going to recover but we REALLY weren’t expecting it to happen when it did.

 

There was no way for me to get home faster than on our scheduled flight on the Friday so we decided I would stay and we would make the most of the trip for the kids’ sake.  And we really did have a lovely time. It was so exciting and beautiful and magical but I feel like I was in a haze.  I couldn’t really believe I was there on this amazing adventure with two of my kids and my Dad had died – it felt surreal.

 

And there ended the plans for my exciting end of year blog!

 

It wasn’t the Christmas that we had planned or hoped for but we were all together and we got through it and there were some really beautiful moments.

 

So now I have another dimension to my blog, I suppose.  Dealing with the passing of my Dad and all that brings.  I also sold one of my businesses in December and am now embarking on building another one – so it’s been kinda busy, I guess!

 

I think I should definitely have enough material for a monthly post, what ya think?

 

So, there you go!  A bittersweet end to the year and a strange start to what I have vowed is going to be one of the best yet.  2018, I’m ready for you and it’s gonna be quite the adventure!

 

XXXX

Máire Toomey is a mother of three from Dublin blogging about the impact of her husband's heart condition on the day to day lives of a family of 5.

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