We headed back to Northern Ireland over the Easter period and enjoyed some quality family time, gorgeous weather and the beautiful wedding of my big brother.
We landed on a Friday morning in Dublin and were very pleasantly surprised to find my dad, stepmum and little sister waiting for us at arrivals with a lovely banner. We were expecting to have to travel by coach to Newry so this was a brilliant surprise.
At the end of March, it was my mum’s 50th birthday so I had planned a ladies night out to celebrate when I was back home and Rhys and I presented her with a very special gift, she is a huge fan of gardening and spends so much of her free time out in the garden so we had a personalised bench made by Love Bench in the UK. We customised it with a quote “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” and a floral image with the big 5-0 inside. I was so excited to give the bench to my mum and was delighted that she loved it as much as I did. On the Saturday evening we had a flowery themed party with over 30 ladies wearing flowery outfits and I made cupcakes in flowerpots with the help of my little sister.
We also took part in Armagh Parkrun, Parkruns are free, timed 5K runs that take place weekly in many locations across the UK. We were looking forward to running in the cool weather after exercising in the heat and humidity of Dubai, however the Armagh Parkrun was quite hilly and while running the course I was wishing I was back on the flats of Dubai Marina, regardless of temperature! This is such a great initiative to get local communities out and about and encouraging them to get fitter.
Midweek, we spent time relaxing with family, bbq-ing (the weather was gorgeous while we were there), walking around Gosford Forest Park, celebrating my birthday and most importantly, getting ready for the big day! The wedding was at a little church in the countryside, followed by a reception at Farnham Estate in Co. Cavan, Ireland on a very sunny Friday and I was very privileged to be a bridesmaid.
This trip was extra special as Rhys’ parents also travelled over from England to join us for a few days and once it came to an end I was very sad to leave and there were very emotional goodbyes. I miss the green fields of home and being so far from family is definitely the hardest part of expat life but for now we have lovely photographs of home to remind us of why we’re here and to keep us going on our wedventure.