Less is more, isn’t that what they say? In honour of that fact I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet so stay with me folks.

2016 was literally one of the hardest and best years of my adult life. Isn’t it amazing how life is so full of lows and highs? 2016 has taught me to enjoy the highs. The lows will absolutely suck the life out of you. They are all-consuming and grim. For this reason I’ve adopted the approach of absolutely milking the life out of the good times. I’d highly recommend you give it a shot too.

2016 started off on a very bleak note. We got the news about my Dad’s cancer. January was spent in complete shock. Bathed in mysery and struggling to see any light at all. Terrifying facts and statistics were thrown our way. We tried to process it all while at the same time comforting my Dad who too was in the throws of the shock. It was one of those earth-shatering life-affirming shit storms that I never want to experience again. In the midst of it all we were grieving the loss of our Nanny who had passed away three days before Christmas. A Christmas Eve goodbye and funeral made for a very grim Christmas. We still enjoyed pockets of time together. We even laughed. Then my Grandad passed away. My Dad’s Dad. It was a seriously dark time.

 

I feel like all I want to do is fast forward to Christmas 2016 because it kind of sums up the entire year and all of it’s meanderings. Christmas 2016 was the best Christmas of my life. I have a lump in my throat writing that because I have never spoken, nor felt, a truer thing. I adore my parents, but Christmas when your parents are split up is a bit shit. You are never 100% pleasing anyone. Instead you try to cut yourself down the middle and divide your time in the best way that you can. The sadness and the guilt always surfaces, and despite very lovely Christmas Eves and Days, I always found myself breathing a sigh of relief when Christmas Day had come to an end. It was done. No more planning and trying to figure out how to make everyone happy. The emotional stuff could be parked for a little while and we could just enjoy the chocolate and the cosy PJs now. It felt like a weight had been lifted. This year I was sad when the day came to an end. It was just the most marvellous day for so many reasons.

Santa Claus came to Billy in our new home. He got to open the door with his cousin (who refers to Billy as her “little brother”) and see the surprises that had been left for him. Watching them experience that together was just amazing. The two babies of the family. Seeing Christmas through their eyes is a thousand times better. It’s magical.

Next up was the dinner. For the first time in fifteen years we had Christmas dinner with my Mam and my Dad. Isn’t that amazing? They have been separated for 15 years and are both in happy relationships but this year they are great friends and it really is the best gift either of them could ever give us. We all sat at a big table in my aunt’s house and shared food, stories and songs. It was like something out of a movie. Seeing my Dad so happy was just the most incredible feeling. I won’t go in to the dark stuff, but we just weren’t sure what Christmas 2016 would look like and I am so grateful to the universe, to God, to whoever-the-bloody-hell makes stuff happen. Thank you thank you thank you. My Dad is a fighter and we are all in this together.

 

My Siblings  (I’ll be slagged for using that word, don’t ask me why). My brother came home from Washington DC for Christmas. We weren’t sure if he would make it because he only moved there a couple of weeks before for a job opportunity. We were all reunited on Christmas Day and I just felt so lucky to have been afforded the gift of my brothers and sisters. My sister is literally my best friend and my three brothers and I are so close. I have such a unique and special relationship with all three of them and they just dote on Billy which makes me swoon. They are all happy and healthy people. This is the first year that I felt as though we were just a group of friends spending time together. We all seem to be on the same level these days. All adults. The laughs were just brilliant and we had a fabulous time together. None of us will ever be stuck for a friend and that is an amazing thing. Our friendships blossomed in 2016 in a big way. We had to come together and love and support eachother in a more meaningful way. Team work.

 

My little family. Jesus Christ what can I say here that I don’t say every other day but I am a lucky lucky girl. In August I got to say “I do” to the love of my life after 7 incredible years together. We’ve had six homes together and now we find ourselves living in a granny flat thanks to the kindness of a family member. At the beginning of 2016 I would have died if someone told me that Peter would be proposing 5 months later. I would have died a second time if someone told me we would be married and all by the end of August. I would have laughed in your face if you told me that we would be getting married on Don’t Tell The Bride. You just seriously never know what is around the corner in life, do you? I feel so blessed to be little Billy’s mother. He is just LIGHT. Blinding perfect light. He lights up my world and makes me happier than I ever thought I could be. He is one incredible little boy and I get to be his mother. Pinch me.

 

Feeling happier and healthier in myself than I ever have. I cannot believe that I lost four stone in 2016. I have never been a healthy weight. Like, Ever. Other than when I was born or something. On Christmas Day I wore a Forever 21 Size 12 slinky dress and I felt absolutely fantastic. Again I had no idea that 2016 would be the year that I would finally do this for me. 2017 will be the year I reach my target, and maybe I just might be helping other people reach theirs too. Watch this space.

 

What a rollercoaster of a year but it was undoubtedly one of the happiest years of my life and I never could have predicted it. It will be hard to beat. I don’t want to get too in to grand promises and new year cliches but in 2017 I just want to feel as happy as possible as often as possible. It really is that simple.

 

Thank you for all the comments, likes, tweets and messages in 2016. It means the world to me and I look forward to 2017’s shenanigans.

 

Tracey x

 

15384547_10155125873123888_3952508785429170825_o