2016 – The Year in Blogging And Family Life

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Farewell 2016 and a Happy Hogmanay tonight!


How’s the year been for your family?

For ours there have been many disruptions and ups and downs, some upsets and illness. We’re ending the year happily though and with a lot of love for each other, and really what else matters?


2016 for our family

I never really write about the nitty gritty of what goes on here at Casa Chaos, the kids want and deserve privacy and so does my husband and my mum and others.

So let’s just say we’ve had school upsets, a redundancy, issues around autism and a lot of coming and going between the beautiful Central West town of Orange and Sydney.

My mum and aunty visited in February, from freezing Scotland to frying Sydney, Mum wasn’t too well and she’s been unwell all year off and on.

The sharp and painful reality of being an emigrant half a world away from my ageing and dearly loved mum has been the worst of the year for me.

The best of the year has been more time with a husband at home, and then having my sister and her family staying with us now for Christmas and New Year.


2016: The Year in Blogging

There have been 166 posts put up in 2016 and I’m thrilled to say that more people have visited this blog than ever before. If you’re looking for good quality detailed information on things to do in Sydney with kids then Google will send you here.


A Blog Agent – At Last!

It was fab to have Nuffnang take me on as one of their Bloggerati. The sponsored posts on the blog this year have enabled me to start paying some lovely younger mums to write posts for the blog. Love that!

My fave sponsored post of the year was:

Top Ten Sydney Picnic Spots And Our Fave Sandwich To Make and Take

This site is a media minnow but it’s great fun to be aboard and very satisfying to share great information whilst being creative.

My happiest post of the year is the one about morning tea at Gunners Barracks with my mum.

Gunners Barracks Morning Tea Mum Seana


Travel and Trips

The trip to Taiwan with two of the kids was definitely the travel highlight of the year. What a fabulous opportunity.

We also loved putting up lots of posts about weekends away and holidays, written by myself and other mums.

Check out our posts on Canberra, Wollongong/Jamberoo, Forster, Queensland, Q Station Manly, South West Rocks, Millthorpe,  Windsor, Pearl Beach, the Blue Mountains, and Where To Stay At Jervis Bay With Kids.

In 2016 the weekly What’s On posts became a new Sydney What’s On Events Calendar. 

And of course we brought you more of the best beaches, playgrounds, water slides and other fab Sydney spots for tots. Hooray!


A Photo That Went Viral

One of my photos went viral on Facebook for the first time ever. Parents’ behaviour at kids sports is a hot topic for families!

kids sports viral photo


I’ve just re-read what here’s so far and am having a little cry to myself.

2017 is going to start with a visit to see Mum in Scotland and I cannot tell you how much I wish I could be staying there for months with her.

Mum is not at all well and she isn’t going to get better. We hope that she will stay steady and that we can all spend time together this year and into the years ahead.

But life is uncertain, we have to enjoy the time we have.

I’ll only be with Mum for 10 days and then it’s home to the family here.

We’re then moving most of us to live in Orange for the first three terms of 2017.  It’s just a tree change sabbatical and the slower pace of life will be good for us all.

I’ll just end by saying that whilst life is uncertain, love is not and that’s what I will be focussing on in 2017.

With all best wishes to you and yours, here’s to outdoors fun with our kids and to loving our old folks.

Thank goodness for the kids, thank goodness for babies, toddlers and even teenagers, for the new life that salves the grief of ageing and death.

Take care

Seana xxx


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Posted on: December 31, 2016


  • Reply December 31, 2016


    Seana, thankyou for sharing the reality of life xx I really appreciate the realness of your posts and all your adventures. Happy New Year and best wishes to you and all your relationships especially the precious one with your Mum xx

    • Reply January 2, 2017

      Seana Smith

      Thanks Bron, and all the best to you and yours for 2017. here’s to lots of safe and happy travels with the kids in amongst the ups and downs of all our family lives.

  • I’ve loved following along on your adventures this year. I know exactly how you feel vis a vis your mum, my mum is in hospital in the mother country and I think I will be hot on your heels following you over. So exciting about your tree change to Orange, it sounds like just what the relocation doctor ordered. Will we get time for a cuppa before you leave? Enjoy your special time together with your mum and safe travels xx

    • Reply January 2, 2017

      Seana Smith

      Hi Sammie, I probably can’t meet in person but… come to visit in Orange! It’s such a wonderful place and the coffee and cake situation is not to be sneezed at… and there’s a specialist chocolate cafe too… and… lots more.

      Hope that your mum is not too unwell and that travel safely if you do go over. We’re both lucky to be able to go when we need to… but I do wish there was a MUCH faster way to travel…

  • Reply December 31, 2016

    Annabel Candy

    Dear Seana,

    I hope you can enjoy this precious time with your mum in your homeland. Wrap up warm! I hope too next year is gentler to you.

    Happy Hogmanay to you and all yours!

    Xox a

    • Reply January 2, 2017

      Seana Smith

      I have been whinging about the heat and the humidity… so that will all change on Thursday when I step out of the plane in Edinburgh…. gulp. Better find my hat and gloves and scarf. Happy New 2017, Annabel and love to all the family xxx

  • Reply December 31, 2016

    Rebecca O'Farrell

    I love this post (mainly because I’m such a sticky beak)! Thanks for sharing about your ups and downs, and I’m sure you’ll love your time in Orange – such a gorgeous friendly town and thankfully it has loads of excellent cafes. I’m also sure your Mum will perk up when she sees your lovely smiling face.

    Happy New Year

    Rebecca xx

    • Reply January 2, 2017

      Seana Smith

      Thank you, Rebecca, I had so hoped to catch up again before the end of the year but… events conspired against me being so sociable in Sydney/ Come to visit in Orange… join me on a wine tour, I must visit more than the two I’ve seen so far.

  • Reply December 31, 2016

    stephanie jefferson

    Sorry to hear about your mum! 2016 seems to have been a big year for lots of people. And 2017 sounds like a big year for you too, all the very best with your move to Orange! We in Orange a few times a year now my MIL lives there, can’t wait to see/hear what you discover!

    • Reply January 2, 2017

      Seana Smith

      Oh, please do get in touch when you are there. I am always up for a coffee and there are so many gorgeous cafes there to try.

  • Reply January 3, 2017

    Julie Anderson

    Hello Seana, so sorry to hear your mum is unwell. I too was glad to see the end of 2016.Please let 2017 be happier as I am so bored of being miserable, been so much crap going on. I know you only have a few days to be with your mum but if you could spare an hour or two, I would be happy to travel to Edinburgh for a night. I know that time is precious so I won’t be offended if you don’t have time.
    Love to everyone xxx


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