2014 was a really big year for my blog, I was getting a lot of reviews, my stats were climbing, my followers were climbing but I burned myself out at Christmas time and never really recovered. I slowed down, considerably, after Christmas as my health just couldn't keep up with how much I did in that couple of weeks in Dec 2014 and, then, of course, I got pregnant and was so so poorly from that.
In many ways I feel really sad that my beloved page has suffered, but in others it has had a touch of relief to it because the pressure is off. I don't plan on going anywhere but I plan on maintaining a calmer schedule, being selective in the posts that I do and taking things more steadily as 2016 progresses. That said I am hoping things pick up from this point, just at a gentler pace.
It's safe to say that, when my health is as bad as it's been this year, family plays a very big part in keeping me going. I can't believe we've already had our first wedding anniversary (I'd say celebrated our first wedding anniversary but we didn't, so that'd be a lie) and I can't believe Ethan's been 5 for almost a whole year and Skye is 8.
Family, as amazing as it is, has also been tough. Ethan's Still going through the challenging phase that I think I mentioned last year. I'm going to class it as him being strong willed which will, one day, serve him well but, at the moment, is a pain in the back side! But things do seem to be balancing out a bit more, he's beginning to learn to temper his emotions, sometimes, when it suits him, so hopefully that'll keep improving in to 2016.
I think it goes without saying that my pregnancy has been the biggest part of 2015, and the arrival of baby Oliver will be the biggest part of 2016. I posted, last year, that I hoped we'd either get pregnant or have a baby in 2015 and, amazingly, it happened.
We may not be in the ideal situation for having a baby, we still live with my parents (and count ourselves amazingly lucky that we do) and my health restricts us in many many ways. But after a conversation with my Mum she said we'd be mad to wait as, if we did, it may never happen. And she was 100% right, and now he's nearly here! My pregnancy with Ethan dragged and I was expecting it to happen the same way, but possibly more so, this time around but actually it's flown and I'm a little scared as to how little time we have left, but at the same time I can't wait to meet our boy.
Other than family (and impending baby), and my atrocious health, books have probably been an overriding focus of the year. Because I've been able to do so little, I've read and I've read a LOT. That'd be 234 books, if you were wondering (you can see the list here), As hard as it's been to not be able to do much, I'm so grateful that reading is one of the few things that I can still do (admittedly there are days I still can't do that, but for the most part).
- Obviously Oliver is going to be the main event, and I'm desperately hoping he continues to be healthy and we get to have our healthy, take home straight away, baby this time. I'm, obviously, also hoping he's a delightful baby who doesn't scream, sleeps well and doesn't have to deal with bad reflux and puke everywhere, but health above all else.
- I'm also hoping to just keep my blog ticking over. There'll be more baby stuff, hopefully, as you'd probably expect, but I want to keep the other posts going too and I hope I can work with a few, good brands throughout the year.
- I say it every year but I want to write (as in a novel/short stories)... I have actually said this every year for about 10 years so it'd be a shame to break tradition and one of these days it'll actually happen!
- I want my family to be happy, safe and secure. Once we move out (not sure exactly when, or if it'll even be this year) things are going to be a lot less simple and secure, so I want things to be as secure and happy as they Can be, in whatever situation we end up in.
- I want to continue using survey sites and money making sites to set money aside for Christmas. This is something I started in November and, thus far, am thrilled with the results. As and when life does get harder, moving out wise, whatever year that is, it'll make a huge difference if I can put money aside specifically for Christmas so that we can still give the children the experience we want, regardless of the rest of life.
- I'd love for my health to miraculously improve but it's at the bottom of the list as I expect it's quite unlikely. But it'd be daft not to hope for it, as unrealistic as it may be (which is why a lotto win is always a hope, too).
I don't make resolutions, but those are my hopes for 2016. I don't think I'm asking too much, apart from maybe the health thing, so hopefully this can be a more balanced year. I'm not expecting there to be no bad, but I'd like to be able to start next year feeling like it all balanced out and we can start 2017 on a more even keel.
I hope you all had a fantastic 2015. What is your biggest hope for 2016? Looking for big changes or just hoping for more of the same?