Confessional blog posts; I’m just not sure about them. I greedily lap them up on other blogs and websites, addicted to the grubbiest of dirty linen people are willing to air in public. A lot like the relationships threads on Mumsnet, I baulk at other’s lives. But I’m no better. We’ve all said things we’re ashamed of, we’ve all bragged a little too much about things we’re proud of; our own achievements, our kids, our families. We all have our moments. Don’t we?

Which brings me to 2013. What did it bring? Professionally it was a high, I can’t say much more for a month or two. I know that’s annoying. When I gave up advertising for staying at home and trying to make a living blogging and writing and coming up with recipe ideas I didn’t think it would work out. In fact I was plain scared that I’d never earn my own money again, but it turns out that this year has been the coming of age. More on this in 2014.

What have been your favourite recipes of the year? Looking at the blog stats it’s very clear to see that the oldies really are the goodies. The top recipe of 2013 was indeed a recipe for sausagemeat with onion two ways from 2011. I’m a girl who loves a sausage roll so I’m totally with you on that. The good old gifting idea of hot chocolate on a stick from 2012 comes in at number 2. I am almost certain this is all down to pinterest and the never ending quest for presents that are cheap, tasty and quick. Also popular were dough balls, the disgracefully calorific Cadbury creme egg mess, simple choc ganache tart, a very easy peasy no mixer required chocolate cake, a versatile Victoria sponge recipe with 5 variations on a theme (including one that a kind lady said looked like mushroom soup – hell, what’s wrong with mushroom and vanilla sponge? Just call me Heston), a naughty death by chocolate cake, a post about  achieving flat topped vanilla cupcakes and lastly in at number 10 was slow cooker red cabbage, which does surprise me after all the chocolate and sugar love, but hey, red cabbage can be cleansing.

Personally this year has included the highest highs and the lowest lows. I feel like I’ve really grown up this year. I’ve struggled with whether to even write about this but after a lot of soul searching decided that yes, it was the right thing to do… even if it only makes one other person feel not so alone. Here goes – *gulps*

So we started the year deciding we’d try for our 3rd and final baby, and we were very happy and lucky to find we’d been successful early on in the year. It was almost too easy. Sadly, it turned out that baby wasn’t meant to be and we lost him/her very early on in the pregnancy. Not for a second would I compare the loss I felt to the loss someone might feel after carrying a baby for half a year or more in their body, but it was still hard. And I think about that little person a lot and who they might have been, what they might have done, if they’d have made me cry with frustration at times (almost certainly) and cry with happiness at others (definitely.) It’s just plain sad, but then that’s life isn’t it? There are sad times.

And then we seemingly couldn’t have another baby. Things weren’t working. And the more I obsessed about it the less likely it seemed that we’d ever have our elusive 3rd baby. It felt very lonely – the not getting pregnant, I felt embarrassed, which is silly but true. I saw bumps, babies and buggies everywhere. It broke my heart. I became a little bitter. I’m ashamed to say I found it hard to smile at other people’s happy news. And then just as we were having the first tests to see what on earth was going on, it happened. So here I am on New Year’s Eve, at my desk with a non alcoholic glass of something fizzy and a little baby in my tummy, who’s just over a third of the way there. We hope and pray everything will be okay. What else can we do?

So here is my first and possibly last confessional blog post. All that’s left to say is perhaps to stand up in my group therapy blog post, feeling really quite emotional and shout out loud and proud:

My name is Holly and I have had a funny old year. Here’s to you all in 2014, wishing you much happiness and joy, whatever your heart has withstood this year. Thanks for reading.

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