Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Dressember Days 30 and 31: Congratulations Emma and Adrian, and Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to all of my darling readers! I hope you all saw in 2012 in a manner that pleased you. I've been having a wonderful few days and I think I can say I said goodbye to 2011 in style!

I have no outfit photo from Day 29 of Dressember, but it was a repeat anyway. The 29th was exciting, because Nic was arriving that evening. His flight was a little bit delayed, but he finally landed in Belfast and it was time for fun. My parents and I collected him, and we headed into Belfast for dinner at Little Wing Pizza before heading down the road to Dungannon. I was so happy to see Nic - we're not used to spending long periods apart and I had missed him. Dinner was delicious, and I think the lovely social evening helped my parents to feel less sad about my Baby Sister having moved out. Thursday was her last day at home, and when we got back she'd moved the last of her things up to her new home.

We did a bit of running about on Friday, visiting family and visiting Baby Sister in her new home. I wore one of the dresses I bought in the sale:

Friday 30th December 2011
Fever Salzburg Dress and Firetrap Desire shoes

It's not quite as impressive as Jane's Joan in red dress because, you know, I didn't make this. But, it has a similar feel, I think. The detailing around the waist and cuffs is petersham ribbon and you've got to love a dress with sleeves. I'm slouching a wee bit here so you can't see it, but this dress is a lovely fit and I couldn't be more pleased with it. Good old TK Maxx!

Friday was a bit of an emotional day. It's strange for my parents and my siblings that my Baby Sister and her fiance have moved out of home. Their new house - which Sister's fiance had built - is absolutely gorgeous but I think it's going to take a while for her to get used to being mistress of her own home. We got back late and after dinner went to bed - Nic and I had a big day ahead of us on Saturday, as we were guests at my dear friend Emma's wedding.

We were up early on Saturday morning to get into our finest feathers for the wedding. Amongst other things, it was a nice way to end Dressember. A dress I bought on ebay a few months ago got its first outing:

Saturday 31st December 2011
Fever Escala Dress and Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon shoes

The camera didn't catch me at my best, here! But this dress is lovely. I have it in blue - and when I spotted it on ebay for under £15 the magpie in me went for it. It's perfect for a wedding, because it's smart and it's fun to dance in. I love the subtle pattern on the fabric, too:

Saturday 31st December 2011

Doesn't Nic look handsome in his tweed?!

I won't go into masses of detail about the wedding but it was a beautiful and emotional day. Emma is one of my oldest friends, and it was an honour to be a part of her day. When we were teenagers her house was my second home, and her family have always been a big part of my life. I've known her fiance Adrian since they first met and it made me so happy and emotional to see two people I care about so much marry one another, and look so happy! The wedding itself was fabulous. The service was in Emma's parish Church and the reception was held in the gorgeous Merchant Hotel in Belfast. It was a wonderful chance to spend the day with old friends and new, and in such a beautiful setting!

Here's Nic by the fire in one of the Merchant's Victorian inspired bars. Everything about the day was wonderful - the food, the company, even the wedding band and disco were good! Best of all, though, was seeing Emma look so radiantly happy:

Saturday 31st December 2011
Saturday 31st December 2011
Here I am with the beautiful bride - in our inadvertently matching shoes!

I've always thought myself to be quite cynical about weddings but I spent so much of yesterday crying happy tears. From the moment Emma walked into the Church, right up to when I said goodbye to her parents at the end of the night, I couldn't stop myself from tearing up. As I said, though - they were such happy tears. It was a truly special way to see in the new year and I wish Emma and Adrian the happiest life together.

Of course, the wedding was great fun too as well as being very emotional. Nic and I threw some shapes on the dancefloor and it was so much fun to count down to 2012 in a room full of happy people:
Saturday 31st December 2011
Saturday 31st December 2011
With Nic - all danced out towards the end of the night

Nic and I were staying in the beautiful Tara Lodge on Cromwell Street and after saying our goodbyes we walked through the mild night to our hotel. We breakfasted early and spent the morning happily pottering around Belfast while the sun shone, before catching the bus back down to Dungannon.

It is natural to be reflective at this time of the year and, of course, I have been thinking back over 2011 and looking forward to 2012. After a tough year in 2010, I had high hopes that 2011 would be better, and it's been really wonderful. I've been so lucky. I've had ups and downs with work, but I have a job that (usually) pays the bills and I work with brilliant, funny, dedicated people. I'm proud to call a few of them friends. My family have been awesome as ever, and I'm lucky and happy to have been able to spend lots of good times with them. I have excellent friends and I've had so much fun this year and so many good times. Nic finished and submitted his PhD thesis, and I couldn't be prouder of him. He's achieved so much and he continues to surprise and delight me. So, basically, 2011 has been a blast. And we have so many good things coming in 2012. I feel excited to have started a new year!

With that, I'm off to spend time with that beautiful man of mine, in our pyjamas, watching Sherlock. Happy 2012, everyone!