…And a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Mackem Style!

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish my family, friends and blog followers a very happy new year and all the best for 2013.

Traditionally the beginning of a new year is taken by most to have a fresh start, a chance to right some wrongs and to make promises about new gym subscriptions, sobriety and opening a savings account.  I fall into this category of people, and my list of resolutions is as long as my arm!

However, saying that, personally I am very sad to say goodbye to an absolutely fantastic 12 months.  As with every year, there have been great highs and some real  lows, but in general 2012 has been a total life changer.

With that in mind I thought I would have a bit of a round up of the past year, looking back at how much my life has changed thanks to marriage, surgery and airmiles!

Jan - April 2012

January – George, a Sunderland fan and a good friend, passed away.  We found out the news on the way to Peterborough for an FA Cup match, and to be honest we had just assumed we would would be seeing George there.  It was a terrible shock to everyone.  George was well known by all Sunderland fans, as well as The Barmy Army, which follow England Cricket team.  Massivley missed, and always will be.  Very sad.

February – Valentines Day holiday to New York.  Absolutely loved the place, very cold but so romantic when all wrapped up for Ice skating, standing on top of the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Centre and all the other sight seeing awesomeness that is The Big Apple.  We went to see Mary Poppins at Broadway too, outstanding.

March – Awesome FA Cup run led us to believe that Sunderland actually had a chance to win the cup this year.  Unfortunately, Everton put an end to that at the SoL, but we had some fantastic FA cup away games over the past few months though, awesome times.  We also played the Mags at Sports Direct Arena this month, and drew 3-3 with Man City at their place.  We also went to a talk in with Mickey Gray, Nicky Summerbee and Chris Makin.  March was all about the football.

April – This is the month I got my tattoo on my rib cage.  It has a number of personal meanings, including romance, Harry Potter and my favourite flower.  This month Easter was spent at Otterburn, I saw Mcfly at Newcastle with Kelly, had a weekend in Blackpool for Emma’s 30th birthday and got the biggest Easter Egg I have ever had from Phil.

May - Aug 2012

May – This is the month that turned the whole year on it’s head!  Phil’s bosses offered him the chance to work in Boston, and maybe to move there permanently!  We flew out to Boston to see what we thought, and instantly fell in love with the place.  We were very unsure of the move before we visited, as I had never been more than 10 minutes drive from my parents and close friends, and a whole new country was just too scary.  But Boston stunned us, and we decided that it could actually be a possibility!  Scary, but very exciting!  This month Emily turned one, proving time really does fly when you are having fun!  We also went to the Premier League darts with some mates, had a night n London to watch SAFC V Fulham with more friends, and me and Dave went to see Happy Mondays and relived our youth!

June – Musictastic month!  The Boss and Coldplay both played the Stadium of Light.  Bruce Springsteen was amazing, it’s easy to say ‘for his age’ but in all honesty, it’s nothing to do with that! It was just a fantastic gig, lasting more than 3 hours and rocking the stadium.  Coldplay put on an amazing show, very visual, and even the rain that hammered down that night couldn’t dampen spirits.  Great gigs in a great venue 🙂  Phil also accepted the job offer, and the move across the world was on!

July – Mcfly played the Tynemouth Priory, and we decided it was about time we took the boys to see the Boys!  Me, Phil, Kelly, Ian, Rach and Jonny had an absolutely brilliant day in the pubs round Tynemouth, followed by a brilliant gig, that even the fellas couldn’t deny was amazing.  July was also the month of my hen nights.  Yes, nights! I had two.  Seems only fair since we are actually having two weddings…

August – The month I became Mrs Randle! 🙂 We arranged the wedding in super quick time, 6 weeks from deciding to the actual day!  We had already booked and paid for our original wedding date of August 2013, and since the money was already paid we decided that we would keep that as a big party next year for all our friends and family.  But as we needed to bring the actual wedding date forward due to the impending move to the USA, we invited only immediate family and best friends to join us this time.  And so, on the 9th August 2013, we married at a small church in Gretna Green, accompanied by 18 of our nearest and dearest, on a gloriously sunny day.  Perfect day all round.  I have the most handsome husband the world has ever seen, and I actually felt like a princess for the day.  The ceremony, bagpipes, speeches and evening drinks all helped to make this the most special day of our lives.  I wish we could relive it every single day, perfect.  We had a true Randle style honeymoon, including Harry Potter Studio Tour, an amazing stay in a boutique hotel in Windermere, being spoilt at Matfen Hall and jumping around for a few days in mud in Belfast for the Tennent’s Vital festival, where we saw the mighty Foo Fighters and Stone Roses, among many others.  Quite possibly the best month of my life!

Sept - Dec 2012

September – Big weekend in Bristol! Always my favourite away weekend of the season when a Welsh team are in our league.  Great night out with great friends.  This month I also started going for my tests at the RVI ready for surgery next month.

October – HUGE month for me.  I finally had surgery for Achalasia, which means a total rejig of life as I know it! I can now, hopefully, eat food without being sick or choking on it.  The surgery was horrible, and the recovery was hard, but Phil’s bosses flew him home from Toronto, where he was now based, to be with me as I went down to theatre and for a couple of days after.  I moved in with my best friend Dave, and between him, my parents and my Kelly, I was ready to fly out to Canada and join him within 3 weeks, so long as I promised to take it easy.  So that was that, my recovery was finished in Toronto with my husband.  This meant I also had to leave my job, ready to start our new life away from England.  I had been in the same job since I was 16 years old, so this was a massive decision, and a very emotional farewell!  This month is when I started keeping my online diary here on Mackem on the Move, so all of October, and the following two months, are all here within the posts on my blog.  If  you want to read more, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can choose a month to read about.

November – I joined Phil in Toronto, took it easy, recovered, went to Niagara Falls, went to a basketball match… It is all here in the blog!

December – Christmas time in Toronto, awesome.  But not as awesome as flying home and spending Christmas day with family and friends, and that brings us bang up to date!

New Years Eve is always a night in for us.  It’s the way we prefer it.  We usually have a big day on New Years Day at the football instead, but this year that isn’t until tomorrow, when we are off to Liverpool.  Haway the Lads!

I spent the night with my 2 favourite young men, the hubby and the bezzie! I put on my new jarmas and we had snacks, drinks, watched movies and did the Big Fat Quiz of the Year!  Excellent!

New Years Eve Big Night In!

New Years Eve Big Night In

As you can see from me today, in that final picture, I have a slight hangover!  So the day has been spent recuperating on the settee with the blanket, footy, blog and now as I prepare to bid you farewell, the darts has just started.  Not a bad way to start the year I have to say!

After such a big 2012, I am not sure 2013 could ever live up to it.  But I hope that no matter where the year takes me, you will join me on my adventures.

All the best.  Julie


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