2014 will be remembered as the year we survived. And thrived.

Undoubtedly, 2014 got off to a horrible start for our family, with the unexplained death of our unborn baby girl, Charlotte, on January 20. I keep thinking of how blissfully unaware I was when 2014 began. Less than 3 weeks into the year our lives changed course. It took many months to feel normal and happy again, and a lot of my healing (I can’t speak for Monte or the children) has come about through my pregnancy with our beautiful rainbow girl, Sarah. The year ended perfectly, with the arrival of Sarah on November 26. What a journey!

For me, this year has been about healing and growing a baby, whilst trying to be a good mother and wife. I feel like I’ve been climbing uphill with a head of cotton wool for a lot of the year. But as I began to reach the top of that steep, rocky, slippery mountain, I saw incredible beauty, breathed fresh air and witnessed a remarkable view. I also found out a few things about myself. I think I am a much stronger and more reasonable person now, compared to a year ago. I am better able to deal with my anxieties as I am better at choosing not to sweat the small stuff. I’m better at taking things day by day and as they come. I feel like my body has so much recovering to do, and so much work to do to regain my fitness and strength, as 18 months of pregnancy has taken its physical and emotional toll on me. I am looking towards 2015 with a lot of positivity. I am looking forward to being Sarah’s mother, and being a mother of four children and a wife in a large family.

Monte has been working hard this year, working for his clients and developing his own software as well. He also works around the property. This year Monte built a polytunnel (thanks to Sarah, Russell, Anna and Adam for helping!) and he has been growing lots of vegetables in there. One of his favourite hobbies is to propagate plants and his potting bench is chocka-block filled with pots and toilet rolls with all sorts of vegetables being raised in them. Monte also re-landscaped the back yard (thanks to Sarah and Russell for helping to lay the soil and grass seeds!). We now have a large grassed area out the back, with one deep garden bed along the back fence. Monte also began to renovate the cubby house to include a verandah, but that’s not finished yet (and I’m hardly nagging about it at all…not). Monte and Matthew also started karate this year. They enjoy going to classes each week, as well as practising at home.

Georgia has been doing swimming, yoga, Girl Guides, gardening, playing Chess and learning piano this year. She still loves reading a lot! Matt is also swimming, as well as karate and yoga. Next year he will begin piano lessons, and he’s excited about that. Elora begins kinder this year, and swimming lessons. She is very ready to go to school and even wears her new uniform as much as she can. She can’t wait! Sarah is a sweet baby, but she is currently suffering from reflux, so she gets quite uncomfortable and upset, and wants to be cuddled a lot (not that anyone is complaining!).

One of our plans for 2015 is to visit Canberra. Apart from a weekend away at Port Arthur shortly after we lost Charlotte, we haven’t been on a holiday since 2013. A big goal of mine this year is to minimise our stuff. I want to get rid of things and have less clutter in the house. I’m planning to take it easy this year, getting into a new family rhythm. By the end of 2015 I’d like a neat, organised, decluttered (mostly) home and an easy flowing family routine.

So, happy new year. May this year be wonderful for you and your loved ones.

PS I have been wondering what I would say in this letter all year. It hasn’t been difficult to write, but I don’t feel very excited about writing it. 2014 was hard work. By the end of the year I felt amazing, but 2014 is a year that I just want to let go. I’m so glad it’s over. I’m so glad I came through on the other side.

Bless xox