Monday, July 13, 2009

GARETH'S HIGHLIGHTS

Getting engaged
The trip to Morocco was amazing and I loved the party we had in the UK to celebrate (the ‘help I’m in debt’ ‘and engaged’ t-shirts still make us laugh). The proposal itself might not have been perfect but when we finally splash out and get Amy her real engagement ring I’m sure I’ll find myself down on one knee somewhere (no smutty comments Steve).

Learning to love writing
There have been a few unexpected side effects from ONB. The main one is my new found love of writing. Forcing ourselves to try and write something everyday on the blog ignited a passion in me that has resulted in loads of poems, short stories and comedy sketches. They are all a bit odd and not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ (edible children and pork loving pigs) but writing them keeps me out of mischief. My aim for between now and Xmas is to try and get an agent.

The readers of this blog
We have had over 20,000 visitors to this blog which is a huge amount. Seeing that number creep up has always given us encouragement and we loved the comments people posted. Seriously these small sentences did no end to lift us up when we were down. Those of you who have ever posted a comment probably have no idea of the impact you had ☺
In addition to the blog some people were very kind to donate money to the cause! We put the button on jokingly. In total we kindly received – drum roll please - $60!!! Thank you – you didn’t have to but every time we got $5 or $10 we felt ten feet tall.
Now that we are through the whole experience we have decided to donate your $60 to someone who needs it much more than us. We hope you don’t mind. It’s going to go to a young mum whose mother passed away this week. They are as poor as church mice and sadly haven’t got enough money to pay for the funeral which must be a truly horrible situation to be in.

Watching Amy grow
I thought Amy was pretty amazing when i met her and she just keeps getting more and more so...

...the way she has been kicking ass and taking names at work - building a team from scratch and earning numerous payrises in the process
...the way she has got her art back on track and is being the most productive she has been in 3 years (and the work is good, very very good)
...the way she became a mortgage expert overnight and fought tooth and claw to get us the best deal possible - one mortgage broker actually asked me if Amy worked in finance because she seemed to know so much
... the way she has managed to climb the Everest that is giving up smoking

With Amy I know i've backed a winner!!!

Learning to appreciate everything
From all this financial fasting my ta$tebuds have intensified!
Every magazine I now buy is more glossy and interesting
Every beer tastes more beery
Every meal is a special treat.
You get the idea – the list goes on and on!
Right now I’m not taking anything for granted!!! Long may it last.
I think this experience is going to be a great story to inspire our kids with. We won't ram it down their throats but hopefully it will have the same effect my dad's 'sunglass selling' story had on me.

Ending it in style
About a year ago I think we realised there was a real chance we could crash out of ONB and end up owning our own place (especially when the housing market collapsed). We wanted it to be a real ‘we’ve made it’ moment and it was. Signing the largest check of my life was a real rush when it came time to put down the deposit - It was the most zeros I have ever put on a check!!!!
It has truly been the happy ending we so wanted it to be ☺

2 comments:

getting stuff done said...

I just want to know about the sunglasses selling bit with your dad now.

anyhoo. bless yer. its been a lovely and brilliantly written story.

Gareth & Amy said...

Hello GSD!

THe story - in short - is this...

When my Mum and Dad brought their first home was about 2 years old. The week they moved in the mortgage rates went through the roof so my dad had to do something a bit drastic. He kept his teaching job monday to friday but then worked every Summer weekend for 5 years to help keep our heads above water.

G xx