We want to say that we've had a really good year and you've been kind to us, and admittedly there have been a handful of highlights, but in reality, we can't wait to see the back of it. The year didn't start too badly with some perfect days spent with the family, drinking endless hot chocolates and deciding that actually jeans for women weren't so bad. Even when papa got admitted to hospital for a short while, things still carried on as normal with blog events to attend and weekends away with close friends and you gave us the pleasure of being awarded Highly Commended Best Blogging Duo for Company magazine. Little R was learning things he shouldn't, and becoming man of the house, and Schmidt was happily spending his days wrapped in his bedding stashing away sunflower seeds. And however happy I looked, it was the start of many evenings spent crying at home with the thought of work the following day and the fact our cottage was slowly falling apart in front of us. Towards the end of May after a sun filled month of countryside walks and family BBQ's, things started to get harder with Little B's grandad taken ill but as always life carried on with evenings spent hiding under a makeshift den, and discovering Krispy Kreme. Sadly in June we dug out our best black outfits and headed back to Little B's family home to mourn the loss of his grandad. Weekends were spent helping sort through boxes and furniture, and with Little B's birthday round the corner we decided to book a weekend in Brighton. To get away from it all. And that we needed, when in July, we lost Little B's other grandparent, so suddenly. Her funeral was beautiful, and if anything it brought everybody even closer. We put our heart and soul into appreciating the smaller things, and redecorated the living room in the cottage to hide the problems of the property, but it didn't stop us attending another funeral of a family friend. The summer was coming to an end, and we were more than ready for our week in Spain with friends where we re-evaluated our life and decided some things had to change. I began job hunting, and Little B decided to shave his head and take up golf. Things were slow and it was becoming a low point, especially when September came and we were served our notice to leave the cottage. It came at the wrong time, but in hindsight it worked out for the best, where we moved back in with my parents and needed our help with papa admitted to hospital again. We really started to feel like things weren't ever going to be better, but luck came on our side when we ended up signing papers for our very own house, that we owned. It was a bittersweet feeling none the less, and was put too one side when Papa made the life changing decision to have a below the knee amputation after eleven years of feet problems. It wasn't easy to take in, but it proved that as a family we could get through this and in November he underwent surgery. Only days before did we suddenly lose Schmidt, and although he was nearly two years old, it was a huge shock. One that we struggled to deal with, with everything else happening including the loss of a family member and the start of my new job. Quite honestly, this was the lowest point of the year, and seeing your parents at their lowest was hard. Extremely hard, but together we all pulled through and when Papa said that he was lucky he still had another leg, we realised that there are people far worse off than us. And this stuck with us. December came round quickly where we moved in to our house, and once again our family were incredible, helping us decorate and choose new furniture, and just being the best they could. And for that we're eternally grateful, so 2013, you may have won and taken some wonderful people from us and thrown us many challenges, but it's only shown us that whatever we may face, we can get through it, and we have. Because we're still here. Cancer may be a bitch, but not as much as you 2013.
I'd really like to hope that you're nothing like last year, because our families and us think that this should be our year. We're not after the world, we've learnt to appreciate the smaller things in life but we'd quite like a steady ride. One that's filled with family and love, friends and laughter, a perfect home for the two of us and kitty, and some wonderful weekends away together. We promise to take better care of ourselves this year, if you promise to look after us. Dear 2014, we're ready for you even if we're celebrating in our pyjamas.