two pink balloons in the sky

What the Last Year Has Meant to Me

The last year has been an incredible journey. It brings me to think about 28th February, a date that will stay in my mind for all of the years to come. On that day one year ago, me and Danny became homeowners. From the moment we officially received the keys to our first house we knew that a new adventure was about to begin.

Many people tend to look back on accomplishments at the end of the year. However, now is the perfect time for me to have this reflection.

The good and the bad times

Becoming a homeowner plays a part in the things I’m about to tell you because in my eyes, it makes you more grown up than you could imagine. But there are also other things along the way that have happened, good and bad, that have given me the strength I needed today. It’s been the best year of my life but it hasn’t been exciting for the whole part.

The loss of uncle Dom was the hardest time; seeing him just after he lost his life to cancer literally was the biggest gulp I’ve ever had to take. But whenever there’s loss in your life, you think about the things that should be celebrated and just how much things and people mean to you. There are bound to be times of silence but there are also many moments of happiness and they are the ones that you should hold onto. They help you to move forward and value all of the great things in your life.

Talking of moments of happiness, since I moved into this house, I don’t think I’ve ever sang so much in the bath or shower. Usually I can’t even stay in the bath for more than 10 minutes because I struggle to relax. Things are so different now. I’ve learnt how to relax… a lot more than I used to anyway.

Times of worry

I don’t think anyone really knows how much I worry – it’s a great deal. I have coping mechanisms now for certain scenarios. However, the biggest lesson I’ve learn is how you react, standing your ground and keeping your head up high. Surrounding myself with the people who accept the random and craziest parts of me is the energy I need. What’s more, to say I’m lucky to have that one person who understands when I need have my own space, but to be there 24/7, is so comforting for me. Without that, I wouldn’t have shaped into the person who’s here today writing this post.

The last year has been brought me huge career progression. New and exciting things have always scared me. I don’t have a fear of commitment, it’s more the thought of failing something or someone. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t doubted myself this year. I’ve probably done it far too many times. But what’s important is keeping your focus and staying on track for the things you know you can do. Having faith in yourself is step number one. If you’ve got that then you’re onto a good start.

No disguise – just us

The best of all though, has to be the experience of living with Danny. Many people will throw things at you like, “Oh you’ll learn so much about each other…. you’ll do each other’s head in.” Guess what, learning more about each other is what it’s all about. Being there for each other and seeing each other in all kind of lights, is what should make you love them more. We’re talkers, we don’t hide our emotions. Calling each other names isn’t our thing or slamming doors, it’s about communicating when we’re in a disagreement and understanding each other’s perspective.

That’s always been us though, doing our own thing. And Danny has always told me to be proud of who I am, regardless of what anyone else sees in me/us. Having each other is what we need.

There will always be challenges

Neither of the above have passed without a challenge. But what’s life without hurdles that you pass to help you grow into the person you are today? Together, me and Danny work hard to maintain our home. We plan together and still save together to enjoy life’s biggest adventures, whether it be physically and emotionally. The last year especially has shown me that we don’t have a ‘still’ point. There’s always more to feel. And I think that’s so important and for us, acts as a big part of who we are and how our relationship is built.

It seems surreal at first, when things happen that you didn’t expect, or in a bigger way that you could’ve imagined. I never thought I’d see myself as a manager, nor have did I imagine to become a homeowner at this point in my life. But things can take time, special milestones even longer. And I’m so glad I let time play its part. I’ve never rushed into anything because, well, why? I’m a believer in having patience and seeing where life can take you. Sometimes, you can blink too fast and miss the best things that life has to offer. I like to experience and feel everything before coming to decisions that affect my future.

Then and now

I remember the days when me and Danny were just friends and he always pictured taking me on dates, watching his favourite film together, buying me flowers… so much has happened since then. I couldn’t possibly write it all in a blog post.

It’s been crazy! There’s so much more to look forward to this year. New York in June has got to be the best thing yet to come. And I’m going to see Alicia Keys in Kraków (because she’s in Manchester when we’re in New York)! On the day we return from New York, it will be uncle Dom’s anniversary and that makes me realise how scary it is to see how fast time passes you by.

If you take anything away from reading this post, remember to love the small moments, the ones that can’t be replaced, the ones that wouldn’t feel the same with anyone else. Take new situations with an open mind and give it all you’ve got. Talk to someone if you’re feeling down and most all, be happy and be kind.

pink smiley face ball on water

Reflecting on What I’m Most Grateful for Over the Last Year

It’s a new year and a whole new decade. Being a 90’s baby means I’m entering my 4th decade which sounds pretty strange when I’m only 25 years old (for 3 more months). But I’ve learnt so much in my quarter of a century especially in this last year. That brings me nicely to the things that I’m most grateful for.

Becoming homeowners

Next month it’ll be a year since me and Danny became homeowners. To this day and probably for every day forward I’ll never quite believe it. Whenever I’m home alone I take a moment to look around and think about how we made it, we got something we always dreamed of.

Some people might say that living together is a nightmare; that for us girls it’ll drive us crazy with socks lying around on the floor etc. But believe it or not, this isn’t the case for us. It’s even better than I imagined it to be. Our relationship has grown so much stronger and I’ve realised it’s a bond that can’t be broken. Minus the snoring, there’s nothing better than falling asleep each night with the one you love and waking up each morning beside them.

Another year of us

From day one of officially being together, I’ve loved being referred to as “Tasha and Danny”. It’s something that was there during our friendship but meant so much more when that changed to a relationship.

Another year of being in love with the one person I never imagined to love me (for more than 2 weeks), has been amazing. It turns out I’m the clueless one because he has loved me for a very long time now. Recently, I’ve had a bigger perspective from all of the challenges we’ve faced. One day you realise what’s always been there and that it’ll only get stronger. This period of our relationship has possibly been the best one yet.

Keeping the best friendships

I believe that people appear in your life for a reason, whether they stay or leave, there’s always a purpose. And the ones that stay for the hardest and biggest times in your life are the ones who are supposed to be there.

Whether it’s a couple or a few friends you can count on your hand, the value means more than the number. I’m so thankful for the people I have in my life right now and I honestly think they’re the ones that will stay for a lifetime.

It goes without saying that I’ve built stronger friendships with family members too which is always nice to have.

Looking over the last year, what are you most thankful for?

a true love story never ends

Our Never Ending Love Story

Nowadays, people class their anniversary as different things stemming from first time they met, to their first kiss or their first date. Not everyone refers to the day one of you said ‘yes’ to being your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s significant other.

How did we meet?

This is a question that the both of us never really know how to answer; unless people are prepared to hear the long version. There’s much more to mine and Danny’s relationship than meets the eye. I’m afraid there’s so short side so this post does give the long version.

We went to the same primary school but we didn’t fall in love then, that would’ve been cute though. Being one year above me at school wasn’t the only thing that made me feel as though he was some kind of superior to me…

High school is something we didn’t share. But the end of my high school journey is when I remember being brought together. Our primary school was due to be taken down and that’s where we met on 4th July 2010 – easy to remember because it’s Independence Day in America. To be honest, even if it wasn’t I’d still remember.

After chatting about college, as Danny had already experienced his first year there, I noticed the high level of intelligence he had. So much so, I was nervous at the thought I’d be studying maths and bumping into him.

Chatting away is something that’s always come so easily to the both of us.

And in fact, it’s what made our friendship so strong. From the silly conversations e.g. texting, commenting on social media to face-to-face talk during nights out a couple of years later, our friendship was always there.

So why was it before those couple of years later, when we would cross each other in the same hallway on many occasions at college and not know what to do but smile? Sounds daft asking myself that question now because I really should have known. It clearly wasn’t a joke when someone made a comment saying, “Danny likes you.”

I think it shows that we had something to hold onto when we both came back into each other’s lives. Nothing was planned. To this day, I believe we were supposed to find each other.

Again, we had many chats through text which led to my surprise that he was coming on the same night out (we had the same friendship group). We had so many laughs where nobody would understand what was so funny half of the time. Even on separate nights out we would see each other and he always gave me the biggest hugs. People thought we were together.

Some months later, a simple “I miss you” message I sent to him gave me the biggest kick of reality.

Something was happening. When I look back I see so many amazing memories. From Danny’s first kiss attempt to our real first kiss (after a long heart-to-heart) there was a look and he made me see the bigger perspective.

I mean, a couple of months before this he lifted me over puddles in the rain. Surely I should’ve kissed him then? But no, our friendship was too much to think that something could take it away (something being me not being what he’ll be able to put up with!) Everything has its time and place though. And we always found ours.

He never stopped showing me how serious he was. A number of dates later and an even higher number of asking me to be his girlfriend… I said yes. I just had to be brave, you know?

Nothing worth fighting for should be easy every single day. Whenever battles come our way we face them together. Because if you don’t have together, what is a relationship?

And here’s the now… Danny has always invested so much time in getting to know me on a personal level.

When I feel ugly, he has the ability to make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the room. And even when I get things wrong, he still encourages me to be the best I can be.

We have experienced so much together – the ordinary and the extraordinary. Becoming home owners is one of our biggest dreams come true. Having spent these years and each day forward together is something I never thought I’d experience.

There’s no one that can make me feel more like myself than Danny does. He’s got the most amazing heart and I’m incredibly lucky to call him mine.

Who has always had your heart?

rows of church candles

There’s No Set Time to Grieve for the Ones You Love

Many times I’ve spoken about losing loved ones but here I am again, sharing the feelings of losing another family member. Uncle Dom, another soul taken to heaven too soon.

I remember when I was younger and my grandad received one card in particular when my granny passed away.

Some of the words read, “…time will heal.” It’s true. But remember that ‘time’ is different for everyone. There’s no measurement of time that determines how long you should grieve for.

I underestimated the amount tears I’d cry. With experience of losing close family members before you think it won’t be as hard. But it is and that’s the honest truth. That’s because each individual person leaves a mark on your heart in their own special way. Uncle Dom left plenty with me – his voice of compliments on repeat; a pint to raise cheers with family and friends; and making memories with everyone.

There’s one thing I can’t promise and that’s not to cry.

It’s very hard when you’re remembered by so many people near and far. Even when I think I’m okay, it only takes something small to trigger emotions. Either that or I see flashbacks – a rush of childhood memories; to growing up; to now. This can’t be where the journey ends?

You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
– Winnie the Pooh

Uncle Dom was so brave. He never complained when he got ill, he might have had some mood swings here and there but nothing other than what you’d expect to be going through was he was.

Look for the magic in life

During his life he referred to things as being ‘magic’ and the fact he kept his spirits as high as possible for those around him during the hardest times was, in my eyes, magical.

It’s kinda hard not to dampen the mood. It was always granny and grandad or auntie Linda and uncle Dom. No doubt it’ll take me a while to get used to it. Even though I said I’m bound to cry at times, I’ll do my best to be as strong as I can. Auntie Linda needs you to shine bright in the sky to show her that you’re looking over her each day.

You don’t have to have it all together every single day.

Life can be so hard and it’s okay not be okay. Don’t forget to surround yourself with the ones that love you.

Life can change within a very short amount of time and every moment matters. That’s why I’m fundraising for Cancer Research UK because every little bit helps towards research saving a life. At first, I was inspired to take part after seeing uncle Dom’s strength to fight but now it’s in memory of him. Donations can be made by visiting theGiving Page.

Thank you for all the kind donations so far.

two hands held together

To the One Who Loves Me Completely the Way I Am

This post is for the one who loves me in a way I never thought anyone could love another person.

I’m the kind of girl that gets lost in my own thoughts, the girl who loses perspective from time to time. But that’s where you come in. You hold my hand to guide me through the hardest times. You lift me up in the air and spin me around just to see me smile. Even if I say I’m okay, you make it your mission to make sure I’m more than okay.

You’ve seen it all – the weirdest, craziest, happiest, saddest versions of me.

And you love me for all of them. Never have you asked me to change or do something better. But you let me know you’re there if I do want help to do something differently. Managing my emotions as you’ll know can be difficult for me to do.

It means the world to me that I’m the one you open your heart to, ever since those years ago. And I’m so glad I did with you. Many things come our way but we face them together. I could feel like I have everything hit me at once and you lift it all away.

I always say, “I’m a strong independent woman” but part of that is because I’ve had you. Without you I wouldn’t have built up the courage to achieve new things in life. And I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you. Well, I’d be lost. You have helped me shape into the woman I am today. It’s amazing to think how one person can lift your mood when you’re at your lowest. You’re also able to make me happier whenever I think we’re at ‘the happiest’ part. You show me that it’s the two of us against the world.

You’re the one I want to continue to share everything with.

No matter what challenge or sadness arises, you’re always there for me. Together, I feel like we can accomplish anything. Let’s continue to dance even when there’s no music. You make me happy in more ways than you’ll ever know.

Our love is forever. I won’t always be perfect but I’ll always be yours. And you’ll always be my everything.

Who’s the one who loves you for who you are?

4 plant pots that together spell 'HOME'

Living Together Creates a Whole New World of Happiness

For us living together isn’t all arguments that some people make it out to be. In all honesty, we just don’t argue, it’s not us. If we feel an atmosphere we either talk it through if there’s an issue or we wonder what we’re actually doing and hug it out. Little nags here and there is all normal but it means absolutely nothing when living together is the best thing in the world. 

A brand new house all to ourselves!

We have never felt happiness like it. You think the amount of years you’ve spent together, the travels, adventures, endless amounts of laughter is as good as it gets. But there’s so much more. Living together opens a whole new world. I don’t think I could ever get bored of eating together, waking up to each other and spending more time together.

It doesn’t have to be all of the stress that people make it out to be. Sure, there are times that’ll test you if something doesn’t work or something isn’t how you expected to look or be. But guess what? You get through it together. Laugh it off or for the more serious stuff, tell each other that it’ll get sorted because you’ve got this! Them kind of moments take patience and keeping the motivation that everything will and is coming together.

The money side of having our own home hasn’t once made us panic. We’re very sensible when it comes to bills and putting our priorities in order. That being said, we also now how important it is to ‘live’ – not only to survive but to enjoy life. Being so strict with our savings and staying organised helped us a great deal. We loved working through everything together from the buying process to moving and purchasing decor for our new home. It all seemed so easy because we did it together. The best things in life take time and this has definitely been the best and biggest yet.

Neither of us have ever wanted anything more or wanted so long.

But that’s me and Danny, we never rush into anything. We built our relationship from friendship to love, learning to know each other in all kind of ways. Watching each other grow and achieving this milestone is just more amazing than words can describe.

On a personal level, I feel like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. I always had a big bundle of worry as you might have noticed if you’ve seen some of my other blog posts. But now, I’m a new person. Maybe my confidence will improve to? I hope so. 

Living together has opened my eyes to finally believe that, having each other is all that matters. Nothing else, no opinions need to get in the way.

Living together brings you even closer.

Every hug, small or big gesture towards the other – it means everything. You value it all. Leaving the odd sock on the floor really doesn’t matter when it means you’re in each other’s company a whole lot more. Oh and it’s a bonus that the sunset views at night are so nice!

This is everything and more than we’ve ever dreamed of. Does it get any better?