More than any other year I can look back on 2013 and see certain moments that defined it in pure technicolour. In fact a lot of the last 6 months is very blurry, it's only those moments that stand out.
There are plenty of moments in my life that were played out in slow motion, every second catalogued and memorised forever. In 2013 we were gifted several 'moments that mattered' that will stay with me forever - for good or bad, in sickness and in health...
The year started really calmly, bumbling along. The Brick Castle was new, the blogging community were brilliant, I felt immediately part of a huge and completely surprising family. Little did I realise that the very first time I ventured onto Twitter purely to chat to that family would I find that the very worst had happened to one of them. It gave rise to this post, which showed a side of me that I hadn't expected to show in public.
March provided some of the most spectacular experiences and sights I'll ever see with the amazing 8ft snowdrifts at Easter when we visited my partner's parents in Scotland.
In July I was getting excited about attending my first ever blogging conference - Blog On at The Museum of Science And Industry - when everything crashed. At 12.30pm on 10th July 2013 I realised my partner was seriously ill, may have Meningitis and needed immediate medical attention. That moment was incredibly scary, but it wasn't as terrifying as when I arrived back at hospital the second day and found him even more seriously ill, and nothing has ever been as horrible as sitting with him while he had his Lumbar Puncture.
It led on to my moment that mattered the very most for 2013. My partner being allowed home from hospital under my care. He was still very ill, slept 21 hours a day and had to go back each day for a check up, but it was wonderful for everyone, especially the children because they hadn't been allowed to visit and it had been a very scary thing for us all to deal with.
August saw us back at my partner's parents and on the way home a moment that matters very much because I genuinely will regret it forever. The moment I jumped from The Great Stone Of Fourstones and broke my leg. It left our family with 2 disabled parents, 7 children and several almost impossibly hard and painful months ahead of us.
September saw our eldest move out and go to University, and our youngest start Nursery - big milestones which were lost in the post-Meningitis and broken leg blur, so I don't remember them as vividly as I perhaps should.
In December I found out I had won a hefty Amazon voucher in a Gingerbread House blog competition. The moment I decided to make that castle has to go down as very important. It meant we were able to almost double our present budget for the kids and buy loads of extra treats, and even though my scheduled leg operation didn't happen, a calm descended on the house, which, despite everything we had all been through, helped us have THE best Christmas ever.
All together as a family - and THAT is what matters the most.
This is my entry for the Lloyds Bank 'Moments That Matter' Bloggers competition.