Ten Years – Who’da thunk it!

June 3rd 2000 and a gorgeous woman said “I do” and, in front of a large gathering of friends and families along with our Heavenly Father, we were married.

The last ten years haven’t all been smooth going, but no marriage ever is. There’s been rough patches, arguments, tears, hurt and more – but above all there’s been Love and the happiest days of my life.

She’s been there when I’ve struggled, stuck by me when I lost my faith, kept with me when my health was not good and loved me no matter what.

One thing we’ve not managed to do in that ten years, well not since our honeymoon,  has been to escape on our own for a romantic getaway and just be ourselves with no kids or time constraints. So I had to fix that 🙂

Cue a load of hushed messages, hidden agendas and huge amounts of googling – combined with a long drive! The end result was 5-ish days away from the kids, waking up and going to sleep with this view outside of our bedroom window

Kirkcudbright - Scotland

A four-star B&B in Kirkcudbright right in the south of Scotland (near Dumfries) was our home for the week where we were looked after by the wonderful Eileen Garroch (visit the B&B website here and if you pay her a visit say hi from us!) and made to feel like royalty.

The countryside was so beautiful, the food glorious, the weather wonderful and the company beyond comparison.

To summarise the week quickly: Fish & Chips, Castles, Hill walks, lighthouse, harbours, seafront restaurant, bagpipes, handmade chocolates, David Coulthard museum, ice cream, books, coffee, cakes, beaches, food and relaxation!

A better summary would be the photos below 🙂 More are available to friends on facebook!

Hippy Moo Car!

Erm… Happy New Year even – obviously not in my right mind. And WOWOWOWOWOW has it really been this long since I last posted. Sorry folks, life has been totally crazy these last few months with my work having a rebrand and new product launch, me getting my tonsils ripped out and the usual joys, work, chaos and fun of December and, of course, Christmas!

And so we are now in the new decade – no-one seems to know what it will be called yet with the Teenies or the Tennies being the favourites right now. Of course, some argue that we are not yet in the new decade until next year but I’m just going to follow common consensus and go with this being the first year of the Deccies (hey, you never know what it’s gonna be called!)

I can’t help but be totally stunned by the last decade – it seemed to go by so quickly, only seems 5 minutes ago we were all celebrating the Millennium and the doomsayers were predicting that all the computers in the world were gonna destroy us all and take over the world (or something like that)

In fact, to summarise, the last decade saw:

  • Me and Mrs H tying the knot in 2000 – so it’s the big 10 this year!
  • The birth of our 2 lads and countless birthdays
  • Me finally passing my driving test
  • 3 jobs
  • 1 house move
  • The Hartleys getting together more regularly than ever
  • Some really great family holidays
  • 2 Formula One races, several touring car races and even some test days.
  • All our kids going through playschool and into primary school – with the eldest now in year 8 at secondary school (year 2 to me and you!)
  • Me falling away from God, then Him welcoming me back with a great big bear hug
  • Mrs H and our Daughter getting baptised
  • And so much more I can’t think right now!

This year alone is going to see big things happen, with big changes at work and a great family holiday with my parents and Uncy Roo – the last time we went away together was an amazing time and we all really enjoyed it. Cannot wait for it really!

I’ve also felt that this year is going to be a time of growth, change and challenge for us with God having so much for us. There is so much going on at KingsGate as well with there being a huge raft of world-class guest speakers coming in the next couple of months alone. In fact, with everything going on I just pray and hope that I am open to all the God has in store for us as a family and me as a person, father, friend and husband.

My prayer for anyone that reads this is that you will have a truly blessed year, with peace and prosperity and good health – and that you will come to know Gods love in new and exciting ways.?

Can I breathe now?

… and…. relax

Lewis Hamilton is the Formula One World Champion 2008! YIPPEE!

After nearly two-hours of nail biting chaos, with the most unbelievable final 5 laps in history, the UK now has a new F1 world champion to be proud of.

When Vettel managed to get past Lewis with only 4 or 5 laps remaining my heart sank – surely he couldn’t lose it 2 years in a row…. then Glock slowed down, tyres shot and no grip in the last-gasp rainfall allowing Lewis to take that all important 5th place and our house erupted with cheers and tears as he did it.

We have watched Lewis race in FRenault and beyond, and followed his career closely, so to see him win the ultimate motorsports title (well, one of them – along with Le Mans, Indy 500 etc 😉 ) was a very emotional moment.

I just hope that next year he doesn’t leave it until the last corner of the last lap of the last race to clinch number 2!

I must finish this by saying Congrats to Massa as well – if he had won the title he would have also been deserving but after the race he totally proved how mature he is these days and what a gentleman he is. I did feel sorry for him and his family when they thought they had got the title only to lose it right at the end. I personally feel the right guy won but, as I say, Massa was a very very worthy rival and I hope this wasn’t his last shot!

Christmas comes early…

This weekend we took advantage of the generous Birthday and Christmas presents for 2008 from my brother – both Mrs H and I went to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix (along with my bro and the missuses sister)

The summary of the weekend – Sunburn and Hypothermia… rolled into one… but huge grins through the tiredness that results!

Yup – the British summer well and truly reared it’s head at the weekend with Friday being roasting hot and us all catching a bit too much sun, Saturday being wet in the morning but OK-ish in the afternoon, and Sunday being a soaking, freezing day which was *really* uncomfortable at points.

Continue reading “Christmas comes early…”