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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Happy New Year Holly and family,i think its going to be a good one .So much to look forward to.Please take it easy ,your supermum not superwoman lol.Let others help,delegate .I am going to attempt to make a wedding cake have you or any of your followers made one ?xx
Awww Holly, lovely gorgeous talented Holly, please don’t change in 2014! Keep bringing us more wonderful recipes, photos, entertainment and laughs, and especially news of the next Baby Bell, how amazing is that??? Congrats!!!! Pregnancy losses are awful no matter how far along you are, and you’re so amazing for managing to recover. keep going and even to conceive another baby successfully, thoughts and prayers with you and the family this year, new arrivals are AWESOME :) always bring smiles to people’s faces! lots of love, Stella xxxxx
Ah, thank you Stella. You’re lovely – I hope you have a wonderful 2014! More recipes coming for sure! Xxx
So terribly sorry for your loss but so wonderful to hear the good news! Take care, Holly and a very happy new year to you and your (growing) family!
Thank you lovely and you too. xx
I know how you feel holly – I have suffered 2 miscarriages this year (both very early on) and your words are exactly as I would describe it. It’s been a hard year but I’m hoping 2914 will be the year for me and the hubby to have our first child x happy 2014 for you – sounds like it will be a very good year!
Jo, I think we baked and decorated cakes together with Holly a couple of years ago. So sad to read your news and I hope that this year brings you everything you wish for.
We did Adam – but i think we did bread not cupcakes! Thanks for your kind wishes – i’m being positive that 2014 will be the year it happens!
Ah Jo, I am really sorry to hear that. It’s tough – really a very lonely experience. I hope you have lots of support. And I am wishing you lots of luck for 2014 in everything… Including having a little one. xxx
Ah holly, i feel your pain. i had my annus horribilis in 2009, similar situation, lost my second pregnancy at 3 months. to this day only a couple of my close friends know, we didnt tell any family, but i too felt embarrassed, i cant even explain why, i think because i felt so sure something like this wouldnt happen to me. of course people didnt know what had happened but i used to get so angry inside when people used to ask me if i was going to have a second baby, or if people announced their pregnancies early, i just felt like saying dont count on it to work out – very bitter i know. luckily i fell preg a few months after, but had mixed emotions all the way through. however, more than 3 years on i have the most lovely sweet boy, i wouldnt change him for the world. people did say to me at the time that the lost pregnancy “wasnt meant to be”, i hated that phrase, it didnt make me feel better at all, but i can see the truth in it now. so glad your year ended on a positive, wishing you much happiness for 2014, may your baby arrive safely and you have continued success whatever you do! mx
The embarrassment is such a strange emotion – I didn’t expect it, I guess it’s all wrapped up in the sense of failure. I think the ‘not meant to be’ thing only resonates when you have managed to carry a subsequent baby to term – you can see how that life wouldn’t exist without the previous loss. It’s so hard isn’t it. I am really pleased you managed to have another baby. I am praying the same happens for me. xxx
What a roller coaster of a year! Your tough times make me appreciate all your likes of my Facebook nonsense all the more. Can’t to wait to see what 2014 brings you both at work and home. Big hugs and kisses and wishes for an annus amazeballsis (and if that’s not a word it jolly well should be) x
Thanks Adam. You’re a sweetheart. x
I was sad to read your news but obviously so happy for you celebrating the New Year with another baby on the way. Thanks for your blog and answers to several questions I have posted this year. I hope 2014 is a fabulous year for you and look forward to seeing what you get up to! xxx
Hi Julie, and the same to you too – have a wonderful new year. xx
The beginning of the year was also very similar for us Holly, and I can completely understand where you are coming from when talking about bumps & babies and thankfully I am also sat here reading your blog with a non – alcoholic drink with just 35 days to go till our number two blessing arrives. God bless you and yours for a super 2014, love the recipes and enjoy making many of them, keep them coming as long as you can x
The same to you and HUGE luck in the home run – almost there. It’s really never an innocent pregnancy once it’s happened is it? But I think it makes you count your blessings more. Have a wonderful eve and an even better 2014. xx
So wonderful to hear your happy news, and i am so terribly sorry for your loss too. I do hope 2014 is much kinder to you all. I totally understand the bitterness and awful feeling – still trying for our 2nd – 5 years later… not a peep, so you are truly not alone in that feeling as im sure many will agree. I am very happy to hear of your rainbow baby :) Lots of love to all & Good luck on your future endeavors! xx
It’s such a secret taboo isn’t it? I felt like I could tell no one – but once I did people started to hate stories and tips. I wish you much love and luck for the next year. xx
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