Personally, 2016 has been pretty amazing for Andrew and me. When we celebrated last new year’s eve (with a sip of champagne for me), we already knew that I was pregnant, but only close family and friends were aware at that point (we spilled the beans on our 20th anniversary on 25 January).
It was a very special evening, as we knew our lives would change forever in a few short months, but even though I thought we were emotionally prepared, I underestimated the impact our baby would have on us.
At the start of 2016, while I struggled with pregnancy nausea and fatigue, our new kitchen was finally finished.
I don’t think I have been more relieved than when we could finally say goodbye to the builders and eat a proper meal in our kitchen and conservatory.
I accepted a new role within my company as Head of Web and Social Media: two roles I had performed in the past, merged into one, which of course meant more work for me, but was a logical progression and helped improve efficiency in the team.
In the spring, we met up with our dear friends from Kent and Sri Lanka for a trip to the Cotswolds together, which was full of greedy treats and fun times.
We also had a family trip to Lille as an early birthday present from Andrew’s family, which also involved lots and lots and lots of food (and a bit of beer for everyone else).
I celebrated my 40th birthday in the middle of the year – reaching 40 years is not a cause for celebration for everyone, but I embraced it (although no one could embrace me, considering the ample size of my middle).
Andrew made sure I celebrated in style with a baby moon in Whitstable, which was a real treat.
We also squeezed in a trip to our second city, Paris, before the baby made an appearance – in retrospect it probably wasn’t so wise to travel so close to my due date, but it was such fun, and took our minds off of Brexit woes.
Meeting our baby in July was probably the greatest day of our lives. I’ll never forget the feeling as Ioan was laid across my stomach and Andrew and I realised we were actually parents. Since then we have experienced a whirlwind of emotions – poor Andrew has had to deal with my highs and lows while getting to grips with fatherhood himself. What parenthood has proved to us is that after 20 years, our team of two has been infinitely improved by Ioan, and our lives are better than they have ever been.
In August we had to say goodbye to our lovely boy Henry – our first cat, who will always hold a very dear place in our hearts. It was the first time we’d lost a pet and we’re still missing him, but after three years of illness, it was the right time to let him go.
We’ve managed to pop to Wales to introduce Ioan to his Welsh family, and also eat some ‘delicacies’ from the region!
Although our year has been incredible, outside of our home 2016 has been incredible for other reasons. We’ve said goodbye to some of my heroes, including David Bowie, Alan Rickman, George Michael and Carrie Fisher. We have shown the world a side of us I am not so keen on with the vote to leave the EU and the anti-immigration sentiment which has surrounded that. We have seen the election of a new US President who could not be more polar opposite from Obama, and with Trump as leader of the free world in 2017, I can’t quite imagine what we can expect, but I am not optimistic. With the terror attacks of this year, the plight of refugees from around the world and race relations in the US, I hope that things improve.
My hope for 2017 is rather selfish – it simply revolves around wanting the very best of everything for our lovely son. And maybe a little bit more sleep?!
Wishing you all my very best for the coming year. Thanks for reading.