I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for some time now, wondering how to start this post. It’s been such a long time since I posted, and my entire world has changed in the interim. So, I guess first of all, I’ll apologise for my absence, and now, I’ll dive right in.

Twenty-eighteen. The year that I became an adult. A fully-fledged grown-up. I jest… I’ll never be an adult! But, I have become a wife, and a mother. Isn’t that something?! Reading that as I write it still totally blows my mind; I suppose because my mind hasn’t quite caught up with it yet.

Ph. @ Carrie Lavers Photography

I married my best friend, Paul, on the 17th of June, 2018. We said our ‘I do’s at Bury Court Barn, in Bentley, Surrey, with a then tiny dinosaur in my tummy and Soda by our sides (we wouldn’t have done it any other way!) Soda was very vocal when our friends and family were asked of any objections to our marriage by the registrar – possibly the highlight of the entire ceremony for Paul and I.

Ph. @ Carrie Lavers Photography

And then, on the 3rd of September at 4.27AM, our little dinosaur was born. After 37 weeks of waiting, we discovered that our little dinosaur was, in fact, a little girl. And, to say that life hasn’t been the same since Miss Maddie (Madeleine Grace) arrived would be an understatement. We’re still muddling our way through the everyday; learning how to do everything again. It’s funny, the way even making a cup of tea feels different when you have a tiny human depending on you for everything. It’s been difficult, scary, overwhelming and single-handedly the most amazing thing that Paul and I have every done. And, little Maddie, we fall more and more in love with you every single day. You are our most magnificent creation.

Twenty-eighteen was also the year that When Caitie met Soda became my full-time ‘grown-up’ job. In what feels like the blink of an eye, the ‘hobby’ that I started when I first became unwell became my job – and I couldn’t be prouder or feel luckier. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of the people – some I know, and many, many that I don’t, who have, in their own ways, contributed to making this possible. I was truly stunned by the number of orders that I fulfilled in 2018. Stunned, and overwhelmingly filled with gratitude. I am so very moved by how much you all believed in me and my small business. Enough so to trust me with orders – for birthdays, engagements, weddings, to commemorate loved ones who have since left… Your belief in me is what made me believe in me again. It’s what gave me back my spark. There aren’t really words for that, friends. There really aren’t.

But, in amongst all of this, twenty-eighteen was also a year of loss. We lost my dearest Grand Father, Thomas (Tommy) Harvey on the 17th of July, and, on the 20th of November, our most precious family cat, Talulah. The loss of both of these family members has forever changed our lives, and, not a day goes by when I don’t think of them. Talulah’s passing marked something of the end of an era for my family. Having travelled with us from South Africa to Germany and some years later to England, Talulah, and her sister Isabella were such a huge part of our family. I still hear her tiny footsteps when I visit my parents house, and know that she will forever have left a mark on my heart. We will miss you both forever. We never could have had long enough with you both.

And so we find ourselves in twenty-nineteen. Undoubtedly destined to be a year of learning, and growth, as it is the first year that I enter into as a wife, and mother. The year that my sister (my person) will marry her best friend, and I will proudly stand beside her as she says: ‘I do’. A year of new adventures. When Caitie met Soda will be changing slightly over the course of this year, but, as ever you will be the first to know what that change will look like – watch this space friends, exciting changes are afoot. I am now also proudly working with The Jewellers Academy – something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. For those of you interested in trying your hands at jewellery making, the Jewellers Academy offers resources for all abilities and skill-sets and is well worth a visit. And, friends, this isn’t just a plug, I genuinely believe in what Jess does and am so proud to be a part of the London Jewellery School family, I really, truly am.

What was twenty-eighteen for you, friends? I encourage you to look back on your year and remind yourself of how well you’re doing – especially when you don’t feel like you are.

Twenty-nineteen: we’re ready for you. Let the adventure begin.

Until next time, friends,

Caitie, and, of course, Soda (oh, and Little Maddie, too!)