This week’s Beginning of Us post comes from Hannah over at Hannah Says and you can find her on Twitter @girltaristhan. I normally do a bit of an intro but Hannah has done a great job herself in her post so without further ado, over to Hannah…
I’m Hannah. I’m married to Chris. We are foster parents to our 15 year old foster son nicknamed Our Sidekick and parents to our little boy Jaxon who was born at the beginning of July. I blog over at Hannah Says about our adventures as a not so conventional family.
Chris and I have now known each other for something like thirteen years. We’ve been married seven years and have been parents of some description for almost three years.
When I was a teenager, part of me was convinced that I’d be a single spinster and I’d annoy or upset all my friends and become a grumpy old cat lady (well without the cats because I’m not actually that much of a cat person!)
Growing up, each May Bank Holiday we’d go as a family on holiday to a camp organised by a group called CCCF (Caravanner’s and Camper’s Christian Fellowship). At camp me and my brother would explore the site and help my parents put up the awning on the caravan – we’d help other people near as well, by the time I was 16 I could pretty much do it on my own (well minus lifting the canvas to start as I was either too short or not strong enough).
Most days went something like this – we’d go to the youth meeting in the morning, head “home” to the caravan for lunch (usually via the Campsite shop where my Grandparents and Parents would volunteer), play or hang out in the afternoon then go to the youth meeting in the evening after tea.
While writing this entry I went to try and find my journal but I couldn’t so this is from memory! I remember at the time it was a fluffy journal from the Disney store – it was white with black spots like a dalmatian (101 Dalmatians had been recently released). I remember writing about the first evening meeting Chris and how him and another lad both really liked me and Chris bought me a hot chocolate then because I burnt my tongue on the hot chocolate he bought me a can of 7up from the tuck shop – he wouldn’t let me pay him back. We were inseparable that week, he was lovely and kind and he’d walk me back to my parents caravan from the youth tent rather than make me walk alone (although it would be perfectly safe for me to walk back in the dark lol).
We tried the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing but it didn’t really work. In my 15 year old brain Chris’s house was too far to catch the bus (about 30 miles and involved a change at Cambridge or St Neots. Certainly not rocket science!)
We lost touch somewhere along the line but got back in touch, email was becoming more popular and access was becoming easier. I’d spend time when I should have studying writing Chris emails, somehow this spawned into me inviting Chris to my 18th birthday party. My friends remembered him as he had a really really bright Hawaiian shirt and a really loud laugh.
Fast forward a bit further – Chris goes off to university up in Hull and I’m here at university in Bedford (do the maths it’s close to 200 miles apart – Bedford to Chris’s old house was about 30 miles!). We spend a bunch of time chatting via email and MSN and then somehow on the 13th March 2005 we decide (with some help from two friends) that we want to try going out again. Well clearly this was the time because on the 13th September 2005 Chris proposed to me – his whole plan didn’t quite work out but it happened in the end.
He wrote a treasure hunt and had friends both here and in Australia involved. My first clue involved going to the supermarket where my best friend worked and finding her to get the clue. Thankfully she was on the petrol station so it wasn’t like I had to explain to the customer service desk that I needed them to tannoy her! Other clues mainly involved visiting family and friends but one clue involved texting my friend in Australia. It was something like 4am there but she’d been up for two or three hours already because she was that excited. She said it was like Christmas! In the end, the final clue led me to my parents caravan which used to live on the driveway at my Grandparents house. When I turned to leave the caravan with the clue, Chris was knelt down in the tiny gap between caravans (maybe half a metre at most?) and popped the question, my best friend was stood a couple of metres away giving hand signals to my parents and grandparents who were stood further up the garden out of eye line.
On the 12th May 2007 we got married at my home church here in Bedford, although I was in the process of moving to the same church as Chris. We went to a B&B for part one of our honeymoon, then on the Monday following the wedding we caught the ferry to Amsterdam.
We’ve now been married seven years, we are foster parents to Our Sidekick and this Summer welcomed the latest arrival who is Jaxon. He’s our almost 3 month old baby boy.
Thanks so much for sharing your story Hannah – I love how he proposed and how you made things work despite the distance. It’s lovely that you have known each other so long and your photos are beautiful!
If you would like to read the other posts in the series you can see them all here and remember to come back next week for another lovely story!