What a year 2012 has been. From both a blogging, and a personal perspective, it has been a truly testing, but sensational year. I started off the year struggling with exams at university. I was finding economics incredibly tough and I wasn't sure if I would be able to continue. Swiftly after this were the birthdays of my children. my daughter turned one and a week later, my son turned three. I made birthday bunting and kept it up for two weeks whilst the celebrations happened. Unfortunately, the birthday season was also the chicken pox season and my daughter managed to catch it at her birthday party. Luckily the boy had already had it the year before.
Shortly after Easter we finally moved house. Our property had been on the market for nearly two years by this point and we were very much ready to move. The two bed house we had lived in had become that bit too small with two children and two cats. Our new house was two stories bigger and had a third bedroom. Luckily the children still wanted to share, so for now we have a spare room.
One month after moving in, and two weeks before my end of year exams started, my husband broke his elbow. This rendered him utterly useless, he wasn't even able to wash himself for the first week. It is safe to say that I really struggled, I had no revision time and we had to call on family to come and look after our children whilst I sat my exams. Luckily his elbow healed quickly and he is now pretty much fully recovered.
I battled through my exams and passed, doing better in economics than I did in philosophy. I finished my first year and breathed a huge sigh of relief. Then I started renovating our house and decorating the children's bedroom. However, within two weeks of my term finishing, my dad had a heart attack. To say this came as a complete shock is a vast understatement. Realising your parents actually aren't invincible was a huge wake-up call for me. Luckily it had only been a mild heart attack and two weeks later, he had a triple bypass. He is now back to good health and fitness. He has always been very fit and eats well so it really did surprise us all. Not least him I imagine.
Whilst he was recovering, my husband and I went to the Olympics, which were amazing! We were incredibly lucky to see Usain Bolt in the 200m final, and also to witness a world record, by Kenya's David Rudisha in the 800m. The atmosphere surrounding the Olympics was incredible. The way in which people on the tube chatted away to each other was brilliant. Having lived in London I know how miserable it can be, but the Olympics brought an amazing spirit with it to the capital and it was wonderful to be a part of it.
We had a couple of weeks off to go to France in the summer, which was wonderful. Family time is so important and it feels as if we get time alone so rarely. My daughter started talking properly over there and it was beautiful to hear her utter her first words (it is now quite hard to get her to stop)! The flights were a bit of a nightmare though. Taking an eighteen month old on a plane was definitely an experience we are not in a hurry to repeat.
Not long after we returned, my son started pre-school,which seemed to have come round far too quickly . He is really enjoying it and soon settled into his new routine. Then it was my turn to return to a new routine. The start of my second year of university was a complete shock to the system. I hadn't comprehended just how much the workload would have increased, even though most people warned me. I also had an awful timetable which meant that I didn't finish before 5.30pm any day, and on Thursdays I didn't finish until 7pm. The drive home takes an hour so I was only getting to see the children for brief amounts of time each day. Luckily my next term is a lot better for us all.
I also made it to the final of Savoo's Smartest Shopper Competition. I was in with a chance of winning £10,000 and had to go down to London on my birthday to be interviewed by a panel of four people. I really enjoyed the experience and luckily wasn't nervous at all (I didn't have anything to lose)! I didn't win but had a good day and met some fabulous people.
From a blogging point of view it has been a good year. I enjoyed my first ever blogging conference, Cybher in June and had a fabulous time. It was great meeting new people and some seriously inspiring women. I also attended BritMums Live , which was good, but a little overwhelming. I have seen my readership more than treble since June and learnt an awful lot about networking and SEO. I still have a very long way to go but am getting enjoying seeing the benefits of my hard work. I have learnt that some social networks are just not for me (Reddit) and others totally are (Google+). Most of all, I love the blogging community and the support and friendship I have found there.
I am going to end with my five favourite posts of 2012, which haven't been mentioned above.
- My post for World Prematurity Day. A very personal one about my God daughter.
- A photo gallery post on books. I had no idea how much I loved them until writing this post.
- My parenting fail which was fairly spectacular.
- A letter to my 16 year old self. I found it really interesting to write.
- A post about where I find my inspiration.