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motherhood

Slowing Down

Wow, it just occurred to me that the last blog post I did was 3 weeks ago! November has been a really busy month for the Stories team. In the past, I would attempt to blog at least twice a week so I do need to buck up! I promise that you’ll see more images here on the blog. As a full time mother, entrepreneur and photographer, my life can get pretty hectic. But last week, God spoke to me after I picked up my son from school. He was taking his sweet time to stop at every drain cover to peer into it, and poke his foot into any small hole he could find. I was annoyed and I wanted to move, fast.

But in that precise moment, I heard God’s soft voice telling me, “It’s ok. Just slow down and enjoy the moment with him. It’s about the journey, not just the destination.”

I caught myself. I could have just ranted and raised my tone of voice but I didn’t.

Last weekend, I could have scheduled in more shoots or work, but I made a choice to just go unplugged on a camping trip with my kids and some of their pre-school friends. It felt good to just be present emotionally and physically.

Happy 4th Birthday, little Krysta

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

My fourth year as a mom

It’s my fourth day in Japan, attempting to have a somewhat ‘normal’ holiday with my husband and two kids. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy traveling with 2 toddlers, but we were determined! We packed light, left the stroller at home, and managed to fit 1 week’s worth of luggage and toys into a large bag, 1 handcarry size and 1 backpack.

20160506-HOLIDAY_JAPAN-051Alex and I have been relatively easygoing when it comes to raising our kids. We are not the super strict type of parent who must get their kid to bed by a certain time or the kind who whips out a hand sanitizer at every given opportunity (yup, we let them pick their food off the floor and eat it, if the floor looks relatively clean).

So I thought that this holiday would be pretty relaxing with not that much of an agenda. After all, I managed a company holiday with my kids when they were much younger… clingy baby and all.

Four days into my holiday, I find myself screaming at the kids… “Eat this… NO, don’t eat that! Don’t roll on the ground! Don’t pull your sister’s hair! Stop pinching your brother!” Yup, I’ve turned into a machine that barks orders every few minutes. (occassionally, the poor husband is also at the receiving end of these orders). Coincidentally, it’s also Mother’s Day today, and my 4th year of being a mom.

20160507-HOLIDAY_JAPAN-302But suddenly, these frustrations turn into little moments of joy when Krysta suddenly bursts into random phrases that sound like broken Japanese. Or when Kyle does a happy dance in the middle of a street as he hears buskers singing K-pop.

It’s at these times I realize I need to cherish the litte happy moments more than dwelling on the frustrations I feel. I’m just going to enjoy the next few days, and even if Kyle only decides to eat a diet of white rice and biscuits, I won’t get upset. I won’t complain as well when my needs are not met because it won’t be fair for Alex to deal with 2 toddlers and 1 adult who is never satisfied.

Enjoy the journey, not just the destinaton.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.

20160506-HOLIDAY_JAPAN-011

 

You Made me a Mother

This Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a poem that I came across on Facebook, written by this lady, Melanie Tan. It’s a really lovely piece adapted from another similar poem. I love how she has captured the feeling of motherhood through these lines. Wishing all amazing mothers out there, a Happy Mother’s Day.

20150429_FAMILY_NICO_MURIEL_YASMIN_27Two blue lines,
Tears, excitement and fears
Will I be a good mother?
Can I survive child birth?
I wasn’t ready

Then, the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard
Hearing your heartbeat for the first time
That fast paced rhythm
I told myself, I can do this

I felt you
Your first kick
I smiled
Your first in-vitro hiccups
I laughed

Suddenly, you were here
Daddy’s nose, mummy’s lips
and those eyes
staring at me when we first met
and I fell in love

I held you, fed you
You cried and I cried
Our 3am staredowns
Sleepless nights

That smell of your head
Little wandering hands
A sniff, a kiss
While you gently suckle on my breast
You doze off
With droplets of love on your lips
I wipe them off and put you down gently
Thinking how much I will miss this
When you grow older

But there are also times I wanted to give up
Then you smile at me
Your cheeky wide grin
And you grab my hands with those little fingers
I pick myself up and console myself
This only gets better

We are growing together
Seeing the world as new
I’ll open my heart and shower you with love
You’ll giggle and I’ll do it all over again
And we’ll walk hand in hand
Until you let go
and explore the world with your two little feet
and I’ll be right behind you
Cheering you on
Or to catch you when you fall
Wherever you need me most
I’ll be there, always

I made you…

But you made me a mother.

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From 2 to 3…

A week ago, I became a mum. For 9 months, I carried a little bundle inside of me… a little being that grew from a tiny foetus into a 2+kg baby. I brought her for shoots with me, and we grew, together. When we saw her first few photos on the scan, we were excited (doesn’t matter that it was just a mass of 2 oval shapes showing the head and body). When she kicked, we were delighted. Towards the end of my term, I couldn’t wait to meet her, my little bundle of joy.

A week before my due date, at about 2am, my water bag burst and an hour later, I was in the hospital. By 9am, I had only dilated 1cm and she was facing upwards, which made it hard for her to come out naturally. So by 12pm, a decision was made to go for a Caesarean birth, and within a few minutes, I was in the operating theatre. It felt like a blur, I couldn’t see what was going on, didn’t feel any pain, but I could just feel the gynae touching me and her being pushed out. All throughout the surgery, I was praying and singing the song “Lord you are always here with me”.

At the precise moment I heard her cry, my emotions just overwhelmed me and I couldn’t help but cry too.

She was brought to me not too long later and she was just beautiful!

One week later, and I have already posted countless images of her on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve joined that group of millions of mothers worldwide who are proud of their little kid. Not because of what they can do (she hasn’t earned any A’s in school yet, or started working to earn her keep), but because of who they are. Simply loved because they are their child. I am reminded of that same love that God gave to us… unconditional love, not because of what we can do, but because of who we are… His creation. And nothing we do in this life can take away Christ’s love for us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 38-39 –

Such is the heart of our Father…and a good reminder this Christmas! Have a great Christmas season and a Happy New Year!

xoxo,

Grace, Alex & Krysta

Last 2 Photo credits: Asther Lau Photography