Wow, New Year’s Eve. The end of 2015, and a whole year to look forward to. I have to say, I am not a fan of New Year in a party sense – the whole forced jollity of it, counting down to midnight, and then… well, it’s just another day. You might as well stay up on the 27th April and do it, as far as I am concerned. I have no desire to get drunk, elbow my way across crowded rooms or kiss people I don’t see from one year to the next. I’d much rather spend the evening with my nearest and dearest, curl up in pyjamas (ok, maybe a dress if I fancy getting a little dolled up, but it’s by no means a given) and toast in the New Year quietly in front of Jools Holland, watching the fireworks from the warmth and comfort of my living room. That is one thing I am definitely thankful for!I quite like it as a time to reflect on the year gone by and plan for the year ahead though. Thinking about the highs and lows of the previous twelve months, and wondering what the coming fifty-two weeks might hold.

On that note, it seems fitting to consider what I have to be thankful for from the past year.

Emergency Services

flooded CarlisleThe most major event of my year was the illness that plagued our family earlier in 2015, which saw Youngest suffering from scarlet fever and Eldest hospitalised with an infection from the same virus. We got our money’s worth from the NHS throughout the Spring, and I have never been so grateful for the work our doctors and nurses do each and every day. More recently, my home town was badly hit by floods from Storm Desmond. Although I wasn’t directly affected, the devastation it caused was all too apparent, and the police, fire service, coastguard and even the army pulled together to form a massive rescue operation to help those caught in the floods, and subsequently clear the roads, houses, and all areas that had been damaged by the unprecedented amount of water that had rained down.


It’s impossible not to be grateful for family. When all else fails, when life gets tough and it feels like the world is crumbling around you, knowing that there is someone there who loves you regardless is a wonderful feeling. Having a special someone to give you a smile or a hug, or even just a look tat you can share, and you know that eventually things will be ok. A conversation started a few days ago about why we relocated to Cumbria after the birth of Eldest made me realise that emotional support is incredibly important. My family mean the world to me – from the fun that we have with the children, to the conversations with my parents. Holidays, bad times, you name it, we’ve been through it, and come out (eventually) smiling. Thank you to all my family. I love you all.


We are a game-loving family. Not all games, of course (I hate Monopoly, but endure it for the sake of Youngest, from time to time). Some board games are great, and I especially love wordy games, like Bananagrams. I love how games can be enjoyed by everyone, bringing people of all ages together and meaning people have to switch off the very isolating electronic devices and focus on togetherness. If you don’t play games, you really ought to start – maybe you haven’t found the game for you, but with so much choice there is bound to be one for you and your friends or family to enjoy.


BonnieMy little dog dotes on me, even if I do say so myself. And I love her to bits. Some may claim that we are both ridiculous (isn’t everyone, in their own way?) I love that I have to go out in all weathers to walk her, and although the prospect of howling winds and torrential rain doesn’t seem too appealing at first, I do enjoy the bracing walks just as much as the sunny ones. I like the feeling of fresh air in my lungs and always feel better for it, but I know I wouldn’t go out for fun if I didn’t have Bonnie. I love that if I feel glum, she cuddles me and looks up with her big brown eyes, and I can’t help but smile. Yep, I’m a doggy person, for sure. That said, my cats are pretty ace too.


This might seem a bit of an odd one, but I am tired of feeling like I’m not good enough. I do my best for my children – some might say I try too hard. I don’t need to provide fun stuff all the time, or come up with new and interesting pass-times or fun dinners every day. They have a mum and dad who love them, and they are capable of finding their own entertainment when they need to. One thing that struck a chord was when my ever-insightful sister in law was privy to me moaning about not being a good enough mum, and pointed out that I had kept them alive for 10 years so far, so I can’t be that bad. I am good enough. I might not be perfect, but that’s okay.

Cadbury’s chocolate fingers

Cadbury's chocolate fingersBecause, frankly, we should all be grateful for Cadbury’s chocolate fingers.

I’d love to know what you are grateful for, and what your year has been like. Leave me a comment about how 2015 unfolded for you, the good, bad or ugly, or tweet me if you prefer.


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