Friday, 31 January 2014

New blog design & missing someone

So, for a while I've been wanting the change up my blog design. I think for now I'm going to settle with this. What do you think?? I think it needed toning down a little but I didn't want to lose the images I had across the top. I like it much better now but I think the design will be something I'm always changing & tweaking. Anyway, new year & new look!

Sam left for India last night. I discovered in a space of a few hours I don't do well when I know he's not coming home for a while. I stayed up with this thought in the back of my mind that he had just gone out & I was waiting up for him. By 2am I called it a night, couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and fell asleep. Pathetic right!?? Feels so weird though. He has been away for the weekend before & that was fine because it was only two nights but two weeks feels so long to me to be away from him. He nearly joined the RAF the year before we married & I was almost set to be a military wife - glad that didn't work out!! 
Usually in the evening we settle down to watch a film, catch up on a television series or play a board game. Well, I couldn't decide what to watch or do so I ended up getting a baguette of garlic bread out the freezer, baking it & eating the whole thing! I had to laugh at myself this morning. Who does that!?? I may or may not have eaten a bag of chocolate covered raisins too....
I'll have to control my comfort eating while he's away otherwise I'll be unrecognisable on his return!

He's doing a 'selfie' of the day to send to all his work colleagues and a few others so we got the first one this morning while he was on the plane. He already looks like he's having a great time and causing mischief at that! *sigh*

Anyway, this was more supposed to be a post about my new layout! I'll leave you for now & maybe I'll have something to talk about other than missing Sam when I next blog!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Currently in January

Packing or at least helping to pack up Sam's suitcase for his two week awareness/mission trip to India with work. This will be the longest we have ever been apart. I totally know this is nothing compared to what so many wives go through with the military, etc but not nice either way. I'm very excited for him though - this will be an amazing thing for him to do, especially to do on his own. We probably haven't done anything massive without each other since we started dating. 
Planning lots of fun things to do while he's not here! I've already got a girlie sleepover with my bestie on Saturday & taken some time off work to possibly go away for a few nights with my momma to the countryside!
Appreciating our life so much! We have been so fortunate past & present in the things we've been able to see and do. I don't take it for granted at all! 
Working out to Jillian Michael's DVDs. A friend & I are doing workouts EVERY DAY. I have never enjoyed exercise but since committing to doing it I can't get enough! I've turned into such a workout junkie. On the weekends we have off, all I want to do is get my heart rate up! I bought myself some weights & got a few more of her DVDs to mix up the workouts more. We feel brilliant! Although a few people who live on the base too have just started the insanity workout! Have you heard of it?? I watched them do it today & it does look insane just like it's name. I might brave it once a week.
Watching season 8 of Grey's Anatomy. Last month I wrote that I was on season 5. Ummm....that's a bit embarrassing! hah. Oh well, I have to watch this season slowly anyway because I promised a friend we would watch season 9 together & she's away for 4 weeks. Oh boy....
Loving my Vineyard Church family. Sam & I have just come back from the Vineyard National Leader's Conference in Nottingham. We had an amazing few days connecting with other Vineyard church's, engaging in some seriously good worship and listening to some seriously good preaching. We've come home very tired from late nights & early mornings but refreshed!
In the middle of lots of projects that I can't seem to complete at the moment because January has been such a busy month. February doesn't look like it's going to slow down either. Maybe now Sam is away I can do a few late nights (we like to go to bed together as much as we can).
Enjoying ice cold water, especially after workouts.
Using the printer we purchased a few weeks ago. I was looking for a decent one to use from home that I can also get quality photos printed from. I have gathered some images ready to print so I'll let you know how they turn out. So far I've only printed text but I also plan to use it for future craft projects!
Researching places to explore while Sam is away. guessed it...Sam! He literally just left. :o( It's ook, big adventure awaits him!

Monday, 13 January 2014

The year in review (2013) Part II

The year in review (2013) Part I HERE

- We had the hottest summer ever that I can remember. We spent so much time outside. I will always remember this year for how the sun shone most days this season. It was just glorious.

- This month we had our annual community camping weekend away with our church family. Always a fun time had. 
- My nephew got dedicated.
- After doing the anxiety course I decided to go further with some counselling & it was the best decision I've ever made in order to find some peace & healing. It has changed my life & lots of prayer came with it too which was really refreshing. God spoke to me so directly in this time & since I have dealt with so much stuff, His voice is so much more clear to me now.

I turned twenty four & I felt very loved by so many people.
- We went away with some friends for the weekend for a 60th birthday party & had a fancy dress medieval feast. There were about 30 of us & we hired out a whole youth hostel. One of those weekends when you think 'did we really do that?'. Sign of a good time I think!
- A few good National Trust trips too!

- We visited The Harry Potter Studio Tour for our nephew's 7th birthday. SO GOOD!
- We saw Johnny Flynn for my birthday treat & I surprised Sam with tickets to see a Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash & Buddy Holly tribute act.

I talked a little about my anxiety
- We had a really perfect weeks getaway to Yorkshire & a day in The Lake District. We've travelled a lot, to all sorts of places around the world & this was one of our favourite holidays. Maybe because I'd finished my counselling & was in such a good place. We had so many dreams to look forward to & just felt so alive in life at this point. God surely knows us best.
- We also visited our friends down in Peckham, London & had a wonderful much needed catch up with them.

- The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug! Awaited this all year!
- I had my christmas craft fair mid December & it was a GREAT success. Hopefully a few more this new year,
- Went to see 'The Bootleg Beatles' before Christmas & they were incredible.
- Christmas was magnificent!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The year in review (2013) Part I

- In January we saw The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey before celebrating Sam's 23rd birthday with an extended 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy viewing marathon party!
- I passed my driving test finally. I really don't like driving that much, even a year later! But I do appreciate being able to hop into the car & go where I like. I just enjoy the getting out the car once I've reached my destination a lot more!
- We had epic snow fall in January that stuck around for a long time.

- We viewed a few houses in February thinking we might be able to buy our own place. We never really found anything we liked & found it rather discouraging. Thankfully it was not God's timing for us.
- I started as a blogging contributor on herecomesthesunblog with nail art tutorials.

- The snow started again in March & we did a little egg rolling with some friends from church.
- We decided this was the time to let go of a view things we were doing, clear our schedules a little because I particularly felt very tired from so many commitments within church and outside of it too. Although this was a really hard decision at the time we're both really glad we took the space.
- We found out we would be moving homes. This was such an exciting time. We loved our first home but this current one is unbelievable for us at this time. We love it here.

- April was a busy & very exciting month. We spent a weekend in Manchester to visit my older sister & on the way home stopped in Liverpool to see my little sister who was living there at the time.
- Season 3 of Game of Thrones started & we began a tradition with some of our friends to have dinner together & watch two weeks worth of episodes every other week. So fun. Looking forward to the new season to begin in a few months, especially after 'the red wedding' episode! Auuuugh.
- Some of our best friends had their hen do & stag do & it was also my sister-in-laws baby shower!
- We went away for the weekend for our friend Michael's 30th birthday. There were about 15 of us (maybe even a few more). We had a really amazing weekend eating REALLY good food, spending time in really good company & canoeing on the river Wye. Good times.

- My nephew was born 10 days late (cheeky boy!)
- Some of our besties got married & I had the honour of making their wedding cake.
- We moved into our new home the last weekend in May as well as hosting our church community event in our garden that very same day!

- We celebrated TWO years of marriage. I am still giddy about my husband. <3
- We travelled on a 17 day cruise around the Mediterranean. Such a blessing to have been able to do that & a much needed holiday. 
- Something that I now see as a very positive experience was getting myself onto an anxiety course my church was doing. This really opened my eyes to what I've been struggling with & little did I know at this point but it was the beginning of my healing process.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Reflections on 2013

It's a week into the new year & I haven't been sure on what to write about this past year. When I don't think about it properly it didn't seem like such a great year for us because of some of the hard stuff that we went through, some of which I shared on the blog & others I didn't go into much detail about but then I was writing my annual letter to Sam for his birthday (we write letters to one another instead of giving a card) and realised I was reflecting a lot on the year we've had. I thought I'd share SOME of the letter I wrote to Sam here...
...after a load of mushy, lovey-dovey stuff I wrote:
(slightly edited)
2013 was definitely one of our hardest years together. We felt completely beaten and sometimes hopeless but even after everything we've been through I can already look back and see that 'it wasn't so bad'. I can see how God was always there standing right beside us, teaching us and still protecting us. It may not have felt like it most days but eventually He healed and restored us. He gave us so many good things & everything came in His perfect timing. Let's not look back on 2013 as a bad year with bad memories, let us look at it as the time He taught us, the time He grew us close together and closer to Him, the time we became to understand ourselves better, the time we realised what hopes and dreams we really had for our lives...
...This year let us promise to see God in everything and remember He is always with us. Let us remember how good life is, how privileged we are and how at the end of the day we will always have each other. 

That is only a tiny portion of the letter I wrote but it made me realise how good we've got it. Life throws all sorts of stuff at us and when we're in despair sometimes it's so easy to wallow in it and forget the good things we have and the great things that have been. 

At the end of the year we sit and look back on our calendar. We share a synced calendar on our iphones and Sam puts absolutely EVERYTHING in it. He even writes all three Sunday services in even though we only tend to go to one. It's so he can remember what every day has given us. If we do something spontaneous he goes back and writes it in too. I love that about him. We had a good evening looking back on all the great things that have happened and that totally put the year into perspective. The year we could have potentially 'written off' was really a very good year indeed.

I'll be writing our 'year in review' post this week just as a little reminder to myself of how good it's really been amongst the difficult times. I'm not too good at writing things into a private journal, there is something easier about blogging & posting (even if it's for the world to see). I tend to look back on things I write & cringe a little but when I'm writing so publicly I can think about things a little more so that's why I blog. I love clicking back on links and looking through the past. My memories and thoughts are with me wherever I go.

2014 is going to be a good year. It's going to be a great year! I can already say that because of what I've learnt this past year. I have so much to be thankful for.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Life lately...

Just a few phone pictures from the last few weeks. We had a really wonderful Christmas, so wonderful that I didn't captured much. We spent Christmas eve with my family, boxing day with Sam's and we had Christmas day on our own & we had such a laugh together. We've done Christmas just the two of us since we were married & every year it gets better. This year our Christmas dinner was AMAZING! It's always good but we usually have a little disaster like burning the red cabbage or over cooking the four bird roast but this year no cooking mistakes! We haven't decided what meat we like best for this day. So far we've done turkey, a four bird roast & this year we tried goose. Sam said goose tasted like duck, I thought it was pretty beefy myself.
Anyway, it was a good day. I think it may change over the years, especially when we start to have kids but for now it's exactly how we like it.
We've seen so much of our friends & family over December, it's felt really good to be surrounded with so much joy and laughter.

^^ Lots of sweet ciders... ^^

^^...and hot toddys! ^^

^^ Frank keeping us company ^^

^^ For a treat a week before Christmas we went to see 'The Bootleg Beatles' at Symphony Hall with some friends. They were amazing! It was just like the real thing. The whole time I was there I was wishing my dad had come too. He would have loved it so we'll definitely be going to see them again at some point ^^

^^ We've spent a good amount of time with this little bean, our nephew. He is soooo much fun  & I'm pretty good at making him laugh! Plus, Sam looks pretty good holding a little bobba! ^^

^^ We were pretty blessed this year! My favourite gift from Sam was a whole lot of 'Project Life' materials. I'll be blogging about that soon so if you haven't heard of it before you will in a few weeks' ^^

^^ I did a craft fayre early on in December. Above & below are a few things on the stall. The owls were a best seller, we had to keep one ourselves! ^^