25th November 2006. I was 17 years old and at the 18th birthday party of one of my friends. It was held at our local village hall, and there was loads of us from 6th form there. I’d had a few sneaky drinks before the party (and maybe a few sneaky drinks at the party…) and I was more than a little tipsy. My friend introduced me to a boy – her cousin – tall, blonde, lots of hair, rugby player, a bit shy but very good looking. We got chatting, we danced all night, had our first kiss to “I’ve had the Time of My Life” and swapped numbers. We went on a date a few weeks later, and “officially” became boyfriend and girlfriend on 31st December 2006. This would be our official anniversary date.
Little did I know, we would still be together 10 years later, married, with a baby and searching for our first home to buy together. We have been through so much in the past 10 years – mainly ups but a few downs (we won’t talk about the time we decided to take a “break”….it lasted for approximately 12 hours!). I wouldn’t say we have the perfect relationship, but really, who does? But I do think we are meant to be together. Craig is the perfect match for me – he keeps me calm when I need to be, makes me laugh when I’m being too serious, and comforts me when I’m sad. He loves me for who I am, and in turn I love him. He’s a wonderful husband and I didn’t think I could love him anymore. Until we had Alfie.
Our relationship definitely changed when Alfie came along, but unlike a lot of relationships, it changed for the better. We are more patient with each other, we argue less about stupid things, and we have so much joy in our lives. Now we have Alfie, there’s no need to fret about the small stuff.
To celebrate our 10 years together, I thought I’d take a look back over the years and see what we’ve been up to (cue cringy photos…..)
This photo is from New Years Eve 2006 – the night we officially become an item. We were at a house party of a friends, I was very drunk, and don’t remember much of the night. We both certainly look very young here!!
This photo is from my 18th birthday. Craig turned 18 the day before we met, so we didn’t get to celebrate it together! This photo was taken at a meal I had at Frankie and Benny’s with my friends. I must have been the only 18 year old to NOT go clubbing on my birthday….I think Craig and I had spent the day in London, and then I had a family meal the next day so I didn’t want to feel awful. I don’t remember what Craig bought me though….
2007 was also the year I completed my A Levels, and Craig finished his college course. I decided against university, so got a job at a local insurance company. Craig went to uni to study Sports Science and Coaching. Luckily it was only a local college/uni course, so he didn’t move away. Craig did however go to Portugal with his friend for a few weeks. They had done it the previous summer for 3 months, and had planned for it to become a tradition! I don’t think Craig planned on meeting me though. He still booked his flights, but only for 5 weeks. He only lasted 3 weeks though. I think this was when I truly realised I was in love as I missed him so much, and cried so much in those 3 weeks!!
2008 was the year we had our first holiday together. We went to Alcudia in Majorcia in July for 10 days. My first holiday abroad without my parents! It was very scary, not only going away on our own, but also spending 10 days solid with each other – the most we’d ever done. It was a wonderful holiday though and we had a lot of fun. I’ll always hold fond memories of the Peach Pit, a shot that consisted of Bailys and Apple Sour (yuk), Claire and Lee who we met on our last night, and being introduced to Craig’s EPIC beach walks (the boy left me on the beach on my own for an hour!!).
I was still working at the insurance place, but studying for a Legal Executive qualification in the evenings. I knew I wanted to go into law, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do!
Another pretty uneventful year. Craig was still at uni and I had a new job working in London for a law firm. I finished my Legal Executive course, but realised I didn’t have the enthusiasm to go on to the final level, so I decided to do a Legal Secretary course instead. This was done at the weekend, and I hoped that it would help get me a promotion within my company from filing assistant to secretary.
We also had our second holiday to Turkey. This was another fab holiday, although I missed the birth of my first nephew! But we had a brilliant time, it was so hot over there!
Craig also turned 21 in November!
This was a fairly big year for us. I got a new job as part of my Legal Secretary qualification, and Craig graduated from university! It was lovely going to his graduation ceremony, and I was so proud of him. He does still take the mickey though that he had a degree and I don’t….one day I will rectify that!! Once he finished his degree, Craig went for a few interviews and got a first job at a local company as an admin assistant.
2011 is where life got really interesting….in January we moved in to our first home! We decided that we just wanted to live together, and so would rent somewhere. After losing out on a lovely little flat, we found a cute house in a town in Essex in between where we both currently lived with our parents. We moved in and were very happy there (mostly, we had a few issues!).
Then on 2nd July, Craig organised a lovely day out for us. We had a picnic in the Regent’s Park, followed by a ride on the pedalo’s (which was great fun!) Craig then took me to Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens where he gave me a present. It was poem that he had written for me. At the end, he wrote that he had a question to ask me, and when I looked up, I saw him on one knee with a ring box in his hand! I of course said yes, and so we were engaged! We couldn’t have been happier and set about planning the wedding pretty much straight away.
This was the year of weddings for us – it seemed everyone else in the family had the same idea as us, and picked 2012 to get married.
First we had Craig’s brother, who got engaged shortly before we did in 2011 to his girlfriend. They had a beautiful wedding in April, on a lovely hot, sunny day. It was a wonderful wedding.
Next we had my brother, who had only been engaged for a few months but managed to plan the most amazing wedding in such a short space of time! They got married in May on one of the hottest days of the year!
Then we had Craig’s dad, who married his lovely wife in a beautiful ceremony in June.
Finally, Craig and I got married in November. We picked fireworks night to get married as it was a memorable day, and I really wanted a winter wedding. After 16 months of planning, which I loved, we had the most loving ceremony in my family church, followed by a reception in a gorgeous barn venue. It really was a perfect day.
We then had the most amazing honeymoon in Mexico!
In 2013 we moved again to a smaller, cheaper place in order that we could save to buy our first house. We decided that although we wanted to save, we were also going to enjoy ourselves as we had saved so hard for our wedding. For our first wedding anniversary we did my dream trip to New York! It was honestly the best holiday I have ever been on, and I really hope one day we can go back. I have such amazing memories of the place, we did so much, but there is still so much we can do, so I really hope to make it back there one day (maybe to renew our wedding vows after 10 years?! Best start saving now…)
I think 2014 was probably our best year so far. We found out in October that we were pregnant! Craig and I had had various conversations over the course of the year about when we should start trying for a baby. We’d always said that we would buy a house first and then start immediately. However, we then discussed that it might take a while for us to get pregnant, and were we doing the right thing putting it off? So one day we just decided we would “see what happened”. What happened is I then got pregnant straight away! It was a huge shock, but a good shock. Our family and friends were delighted, and we quickly started envisaging what family life was going to be like.
2015 topped 2014 by a mile. Our first born son arrived 11 days late on 10th July 2015. He didn’t want to come, so was given a helping hand by a lovely surgeon who delivered him safely to us by c-section. Having a baby is an amazing, life-changing event, but you just cannot describe the feelings you get when you hold them for the first time. We named our little bundle of joy Alfie, and we continue to be amazed by him every day.
I also had another baby in 2015 – Something About Baby! I started my blog a week before Alfie was born, and I have watched it grow as Alfie grows. It is something that I am very proud of, and I hope to see it grow even more in the years to come.
This year has been brilliant. I was able to have a year off work on maternity leave, so I have done so much with Alfie – baby groups, activities, meeting new friends, catching up with old friends, experiencing my baby grow up! Alfie turned one and we had an amazing teddy bear’s picnic party for him. I returned to work which, to be honest, sucked, but I’m gradually learning to come to terms with it. I don’t think I’ll ever “enjoy” it again, but I’ll tolerate it for now! Alfie started nursery, which he really loves, and I’m so pleased he does.
2016 is the year that Craig and I will have spent 10 years of our life together, and experienced so much! We always said that we would spend our 10 year anniversary in Edinburgh celebrating Hogmanay, but then we saw how expensive it was!!! So we opted for a child-free spa break instead (thanks Aunty ZoZo for being on babysitting duties!) So at this moment in time I am being pampered and feel incredibly relaxed and ready to take on 2017!
What is 2017 going to bring us? Hopefully, a new house. Definitely new baby friends for Alfie. Lots of fun and laughter with old friends and maybe new friends. More amazing, wonderful moments with our little boy. Maybe even a brother or sister for Alfie (don’t get too excited Mum, that wasn’t an announcement!!). I hope for a bit more success for the blog. Perhaps I’ll even get round the writing that book I promised my Nan I’d do something about….Who knows! I just hope for a happy and healthy year, surrounded by all the people I love.
Happy New Year everyone xxx