So reflecting back on 2013 very quickly points to it as having been a rather uneventful year – certainly not a horrible year, but certainly not a very exciting year either! Having already downgraded my outlook for the year to a more realistic view at the start of 2013, I’m sad to note that a) we ended up not having more money than normal last year and b) we certainly didn’t have many weekend getaways at all. Sigh.

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In terms of family life, 2013 was a great year for us in that we could spend a generous amount of time together as a family. Jess is growing up exceptionally well, extremely cute, very loving, and amazingly easy to raise. Chantelle is now technically a housewife and entrepreneur, running our household whilst operating her successful home baking business from our tiny kitchen – oh, and did I mention she did this for the majority of 2013 whilst being pregnant with our second child! And with us having hired the fabulous Leandra to run the majority of the Saturday Willowbridge markets on our behalf, we had a hell of a lot more weekends free to spend with friends and family than in 2012 – which needless to say was a pretty awesome thing for us.

On the home front, we didn’t really do all that much to the house other than give it a new, darker exterior coat of paint (which really transformed its look and feel mind you) and reshuffle the rooms a fair bit, yup, definitely more than just once, that we’re now sitting with three bedrooms, a living area, a kitchen and one room that acts as a braai room/baking room/office space. (Yeah, we’re a little cramped thanks to the arrival of the new little one!)

Chantelle’s business (now known as Chantelle’s Cupcakery) did really nicely, though perhaps not quite as profitable as I would have hoped it might have been. Nevertheless, it stays in the black, and apart from one bad experience with a Christmas Market that put us out of pocket, it was enough of a good year to warrant a rebranding – complete with an exciting new logo designed by our friends at Branch Designs.

Sadly, our finances did take a bit of a knock with Chantelle writing off her Hyundai Getz towards the end of the year, but in reality, that really was the only major blemish on what was otherwise a pretty stable year.

As for work on my side, well my do pretty much everything in terms of managing the systems/development workload at Touchwork continued unabated, and I have to say, I’m starting to get the impression that my journey with them might finally be coming to an end. I’m not really learning anything new, I’ve been with them for a long time, and basically I could do with a new challenge or two. That said, I am getting a new mid-level developer joining us in February 2014, so maybe I can at last get my proper project management pants pulled on at last.

chantelle lotter posing with jessica

And that’s really about it actually. 2013 was a year of a lot of work, both in my formal work as well as in Chantelle’s business, not to mention all the time sunk in raising a cute as a button little three year old girl, meaning that there wasn’t all that much time for myself, never mind hobbies or personal growth activities. (Though I did try my hand at weight loss for a bit. Needless to say, the latter stages of Chantelle’s pregnancy quickly put an end to that train).

I don’t expect that to change much.

2014 has already kicked off with the birth of my beautiful little baby girl, Emily Jane Lotter, and between raising her and Jessica, and helping both Chantelle and Touchwork out, I don’t expect a lot of personal time for the foreseeable future!

Though who knows, hopefully I’m wrong? ;)

craig lotter walking with jessica along strand beach