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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

I put the socks and converses on after we got to the park and saw a long-cherished dream realised!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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

One of my hubby’s favourites!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh yes, and after all this time, I finally have an album of most of my favourite wedding photos (um, 200 plus of them … ! ๐Ÿ˜› ) 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 … ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantย or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;ย  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.ย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

My youngest sister had her 21st birthday!! Eeeek! Makes me feel old … ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ˜› ) 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!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I kind of went a bit over-board on the cooking front … not at all common forย  me ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ So simple!

A few weeks ago L surprised me with this gorgeous bouquet of flowers – he knows how to make me smile! ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) …

… 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?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are you doing with your summer?

Celebrating with curry!

This past Saturday we had an evening of celebrating L’s job with friends.

We started off with curry at The Bay Leaf Indian Restaurant – currently L’s favourite curry restaurant around!

YUM!

Yes, my hair does look wiered – I just cut it that day and it looks a bit too neat!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Diamond Jubilee Tea Party!

This weekend people have been celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee all over England!

There have been massive celebrations and events over the last four days and we were given an extra bank holiday today, in addition to the normal June holiday yesterday.

I love the Queen and admire her very much and I have loved seeing the way communities have come together to celebrate our nations’ Queen 60th year of reigning as our monarch!

There have been concerts, parades, street parties, picnics, village lunches, commemorative services and gun salutes galore!

For my celebrations, I chose a wonderfully English Tea Party!

When organising things like this, I tend to leap in with a ‘all or nothing’ attitude. I get obsessed with the details, think about little tweaks and improvements even when I’m meant to be concentrating on something else, research the shops and web every couple of days, plan, plan and re-plan.

I started thinking about the tea party in March. The invitations were in the post by the middle of April.

Sadly, this didn’t stop me from becoming overcome by life and convincing myself I had two weeks preparation left … when I actually had just one … ๐Ÿ˜›

However, with the help of the wonderful man who is my husband, and the un-ending assistance of my dear friend K, who was staying that weekend, we made it to this point:

I went for a high tea theme of savouries as well as cakes.

I just had to have the traditional cucumber sandwiches and threw in a childhood favourite of Marmite and cress – yum! I was rather pleased with the mini quiches, which is something I’ve wanted to have a go at for a long time.

This wonderful cake stand – complete with coloured dots! – was a wedding present from my friend A and her husband. Doesn’t it look splendid all loaded up with sweet treats?! I was quite pleases with the sponge fancies I made – I decorated them with card-making decorations! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A made this scrummy chocolate cupcakes, which embraced the English Jubilee theme hook, line and sinker! Aren’t the decorations so cool?! I had a Big Ben!! ๐Ÿ˜€

One of my closest friends, R, baked scones and brought the essential clotted cream and jam to go with them. They were absolutely scrummy and the party would not have been complete without them!

I loved planning and setting up the details of napkins, tea cups and saucers, napkins, flowers, little decorations …

I snagged a beautiful vintage-style table-cloth from Ebay for a bargain price and dissected a wedding candle wreath to add some rose-like elegance to the setting.

All three of my sisters came, so plus my friends K, R, a and myself, we were a comfortable seven round our games-chest-come-coffee-table.

My final little thing was a favour bag, containing each girl’s favourite kind of chocolate – or as near to that as I could come! ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m so glad I threw my Jubilee Tea Party and hope that everyone who came had lots of fun!!

What did you English readers do to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee?!!

Smoothies with my Sisters

I was very happy that my Mum came too, but I couldn’t resist using this tongue-twister of a title! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We met in town this afternoon and went window shopping. My family lives in a little way away from town, so they generally have a few important things they’ve been storing up to do for a while … and I find myself, as someone who lives in the centre of town, as the guide! ๐Ÿ™‚

The ultimate goal was a smoothie bar … it took us a while to end up there and N and T were keen to get their smoothies in their hands – I think I did quite a funny, even if not accurate, imitation of a smoothie calling to T’s tummy! ๐Ÿ˜› I do love having fun with my sisters! ๐Ÿ˜€

Two of my three sisters have various food allergies, so a little smoothie bar is a great place where these can be easily and deliciously catered for – “I’ll have one of those and skip the yogurt”, “I’ll have this one but with apple instead of orange juice”. They were all yummy, but I think T’s choice of a Pineapple Passion was definitely the best!

N is one of those amazingly blessed people who can put on absolutely any hat (and I mean absolutely any!), no matter how hideous that hat, and look stunningly gorgeous in it! For many years the wedding hat sections of clothes stores has had an irresistable draw about itย  … N always comes out tops, but it doesn’t stop the rest of us from trying on all the fancy hats too!! ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s a tradition of ours!

I thought that the raincoat was a particularly elegant part of the outfit, wouldn’t you say?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I said, I love having fun with my sisters!

Thank you my dears!! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Sunshine Award!

Two weeks ago I was nominated for the Sunshine Award!!

It’s amazing that I was nominated for an award and one which I would love my blog to be known for! A big thank you goes to Faith, at www.faithrises.com for this generous award! Do please go and check out this inspiring blog – daily encouragement through Bible verses and photos. You’ll love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

On the business side of things, the Sunshine Award comes with a few rules:

  • Include the awardโ€™s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you!

So about these 10 questions … what questions should I ask myself? What would people like to know about me? I’m fairly stumped and would like to be original if I can, so I’m going to bend the rules slightly …! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m going to tell you five things about myself and then I will answer the first five questions that you post as comments to this post!

Now come on, be good sports and ask some, ok?! ๐Ÿ˜›

  1. After the ceremony was over, I wore red Converses and rainbow coloured striped socks with my wedding dress.
  2. I’ve flown over 36 times in my short lifetime.
  3. I’ve been bitten by a poisonous spider.
  4. I fancied my husband for over four years before he asked me out.
  5. I couldn’t walk after spending an almost two whole days on a trampoline, after never using one before.

Right, so here I’ve given you five fun facts about myself – you lot ask me the next five!!

Now I need to nominate 10-12 fabulous bloggers to receive the Sunshine Award from me! I find this part extra-difficult, as I never want to leave anyone out, but here goes (I’m not promising to reach the full number! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) …

  1. www.bigeejit.blogspot.co.uk
  2. www.happinessstanlives.wordpress.com
  3. www.confessionsofacornfedgirl.blogspot.co.uk
  4. www.lovingsimplemoments.wordpress.com
  5. www.resolved2worship.xanga.com
  6. www.jelillie.wordpress.com
  7. www.yesiwantcake.com
  8. www.twominutesofgrace.wordpress.com
  9. www.badpuppetproductionz.com

There you have it! I think these blogs give sunshine for many different reasons – go and find out for yourself!! ๐Ÿ™‚