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:
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. 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. 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. In 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. 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? 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. April
April marked a month until the wedding, so we did what all sensible people do. Go on a pre-wedding holiday. I BLOODY LOVE taking pictures of sunsets. My handsome husband to be. 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? May
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. One 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.
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.
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. 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*.
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?).
I also looked like this:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In September, I also joined Neil on a shoot in Bournemouth, which was for work, and not technically a holiday, right?
This was the sunset from our hotel balcony. I freaking love taking pictures of sunsets.
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 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.
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.
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.
…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.
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.
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”.
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.
…and of course, Christmas happened.
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.