2014 is nearly over. A little while ago I wrote a post about how easy it can be to get caught up in what’s going on right now, and forget that the end of the world is not upon us. It’s safe to say that right now I am fairly stressed – but I thought it might be nice to look back over the last 12 months and remind myself of the good points.
I wrote a lot about positivity, and the power of positive thinking, in January. Looking back, I really love this post about how we talk to ourselves; it’s definitely something I need to bear in mind more often! One day from January that really sticks in my mind is a trip S and I made to Mudeford with my mum and my sister. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we walked for miles along the front, enjoying the views.
One of my favourite posts from February was this one about how we define success. It’s something I still think about a lot. Having money definitely does not equal success for me; S and I are happier now that I work from home, even if I don’t have the disposable income I may have had if I’d got another job in an office when I was made redundant. I was also honoured to be a guest on the One Bad Mother podcast during February – definitely a highlight!
nominated my friend Kit Pennington for a Mother & Baby Big Heart Award, and when she won she took me with her to the awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in London. We had a lovely day surrounded by some amazing people.
April saw S’s second birthday, which was a definite highlight. We went to the Oceanarium at Bournemouth with some friends and family, and luckily big S was able to join us too. I wrote this post about the expectations we place on nurseries and pre-schools, and it proved to be weirdly popular, considering I wasn’t able to promote it on social media. At one point it received over 100,000 hits in a day and was still hugely popular over a month later. That was very good for my ego!
The highlight of May for us was a trip to Hoburne Park in Dorset for a weekend to review the park. We took my sister with us and had a fabulous time with some great weather.
My birthday was at the end of our weekend at Hoburne Park, and on our way home we were lucky enough to go to Marwell for the day. S loves animals so we had a great time looking around and saying hi to them all. Toward the end of the month I also attended Brit Mums Live in London, my first blogging conference. Although I had to leave early because of a migraine, I met some really lovely people and it was an interesting experience. I also met Amanda Jennings, whose book I so happened to be reviewing at the time – so that was nice!
In July I was sent a very special pendant to review. Emily Wright made me a pendant with S’s hand print on it. I loved the pendant and wear it most days still. I was also asked to speak on LBC about a report from the CSJ about “disposable dads” – a subject I still feel strongly about.
In August, S had two weeks off nursery for Summer holidays. We took several trips out on the bus, going to the beach, the Oceanarium and various other places. We were also given two activity bags to bring home for the holidays, which we loved. We had great fun!
I took part in Sugar Free September and gave up all forms of sugar – including fruit – for the month. It was tough, but a massive achievement… I might have to try it again in January for a detox! I also started reading a book which, rather embarrassingly, I am still reading now – about parenting, and wrote this post about the different approach the book has. In September I also moved my blog over to self-hosted, something I had been thinking about doing for ages but was scared to. Luckily, I found someone awesome who did all the hard work for me – and I love my new site!
October had three big high points for me. The first was the #OctoberLetters project, where I sent a letter each day of the month. The second was that I went on This Morning to talk about my breakdown, and had the most fantastic time. The third, and most important, is that we moved house. After two years of living in a noisy flat, surrounded by people spitting, shouting, drinking and swearing all day and night, we moved to a beautiful, quiet flat. S has had some trouble settling in, but that’s to be expected since the old flat was the only home she had ever known. It was a busy month!
A massive high point this month was when I started my weekly bit on Wave 105, “5 Things You Need to Know This Week.” I love researching the pieces and recording them with Simon. I also wrote a post about parent blogging which seemed to polarise opinion somewhat. It wasn’t necessarily a high point, but I am proud of the post and stand by the points I made in it.
Obviously, the high point of this month was Christmas! It was our first Christmas in our new flat, and the first one where S was old enough to understand what was going on. I really enjoyed watching her open her presents and play with things, but also spending time with my family and the time S got to spend with her cousin E, who is 16 months younger than her. I also did my #DecemberSelfie Challenge, which was a highlight in that it helped me with some self esteem/self acceptance issues. And I began the #DayInTheLife Project – which I would love for you to take part in, if you haven’t already!
So that is my 2014. Now that I’ve been through it month by month, I see that lots of positive things happened this year. I’ve come a long way since this time last year!
So what does 2015 have in store… and what challenge will I have for myself once the #DecemberSelfies come to an end? Well, that’s a subject for another post… watch this space!