5 Reasons 2014 Has Been A Great Year (and the one crap thing that happened)


pic monkey front cover stars

With about 5 weeks of 2014 left to go I’m going to say 2 things:

Firstly, Christmas is terrifyingly close and I have only bought 2 presents. One of which is a stocking filler and therefore barely counts!

Secondly, thank you. 2014 has generally been a good and kind year for our family (she says crossing fingers and toes as there’s still that 5 weeks to go!).

So, here’s  my top 5 reasons 2014 has been a great year – and the 1 crap thing that happened:

  • HEALTH – Despite a year of all the usual coughs, colds and sickness bugs we are all (hopefully) healthy. I have been reminded this year, by the loss of family friends and acquaintances, that health (at any age) should not be taken for granted. I am making healthy choices a priority for the whole family and remembering to be grateful for these healthy, happy years.
  • BABIES – No, not another one the way! I’m talking about my babies, who are now 7 and 2 years old! My youngest has grown into a proper little girl this year, she’s inquisitive, funny and so full of life.

poppy pic

Parenting a toddler isn’t always easy, but after experiencing how fast the time went with Amelia, I’m trying to slow down and enjoy this time, even the challenging days!


I can’t believe my eldest daughter is now 7. I’ve noticed some real changes in her this year. A tendency to less childish pursuits, an interest in music and boys (God help us all!). It’s not all been plain sailing, we’ve clashed quite a bit – the kind of petty arguments I thought were the reserve of teenagers! She is growing into a beautiful, funny and bright girl. We are so proud of her.

I’m both excited and nervous for the future, watching my little ones grow.

  • BIRTHDAYS – My husband turned 40 this year. There’s something about the big 4-0 that makes me a bit nervous. It’s not the getting older – someone very wise once pointed out that there is no good alternative! It’s rather the limiting of time! However, these are my issues, my husband was fine about it all! As he told me, he’s in a good place in life so it’s not big deal. Quite. We celebrated with a surprise party (I’m rather proud to say he genuinely didn’t have a clue, and has just about forgiven us!). We then went to Paris for two nights, without the children – for any parents reading that means, yes, two mornings sleeping in past 7am – a truly decadent way to celebrate!! Happy Birthday Steve!

photo 5 (1)

  • DREAMS – It may have been said by some that I have a tendency to dream pretty big – most people do as life would be a bit dull if we didn’t. Some of my ideas are a bit too crazy, some just a little nuts and occasionally something comes along that is just about do-able! What started out as a vague dream has started to become a bit more concrete this year. We are considering a temporary move abroad. I say temporary because England, and more specifically York, is our home and we wouldn’t want to decamp completely. However, the idea of stepping outside our everyday is appealing. My parents live abroad and it would be nice to spend some time closer to them while the girls are young. We are lucky as our business, with some serious pre planning, could support a temporary stay abroad. So that is what we are doing at the moment, planning and seeing if the pieces will come together. I’ll keep you posted!
  • CREATIVITY – One of my biggest goals for 2014 was to write the book that has been in my head for the last couple of years. – just to get it out on paper. I must admit I got a bit sidetracked by starting this blog but that hasn’t been a bad thing. Writing regularly and interacting with the fantastic community I have found has been the best thing I could have done this year. Writing about my experience of Stillbirth has been really good for me after years of silence, and hearing that my posts have reached others has been humbling. The book?…It is underway! I’m hoping I can juggle blog and book in 2015.

The one crap thing:

  1. SAYING GOODBYE – When I was 20 years old I very naively got a German Shepard Cross puppy on New Years Day. She cost £20 from a run down farm, she was adorable and we called her Molly.

molly picture

Molly was my loyal friend for 13 years. She sat with me for untold hours as I cried into her fur over the loss of my son. We both survived on marmite and toast through my University years and she became the link to my past after I met Steve and we built our new family.

Watching her decline over the past couple of years was heartbreaking. The arthritis that I was warned would become a problem grew relentlessly and her body failed until it became clearly time to do the right thing. Let her go.

If you’re not an animal person it must be hard to understand how much they become part of the family. Molly had been with me nearly all my adult life and through so much – good and bad.

So, thank you Molly – doing the right  thing was the hardest thing and certainly the saddest part of 2014.

Gratitude has played a big part of my year, realising that although elements of my life could do with improvement, I have found a lot of peace in slowing down and enjoying life for what it is. The girls are growing so quickly, I don’t want to miss any of it by racing from one thing to the next.

So, onward and upward – a lot of my 2015 goals will be the same as this year, be happy, write, keep everyone safe.

How was your 2014?


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18 Comments on 5 Reasons 2014 Has Been A Great Year (and the one crap thing that happened)

  1. aniqa.dreams@gmail.com'
    24th November 2014 at 10:48 pm (4 years ago)

    I really enjoyed reading this post – thank you for sharing. You seem to have a lovely family. I am really sorry to hear about Molly. Being a big, big animal lover myself, I know how saying goodbye hurts :( It looks like you gave her an amazing life though so she was one of the lucky ones :)

    Have a lovely day and I wish you a lot of success with your temporary move abroad x

    • Claire
      25th November 2014 at 1:50 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post!
      I think I was the lucky one to have her, she was a character. I still can’t believe how quickly her 13 years went.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. coombe@btinternet.com'
    26th November 2014 at 10:34 am (4 years ago)

    Oh poor Molly and what a friend she was, such a heart breaking story. My friend with a German Shepherd has hit the advances arthritis stage, it is so sad to see. #sharewithme

    • Claire
      26th November 2014 at 1:32 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for letting me know you had ended up in my spam!
      I was told when Molly was a puppy that arthritis would be a huge problem (she had a hip replacement at 2). However, I was only in my early 20s then and ‘getting old’ seemed like something that happened to other people! It is still shocking to me how quickly Molly’s 13 years went, we did pack a lot in though.
      Please tell your friend not to feel rushed towards the end. Molly had some great medication and it was only when she became too uncomfortable to sleep well etc that we knew it was time, up until then she had remained bright in herself.
      Thanks for reading.

  3. Stephanierobinsonc@gmail.com'
    26th November 2014 at 12:51 pm (4 years ago)

    What a lovely post – it sounds like you’ve had a mainly positive year and it’s great to reflect back on that as often we forget and get bogged down by the minutiae of life. Saying goodbye to our faithful furry friends is tough even though we know it’s the right thing to do. It’s still hard. #sharewithme

    • Claire
      26th November 2014 at 1:18 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you – I think the post came about when I got into a bit of a moan fest with my husband about some trivial inconveniences (rainy days, lost school uniforms and broken furniture!). I had to really stop and pull myself up, life is pretty good right now and it’s so important to stop and appreciate that.
      Thanks for reading!

  4. cathy@wanderingsheila.com'
    28th November 2014 at 7:52 pm (4 years ago)

    It is a lovely post Claire. I think you’ve done a great thing here by focusing on positives for the year. Unfortunate that Molly has passed away. All the best for 2015 :-)

    • Claire
      29th November 2014 at 1:10 pm (4 years ago)

      It’s frightening how fast the year has gone so it’s great to look back at what has gone well (as opposed to dwelling on the negatives, so easily done!).
      Thanks for commenting. Xx

  5. admin@afamilydayout.co.uk'
    29th November 2014 at 9:20 am (4 years ago)

    Sounds like you’ve had a great year, but sorry to hear about Molly. Dogs are such a huge part of the family aren’t they? Good luck with your dreams! #pocolo

    • Claire
      29th November 2014 at 1:16 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you – non dog people might think it’s a bit crazy to be so sad but she’s been with me every day for 13 years – plus she was the only one in our busy family who was easily pleased, I miss that!!
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Xx

  6. jenny@letstalkmommy.com'
    29th November 2014 at 4:36 pm (4 years ago)

    What a great list of an amazing year. I am so very sorry to hear about Molly. Its hard as pets become family members and when they have been there through so much it’s that much harder to say goodbye. Bless you. Great post. Thanks for linking to Share With Me. I hope to see you again next week. #sharewithme

    • Claire
      29th November 2014 at 7:12 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you. I must admit I love this time of year – not just for the Christmasy stuff (though that too clearly!), I love the start of a fresh year and the chance to look back at everything that has happened, even the not so good. Life is too great not to take stock now and then.
      Thanks for reading.

  7. vickywelton@hotmail.com'
    Verily Victoria Vocalises
    30th November 2014 at 1:44 am (4 years ago)

    What a lovely round up. I am so sorry you lost your beloved Molly this year. One of our cats passed away back in October and we were devastated. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo :) x

    • Claire
      1st December 2014 at 1:58 pm (4 years ago)

      I’m so sorry about your cat – it is devastating, they become such an integral part of our families.

  8. zarouhi@hotmail.com'
    Mama and More aka Zaz
    1st December 2014 at 6:46 pm (4 years ago)

    That was so heartbreaking to read of your Molly, but how lovely to hear that 2014 has treated you so well, and that you continue to not only dream, but to also plan to make your dreams a reality! Good for you, may 2015 bring even more happiness xx #AllAboutYou

    • Claire
      2nd December 2014 at 1:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you – 2014 has been a good year overall, despite some sadness. I think it’s really beneficial to look back at the year and find the good bits (even if that requires a bit of digging some years), life flies by so fast these days.
      Thank you for your lovely comments, I hope you have a great 2015 too! Xx

  9. ghostwritermummy@hotmail.co.uk'
    3rd January 2015 at 1:22 pm (3 years ago)

    What a lovely post. So nice to read about your wonderful year, and I’m sorry for your loss. I’m not a dog person but I can appreciate the sorrow at losing a loved one. Look forward to reading your book in 2015!
    x x x

    • Claire
      3rd January 2015 at 1:41 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much!
      Really glad you enjoyed the post – I just need to get myself into gear on the book front!


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