As the Christmas cards fell through the door, there was one reoccurring message: How awful 2017 must have been for me. Yes, suffering a cardiac arrest isn’t the best thing to happen, but it certainly did not define me. After my Dad died in 2013, I realised that there are many negatives from adverse events but you can also experience many positives.

2017 started off in our lovely cottage in North Norfolk. I will never tire of the North Norfolk coast, and if I am being totally honest, I love the winter on Brancaster beach maybe more than the summer.

bran caster beach in the winter,

February bought an awesome ski holiday to Les Arcs. We stayed in Les Arcs 1950 and it proved to be a fantastic resort for families. The kids are now competent skiers, and the wonderful feeling of whizzing down the slopes with them never gets old. I am looking forward to our Easter ski trip this year – bring on the goggle marks!

half term holiday in les arcs

We also heard that Caitlin had got into her first choice, secondary school. Although, the transfer to secondary school is a huge parenting step, she has thrived in her new school: I couldn’t be prouder.

March was a relatively quiet month, but I got to whizz down the slide at The Orbital in the Olympic Park, whilst meeting some cricketers and being introduced to the fantastic All Stars cricket programme.

April we were back to Norfolk to enjoy Easter. Full of friends, food and the beautiful beaches. We visited Scolt Head for the first time, and immediately fell in love with its rugged charm.

May, with a whiff of summer in the air, meant a girls weekend in Mallorca for me! Mallorca is such a great place to visit: beautiful weather, crystal clear warm water to swim in and a nightlife worth missing bedtime for. My daughter started to spread her festival wings, and went with her friend to the wonderful Elderflower festival with her friend and family.

June started off well – it’s my birthday month! We headed off to Wychwood for the third year in a row, and we are now firmly a festival-going family and can’t wait for this year’s festival season. I also visited Kew Gardens with my mum and it made me realise just how beautiful it is, and I couldn’t believe I haven’t been for so long!

things to see at Kew gardens

Then, of course, June took a unexpected turn and I had a cardiac arrest. No, it wasn’t ideal, but I learnt so much from it. My children are brilliant and resilient: From my son making the 999 call and opening the door to the paramedics, to my daughter making sure I was looked after in hospital to still dancing in her ballet show, with a main part, and not letting my illness stop or derail her. She performed brilliantly and she is a fine, strong young woman who showed she can still shine in the face of adversity. My friends showered me in love and support, and the door bell never stopped ringing with deliveries, flowers and more. Even the blogging community rallied together and sent me so much love. I received so many wonderful gifts when I was ill, I still can’t thank people enough.

CPR, life saving CPR,

By early July, I was back home, and we prepared for my daughter leaving primary school. My friend finally tied the knot (!) and time for us to return to Norfolk!

On a sadder note, a friend I had met through some charity work, sadly left us. Although, she may not be here, her legacy and memory lives on in the fabulous fund her husband has set up, Life in Full Swing. Please read Katie’s story, and always live your life in full swing.

August was a fabulous month, and full of family, friends, food, wine and beaches. The children went mud sliding in Burnham Overy and they spent more time in the sea than out. We were definitely sun kissed and the salty air was restorative for us all.

Many people expected me to be resting over the summer, but I was very much getting on with living. We had booked 5 days in Dubrovnik and I was determined to go. And I did. We fell head over heels in love with Dubrovnik (and hopefully I get round to writing the post and editing the video in January!) and Croatia. We will definitely be back.

family trip to dubrovnik,

September was a new dawn for Caitlin, as she began secondary school. She’s up early and off on the bus and back late. But she loves it, and her energy for school knows no bounds.

Starting secondary school. 2017

Back in London, I enjoyed the Scent exhibition at Somerset House and took my gorgeous daughter to The Royal Opera House to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and began to plan the next few months enjoying all London has to offer.

October was first a trip on the i360 in Brighton and then back to Norfolk. We welcomed some friends that we hadn’t seen for a while. There were lots of tears and a lot of hugs, but I am eternally grateful for people like this in life, whatever life may throw at you, whatever other people may say about you, some people will always remain your very best of friends. We also had a record haul crabbing at Brancaster Staithe! Life doesn’t get better!

November means that Christmas is creeping up on you! But first, Bonfire night! We had the most awesome family night out at Lambeth fireworks. An incredible display, and the daughter spent most of the time dancing whilst we all sang our hearts out. I also got involved in the Take Five campaign to raise awareness for online security. I also snuck in a trip to a very festive-looking Middle Temple.

middle temple

December! The month of madness! I continued my work with Take Five, and recorded my very first podcast with the wonderful Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog. Of course, it was time for plenty of socialising, a visit to see Father Christmas, school carol concerts and shows and a trip to the theatre to see Pinocchio. I also managed three trips to the marvellous Winterville on Clapham Common, worth for the Ferris wheel alone!

Then we returned to our Norfolk home, for Christmas and New Year.

2017 has been full of love, family, friends and a fair bit of travelling too. I say, it doesn’t get better than that.

Wishing you all a happy 2018, and may it be as full of happiness, health, family and friends as it can.

Oregon Girl Around the World
Extraordinary Chaos