Life Archives - Wedding, portrait photography & cinematic films: Stories.my

Welcome, 2017!

Posted by | Life, Musings, Relationships

As I sit in a hotel room in Dhaka, Bangladesh on the last day of 2016, I reflect on all that has happened this year. It’s been a year of ups and downs, at times filled with beautiful memories, and at times, financially stretching for us as a company. Yet, perhaps with some childlike faith, I have hope. I am hoping that 2017 will be one that is great. A year that will bring about change, as we have set into motion some plans for the year.

Recently, in between our wedding shoots here in Bangladesh, I had time to walk the streets a little. We bumped into an old curiosity shop that looked like it sold antiques (or lookalikes!). I was drawn to a hourglass that had a compass at the top and bottom. That afternoon, as I was praying about the year ahead, I felt God telling me two things: That I need to depend on Him as the compass of my life. He would give me the direction I seek desperately. And the hourglass reminds me that my time on earth is short – what am I doing daily that makes a difference to the world?

Naturally, my thoughts go to my children and leaving a legacy in their lives. It would be tragic if I spent so much time working on my business but neglected the welfare of my kids (and husband!). If today was the last day of my life, would I feel happy with all I had done in life?

Let’s make each day count. Happy New Year from us in Dhaka and have a great start to 2017!

BTS-day1-bangladesh*Thank you to the random waiter who suggested we have a photo together after the holudh event, and who actually took it for us on our phone! (Left to Right: Jamie, Grace & Jennifer)

Happy 4th Birthday, little Krysta

Posted by | Beautiful Everyday, Life, Musings, Portraits, Relationships

20160813-ALEX_GRACE_10TH_ANNIVERSARY-151Dear Krysta,

It’s been an amazing 4 years together, as your mum. One day, when you read this, know that I love you fiercely with all my heart. We’ve shared laughter together, tears, and silly moments practicing karate chops on imaginary bad people during our storytelling sessions. Just yesterday, I struggled through the day being your mum… it started out as a great day, going out with your Ee Ee (aunty Lina) to the mall…but when we came home, you were really tired and I had a really hard 3 hours with you and your brother, trying to put 2 over-tired toddlers down for their afternoon nap. After 1 hour, I realised a nap is nowhere in sight, so I decided we’ll just have an early dinner and put you to bed.

I guess it’s a combination of me being overly tired too, and temper tantrum outbursts that led me to my own outburst. I am sorry for the times I scolded and disciplined you out of my own anger. Part of me wants an obedient, compliant child, but I know that you have a mind of your own and sometimes, our personalities clash, resulting in crying moments (for both of us). You touched my heart when you saw my tears and took a tissue to wipe the tears away, and suggested that I drank water so I felt better.

I pray that you will grow up to be an amazing woman of God, who is kind, thoughtful and loves people fiercely too. You have a heart of excellence and your meticulous nature reminds me of your dad, who always wants to do things well. I see my own imperfections as I raise you up, and I know that this is God’s way of moulding me to be a better mother too. Love you so much.

Mum

Krysta-1 Krysta-2 Krysta-3Krysta-4

Pride That Blinds

Posted by | Life, Musings, Relationships One Comment

As we argued over a petty little issue (in my mind, that is!) in the car on the way to Krysta’s school, we heard a little voice in the background saying, “Say sorry, mummy and daddy!”. It grew louder and louder as she realized we had ignored her for the 4th or 5th time.

“SAY SORRY, MUMMY AND DADDY!”

My mind went back to the times when this same 4 year old toddler was forced to say those very same words to her 2 year old brother after a fight. Over some toy or something like that. She had ignored me, refused eye contact with her brother and just muttered the barely audible words, “I’m sorry.”

I was cornered. I had to say sorry, though inside, I just wanted to hang on to my anger. Or my pride. I couldn’t tell the difference. So with no eye contact, I muttered the words, “I’m sorry” trying my best to have the most sincere tone I could muster, while failing miserably. She must have thought it was sincere enough as she started singing to break the deathly silence that was in the car.

That evening, I was in a rather bad mood as I was driving home. I was stopped at an intersection, but since I couldn’t really see the road clearly, I had to drive a little too far forward, partially blocking the road. In the distance, I saw a bus coming, and I thought briefly, maybe I should reverse, but I didn’t. The bus driver actually stopped his vehicle right in front of my car and gave me a signal to prove I was in the wrong. And though I knew it, I felt pride welling up inside and excuses coming out of my mouth, though no one was in the car.

It was then that I realised, how easily we allow our pride to blind us of our mistakes. How as human beings, we don’t like feeling inferior or wrong. How natural it felt to be defensive and angry even when the fault lies with us. And how difficult it is to admit that you need to back off, say sorry and just move on.

My marriage needs my humility, not my pride.

20160813-ALEX_GRACE_10TH_ANNIVERSARY-076

Fun Facts… about Jamie!

Posted by | For Photographers, Life, Musings

20160904-CAMERONS-02As photographers and videographers, we are behind the scenes a lot. We’re more comfortable behind the camera than being in front of it. But recently, we did a fun shoot when we were in Cameron Highlands. Four girls (my current full time team!) sharing fun facts about each other! We will be releasing these videos over time, but to kick it off, we’re starting with Jamie *just because I can muahaha*

So now you know your photographer better!

Credits:

Videographer: Chi Yin

And so the adventure continues: The 10th year milestone

Posted by | Chinese Weddings, Garden Weddings, Life, Musings, Relationships, Wedding Films & Videos, Weddings

20160813-ALEX_GRACE_10TH_ANNIVERSARY-06910 years ago, the adventure began when we said our vows to journey together through the calm seas and raging storms. Ever since then, we’ve gone through adventures together as we camped in the freezing White Dessert in Egypt and cycled through pitch black darkness to view the sunrise over temples in Bagan, Myanmar. We’ve also experienced challenging moments as my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s shortly after my wedding and deteriorated through the years until the remnant of the strong man he was, was gone.

We’ve worked through differences, argued about which way to press the toothpaste, made conscious decisions on how to live life God’s way and also shed tears of joy when our two children, Krysta and Kyle were born. (we also shed tears when we had to carry them through the streets of Japan recently, but that’s another story).

20160813-ALEX_GRACE_10TH_ANNIVERSARY-144I can’t believe 10 years flew by, just like that. Some people say we hardly aged, but that’s a lie. I think my wrinkles are a testament to how much wiser I am now, but also how much joy I experience in life, through the relationships I share with friends and family. I learnt that it takes a lot of hard work to make a marriage exciting… the routines of life can easily drown you and soon, you start to take person next to you for granted. Even more so after kids arrive, as our focus tends to be on the children, hardly the spouse.

So we’ve done things like go on planned dates, holidays alone, random hugs in the middle of the day… just because.

Ever since I was a young child, I have been an idealist. I want to believe with all my heart that love can flourish and grow stronger through the years… that marriage can indeed prosper even when I am old and grey.

And so the adventure continues…

20160813-ALEX_GRACE_10TH_ANNIVERSARY-005On the 13th of August, we had a party at our home to celebrate 10 years of marriage and moving in to a new home. We were blessed to have family and friends pray for us as we acknowledge God’s goodness in our lives over the past 10 years. Pr Kee from DUMC who married us 10 years ago prayed for us, and Pr Shaun from Kingdomcity KL blessed our home as we use the space to connect with people from all walks of life. Rachel and Jin Ann’s team did a great job with the styling (and yummy desserts!) and Michelle exercised her magic make up skills on myself and Krysta (who was delighted to have curly hair for one day). I am also appreciative of Jennifer, Chi Yin, Nigel and Johan who took some of these amazing photos you see here.

20160813-ALEX_GRACE_10TH_ANNIVERSARY-02420160813-ALEX_GRACE_10TH_ANNIVERSARY-02520160813-ALEX_GRACE_10TH_ANNIVERSARY-038 Read More