I find it quite cathartic, looking back and reflecting on a whole year. I tend to forget lots of things that happen which can sometimes skew my view, and I think looking back really helps to put things in perspective.

I’ve been looking for a nice way to recap 2017 that isn’t just a list, and I came across this on Kate on Thin Ice and really liked it. So here is my 2017!

1. What was your happiest event?

I know there were lots of really tiny happy things that happened this year. But those a difficult to keep track of. My happiest event was our holiday in April to West Virginia and the Smokies with family, visiting family. We had such a wonderful time there. Beautiful place and great to spend time with family. Especially those we rarely see.

2. What was the saddest thing to happen?

My uncle passed away quite suddenly in November this year. That was really awful. My cat also died earlier in the year. She was my first ever baby and had been with us for about 15 years.

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

We bought a house to renovate and then live in! We’ve been talking about moving and vaguely looking for a house for a few years, but we were very comfy where we were and I didn’t really think it was going to happen. But then it did. We’re still in the midst of that renovation but we will be in soon!

4. Who supported you?

Lots of people supported me. I have a close family and some really amazing friends.

My biggest support is always my husband. He genuinely is my best friend and he is always there for me when I need to moan or have a hug.

My parents and a few aunts will happily look after the kids and help out with them whenever we need it as well.

I’m incredibly lucky to be able to say all that.

5. Who let you down?

I can’t really think of anyone who let me down. There were some people and things that I got really mad about but I can’t remember who or what they were now. I actually don’t think I have very many people in my life who would let me down.

6. One thing you learned

Having a (sometimes very sassy) four year old taught me an important lesson about parenting that I’ve heard lots of times in the past: Pick your battles. It’s been a useful mantra these past few months when my patience has been running low.

7. Tell us what made you laugh

I’ve laughed a lot this past year. My kids make laugh all the time. 4 year olds are pretty damn funny. Some of the things she has said this year have really made me laugh a lot. And my husband. He makes me belly laugh so much I sometimes think I might pee.

8. Tell us what made you cry

I’m a crier. I cry at nothing for ages and then suddenly I cry at everything. This morning I was crying my eyes out watching The Croods.

The loss of my uncle.

My dog had to have her eyes removed earlier this year. That was incredibly emotional, and one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. I most definitely cried a few times about that.

The loss of my cat.

9. Three things your child or children did to make you proud

I’m proud of my son every day when he does something new that every human can do. So I’ll focus on my daughter for this one.

The little lady was moved up a level at her swimming lessons just a few months after starting them. She wasn’t best pleased at even getting her face wet when she first began the lessons, but four months in and she loves jumping in and swimming to us under the water.

At her nursery Christmas singalong she sang her little heart out, in Gaelic. Last year she didn’t even want to stand up in front of all the parents and grandparents and aunties, but she has grown so much in confidence this year.

She is so incredibly kind to her little brother (most of the time). Even when he yanks on her hair and pushes her around she is so patient with him. Quite frankly, it amazes me.

10. One thing that made you proud of yourself

This is a difficult one. I feel proud of myself a lot for little achievements that would seem like nothing to others. Like those times when I deal with some issue with the kids really well. I even fell pretty proud of myself when I make pasta that tastes nice. I did make matching dragon Halloween costumes for the kids this year. I was incredibly proud of those!

11. One challenge you overcame?

Marriage and parenting have lots of challenges. But we’re still going strong.

At the beginning of the year I was learning what life was like with a mostly blind dog. Then in February we had to make the decision to have her eyes removed. Afterwards, it was a steep learning curve for us learning how to deal with her outside. She wasn’t phased by it much at all, but I found it pretty stressful. Now, she can walk off the lead in the park and I feel like I can cope with her and the kids in the park at the same time.

12. Three things you’d change in 2018?

I’d walk more.

I’d be more patient.

I’d have more time completely by myself.

Well, that’s it from me. Over to you. Join in if you want to!