Monday, 30 March 2015

Two Years Ago Today

Today is our wedding anniversary.
It seems crazy that I have been married to My Handsome Man for two years. In a way, it feels like it was just yesterday that these photos were taken.
There are moments from the wedding that I don't think I will ever forget:
Dane presenting me with personalised shoes after our wedding rehearsal.
The moment the bouquets arrived at my house and the declaration from one of my best friends that she didn't care which bouquet she had, until she found out there were daffodils. She's Welsh - the daffodils were hers!

I remember the panic I felt on the drive to the church, concern that we were going to be late. I really had no need to worry. We had planned to take 'First Look' photographs and had scheduled to arrive half an hour before the ceremony was to begin. I think we had twenty-five minutes to take photographs before hand and I arrived before most of the guests.

One of my favourite moments in my life so far was the look on Dane's face when he saw me for the first time that day. It is a look I can not describe. Seeing that 'first look' was the bit I looked forward to the most as a guest. Part of me feels guilty for keeping that moment private but at the same time I love that we did. I love that the look was just for me. 

It was freezing on our wedding day. The year before there had been a heat wave but I think we were lucky not to have snow. I am so grateful that I picked up a cardigan to match the bridesmaids and I am also grateful for the hot water bottle held up to my back as we took photographs in the cold.

There were moments that I love, some of which I didn't even realise existed until we viewed the photographs.
There were also moments not captured physically but are as clear in my memory as if they happened yesterday.
The feeling I had is one that I hope every bride experiences on their wedding day. Regardless of how they view themselves on any other day, I hope that for their wedding day they feel absolutely beautiful.
Another of my favourite moments was because of a little girl in attendance who came up to see me in my wedding dress, as she walked away I overheard the conversation she had with her Mother which started: 'the princess said hello to me'. It is for this reason alone that I will always recommend including children at weddings if you can.

We had talks in the service that left us crying (and Dane snorting) with laughter. They contained a Dr Seuss style story about the two of us and an experience where a man allowed his wife to talk him in to getting a dog, with disastrous but hilarious consequences.

A lego wedding cake topper given to us by a friend as a joke. She had no idea we actually used it until she got to the reception.

Two years seem to have flown by, but at the same time I struggle to remember my life without My Handsome Man. Looking back, it feels like he has always been a part of it. I am grateful to be married to him. He is such a strength and support to me.
Our first two years of marriage have not been easy. We have dealt with and are dealing with: dissolution of marriages close to us, health issues, the final year of university, including dissertation, trips to court, uncertainty about the future, a car crash with the resulting whiplash injury, two house moves and now a move to Vancouver.
I never dreamed that life would be so crazy full. As difficult as the last two years have been, I would not want to have experienced them with anyone else by my side. I am grateful for this incredible man that I married and look forward to the adventures ahead.
I know there will be many.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Mother's Day

I am sure you're aware, we have recently celebrated Mother's Day in the UK. This post has been tough to write and hit the 'publish' button.
I have been blessed with amazing women in my life. I have inherited many likes and dislikes from these women.

I never met my Granny Laura. One of the last things my Grandad said to me before he died was: 'You grow more and more like Laura every day'. I hear such wonderful things about her from those who knew her that I can only wish this description to be true.

My Granny loves fashion and spent many hours working on sewing projects with me; teaching me the process of adapting a pattern to fit to the point that I won second prize in a national competition. I'm not the most fashionable person in the world but my interest in fashion I inherited from my Granny.
I remember my Grandpa building a treehouse for my brother and I to play in and my Granny made curtains for the window and cushions for the seats so I could play house. I seem to recall wallpaper but I'm not sure if that's my imagination elaborating the truth.

My Mum is great and I have learned so much from her. She has always been there supporting me from the sidelines, encouraging me and helping me to dream big. She believes in me. My Mum and I are similar in several ways, from our love of reading to our incredibly sensitive skin forcing us to use the expensive makeup brands to stop our faces being bright red and blemished. We can both walk in to a shop and say 'I like that' and have picked the most expensive item in the shop - it's a skill I tell you!

I am lucky to have these amazing women in my life who have influenced me for the good. I am blessed to have a support network to celebrate with me in my times of triumph and mourn with me when things don't go to plan. I love that there is a day in place to remind us to celebrate these women.

As blessed as I am, Mother's Day can also be a hard day for me. That sounds incredibly selfish to write. These mothers are amazing and do so much. As much as I love celebrating them I can't help but feel a painful pang of emptiness. 
Since I was a little girl, all I have wanted to be is a mother. It hurts that my health limits that choice. It is something I have to put off, I can only hope it is not forever.

My mum buys me flowers on Mother's Day. I had beautiful freesias delivered to my door to bring colour to my living room.
At church they give a small plant to all women over the age of 18, although I was not at church a little boy insisted that his family brought one home for 'Babi'.
My husband, after we turned off the light and slowly tried to drift to sleep whispered to me in the dark 'happy mothers day' before kissing me and settling down properly to sleep.

A woman I respect said: 

'Some women give birth and raise children but never “mother” them. Others, whom I love with all my heart, “mother” all their lives but have never given birth'.

It is a quote that means a lot to me. I have 'adopted mothers' who have influenced me in ways they cannot imagine. I have sat up till the early hours of the morning with friends and their parents, have been counselled by women, taught by women, comforted by women, learned from these women, and these are experiences I value. 
I live with the hope that I will, one day, be a mother. Having the patience now can cause an empty feeling at times, but I hope that I can influence others for good as these women have done for me.

I am lucky to be a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a niece, an aunt, a cousin, a sister-in-law, a wife.

My life is full. It can be easy to allow the emptiness to creep in and diminish who I am, but I hope that I can continue to find the joy in all of these roles. 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Project 52: Week 10

There are several babies due soon within my friendship group, four women, five babies - three girls and two boys. Of course this is a time of celebration and I spent a night this week at a baby shower. There were so many games including the usual 'diaper game', though first time for me that it has not been all chocolate - they all got groans but some made you feel physically sick, marmite and sweetcorn I'm looking at you!
There were baby photos up of women in attendance. There were games of charades, toss the baby, nappy changing race and quizzes (celebrity names and nursery rhyme titles). It was a fantastic evening and with so many babies due, the present table was overflowing onto the floor and any other available surface.