As the year comes to an end, it’s a time for refection, as well as looking to the year ahead. With the end of 2019 comes the beginning of a new decade, and with this in mind, I wanted to look back on the past ten years, as they have been pretty epic! It’s not all been good, there have been plenty of lows alongside the highs, but it has made me who I am today, it has given me three amazing children and a husband who I love.
My 21st Birthday
2010 started with me finding out I was pregnant. The pregnancy was not planned, and I was more than a little shocked and scared as a single twenty year old in her third year of university at the time. My twenty-first birthday, a milestone I had been planning and looking forward to for years, was not how I had imagined it, but I wouldn’t change anything about that time in my life now, as it was a blessing in disguise.
The Birth of My First Child
Having Cameron totally changed my life, but it changed it for the better. I was going off the rails a bit when I found out I was pregnant, and having to settle down early on actually grounded me. I had Cameron just a week before university started back again and, with the help of my mum and my nan, I was able to go back right away and not miss a step. Being a mum at uni was challenging, especially when everybody else was going out and discussing matters that seemed so trivial to me after having a baby, but I got through it and managed to stay on the course.
I graduated university a year later with my one year old little boy watching me in the audience, and I couldn’t have felt prouder. I managed to finish at the same time as the rest of my class, which was such an achievement for me, and I was so happy to have proved many people wrong, who had assumed my pregnancy would result in dropping out and giving up on my dreams.
Giving Birth to My Daughter
In 2012, following a bit of a whirlwind romance, I had settled down with a man and we had our first child together, a beautiful baby girl – Carly. Her birth was so different to Cameron’s as I knew what was happening this time round, and the whole process was more chilled out. I almost got the water birth I had longed for, but my daughter decided she was going to have a little nap mid-labour, and by the time they had got me out to check her heart rate, I didn’t feel like getting back in!
Taking Part in a TV Show
During my pregnancy with Carly I had filmed myself for a TV Show, and it was aired the following spring. It was so odd watching it back, as I hadn’t realised I was suffering with pre-natal depression until I saw myself and listened to how I was speaking about the pregnancy. It was a very surreal experience, and one which I won’t ever forget. Being on a TV programme is different to how I imagined it, and I am pleased that I stuck to my decision not to share footage of the birth, even if it meant that they stopped showing our story part way through the show and it wasn’t clear that Carly had been born or not, which hurt.
Running My First Event
In the Spring of 2013, I finally realised a dream I had and ran my very first event, for charity – Just for Mums. It was such an incredible experience, and it made me more sure than ever that events was the right industry for me to be in. I ran the event with a friend, who wasn’t as sure, but for me it was a huge point in my life, and one that I couldn’t wait to repeat.
My First Marriage
I got married on Valentine’s Day 2014. The day was bittersweet, as I was battling with inner demons and I was close to tears in the morning. The weather was atrocious, truly one of the worst storms in a long time, which didn’t help a sense of foreboding as I woke up that day. That’s not to say the whole day was awful, it wasn’t, but certain things made me doubt myself and, looking back, there were signs that things weren’t right even on that special day.
Landing my Dream Job
Later that year, after months and months of applying for jobs and going for interviews, I finally got my dream job – working as a wedding coordinator at a local hotel. I was ecstatic and so ready to head to work, having been at home with two toddlers for a long time.
A Festival with my Sister
I had managed to reach the ripe old age of 25 without going to a festival, so my sister took me along to V Festival over the summer and I can safely say festivals aren’t really for me. I will never be forgiven for deciding I simply had to go to the toilet after standing for hours at the very front of the stage, only to then not make it back to this position for the headlining act. My sister was unimpressed!
Maid of Honour at My Brother’s Wedding
2015 hadn’t been going well, my marriage had ended officially in February, a year after the wedding, I had been fired from my dream job and ended up on benefits briefly, so I needed something positive. Being maid of honour for my brother and new sister-in-law was just what I needed, and the wedding was simply beautiful. I took along Ed, who I had met at work, and who was a rock for me during all the turmoil.
Ed’s Treasurehunt Proposal
In August, two months into a new job at the newly built Hilton hotel, Ed led me on a treasure hunt, culminating in him getting down on one knee in our favourite restaurant and asking me to marry him. Some may consider it too fast, but if my first marriage had taught me anything it was to trust my instincts, and I knew things were different with Ed.
Disneyland Paris during the Terror Attack
During a special visit to Disneyland for Carly and my mum’s birthdays, there was a terror attack in Paris, which resulted in the parks closing. Our trip was not as planned, but we managed to still have a nice time at the hotel and in Disney Village, although the atmosphere was fairly tense, and the journey back home was quite stressful.
Completing our Family with my Third Child
In 2016, I discovered I was expecting a little surprise and, in October 2016, Benjamin was born, not at home as originally planned but following a bit of a rollercoaster hospital birth after he appeared to have stopped growing. He was absolutely perfect, although a little small, and I knew our family was complete.
An Anxiety Diagnosis
Following Benjamin’s birth, I became increasingly anxious, to the point that I was convinced he was very seriously poorly and would scare myself silly reading up on Google. It was almost a relief for the doctor to diagnose Acute Generalised Anxiety, although it was the start of an uphill struggle.
Registering as Self Employed
In 2017, I registered as self-employed and started making some money from my blog. Having written online since the start of the decade, when Cameron was just born, it was incredible to be earning something from my passion. I am so proud of myself for taking that step, as it has gone on to give me so many amazing experiences and opportunities since.
Our Santorini Wedding
On 2nd September 2017, Ed and I said ‘I do’ whilst overlooking the stunning caldera in Santorini, Greece. It was absolutely incredible, and a trip of a lifetime for me. I was so sad not to have everybody I loved at the wedding, but it was still totally magical, and I need to go back to the island, as it is truly special to us now, as a couple.
Our Honeymoon in Mexico
We had a couple of short mini-moons in the UK following our Santorini wedding and blessing back home, but chose to delay our honeymoon until the following Spring, to save up money, and so that we wouldn’t be leaving the children straight away. Ten days in Cancun was lovely, and the resort we stayed in was perfect, but I had a panic attack during the stay, and again on the flight back home, and I don’t think I could manage a flight that long again anytime soon, which slightly tainted the experience for us.
We camped at our first family festival, as a review for my blog, and it was such a special event for us and the children. I really enjoyed some aspects of the experience, but others (such as a storm during the night), I would rather not repeat! Cameron, especially, loved it, and I think Ed and him will go back at some point.
Our First Cruise
2018 was clearly a year for firsts for us, as we also went on our first cruise, which I had won during a blog event the previous year. It was an incredible experience, but my anxiety sadly caused me to panic when we were out at sea, and I struggled to enjoy the holiday, despite the fact that we visited several towns in Norway, which was beautiful.
Seeing in the New Year in Disneyland
Another utterly incredible experience was seeing in the New Year this year in Disneyland Paris. Counting down the seconds to midnight, whilst looking up at the Tower of Terror in Disney Studios, is a memory I will never forget, and it is something I would repeat in a minute, if the logistics would work. I had such an amazing time that trip, and it was so special to spend the time with family.
In May this year, I turned 30, and celebrated with another trip to Disney, this time with a good friend, Ciara. I dressed up in a big ass tutu, with badges and tiaras, and I just acted like a big kid the whole trip. It was totally extra, and the best way to celebrate! I also had a party and a little staycation back home with close friends and family, which was lovely.
A Family Holiday in the Lake District
This summer was filled with memories, which I love. We didn’t go abroad, but had several short staycations instead, including a big family trip to the Lake District. It was only for a few days, but it was amazing to have everybody together, enjoying the experience as a group.
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster but the past ten years have been pretty incredible overall, and I am so lucky to be where I am now, with a wonderful family and friends who truly care about me.