Looking back at 2019
Change. It's constant, inevitable and happens whether we welcome it or not. Last year was filled with change and on a personal level, I'm still trying to catch my breath. The term overwhelmed would be a staggering understatement, but with change comes new opportunities, new conversations and at times, a clean slate. I wanted to reflect on everything I experienced last year because even though change occurred, some welcomed and others uninvited, I still accomplished and participated in so much.
Being present at my niece's birthday party is something I've never missed and last year was no exception. As she turned 8 years old, I was thankful to be part of her special day and all the belly laughs. The best part was grammy's 'NAILED IT' cake which undoubtedly received all the attention! Although, we were convinced it resurrected from a bunny horror film.
When I received word that I was nominated for a 'Business woman of the year' award - Shining Star category, I was filled with excitement. Because let's be honest, it's always awesome being recognised for the hard work that you do. And going beyond the call of duty is a quality I've very proud of. Even though I didn't make the cut on the awards night, it was wonderful getting glammed up for the occasion and being absolutely fabulous!
Taking some 'me' time last year included a week in London to unwind, rejuvenate and experience the city through a different lens. London didn't disappoint as the moment I arrived to Marylebone locale, I knew this trip would be epic. From reflexology in the park, to shopping, selfies with celebs in Madame Tussands, the hop on/hop off bus and seeing my good friend @gattogirl, it was absolute heaven. As an added bonus, the sunshine king decided to stay all week long!
Completing the Leaders of Impact programme with the @American Chamber of Commerce was a significant milestone. I was honoured to be among such industrious, colourful and tenured women. Sharing experiences, learning new techniques and connecting with other like minded women in senior roles was a pure joy. If anyone gets the chance to participate, jump in and don't look back.
Dining in Fishy Fishy in Kinsale, Co. Cork was a highlight and so was their lobster! This little gem of a restaurant always lives up to their reputation and our visit was no exception. If you haven't visited, make sure it's on your list for 2020 and be sure to pair your lobster dish was an ice cold Stonewell cider.
My green thumb was on fire last year. Kitting out our terrace with greens, flowers and other bits made it our little sanctuary. Apartment living can at times feel confining but having an escape like our terrace is the perfect get away.
Hiking the great outdoors and reconnecting with nature is something I've missed living away from the West Coast of B.C. Although, being able to hike anywhere in Ireland without the threat of grizzly bears or mountain lions is glorious. However, I still look over my shoulder now and again.... force of habit! We managed to hike the Hillary Loop, Corrin Hill Fermoy, Ballycotton, Baltimore and Old Head. The colour of green in Ireland will never get old... it's simply beautiful and something you need to experience first hand.
Returning to Biarritz, France was extra special as my family joined us! That's right.. I managed to survive a 2 hour flight with my niece and nephew thanks to technology and in-flight pizza! We lucked out with a beautiful historic townhouse with garden terrace in Biarritz city centre. Only a 15 min walk to le grand plage and the kids were diving into the white capped waves all week long. We'll definitely be back with them this year.
Making time for my niece and nephew and escorting them to their first day of school was also a first. I love watching them grow, develop and enter new stages of their life. Getting snuggles with them and showing them my awesome auntie dance skills always has us crying laughing. Also, they have me wrapped around their little sausage fingers!
The annual Cork Jazz Festival was just as vibrant, electric and entertaining as in previous years. Seeing Jack Rourke play at the the River Club with my closest friends was fabulous. Already looking forward to the next jazz weekend and shout out to @kenbrydonbluerama for organising.
Spending Halloween with the little rascals was also a first. Costumes, candy and walking door to door in the lashing rain reminded me what an awesome Auntie I am! These special moments are what it's all about.... I hope they never grow up.
Attending my nephew's 7th birthday party was as special as his first birthday. He's still young enough to give me kisses and yet cool enough to enjoy Nintendo switch with moi. On top of that, we both share a love for scary movies! I'm so blessed <3
Visiting Boston, Massachusetts for the first time was amazing... what a city! It reminded me of NYC but on a smaller scale. From jazz brunches to speak easy cocktails, this city is a home away from home. Managed to tour Harvard University, have a caesar at the original Cheers pub and walk aimlessly for hours on end. The link between Boston and Ireland is so strong that at times, you almost forget you're not in Ireland. I would highly recommend visiting this fantastic city and all its splendour. I'll be back Boston... hopefully for a Canucks/Bruins game!
Okay, this is the hardest part of the blog...... saying good-bye to my father. I didn't get a chance to say good-bye as his passing was sudden and unexpected. Travelling home for his celebration of life turned out to be a wonderful family reunion. Spending time with cousins, aunts, uncles and my father's friends of 40+ years was incredibly humbling. When a parent passes on, it allows us to reflect on the all the stories, memories and experiences along the way. I am grateful for my amazing family (immediate and extended) who have supported me during this difficult time and who continue to support me. My love to each and every one of you <3.
However, when one life ends, another one begins. My brother welcomed his first child into the world... a healthy, bouncing, thriving little boy named Jenson Thomas Macintosh. Born with more hair than my brother ever had (sorry Terry!) baby Jenson is absolutely perfect and so loved. I can't wait to meet my new nephew so that I can spoil, kiss, squeeze and get all the auntie time that he deserves. Congratulations @tmc_performance and @annalev6.... Jenson is in good hands!
We ended the year with a quiet Christmas. Santa brought us a new TV so that his elves could watch Todd and Margo from National Lampoon's Christmas vacation on the big screen. Hooray! #frostmourneforscale
So there you have it folks. Another year passed in the blink of an eye but new beginnings and the chance for a fresh start is on our door step.