Our story

I wanted to share the story of how Tom and I met. If you’re anything like I am you will love a good love story so hopefully you will enjoy this…

I was born and raised in Belfast and it was my home until September 2004 when I started an Interior Design degree at the University of Huddersfield. I’ll always remember how on the first day that I arrived at my halls of residence one of my flat mates said to me “Oh you have to meet Tom who lives upstairs, he’s down here all the time – from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to bed.” Little did I know how true those words would become.

Later that day I met him and he seemed nice enough. Everyone was planning a night out but as I was just off the Liverpool ferry I wanted to unpack and settle in before I had my first student night out. The following day my parents came over to take me out for lunch before they headed off and Tom was already in my flat. He was laid in the corridor hugging a bottle of lucozade (hungover) and they just stepped over him on their way to my room.

So fast forward a few weeks and I’ve settled in well to uni life. I’ve made a few friends including my now bestie Rhianne. Tom and I really hit it off and got on well together but to be honest having a relationship was the furthest thing from my mind. He was always in my room watching dvds with me and as the weeks progressed I found myself liking him more and more. We got on so well that people kept asking us if we were together but honestly we were just very good friends.

A few weeks later Tom fell asleep in my bed while we were watching tv and the following morning I woke to a kiss on the lips. He said he has been wanting to do that for ages but I can't actually remember how I reacted if I'm honest. I do remember though that he went back to his room and came back later to go for a walk. I remember feeling tongue tied and not knowing what to say but once again he told me how much he liked me and just like that we became a couple. We told our flatmates who reacted with "finally, it was about time!" and I phoned home the following evening to tell my parents. I'll always remember the conversation I had with my mum "Do you remember the guy you stepped over at my Halls a few weeks back? Well we have got together..."

Initially it took my parents a while to come round to the idea. I'm an Irish Catholic, Tom's English and has never been christened, I was only 18 and living away from home.

From the October until I went home for Christmas we lived in a little bubble but before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye for 3 weeks while I flew home to Belfast for the holidays. I was heartbroken at the airport and even though it was only 3 weeks it felt like an eternity before I would see him again. Thankfully though my Tom is an old romantic and surprised me by flying in on New Year's Eve for the night where he got to meet all of the extended family at my Auntie's party. Talk about a baptism of fire!

We lived together with some friends during the second year of uni but still had our own separate rooms to escape to for studying and just to have our own space. As the second year drew to a close I was looking for a placement as I had to complete a year out as part of my course and Tom was due to graduate (he was doing teacher training). I did debate about moving home for the year for it but I knew I wanted to stay with Tom so we made the decision to move in together and rented our first house in Horsforth.

After 2 years in student halls our little 3-bed seemed like heaven. It was definitely an adjustment going from living with friends to it just being us two but we loved it. Yes we had our ups and downs like any couple but we were happy. I used to say it felt like living in the sticks as it was a 20 minute drive to Leeds city centre (I grew up quite close to Belfast city centre) but in reality I couldn't have been further from the truth. Now we definitely live in the sticks!

The years flew by - I graduated, found a job and after 6 years in Horsforth we decided to move to Otley. People continually asked us when we were getting engaged but we were happy as we were. As we had been together since I was 18 and he was 21 we both had a lot of growing up to do before we could commit to marriage. I also graduated during the recession so money was very tight for a few years thanks to a low salary and paying off uni debts. The last thing we needed was a wedding to pay for.

It was during this time that I got in to baking and set up this blog. That kitchen in our Horsforth house holds so many memories of cakes that I have baked - from burnt disasters to glamours birthday cakes. That house is where it all started and even though we had a horrible landlord, I now look back on our time there with a fondness in my eyes.

On the 10th August 2013 during a little city break to Berlin Tom proposed. By this point we were in a better position financially so we started saving hard for the wedding and to hopefully buy our first house.

In the months leading up to the wedding we talked a lot about having a baby and we were both keen to start trying as soon as possible. We did intend to start trying straight after the wedding but the week after my hen party in June we thought "sod it, let's see what happens" and luckily we conceived on our first try.  We didn't put ourselves under any pressure but luck was on our side.

We got married on the 2nd August 2015 in the Rosspark Hotel (half an hour outside of Belfast). I was 10 weeks pregnant at the time and it was our little secret. We had told close family and friends but most of our guests were none the wiser.

We went to the USA for our honeymoon where we had a few days in Washington DC then flew down to Florida where we spent some time in Miami and Orlando. It was an amazing holiday and I hope one day we can go back with Ethan and any future siblings of his in tow.

A few days after coming back from honeymoon we had our 12 week scan. The moment we saw our baby's heartbeat flickering on screen we knew our lives would never be the same again. On the 7th March 2016 we welcomed our beautiful boy Ethan Thomas Longley into the world. He is the best thing that has ever happened to us - he's tested our relationship to it's limit yet he has brought us closer together than I ever thought possible.

In November 2016 we moved from our little house in Otley that saw us through our engagment, wedding and Ethan's first year to our first home of our own. We moved down the road to Pool and saw our first step on the property ladder.

People often ask us will we ever move back to Ireland and honestly we don't know. Teaching jobs are hard to come by over there and as Tom is the main earner in our house it would be crazy to throw away that financial stability. We did come close to moving over the year before the wedding but in the end fate had other ideas. For now we are happy living in Yorkshire but we always say "never say never." None of us know what the future holds.

So there you have it - our little love story! Not everyone is as lucky to meet their Mr Right at 18 but I was. Even though there are days when I could gladly throttle him I can't imagine my life without him. I'm so lucky to have Tom as my husband (even though he's useless at housework) and Ethan's even luckier to have him as his Daddy.

If you want to know more about us you can check out our family Me and Mine posts here and Ethan's birth story is here.

  • Share: