Category Archives: Weddings

Here’s to you, Mr Robinson

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Here’s to you, Mr Robinson

Today we celebrate our first wedding anniversary. One year ago at this time I was sipping on champagne, wearing a onesie with ‘Bride’ written on the back and chatting to some of my favourite women in the world. I couldn’t wait to become Mrs Robinson. And I was right to be excited.

Hilary-&-Andrew---25th-August-2014---564

We had an incredible day. As cliched as I know it is, it was genuinely the best day of my life. And I can say that with some authority, as there have been a large number of days since which have been utter shit. If you’ve ever read my blog, you’ll know that it’s been an amazingly hard year for my family. However, that’s not what I’m going to tell you about. This post is in celebration of my Mr Robinson. It’s an anniversary gift of sorts, which I hope says everything I don’t say enough, and offers a little insight into what I think makes a good husband. (And before I start this list, it goes without saying that I fancy the pants off him – no need to go into detail, my younger siblings and mother are probably cringing already).

1. He just knows

There have been times when I’ve been so battle weary, so tired and emotionally drained that there are no tears left. I’m not angry, I’m not sad, I’m just exhausted – right down to my bones. He knows at those times that I simply can’t hold a conversation. I can’t make a decision, or answer a question. At those times, without any prompt or request, he just squeezes me in a huge bear hug. It’s become one of my favouritest things about him (and yep, I said favouritest).

2. People love him

It sounds really patronising, and I’ve wracked my brain to make it sound less so, but to no avail – whenever he meets my friends or colleagues or family for the first time I just feel so bliming proud. He asks about their lives, he has funny anecdotes to share, he’s sincere and caring and generous. I’m so proud to be his wife. Even now, nine years into our relationship and a year into our marriage, I look over my shoulder and expect to catch my metaphorical fairy godmother telling me I’ve outstayed my wish.

andrew and hilary at cake boss

3. He’s a wally chops

The very fact that I just used the phrase wally chops tells you that I can be a bit of a silly sausage. In my husband, I’ve found an equally quirky character. He laughed when we were packing to move and I wrapped myself up in bubble wrap and shouted “Babe, I’m ready!”. When I sing the entirely wrong words to a song (Labrinth’s “Throw ones on it” line in Earthquake, anyone?) he just smiles and sings the same words next time. When I decide it’s necessary to skip down the road, he grabs my hand and joins in. He doesn’t bat an eyelid when I pull my pyjama bottoms up under my boobs, pull a gurning face and dance across the living room. In fact, if I’m lucky, he yanks his shorts up to his chest and joins in.

4. He’s kind

It’s a really simple point. Any man who doesn’t just understand why you need to send your sick/heartbroken/depressed friend some flowers, but also transfers you money so you don’t skint yourself sending them; is worth hanging onto. He sends me pictures of cats and dogs that need adopting because they’ve been abandoned or abused. He remembers to ask me how my siblings/friends/family are when they’re going through some crap. In short, he has the biggest heart – it’s one of the best things about him.

andrew sticking tongue out5. He makes me laugh

I appreciate that a lot of people are funny. I mean, I crack up at James Corden and Allan Carr on the TV. But when I’m having a really bad day, even they don’t make me smile. My husband on the other hand, can make me smile even when I’m crying my heart out. He knows just how to drag a smile out when I’m adamant I don’t have any left. Frankly, he’s hilarious.

6. He thinks I’m beautiful

God help him, even at my absolute worst he thinks I’m pretty. When I know for a fact I’ve put on half a stone. When I have a spot on my chin that would need its own passport on a foreign trip. When I’m sweaty and have random hairsprayed curls stuck to my drunken, sweaty head. Even at those times I’ll catch him looking at me and it gives me butterflies. He looks like he’s won the lottery. Christ knows why, but he sees something in me that I rarely believe about myself.

So here’s to you, Mr Robinson. Happy anniversary! Thank you for all that you’ve done for me. Thanks for managing me at my most high maintenance, and loving me when I didn’t even love myself. Thanks for pushing me to be the best I can, and encouraging me to follow my dreams. Thanks for giving me so many laughs, for building beautiful memories, and for just being you. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing – here’s to many more anniversaries!hilary and andrew in K box

Packing up the good times in my polka dot hanky

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Packing up the good times in my polka dot hanky

Dear 2014,

We had such potential. We were hopeful and happy and you promised so much. Frankly, like a dodgy internet shopping order in December, you didn’t deliver.

In the words of every mother ever: I’m not angry, I’m disappointed.

We seemed like such a good match, you and I, but you’ve proven yourself high maintenance to the extreme. If you were an adjective, you’d be mercurial. You’ve showed me such highs but followed them up with the lowest of the lows. I’m not sure what your game is but we’re through, I’m moving on. I just can’t cope with your diva-like, attention-seeking ways.

I won’t bear a grudge – at least we gave it a shot. And the highs really were the best days of my life. Our wedding was beautiful and everything I’ve ever dreamed of. My husband and I have had some really perfect times together. He’s the best gift I’ve ever gotten. The other nuptials we attended were also amazing, and we’ll always remember (most of) our hen and stag celebrations. And I guess you should get credit for the pieces of good news too – new babies, new jobs, pregnancies, new houses and engagements peppered the year. There’s nothing nicer than sharing in other people’s happiness.

But for everything you delivered, you took away too. In some horrible karmic exchange you took someone very special and changed my family forever. You also irrevocably changed one of the most important people in my life. I can’t ever forgive you for either – they were deal-breakers.

I know you’ll say it wasn’t your fault, that bad shit happens and I should be thankful – you made me stronger. And you’re right. I’m tougher than I used to be. And I guess if I can take anything out of this sorry mess it’s that I’ve gained real perspective. The marshmallow centre I thought I had is now buried under a layer of steel. No-one else is going to hurt me like you have, not without a fight.

2013 Hilary wouldn’t stand a chance against the wrath of 2014 Hilary. I’m impatient, intolerant and pessimistic. Where once everyone got a second and even third chance, these days you can shape up or ship out.

My list of people I trust and depend on, who I’d go to the ends of the earth for, has noticeably shrunk. I’m choosing to make this a positive – I’m so incredibly grateful for all I have now. And while I don’t have a mansion, a sports car, a million pounds or an annual holiday to St Tropez, I’m realising that I have everything I need in that select band of amazing friends. And my family – there aren’t enough words to share how much they mean to me.

Anyway, enough dwelling. Unfortunately, it is you, it’s not me. We’re just on different paths and I deserve better. I’m getting custody of the good times – I’ll pack them into my polka dot hanky and run off into the fireworks-ridden nightscape of New Year’s Eve.

Please don’t contact me, don’t call or write, or pop up on Timehop when I least expect it. Don’t add me on Facebook, tweet me or share nostalgia-filtered photos via Instagram.

Me and 2015 have a bright future ahead of us – I’m tougher and braver; and thanks to my friends and family, some big dreams and people to share them with – me and mine are going to have a good year.

Hilary x

No cold feet – just a wet face

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I know, I know – it’s hardly an original blog post is it. But as a bride to be with only two weeks to go, I feel that I should impart my wisdom (?) to fellow women embarking on their bridal madness.

1 Misplaced stress

Everyone tells you that you’ll become a bridezilla – that you’ll shout at everyone in your wedding party for no reason and insist they wear exactly the underwear/shoes/nail varnish that you’ve chosen. What no-one tells you is that you might, in fact, be quite organised and remain quite calm. “Great” (you think to yourself) “that’ll be lovely in the run-up to my wedding”! It would be, if the human brain wasn’t so damn pesky.

Not content with this ocean of calm before your nuptials, your brain will instead make you freak out over the most mundane of non-wedding related tasks. Mine happened over my mum’s birthday. I was on the phone to my sister, unable to put together a coherent sentence about what to buy our mother, and close to tears. I just didn’t know what to buy her, and apparently that was cause for crying. Make sure you’ve got a good balance of tough-love-dispensing, hug-sharing bridesmaids around you, that’s all I’m saying.

 

2 Weight shmeight

We’ve all heard the urban myth about diet-crazy brides, and in the beginning, that’s true. I was going for daily runs, avoiding carbs and having regular ‘dry weeks’ throughout our preparation. But about a month ago, I just stopped caring. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not eating two pizzas a night followed by an ice cream chaser. But I’m also not being particularly health conscious.

Maybe it’s because my dress alterations are final and I know it fits. Maybe it’s because I’m burning off ten gazillion calories a day in nervous energy. Maybe it’s the worst decision of my life and my dress won’t do up in 2 weeks’ time.

Either way, I just don’t have the energy or motivation to worry about my weight as well as everything else. A wedding dress (while beautiful) is still just a dress. If all of your other dresses, trousers, tops and jackets fit without busting open à la Hulk; your wedding dress will be fine too.

 

3 Your liver does not develop superhuman powers

Everyone wants a piece of you in the run-up to your wedding and with wine tastings, hen dos, work drinks, family gatherings, general birthdays and nights out – you’ll find yourself consuming a lot of alcohol. Sounds fun, right?

True, until you look at yourself in the mirror one day and realise that the ‘one or two’ you’ve limited yourself to in an effort to minimise your intake is not as goody-two-shoes when multiplied by the 8 events you’ve been to. Your skin will be grey, your eyes dull. You’ll have breakouts and feel constantly lethargic and snappy. No amount of water is enough to quench your thirst.

Enjoy the pre-wedding buzz and accept the bubbly you’ll undoubtedly be bought by loved ones. But say no when you can and take some time at home for hot baths and early nights. You’ll thank me.

 

4 You’ll cry at the news

Seriously, I’m a pretty emotional person anyway but in the last few weeks it’s been magnified – think Bridget Jones at her worst. At the end of my hen do I was tearing up saying goodbye to my best friend at London Victoria. She’s a bridesmaid, she lives half an hour away, and we talk most days. It was pathetic.

My emotional-pansy turning point was after the last wedding before ours. My lovely cousin got married four weeks before us, and the day after his ceremony I expected to wake up hyperactive and full of the joys of bridedom. Sadly, I instead woke up close to tears about everything lovely and beautiful in the world and unable to hold a conversation about the wedding without getting uncomfortably teary. I was just so overwhelmingly happy about life. No cold feet for me, just a wet face.

 

5 Don’t be proud

My final and most important piece of advice is the most important. I know how much you want to keep your wedding a surprise for your guests. I know how much you and your hubby-to-be want to do everything yourself because it’s a wonderful experience as a couple. That’s all well and good. But when things get too much (and it will be when rather than if) and you just can’t look at another favour without using it to slowly paper-cut yourself to death; Ask. For. Help.

You didn’t choose bridesmaids and ushers just to look pretty and plan hen and stag dos (though if they’re anything like ours they’ll be pretty awesome) – you chose them to support you as a couple in the run-up to the biggest day of your life.

Whether it’s help with actual wedding stuff, or help with actual life (which annoyingly doesn’t come to a halt in the weeks preceding your big day), they’re ready and waiting to help you. Back to my mid-Clintons breakdown, I asked one of my bridesmaids (who’s also my sister-in-law) to sort out my mum’s present and tell me what I owe. Job done, weird little meltdown averted. She also told me to go home, eat chocolate peanuts and chill out. Which is what I plan to do.