Reflections on 2015

Reflections on 2015

For some inexplicable reason, years ending in five have all been pretty hard work my end. 1995: the year I left home at the tender age of 15. 2005: the year I cut ties with my entire family. 2015: the relentless one thing after another-ness has been exceptionally challenging.

BUT! That is the most I’m going to allow myself to dwell…

As the end of 2015 becomes so close we can smell it, I’ve been wracking my brains and scanning my archives to seek out all the highlights to share with you. Grab a cuppa (or hide in the toilet) and enjoy!

20151010_105834January: After reading the brilliant book 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child, Hubby and I set to work right away on implementing the advice it contained. I’m proud to say that almost a whole year later, the most vital bits have stuck. The main thing we took from the book is how damaging shouting at the children is. It’s still very much a work in progress, and we aren’t cucumber cool all the time (who is?) but we’ve been a lot calmer and less shouty this year than in previous ones.

February: We have lots to celebrate this month, because it’s two of the three kid’s birthdays as well as our wedding anniversary. So we threw a huge party, and lots of our lovely friends and family came along to wish us well. It was an awesome day, and we were buzzing for weeks afterwards. I’m already looking forward to planning the next one!

IMG_20150403_145113March: After a gentle nudge from a great friend (thanks Jules!) I ventured into the world of vlogging, and posted a video showing how easy it is to make home made mayonnaise. It was really well received, and I followed it up with my natural mouthwash recipe. It’s been my highest viewed vid, and almost a thousand people have watched it. I know that’s not massive numbers in comparison to big vloggers, but it’s not bad going for little old me.

April: My wee man took his first steps in this month, after what seemed like an eternity of crawling and cruising (it was actually only six months). I remember being really chuffed that he was on his feet in time for our holiday.

I also shared the first chapter of my novel in progress. Kate’s Story is told in reverse, and starts with her tragic tale of loss and regret. I am loving writing this story, but often have trouble finding the time for it in amongst everything else. I shared the latest instalment A Melancholy Christmas last week.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMay: We had the most amazing family holiday in Crete. We ate gorgeous fresh food, bathed in the sun and had a properly relaxing time (no mean feat with three kids in tow).

June: This was a crazy month, with Polly’s autism diagnosis, and early discussions of my redundancy coming within days of each other.

July: The summer feels like such a blur, but I know we managed lots of catch ups with friends; picnics in the park and ate a fair bit of Booja Booja ice cream 😉

August: After doing quite a bit of research and having a strong feeling that it might be somewhere we would consider moving to, we had a three day trip to Whitstable on the Kent Coast. Although it was a fab place to visit, we realised that it wasn’t somewhere we would actually move, and that we are perfectly happy to continue living where we are for the foreseeable future.

September: Although it was three months in the making, I was officially made redundant and took the leap into self-employment with blogging activities becoming my new job. Not having to go back to the corporate world has meant being able to be at home where I’m needed the most. I’m also now able to officially call myself a writer, which is pretty cool.

Open Letter to Autism MamaOctober: Hubby and I enjoyed a fabulous 24 hours together without the kids. It was our first break away since becoming parents, and we made the very most of our time. I had a ladies lunch to kick start my day off, then hubby collected me and we had a whistle stop tour of the City sampling lots of delicious food and drinking a cocktail or two. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel, and went home feeling very refreshed.

November: my post An Open Letter to the Mum of a Highly Functioning Autistic Child went viral. It was a wonderful feeling to know that my words had touched so many and made them feel a little less alone in this autism parenting game.

The really big news of November was that we made the decision to start home educating. We have had a gentle introduction to learning at home, and have had to ride out the process of de-schooling. I don’t have a huge amount to say about it all right now, but am hoping to be in a position to write a proper update in January.

I also became a blog ambassador for the amazing charity The Children’s Society, and am working with them on raising awareness for their Seriously Awkward campaign.

December: My part memoir, part self-help book Become the Best You was republished by Austin Macauley. Now if we could just figure out a way for it to go viral and get onto the bestsellers lists, I can start planning my retirement 😉

2015-11-27 11.30.35I’d like to say a huge thanks to my lovely readers. I hope you’ve had a wonderful festive season, and may 2016 be the year all your dreams come true.

And for any of my old friends tuning in, it really wouldn’t be New Year’s without leaving you with this…

“Here’s to you and here’s to me, the best of friends we’ll always be, but if by chance we disagree, well f you, and here’s to me!”

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31 thoughts on “Reflections on 2015

  1. Thanks so much my darling, really kind of you to say that. Just let me know when you are free hon, I’m around most Sat mornings while Andy takes the girls to gymnastics xx

  2. It’s an old ‘cheersing’ song we uswd to sing, the frequency would go up the drunker we got 😉 here’s hoping 2016 brings us all lots of good stuff xxx

  3. Your last line made me chuckle – love it! It’s certainly been a challenging year for you all, especially with Polly’s autism diagnosis but hopefully 2016 will see things moving onwards and upwards for you all and be a much better year all round. It sounds like there’s been a lot of happy memories made and positive moments in amongst the challenging ones though and how lovely to look back on them all. Wishing you and your family all the very best for 2016 and hope it will be a good year for you all x

  4. Another rollercoaster year! You’ve done amazing things with your writing – going viral is no mean feat but just seeing that pic of you holding up your published book shows that nothing is luck with you – you make your own luck. Onwards and upwards for 2016, eh? I have several ideas which I’ll probably share soon and one that I probably won’t. Not too sure where my head will be at this time next year… Xxx

  5. Wow, lovely, you have had one jampacked year! So much has happened huh? I still think you’re amazing for fitting everything in, you’re a superstar! Please let’s have that coffee again soon, I know we’re both busy but it really has been too long again! Happy New Year to you guys xx

  6. Hope your 2016 is better and you get into the swing of home educating. What a year though – there are not many people who can say they became a writer, published author and a home educator all in one year!

  7. It’s been a pleasure and a joy getting to know you via your blog. It’s always a great read, raising some sort of emotion whether it’s a giggle or a tear!
    Here’s to a fabulous new year xx

  8. A fantastic round up of what’s been a really tough year for you lovely. I’ve been through it all and it’s been quite a ride. Here’s to 2016, may it be filled with happiness for you all and more sleep. Love xxx

  9. What a year Reneé, but you’ve come through it wiser and stronger. I’ve loved following you through the year (not in a following you in the shadows kind of way) as I’ve learned a hell of a lot and you’ve given a new perspective on many things. Thank you.

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