Update…

So work starts next week. Meh! I have really enjoyed spending time at home and being off for the summer. I will openly admit I haven’t done as much work as I would have hoped to but what the heck life isn’t always about work. Due to my most amazing procrastinating talents on the planet I am now bundling everything I need to complete before returning back to work into one weekend and the few days leading up to going back. Oh well I’m sure it will all be done in the end – I just don’t know when :-/
What helps though is Andrea is off work studying for her exams at the start of September so that will hopefully push me to do lots of work while she is revising – she is so much better at it all than me.

That being said – I did set myself a bucket list of things to complete before going back to work. However, I dont think I quite realised how close going back to work was and maybe set myself up for failure due to the amount of day trips I planned to cramp in. So I have since decided to scrap some of those ideas (and keep them in the back burner for later in the year) and have added a few different ideas. The new ideas – which I have already completed were to:

– watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy with Andrea. Now this was a difficult one as I love LOTR but Andrea watched 15 minutes with me before and turned the tv off. She hates it. So far we have watched The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. I’m hoping tonight we will aatch Return of the King and finish off the set – fingers crossed.

– Go to Cast and Crew restaurant at Titanic Quarter. We did that. Went for breakfast through the week – maybe that doesn’t count as properly going but its still going and sampling the food lol. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t blown away by it. The food was nice – but not amazing for the cost. Maybe I need to go back for dinner lol! 

– instead of going to the Ulster Museum we went to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum with Andreas niece and her parents. It was really good and lovely to see around the traditional ways of our country. 

– We did go a walk to Glenariff Waterfalls and it was amazing. Andrea had never seen a waterfall in Northern Ireland – only when she was travelling around Australia and New Zealand so I loved going and seeing these with her. The only downside was the walking through the hillside – my legs felt like they were going to fall off and i think I sweated more than I ever have done in my life. So my romantic stroll through the forest to see waterfalls turned out to be more of a workout but was still quite romantic.  Here are some nice photos I managed to snap:

   
    
 – The final part I added to my summer bucket list was to go and watch a meteor shower that happens every year across the UK. However, last year was very poor visability due to cloud cover but this year I had heard lots of good things and this would be a good time to go. So we left the bright lights of Belfast and headed South to County Down and ended up in a random little town beside a river/lake in Killyleagh. The location was perfect and when you looked to the sky it was covered in stars – not a cloud in sight. One thing that was a concern was being in the middle of no where in the pitch black – was creepy. I tried to so hard not to be creeped up but then a cat ran behind the car and I swear I felt like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was going to have a sequel in Northern Ireland! After being scared for a while we were talking nonsense (as per usual) and the next thing a huge flash appeared right across the sky infront of the car. It was amazing. Andreas face dropped ans we couldn’t believe how amazing the first meteor was. In the next few minutes we must have saw 10+ they were all amazing and completely across the sky. I have never felt something so magical and a pleasure to watch ever. 

So I will try over the next few days to tick a few more things off.

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Wedding excitement …

So with everything happening over the last few weeks Andrea and I have both managed to fit in Wedding Dress shopping as a priority!  Andrea had been looking whereas I was happy to take a back seat and wait for a little while (or really not get into the whole having to try on dresses girlie thing isn’t really my cup of tea.)  However, I did manage to pluck up the courage with my mum and sister and went yesterday.

Andrea had managed to find her ‘perfect’ dress on Sunday with her mum.  From what I have heard as soon as Andrea put the dress on they both thought that it was ‘The One’ and were over the moon with the dress.  I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to ever love a dress that much, as I would be more than happy getting married in jeans and a hoodie, but I knew that I wanted to wear a dress and have that traditional element to the wedding.

So we set off on the journey having a lovely lunch in Belfast before hand.  What a lovely girlie day lol.

I think I must have tried on 15+ dresses.  After trying on the 11th dress I finally found one that I really liked.  It was extremely pretty and I actually finally felt comfortable in a dress. The woman had put a little belt thing around it and it was so pretty.  So we continued trying dresses on – just to make sure that I really liked that dress.

A few dresses later, i tried another on, and I actually understood what everyone else was talking about.  I found ‘The One’ – the dress that everyone talks about.  As soon as I put it on I felt so happy and had butterflies.  I just felt so comfortable and dare I say pretty in it.  I imagined myself walking down the isle and getting married in it.  I might even stay in it for the full day instead of getting changed half way through the day lol.

So needless to say I found the perfect dress and bought it.  I’m now looking forward more and more to our wedding day.  I can’t imagine walking down that isle and seeing Andrea there.  I’m not sure that I can wait a whole year for that to happen.  I guess I need to be a lot more patient and try and get through the long wait.

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Summer vibes…

One month off school already – where does that time go?  But recently I’ve been thinking about things that I would like to do before going back to work.  The school year can be a lonnnnnnng one so now is the time to enjoy it (and do some work as well – also something I need to do more of.)  So I have decided to write a Summer Bucket List.  Only because Andrea has to work during the day and study in the evenings I just want to be around her.  Even if sh is upstairs in the study I like to be downstairs (usually playing video games) just on the off chance that she might say ‘I’m going to take a break’ and I get to spend a half hour with her – half hour is better than no half hour and just talking shit before getting into bed – although I love doing that too!

So on the off chance that she has an afternoon or evening off I’m going to write a list of things that I would like to get done or go see.  Also, my cousin and her son are traveling home from Australia this month for 6 weeks.  They haven’t been home in a few years so I’m sure they will already have planned to tick off some things that are on my bucket list (fingers crossed anyways)

  • Titanic Quarter walk at night
  • Glenarrif waterfall walk – with the dog (best not forget him)
  • A trip to the Ulster Museum to see the dinosaur fossils
  • Go to the gym at least 5 more times – so far that’s been going well 😉
  • Visit Dublin Zoo
  • Go for a picnic in the park
  • Steal someones child and make sandcastles on the beach (if I can’t find a child I’ll bring the dog pretend I’m teaching him)
  • Go to Shells Cafe in County Sligo – ok so it’s more of a day trip but I really want to go 🙂

These are all I can think of right now but I’m sure there will be a million more things to add.  I think this is enough to get started.  Maybe tonight I can tick one of these things off.

Posted in Beach, bucketlist, excitement, family, gay, Holiday, lesbian, lgbt, life, Love, Summer, Teacher, to do | Leave a comment

Babies…

Ever since I can remember I have always enjoyed being around children and the joy that they bring.  Only in the last few years, when friends and people around me have started having children, have I really sat and thought about what the future will hold and hopefully one day I will start a family of my own.  However, that might happen.  To be honest Andrea and I have already discussed methods of getting pregnant – some of her suggestions will not be considered – but at least we know how we would want to move forward in the not so distant future.

Andrea and I have already talked about this and are looking forward to becoming a family. Obviously long after we get married lol.  However, living in Northern Ireland scares me a little regarding same sex parents.  Recently Ireland have legalised same sex marriage but unfortunately NI is far behind and it doesn’t look like anything will change any time soon.  This is part of the reason why I have concerns about raising children here.  Andrea has always wanted to move to Australia and things like this are making me more and more likely to say yes.

Maybe all these worries come from not knowing any other same sex parents near us.  Maybe this should be something we should consider looking into in the near future, after wedding stuff is over with, to understand a little better and, more importantly, put my mind at rest or make me feel a little better with the whole situation.  I think I would like to move forward and find out as much information as I can.  Overly the last year or more I have started following same sex parents on Instagram or blogs etc which have been hugely informative about the process and becoming a family but I think that it would be so much more beneficial if we looked a little closer to home and discovered the process here.

All else fails a new life in another country sounds fantastic.  My only concern would be moving away from my grandparents.  I think I could move away from other family members, as hard as it would be, but my grandparents mean so much to me and at 88 and 87 years old they won’t be around forever and I want to spend as much time with them as possible.  Maybe in a few years I would reassess the situation.  We will see.

In the mean time we will enjoy time spent with Andreas niece and soon to be other nieces or nephews – I think that will be as much baby fun in the near future.  Andrea still needs to practice changing a nappy.  How do you get to 28 years of age and never change a nappy?   If anyone would like to volunteer their baby for her first experience I would happily provide a days free babysitting lol!

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Looking forward …

So I am a day too late but sure what the heck.  Yesterday 21st July marks one year until I stand at an altar and say ‘i do.’  Who ever would have thought that it would only be one more year.  It feels like so long ago since we lay chatting about if we wanted to get married some day never mind looking back to getting engaged in New York – although that is still very fresh and I wont forget such an amazing trip to New York City.

So wedding plans are coming along and everything is falling into place.  I’m a little concerned that everyone else seems to find wedding planning stressful – is it because we are two woman planning this wedding that is making it really fun and exciting, so far, without any stress or worries?  Fingers crossed that this continues and we just enjoy the moment and planning.  I do need to get a move on with the whole dress shopping – that will 100% be the stressful bit for me – I hate dresses.  Surely when I see them on I’ll feel happier about wearing a dress?  It’s not really that I mind about wearing an actual dress it’s just I think I would totally be more comfortable in jeans and a hoodie – I don’t think that would go down too well though lol!  So onwards and upwards with dress shopping.  It really is the only thing we have left to do – well the main thing.  I guess everything else that needs to be done revolves around the dresses.   Time to get a move on!

I am anxious over actually walking down the aisle because I hate the thought of everyone looking at me and having all the attention – but i’m sure I will get over that quickly.  Plus that will surely change when my beautiful ‘wife’ walks down the aisle.

So this time next year I will be chilling with a whole lot of food (hopefully) just enjoying the moment.  However until that point I am having to think seriously about dieting and feeling happier within myself.  So Monday kicked that off.  I have started eating healthy and exercising more so fingers crossed that will make me feel happier soon and ready to take on the dress shopping.

We haven’t arranged Hen Parties or anything yet.  To be honest it’s a bit weird.  We aren’t having a big wedding only close family and very close friends so I think it’s a little weird if people are invited to a Hen when they wont be invited to the wedding – something we will have to think of later I guess.

I asked Andrea if she ever thought about not having a ‘first’ with anyone else.  No more first dates, first kisses, first cuddles, first holidays etc.  She looked at me and smiled saying ‘but I’ve had the best firsts with you and we have a lifetime to create so many memories.’  I love that I have found someone that thinks in exactly the same way I do and that we are on the same path.  I can’t wait to the next first in our lives together.  I can’t wait to see the look on her face every time something exciting happens in our lives.  Although every night it feels like the first cuddle all over again.  She smiles and my heart melts for her.  She is my rock and I am so excited for our future.

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Summer…

Summer is finally here. I’ve offically started the school holidays and can honestly say it couldnt have come at a better time. 
The school year can be so stressful and not matter how upbeat and positive you try to be it can be draining. This year has been particularly mental because I’m moving school and a lot more stress comes with that too. 
At last its all over and the next few weeks can be spent relaxing with a little work in between. I’ve decided to take most of July off and then start working properly again in August. I say that and of course this summer Andrea is revising again for her exam in September which sucks. I would love one summer where she isn’t stuck revising so we can properly have a summer together and enjoy it. That’s why next week we jet off on holiday and I am really going to love every second. I am going to make the most of the time we have together before having to come back to the real world after holidays. I’m also hoping that we will be able to have a few fun days in between but we will see what happens.

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What will be will be….

I always knew what I wanted to be in life. Being a teacher has always been the top priority in my life for so many years. When I finally accomplished that I knew I wanted to be the best teacher I could possibly be and ensure that I taught students the necessary skills and information they needed to know to progress in whatever future path they wanted to.

For the past 7 years I have worked in a secondary school that is in the middle of a very big estate in Northern Ireland. I wont say it has all been easy or without its difficulties but I can honestly say it has shaped me to be the teacher I am today. Receiving ‘outstanding’ and ‘very good’ in a number of lessons from a recent inspection and always ensuring pupils are leaving school with grades that truly reflect their full potential and how much I have pushed them for high expectation of themselves.

I pride myself in being a teacher that guides and supports the young people in my classroom and encourage them to aim high and expect more from themselves. I provide support and a stable environment for them when their parents sometimes struggle.

Recently I have been battling with some difficulties as the school term draws to an end. A lot of sleepless nights and worried days have been had due to career concerns and moving forward. As the stress mounts my positivity decreases and has left me questioning if it was all worth it. I can honestly say that from day one of becoming a teacher the only person I have thought about is the student sitting infront of me. I have dedicated hours upon hours after school, at the weekend and in my holidays workig my backside off to ensure that the learning experience they receive in my classroom is positive. Due to recent events i’ve questioned if everything I have done is for nothing.

Until I get home. Until I walk through the door and Andrea knows i’ve spent the car journey home in floods of tears worrying about whats going to happen. She knows that I lie awake at night thinking everything through in my head and going over what I should or shouldnt do in the future. Even though she has never seen me in a classroom she understands the level of efforts I go to to help support the young people. She knows the time and commitment I have invested. She knows that I love my job.  

Even with the stress I am going through she will text an encouraging message to try ans pick me up and get me through the day. She is everything and understands me in every single way. She reminds me why I decided to become a teacher when in the last few days I have seriously questioned the value of what I do. She has her own issues at present but steps back from the to check on me and how I am doing. Just a little smile can make me feel so much better.

I don’t know what will happen with my career and if it will still move forward in the direction I wanted to go. But I do know my personal life is exactly where I want it to be. I do know that in 13 months time I will be getting married to the woman who my life revolves around. I do know I will spend my life with this person. And I do know I will love her forever! 

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Catfish

Catfish… what a programme. Over the past few years I have become engrossed in the world of Catfish. 

Incase you have lived in a bubble Catfish is a MTV programme based around people in America who have started long distance relationships and havent met yet. They may have spoken for years – some up to 10 years – but never had the opportunity to meet some of which because one of the people arent who they say they are and BOOM CATFISH!! 
So definitely a programme I would become addicted to. So tonight I’m sitting watching the programme with Nev and Max on the search for a new person and trying to get them to meet.  However all I think about when starting to watch a new programme is that I am so glad this wasnt me.
Andrea and I met completely randomly because a friend and I sat in my kitchen looking up random people from a facebook page. Andrea popped up and my friend messaged her. Completely 12 year old like. Andrea then messaged me. And BAM – I was hooked. But imagine she wasn’t the person she said she was?! Imagine she was a creepy old man who smells of beef! It is a little freaky.
That seems like an awfully long time ago. Yet I still get those butterflies in my tummy when I see her. I still get giddy and exciteable when I know I am getting to spend time with her and I feel so much more for her now even though I didn’t think that was possible.
I take a look at my life and have to say I am so happy. I have everything that I ever wanted in life – other than a jetski – and I am very excited to have a hugely positive and exciting future to look forward to.
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And we are off..

Even though we have just booked our honeymoon for next year we decided earlier in the week that a beach holiday is long over due. So the start of the week had lots of hotel and apartment searching in different sunny regions for July.

Yesterday saw the click of a button and we have finally booked another holiday during the first week of the summer holidays. I am too excited to be sunning myself on such pretty beaches like this one…
  
Up until now we had decided not to go away and try to save some extra money for the wedding. After the fun of sitting down to the finances we decided just to go ahead and book. It can be the last holiday as a couple before we get married lol. I am so excited to he going away again with Andrea. I really do love traveling the world with her. In the last few years we have traveled to so many different places and are really ticking off the bucket list of places to visit. I love being with her and seeing different sights and experience new cultures with her. I cant believe how amazingly happy I am with one person. Her smile is everything to me and all I ever want to do is make her smile. We now have this wonderful little life together and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Today started holiday clothes shopping. Basically an excuse to go shopping and to be fair I think I did buy everything needed. At least this gives me something a little sooner to be excited about to try and get through the next few hectic weeks of school before summer – I can not wait!!
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Northern Ireland… The dark ages

Yet again Northern Ireland are moving backwards in time rather than forwards. For the fourth time the Stormont Assembly have rejected the Same Sex Marriage movement. 49 votes no and 47 yes. Three members of Stormont didn’t even bother voting!! Yet these are the people asking for my vote in a few weeks time?!? I don’t know what I’m more annoyed at – them not allowing same sex marriage or the few spoons who sat on the fence and couldn’t be bothered voting! A complete disgrace if you ask me.

I know I am biased because I obviously want same sex marriage to be legalised in my home country so I can ‘legally’ be in my relationship with Andrea. However, Am certain if I wasn’t gay that I would want to ensure that everyone if treated fairly. 
What has disgusted me more, however, is reading people’s comments on social media regarding this voting. A ‘friend’ of mine liked a page of the Christain Institute stating ‘today we ensured that same sex marriage has not come to Northern Ireland. We have won this battle. Thank you for praying’ i was absolutely shocked at some of the ‘christain’ comments under this post. For a start I didnt think a post like this was really needed. Then to read the inhuman comments from others was just disturbing. I am so confused as to why ‘christain’ people feel allowing same sex marriage changes their marriage vows?! Why does same sex marriage mean anything to them?! Why do they have to be concerned?! And why do they have to be so hurtful in their thoughts??
Needless to say I have removed the ‘friend’ who liked this page without a thought. Why wouldn’t I?! If they contact me and ask why we are no longer friends I will happily explain to them. This person being the same person that ‘liked’ my engagement annoucement to Andrea, they ‘liked’ a comment I made recently about buying my wedding ring – it’s not like they havent supported me in my up and coming marriage to another woman – yet they think that it is also fine to support such hate?! I find people very difficult to work out and I find it quite sad that this is the world we live in.
Good luck in moving forward and changingg Northern Ireland. I have a funny feeling you will need all the luck in the world.
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