Blogging is a funny old thing.
So many of us have a little piece of the internet that we call our own, where we write our thoughts, our memories and our opinions. Some people write a blog for a voice, to help charities, to make people laugh or to showcase an amazing talent.
My blog isn't really any of those. I just write to record our life and take snapshots of my girls, so I still can't believe that I was a finalist in three of this years Mad Blog Awards. In a community full of such inspirational people, I'm just a Mummy who likes to remember things.
I don't really know what made me start blogging. Of course to record my little family's memories, to perhaps to break up the occasional mundanity of nap times and periods of sitting on the sofa breastfeeding a newborn, and to connect with other Mums going through the same as me. I didn't know where my blog would lead and I didn't know it would become such a big part of my life.
Through blogging I have become passionate about photography, I have been given some wonderful opportunities to go to events and to review the odd treat for my girls, I have gained some freelance work and a chance to earn some pennies, and I have met some incredible and inspiring ladies who I feel privileged to call friends.
Last Friday night was the ceremony. I was over the moon to be a finalist in three categories, but I didn't honestly think I had a chance in hell of actually winning an award. For me it was the chance to spend the night with some of my blogging friends and to get to dress up a gorgeous frock that was kindly sent to me by Zalando. For a Mum of two who rarely goes out anywhere exciting anymore, it was a luxury to go to such a lovely event.
My husband came to London to look after LL as I am still breastfeeding her, and I got ready drinking fizz in plastic glasses with the ever so lovely Lucy and Kara. We then made our way to the venue and it didn't disappoint, we were treated to an evening of glitz and glamour, including lots of bubbles and a delicious three course meal. I was sat next to one of my best friends Lucy and the very amusing Alex who kept us entertained throughout!
Then the awards started. Best Pregnancy Blog was up first and some of my favourite bloggers were also in my category. Two of my best blog buddies, the wonderful My Two Mums were presenting the award. I heard some people cheer when my nomination was read out and that was enough for me, but I was completely and utterly shocked when they announced me as the winner.
I have no idea what on earth I said when I went on stage. I am not a good public speaker, although I used to have to present to lots of people in my previous job, this was different. It's such a personal subject. I think I said a couple of sentences but I don't know what, and I gave Kirsty and Clara a big hug. I actually got a bit upset and teary, but I don't know if people could tell- Embarrassing! I then sat back down with my shiny gong and my heart was pounding ten to the dozen.
The rest of the awards passed in a blur of lots of cheering and a few tears. I didn't win my other two categories, Best Family Life blog and Best Photography Blog, with the latter going to one of my absolute favourite blogger chums Lucy who completely deserved it, but it was an honour to be nominated in them.
Another two of my favourite bloggers Annie and Morgana also picked up awards, and the incredibly inspiring and brave Jennie won the Outstanding Contribution award for her work in raising money and awareness for two charities so close to her heart- she thanked everyone for not forgetting Matilda Mae who tragically passed away from SIDS at the start of this year. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about their family and I thought she was so unbelievably brave. All those nominated in that category deserved their standing ovation and they make me feel very proud to be a blogger. They are truly amazing.
Once the awards were finished, there was a free bar courtesy of Just Eat, and I think I probably overdid it on the wine but I had a great time with some of my best blogging friends. Then it was home to bed about half one, still completely overwhelmed and shocked.
All in all a fabulous evening.
I woke up the next morning to a flurry of tweets, some lovely text messages from my Mum and Sister, and a shiny gong on my bedside table.
But the best thing to wake up to?
My gorgeous LL who snuck in our bed for cuddles at 5am. As without her and Mads I wouldn't have even be at such an event.
Getting a little bit of recognition for something you care a lot about is a truly wonderful thing. I feel so proud that anyone even reads this blog, let alone to actually win a blimming award. I am over the moon.
But you take all that away?
And I will still be here recording my little family's memories. Taking snapshots of my girls. Filling their days with love and fun. Soaking in every everyday moment and relishing in the mundanity of our perfectly ordinary, slightly boring life. Blogging makes me realise how lucky I have got it.
How lucky I am to have these two beautiful little people to write about in the first place.
They are what matters most.
I'm so privileged to be their Mummy.
Thanks so much to Tots 100, Parentdish and all the other sponsors for putting on such a great evening. Thank you to Zalando for my beautiful dress. Plus thank you to Charly, Lucy and My Two Mums for letting me steal a couple of your photos. And thank you to every one who voted for me.
You can check out all the other winners here.