It’s the 1st of December tomorrow (I know… WHOA. Doesn’t it feel like it was only Easter yesterday?!), and so before the 1st becomes the 25th, and the 25th quickly becomes the 31st, I thought I’d reflect back on the year that’s been 2017, and remember some (17, specifically!) of the most memorable moments from it.
In 2017, I…
1. Woke Up In Singapore On New Year’s Day
If you’re travelling via Singapore Airlines (we were flying back to New Zealand after spending a month traipsing through New York, Boston and San Francisco), they very conveniently offer a free stopover in their capital city, and because I couldn’t think of a single reason not to take advantage of this, we spent New Year’s Eve drinking cocktails on top of the Marina Bay Sands, sipping Singapore Slings at the Raffles Hotel, and asking “what do you think this is?!” as we sampled a variety of different foods at an Asian food court.
Singapore’s not a destination that had previously been at the top of my travel bucket list, but our two days there were one of my favourite parts of the entire trip.
2. Discovered That I Wasn’t Suffering Grumpy Cow-itis; I Was Pregnant!
I had a meltdown – complete with shouting every expletive I could think of, in public – after Casey instructed us to hop off at the wrong bus stop in San Francisco one day. I cried on our way to a restaurant – because I was hungry – in Singapore. I guess you could say that the signs had been there…!
3. Had My Braces Removed
In all honesty, having braces never really bothered me (if anything, I was a little proud; I was fixing something that I’d been self-conscious about for years!), but being able to eat an apple properly again? Now that was nice!
4. Cut More Than Half My Hair Off
And wondered why I’d been so boring with it – having the same haircut, at the same length – in the first place. It’s hair. It grows back! Experimenting is FUN!
5. Introduced Casey To Milse In Auckland
Have you ever been? My first visit was with my friend Moira in 2015, and at the time, I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t let me bring my pram in. I remember gesturing towards Charlie (who came everywhere with me, because as a single parent, I learned that I would either have to bring her with me, or not do anything at all), but the woman at the door just shook her head and repeated “NO PRAMS.” Once we were inside, I understood why; it was tiny. In fact, it might be the smallest place I’ve ever eaten at, but their desserts are phenomenal, and dining there is an experience in itself.
6. Realised That Who You Are Inside Doesn’t Change
Our bodies age, but our spirits don’t. Someone came over a couple of months ago and remarked “jeez, Corrine… two kids, a house… you’re like a proper adult now!” And I suppose, on the outside, it does look like I’m a relatively responsible adult-type who (mostly) has her shit together. But on the inside, I still very much feel like that 15 year-old with butt-length dreadlocks, wearing a Pantera t-shirt, attempting to figure the world out…
7. Predicted That I Was Carrying A Baby Boy…
… and I was right!
8. Cancelled A 10 Day Trip To Japan
Which was a bummer, but six weeks before our departure date, I wound up in hospital with severe morning sickness. Suddenly, being pregnant overseas no longer seemed like such an excellent idea, so we cancelled our holiday (thank goodness for travel insurance, eh?), and put our Japan savings towards building materials for our bedrooms.
9. Moved Everything We Own Into The Lounge For Four Months…
10. … And Began Renovating Our Home
We – a term I use INCREDIBLY loosely, because it was mostly everyone but me – ripped down our bedroom walls, lined them with insulation, re-jibbed, re-plastered and painted them, replaced our cracked ceilings, and installed new wardrobes, carpet and blinds.
11. Applied For A New Job
A role that I had been interested in for a while – with the same employer that I currently work for – was advertised when I was seven months pregnant. The feedback around me was unanimous; “no-one’s going to hire you while you’re pregnant.” “Uh… you do realise you’re about to go on maternity leave, right? Why would they employ you?!”, but for better or for worse, I’m as stubborn as a mule and rarely listen to anyone, so I uploaded my résumé, interviewed, and hoped for the best. It paid off; I start in January!
12. Turned 30
It was the most uneventful birthday I’ve had, but it’s okay. We were 3/4 of the way through our renovations, and I was 38 weeks pregnant. Some years are about just surviving!
13. Sat Through My Second Caesarean Surgery
I had my first caesarean surgery with Charlie in 2014 after an obstetrician discovered that she was breeched, running low on amniotic fluid, and measuring small. In September, I sat through my second caesarean, and…
14. … Gave Birth To My Son, Brady
I had wondered – more than once – how I could possibly love another child, especially as much as my first. I needn’t have; from the second I heard his tiny cry as he was pulled from my stomach, I was totally besotted!
15. Started Driving Lessons
Not having your license with one child is occasionally inconvenient, but mostly fine. Not having your licence with TWO children is a nightmare; it took having to walk 3 kilometres one afternoon with Charlie in the pram, and Brady strapped to me in a front pack, to conclude “alright, this is insane. I’m booking a driving lesson next week!”
16. Bought A New Car
Two things struck me while we were shopping for a new vehicle recently; a) how absurdly grown-up it felt; and b) how… over-zealous? Enthusiastic? Bonkers?! car salesmen are. Practically the second we emerged from the first car that we inspected, paperwork was being brandished: did we want to sign a contract to purchase the car now? Why didn’t we apply for financing “just in case”? MADNESS. But a few test drives later, we had found our family wagon!
17. Celebrated Two Years With Casey
I don’t tend to believe in the term “lucky”, because it often discounts the extraordinary amount of hard work that a person has put in to obtain something, but I feel like relationships DO happen by chance, and that if you’ve found that elusive “special someone”, then you are fortunate. Casey is a kind man, an endlessly supportive man, and someone who prioritises Charlie, Brady and I – and the happiness of the three of us – over everything else. I know I’m lucky to have him.
What have the past 12 months been like for you? For me, 2017 is a year that’s been exhausting and challenging, but rewarding and interesting, too…!