July 2007

Today is our 4th wedding anniversary, and I thought I’d dedicate a post to my fantastic husband.

 We met on 11 November 2001 after a student worker at church asked for volunteers to help with the PA system at the evening service. We both volunteered, I’m still not really sure why I did as I had almost no experience in anything relevant, I just felt it was something I had to do. After the service a group of regulars and the band all trooped off to the pub and invited us to join them. We sat together and got talking and discovered we both came from the same area and had mutual friends. A week later we chatted more in the pub after the service and exchanged email addresses, in the following week we exchanged about 35 emails! (and we still have copies of them all on this computer!) Mr H also walked part of the way home from church with me, my college was 2 1/2 miles away from the city centre and I had my bike with me. He initially said it was kind of en-route….it wasn’t, it was almost completely in the opposite direction.

We were both going to the student houseparty and it was when we were here (on 1 December) that we ‘got together’. Just 6 days later Mr H left Cambridge to spend the Christmas holidays with his brother. Thankfully at that point Mr H had the everyday 5o contract on his phone so we could always talk for 50 minutes a day for free. I went up to his brothers for a couple of days after Christmas and Mr H came back down with me for New Year. It was definitely a case of being thrown in the deep end with each other’s families; the first time we all met we were staying over.

In the Easter holidays we discussed marriage for the first time, and agreed that was where we saw the relationship going. It was then a waiting game for me, waiting for Mr H to propose. I thought he might at his college ball in June, but he didn’t… The next time I really thought he would was when he took me to Paris for the day (first class on Eurostar!) in August. He later said that it didn’t feel special enough and that there were too many people around (even half way up the Eiffel tower!).

Mr H spent the first weekend in September staying with us in Yorkshire (we was living in Cambridge for the summer while working for a local company). On the Saturday we headed into the dales, calling at a gorgeous National Trust house on the way home. There were a couple of poinmts when I thought Mr H might propose, standing on the hills in the rain looking over the valley, under a flowering tree in the house garden…but no. Mum let us off washing up after Sunday lunch so we could go for a walk before Mr H had to drive back to Cambridge. As we walked in the woods we were talking and Mr H admitted that he’d nearly proposed several times but had ‘wimped out’ of it. We carried on walking and stopped by the pond. Mr H got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the perfect place in some ways as it’s a place that has many other lovely memories and will now be even more special. We carried on walking and talked about when we wanted to marry and then how to tell my parents. I can’t remember exactly what we said to them, but I do remember Mum saying she wouldn’t let us off the washing up again.

Amazingly Dad managed to book a local hotel for the wedding reception on the day we most wanted for the following summer, it was the only free Sturday they had all summer and it was the one we wanted. We left a lot of the plans to either my parents or the wedding planner at the hotel. I was in my final year and Mr H was, initially, very busy with his third year studies. In some ways I wish I’d had more control of every little detail but I wouldn’t have had the time, I only just scraped a 2:2 as it was. I, of course, chose my dress, bridesmaid’s dresses, food, hymns and the colour scheme (well we did the last three jointly), but Dad sorted the car and did all the liaising with the hotel.

Now, I said that Mr H was initially busy with his studies because in November (almost a year to the day that we met) he hit his head on a concrete wall and sustained concussion (he was sitting on his bed, went to lie back on the pillows but was too far back and hit is head on the wall as he dropped back). I was with him at the time and I’m glad I was. He was initially confused but as the day went on he lost his balance and couldn’t even cross the room without needing to hold on to things for support. I took Mr H with me back to my college to keep an eye on him, but after a couple of hours had to call his supervising tutor to come and take him to hospital. He was diagnosed then with concussion, but his symptoms didn’t improve as quickly as is usually expected. He went to no lectures for the rest of term. Dad came down at the end of term and collected my things and I went back to Yorkshire with Mr H. He was able to drive for short periods but had to stop and rest at least once an hour. My gran has a small house in the same town as my parents and he used that as a base for the holiday. I stayed with him most of the time to make sure he was ok. He carried on getting better, but on New Year’s Eve had a tiny amount of wine feel asleep at 10pm. Since that time his alcohol limit has been greatly reduced, he had been able to keep up with anyone at college, but now drinks very little. Come January he was still not able to cope with lectures so had to drop out of university for the year. In April he was well enough to be able to work for 5 months for the company he’d worked for the previous summer (and who he works for now), they were good enough to give him 4 weeks holiday in the summer for our wedding and honeymoon. Thankfully he is almsot back to how he was when we first met now. He still gets tired sooner than he did and occasionally gets a bit low (he developed a bit of anxiety related depression after the concussion) but can cope with almost anything the world throws at him.

Our wedding day was wonderful. We didn’t have the service until 3pm so I had a leisurely morning with my family and going to the hairdressers to have my hair curled and put up. I don’t know what Mr H did. Mum put out a lovely buffet lunch for us (three of my bridesmaids and their mums were there too) and we all had a glass of champagne. I can remember sitting at the dining table in my dress with my aunt trying to paint my nails and there being lots of food around too. The weather was a little damp in the morning but brightened up in the afternoon. I can’t remember many details about the service (except the part in the sermon where the vicar said there are only two things to remember about marriage and my gran saying aloud “only two?”, he was meaning communication and compromise). I do remember thinking during the photos quite how small Mr H’s family is compared to mine. In his family photo there were only five of us, in mine there were twenty four!

 On our wedding day

I clearly remember late in the evening at the reception hotel wondering where Mr H had got to, I found him outside playing tag with my young cousins being watched by my uncles and a couple of older cousins who were getting rather drunk!

 Four years on we’re in our third house together, we’ve both graduated, he’s got a fantastic job, we’ve got a gorgeous daughter and I love him even more now that I did on our wedding day. He’s my best friend, my rock and my soulmate. When my depression kicks back in he’ll take over with as much as he can and let me get myself sorted again. He’s a fantastic father to the munchkin, she loves him loads too. I’ve tried to find a good photo of them together, but I’m struggling, Mr H doesn’t like his photo  being taken and is usually behind the camera!

This is the most recent photo we have of us together, and it’s one of my absolute favourite photos of us.

Us at J and S’s wedding

Mr H, if you see this, Happy Anniversary darling, I love you!


And it really seems like it has done lately.

I’ve only just found the time to sit and read some of the other Fun Monday entrants and I still haven’t properly caught up on my blogroll and said hello to folks there. I’m hoping that tomorrow the munchkin will give me some time with the computer in peace.

I’ve been for four meals out since Saturday, had two friends sleeping on my living room floor, spent one night sleeping on someone else’s floor,  had two disturbed nights with the munchkin, bought three presents (and a card) for Mr H, spent one meal feeling smug that the munchkin was happy and eating while her little friends were having tantrums in the middle of a restaurant and spent two afternoons cuddling a teething toddler on the sofa as said toddler wouldn’t do anything else in the first hour after her nap. And that’s all I can come up with number related comments for!

It’s just been a bit non stop here for some reason. I feel really bad that I haven’t been and said hello to my bloggy friends, I had a few minutes last week to read a couple of blogs but not time to comment on many. I’m hoping that I’ll have a bit more time at the weekend, as for the first time in 5/6 weeks we have nothing planned at all (apart from needing to visit a supermarket at some point).

Fun Monday

Willowtree is hosting today’s Fun Monday (as usual pop along and see who else is taking part today). His challenge is:

 “Tell us about your best friend. Particularly things like: where you first met, how long you’ve been friends and why you think you are best friends”

Well I have three people I count as my best friends so I’m going to talk about all three, in no particular order, as I know at least one of them lurks on here 🙂

I’ve known R1 since we started secondary school in 1994. We both joined the school choir and Christian union and started talking. She was my first friend at that school. We were on opposite halves of the year so never had lessons together but we met up several lunchtimes a week and at the two clubs. As we moved through school our friendship groups partially merged and by sixth form we were really good friends. We’re very similar people, we have the same opinions on most things and a similar upbringing. We have the same  sense of humour. R1 is someone I can talk to about anything. She’s the first person I told outside the family when I was pregnant and again she’s been the first person I told about the miscarriage. She’s spent the last year over in the US teaching in an elementary school and I’ve missed her so much, it’s been a lot harder to talk to her with the time difference and I missed our chats. She’s back over here for the summer at the moment and came down to stay with us at the weekend. It was just as easy as it has ever been. We know what the other is worried about and, usually, what to do to help them. She’s a wonderful, caring person who one day would be such a fantastic mother, the problem being that there is no other half on the horizon for her, she’s got a tendancy to really fall for someone who won’t reciprocate those feelings and I really hope she can find someone who loves her as much as she loves them. She did find it hard here at the weekend at times as she’s quite jealous of me (happily married with a ‘gorgeous’ daughter – her words), I just wish her the happiness I’ve got, and I’m sure that one day she’ll have it too.

I first met R2 at a Christian youth venture where we were both volunteering as leaders in 1998. I’d chosen that venture as the main leaders were my youth leaders at church, whereas R2 had gone to the venture previously as a pathfinder. We initally knew each other as junior leaders together and kept in touch a little that year, when we returned the yaer after we knew each other better and kept more in touch as we went to uni (R2 in London and me in Cambridge). Initially it was our shared faith that brought us together but as time went on we have more in common and share other beliefs and opinions. R2 is someone I can go to about anything, particularly if I want to talk about anything to do with God and religion. She’s one of the munchkin’s God-parents and was one of the first people we considered for that. We share a love of good food and wine and as R2 lives close to us she comes over for dinner at least once a month.

My third best friend is V. We met at university through mutual friends at the end of our first year in 2000. Our friends all moved out into a shared house for second year and V and I really got to know each other by being next-door neighbours in halls. I am sure that without V’s friendship and encouragement I wouldn’t have completed my degree as I was fairly lonely in college, though I had some good friends at church. V was baptised during our years in Cambridge and asked me to be her sponsor (God-parent for grown-ups 🙂 ), she is now another of the munchkin’s God-parents. We had very different wasys of working at college. V always got everything thoroughly completed well before the deadline and usually produced essays so long that they had to be cut down, whereas I left my essays until the last minute and often struggled to hit the lower boundary of the wod limit (I did juggle page margins several times to make the essays look longer than they were), unsurprisingly she left college with a higher graded degree than I did. She is someone I can call at the drop of a hat and just listen and offer any advice she can. She and her husband married the week before we did and delayed their honeymoon so that they could come to our wedding too. We’ve supported each other through various health problems (on both sides) and I know that if I need anything I just need to ask and V will do all she can to help, and I’d do the same for her.

Mr H is also, and perhaps unsurprisingly, a best friend of mine. But I think regular readers have heard enough about him at times!

Just a quick post to say that Mum and dad went back to the doctor’s this morning to get the results of the brain scan. It showed vascular damage to Dad’s brain in several places, Mum said that the doctor talked about arterial hardening. My GP sister in law, D, has said that the best way to view it is that it’s like he’s had a series of mini strokes. It’s likely that he’ll have more over time as he’s not taking his blood pressure medication most of the time and is still smoking and drinking almost as much as ever.

I was sure that the scan would show up something, and I’m glad we know what’s wrong now. I’m just so sad that anything is wrong.

..since I did a proper post about what’s been going on for the H family, but for a range of reasons I can’t sit in front of the computer for long so I’m going to do a bullet-point update.

  • The munchkin has 2 teeth coming though at once so is getting us up in the night and producing some incredibly evil nappies…anyone want any chemical weapons?
  • It’s also making her more clingy and short tempered, she won’t settle to playing on her own for more than 5 minutes and gets even grumpier if things aren’t going how she wants them to (reason number 1 that this is a quick post)
  • Mr H was so tired at work on Thursday after his trip to the States that one of his colleagues followed him home in the car to make sure he got back ok (why he didn’t use public transport I’m not sure!)
  • My diet is going better than last week, though I’m still not completely back on track…why did I buy some scones in Sainsbury’s last night?
  • The exercise idea was going really well, but I’ve pushed myself too much and strained some muscles in my back (reason number 2 this is a short post), I can’t stay in the same position for long or bend over comfortably
  • My sister’s last set of chromosomal results all came back normal so it’s just a wait now until her next scan (next week) to see what’s happening with my nephew
  • My dad should be getting his brain scan results today, we’re torn between wanting something to show up so we know where we stand and possibly a prognosis and wanting it to be clear
  • I’ve discovered that while Facebook is fab for keeping up with friends there are some odd people who add you as a friend because you share interests but then getting clingy and very moody if you don’t say hello frequently!
  • FlyLady has flown away…the house is a mess partly due to my back and partly due to me getting out of routine when my friend was staying last weekend….hopefully I’lll get that back on track again soon too.
  • I’ve got two more friends coming to stay on Sunday, I really need to tidy up before then…they have offered to baby-sit for one of the two nights they’re here so that Mr H and I have a night off in our anniversary week (4 years next week 🙂 ).
  • The munchkin’s god-mother is also coming over on our anniversary to give us a night out then, we haven’t had two nights out in such a short space of tine for I don’t know how long
  • Mr H has agreed to start trying for baby #2 again in October 🙂 He’d rather wait longer, but he understands that I think the munchkin will cope better with the arrival with a brother or sister before she turns 3 (plus the fact I’m ridiculously broody at the moment)
  • I’m really looking forward to the final Harry Potter book coming out tomorrow, we haven’t pre-ordered it and aren’t planning on going out at midnight to get it, just hoping that one of the supermarkets will have some in stock tomorrow morning

That’ll do for now, I’ve typed this in several short bursts and I’m going to have to give up for now. Bye!

…is where I need to be 😦

I had my weigh in last night and I’ve put on 1 1/2 lbs in the last fortnight. It’s what I deserve really, but I’m so annoyed at myself. I’ve eaten so much rubbish lately, firstly when Mr H was away (a combination of tiredness and just being low with him away) and then the weekend just gone when my friend was staying here. She’s not really worried about her weight and will just eat what she fancies and my self control went out of the window and I just ate what I fancied too.

I know I shouldn’t do it, but I did, and I now have to face the consequences. I’ve now been doing the diet for more weeks than lbs I’ve lost and I’m much happier when it’s the other way round.

I’m restarting my food diary and I’ve added an exercise tracker to my weightloss page (at the top, by the about me tab). I’ve recently bought a Lateral Thigh Trainer and I’m going to try and use it every day while the munchkin naps. I hoped to do 5 minutes today, but I had to give up at 3 1/2, hopefully I’ll manage more tomorrow. I do feel good for having done that though. My long term aim with it is to be able to do 30 minutes on it fairly comfortably and then up the resistance (it’s on the easiest setting at the moment).

I’ve got more friends coming to stay on Sunday (as well as a big night out on Saturday with the munchkin’s Godmother) so it’ll be a real challenge this week, but I want to pop in to weigh in on Monday and come out smiling. I’m now 3 lbs off my first stone and I would love to get that in a fortnight, I hope I can do it.

Good morning! Today’s Fun Monday is hosted by Tiggerlane. Her assignment for us is:

I wanna see your CAR! It can be your current car, the first car you ever had, maybe your first new car with that new-car smell, a car you wrecked once, or even the dream car you would drive – given all the money in the world! Oh – and if you have a truck, SUV, lawnmower, whatever the local authorities allow you to drive, let’s see it! 

After a busy weekend, the one chance I had to take a photo of our car was dashed by a sudden thunder storm so again it’ll be a photo-less Fun Monday from me 🙂

I don’t drive so all the cars I talk about will actually be Mr H’s cars (though the last two were both bought with my inheritance from my Grandad).

When we first married Mr H had a little Peugeot 106, it was an L reg, so 1993/4. It was bought for the express purpose of getting Mr H to his summer placement job which was 30 miles away from his accommodation in Cambridge. It was a fantastic little car, I have fond memories of driving through the Welsh lanes in it. It met it’s death on the M1 on a rainy December night in 2003. The traffic in front suddenly braked and when Mr H tried to follow suit he viscoplaned into the back of the car in front. Unfortunately we were driving my Gran up to see my parents in Yorkshire at the time and her breastbone was broken in the accident.  She spent Christmas being closely watched in a hospital in Derbyshire as the break was very close to her heart. It looks from this like Mr H was driving far to close to the car in front, but he wasn’t, I’m quite an anxious passenger on motorways (having been a passenger in two other accidents on the M1) and I wasn’t at all worried about how he was drving, believe me I let him know when I’m not happy! I firmly believe the water on the motorway was the cause of the accident. Sadly the police didn’t agree and made Mr H pay to go on a driving skills course. Thankfully now that accident no longer has an effect on Mr H’s insurance costs.

We then bought my sister’s car from her as she wanted to buy a Smart car, so we had a 1996 Ford Fiesta (Mark IV model). It was a lovely dark blue colour (almost verging on purple). It wasn’t a great car, the engine was crappy, but it was cheap, which was what we needed at the time. It seemed to attract scratches whenever we parked it outside our flat in Cambridge or in supermarket car parks. We knew exactly who the culprit near the flat was (it was very easy to match the scrathes to marks on the little white van that raced into the parking area at speed and didn’t look where they were going when reversing) sadly we never saw them actually doing it to our car. We had this car until September 2005. It was also written off in an accident. This time Mr H was drving around a notorious junction when either a tyre burst or he skidded on oil, burst a tyre on the pavement and then slid sideways into the oncoming traffic. The police who attended immediately said that there would be no action taken as he junction was so unsafe anyway (the junction has since been completely redesigned). This happened on a Friday and on the following Tuesday Dad was driving down to us with a ‘new’ car for us (with the munchkin due 4 weeks later we couldn’t be without a car for long).

Our ‘new’ and current car is a Ford Mondeo Mark III (2001). It is huge compared to our previous cars but is fantastic for putting all our stuff in when we go on holiday. It is weirdly exactly the same colour as the Fiesta was. We’ve had a couple of probelsm with it, the exhaust fell off at Christmas when we were staying near my parents, I had some snowy walks from where we were staying up and down the hill to my parent’s house before the car was fixed. It was fun trying to stay upright in the ice and push the pram at the same time 🙂 We’ve also had a problem with the suspension, someone nudged it when it was parked and damaged trhe suspension. As Mr H was driving it to the garage to be fixed one of the broken parts moved and burst a tyre. Thankfully he was going fairly slowly and was close to the garage, at least he wasn’t driving along the A10 or A414 to or from work as that may have been a big problem as some people drive those roads very quickly.

It looks from this as though Mr H is a bad driver, but I really don’t think he is (and I’m not just saying that because I’m married to him) out of all the drivers I regularly am a passenger with I feel safest with him. One day (when we can afford it) he wants to do the advanced driving course and he uses what techniques he already knows from that now.

Well, that’s my photo-free Fun Monday. Go along to see Tiggerlane and see who else is taking part.

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