Looking back on 2017

This year has just been the most amazing year.

When I am old and grey, I will look back on 2017 as one of the best years of my life; I am sure of it.

It's just been full of the most beautiful and amazing memories, good news and amazing opportunities for not just Tom and me, but our closest family and friends too.

Of course, as well as Tom and I getting married, we watched our best friends and favourite couple - Soph and Paul - get married too.

My brother got engaged, Tom's sister got engaged, and it was happy times for more of our best friends as Hattie and Jamie got engaged.

This year has just been the year of the celebration. It's no wonder there are talks of a prosecco shortage making Mail Online!

I decided to take a look back at some of my 2017 highlights, with some of the best people in the whole, wide world.

My hen party started it all off, back in March, and was just a laugh a minute from start to finish. I couldn't be more thankful for the gorgeous group of girls that I have in my life who helped me celebrate becoming a Mrs in style on the wet weekend in Holmfirth.

Then, of course, there was our wedding which was just amazing. I will cherish the memories from that day forever. We are so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such supportive and loving friends and family who helped make our wedding day perfect in every single way.

Fresh from our nuptials, Tom and I headed to Northumberland. We spent the most gorgeous week tucked away in a little cottage on the coast where we ate lots of food, watched all the Harry Potter films, played chess, and drank lots of wine.

It was then time to turn our attention to another big day - that of my number one girl and best friend. Her hen party! We headed to a spa in the Dales and had the most fun weekend ever. I've never felt so pampered, and so drunk, all at the same time. We made so many memories that weekend that I will treasure forever.

A few weeks later and there was another celebration in the form of Jack and Amy's engagement party! They got engaged in Mexico about a month after our wedding. It really was the Mexico Dream after all!

Literally, the next day, we were at Selby Abbey celebrating our lovely neighbours getting married. James and Chloe have been planning their wedding pretty much the same amount of time as us, so it was lovely to share their day with them and see all their plans come together.

August was the turn of Mr and Mrs Duck. The most perfectly gorgeous day which was full of smiles from the second we opened our eyes that morning. Soph looked like an absolute angel and was the most beautiful bride I have ever laid eyes on. So effortlessly beautiful and just the happiest, most lovely couple ever. I still get emotional thinking back on the day now!

With Soph and Paul safely back from their honeymoon, we headed off on ours. Dubai and Seychelles were just the two most amazing places. We had the best time ever, saw some of the most beautiful, most amazing places on this earth, and made enough memories to last a lifetime.

As if that wasn't enough excitement, two days after getting back from honeymoon we found out we were pregnant. A little baby Kershaw is on the way!

Not quite content with that being it for celebrations and excitement for one year, we've still got so much to look forward to in the shape of Christmas.

Jack's fiancee, Lauren, is flying over from the States for Christmas and New Year, we're having a huge family Christmas Day with my family and Tom's all coming together to celebrate, and we're in the process of planning a lovely New Year with our best friends and fellow newlyweds Mr and Mrs Duck.

2017 has been amazing for Tom and I, and our closest family and friends. It's been full of love, laughter, and dreams coming true for so many people that we love and hold dearly. We can't wait to see what 2018 brings, with baby Kershaw's arrival being just one of the highlight on our calendar already.

2018 has got a lot to live up to, but I am pretty sure it will be just as amazing, if not even better.

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Learning to love my belly

Having a rounded belly is not something I feel totally comfortable, or confident, with.

I've always been conscious about my weight. I remember when I was at school swapping breakfast for a Nutri Grain bar because I thought it was "healthier".

However, now, I am starting to fall a bit in love with my belly - something I never thought I would say. I love whacking it out on a night and just looking at it and touching it. It's so hard when I poke it, which is really weird because it looks like it would be really wobbly!

Don't get me wrong, there are days when I do just feel fat. There are days when I am massively struggling to get to grips with the fact my body is changing at a rapid rate every single day and there's not a thing I can do about it.

There are days when I feel insecure about my 'bump' and already look forward to shedding the pounds once babba is here.

But, then I remember, I am growing a person. The human body is absolutely incredible to be able to reproduce actual, living people. It's crazy to think there is a teeny, tiny person in my belly right now - breathing and wriggling away. It's beyond belief.

So, when I do feel insecure about my body changing, I remind myself of that fact.

I'm starting to get a bit of a bump now too, so hopefully it will become obvious to strangers soon that I am pregnant and not just enjoying all the Christmas food that is out there (which I obvs am as well!)

Then again, who gives a shit what strangers think? Or anyone else for that matter?

I always stressed that I didn't want to pile on the pounds while I was pregnant and would do my best to stay healthy and eat healthy. But my body has had different ideas.

My insane aversions to fruit and vegetables has made maintaining any sort of healthy diet impossible. And the sickness I suffered with in the first trimester meant when I could eat, I would just eat what I fancied/could.

So what if I am a few stone heavier by the time June rolls around?

Everyone is different and the worst thing I have found I can do is compare myself to others. There are those lucky ladies who barely put on a pound during pregnancy and look so petite, neat and like they've just bad a big meal.

I'm going to be like Kim K during her pregnancy with North - like a big, swollen ball (minus the Mrs Doubtfire dress!)

If I am, I will deal with that once I know that the baby I've been cooking for nine months is happy and healthy. Because, at the end of the day, all that matters is baby Kershaw is okay!

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Google searches, sore body parts and weird symptoms

The first trimester is finally behind me and, so it seems, are some of the worst symptoms I was experiencing.

Sickness was probably the worst one but I've also suffered really badly with tiredness, food aversions and a rather strange collection of other symptoms.

Nobody told me pregnancy - and the associated 'side effects' - could be so strange.

If anyone were to take a took at my Google history, they would think I was insane. Some of the stuff that is happening to my body, and the things people tell me will happen, are just insane. I can't even bring myself to ask people I know who have been pregnant recently - the only person I really know well enough is my boss, which would be well awks considering some of the things I've been Googling! - if this shit is normal, so trusty Google it is.

I won't go into too much detail, because nobody wants to know the ins and outs of my person; but here's a tiny insight.

Every night I lather my rounding guy and my ever-growing boobs in Palmer's tummy butter (gotta try and combat the inevitable stretch marks!), spray moisturiser on my nipples (because I can't stand for them to be touched at all), and slap enough Sudocrem on my spotty face to plaster a decent sized wall.

Seriously, who knew your nipples got so dry and sore?! The shit that is going on down there is mental. They look different every day and I just don't even know what's normal anymore. I've seen so many pictures on Google of pregnant people's nipples, just to reassure myself that mine are normal, to last me a frigging lifetime.

I plan to breastfeed baby Kershaw when he/she arrives, so Christ only knows what they will look like then. I saw this picture the other day, hopefully nothing too much like this...

My skin is also horrific, which is highly traumatic for me. As a teenager, I had awful acne and went on really strong tablets to get rid of it. Then, from the age of about 15, I was on the pill to keep my raging hormones under control and stop them escaping my body as mini mountains on my face and back.

Now, it's like a scaled down version of the pissing Pennines on my chin!!

Thankfully, my face as a whole has escaped the epic breakout that seems to have ensued. My jawline and neck have taken the brunt, which I can deal with at this time of year with turtle necks and scarves.

Other than that, I literally have no idea what to do to them. They are so sore, so red and so god damn big!

Then, there's all the other crazy stuff that's going down. All the bogeys, the farting, the crazy dreams and being unable to string a proper sentence together because I either forget what I was going to say, or just forget how to speak English.

I am quickly learning that this stage of pregnancy is far from glamorous.

You see these celebrity mums-to-be in glossy magazines posing naked with their bumps and they look glowing and so happy. I really can't wait for the glowing phase to arrive.

As well as the weird symptoms - I'll stop talking about my nipples now - I am learning a lot about the human body.

I must have not been paying attention during a lot of my science lessons at school because I had no idea that some of these parts even existed, let alone what they were called/where they were located.

One of my friends messaged me after I told her I was pregnant and was telling me about a pregnant lady in her office who happily shared with everyone her experience of perineum massage.

I haven't ever seen this on a spa menu before, so assumed it wasn't something I booked into the beautician for.

My first Google search...

I mean, I was taken aback. I don't think you'll catch me discussing this with my colleagues in the office (I prepare to write about it and share it with all of you instead...haha!)

Seriously, though, WHAT?!

I'd never even heard of this perineum. It makes me wonder whether we were taught the intimate details of the female body at school, or whether I just dozed off that day.

My next Google search...

I'm not going to lie, I am still not 100% sure of how this kind of massage works.  And I'm certainly not going to be getting on YouTube for a tutorial on that one!

Now that I have a bit more energy, and feel more like myself, I have lots of blogs planned to bore you all to tears with. I have been working on a piece about learning to deal with my ever-changing body which I hope will be relatable to other first-time mums. And maybe even just to others, who are seeing changes to their bodies because of health reasons.

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