My Decade In Review 2009-2019
Happy New Year everyone! I thought I'd start off the new year and new decade with a bit of a reflection on what has been probably the craziest, hardest, busiest and most rewarding 10 years of my life. So here's a bit of a whistlestop tour of what my life has looked like these past 10 years.
This was the year I came to the end of my A levels. Whenever I speak to anyone who is doing their A levels, they always find it hard. It's that point in your life when you're finally given some responsibility for your own actions in terms of studying and working, but then you're also treated like a child, and not like the almost 18 year old mature (!) adult you are. I tell everybody that I found sixth form the hardest two years of my life, and if you can just stick at it and get through it, things are much easier on the other side! I finally turned 18, and spent the summer working, partying and anxiously waiting for my exams results.
I ended up with a poor set of A level results but still managed to get into uni - not my first choice, but I believe it was a blessing in disguise, even though I didn't think it at first. Hindsight is a wonderful thing huh! So I moved 30 minutes down the road into my uni halls and started my 3 year degree! All the blood, sweat and tears of sixth form finally felt worth it as I was on the final road to becoming a primary school teacher, the only thing I ever wanted to do!
2010 & 2011
These two years I was still at uni, coming home every weekend to continue my dancing and to work. I truly had the best of both worlds, the independence, but also the ability to come home for some decent home cooked food! I fully embraced uni life, including the many nights out! I particularly enjoyed the themed nights and most of my photos from uni are of me in fancy dress! However, combining that with virtually a full time lecture schedule and placements, the nights out dwindled! The end of 2011 was huge for me. Part of my degree allowed me to go out to Belgium and completed a teaching practice over there. It was such a tough yet rewarding month, and I still regularly think back to how things are very different over here in the teaching world! We made some great memories and I'm so glad I got through it with one of my best friends Natalie, who I still see now and was one of my bridesmaids at my wedding!
What a year 2012 was! I turned 21, went to New York, completed my degree, graduated, left my part time job of five years and got my self my first teaching job! The first half of the year was really tough. Trying to juggle, placement, a dissertation, applying for jobs and actually trying to live took its toll on my body. I was so exhausted, my body would just shut down - fever, chills, nausea, dizziness, insomnia. We've never got to the bottom of what it was - they believed it was down to stress. I'm glad now I get it very rarely and *touch wood* I can't remember the last time I was bad with it. Luckily the second half of the year was much better. I moved back home, got my first class as Miss Woodings and was truly grateful for having such an incredible job! It was here that I first met Mr Davies...but our story doesn't start just yet!
I couldn't believe it - I'd completed and passed my NQT year meaning there was no going back! I spent my hard earned wages on a wonderful trip to Walt Disney World with my family...did you expect anything else?! I'd obviously been working since I was 16, but I'd finally been earning a proper wage for a year so it was so rewarding knowing I'd saved up every penny to go on an incredible holiday! However, by the summer, things were getting hard. My boyfriend who I'd met when I first started uni had graduated the year before me. We'd been together for 4 years, but the final year was spent long distance. I was getting ready to settle down and buy a house, but neither of us were prepared to relocate so I broke things off. It was a hard decision at the time, but I look at us both now, and it was definitely the best thing for us. Feeling at a bit of a loss, I enquired about doing a Masters degree back at uni. Less than two weeks later, I was sat in my first lecture! For two hours a week, I'd travel back to uni after a full day at work to attend my lectures, which was obviously hard at first, but it soon became the norm. Oh yeah, and Luke asked me to be his girlfriend! That's a funny story, but the story of us probably needs its own blog!
The year I became a homeowner! I'd lived at home for 2 years since working full time and had saved enough for a deposit on a home. It was perfect, and didn't need any work doing to it so I moved and settled straight in. Luke left the school we both worked at and got himself a proper job...maybe he was finally starting to be like a sensible grown up! I asked him to move in with me..and the rest is history! After only being in for a week, I left Luke home alone and went on a holiday with my whole family - 11 of us in total! In his defence, it had been booked before we got together. We went on a Disney cruise around the Mediterranean as it was the closest way we could get our whole family back to Disney again - it was a really special holiday which still holds lots of precious memories.
Not much happened in 2015, work, dancing, and oh...getting engaged! Again, I think it probably needs its own blog, but there's a funny story as to how we got engaged! We instantly got into wedding planning, with the venue being booked and my dress being ordered all within less than a month! We were obviously very happy and settled in our lives as not much else happened this year!
2016 saw lots more wedding planning and us getting our gorgeous puppy Nala. My Mom was getting a new puppy and when she went to collect him there was one puppy left still unsold. After a bit of convincing from other family members, and an earful from Luke's Mom down the phone thinking we were crazy (I still remember us being in Pound Stretcher when Luke told her!) Nala came home to us a week later and is now one of the most treasured members of the family - she definitely comes above Luke and I in lots of people's order of preference! I finally completed my Masters degree and passed with Merit and also completed my senior leadership qualification at work - a busy year for my brain! I had a fabulous hen do organised by my lovely bridesmaids, then completed the year by fulfilling such an amazing dream - dancing at Disneyland Paris! This became my second hen do with my dancing girls, and they even organised me a flash mob! It was a truly brilliant way to end the year.
After 19 months of planning, I finally became Mrs Davies on 20th February! We had to wait until the next school holidays before our honeymoon to Mexico, but what a wonderful start to the year. Everything about life was perfect. Now we were ready to start a family, but first we wanted a bigger home. We sold our house and bought a new build which came with its own string of problems. We moved back in with my parents as we were told there would be a slight delay by just a few weeks. It made sense for us to move out during the school holidays though so we sent the contents our house into storage and moved into my Dad's Man Cave temporarily. However, here comes the crazy bit. We hadn't even been living there for a week when I found out I was pregnant! Trying to hide early symptoms including fatigue and nausea was almost impossible, so we had to tell our parents quite early. My Mom said she already knew (!) but still didn't believe me until I went for my first scan! We decided to find out the gender and had the reveal at my parents' house. I think they were still finding blue confetti pieces around the house even after Rory was born! We ended up spending a little longer than planned with my parents, 4 and a half months in the end, but we finally moved into our forever home on 19th December just in time for Christmas. We'll forever be grateful for them having to put up with us for that long! I also had my Masters graduation - it was so lovely being able to share the day with Luke, my parents, grandparents and a tiny 8 week old Rory in my belly!
We never thought anything could top the year we'd just had. But it turns out absolutely nothing beats the day your baby is born. Rory Sebastian Davies was born on 20th April after a very long labour which resulted in an emergency C-section (I've written a separate blog post on my birth story). The rest of 2018 was spent on maternity leave loving every second with my little boy. Plenty of trips to Costa, baby groups and swimming to keep us busy. We made the most of every chance we had together as a family of 3 and went on our first family holiday to Newquay which gave us so many special memories.
Before we knew it, Rory turned one and it was time for me to go back to work. A magical trip to Walt Disney World, a second trip to dance at Disneyland Paris, a promotion at work and a million and one milestones for Rory filled the final year of the decade. Being a full time teacher and a Mom is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do - trying to balance work and home life can feel impossible at times. But I'm getting there!
So in conclusion, the past 10 years have brought me - A levels, uni, a degree, a masters degree, a full time job, 2 houses, a husband, a dog, a baby, countless holidays and even more memories! Here's to 2020 and the next decade - who knows what life will be like then?!
Mommy Davies x