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Relationships

It’s been 5 years already!

It was the morning of our 5th anniversary and I awoke violently only to realise it was still early in the morning. The whispers of us saying “I do” from 12 August 2006 were brought back to mind, while I, still in bed, planned our anniversary celebration.

“Gas stove, frying pan, spatula, sleeping bag, tent, box of tissue” (and lots more), were added to my iPhone shopping list, while Grace continued to breathe heavily, enjoying her slumber. I had yet to tell her what we would be doing to celebrate our 5th year together but intended to keep it a secret till the last possible moment.

That evening, we left the office a couple of hours earlier, rushed home, and started to pack the car with the list of items I had meticulously detailed on my phone. It was then that I told Grace, “We’re going camping!” and like the perfect adventurous wife, she was enthused to go, instead of uttering a dreaded, “WHAT? But it’s hot… there will be mosquitoes”.

Reversing out of the driveway, we headed to the modern day market – Carrefour, to get our meats for dinner and some snacks, then proceeded to drive to Bagan Lalang beach at Sepang, a mere few minutes away from the new Golden Palm Tree Resort. Unfortunately, it was already rather dark by the time we arrived. We chugged down the beach with our belongings, under a slight drizzle and quickly pitched the tent with only a torch to guide and an umbrella for shelter.

Thankfully, my years of service at Outward Bound School came to good use, and before long, we were dry, safe and warm in the tent. We began with an entree of sushi, since it was still too wet to cook outside. An hour later, the rain subsided and our portable gas stove was started – we then cooked 2 slabs of lamb beneath the stars while listening to the calming sound of waves.

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Of money and shoes

You know the advice that every mother gives to her soon-to-be-wed daughter… “You should always have a separate bank account from your husband. It’s for a rainy day, you’ll never know what may happen…”

Yesterday was one of those days when the topic of finances came up during a discussion with friends. Whenever it comes to finances, I have to admit, I am really lousy at managing it. When I started work years ago, I didn’t really think about budgeting or planning for my future. All that mattered was that money came in, I didn’t spend more than I earned, and that was fine.

When I got married, everything became even more complex. Put into the equation a man who says that my shopping and shoe purchasing habits are rather extensive, and you have a recipe for arguments. He believes in spending more on fewer pairs, but buying quality. I prefer quantity.

So… I worked hard to earn all that money, right! Having more shoes means more options for a girl! :) I don’t really consider myself a spender, in fact, I am super excited whenever I get a good bargain – I’d rather shop at the Chatuchak market in Bangkok any day than at any branded goods store selling LVs or Guess dresses.

But you see, when I said “I do” five years ago, I also said “I will” to opening a joint bank account with Alex. And part of that “I will” also meant “I promise” to be accountable to you regarding financial matters, and he the same towards me.

I don’t regret it. I remember a story someone told me before… this couple had separate accounts and as usual, they split the bills for everything… he paid for the daily expenses and she paid for the house. They were happily married, but soon, their marriage turned rocky. It was then that things got complicated when she said that the house was hers because she paid for it.

Frankly, I think money can either unite or divide. People quarrel over money matters all the time. So when Alex suggests rethinking my shopping habits, I need to stop myself and think, “Is it really worthwhile quarelling over this? If I go ahead and spend anyway, ignoring what he says, will it be damaging to our relationship?”

Think about it, even if you had your separate bank accounts and one partner bought something the other does not approve of, would that not be cause for conflict too?

I can imagine some of you saying, “But it’s only a pair of shoes!”

Ok, so we had an agreement. If we intend to purchase anything beyond RM200 in value, we’d consult each other.

I am happy with that arrangement. As for my mother (who did give me that same advice at the top)… I didn’t really have an answer for her then. But now that I am older, I wish I had told her, “I don’t want to go into any relationship thinking that a rainy day will come. I want to go into this marriage thinking that both of us will make it work, come what may. It’s a permanent covenant, not a contract. It’s not to be broken, it’s for life.”

* Alvin & Melissa’s pre-wedding session

Two hearts, One Journey: Our 5th anniversary

Five years ago, Alex and I said “I do”.

Time flies when you’re having fun. I am even more in love with this man today than when I married him 5 years ago. Perhaps I am a romantic at heart, I dream of growing old with Alex, walking beside him even when our hair is grey and our hands are wrinkled.

The joy of sharing life together is something I am grateful for every day of my life. I am so thankful that God brought Alex into my life, that I found in him a soulmate that would spur me on to greater heights, laugh with me everyday and go on little adventures together, even when the adventure is as simple as looking for laminate flooring.

A few months ago, Alex and I asked our friend Jon Low to shoot some portraits for us when we were in Australia. Jon’s an established photographer, and awesome friend. We started our careers in photography about the same time and since then, I am so happy to see that his business is doing so well!

These photos were taken in Brisbane, and it brought back lots of memories for me because I lived there for 3 years as a student. Thank you,Tania-Lea for the hair & make up! Hope things are going well for you there!

Alex, I am looking forward to our little date and adventure this evening… but more importantly, I am excited to think of what God has in store for the both of us. The past 5 years has been really awesome! I love you heaps, darling!

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SOLD: The family home

For those of you who have been following this blog, you’ll know that my parents made the move to KL in 2009 to live with my sister and I. Since then, we’ve been clearing up old stuff and trying to transport as many nostalgic things as possible to KL. After procrastinating for such a long time, we decided the time has finally come for us to sell the house. Today, we signed the S&P agreement.

As my mom sat in her kitchen (possibly the last time), I felt a little sad to hear her asking for things like her oven to be brought up to KL. She said that the glasses in the cupboard are really good and I should keep it. Those glasses from the 60s with floral patterns and which were only used during Chinese New Year.

Reality is, we can’t move everything with us. That’s life. We accumulate material items in our lifetime, only to die and leave them all behind. What’s left are memories.

My sister discovered some stray albums that we missed in our previous trip back.

My sister’s and brother’s car collection. Should this go on eBay?

My little Lego looking set that I had since I was a baby (according to my sis).

My parents outside our home. My dad is still oblivious as to what is happening.

Next trip would be to pack some larger items into the lorry for us to transport up to KL. Then, it’s the final farewell.

The Day After

The past 2 days have been a little stressful and tiring for me. Doing 2 wedding shoots back to back is something that I don’t do often, but when I do, my whole body aches like it has been through an entire marathon. Plus the emotional stress of doing my first ever official royalty group photo (which had its set of protocol and challenges); I think I need today to recuperate.

After a long day of shoot, I just want to spend the day doing nothing much but just chill with my hubby. In fact, he’s making me breakfast right now as I type this. :) Aaah… now what would make it even better if I had a pool like this in my backyard…

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope it’s a restful one for you!