2015 has nearly run its course. In two days this blog will have been occupying its little space in the blogosphere for seven years.
Those seven years have seen a lot of events unfold. None more so than this last year when I learnt that letting go can be empowering. Once I accepted each of the things I had to lose with grace, the new life looming ahead looked more exciting. It hasn't been as easy for my girls obviously. They chose none of this, but I've done my best to support them through this new life. Maybe I've got it wrong at times, but I've always been there with my love for them.
I could say it's been a hell of year. It's certainly been an emotionally turbulent year, a year full of changes and yet as I look back over it I know it's also been a year of enormous growth and wonderful memories too.
Death and re-birth have been so central to this year.
The death of my marriage and now the re-birth of my first love from my teens.
A wonderful man and we've found each other again.
From the dreadful news of Vanessa's death before last Christmas to the wonderful community that came together to make a blanket and raise money in her name. For nearly six months that project kept me focused just as my world fell around my ears. I fought on to keep as much of a hold on it as I could for my daughters sake. And I know I have succeeded.
In the middle of all of this my job ended. Funding was cut and I was left feeling redundant professionally and personally. My creative heart left me. I know it's still in there shouting to be released again. And it will be I know that. It has to. What I did know was that I was good at being a mother.
I sold our family home and eventually found us a new lovely home to make our own. Moving here has been a wonderful thing. We're in the heart of the city, life is all around. I love it. I do miss our country life, but we have gained new things.
I've had such amazing support from family, friends new and old and the blogging and instagram community. Jane of Flaming Stitch, who made me a Chin Up Bravery Medal said the other day "Your strength in pulling up your big girl socks and soldiering on has been inspiring". Well I'm keeping my socks firmly pulled up and the only way is forward.
So with that in mind, here's a bit about what we've been up to lately.
We've had a first ever Christmas as a three and it's been wonderful. In the summer I felt sick every time I thought of Christmas. Probably because the last was marked by the world I knew tumbling apart and I was trying to hide it from my daughters for as long as possible.
Now I think how silly to dread it when we have made such lovely memories and done things our way, our new way.
I started to feel festive for the first time when my good friend Cat and I spent a day chatting and christmas bits and bobs shopping.
When I got home the sparkly Christmas tree brooch I'd bought from Donna Flower was waiting for me. I've pretty much worn it every day since.
Living so close to the city we pop in and out as we wish. There's something so utterly magical about a city dressed in its Christmas lights.
Our home is just about sorted as a proper home now as we had the delivery of two beautiful new sofas. Our new neighbour and new friend had our velvet sofa to make room for this pair. We were a pair of weeds and so enlisted the help of the strong man from the corner Barbershop to help us shift it from one home to another.
The girls have also been getting very creative with my hair. This is definitely a staying in type of do.
Just before the end of the school term I went on a long walk by the coast with my first love. We'd been talking and meeting up for a few months and on this day we knew our love for each other was still there, stronger even.
We found the most idyllic clifftop cafe where we were welcomed by Alfie the dog and a cosy woodturner before we headed back over the headland.
Later that week I started to get busy with wrapping gifts and decorating our two trees. We decided as we were going smaller then two, one for the sitting room and one for the dining room, were needed.
Once the girls broke up I had another interview for a job, but sadly no luck there either.
I cheered myself on the way back by getting the red brogues I'd been lusting after for months.
A naughty buy that I've worn every day since.
The end of that week was emotionally turbulent, but fabulous also.
We had friends in and out of the house, evenings laughing with a lot of fizzy stuff and food.
That weekend my old/new love brought me a dozen white roses and one yellow picked from the market early that morning. Picked carefully for eternal love and friendship to mark the start of us again.
Before we knew it Christmas eve was upon us and preparations were in full swing. Well slow swing as we decided to just go with the flow. Our supper was shared with my mum and a great friend and then we all started to get just a little bit excited knowing Santa was about.
I'm so happy that the girls enjoyed their Christmas. I wanted to make them memories to build on and give them strength. I believe we're getting there you know.
Now I'm a year older too as a birthday was passed on the 29th. Afternoon Tea with my girls, a quick G & T with my love and then the end of the pier Christmas show with family and friends.
Life is looking good, there's still a few challenges to face, but life is about growth so I'm your woman to take on the new, here I come 2016.