With a desire to get my connections going, I’m taking part in my first blog linky of 2017. For those of you who don’t know, a ‘linky’ is a nice exercise bloggers sometimes perform where they will pick a particular theme and invite other bloggers to write about it too while ‘linking’ up to the original post. Each year the wonderful Sadhbh from Where Wishes Comes From hosts such a linky which looks back on the year that’s been in terms of blogging. She started in 2013 with a 13 from 13 round up of her stand out blogging events, 2014 became a 14 from 14, and you can see where this is going! Every year I say I am taking part in it and every year I fail. Until now!
1.Most Popular Blog Post- The Down Syndrome Paradox.
This post was all about how even though people with Down syndrome are living more fulfilling, engaging and longer lives, their future doesn’t always look bright. When you see that the termination rates for foetuses with Down syndrome are between 98 and 100% in some countries (Denmark, Sweden and Iceland), you realise we have some way to go to convincing the world that Down syndrome is ok. It was great that this post was so popular and it has shown me what I need to do more of in 2017-keep spreading awareness of Down syndrome as much as I can.
2.Favourite Post- When Two is Terrific not Terrible
I loved writing this post about Miss Mini-Mini. It helped to capture her gorgeous spirit and I refer to it often now that we are in the dreaded ‘threenager’ stage. They grow up so fast. Sigh.
I adore this photo of my girls dressed in their ballet gear all ready for dance class. Of all the pics I took this year, I think this one sums up their personalities to a tee!
4. Best Move
This photo the Frenchman took of me and my girls on Mini’s first day of school is pretty special to me. Just a few short weeks after it was taken, I posted it on Instagram the night before I returned to the workforce (as in proper 9-5 grown up, officey job type thing, not my often pathetic attempt at freelance work) where it amassed an array of supportive comments from people wishing me well, which was lovely. Going back to work full-time hasn’t been without its challenges but mentally its been an incredible release for me. I was definitely starting to go a little ga-ga at home with the smallies and while I miss them, it’s a great joy to get in the car and enjoy adult interaction for a few hours every day.
This year was the start of my 40 before 40 endeavour-visit 40 countries before turning 40. I had a goal of 3 new countries to add to the list, but unfortunately I fell short managing only 2-Portugal and The Netherlands. In between there were trips to the previously visited but well-loved destinations of London and Paris so I can say that I am very happy with my travels of 2016. My favourite adventure has to be a two night break to Amsterdam with one of my besties. It was just after I had submitted my thesis and it was a glorious 48 hours of sun, museums, beer, cheese, coffee and shopping. I fell in love with Amsterdam and am looking forward to returning there with the minis some day.
6.Highlight for our family-Mini Schoolgoer
Without a doubt, it had to be when Mini took one giant leap and started mainstream school. I loved writing the accompanying post and shouting to the world how proud I am of our girl. She’s worked so hard to get where she is and she has settled in so well at school-which reminds me there is a blog post on that very topic coming soon!
7. Favourite Search that brought them to my Blog
“What mummy papa do when sunrise and sinset”. I’m not sure how it lead them to my blog and no doubt they were sorely disappointed with that result but it made me smile! The typo makes it even better!
I’m going to go all mushy here and say any comment on the blog is a favourite of mine. Comments take time and are always appreciated so thank you to everyone who commented last year!
9. Favourite Celebration
I’m cheating slightly with this as I am still two weeks away from my graduation date, but when I logged in to view the results of my M.A. in Technical Communication and E-Learning, I did a little happy dance. Throughout the year, I was knocking on the door of a first class honours and a high mark in my thesis (big shout out here to the fabulous proof-reading skills of Christine Doran for helping me achieve this) hauled me over the threshold. To say I am absolutely thrilled would be a massive understatement. The course was tough and to get the highest possible result was a real pinch me moment.
10. Worst Blog Moment
I really let the blog slip in 2016. There were times when I went weeks without blogging and I considered giving up the whole thing entirely at the start of the year. Going back to college and writing academically meant my brain didn’t seem to want to engage in any form of creative writing and posts became abandoned by the wayside on numerous occasions. I’m glad that I persevered and kept it going though and I feel positive about what the next 12 months of blogging may bring.
11. Best Blog Moment
As it was such a barren year for the blog, there wasn’t a whole lot of high points. Getting to the final round of Best Parenting Blog at the 2016 Littlewoods Irish Blog Awards was lovely though. Nominations and awards certainly don’t change your life but it’s immensely gratifying and pretty darn humbling to know you have readers who are dedicated enough to vote for you and have judges deem you worthy of being in the top 10 parenting blogs in the country.
12.Favourite Title-Crouching Mother, Hidden Dragonfly
I am rubbish when it comes to providing titles for my posts. I did like this one, however, all about how when it comes to raising kids with special needs, helicopter parenting doesn’t even come close!
13. Favourite Blog Series
My 40 before 40 can hardly be called a series with only two entries this year so I’m looking outside of the blog to fill this category. I love the Dinner Files Interview series from Bumbles of Rice where families all around Ireland talk about their dinnertime. It’s a fascinating insight into the mealtime habits of others and provides some comfort to know I’m not alone in my struggles with fussy eaters.
15. What I Learned in 2016
Well obviously not how to count as I seem to have arrived at number 15 straight after number 13, but as the song puts it, let’s just carry on regardless! I’m glad to say that 2016 has been a year of doing, rather than dreaming. In my Instagram bio, I describe myself as a dreamer and I’m often too afraid to make those dreams a reality. I pushed hard last year to achieve my goals-getting a first in my Masters was a lifetime achievement goal unlocked and I had barely time to relax after submitting my thesis before I was dusting down the CV and applying for jobs. I landed a job with a great company in Galway providing me with ample opportunity to get my new career in technical writing off the ground. I’m going to continue this ‘doing’ attitude and hope it will lead to the biggest of all dreams being realised; getting that novel published! (Course I still have to write the bloody thing!)
16. What My Blog Did For Me in 2016
As always it was that little space of the internet reserved just for me to use as I pleased whether shouting from the roof tops when things were going well, or venting when times were hard. Blogging remains a wonderful community for me and the support I receive from other bloggers continues to give me that little nudge I need to keep going. Writing is a tough gig, so I’m very glad of this support and I’m looking forward to enjoying everything blogging has to offer me in 2017.
If you liked this post, please do check out the other 16 from 16 lists from some of my favourite bloggers.