11 Years {A Family Celebration}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

You’re so fit. That was my first thought as I came through the door last Wednesday night following a wine-fuelled shopping expedition and saw my husband. It’s not that I don’t think it at any other point, it’s just sometimes life steams ahead at what feels like 100mph. There are so many intricate details to learn and consider every single day that sometimes it’s all too easy to cast aside the fundamental basics.

The 31st of January marks the 11th anniversary of the night James and I first met on a blind date. The 2nd February is the day he starts a brand new career adventure after making the decision to leave his long-term position at his current company and become a shareholder in a start up.

I’ve always felt like I inadvertently stole the vast majority of the limelight when it came to our careers, I took the risky option, followed my dreams of becoming a business owner, worked ridiculous hours for years and was decidedly selfish with my time. It would be unfair for me not to mention that our relationship suffered because of it, it did. And even though I don’t believe in regrets and mourning the past, I know if I was given that time again I would do certain things very differently.

Every marriage faces challenges, some significantly more than others, and as much as this is probably going to sound like the world’s most obvious cliche, what doesn’t break you truly does make you stronger.

2015 really feels like our year, I’m 100% behind James’s decision to take a leap of faith and having been in a similar position I’m hoping my experiences (not to mention numerous mistakes!) will prove invaluable. We are completely infatuated with our daughter, have never been closer (or happier – largely thanks to her) and are currently on the hunt for our “forever” family home.

On Saturday we will have 11 years of memories and many exciting plans for the future to celebrate.

I am actually looking for some recommendations and advice this morning folks on what to do as a family this Saturday that would be a lovely day out, something that feels a little bit special/celebratory. I am completely open to suggestions, I don’t expect you all to know what’s available in my local area of Warwickshire (!) but The Cotswolds are fairly near by and actually maybe there is something home-based/simple that we can do?

Also, did I mention my husband was fit? 🙂

I just need to remember to tell him more often.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
This post may include affiliate links.
[show_ltk_widget_version_two rows=1 cols=3 show_frame=false user_id=116091 padding=3 app_id=481186275 profileid=4c5b55b6-ff30-11e5-96ef-22000b0f8f3a]

30 thoughts on “11 Years {A Family Celebration}

  1. Congratulations Charlotte, James and Mabel! On every last little bit!

    Weird, as just before I read this I sent the man a little text remembering the night we first met and that I’d never have thought we’d be spending our weekends together with him helping me wrangle another 10% off a new dresser for the new house!

    (Dresser was eventually purchased at 50% off and is called ‘the Marilyn’. What more could I want.)

    Here’s to hot men!

  2. Congratulations lovely! How about a trip to the Cotswold wildlife park to show little Mabel some animals. It is my favourite one to take the little ones too as its a really lovely set up and nice to get close to the animals. I find a couple of hours is enough when they are tiny so then you can drive the couple of minutes back in to Buford and have a lovely lunch in one of the many pubs and hotels. Perfect day out I’d say. xx

    1. Ooh I didn’t even know there was a Cotswold wildlife park Charlotte?! Mabel is obsessed with Fathead (although this means she mainly pulls out handfuls of his fur) so I bet she would love it!

      1. She would adore it then! There are the big animals like giraffes and rhinos and then a nice petting area where they can see all the little animals and play with the pygmy goats. Lots of fun to be had and mine have always loved it xx

  3. @Charlotte, the new dresser is faboulous. I needed to get the money off as thanks to Rock My Style’s post about decluttering I just had to find the neon pink and orange boxes off the picture…I tracked them down and they are Kate Spade ones…and only available from American sellers…so I’ve spent £58 on three cardboard boxes! Oops!

    1. Pamela I just did a LOL! I have been known to do the same thing on numerous occasions, when you have to have something you just HAVE to have it!

      Are these all for the same room? I hope you will be sending a picture! x

  4. Yes, they’re for my dressing room! I have never had a dressing room before! The house is a new build so lots of white everywhere at the moment, aiming for a kind of Miami / South Beach feel eventually….time will tell whether I can actually achieve that!

    Yesterday was a bit of a give in day – I gave in to the diet and had chips and curry sauce from the chippy and while shoving them in I gave in to the boxes and ordered them! Epic failure! I will be a chubster with wonderful boxes! If I can’t stop eating and my waistline expands my plan is that when I am undressing in the dressing room the man will be suitably distracted by the neon boxes and not notive the additional chub?

    This is not a good plan.

    I know.

    1. Pah ha ha! The occasional chip will not increase your waistline!

      We had pancakes last night – not clean eating ones either. With ice-cream.

      This Miami/South Beach look I have got to see! x

      1. I demand a guest post celebrating Pamela’s boxes!

        Sadly I’m currently living the ‘chubby with nice interiors’ life at the moment. Which wouldnt be that bad if my curves went in the right places instead of making me look like a podgy old man.

        Charlotte – congrats on your 11 years and to James on taking such a leap. I’m sure he’ll be a huge success


  5. We are celebrating 10 years (seriously wtf) in feb and so I may well be stealing your cotswolds escape!

    It’s going to be a great year. Sometimes it doesn’t start off looking so great but when you have a fit bloke (we all know I’m essentially drooling over my own as we speak) it always seems brighter… And sexier.

    Happy celebrating. It’s so ace to have a little one to help you celebrate too. They always inject so much fun into everything they do. We have never laughed so much. Yay babies!

      1. Like totally different people in some respects I find. But how lovely to have grown with someone you love so much. *tears up

  6. Congratulations on your celebration! I would echo Charlotte M’s suggestions. We live right next to the cotswold wildlife park and are season ticket holders, it is truly fab! The Lamb inn on Sheep street in Burford is good for food, or you could go to the Burford Garden company just around the corner. (Their food’s pretty good too and they do nice healthy children/baby friendly options usually) Their toy and childrens clothing bit is one of my guilty pleasures! (You will know what I mean if you go!)
    My other suggestion would be Adam Hensons Cotswold farm Park (probably closer for you) that’s great fun too and maybe the Kingham Plough for food if you’re around that way?

  7. I would also recommend Cotswold wildlife park. My nephews loved it when we took them there last year. We also used to go when we were kids.

  8. Aw that’s so lovely. I don’t have any recommendations for a family day out as I live up in Manchester but just wanted to say congratulations. Love the bit about stumbling in the door after a wine fuelled shopping trip (my favourite kind of event). Got to say Mabel looks gorgeous in the picture, babies knees get me every time – I love them.
    Hope you have a lovely Saturday & you’ve inspired me to appreciate my husband & kids more & not get so caught up in the day-to-day.
    Love Grainne x

    1. Thanks Grainne! Wine-fuelled shopping trips are my favourite 🙂

      Admittedly sometimes I buy absolute crap that I really shouldn’t but often it means I’m a bit more daring with my choices….

      Have a super Saturday too x

  9. @Karen – “Chubby with nice interiors” – sounds like something you’d put in a lonely hearts!

    I can’t wait for the £58 bits of cardboard joy to come into my life. When I told my sister, who is a mum with another one on the way, she said to my niece, “This is just what fancy Aunty Pamela does…”


  10. @Charlotte – don’t laugh, because if I carry on eating then I will be getting dumped and I’ll have to put said lonely heart into action…although slightly worried that people may think I’m refering to my own ‘interiors’ – wouldn’t want to be rude!

  11. Hi Charlotte,
    This is a lovely article – congratulations on your 11 year anniversary, although not sure I can help you much on the child friendly venues. I’m useless at that type of thing but I do hear there are some nice spas in the Cotswolds!
    It’s great to hear your husband has taken the leap. My husband has his own business and I plan to set up something of my own soon too. It would be great to read about how you started up. Did you juggle two jobs for a while or did you go right in at the deep end – as I may well do. I commute a fair distance so just can’t see I will have the time to do both well. Would be so nice to read how you managed it all.
    Jody x

    1. Hi Jody!

      Of course – maybe this would make an interesting post actually, leave it with me!

      Congratulations to your husband and also to yourself – I always say the only regret you should have is if you don’t at least try…..good luck with everything xx

  12. hi charlotte,

    have you been to daylesford before? its a beautiful farmshop/ restaurant/ lifestyle store that’d be a lovely place to go for breakfast before a day in the cotswolds. X

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *