2018: A Truly Life-Changing Year

This is the fourth or fifth blog post I’ve written in which I’ve looked back over the year. Each and every time, I used the phrase “life-changing.” On reflection, or by comparison at least, it seems like I might have been over-egging the pudding then. Because 2018 has shown exceptional life-changing properties and has been remarkable in so many ways. I had, and I know this sounds dramatic, life-changing surgery. We converted my garage into a home office. Poppy and I went to seven university open-days and I got the most wonderful job. And, the absolute highlight, Ian and I got engaged.

2018 has revolved around health and happiness; a year of planning and looking forward too. This is a look back at the most memorable year of my life.


Way back in February, I had a hysteroscopy to investigate heavy bleeding which had plagued me for several years. I went on to have a uterine ablation in May. The outcome was brilliant and it has changed my life beyond belief. In fact, it was instrumental in my decision to return to optometric practice. Before the op, I just couldn’t have worked because the bleeding was so extreme, irregular and debilitating. Now, it’s just normal and it’s no exaggeration to say that I feel like I’ve got my life back.



I’m from a very close family, so when my brother and his family moved to New Zealand in spring, it was heart-wrenching. We all miss them terribly and although FaceTime is good, it doesn’t come close to actual physical contact. At this point, I don’t know when we will see them, but suffice to say we are saving up to go and visit them.

It’s been a big year for Poppy, although next year will be bigger because that’s when she’ll go to university. With that in mind, we went to seven university open-days together and she went to an eighth with my mum. I enjoyed every moment with her and we both made lasting memories. She has an offer from her favourite and is studying tirelessly as well as working weekends to save up to travel. I’m very proud of her and we both know that she’ll be off before we know it.

What Lizzy Loves Durham university open day giant deckchair

Durham University Open Day

Harry played a huge amount of football for the first half of the year. This dominated our weekends and two evenings each week too. The district schoolboy team he played for stops with the under-15 age group, (he’s now under-16), and he now just plays for one team. He has chosen his A-levels already because he’ll sit his GCSEs in summer. 2019 will be a big year for them both.

In August we said goodbye to my grandad. He was 93. It was sad of course and it felt like the end of an era but we were lucky to have had him in our lives for so long. But he’d had a wonderful life and I know he’ll reunited with my grandma who passed away two years ago. This photograph was taken in June after a Father’s day meal.

what lizzy loves with grandad

Father’s Day 2018


It was around June when I decided that it was the right time to go back to work in optometric practice. The main reason is simply because I felt ready. But, I’m also future-proofing my career. Being self-employed, (creating content for my blog and writing for others), is hard. I love blogging with a passion, but it’s a labour of love. The remuneration is simply not commensurate with the hours I put in. There are no paid holidays and no sick pay, so it’s a precarious position to be in.  When I knew my op had been a success, I began the process of re-registering and looking for a position. I struck gold when I got my job at a brilliant independent opticians, just a ten-minute walk away.  I work part-time which means I can continue to blog and write. Being back in practice is wonderful and I feel very fulfilled.

optometrist performing eye test

My dad is the model patient…


I haven’t travelled extensively by any means, but when I have, it’s been memorable. Our family holiday to Porto Santo was lovely, but not without incident. An intruder into our villa on the last night is something Ian and I will never forget!

amazing 2018 porto santo highlights

Porto Santo Highlights

I spent my 45th birthday in Stuttgart courtesy of Stepper. It was amazing from start to finish, the highlight being the beer festival and the fact I properly caught up with my friend Liz, who I first met 22 years ago.

stuttgart my amazing 2018

Stuttgart Highlights

And just a few weeks ago, Ian and I had the most gorgeous few days in Madrid.

Madrid highlights


I knew as soon as I met Ian that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. My dream came true when he asked me to marry him, two years and one day after our first date. He wanted to propose somewhere special and somewhere that would always be there, unlike say a restaurant. He decided upon Malham and on the day he asked, it was the wettest and wildest I’ve ever know it. It was perfect. he got down on one knee and in that moment, my life felt complete. He had a ring specially made and I treasure it more than any other possession. We haven’t set a date yet but we are looking and trying to make tentative plans. Ian changed my life the moment he walked into it and I truly can’t believe how well suited we are and how happy we make each other. I love being his fiancée.

engagement photo



And Finally…

Thank you so much for reading and for supporting me and my blog and I hope 2019 is filled with love and laughter.



  1. Cath
    January 1, 2019 / 12:37 am

    Thank you Lizzy for allowing us to be part of your life adventure, through sharing yourself. Blessing on your year ahead.

    • elizabeth
      January 2, 2019 / 12:17 pm

      Thank you Cath. I wish you a very happy and healthy 2019 xxx

  2. Midlifeandbeyond
    January 1, 2019 / 7:38 pm

    Loved reading your post. It made me think about what had happened in 2018 – which is a lot, when you go through the whole year. There are always highs and lows. Hope you have had a fabulous Christmas and Happy new year!
    Alison xx

    • elizabeth
      January 2, 2019 / 12:16 pm

      Happy New Year Alison. Yes, there are always ups and downs, highs and lows. Fortunately though, the ups have outweighed the downs and it’s been a wonderful, if very hectic year. here’s to a happy, healthy 2019. Lots of love xxx

  3. Dee Burnett
    January 1, 2019 / 8:59 pm

    So happy for you and Ian on your engagement! Thanks for sharing all your adventures, I have loved following along from Tennessee xx

    • elizabeth
      January 2, 2019 / 12:15 pm

      Oh thank you so much Dee. I was absolutely overjoyed when Ian proposed. I still am! And thank you so much for following. It’s so lovely to know that you follow from so far away! Happy New Year xxx

  4. Sue
    January 2, 2019 / 11:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing Lizzie. I love reading the blog and as my son was a football, then hockey and cricket player know all about standing pitch side in all weathers. He started uni this year so your journey with Poppy resonates too. It’s been lovely having him home after his first term away, but he is loving the student life. All the best for a happy and healthy 2019 and good luck to you all with the exams.

    • elizabeth
      January 8, 2019 / 9:50 am

      Aw, thank you Sue. yes, I remember you telling me about your son. It must have been lovely to see him and have him home over Christmas. I know I’ll be just the same with Poppy. Happy New Year to you and your family xxxx

  5. Kathy
    January 6, 2019 / 10:04 pm

    I hope your engagement goes better than mine, Lizzy. Mine ended this year when I discovered my fiancé had cheated on me with his ex-wife following a birthday celebration for one of their children. The ties that bind, I suppose. What a fool I felt! Best wishes for 2019 to you and your children.

    • elizabeth
      January 8, 2019 / 9:48 am

      Oh Kathy, I’m so sorry to hear that. Best wishes for 2019 to you too and I’m sure you’ll find a happy ever after as I have xxxx

  6. January 9, 2019 / 10:01 am

    Oh I feel quite tearful after seeing this post. I’m so happy for you Lizzy! That photo of you and Ian after he proposed is simply gorgeous. Cheers my lovely for an incredible 2019 xxxx Maria

    • elizabeth
      January 9, 2019 / 3:16 pm

      Oh thank you so much. yes, he’s my happy ever after and I absolutely adore him! Happy New year Maria xxx

  7. notdressedaslamb
    January 16, 2019 / 11:19 pm

    Liz I’ve been meaning to leave you a comment on this post FOR AGES – I need to say how totally, utterly and COMPLETELY proud of you I am and all that you’ve achieved – and how incredibly happy I am for you that you and Ian are going to be spending the rest of your lives together (ooh I got a bit happy weepy saying that)!!

    You really are superwoman -a shining example of how to overcome adversity and not just how to make the best of a completely shitty situation, but to turn it around and make your dreams come true as a result. I’ll stop now before I gush too much… you know how much I love you!!!!!!!!!

    Catherine xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • elizabeth
      January 19, 2019 / 9:40 am

      Thank you Catherine. Well you’ve been there from the start and have seen everything unfold! Thank you for always being there as a source of inspiration and support. My dreams have come true and it feels amazing! xxxx

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