Wednesday, 26 September 2012

How excited...!?

Well the huge secret that I alluded to a couple of months ago was that I marry my sweetheart of a Hubby on the 8th of October.  

Being someone who HATES being the centre of attention he wanted to keep it secret until all the invitations were sent and even now only 2 people he works with know the secret and that is only because they are invited to the wedding.  Not telling anyone was almost painful for me and when I booked 2 weeks leave for the honeymoon my manager guessed immediately what it was for...and I hadn't practiced my "I have no idea what you are talking about" face.

As you can imagine Hubby is dreading his speech and all he has to do is stand up and thank everyone for coming to the wedding, give the mum's some flowers and then sit down again....jeez.  I offered to do a speech on his behalf but he looked horrified; after all he can't really trust that I won't embarress him completely.

I have an early start to a long weekend after today as I am off to enjoy my hen weekend.  A very select few (4 including me) are away to Alton Towers to ride all the scary rides, stay over night in the hotel while we eat and drink cocktails, spend a day in the indoors water park...I may live to regret that with a hangover....and then spend a few hours being pampered in the spa.

So yes, there will be alcohol, but I would hate doing the requisite club hopping with all those children that haven't even hit 18 yet.  After all, I drank a huge amount of vodka at my 40th and I was happy to be in my bed by 1am.

4 people doesn't sound a lot (though another is joining us for the water park and spa) but I am a bit fussy and I don't collect a huge amount of friends; I prefer a small number of extremely special people that I can rely on at any time, who are there for me and who I will walk to the end of the earth for.

So let's have a big up for Angel, Beautiful B, Rachel and Amanda.  None of them will allow me to drive to Alton Towers and said I should sit in the car and drink alcohol - It may just be me but I think 7.30am is slightly early for vodka and cannot be a good idea when I will be on a ride less than 3 hours later that shoots you from 0-60mph in 2 seconds flat before it twists you left and right and upside down.....

And what is Hubby doing for a stag weekend?  Nothing.  He has refused to have one as that would make him the centre of attention.  Instead he is staying at home, fluffer sitting, and watching the golf open while drinking the copious amounts of wine I was given as presents for my 40th (he can be forgiven for that because I do not drink wine).

Friday, 14 September 2012

40th Birthday Preparations

One more day to the party!  Today is probably going to be one of the busiest (mum in law shopping, dress fitting, dessert buying….), not including tomorrow but seen as I am writing this in advance I may well be wrong.

When my mum turned 40 she didn’t want a party, not even a fuss.  Of course, we ignored her.  When she arrived home that night after work, on her moped, she saw the white bed sheet hanging on the front of the house saying “Happy 40th Birthday” and continued riding past the house.  Where she thought she was going to go to is unknown – she would have had to come home eventually.

We held a huge garden party for her and she, her family and friends drank themselves into oblivion.  I spent most of it in the garage with my boyfriend sat on beanbags and snogging.  At the time I obviously thought a perm would look good; 10 years later the photograph of us in the garage was destroyed because that hideous perm should never been seen again in the light of day.

Anyhoo, unlike my mum I am relishing in my age.  I refuse to grown old “gracefully” and grow my grey hair out as my mum frequently tells me to do.  Thanks to my mum’s genes it is completely grey - 40 is too young for such a drastic measure.

I am happier now than I have ever been, both in myself as an individual and with my life.  Yes, I have body hang-ups but then most women do and I would wish to have less debt but again so do most people. 

I consider the happiness I have with Hubby and Beautiful B and my mum and dad the most important thing and that couldn’t be better.  I am surrounded by beautiful family and close friends and that is all I need.

I have long said I wanted a 40th birthday party with a novelty birthday cake I can look at and say “Yes, that is my personality; it describes me to a T.”  I had no intention of organising the cake as I want it to be a surprise.  Hubby looked like a rabbit staring at 2 headlights at the thought of such responsibility, Beautiful B was no fazed by it at all and Angel has been rubbing her hands with glee since I first requested it.

Having ordered the wedding cake from someone Angel recommended I already knew the myriad of flavours available (10 which does not compare to the US – sometimes I think I live in the wrong country) and requested that at least some of the cake was lemon and lime flavour.  Beautiful B and Angel have been sending texts back and forth for the last few weeks and I have been ordered to deliver a parcel (that I must not peek at) from Beautiful B to Angel.  This cake is going to be FABULOUS.

Not so fabulous is the board of photographs that Angel has decided must go up.  The one that will depict my life from me being a cute baby, blonde toddler, uncomfortable teenager with BAD hair, fat years and now (less fat but not thin…). I’ve decided to roll with it, there is no point arguing and if there are cringe worthy photographs up there then they can be compared to how I look now; or that is the theory.

The DJ was booked; I have spoken to him 3 times to confirm his attendance, not that I am stressing (liar, liar, pants on fire), he has a list of requested songs and of course the music has to be from the 80’s and include some American tunes from that time.  Oh and don’t forget the Time Warp!

I have been buying decorations periodically as I see them which seems to have stressed me out all the more for some strange reason.  Beautiful B is now in charge of getting balloons.

I booked a buffet; there is no way I am spending Saturday making food all day!  The price for a standard buffet of sandwiches, sausage rolls, pork pies and the like was astronomical and I refused to pay it.  So warm food it is.  The emails back and forth between Hubby and me about whether we went with a selection of hot food or just one type was ridiculous:

Me:                  “How about we order 20 servings each of the following: hot pot, lasagne and garlic bread, minted lamb casserole with crusty bread and a few portions of vegetable curry for any vegetarians?”

Hubby:            “Maybe we should just go with one type.”

Me:                  “Why, pray tell?”

Hubby:            “What if someone wants lasagne and there is none left?  It may cause problems.”

Me:                  “Ridiculous.  Alternatively, what if we go for only hot pot and someone doesn’t like hot pot?”  Either way there might be problems.  You are stressing too much (do as I say, not as I do).”

Hubby:            “Up to you then honey.”

…and it was.  I should never have asked him and just done what I wanted in the first place but at least he felt included ;-)  He lets me do whatever I want; I should know that by now.

So the buffet is simple, right?  Pay someone else to make it and better still pay an extra £20 for someone to come and serve it for an hour.  So there is nothing for me to do with the buffet, right?

Erm, no….

Now I have decided I want a bit of a candy buffet but the price of those is ridiculous and I refuse to pay someone the mark up they are requesting.  Cue ordering glass vases and containers and buying pink and red sweets – price; I dare not say and stress through the roof.  Should have booked one after all!

Oh and the table cannot be bare can it….so cue buying crisps, pretzels and because peanuts are banned because someone has a severe nut allergy; popcorn.  Oh, and of course as people like my cupcakes I am making 2 different flavours of those.  In fact, I am probably making them on Saturday morning!

Friday night or Saturday morning is a visit to the cash and carry for catering size cakes and desserts because I refuse to pay £1.99 a head for a slice of apple pie and cream when I can buy a whole apple pie for that and feed 8 people.

So no, no stress with the buffet of course, as you can see.  Oh and now, I am wondering if it will look strange as people arrive – a table full of just sweets, snacks, cup cakes and desserts.  Maybe I should make a few sandwiches or buy a few pork pies and make a couple of tossed salads…..

I am fantastic to live with at the moment.  I spend the waking hours worrying about heart palpitations and a heavy feeling in my chest, my head is all over the place and concentration is shot and Hubby has started paying more attention as a passenger in the car as I tend to be on autopilot and lose the inability to drive anywhere but home and work without gentle reminders.

At least I am sleeping better at night, the only problem is that my brain is that exhausted I am incapable of sitting down after 8.30pm without falling asleep even if I am watching a film I find totally hilarious.

At least the dress is sorted.  Hubby told me which one looked better and I trust him completely.  Now I just need to decide which of my 60 pairs of shoes goes best with it because surely I don’t need to buy another pair of shoes….

My hair appointment is sorted so at least I will be made to sit down for an hour and a half and do nothing while that is done; though admittedly someone may need to hold my head up if I fall asleep on her.

All this is going on around preparations for the wedding.  Within the above timescales I have a dress fitting and a make-up trial because now I have decided that I cannot be bothered with stressing about doing my make up on my wedding day.

I wonder if the doctor can prescribe some Valium……

It will be worth it, I am now at least aware that as well as that medicine ball sat on my chest, excitement is welling.  The alcohol will be flowing though the plan is to alternate an alcoholic drink with a soft drink as I have to drive Hubby and I to a wedding further down the country the following morning.  It remains to be seen if that plan stays in place as the alcohol starts to take effect on Saturday night.

Spending a night with family, best friends, close friends and work colleagues who like me enough to celebrate with me?  Priceless and worth all the stress - every last minute of it. 

I look forward to the photographs, regardless of whether some of them will be cringe worthy or not.

Now that reminds me, I wonder if Beautiful B would like her hair done by the hairdresser too…

Thursday, 13 September 2012

What I learned this week

Another week of rushing from one thing to another and meeting myself backwards with some lessons on the way:

1. If you insist on throwing a 40th birthday party you have to learn to go with the flow and accept that your life long friends and daughter are going to want to put a photo board up which includes some cringe worthy photos.

2. Even when you have a multitude of lists you may still feel that you are missing something....most likely your marbles.

3.  It's very difficult to concentrate on much of anything when you brain is full of planning for a 40th, hen party and wedding all in a 4 week period.

4. It takes much longer to find and print directions to a friends wedding venue and a hotel than you think it might.

5. As does burning a playlist from iTunes for the wedding because your disc drive doesn't want to play.

6. Your daughter is likely to go overboard on presents for your 40th despite you telling her off for doing so...probably because you have gone overboard with her presents all her life.

7. If you have 4 dogs and one of them cuts themselves, the other 3 will clean it excessively and take away all the hair around it, leaving it sore.  If it is on the side of the fluff bags face she will scratch it and take the scab off - get a 'bucket thingy' (technical phrase) from the vet early on to prevent it.

8. You may not have though said fluffer could be any cuter than she already is, until she has the bucket on her head.

9. Accept that your dining room table is going to look hideous for 2 weeks while it stores things needed for the 40th on one side of the table and the wedding on the other side.

10. Just roll with it when you go to the Registry Office to pay the balance of the bill and provide requested wording and CD with music for the wedding only for the registrar to request that the CD be brought on the day of the wedding instead; after you slaved for hours trying to get it done on time.

11. Even when a film is very funny, Hubby will still need to keep nudging you to keep you awake.

12. Hubby does not understand the concept of new clothes for the honeymoon not being worn before the honeymoon - instead he will iron the T-shirts he likes and wear them that day.  

13. I don't like the number 13 but I wouldn't call myself superstitious.

14. Although you can be so stressed about organising 3 huge events in 4 weeks to the point of feeling like a cannonball is sat on your chest you do start to feel the excitement of the party building when you are 2 days away from it.
Now, what did YOU learn this week?
1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog.
2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link to this post.
3. Then link up with the Mr. Linky form down below.
4. Please only link if you have written a What I Learned This Week post. And please link directly to the carnival post, not the main page of your blog.
5. Go forth, read, learn, and comment, because comments are fun!

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012


In a conversation with a relatively new friend, but one you know you are going to soon be calling one of your best friends, she was relaying how getting to 40 should be a celebration – let’s ignore the fact that she has no clue seen as she is 26….

She is right; I am more comfortable with myself than I have ever been, not including my body hang ups but then what woman doesn’t have them?  I am extremely happy, more confident as a person and quite frankly if people don’t like me then I don’t lose sleep over it anymore…much.

As I procrastinate, I will get to the point; during the conversation she mentioned how nice I was (thank you M) even though I was strange…what with the ‘meowing’ and all. It made me giggle and I thought I might relay one incident of such ‘meowing’.

Back in the days of husband number 2 (yep, hubby is risking his happiness with me) I was a Jehovah’s Witness – yes, forgive me for that too – I was having a temporary moment of insanity.

Now they have 5 meetings a week, 3 of which are in Kingdom Halls.  The whole congregation joins in discussions based around the extracts of the bible and associated beliefs etc. 

The meetings aren’t small so to avoid the need to shout out an answer to questions from the elders microphones are available.  Male congregation members (because women aren’t allowed to do it) walk around with the microphone and if you want to answer a question it is brought to you.

So one day I am being a good Jehovah’s Witness wife and keeping Beautiful B quiet and submitting to my husband, and he is answering a question.  Beautiful B is colouring in a book and I am colouring with her while listening to the discussion when I drop the crayon. 

I leaned to the floor to pick up the crayon and when I looked at Beautiful B she is laughing her head off.  Husband looks at me with a look of thunder and I said to Beautiful B “What?”

Her response?

“Your ‘meow’ was just heard on the loud speakers.”

“What ‘meow’?”

“The one you did when you dropped the crayon.”

Cue the explanation of husband’s look of thunder…..He was sat next to me answering a question into the microphone as I said “Meow” and the microphone picked it up through the speaker system for the whole congregation to hear.   

Now I will admit I am weird and I have absolutely no idea why I say “Meow” in a high squeaky voice when I drop things.  I couldn’t even tell you when it started. I have been doing it for years.  It seriously isn’t the only weird thing I do and I will be forever grateful that Hubby finds it hilarious and endearing.
However, that was the day that I realised that I obviously “Meow” and have absolutely no idea that I am doing it.  M is dating my ex-brother in law and we all go out regularly.  He thinks I am mad and he isn’t far wrong so he has either told her I “Meow” or I have done it, once again, without realising.

Alone, nothing to worry about, but given the fact that if hubby and I are talking in the car and we are going somewhere other than home or work I start driving to one or the other of those places should I start to worry?

Monday, 10 September 2012

To the point....

Because I am so busy and it is a great idea, I am borrowing an idea from a great blogger at From Inmates to Playdates (I am nothing if not unoriginal) and updating in brief today as it has been so long and I am so very busy....

  • Back from Newcastle after 8 weeks
  • Great to be home with Hubby, Beautiful B and the fluff bags
  • Working 2 jobs and
  • Doing Treasury role for 2 clubs...
  • makes for one busy person
  • Lack of time to clean house to usual standard driving me nuts
  • Organising a 40th party for my 40th next weekend
  • Organising my hen night for 2 weeks after that 
  • Organising my wedding for a week after that
  • Worrying the dress is too small
  • makes for a lot of stress...
  • and palpatations...
  • which leads to an ECG - all clear, as expected
  • Visit to my good friend and lifesaver at the undergarmets shop results in a trip to a tailor
  • adjustments to the wedding dress and design of a specially made shrug....
  • results in a slightly less stressed person and an offer to be corseted into the dress by someone who knows what they are doing - Yay
  • Dining table being used as storage for accessories for 40th party and wedding
  • Makes for a scruffy looking dining room
  • Organising 3 big parties in 4 weeks may not have been such a good idea
  • and makes for a LOT of lists on paper, iphone and ipad.....
  • which are constantly being added to
  • Still extremely busy in my main role and finding myself getting behind, drives me insane
  • Having said all that, will be worth it and more
  • Cannot wait to be officially married to Hubby
  • Sharing it with close family and friends
  • Celebrating my 40th finally feeling comfortable in myself, if not my body (but then what woman does)
  • Excited about the surprise 40th novelty cake designed by Beautiful B and Angel
  • Not so excited about my life story in pictures being put up on a board for all to see - thank you Angel!
  • A hen weekend on scary rides, a waterpark and then a spa with 4 of my closest is my idea of bliss
  • I am sure you can tell I am not stressing at all from this update ;-)