I'm not in a reflective mood, and even didn't intend to post tonight. Yet here I am sat and reading some amazing posts in my reader. Some moved me to tears, some made me realise that I hadn't followed a blog as closely as I should have. I don't want to reflect too much simply because 2009 wasn't a good year and on the eve of our well deserved holiday I'm not in the mood to let anything bring me down. However, I quite liked Little Mummy Erica's idea of linking to some of her key posts over the year, and sneakily I'm stealing her idea (sorry!). It's particularly useful at this time as I'll be off to sunny shores for a week and won't take my notebook (honestly!), so the selection of links may keep you entertained for the next week or so.
2009 went something like this for me:
On Christmas Day 2008, my brother in law died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving behind his pregnant wife and son who turned two just a few days after. I was stunned and struck with grief for the loss of this wonderful man whose life was cut more than short. Words can't describe the loss, so I struggled for months to even mention it on my blog. Most weeks for the whole of 2009, I spent my three days off work at my sister in law's, or she stayed with us.
Also still in December 2008, I started a new job in a new office, but still with the same organisation and in a similar role. Due to a restructure, I now no longer work with asylum seeking and refugee children. Instead my work focuses on ending child poverty in the UK. As a last effort to make a difference for the people I used to work with, I sent out the Christmas Toy appeal on my blog and I summarised the fabulous the result in January 2009.
In February 2009 I had an idea to put together a fundraising book. The idea slowly took shape to become a hat pattern book to knit and crochet and is now available as a Lulu and Ravelry ebook and a real book.
My amazing daughter turned two in March and it really felt like a watershed. I also found out I was pregnant.
April: I moved bloghosts from cartside.civiblog.com to mummydothat.blogspot.com, becoming a "mummy blogger" in the process. So much changed because of this move, suddenly, I quadrupled my readership and actually got comments! More importantly, I discovered so many amazing blogs so that blogging became an even bigger part of my life. I also started pondering about how to best make our bilingual household work for my daughter. I think it was also April that I finally got myself a digital SLR and rediscovered my love for photography. Not that it was ever gone, but now there were endless possibilities.
At the end of May, I miscarried at just 2 days short of 12 weeks pregnant.
June was a frenzy of activity, maybe to get rid of the what if's in my head? I do have a tendency to go into mad chicken mode when confronted with something that may depress me, it's my way of keeping my mind in its right place. So, I tried to lose weight (and failed), I pondered on why advocating breast-feeding is really important, I pledged for Recycle Week and almost succeeded, and shared some of my work projects.
In July, at least some part of my garden, namely the raised beds, were taking shape, we spent our one day summer holiday on the lovely isle of Cumbrae, and Scotland Secretary Jim Murphy listened to the questions primary school children asked the government.
August held the first bilingual carnival in store. After all my searches for bloggers who blog on bilingualism and raising their children bilingually, I found that while there were great blogs, they weren't connected. And really, we were all experiencing similar difficulties. So the carnival was conceived and it's still going strong. Above all, I witnessed the birth of my niece which was a very emotional and special experience. I also looked back on various stages of being a mother, finding out I was pregnant, my breast-feeding experience, maternity leave and changing jobs while pregnant.
In September, A Hat in Time finally went on sale, I tried to give hope to those parents who like me have a baby/toddler who won't sleep through and that it can change, and I met some great Scottish bloggers for lunch.
October held my second trip to Germany for the year, just four days, but I brought home enough to keep me entertained for the winter. I also looked back once again on what the choices are if you are a 10 month mama. Oh, and I walked the fire of course!
November was full of seasonal events. We were rather busy to be honest: Fireworks, St Martin's Lantern Parade, and lots of getting prepared for Christmas. It continued into December with lots of baking, and an attempt to create a Christmassy Craft Advent Calendar with 24 entries - I'm 5 short so if you have a project you'd like to share for next year, please feel free to still add it. I also pondered on the bigger picture, and on thoughtless consumerism.
I've left out any links to my knitting projects, which is odd, because knitting does have a very secure place in my life an on this blog, so here's at least a link to my biggest and favourite project.
For the new year, I hope that the sense of loss will be at least partially replaced by joy and the ability to let the beauty of life into our hearts. Cheers. We'll be waving from the aeroplane tomorrow then ;)
Wishing you all a great 2010, may it bring happiness, joy, strength and purpose.