Michael Cavallari, Kristin Cavallari

grandcountyutah.net; Splash News

To say the past 12 months have been filled with highs and lows may just be an understatement for Kristin Cavallari.

While the proud mom found joy in the birth of her third child with Jay Cutler, the former reality TV star also experienced heartache when her brother Michael Cavallari was found dead.

In a new Instagram posted Monday afternoon, Kristin opened up about how she was feeling in the midst of the holidays. As it turns out, this time is more than a little difficult.

"The last few days have been tough...yesterday was the anniversary of my brothers passing. There hasn't been a day that's gone by where I haven't thought of him and missed him," she wrote to her followers. "I know he is watching over me and my family though from all of the amazing signs he has given us. Love and miss you so much, Mikey."

Just a few weeks earlier, the designer and businesswoman also described the past year as a "roller coaster."

"It's been tough, it's been a roller coaster...I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard," she shared with E! News. "I'm going to be with my family on the actual day, which hopefully will help. Talking about it is probably the most important thing so I'm lucky I have a great support system with my immediate family, with Jay and with my parents as well."

Perhaps the greatest strength has come from her three children. Despite experiencing a tragedy, Kristin knew that she couldn't stop being a hands-on parent for her kids especially baby Saylor. As a result, it kept her on the right track.

"When tragedies happen and you have little kids, you can't fall apart. I had this teeny tiny baby I had to look after and so…you know, it's been hard," she told E! News in February. "I have good days and bad days, but I look at my kids and I'm just so thankful that I have them and that they're all healthy."

During 2016, Kristin herself was hospitalized after a car crash. She also experienced her fair share of mommy shamers. Don't worry, she got plenty of celebrity support including some from Chrissy Teigen.

At the same time, the businesswoman has powered through with her work by releasing the successful book Balancing in Heels, expanding her shoe line with Chinese Laundry and finalizing an upcoming cookbook.

Through all the ups and downs, Kristin has reminded herself that there is one thing that reigns above anything else. Yes, it's the power of family.

"When you lose someone that you love, it obviously makes you realize how precious life is," Kristin shared on Good Morning America. "And so, I've just been thankful for my family and everyone in my life."

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