It’s time to finally tell you my big, huge secret. I kept this quite for a solid four months. And actually, the original plan for this post was to just reveal one thing to you. But so much has happened over the past couple of weeks that I actually have TWO things to reveal to you...one of them I had no idea about.
The reason for my secrecy hasn’t been that I haven’t wanted to tell you. I just couldn’t, because I didn’t want to jinx anything. So after holding it in for far too long, today’s finally the day…unless you’ve seen on social media, of course 😉
One…we bought a HOUSE!
Two…we got ENGAGED!!!
It feels like it’s taken so long to get to this point with the house - from when we first put in the offer it felt like we were never going to get it. But we officially moved in last week and we’re both so happy.
Writing these words still makes this whole thing feel so surreal. I can’t believe it’s actually happened. I feel like I’m on holiday and this is just temporary. But it’s real. We own a house. We bought a load of IKEA furniture. We bought a washing machine and fridge freezer. We’ve started planning our meals and did our first big food shop last Friday.
Believe me, it was a big decision. We didn’t just want any house. We didn’t just want to buy one and then move within a couple of years. We both said that this was going to be a house we’d stay in for years and one we’d start a family in. So we had a huge checklist of things to make sure that we found the right one. Looking back, the timing of everything was so perfect, it’s actually unbelievable.
We both knew we wanted to live together and we both knew that we wanted to stay close to our families. I grew up a complete home bird and when I was at university, it was only half an hour away. Tom was the same. So we opened a savings account together and decided that we weren’t going to rush into things - we wanted to make sure we had plenty of money behind us before we jumped into anything.
When we finally decided to start looking it was at the end of summer, but we were convinced we wouldn’t find anything until this time next year. The first house we saw we liked, but not enough and it was the same with the second one. The third (the one we went for), I didn’t even want to go and see originally, because I felt it was just too over our budget. But Tom convinced me and as soon as we walked through the door, we knew. In an instant.
This whole experience of buying and moving into a house has taught me a lot more about myself and my relationship with Tom than I realise. While it’s been incredible and something I’ll remember forever, it’s also been stressful and challenging. There’s a lot you can’t control which slows the whole process down A LOT. We went in with an offer a lot lower than the asking price - and looked at each other in complete shock when we found out the result: it had been accepted.
The past few months have been such a blur. We’ve tried to enjoy every minute but the constant niggling feeling of doubt has sometimes been unbearable. In those last few weeks at home with my parents and brother, I tried to tuck each and every single memory away, trying to avoid the fact that it was leading to me moving out. It’s hard to leave the simple luxuries of being at home with your parents. With owning a home comes a lot of responsibilities and I’m so thankful that my mum and dad have taught me and brought me up to be so motivated and independent.
But it happened and last week I spent the last night in my old home and the first night in my new home. I didn’t sleep well, but I’m sleeping better now and feel like we’re both getting into a good routine. Before we moved in I was SO excited. When we actually moved in I felt unsure. But now I’m getting used to it, I know we’ve made the right decision.
I always used to say to Tom, “soon, we’ll only have to say goodnight, not goodbye.” And now that time has come, my heart feels so full.
Of course I miss my family, but I still see them almost every day and really, home isn’t about where you are but who you’re with.
This year has completely flown. I thought the biggest thing to happen to me was to buy our own home. But then on 23rd December, Tom got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It’s all been so incredible that I’m still wrapped up in a big engagement and new home bubble.
The wedding won’t be for a couple of years, but every time I look down and see my ring on my finger a huge smile beams from my face. I cannot actually believe this is all happening. It still makes me tear up thinking about it all. But I’m actually looking forward to this new chapter of my life more than any other. I truly think it will be our greatest adventure.
I can’t wait to take you along the journey with me and I’m already sharing lots of home snaps over on Instagram! Find me on there to keep up with everything at @abranchofholly.
Thank you so much for reading my blog. Here’s to more adventures and happiness in 2017!