Friday, December 30, 2011


Just a small selection of rum to choose from on Chrismas day!
Sometimes I find that anticipation of a certain situation is often so much worse than the actual situation.

I was definitely excited about Christmas, but it was tinged with a lot of fear and anxiety (for me) that it would be an emotionally negative day. The opposite turned out to be true and I found myself wondering what all the fuss was about.

We had a delightful few days surrounded by the best people, good music, good food and we were definitely spoiled for choice in terms of drink! Every year some of my family go to a rum festival in London. This year, my uncle seemed to have such a great time that he bought a lot of the drink for their new "Rum Shak" (once my Nans 'granny annex', now a perfect rendezvous point for family). Lovely.

This week feels like a sort of limbo week for me this year. I feel like now that Christmas has been, our wedding is now the full focus for the next 4 or so weeks. But actually, come boxing day, all I could think was "we'll get the New Year out the way and then it's all wedding", so even though people have lovingly mentioned to me that "it's all wedding, now, Jen!", for some reason I don't really feel so. Not just yet.

I'm so excited to be marrying in Janury. It's normally such a long and dreary month, sort of an anti-climax I suppose to all the festivities in December. Though I suppose maybe some people appreciate the wind-down. And I know a lot of people appreciate the chance to start anew, freshen up, change things around. Personally I like to wake up each morning with the knowledge that it's a new day and chance to change things, make it a good day, better, brighter. Etc.

Anyway. Marriage.


But first to celebrate in 2012.

It's going to be a wonderful year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Coral and Jorja decorating Nans tree, Christmas 2010
Days turn into weeks, which turn into months, and so on. Time is racing by as Christmas is fast approaching, soon to be followed by our 'big day'.

Now that the guest list is done, all of our invites are out, and we've made firm choices not to adjust or change the list from here on out, stress levels are - thankfully - low.

Now for the fun part.

I wanted our wedding to be "finished" by December. That didn't quite go to plan - there's still a lot to do, but it's all the little details that probably people attend a wedding and don't even notice. But it matters to us. It matters to me. Thankfully, we now have all the big things sorted. In the last few weeks we've ticked so much off our to-do list. From flowers to suits, shoes to music, everything has a beautiful beautiful tick beside it.

We chose January for a couple of reasons. The first obvious answer is that we thought it'd be romantic to get married on the 2nd anniversary of our engagement. The second answer is that we hated the thought of sweating it out in Summer (or spring/autumn if it's a warm day), and the whole middle-of-winter thing just seems SO magical.

I'm sort of hoping it snows. I know it'll make it awkward for guests to attend, but it'll be so sparkly, crisp and just wonderful.

Me, Maddi, Nan, Grandad, Laura, Coral, Mum
Amidst all this is Christmas shopping, baking, wrapping, and general festivities. It really is exciting, counting down the sleeps left until Santa arrives is so much fun with the children - I'm sure I get more excited than they do!

On the flip side to all this general loveliness, is that I so desprately miss my Nan. I miss my Grandad too, of course, but just as we were, as a family, getting used to the new family dynamics without him around, everything changed again.

I'm really not exaggerating when I say that I feel like my Nan became one of my most best and treasured friends this last year. I don't take for granted the way I got to know her - the way she shared stories from her past with me and let me in to a sneak peak of her beautiful soul.

I miss her. I can't express the sadness and emptiness without her here.

Everything in life seems so incredibly bitter sweet. I also recently calculated that I've not spent a full Christmas day with my Mum since 2004. So I have just one more Christmas before I become a married woman.

I'm giving my Christmas this year to my Mum! Especially since this year, her Mum is gone.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Planning our wedding

I know some people get engaged and are married two months later, but for is it's been a whole other ball game.  So as we approach the "2 months to go" mark, we're getting more and more excited!

I do have a feeling that time is literally slipping from our grasp, which does have a tendency to make me feel quite panicked...


Ok, so when they say that planning a wedding is up on the top of stressful things along with moving house or having a baby, changing your career or getting divorced, they're not lying. Don't get me wrong, we have enjoyed the process. It's been fun and at times, quite magical. It's also been an experience that's made me want to scream at the top of my lungs.

We've discovered it brings out the worst in some people, and there's been a fair few people exploding with "entitlement" - all the while we feel we hardly know these people so we're not too sure why they feel so entitled, and we're not sure what exactly they feel entitled too? Sigh. It's not been easy.

One thing I am sure of though is that it's going to be the best day of our lives, and we're both so excited. I almost wish we'd planned to have a shorter engagement just so that we could have experienced the magic by now, because the anticipation is a really intense feeling!

Er, yes. I can safely say the countdown is pretty much upon us and we're very, very excited! Wahoo!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oh, hello utterly empty blog!

I just had a little purging session... I think it felt good. Well, I've been keeping a blog online in some form or another since I was about 14 years old. Has it really been 10 years? And I've always had the habit of deleting and starting fresh every few years.

Here's my line of thinking (although I did just delete everything without really thinking):

It really feels like I've bounced into a new portion of my life, like something new and wonderful is about to unfurl - it's exciting!

There's been a lot of hurt in recent years, and a lot of struggling but I'm just so ready to let all the pain go. In September, when my Nan both got diagnosed with the Big C and passed away from the Big C (worst 9 days of my life), it felt for me like it was the last straw. And not just because I've decided it's the last straw... it just feels like it was the last of the tragedy for a little while.

I'll cling to that.

I've lost 4 loved ones in 3 years, and Lee lost a friend and uncle in that space of time, too. Not to mention experiencing a loved one being in a coma and fighting for life. The guest room in our local intensive care unit shouldn't really become a space one is well accustomed to. But there you are.

So it's been a long haul of death, divorce, illness, low self esteem and fear of rejection.

Now for a long haul of life, marriage, good health, confidence and success.

Watch this space!