Why I: Got Married Young

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I’ve had a few people ask in the last few months, how I met my husband. So I thought that the next post in my Why I series, could be about why I got married young.

I look younger than my actual age, and when people hear that I’ve been married for almost 11 years, they instantly ask my age.

I’m turning 34 this year and I married when I was 23. People always say that’s really young to get married, but I say if you know you want to marry someone it doesn’t really matter how old or young you are!

I met G-Man when I was 19, through a friend’s boyfriend. Our official story is that we met at Glastonbury music festival. The truth is we had met a couple of months before that, and had even had a conversation at a party but the evening wasn’t about meeting boys and so our encounter was brief.

So, when we met up at Glastonbury we were able to have proper conversations, relax and watch music together. And he stayed with me and my friend the whole time he was at the festival.

There was definite sparkage between us, and I knew I liked him. We saw each other pretty much every day from that point on. After about a month I knew this was something serious and the rest, as they say, is history!

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This was the first photo of us together, in my bright orange bedroom!

We look a little different now!

We got married in the garden of a little private manor house in Hatfield, under the roof of a mini garden pavilion, whilst our friends and families sat theatre style outside on the lawn. I walked up the aisle of lavender and it was the shortest but most-perfect ceremony. A beautiful September day, small wedding and fantastic start to our married life together.

Over the years, I’ve had friends ask me things like ‘how do you know when you’re ready to get married?’, ‘how do you know you want to marry someone?’ – and I almost always answer the clichéd ‘you just know’. And that’s because you do – you just know. As certain as you know you’re alive, you just know. And if you’re questioning it, then that’s between you and your partner to work out.

I love my marriage. We get on like a house on fire, we’re best friends and though we used to argue, we know how to argue productively now. I wouldn’t say we even do argue any more. He’s the best thing in my life, and I’m happy every single day because of him.

I don’t want this to sound soppy, but everything I’ve said is true. He’s a proper gentleman and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my days with him!

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Remembering My Big Day

Today I celebrate my 8 year wedding anniversary. I know what you’re all thinking, how can someone who looks about 26 have been married for so long? Well we got married at the tender age of 23 and I have good genes 🙂  (though I have started to notice a few lines under my eyes… eek!)

I have to be truthful, I don’t really remember much of the day. It goes so fast and I got so swept up in it that before I knew it, the whole thing was over.

I remember thinking it wasn’t fair that Gary couldn’t stay the night in my hotel room the night before, and it seemed mean I had to spend it on my own feeling lonely. I remember curling my hair the night before, like I always had to so the curls would settle whilst I slept, and waking up to poker straight hair. I ended up having to curl it again after breakfast and it didn’t end up half bad.

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I remember there being water and tissues in the back of the car taking me to the venue and wondering how many emotional brides had sat where I was sitting.

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And then I was walking down the aisle with my Dad, through an aisle of lavender towards all my family and friends sat in a beautiful garden on a glorious sunny September afternoon.

The day couldn’t have gone better. Friends and family mingled, the weather was perfect and I married my best friend.

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And then it was done. The wedding breakfast (a 3 meat carvery), the party and the disco. It’s only 2 years until our ten year anniversary and we’re hoping to go to Disneyworld in Florida to celebrate – I’d also love to renew our vows and have a party with friends and family, but who knows if we’ll actually do it. I would honestly love to, though, because I’d like to involve people I know now that I didn’t know then. Who knows, but I still have two glorious years to think about all that.

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Shutterbug Q&A

Having seen this post at The Pace of it All, I really liked the idea of doing a Q&A – mostly because I wanted to see what people would ask! So I hopped onto Twitter and also Musings on FB and gave a shout out for people to ask questions. And questions I got! So here they are with the answers!

What’s your favourite book? Movie? TV Show?

Ooh that’s a toughie! I used to always say that my favourite book was The Time Traveler’s Wife. But it may have been pipped by Life of Pi which I read this year. I was so rewarded by it since I’d struggled so hard with it at the start. Of course I love the Harry Potter series and (shame!) Twilight – but as standalone books go Life of Pi trumps them all!

Movie – I have loads of favourites. I really love Empire Records and that will always be my classic favourite. But I have go to movies that I can watch over and over, like When Harry Met Sally. I love the Scream Quadrilogy and the Kill Bill movies. It’s hard!

TV Show – always The West Wing, hands down!

What’s your favourite cheese?

Haha! Vintage Cheddar. Tesco do one in their Finest range which is almost on the money. I’m coming to terms with the fact that it will be a lifelong search for the best strongest cheddar – until then Tesco are doing a pretty decent job!

What would be your ultimate last dinner on Earth? (also asked by someone else -What foods would you choose for your last meal?)

That’s a really tough one. I think it would have to be some kind of melon starter (because I’m a child of the 80’s!) Steak main with really good chunky chips or mash. Pudding would be pecan pie with pouring cream. I’d need some cheese after that so vintage cheddar and maybe some fruit with it. Then an Irish coffee. A nice full-bodied red to go with the steak. Mmmm sounds good!

What is your earliest memory?

I remember being in my push chair which had a cover over it. The cover was all brown except for a small square window which I could look out of. It was raining outside and I remember feeling so cosy and dry inside my push chair!

When was the hardest you’ve ever laughed?

I remember having a lot of times where I’ve laughed so hard my stomach hurt or my cheeks felt like they’d burst. I do remember one particular summer holidays when my sister was home. We sat in, played cards and ate pot noodles for lunch. I remember having such a good time that when my friends came knocking for me to go out with them I declined because I wanted to stay and carry on having fun with my sister. I remember being stupid and laughing hard a lot of that summer!

What songs make you the happiest?

Pop songs can make me awfully happy. Two songs exist that can get me moving singing and dancing no matter what mood I’m in. They are I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston and Hummingbird Heartbeat by Katy Perry. They are just 100% my happy music. I get happy listening to The Sunday’s album Static and Silence but that’s more like a calm and contented happiness. Let Down by Radiohead makes me feel that way too. But when you wanna get up and dance it has to be the first two. Ultimate happy!

What has made your marriage successful?

I’d say being realistic. G Man and I always said that we wanted to be married but we also knew that in 20 years something may have happened that means we can’t be married any more. We both know it wouldn’t be because either of us had cheated or been abusive, but other things happen. I think this is really important. Neither of us want this to be the case but we put it out there. We work at our relationship. We talk about important stuff and we laugh about the unimportant stuff. We know how to defuse an argument but without brushing it under the carpet. Yes we have problems but we knew we would when we said our vows – we’re not naive enough to think we won’t. I think that the success of our marriage so far has definitely been down to ‘keepin it real’!

How did you and your husband meet?

We first met at a house party when I went with a friend to her new boyfriend’s house – she wanted a chaperone meeting his friends for the first time, but me and him didn’t really talk much. I didn’t properly meet Gary until a few months later when we were both at Glastonbury music festival and again were brought together by mutual friends. We spent two days together over the three-day festival and afterwards were pretty much inseparable. We met up again a few days after the festival and then about 5 days later he had a shock meeting my whole extended family when I invited him to my Sister’s wedding reception!

How did you get started in Photography?

I’d always been interested in taking a good photo. My Dad was into photography and so was my Grandad. I started taking rolls of films which were dolls and cats. I also took photos of my cousins which family would say were good and have blown up for their walls. I tried to be creative with my first art photograph entitled ‘Banana on a door mat’ – and it was just that. I followed this up later on with ‘Mango on a door mat’. I liked to take whole rolls of film of clouds too – it was rather expensive and since you had to send the films away and would get them back about two weeks later, it was kind of disappointing to find it was all crummy clouds. I didn’t pick photography up again until after my wedding. I was so disappointed with the quality of the shots taken by our photographer and I knew I could have done better! I found Flickr in late 2006 and the rest is history! I was so inspired by the people on there. I started my first 365 project in 2007 and a second 365 project in 2009. The second one was more successful as I had the experience of the first, and I made it into a table book so I have it to keep forever! My photography has taken a back step in the last two years due to life and commitments but I hope to have my second photo book published soon, after having my first published in 2010 (which you can buy here!)

So that’s it! Thanks to Ari (@thepaceofitall) Sarah (@STApollo84) Beckie (@beckietran) Carrie (@being_ladylike) and Mum (via FB) for the questions!

That was kinda fun 🙂

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A Family is what you make it

A lot of stuff has happened to my family over the last month. I won’t go into it all here but it has really made me think about family. We all get along. Yes, we have our differences and we argue, but it’s the dynamic of our family. The events that have happened recently have helped to show my parents how I have grown up and how I react to certain big things that happen in people’s lives. It’s shown them and myself how I cope and how we can all support each other. It’s taught me how protective I am of my family too!

It’s also made me think deeply about how we make family what we want it to be. When people leave we re-adjust and we create siblings from the people around us. It’s not all about blood. I have so many close friends whom I would consider family – brothers and sisters. I know I’m lucky in that respect and I hope they would consider me in the same way. It’s nice to meet up with a friend who you haven’t seen in ages and be able to be comfortable and pick up from where you last left off.

I like that I can choose my family both from blood, marriage and friendship. I surround myself with people that I love and am there to support them and they support me. At this stage in my life, I didn’t think I would meet new people who I would consider in this way, but I have.  They are people who I would see myself being friends with for years and years to come. They’re my kind of people, and it makes me feel blessed.