Two years!!!

At the end of our honeymoon I turned to my new husband and said, in slightly disbelieving-excitement “Do you realise we’ve been married for a whole week?!?

The ring goes on!!

This morning before he headed off for work, L and I looked at each other and said together “We’ve been married for two years!!!

So happy and oh yeah – the kiss was about to come! πŸ˜‰

The time has gone so quickly it seems impossible that we’re celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary already!

Isn’t the black-and-white with the one bit of colour wonderful?!

Being Mrs M, waking up next to L every morning and enjoying more hugs in one day then I used to get in a month is now so natural, so right that I find myself amazed that it’s only been two years!

It’s wierd the way passing time leaves you feeling that way.

We were both so glad that so many of our family, friends and church-family were there to celebrate our marriage with us!

Nana and I on my wedding day!

My sisters and I – love you!!

I love how happy we are! πŸ™‚

I put the socks and converses on after we got to the park and saw a long-cherished dream realised!! πŸ˜€

It was so much fun taking these photos on the swings!!!

One of my hubby’s favourites!!! πŸ˜€

Oh yes, and after all this time, I finally have an album of most of my favourite wedding photos (um, 200 plus of them … ! πŸ˜› ) and tomorrow am going to give my best friend R her completed chief-bridesmaid gift … let’s just say that I wasn’t the most organized bride in history … πŸ˜‰

I’m nearly out of photo storage space on my blog and haven’t yet decided what to do about it (any tips?!) so used photos of our wedding that we’re already stored on here – complete with the captions I added March last year!

Happy 2nd anniversary L!! πŸ™‚

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantΒ or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;Β  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.Β Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 13 v 4-8

August-in-a-blog-post …

… or something that attempts to sum up what’s happened in my month!

My August got overtaken with illness. Yup, it’s me that’s ill. It’s a long-term thing – been around for too long and not going away anytime in the near future. Some days are better than others and August has been a collection of mostly bad days. Life has been a struggle and finding the energy for the every-day essentials has been flakey, so my blog has sort of slipped …

I wanted to tell you because my blog and the blogging community I’ve found online has become very important to me. I love sharing my photos and life with whoever is reading these pages and getting to “meet” some of you fellow-bloggers and share my passions with you has been an amazing experience! Even though I have not been commenting on your blogs, I’ve been keeping in touch with what is going on in your lives, praying for you when you’ve had tough times and loving all the photos, recipes and fun! So I guess it’s my turn to ask for the prayers and/or thoughts. Not something that comes easily to me, but even though I don’t post as regularly as I want to, I’m not giving up!

Here are a few other things that happened in August …

I cooked a fish meal for the first time! I baked salmon in foil parcels with a sauce of chilli, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and oyster sauce, and lots of spring onion, red pepper and fresh coriander (cilantro). I served it with rice and green vegetables and it seemed to be a success! πŸ™‚

One of L’s cousins got married in a country manor house in Shropshire! The staircase used for the bride’s entrance was amazing! They handed out homemade dried-rose confetti and had a beautifully done afternoon tea for the first part of the reception! The couple was obviously happy, despite it pouring with rain most of the day and the bride’s vintage-style lace dress was pretty. There were some photos of L and I taken, but my father-in-law still has these! πŸ˜‰

My youngest sister had her 21st birthday!! Eeeek! Makes me feel old … πŸ˜‰ I had a lot of fun planning and creating a special gift for her. T has quite a number of pen-friends and writing letters and keeping in touch with them is important to her. I found a Jane Austen-style writing desk which I painted with her favourite flower – daisys! I also covered a box with old stamps from around the world (I love Ebay! πŸ˜› ) and filled it with notepaper and cards. My other two sisters had informed me that T was very set on having cards with 21 on them … so the card, some of the wrapping paper and a key-ring made sure she wouldn’t forget how old she was turning!! πŸ˜‰ My sisters and I have had this tradition of giving each other number badges for big birthdays and this year I got to buy the badge – I’ve been assured it will be pinned on her bag for a while! πŸ™‚

Just this past week we had some good friends of ours round for supper. E and S got married just 7 months after L and I did and L and E had lived in the same houses for 6 years and have been in a prayer-triplet together with another guy for nearly as long … so yeah, they go way back. They have had us round for dinner twice and we really wanted to have them round to our house – once we could find a date that worked for both couples, that is! πŸ˜‰

I kind of went a bit over-board on the cooking front … not at all common forΒ  me πŸ˜‰ I like to cook something which is ready ahead of time and just needs putting in the oven, so I baked Chicken, Leek and Cider Pie. It comes from this amazing pie recipe book that my sisters gave me for my birthday last year. I decided to replace the whole chicken and homemade stock with chicken pieces and chicken stock cubes and made a classic mistake – the recipe called for a chicken weighing 1.5kg so, of course, I bought 1.5kg of thigh fillets … let’s just say that not counting in the weight difference for a whole chicken made a massive quantity of filling! πŸ˜‰

Apart from that little slip-up, everyone seemed to enjoy the individual pies, sweet potato wedges and vegetables. For pudding we had lemon-curd biscuits, fresh fruit and homemade ice-cream. I’d been wanting to have a go at making my own ice-cream in ages and I found this recipe that just need me to whip up condensed milk, double cream and vanilla, then put it in the freezer and forget about it … until pudding time! πŸ™‚ So simple!

A few weeks ago L surprised me with this gorgeous bouquet of flowers – he knows how to make me smile! πŸ˜€

I hope to be writing again soon!

What has happened in your August?

Summer!

I promise you I have not completely disappeared … I just took an unplanned break … doing some summer things …

… like sitting with my hubby drinking wine, chatting and enjoying the evening sun coming through our windows …

… witnessing glorious sunsets …

… eating lots of fresh asparagus (between you and me I think L might wake up one morning and find his wife has turned into a stalk of asparagus πŸ˜‰ ) …

… reading books on the Cathedral Green …

… attending the lovely wedding of lovely friends …

… and taking photos of fresh, juicy, bright red tomatoes! Not really a must-do summer activity, but come on, the colour has got to make you smile, right?! πŸ˜‰

What are you doing with your summer?

Viva voce

I love this boy!

He’s kind …

… he’s caring …

… he’s fun …

… he gives me beautiful flowers …

… he makes silly faces …

… he cooks yummy food …

… he makes me laugh …

… he has the best smile …

… he’s very generous …

… he’s my hubby …

… and today my castle and knight loving husband becomes a doctor!!!

In exactly an hour, L has his Viva, which is where two examiners, who have read his PhD thesis, question him about his work and he gets to defend what he’s written and discuss his findings with them.

At this point, the examiners will give L corrections to complete (it could be grammar, it could be the layout of a table, it could be the wording of some of his findings). He will be given a couple of months to do this work and will have the graduation ceremony in January.

Despite the formalities to follow, as of 4pm or so this afternoon, L will officially be a Doctor of Nero Psychology!!

Please do pray for him, as this is a massive and crucial part of the completion of the last five year’s work. I know L is nervous and I surely know I’m nervous for him!!

I’ve only just started to get used to us being Mr and Mrs … now we’ll be Dr and Mrs … ahhhh!!! πŸ˜‰

I’m so proud of my hubby!!! πŸ˜€

Congratulations!!!

To ourselves … !! πŸ˜‰

On the first whole day of our holiday, Sunday 11th September, L and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary!! πŸ˜€ In the evening we popped open one of the un-opened bottles of champagne from the toast at our wedding reception, 365 days earlier …

Since before we were engaged we started having a bottle of champagne every time we had something to celebrate … ok, so maybe true wine connoisseurs would turn pale at what we use as champagne, but hey, the point is in the celebrating and making life special, marking achievements, not whether the bottle of bubbly cost Β£28.99 or Β£4.40, right?! Or maybe it’s just my hubby and I’s lack of understanding when it comes to the finer points of truly excellent champagne! πŸ˜› The bottles from our wedding were the really “nice” kind, so it was a good treat! πŸ™‚

I have kept the corks from each bottle of champagne L and I have shared together and one of the corks from our wedding, and the one from our anniversary, have the date written on them … you may call me a soppy romantic if you like!! πŸ˜‰ However you view this tradition of mine, it is amazing the difference it can make to my outlook on life when, on a day when all I can see are the failures, trials and troubles of life, I see the over-flowing little draw of champagne corks, reminding me of how many things there have been to celebrate and how many things we have achieved.

On the Sunday afternoon we went to Fowey, a Cornish town built on a steep transition from hill-top countryside to estuary waterfront … we parked at the very top of the hill and took a 15 minute walk steeply downhill to reach the harbour seafront – phew! That was fine … it was just the walk back up to the car which was slightly more worrying … !! πŸ˜‰

Fowey is my Grandparent’s favourite Cornish town, but sadly we weren’t able to have drinks in the bar of their favourite hotel, with views over the boats in the harbour, which was especially recommended to me by my Grandad … we did, however, have cups of tea and a piece of yummy lemon drizzle cake in a cute little cafe where the tea-pots were all different colours and patterns, they had sand picture-makers on the tables, mis-matching pictures on the walls and – get this! – dotty table cloths on the tables!! πŸ˜›

Neither of us think that the self-portraits I take of us are very flattering … we both think we turn out with enormous heads!! πŸ˜› But somehow we both look slightly unnatural and very embarrassed in the picture where some very kind and friendly locals took a photo of us … ah well, at least, in some day in the distant future, our grandkids will be able to laugh at these photos and wonder how Granny and Grandpa could ever have looked so stupid … πŸ˜‰

This first year has been one of the hardest and one of the happiest years we have experienced … here’s to our 2nd year of marriage – may it be filled with God, love, joy, peace and growth!

What did you do/plan to do on your 1st wedding anniversary?!

Cupcake crazy!!

If you had stepped into my kitchen on Friday afternoon you would have found me elbow-deep in clouds of icing, splatters of cupcake batter, daubs of melted butter, dustings of flour, drops of vanilla flavouring, spoons covered in chocolate icing …

If you had stepped into my kitchen on Friday afternoon you would have found me making cupcakes!! πŸ™‚

My mission? Apart from enjoying baking something yummy, that is!! πŸ˜‰ … to bake and decorate thirty cupcakes for a friend’s wedding! What better reason could there be for a baking day?!? πŸ™‚

I’ve never been able to accomplish a large-scale baking episode without a mess to remember … I wasn’t exaggerating when I talked about spoons covered in chocolate icing, daubs of melted butter and dustings of flour … πŸ˜›

I haven’t used an electric whisk to make a cake in about three years … mostly because I didn’t have one, then because I’d got so used to not having one that I always forgot that now I did have one!! πŸ˜› As I was making a triple quantity of cake mixture, didn’t fancy beating that mountain of batter by hand and this time remembered there was an un-used electric mixer collecting dust in my cupboard … out came the mixer and my arms sang alleluia! Or at least, they would have done if arms could sing … mine haven’t mastered that skill yet!! πŸ˜‰

I’d forgotten how much I love seeing the swirls the mixer makes in the batter …

… and how glossy, light and silky the cake mix is when it’s ready to pour into the cases … wonderful!

I’d bought these cute little cupcake cases to use especially for the occasion and was kinda like a kid with them … I couldn’t wait to break open the packet get them filled with gooey chocolate mix!! πŸ˜›

Because of the quantities used in the recipe I was using, I ended up with 40 of these little beauties, rather than the 30 needed …

… oh well, who’s going to complain about a few extra cakes to go around?!? πŸ˜‰

Having use my one big bowl for the cake mixture (which was baked in batches, so not empty for ages! πŸ™‚ ), the bowls I had left to make the icing in were not big enough to use the electric mixer in … trust me, I tried … I barely managed to control the icing-sugar-explosion that threatened to bury my counter-top under a sticky mess … maybe not such a great plan!! πŸ˜‰

So it was back to the wooden spoon and aching arms we went … whoop whoop!! 😦

As a result, the frosting was not as light and fluffy as my baking-pride would have liked, but hopefully these cute little strawberry hearts made up for it … ?!?

Let’s say it did!! πŸ˜‰

T and A are the first names of the groom and the bride, so I was quite pleased with the all-chocolate version …

… although I would have gagged at the first bite with all that sweetness … let’s hope there were enough sugar-devoties out there to appreciate them!! πŸ˜› I’m not selling my baking very well, am I ?!? πŸ˜‰

The third and last flavour of frosting is my favourite!! Not only is it so simple to make, πŸ˜€ it is the best to eat!! πŸ˜‰

Cream cheese frosting … yumtastic!! Of course, it’s best on top of dense, moist carrot cake, but hey, if it comes on top of chocolate cupcakes, do you expect me to say no?!? πŸ˜›

This was also my favourite decoration …

… not surprising as sprinkles have everything to do with lots of colour, right?!? πŸ˜‰

What is your favourite kind of cupcake?!

The Way I See it Wednesday – One Year

The Way I See it WEDNESDAY is a Blog Hop designed for those who want

to share their thoughts in either WoRDs or PiCTuReS.

………….

Tomorrow is the 1st of September … on the 11th of September L and I will be celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary …

Where has all that time gone?!?

So much has happened in the last 12 months that it feels like much more time has passed then just one little year …

… at the same time, I have this feeling of incredulity that surely a whole 12 months can’t have come and gone since I married the most amazing boy ever?!!

Apparently they can!! πŸ˜›

My hubby-of-a-year and I will be going on a much-needed holiday in the country for a week, which just so happens (hmm … πŸ˜‰ ) to be over our anniversary …

… I CAN’T WAIT!!! πŸ˜€

………….

Want to join in the Blog Hopping fun?! Head on over to Adventures in the Ordinary, grab the button, publish your post and link up with Jackie and with me!! Come and share the fun!! πŸ™‚