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Family Portraits: Janeen’s Graduation

Janeen recently graduated with a doctorate and wanted to commemorate her achievement with a family photo shoot. We had the photo session at her parents’ lovely garden in Bukit Jalil and had her nephews and in-laws join in too. We did two kinds of shots: a series with Janeen in her graduation gown and then a series of casual group shots and individual portraits. Janeen’s nephew also graduated – from kindergarten! So it was a double celebration. :)

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Portraits at K’Seena House: Joseph & Jamie

I have been meaning to write this post for quite a number of months! Jamie, our team’s talented photographer finally said “I do” to the man of her dreams, Joseph. It was a meaningful wedding for me because I love these 2 people very much as we gotten quite close through the years. Joseph was our housemate for quite a long time until the wedding, and our children loved his playful nature. It was really an honour to be asked to photograph their portraits after the wedding ceremony ended. After the ceremony ended, the heavens opened and there were showers of blessing at the venue (actually, it felt like a storm) but thankfully, the rain stopped for us to take some these images before sunset.

K’Seena House is a very pretty place for pictures, and it was my first time there. I loved how Joseph’s corsage was replaced with a rope, since the both of them are avid rock climbers! What a joy it was for us to witness Joseph and Jamie’s wedding!

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And so the adventure continues: The 10th year milestone

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.

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Wedding at St Andrew’s Church: Matthew & Cheng

Matthew and Cheng met on their first day of college. Coincidentally, they both did not really like each other very much: to Irene, Matt looked like the typical playboy with long spiky hair; to Matt, Irene was this quiet studious overachiever person. This changed after getting to know each other over the years especially when they enrolled in the same university (IMU- Medicine).

Since they organised a lot of university events together, the draw and attraction towards each other became mutual. After IMU, they left for the UK together (Irene in Aberdeen, Scotland; Matt in Nottingham, England). Those long, never-ending 7-9 hours train rides from one place to another (simply because they couldn’t afford flights) were painful and yet memorable.

It was at South France just before coming back to work in Singapore where Matt got down on one knee and popped the question (on top of Baux-de-provence). To make it even more enchanting, a passerby shouted ‘Brava-brava!’. So simple and private yet special and memorable – and the rest is history.

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Wedding overlooking Tanah Lot, Bali: Terence & Sarah

20150926_WEDDING_TERENCE_SARAH_0331It’s been a few months since my sister-in-law Sarah tied the knot with Terence, but the photos are too good not to share! I am really proud of my team Weiming and Jamie, who did such an amazing job photographing this wedding. Their ceremony was held on the lawn of the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort overlooking the temple at Tanah Lot.

It was a beautiful day, breezy and cool. The ceremony was personal and special as my husband Alex officiated the wedding. Personalised vows made everyone crack up in laughter, and the dancing at night, including the surprise performance by Terence’s family was hilarious. At the end of the day, it was a gathering of loved ones, celebrating the union of two people who had been dating for over a decade.

“We met back in university, many moons ago, but nothing really happened until after we came back from Melbourne. We’re opposites in many ways, I’m an introvert, whereas Terence is an extrovert. He’s a neat freak, and I’m…not. I love reading, Terence rarely picks up a book. Terence loves football, I don’t see much point in men running around a field kicking a ball!

We also have common interests, we enjoy watching movies, having a cuppa coffee at our favourite cafe, and travelling overseas. I’d say we’re both pretty practical people, after Terence proposed, one of the first questions I asked was, “Which credit card did you use to buy the ring?” He laughed, and said he was debating the same thing just before he paid for it!” – Sarah

I’d like to share a quote written by the groom’s dad, and shared by Alex during the wedding itself. A lovely analogy about life and a bicycle, which I think is really good advice to a couple starting life together!

“Today it struck a chord within me that riding a bicycle is a mirror representation of life itself. When the bicycle is in motion, on the move, however slow, you are able to keep your balance as long there is a forward momentum. The slower it gets, the harder it is to keep balance. The minute you do a dead stop it will fall.

In life we were fast paced in our young days to get an education, find a good job, build a career and settle down with family and as we reach retirement we literally slow down. In my bicycle analogy we must avoid slowing down to the point of almost no forward motion. We have to keep ourselves moving and occupied, socially, mentally and physically. Towards the later part of the journey many will also enhance their spiritual development.
Therefore, whether you are in your 50s, 60s or 70s, keep moving enthusiastically. Plan things ahead to keep you looking forward. Do what you love and if this ties in with helping others in one way or another, it’s fantastic and a double bonus. As for me, I love to travel, read, teach, play music and plan surprise parties to celebrate moments. So please join me and together we will keep moving forward and enjoy the ride of life into the final sunset, enjoying the scenery of humanity and all it has to offer. When the time is ripe to really stop, we can park our bicycle and hang it up on the wall. Everyone will look up and say silently “it was a wild and well ridden machine”. Live life full.”