The Lennard's - Where It All Began
I cannot have a successful blog and not write about the most important person in my life, my Husband, Anthony.
Firstly, I'd like to thank this amazing man for his continual love, care, respect, honesty & laughter As well as: his work ethic, always providing for us, his dedication to our family, for building a better life for us and for being the greatest Father to our babies.
I would not be the woman I am today, without Anthony and I certainly would not be alive.
My Husband is Anthony Lennard, he is 31 years old, bearded, broad shouldered, muscular, hilarious, sarcastic, a grump and so handsome.
Anthony is known by:
- His Lordship
We share two beautiful daughters - one in heaven and one earthside. And of course, our beautiful Belgian Tervuren Shepherd, Tywin. Our babies are the apple of his eye, his whole world.
Anthony is a highly qualified Dog Trainer & Behaviourist and together we co-founded our company Buttons & Leash Dog Training & Behaviour. Anthony is currently in the process of finishing his degree in Dog Behaviour and I have never seen him work so hard in all the time we have been together. Once Anthony puts his mind to something, he finishes it, usually in record time and with top marks. Anthony's only competition is himself.
How We Met
Anthony and I were both single & met on a dating site in late 2013, I was 20 and he was 22. Anthony's daughter had not long been born and I was on the cusp of getting my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome diagnosis. We chatted and became friends, but decided not to meet or take things further, as we both had more important things to focus on in our lives. Anthony, rightly so, had applied to court for equal access to his daughter and needed to focus on building a solid relationship with her and I needed to concentrate on getting an accurate diagnosis and perhaps seeking treatment if it were available. We added each other on social media and that was that.
Within a few weeks, I saw he had reconciled with the mother of his daughter and removed him from Facebook, thinking this was obviously never meant to be. I had previously dated a lovely man who had a child with someone else and he left me to go back to her, so I was fearful of being burned again. So for me it was easier to cut all ties & protect myself.
Little did I know what was coming a year later.
Christmas came and went and I reconciled with a long lost friend. We brought in the New Year together at a foam party with a friend of his & my childhood friend. This lead to an eight month romance, spanning one summer and both our 21st birthdays. It ended because it just wasn't meant to be. I had been single for two weeks, when a comment on my instagram just gave me butterflies - It was Anthony! I had completely forgotten he followed me on the gram, so I was shocked to see such a charming comment. "Wow, I forgot just how beautiful you are".
Damn that Lennard charm — they all have it! We inboxed each other, caught up on the year we had missed, found out we were both single and agreed to go on a date.
Knowing what we know now, we find this bit comical.
I had been officially single for two weeks and wasn't really interested in dating, but my Sister said to me, "Well, a girl's got to eat". So I legitimately went just for food! Anthony had been through a rough year gaining access to his daughter and just wanted some casual sex!
Oh how I laugh writing this.
I suggested we go for Sunday Lunch, because you do that with relatives from out of town, it really doesn't scream 'date'. Anthony agreed and booked a gorgeous pub with a scrumptious menu. Anthony picked me up and I was shocked to see how big and thick his beard had grown in a year. To be quite honest, I was never a fan of facial hair until I met Anthony, but if he were to remove it after all this time, I would miss it — he does take such fantastic care of it.
Anthony drove us to a stunning gastro pub near Tadworth. He took my hand, helped me down the steps and guided me towards the bar. Anthony ordered a soft drink as he was driving, but was shocked at my choice in quality and strength of alcohol — thanks for the expert education Dad! We sat and chit chatted (which Anthony hates) and were then escorted to the Chef serving the buffet style. The Chef flirted with me until he realised Anthony was my date, but then totally dropped Anthony in it by commenting on how often Anthony had been staring at my behind in my white skinny jeans! Poor Anthony was mortified - he can be shy, is an introvert and extremely socially selective.
When I met him I realised just how much confidence he lacked being in crowds, communicating with strangers and just how much women had destroyed his self worth, trust and confidence. So it was only when we started talking more openly that I realised he must really want to be here with me, as there was never once an awkward lull in the conversation. Obviously we touched on the difficulties Anthony was having in seeing his daughter at the time. Anthony appreciated my insight and input as an outsider and that is when I saw him physically relax, laugh and smile for the first time. We then discussed my health and what was going on at present etc. I explained that if we had another date I would have to use a walking stick. He was the first man had not been put off by it.
This Sunday Lunch date turned into: hot chocolates in Reigate, followed by an early evening picnic up at Reigate view point. We chatted, flirted and laughed until it turned dark and then he drove me home. On the way home we both turned to each other and said how odd it was that it felt like we had known one another for a long time, we were already so at ease and because of our unusually deep conversations during the day, we already felt a hell of a lot of respect for one another.
We pulled up at my parents house and agreed we would have a second date. Anthony paid for the first one, so I agreed to pay for the second. He was shocked that a woman was willing to pay equally or at least pay her own way, as it was something he had never experienced before. As I was about the say goodnight and get out of the car, Anthony looked me straight in the eye, gently clasped my chin and said, "you've kept me waiting and I've wanted to do this all day, at least give me a kiss goodnight". It was the best first kiss, he has gorgeous lips - I was hooked.
For our second date, I paid for us to go to London Zoo for the day. We both adore animals and Anthony had never spent much time in London. As you can imagine, despite being healthier and much more mobile back in 2014, after walking round London Zoo all day, I literally spent a week in bed for my legs to recover.
I still stand by it being totally worth it!
It was also the day I found out that Anthony loved photography. He took some great images, which included his first two images of me.
After a long day in London and battling the trains to get home to Sutton, we were caught in torrential rain. Anthony and I were both getting hangry and shot across the roads to Nando's. That was also the day where Anthony found his love for Nando's.
After a delicious meal, we had a 20 minute walk back to Anthony's car and by the time we got there we were drowned rats. We were both laughing hysterically at the situation we had gotten ourselves into: I was now limping and in pain, both our pairs of jeans were sodden, heavy and almost falling down. We had got to the point where the rain no longer bothered us anymore. Anthony pushed me up against his car and kissed me like I had never been kissed before, walked me to my front door and drove home.
I had wanted to leave South London for a long while by this point and didn't fancy any of the firework events in my area. They were all completely overrun, too expensive for what you actually got and were crammed into small green spaces. Anthony knew I loved Autumn & fireworks displays and we both love hot chocolate & being outdoors, so he got us tickets to the Edenbridge Firework Display. Don't get me wrong, it was busy and there were lots of people, but with such vast green spaces in East Surrey/Kent, no one was crammed in tightly or squashed and stuck in the mud. Tickets were much more reasonable than any other display I had previously been too and there was a real community spirit. It also wasn't just a firework display, but the whole village comes out, roads are closed and there is a fabulous parade round the village and down onto the field. We stood on the bridge in the village centre to watch the parade, grabbed some chips and followed the parade down into the field.
It was well organised, we were a safe distance from the huge bonfire, got hot chocolate and walked along a path of outdoor matting so we weren't too muddy. By this point it had rained all evening and were we soaked through, but my goodness did the firework display make up for it! Not only were they the best fireworks we had ever witnessed, but it was a real romantic moment for us. From that day onwards we have not been apart for more than a week. This was the first time Anthony took photos of us together, the first time I slept over at his and that evening I met my now Father-In-Law for the first time.
Anthony was not sure if he would be able to see his daughter that Christmas, so we chose to spend the 25th & 26th with our own families in case Anthony was able to visit her last minute. Thankfully, he got to see her on Christmas Eve, so I got a surprise visit that evening so we could exchange gifts. It was also the first time we said the three magic words - I Love You.
Anthony was under extreme pressure in 2014 and for the most part he was struggling alone. He was balancing: becoming a first time parent, family court, visitation in a high conflict environment, paying rent and bills, holding down a full time job, starting a new relationship with me and much more. I knew Anthony loved gaming & working on his bicycle. He regularly commuted on his bicycle to save money and had to keep it in tip top shape. I knew Anthony was saving for a PS4 because he wanted to play the new GTA5 in his limited down time and he needed new equipment to clean up his bike — but being a Dad meant his money went on child support.
Back then I had few financial responsibilities, so for Christmas I bought Anthony a PS4 with GTA5 and the full Muck Off bicycle care kit. To say Anthony was shocked is an understatement, he genuinely thought I was bluffing when I said I would buy whatever he wanted for Christmas. I now know he also thought I was mad for spending such a large sum of money on a new boyfriend.
Having said that, I already knew deep down that he was a keeper: it also proved that I am honest and true to my word, I stick to my promises and I never let him down. Anthony was so over the moon, he ended up hooking the PS4 up to my TV and stayed in my bed until the early hours of Christmas Day playing with his new toy.
That Christmas Morning we made it official, we were together.
We have now been together for 8 happy years and the rest they say is history ..........