2012

2012 has undoubtedly been the best year of my life. So, like those cheesy ”Best Of’ compilation programmes that run back to back on Channel 5 at this time of year, I thought the new year was a good opportunity to reflect back on what we did:

January 2012

We saw the year in living in an old Victorian 2 bedroom end terrace house at the top of a big hill that was a bugger to keep warm and was home to 15% of the world’s population of house spiders. We’d been engaged for 6 months, and our new years eve plans involved me, Neil, my best friend Laura, her boyfriend Pete and enough food and fizz to keep us going for a month. As the clock struck midnight, Pete added a sparkly diamond  engagement ring in to the equation and I had a little cry.

We made our own wedding invitations, made up of pictures of me and Neil being bufoons. We set a tripod up to take a photo every 3 seconds and here’s the finished product. January Wedding invitation There were a lot of rejects though, 580 of them to be precise. Here are the out-takes in a little video.

According to Instagram, we also went to visit my Welsh family and took a bit of a brisk walk up some frosty hills with the dog. February Wales On January 19th, we started a new gym routine to get in shape for the wedding. This involved a lot of eggs and bacon, and very little carbs, and lots of weight lifting. It was quite refreshing to be the only girl in the freeweights section at the gym (although my 10kg dumbells were slightly less impressive). Within a few weeks I could leg press 100kg, and saw a real difference to my body. January GymIn January, we also took our first trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I’m not very cultured, and don’t really like art, or galleries, but I bloody LOVE big-ass sculptures in outdoor places. And I bloody love this guy who makes faces out of Alabaster and did the Dream sculpture you can see from the M62 near Widnes. January YSP February In 2011, we got the bumper stolen from our car. Who steals bumpers? Apparently, people in Nottingham do, because they are effing expensive to replace. So, for most of 2011, we drove around with no bumper, eventually getting it fixed to the tune of several hundred pounds. Then, in February 2012, I reversed in to a lampost in the snow and completely mullered it. After this photo was taken, Neil drove the car up the M6 and ended up pulling in to a service station to rip the bumper in half  as it was clattering so loudly he couldn’t concentrate on driving. Nine months later in November 2012, we eventually got it fixed again. Neither of us currently have any plans on reversing in to anything else in the forseeable future. Third time’s a charm, right? photo (34) March

I don’t remember much about March, other than the fact that it was bloody cold and that there was a lot of snow. And, when working from home in the snow, playing cat-buckaroo is one of the best games ever. March Cat April 

April marked a month until the wedding, so we did what all sensible people do. Go on a pre-wedding holiday. April lanzerote I BLOODY LOVE taking pictures of sunsets. photo (38) My handsome husband to be. photo (39) I was looking back over the photos in my phone to remind myself of what we got up to and I found this. My domestic goddess skills have increased over the last few years, but occasionally, I excel myself by doing things like hiding all of Neil’s shoes in ridiculous places in a bid to tidy the house. He was not impressed, but got his own back when we moved house by not only packing every single shoe I own, and then putting them at the bottom of a very large pile of heavy boxes, but also putting one pair of each shoe in each box. It took until approximately September to reunite all shoes with their rightful partner.

The week before the wedding, me, my mum, and 11 of my nearest and dearest bombed it down to Brighton for my hen do. It tipped it down with rain all weekend, but cocktails were made, food was eaten, skanky youth hostels were stayed in, and my friend Stef made me a crocheted penis. What more could a girl ask for? 534021_10150724261343019_1776855159_n 557857_10150724267938019_1861116653_n 574876_10150724270963019_1802480707_nMay

We got married in early May at our local town hall with 100 friends and family. We didn’t have a plan of how we wanted the day to go, which was probably a good thing, as I’m not sure we would have planned for a best friend with a stomach bug, the hotel refusing us access to our room as they had no record of us paying for it 6 months previously, a husband that got accidentally and completely hammered, or our first night as husband and wife involving, a wife stuck in her wedding dress and a cold Big Mac being consumed at 2am. Still, it was all somehow rather fitting and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.  474287_10100206853932095_355680702_o Wedding Day 478741_10151739900390203_438923790_o 459080_10151739897520203_906094284_oOne of our friends makes a video once every couple of months with footage of all the things he’s been up to. His Spring 2012 video included a few snippets of footage from the wedding, including bonus footage of a drunk me with no shoes, dancing with an equally drunk husband at 4m 53s. Top tip: if you’re watching this, our wedding is the bit that doesn’t involve horses, motorbikes, zoo animals and fairground rides.

Shortly after, we disappeared off on Honeymoon for a couple of weeks. We visited Singapore, Lombok and Bali.

Absolutely nothing about this photo portrays how hot and sticky Sinapore was. 42'C and 90% humidity came as a bit of a shock to the system after a standard 10'C May wedding. Shortly after this photo was taken, we jumped in to an (air conditioned) taxi and went back to the hotel for a jet lagged nap which went down in the record books as one of my top 5 naps of all time.

Absolutely nothing about this photo portrays how hot and sticky Sinapore was. 42’C and 90% humidity came as a bit of a shock to the system after a standard 10’C May wedding.
Shortly after this photo was taken, we jumped in to an (air conditioned) taxi and went back to the hotel for a jet lagged nap which went down in the record books as one of my top 5 naps of all time.

By the time we arrived in Lombok, we were JUST about getting acclimatised to the heat. I had also realised what a grave mistake I had made bringing hair straighteners, make up, scarves and the odd cardigan with me in my suitcase. They all went out the window, and a uniform of hair scraped back in to a bun, no makeup, shorts and tshirt quickly ensued. This is the view that greeted us as we walked out of our room and on to the beach. Oh, and a two course dinner and all the Bintang you could drink never cost us more than £15 in total, a night. It was tough. Real tough.

By the time we arrived in Lombok, we were JUST about getting acclimatised to the heat. I had also realised what a grave mistake I had made bringing hair straighteners, make up, scarves and the odd cardigan with me in my suitcase. They all went out the window, and a uniform of hair scraped back in to a bun, no makeup, shorts and tshirt quickly ensued.
This is the view that greeted us as we walked out of our room and on to the beach. Oh, and a two course dinner and all the Bintang you could drink never cost us more than £15 in total, a night. It was tough. Real tough.

We went on a boat trip to do some rather amazing snorkling over some incredible reefs. I'll spare you the photos of me in a snorkle and mask, because no-one has EVER pulled that off as a good look. Instead, here's a picture of the tiny island they dropped us off at for lunch. A fisherman arrived and showed us the squid, barracuda and snapper he'd just caught and asked us which one we wanted for lunch. Neil proved he was the one for me by replying 'all three'. We sat and had a beer on the beach as we dried off.

We went on a boat trip to do some rather amazing snorkling over some incredible reefs. I’ll spare you the photos of me in a snorkle and mask, because no-one has EVER pulled that off as a good look. Instead, here’s a picture of the tiny island they dropped us off at for lunch. A fisherman arrived and showed us the squid, barracuda and snapper he’d just caught and asked us which one we wanted for lunch. Neil proved he was the one for me by replying ‘all three’.
We sat and had a beer on the beach as we dried off.

Ubud in Bali is probably my favourite place in the world. We did lots of beer drinkin' and food eatin' and poking around in markets and temples. We had, also, vaguely acclimatised to the heat by that point, but still not enough to look half way presentable in any of the photos. I had also, by this point, admitted defeat with my holiday wardrobe and bought some cheap cotton kaftan type things from the local market which looked ridiculous in all photos except this one.

Ubud in Bali is probably my favourite place in the world. We did lots of beer drinkin’ and food eatin’ and poking around in markets and temples. We had, also, vaguely acclimatised to the heat by that point, but still not enough to look half way presentable in any of the photos. I had also, by this point, admitted defeat with my holiday wardrobe and bought some cheap cotton kaftan type things from the local market which looked ridiculous in all photos except this one.

527580_10150875101563940_273798340_n (1)June 

Having not been on holiday for at least…3 weeks, in June, we disappeared off to Falmouth with my family for a few days, where Neil and my pops ate their body weight in seafood.

photo (40) I’m also going to put June down as one of the busier months of the year, as it was the month where 3 weeks after getting back from Honeymoon, I found out I was pregnant (something we’d roughly pencilled in for middle to late 2013, how naive we were), and we moved house 3 days later. Positive Pregnancy Test Pro-tip: finding out you’re pregnant a couple of days before moving house is a VERY good way of getting out of packing and lifting, and allows for maximum delegation and project management from a distance.

June was also a busy month for my parents who made good progress on their mid-life crisis by getting a Vespa under the guise of it being for my 16 year old brother. Much huffing and puffing was done on my behalf as I reminded them of the shed on wheels with 4 gears and a manual choke I bought MYSELF for £130 when I was 21 years old. Don’t get me STARTED on the fact that my little brother also has a double bed *bottom lip*.

551671_10100210856515885_313101517_nJuly 

So now, we’ve got to the bit where I actually can tell what I did on a month by month basis because I wrote a little blog about the subject. July was the month I tried (and failed) to keep the cat in the bag about the bun in the oven (you still following?). "Drinking" in London

Strudel-face

Strudel-face

I also looked like this:

6 week bump (or lack thereof)

6 week bump (or lack thereof)

Before getting pregnant, I honestly thought I was the size of a house. Apparently, all it takes for you to realise how thin you used to be is the process of putting on a couple of stone and getting so round that household objects start to orbit around you. I looked GREAT before I got pregnant, if only I knew it at the time.

July was also Laura’s birthday, so we bombed it down to Cromer with a sick tuppaware on my lap and went camping for the weekend. Laura proved she was young beyond her years by attaching a childs kite to her outfit and blowing bubbles all the way home.

photo (42)

I have photographic evidence of her doing a nature wee with the kite still attached, but I think for the sake of our friendship, that’s a photo that should stay off line. 279349_4411333479405_1363574754_o

Laura and I did what we do best, which is find a sunny spot, lay on the floor and have a nap. There’s a reason we’re such good friends.

July was also Batman month, which meant a quick trip to Manchester to see Neil’s best mate and watch The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX. The only photo I have of that weekend is one of Neil balancing a chair on his chin and wearing odd socks, which happens more in our house than I care to admit.

photo (41)August 

In August, I bought a birthing/yoga ball. The only difference between birthing balls and yoga balls is that they come in less garish colours, and are anti-burst, which theoretically means that when you are 10 months pregnant and weigh 40 stone, you could hop up and down on that bad boy all day without it bursting and doing serious damage to you/bubby. These are a godsend for bad backs and that old chestnut Pelvic Girdle Pain, but are also useful tools for keeping your husband entertained. The Ball

We also had our 12 week scan, in which I magically lost a week and went from 12 weeks 5 days to 13 weeks 5 days within the space of 20 minutes. The first 8 weeks between weeing on the stick and seeing the little alien in your belly are officially the longest 56 days of your life. After that, the space/time continuum speeds up week by week until the point that you find yourself 8 months pregnant and realising you have no real idea how to work a nasal bulb, and are pretty flabbergasted that there’s an entire industry dedicated to baby-snot-removal-devices.

13w5d scan

13w5d scan

September

As 2012 appeared to be the year of the holiday, we thought we’d sneak one more in for good measure and disappeared off to Crete for a week with Laura and Pete. I distinctly remember crying on the drive to the airport as it felt like my spine was splitting in half from the Coccyx upwards, and the thought of a 4 hour Ryanair flight was officially too much to handle. When we got to the hotel and found out that they had Laura and Pete booked in, but not Neil and I, I may/may not have had a massive grump and took their administration error out on anyone in earshot.

This is how we spent our nights

This is how we spent our nights

This is how we spent our days

This is how we spent our days

In September, I also joined Neil on a shoot in Bournemouth, which was for work, and not technically a holiday, right?76818_10100266629042295_990759194_n

This was the sunset from our hotel balcony. I freaking love taking pictures of sunsets.

18 weeks in Bournemouth

18 weeks in Bournemouth

I remember thinking to myself that I definitely looked really pregnant here, although looking back, I just look like I’ve eaten slightly too much dinner.

October

October bought us our 19 week scan. Neither Neil or I wanted to know the sex, but it didn’t stop us scrutinising the screen and seeing if we could see the goods/lack of goods. I pointed to various parts of the screen and asked the sonographer in a knowing way whether the bit I was pointing to was the face/heart/head/hand (delete as appropriate), and each and every time, I was completely wrong. So, I thought I might have seen boy bits, but then again, it might have been it’s head. We’re still none the wiser.

Anatomy Scan Pic

Anatomy Scan Pic

To celebrate Neil turning another year older, and as this was looking like it would be his last birthday without a brood in tow, I treated him to something he’s been dropping hints at for as long as I’ve known him. A flying lesson.

Husband getting his plane on

Husband getting his plane on

We also gathered our nearest and dearest and celebrated his birthday in style at the Nottingham Beer Festival. I discovered a stall that sold tea and carrot cake, so I was happy too.

Robin Hood Beer Festival - we made a point of sitting in the least photogenic spot in the whole Castle to have this photo taken

Robin Hood Beer Festival – we made a point of sitting in the least photogenic spot in the whole Castle to have this photo takenNovember

November

…was only a few weeks ago, but I still can’t really remember what happened.

I know we had an awesome Christmas themed cake club, which included Liana’s chocolate house (back middle), Lucy’s amazing Yule Log (back left) and Kerry B’s warm chocolate guinness cake (second from front). This event coincided with the start of my pregnancy weight gain, which I think you’ll agree is a MASSIVE coincidence.

The cakes, including Kerry's warm chocolate guiness cake second from front.Booze is allowed when it's in cake form, right?

The cakes, including Kerry’s warm chocolate guiness cake second from front.Booze is allowed when it’s in cake form, right?

AFTER SHOT: This is what happens when you let Liana's son, a knife and me loose on a house made out of chocolate.

This is what happens when you let Liana’s son, a knife and me loose on a house made out of chocolate.

November also saw us tick ‘going to a Panthers match‘ off our Nottingham-related to-do list. I liked the bit where they hit each other with sticks, and I can confirm that the Ice Arena does EXCELLENT slush puppies.

This was the face off/ceremonial puck drop. Or something. This was about where I lost the ability to tell what was going on.

This was the face off/ceremonial puck drop. Or something. This was about where I lost the ability to tell what was going on.

In November, I also hit 25 weeks pregnant, which, looking back, was the point at which I stopped looking tubby and started looking “with child”.

For the love of all things bump-shaped. Where did that come from?

December

We’re in December now, which means I have absolutely no excuse for not being able to remember what I did. In related news: this month, I have come to realise that “Baby Brain” is absolutely a thing and definitely not something that pregnant ladies make up when they forget to do stuff.

From looking back over my blog and tweets over the course of December, it appears I spent the first half avidly watching Masterchef, had winter sickness bug in the middle and then spent the last half sleeping.

When I wasn’t vomiting, asleep or watching Masterchef, some pretty cool things happened. One of my best friends turned up on my doorstep from Austrailia, which was pretty damn cool.

Kate, Holly and Becky

…and of course, Christmas happened.

31 weeks pregnant

31 weeks pregnant

So that takes us pretty much up to…now. Not a bad effort on our behalf I don’t think. Got some major life to do’s ticked off with getting married, moving house and getting pregnant within the space of 8 weeks, and managed to sneak slightly more than necessary holidays in to the year in the process.

I have absolutely no doubts that next year will look a whole lot different, but I have to say, I can’t bloody wait.

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