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Portraits with the Extended Family: Alex & Wern Lu

A family portrait session is the perfect reason to gather the entire family in one place. After all, if you’re going to be taking photos of your family to print up and place around your household, you might as well invite the others to join in. Grandparents love having photos like these to cherish their kids and grandkids. Very often, the house can feel quite empty for them after everyone has grown up and moved out.

So here are two wonderful ways to include your extended family and the grandparents into your photoshoot – with some colour coordination.

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The Day It Began…

Clearing my house has helped me rediscover gems hidden in boxes and in files. Not only did I find old recipes my mother wrote to me when I was in university, I also found some old letters and cards I gave to Alex when we were dating. I admit, I am a hopeless romantic. On our 1st anniversary together, I created a simple set of handwritten messages for him – 12 pages for the 12 months we were together. I wrote these messages because I wanted him to remember… how we started, why I love him, and how our struggles can bring us closer.

So, though it’s a little embarrassing to be sharing this with everyone, I thought I’d include a short excerpt from this card (taken from my journal).

8th June 2004

I can’t believe it… Alex and I are getting together. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do, we both have our doubts and worries and are afraid of taking risks… but… our hearts… tell us to go forward.

Dear Lord, is this the right decision? And is this the right timing? Are we even compatible? There are so many considerations to think about… I don’t know how it all fits into Your plan, but Jesus, I commit myself and Alex into your hands. I am afraid of getting hurt, but if we don’t take risks, we’ll never know. There are so many worries Lord, but I do commit us into Your hands and give it all to You.

Alex and I during our Lake Toba holiday in August 2004

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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Our 4th Year Together

It’s my fourth year of marriage today. Even though the memories of our wedding day are still pretty fresh in my mind, it also seemed like such a long time ago. Thinking back about the wedding day, I guess it was pretty perfect in my eyes. On hindsight, I guess I would have liked to do certain things differently, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.

What matters now is the marriage itself.

I woke up this morning feeling excited about the day. I glanced over at Alex, and said a silent prayer of gratefulness to God for our lives together. I truly believe that I am more in love with Alex today than 4 years ago. I am excited thinking about life, and what the future holds for us. I know that life will never be perfect, that there will be times when heartaches will fill our hearts and make us feel as if life is cruel. But despite all that, today, I choose to give thanks for what I have.

Marriage has taught me to be less selfish. Since I am the youngest child in my family (with my 2 other siblings 12 and 16 years older than I am)…I’ve been a little ‘pampered’. (Not complaining! I COMPLETELY enjoy being pampered. Hehe). I tend to sit back and expect things to happen or someone to do the hard work for me. But Alex made sure that I became more independent and responsible for my actions. It definitely takes a conscious effort to think of others first before yourself, but I think I’ve improved. :)

I’ve also learnt that it’s so important to have someone who shares the same passion as you do. Before I got married, this question always stood out in my mind… “How do you know if he is THE one?”. Now, I think I have the answer. He needs to share the same values and passion as you do. I don’t think that there is one perfect person in this world for you (now think about it, if you married someone ‘wrongly’, you would have robbed someone else of their perfect partner, and therefore the entire world is doomed cause SOMEONE made a mistake).

So the person is only perfect because you made an effort to make it perfect. And boy, it’s a lot of hard work. I am so thankful that Alex and I are excited about the same things and that we can journey along this path of life together.

Dug up some old photos from our wedding day… This was taken by Joseph Siew.

And these photos by Andy Lim. Thanks guys, for capturing memories for us!

Alex and I wrote our own wedding vows to each other and I thought I’d post them here.

Alex’s vow to Grace

From this day forth, I, Alex Lam take you, Grace Tan,
To be my wife.
As long as I shall live, before God and all my family and friends,
I pledge my life to be your friend, your lover, and your fellow dreamer.
Let me be the shoulder you lean on, and the rock on which you rest.
I promise to be honest with you, and to love you always.

This life of ours is a voyage,
Which I will sail with you,
Through the calm of the sea,
And the raging storms,
Though we cannot see past the uncertain future,
God will be with us, and my ship will always remain by yours.

Today marks the first day of an eternity as two hearts on one journey.
And as inscribed on your ring, I vow to “Grow old with you”.

Grace’s vow to Alex

Alex, today, and as long as I, Grace Tan, shall live,
I take you to be my husband and give you my heart.
Intertwined, two hearts, one journey.
With God as the glue that binds us together,
I promise to always love you, submit to you, and be honest in
all that I do.

Today, I pledge to stand with you, come what may.
When the sun is shining brightly, I will laugh with you.
When the sky is dark and grey, I will hold your hand.
When a storm rages outside, I will hug you and never leave you.

Sharing dreams, hopes, tears and joy.
I am proud to say that today, I am marrying my best friend.

Appreciating the MAN…

He has been by my side for many years, encouraging me when I feel down, cheering me on when things are going well, holding my hand when I am sick, my adventure buddy, my partner, my lover. That’s Alex.

This is my fourth year of marriage, and boy, has it been exciting. This month, we celebrated Alex’s birthday, and I thought I’d write a post to celebrate him. The best part about my marriage is the fact that I can journey together with him, going on our little adventures together. It’s not just about a trip to the beach or an extravagant holiday somewhere, but it is the little things in life that I appreciate. Him waking up early in the morning to prepare me breakfast. Him carrying my camera bags from the car at the end of a tiring shoot. Him looking after my parents while I am away.

He’s an amazing man.

Photo by Dawn McCarthy

Yes, we have our squabbles, like any other couple (like him getting exasperated at my short term memory, or me getting annoyed at him for leaving receipts and bills all over the floor)… but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. I believe in not holding grudges and working at a relationship to make it work.

So… to celebrate his birthday, I did a few things…

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