Its been a crazy 2016 that's for sure... and with just over 2 months left of the year I find myself wondering whats still in store. As I can't predict the future I will instead reflect on the year so far...
After getting engaged in 2014 and planning our wedding for over 15 months I awoke (a little hung over) on 1st Jan 2016 and could FINALLY say "I'm getting married this year"! As I did my little happy dance, Mark laughed and handed me a cup of tea. Little did I know I was stepping into the front seat cart on my biggest roller coaster ride ever (and I HATE rides).
The next few months passed by in a blur as the finishing touches to our big day were coming together nicely (eventually... but that's a whole other blog... coming soon). And before I knew it I was packing up the car and heading to Woodlands Hotel in Leeds.
Fast forward the big day (and for those of you counting down you your own wedding day it certainly feels like someones pressed FW ) Everyone danced and drank and danced and well drank the day and night away and had the best time ever! Mark and I set off on our"mini-moon" to Edinburgh and spent a wonderful four days sightseeing before heading back home to our life as Husband and Wife.
This is the bit on The Big One (when did the Pepsi Max change its name?) where you can see nothing but the clouds above you (so I'm told anyway)
Mark and I were on the honeymoon high ... for a few days at least... we were at the top of the track... Well for all you roller coaster lovers you know what comes after the high point... yes that's right the plummet.
I want to share the detail of the plummet with you, not for sympathy, not for sadness, just simply to help give you a better understanding of why I (and you) are here today.
I received a call from my Mum... My Grandad was in hospital. He had been diagnosed with mesothelioma 3 1/2 years ago but had been receiving treatments and all seemed to be ok (he had made it to the wedding and managed to pose for some pics with his cheeky grin). On arriving at the hospital, I knew this time was different (Mark and I had visited a number of times when he was having treatments). There were tears in the corridors and phone calls to loved ones as we approached the door. A word of warning from my Uncle before Mark grabbed my hand tightly and I stepped into the room.
It's hard to write...
Heartrendingly, on 2nd June 2016, my wonderful Grandad passed away.
The day after my Grandads funeral I turned 30! Normally I spend weeks (probably months) getting excited about my birthday... This year was different... for a number of reasons As you can imagine losing my Grandad took some of the shine away from my birthday. Also I was turning 30! I didn't want to turn 30... at all. I hadn't got my s**t together enough to be turning 30! However those 2 things brought me to where I am now.
My Grandad had always taught my brother and I to follow our dreams, however big or small they are, and because of him both of us had achieved some major and minor goals in life.
One thing, however always hung over me that I wasn't sure I knew how to achieve... I wanted to run a business. Not because I didn't enjoy my current career, it was more to prove I could, not to anyone else, just to me.
I'm a big fan of The Apprentice and often wondered how I would fair, could I be Lord Sugars business partner? However, not being a fan of the camera I figured I would never find out.
Though perhaps I find out if I really had the ability to run a business? For those of you that have lost a loved one you know that moment when you realise time is precious... and anyone who has turned 30, you know the "what am I doing in my life" mini mid-life crisis you have (well that I had anyway).
So why not take a chance... Do what I had only imagined before and start a business.
I talked to Mark and, as with everything he backed me completely. This time so much so he wanted to do it with me (thankfully, as he was what I was about to make a business out of... minds out of the gutter folks!)
Mark is an amazing designer... biased or not, its true. He did our wedding stationery (see below evidence of my previous statement) and both of us had a giggle creating it. The comments we had from our guests about it, from the invites to the table plan and the entrance signs was simply overwhelming.
So after talking it through, Mark and I decided to go ahead and set up Big Day Print offering individual, tailored, affordable wedding stationery across the UK and even in such a short space of time we have had so many wonderful opportunities.
From our first order and exhibiting at some amazing wedding fayres to working with some fabulous wedding planners, events companies and possible new adventure with a household wedding magazine!
So what I realised in my reflection of this year is... Life is more like the Big Dipper... you have highs, you have lows. Sometimes you're going forward, sometimes you're going backwards... The only thing is.. you're not the only one on the ride!