Welcome to an end of year personal blog. I can’t remember the last time I did one of these… but sometimes, it’s just nice to spread far and wide where, what and who you are grateful for! And I have a lot of that to spread at the end of this fantastic year.
If you’re like me, you’ll already be going down the memory road of 2014 and counting all your blessings… if it hasn’t crossed your mind just yet, I completely encourage you to go down your own memory lane of this year and see what the highlights of your year were. Who touched your life in a little or large way, or who’s life you might of touched. And possibly the most glorious sight you saw… even if it were just the most wonderful colours of autumn, or the joyful look on someones face when you gave them a special gift! Every little moment counts!
For me, life is very simple in what makes me happy. Travelling near and far and witnessing this b.e.a.uuuutiful and ever changing world we live in and the people I spend my time with. Because those two simple things alone, lead to the things that broaden our horizons beyond our wildest dreams and shape us to be the people we are as each new year begins. And I certainly know that the sights I’ve seen this year and the amazing people that I’ve spent time with (whether you feature in this blog or not)… have touched my life this year in a very significant way.
I turned 28 this year. Wohoo go me! Even better, Doug turned 29. We’ve now known each other for 10 whole years and married for 3 and half of those. And wow the things we’ve seen and accomplished together in that time is more than I ever expected. More than I ever hoped for.
I still remember being that young love sick puppy dog of a human being the day I met Doug. I’d just turned 18, working at Subway serving up some deeelicious sandwiches. I’d been called in for my second shift of the day, when this handsome Greek God (or so I thought he was greek) walked in through the doors where I worked one Sunday evening. ALL his family tailing behind him. Yes, I met my future husband AND his entire family all in one wack. But you know what, as my knees were wobbling like jelly as slim and thin as The Empire State building and you could hear my heart beating all the way to Timbucktoo, I only saw this kind face with the most genuine eyes that locked with mine from the moment I asked “What can I get you?”. Thank goodness his Dad wanted Seafood on his sandwich… we were out of seafood out front, which meant a trip out back to the fridge was granted for a breather and the chance to contain myself for a few minimal seconds.
I’ve always been a ‘Love at first sight’ believer. But did I expect it to happen to me at the wee age of 18?
I finished off their sandwiches and they left. And that was that. ………..
5 minutes later, Doug walks through the door again … this time asking for my number. I guess he d(o)ug my sandwich! :)
10 years later…. here we are.
The year kicked off nicely, amongst a very very busy wedding season filled with a lot of amaaazing weddings…. one of which included my sister’s own beautiful wedding. I got to be a bridesmaid, Yahooo! And the best of both worlds, was back on camera duties once they were announced hubby and wife! Family from across the world had come to this event making for a beautiful family orientated start to this amazing year!
In February I packed up all my stuff and moved in with The Balmers for 10 days in Tauranga, working (mid wedding season) and awaiting the arrival of Balmer number 4. February 14th, Valentines Day was the day Master Jake Micah Balmer decided to grace this world. Watching and capturing my beautiful friend go through Labour in the most graceful manner imaginable was incredible. But witnessing child birth and Jake’s first breath of air was the most extraordinary experience I could share with a friend and beyond anything my words can conquer. AND theeeen to have her turn to me and Oh so caaaasuaaally mention that Doug and I are his Godparents. Wow Sh*t (excuse my french). There’s about 1 million cherries on top of my mountain. I’ll never forget how I felt in that moment!
It felt GREAT to grow our business even more this year. It was time to say Good Night to Heather Ellis Photography and it felt sooooo nice to rebrand to The Heather & Doug Records. Such a wonderful highlight!
2 Days after launching our re-branded company, we stepped on a plane to this glorious place for 5 whole weeks.
We finally took our honeymoon in Mid August for 5 whole weeks (3 years on haha) … There is still a very lengthy blog or two to come about our Italian experiences… But as a sum up, we travelled up and down the country from The Amalfi Coast with my sister and nephews from the UK, to busy bustling Rome. Florence stole our hearts, as did every moment of epic Tuscany. The Liguria Region took us by storm including amazing and picturesque Cinque Terre. Up to Turrin with our Kiwi/Euro based friend to experience something a little more local. Venice was an experience and tranquil Lake Como relaxed every bone in our body before our return home via Milan. Italy is our Heaven and Heaven will be our Italy!! Trip. of. a. LIFE. TIME!
Everything tastes better stolen!! :)
Doug’s little bro Henry married the love of his life in the Sydney Botanical Gardens in November. Doug had the pleasure of being involved in every aspect of the wedding. He was joint best man with their other brother Victor – (but that didn’t mean he got out of camera bag carrying haha) as I got to shoot this special event with my close bud, Kim (Kimberley Cheyne Photography). This was a cloud 9 moment for Doug seeing his wee bro getting married… but just wait to see what came a few days after Henry’s wedding which was Doug’s million cherries on top of HIS Mountain Top…
“I need a love to keep me happy“. And his love is The Rolling Stones. A passion and joy he shares with his Dad.
Let me tell you a little story about The Rolling Stones concert… … You remember those love sick puppies who met at 18 and 19? .. A year or so after they met… one of them had the opportunity to go to The Rolling Stones concert with his Dad and brothers in Wellington, but he’d already made plans with his girlfriend to go to Tauranga to see friends and drive over to Auckland to see David Gray in concert at that exact time. And he is a man who was taught by his mother to ‘Never cancel plans’. Needless to say he made his girlfriend very very happy, she fell asleep during the David Gray concert and 8 and a half years later the opportunity arose to see them again, this time in Sydney! His love for them grew even more in that time and the first time experience was even moooore epic!! I had a very happy husband on my hands!! :)
James Stephan Lincoln came into the world in November. The delicious wee boy of Doug’s cousin and our dearest friends, Lauren and Mark. A wee guy with a smile that will melt a thousand hearts. We’ve been working on a project throughout their pregnancy, which I can’t wait to share..
So I mentioned I turned 28 this year! Wohoooo, Yay me! It felt like a particularly great birthday this year for a few different reasons. You’ll know the expression, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” … The illustrations of your front cover can of course be what ever you paint it to be and that is even easier in this social media driven world we now live in. And generally only those truly close to you will know the content of your story.
I was blessed this year to deal with some things from my past that I had swept right under the carpet, thinking it would stay there if it were out of sight, out of mind. Soooo NOT the case. I’m a very bright and happy, down to earth, passionate and loving person… But in one way or another, these things we ignore or suppress will rear it’s ugly head in some manner or another. Facing ugly things from our past is never easy, but over the last couple of years, with the grace and guidance of God and the the unconditional love and support of a few close people. My content now matches my front cover.
Happy & Free.
There was a lot of hurt and frustration along this path, but each mile stone showed me something new and beautiful about myself. And I simply thank God and my close people from the bottom of my heart for this support and showing me just how truly loved I am.
This birthday was one to remember, because my heart now knew freedom.
The most amazing and exciting piece of news for Doug and I this year, would like to wish you all a very Haaaappy New Year. He or she will be seeing you in June 2015. YAY! We have so many amazing and wonderful little people in our lives, and we simply caaaanoooot WAIT to have one of our own! We already love this wee button beyond this world.
Lots of Love,
Heather & Doug xoxo