The end of 2017 is near and it's definitely been a memorable one, both for some very good reasons and for some not-so-good reasons, too. But, for the most part, 2017 has been very kind to me and I think it's worth celebrating that fact. So, I've rounded up a few of my favourite moments from 2017...
Meeting Benjamin For the First Time
My two and a half days in labour definitely doesn't make the final cut as best moments, but finally meeting Benjamin after all that time and all that misery whilst I was pregnant was 100% my best moment of 2017, if not of my life. He was a weird colour, his head was misshapen, I hadn't slept or eaten in days, but when he was placed on my chest and we were covered with a blanket together, everything was right with the world. He was, and remains, entirely perfect.
Our 20 Week Scan
I hated being pregnant, but there were a few shining moments - one of which was most definitely our 20 week scan where we found out that Benjamin was, well, Benjamin. We picked his name on the walk back from the hospital and I whispered it so often to myself from that day onward. It's funny to think that everyone else knows it now, too. There are no words that can describe the feeling of seeing your little baby after so many weeks of worrying and wondering, and knowing that you're finally on the downward stretch towards them being there with you. Pure magic.
My Book-Themed Baby Shower
My lovely friends organised the most perfect baby shower for me in the summer, and I don't think I've ever felt so seen or so loved. Everyone brought their favourite books to share with Benjamin, and gave me wishes for his birth and his life. It was a really wonderful afternoon with so many of my favourite people.
Our Baby-Moon in York
I really wanted to get away on a proper holiday before Benjamin was born, as we hadn't been away since our honeymoon - but money and logistics and my general dissatisfaction with being pregnant conspired against me. Instead, we went to the Hotel du Vin in York for a little weekend getaway, which was just lovely. We wandered the beautiful city, ate delicious brownies on more than one occasion and generally relaxed together.
Being a Bridesmaid (For The First Time)
I think being a bridesmaid might be my true calling in life - I absolutely loved it! It has many of the perks of being a bride with very little of the stress or expense, and you get to spend the whole time showering love and affection on one of your favourite people, which is basically my favourite past-time. You get a little bit pampered, you're a bit of a wedding celebrity, and you get to be privy to all of the organisation and planning. I was unable to go to the hen do, unfortunately, as Benjamin was just a few weeks old at that point, but I milked the wedding for all of the joy and happiness that I could - and I hope that I did a good job bridesmaiding!
Sharing the Good News and Celebrations of Friends & Family
I have been very blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family in my life, and so many of them have also had exciting years. Starting with bawling my eyes out on the bus when I found out that my beautiful friend Katie had given birth to her gorgeous son, Walter (I'm tearing up just thinking about it!) and onward through the year with more babies, weddings, promotions, house purchases and all sorts of other loveliness. It's one of my favourite things to look back on the year and think of all the wonderful things that have happened, and relive a little bit of that happiness again.
Winning the Bake Off at Work
Finally! If you want to do the same, the recipe I used is here.
Our Weekend in Malton
We'd like to take Benjamin on a 'proper' holiday next year, but we treated ourselves to a little stay near Malton in North Yorkshire a few weeks ago as a little test. There was a log fire, a hot tub and plenty of country pub visits. Benjamin was a dream, as he always is, and it really was so relaxing and fun to spend a few days with my two favourite people in the whole world.
Every Time I Managed to Make Benjamin Laugh
Hearing your baby's laugh is the most pure joy there is, but I couldn't pick just one time out of all of them. Whether it's singing his favourite song (Eye of the Tiger), playing 'Row Your Boat', bouncing on the bed or just getting into a giggle loop together, making Ben laugh is my heart's work these days and every moment snaps me out of any bad mood, any sadness. I hope he's always so free and easy with his laughter.
What were your favourite moments of 2017?