DISCLAIMER: Please note that any and/or all opinions and ideas conveyed in the following blog post will most likely be;

A) Incredibly cheesy and sentimental.

B) Effusive and adoring of my child.

And C) Incredibly boring to those readers who don’t have kids…and also probably those who do.

Since we celebrated Amelia’s first birthday this week, I’ve been thinking about how many things have made me happy this year, and thought I would like to recount the twelve SONY DSCreasons (one for each month – see what I did there?) why this last year has been a special year so far for me…the main reason of course being the birth of Amelia, but hey, you knew that. Also just noticing how many times I’ve said ‘reason’ so far. Apologies. I couldn’t be bothered looking up a thesaurus…

April: Well it is the most obvious one, of course – Amelia came along 2 days early (thank GOD she wasn’t born on Hitler’s birthday) and all of a sudden made me and the G Man into a pair of bewildered but excited new parents. She is, of course, the main reason why this year has been life changing, fun, scary, overwhelming, but unbelievably special.

May: I suppose in May I was getting well into the learning curve. I’d never changed a nappy before (seriously) but we were thrown in at the deep end, and we managed to get used to it, as I’m sure all parents do. I also began my weight loss journey at Weight Watchers, and made a decent start.

June: I learned a really important lesson last June. I finally learned how important it is to let friendships end when they have run their course. Sometimes it isn’t worth the headache or heartache. Having Amelia taught me not to chase the arguments and petty stuff, and to just walk away.

July: Was the month I began writing this blog. A pal of mine suggested it and he was definitely right – it was my thing and I absolutely love it. It allows me to be creative in so many ways, and to connect, share and laugh with so many existing (and new) friends in the land of t’internet!

SONY DSCAugust: Saw two celebrations. My first birthday as a Mum and Amelia’s christening. We had a wonderful weekend and it made me realise what amazingly generous, kind, decent and true family and friends we have. We got to see Amelia’s Godparents, Aunty C and Uncle B come to her christening and stand for her. *proud tear

September: It dawned on me this month when the new school term had started, that I didn’t have to go back to work just yet. It made me realise what precious time I had left of my maternity leave, and I started appreciating it more; going out for big walks with the pram, into town, generally chilling out and spending time with the baby.

October: Led us to our holiday in Bristol and Devon, where we spent Amelia’s first Halloween with Aunty C and Uncle B. Good times.

November: Saw me getting to 6 months at weight watchers and realising my first weight loss goal. I realised very clearly then that I was going to achieve my target weight, and I’m not far off it now – watch this space!

December: Was of course baby’s first Christmas. Very exciting! Also I got a weekend job playing Mrs Claus (yes I know, I will be too skinny next year!) and reading stories to the children in line to see Santa. Great fun!

January: I did it. I faced it – I started back to work. I thought I was going to hate it. Thought I would be upset and find the workload strange or the pupils too challenging after such a long break. But weirdly, I didn’t. I realised how much I love my job and how much I missed it. (Realising this is probably the cheesiest part of this whole post but, ‘feck it, I’ve gone too far now to stop!)

February: The G Man and I had our first night away without Amelia and we just felt so secure in knowing that our family was looking after her and how much they love her. I don’t think I will ever take family for granted.

March: After a year of not being involved with our Muscial Society, me and the G Man were once again in the saddle working backstage at their annual production. It was so great to see everyone together, enjoy the banter and fun and generally catch up. Aftershow parties rock, also.

What a difference a year makes.