This time last year, I was in hospital recovering from my gastric band operation - you can read my original blog about it here. It honestly doesn't seem like it was 12 months ago and I can still remember everything about it, even when I was still groggy from the anaesthetic. I find it hard to believe that I've had my band for a year and just how much has changed in that time.
Over the last year, I have lost just over seven stone, found a new love for exercising, built muscle and strength and dropped six dress sizes. More importantly, I have been happy with my progress. I've not chastised myself for not losing weight faster, for indulging when I want to or not being able to fit into my goal dress (I've realised that my boobs are NEVER going to fit into that dress).
I've watched my body go through a huge number of changes and I've pushed myself to do things that I didn't think I could do. I feel like a totally different person than the woman who walked into hospital at 6.30am this day last year.
This month has been a bit of a mixed bag, but luckily most parts of it have been positive. While the husband really hurt himself and we have had a visit to the hospital and numerous other appointments to deal with - not to mention me having to carry him around a lot - he's getting better and other happenings have managed to keep both of us happy. In fact, I think all the good things that have happened this month made all of that a lot more bearable.
As I think is usual, this month has been incredibly busy, but with social events as well as work and making plans. I've realised this year just how important it is to make time for doing things with people so have been making more of an effort to meet up with friends and give myself a break. This, on top of a few other great things, have ensured that I'm feeling really positive about May and am looking forward to June - not least because it's my birthday month.
So, without further ado, here are ten things that are making me smile in particular, although there are more than a few others that are doing a good job too:
Last night, the husband and I had one of the best date nights we'd had in a while. We didn't get dressed up, in fact, we didn't even go out anywhere. We both met on the same bus heading home, which was not by design, so had the journey to talk about our days and just make each other laugh. When we got home, I did the very British thing of putting the kettle on so we could enjoy a coffee together, him while playing a computer game and me while reading, both of us just enjoying being in the same space.
We spent the rest of the evening eating fish and chips - this was a more successful endeavour for him that it was for me - watching Stranger Things on the big screen in the games room and laughing when each of us jumped or had to look away from the screen. It was an easy kind of date night where everything just falls into place and you don't feel the need to be romantic because you're out in public as a couple - we can do romance but the lovey dovey stuff just isn't us.
It was also the type of evening we used to love when we had a better space to spend it in. Over the last couple of years, we really did outgrow our old house and there wasn't really space for us both to relax comfortable side by side. Last night made me realise how much happier we have been over the last few weeks and how much easier it is to spend time together in our house without stepping on each others toes. It also took me back to date nights in our first year together, when we were able to have fun without loads of pressure from other areas of our lives getting in the way.
If there is one thing I really hate, it's moving house. I know people who seem to move every six months or so and all I can think is how? Honestly, packing up my life into boxes only to have to unpack it all and try and make everything look as nice as it did before is far too stressful for me and I avoid it when I can, which is part of why we were in the same house for four years, even though it wasn't suitable for us for at least three of those.
While we were looking at moving this year, the universe seemed to get involved to hurry things along, which has actually worked out for the best in the end. We now have a space that is much more suited to our needs and our future plans, which is a big deal. However, it also means that I have to deal with trying to make it feel like home.
I'm a big fan of my home comforts and all the little bits and pieces that I've collected over the years. You may wander why I have a solar-powered nodding Jack the Skeleton next to an antique decanter set, but to me, the two go together perfectly. Everything in my house has been chosen carefully, looked after and teamed with other things to create a mix of items that I love. Not having them out or in their right place can actually be really stressful for me, which is one of the reasons I hate moving.
Over the course of the last month - we've now been in our new house for a month and a day - the husband and I have been working to make the place feel like home. This has been fairly easy for him, as all he really needs is a comfortable chair in the lounge and all his computer stuff working. For me, it's about making the space mine (or ours), which is a bit more complicated a process.