One year ago today Trina talked me into starting my own blog. I started with this story, a fairly typical "oopsy" in our lives.
Just a couple of weeks later my eldest daughter had an accident and then died, and what I had originally intended to be a light-hearted funny look at older events from my life as a fostercarer became something a little deeper. I learned about the elbow polishers, who persist even today.
And then we had a normal sort of a year for us really - which I suppose could be considered extraordinary by other people's standards. Hospital stays, illnesses, operations, appointments made and cancelled. Holidays, camping, Florida, boat trips, garden concerts, cooking, all sorts.
I posted a recipe for Toblerone Brownies, which led to one of the most popular search terms for this blog "is Toblerone suitable for vegetarians" and which led to many vegetarian chocolate lovers being sent to view a slab of raw meat. Sorry about that.
Our builder worked on. And off. And on. And off. And on. And off, but still not finished.
Little Fish spoke her first sentence. We had our day in court.
Mog's mother wrote a book. We were on television. And had our day in court too.
I got into gardening.
I'm writing this in advance as on the day it posts we'll be camping again. And at a wedding. And also at a large meet up for families of children with special needs. Yes, all on the same day - should be interesting if nothing else.
This isn't exactly the life I was picturing 12 months ago; there's a child missing from the reality who was very present in the picture. I was imagining that by this time, she'd be settled properly in her new home and would be coming on summer holidays with us, dropping in for visits, effectively living the student life she'd be living now if she hadn't been disabled. But she isn't, and that's that. It isn't, of course, but there isn't much I can do about it.
And meanwhile lots to celebrate. A good recovery from surgery. Positive progress reports on both girls - some hiccups and complications but some exciting things too.
Twelve months ago I set out to write something that would be mildly entertaining, hopefully show that life with my girls and their friends isn't all doom and gloom, and that I am neither angel nor perfectly patient and organised at all times. It's become more than that; I hope it still manages its first mission statement though. Here's to next year!