2016 for me, has been a whopper of a year. I’ve had some fabulous highs but also shared some family lows. It’s been a strange one and one that I’m ready to put behind me and start afresh in 2017. Before that happens though, I’ve taken a stab at rounding up my best bits.
Have at it.
1. I started my Living with IBS series where I asked other bloggers and sufferers to share their stories, secrets and tips. I know this series has waned over the past six months, but fear not I have plans to bring it back and make it bigger than ever.
2. I opened up about my struggle with anxiety and learnt that it’s not a weakness. I’m still figuring out how best to manage it when it flares and how it all ties back to my IBS.
3. I started making YouTube videos all about IBS. The very sexy titled 8 Things I Swear By to Help My IBS video has had nearly 3,000 views and 22 comments. Not bad considering I only have 122 subscribers and have less than ten videos to my name. Again, I have more in the pipeline.
4. 2016 was the year I found my wedding dress. It happened when we least expected it – after a number of spectacularly shit experiences – and was everything we’d hoped it would be. My dear mum picked the dress out and it’s not one I ever thought I’d wear but every time I think about it my heart swells.
5. One of the proudest moments for me was being nominated in the UK Blog Awards. To this day I’m still over the moon about it and even if I don’t make it to the shortlist (roll on 2nd Jan) I’m still so incredibly chuffed to even have been noticed. If you voted for me, thank you, you’ve made my year.
6. The baby boom amongst my friends and family has continued in 2016. It started way back in January with one of my besties welcoming her gorgeous baby girl. Several babies followed, as did my cousin’s and other besties pregnancy announcement. My second honorary nephew came into the world in August with a rather brilliant full head of hair. It’s basically been cuddle central.
7. We finally renovated our bathroom taking it from 70’s peach to a clean mix of white and grey. Although we still have some cabinet doors to paint, we’re nearly there…
8. I took Al to Longleat for his birthday where we came up close to gorgeous rhinos, ant eaters and lemurs. We spent the weekend with permanent grins on our faces.
9. We took our first family holiday to Portugal for my auntie’s 60th and yep, my IBS survived. We’ve been away before all together but never out of the country so this was a mammoth task to organise. We spent 90% of our time in the pool catering to my honorary 4 year-old nephew’s every wish. As a family, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
10. Mudeford is one of my favourite places, filled with gorgeous family memories, so when the chance to stay there for the weekend came up, Al and myself alongside our besties, jumped at the chance. We watched films, went crab fishing and ate all the cockles for our 30th birthdays.
11. A definite highlight was adopting Lils, our beautiful Dwarf Lop from one of my oldest friends. She’s bought chaos to our living room but it’s so worth it for the cuddles and licks.
12. I wrote a shit-tonne of IBS related posts including 10 Embarrassing Things About IBS I’m Not Afraid to Share and 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone with IBS, both of which received an overwhelming amount of comments and Tweets. Expect to see even more IBS content in the next year as I go on the hunt for the ultimate gut health.
13. I became the proud owner of two pairs of maternity jeans for my ever-changing IBS belly – thanks bestie! I need to put them through their paces but expect more on this.
14. Myself and my work-partner-in-crime traveled to Dubai for work and successfully launched another site and social channels for another territory this year. It was a roller coasted of a journey but I loved every minute of it.
15. I met with my IBS dietician and will be embarking on a 6 week low-FODMAP diet as of January 11th. HORAY!!!!!!! It was one of the first appointments I’ve had around my IBS where I didn’t leave in floods of tears feeling frustrated. I’ll of course be blogging the whole experience for you.
16. Me and my bestie threw our good friend a blinder of a hen do before she elopes at the beginning of next year. It was one helluva evening filled with cabaret, sequins, cocktails and bruises.
17. I finally got to experience the magical Christmas at Kew with my nearest and dearest.
18. Christmas! It’s my favourite day of the year and we spent four days celebrating with our families.
19. On 28th December I turned 30. We spent the day before enjoying afternoon tea at Pennyhill Park before I spent the actual day lounging around at home getting truly spoilt. Obviously my IBS wouldn’t let me take full centre stage, so instead Al I spent the evening in our pjs with a film and a takeaway and it was perfect.
20. My beloved wedding shoes were also delivered on my birthday making it a double whammy. Now to practice walking in them…
Thank you 2016, you’ve been a rollercoaster.