The highlight of this month had to be the KitchenAid surprise. Never in my wildest dream would I imagine that CS would surprise me with this gift. Not because he isn’t good at throwing surprises; in fact, he is way better than me in this! But because he is usually the practical and cautious sort so I’d have thought he would want to make sure that was what I really wanted before buying it.
Plus, there was no occasion or reason for me to expect a present. And when I learned about the effort he’d put in to get the KitchenAid for me as a surprise, my heart melted. The best surprise has got to be just because…
|This photo album personalized with Smilebox|
[Photos credit to Rach Choo]
This is a good story.
It is a story about how a man surprised his wife with a present she’s been pining for since a year ago. And since it was winter in the southern hemisphere, he decided to play Santa. In the meantime, the clueless wife went on dreaming about her KitchenAid…
July 12 (Tuesday)- So we had pizza dinner at home with Hann, Rach and Evan who were visiting us from Singapore. Seeing it was approaching 7.30pm when Masterchef Australia was supposed to come on TV, I went for a quick shower and then headed straight for the telly in the living room. Indeed, I saw Masterchef on TV but also CS turning on the stereo with music blasting at the same time. I scowled and murmured – ‘what’s going on? How can I watch Masterchef with the music on?’ CS started dancing towards me and I realized it was Michael Buble’s Christmas album playing in the background. I saw the smiling faces of the rest and the present on the dining table. Deja vu feeling sank in – that looked like the present I gave CS last Christmas and wrapped with the same Christmas paper! It was as if time had stopped and it took me awhile to realize that the present on the table was for me. Never mind it wasn’t Christmas yet. It sure felt like it with Michael Buble singing “Let it Snow” in the background. I was Surprised. I was Overwhelmed. I was Overjoyed.
Every now and then, I’d tell CS that if I could have our wedding all over again (Don’t get me wrong; no disaster happened at our wedding save for a crying child in the middle of our ceremony which was my fear but CS wouldn’t allow me to ‘ban’ people from bringing really young kids so there you go…), it wouldn’t be like the one we had. Or perhaps I could have two? One to meet the family obligations and the other one just for us. And it would be something in the spirit of the video above – nothing fancy but just a small gathering of folks dear to us in an informal and casual setting with a touch of handmade wherever possible. Simple. Heartfelt. Joy.
p/s: This is a real life wedding of Elsie who is a blogger and celebrity scrapbooker/crafter in her own rights.
(Photo credits to Joey Asher Tan)
I love this photo (taken when we brought Joey and Huiyi to the beach when they were on holiday here in Perth) because it has two things I never tire of – sunset and kissing you. I recalled Joey teasing us while taking this photo – ‘you guys are always kissing!’ I love sunsets because it reminds me of God and his beautiful creation. I love kissing you because it reminds me of when I first fell in love with you when I look into your eyes. And I fall in love all over again…
This month we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. Ten years. 120 months. 3650 days. And what a journey it has been; one in which we are still learning about each other and, more importantly, about ourselves through the process. Just recently during a car ride, we came up with the idea that the next time we catch ourselves squabbling over the silliest thing (and you thought we’d know better from ten years of marriage!), one of us would ‘pretend bite’ his/her arm to prove the point, and hopefully, stop the silly squabble!
[Photo taken at Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe Beach in Perth.]
For our 10th anniversary, CS had wanted to buy me what I’d been eying on since I started seriously baking last year – Kitchenaid Mixer. I’d found that out only because he didn’t want to spend a bomb and buy me one in a colour I didn’t like so he decided to let me know earlier. To his surprise, I suggested why don’t we go camping to celebrate it.
Frankly, that camping suggestion was inspired by what Donald Miller wrote in his book, ‘A thousand miles in a thousand years’:
“A good movie has memorable scenes, and so does a good life.”
What he said really resonated with me. Not wanting to sound unappreciative, but if you asked me what CS had bought me in all our years together, I’d fail the test miserably. Life, as I’ve slowly come to realize, is not about the things we owned or bought or were given. It is about memories and shared moments.
So I am glad we went camping to celebrate our 10th anniversary because that will be remembered in many years to come. But just for the records, here’s our ‘memorable scenes’ from the trip:
* 1st meal @campsite: Mee pok dry with mum’s chilli and vinegar, along with a sunny-side up;
* Awesome seafood platter lunch on anniversary, with a panoramic view as backdrop;
* Received excellent service from an Indonesian lady at a local supermaket while buying cheeses and olives;
* Champagne, olives, cheeses, roasted almonds and biscuits for dinner;
* Brekkie @Bay Merchant cafe;
* Sunday market @ Albany Boatshed, buying live yabbies for dinner;
* Taking afternoon naps in the tent;
* Watching dvds with wifey in the tent.
* Waking up to the sound of raindrops and rustling of the kangaroos while sleeping at night;
* Singing together to the music from our IPOD while driving;
* Lazy afternoons – watching movies and having a picnic just outside our tent;
* Climbing Mt. Clarence to the ANZAC war memorial in Albany – I thought the weather that day was befitting the occasion – overcast skies with drizzling rain;
* Looking out of the restaurant where we had our anniversary lunch – literally, it was a ‘top of the world’ moment;
* The conversation with the owner of Oranje Tractor vineyard and learning more about their story – I find that smaller vineyards are often better this way because they are more personable;
* All the meals we cooked at our campsite;
* Setting up camp and giving it as much a ‘homely’ feel as possible.
Your note arrived today.
You don’t have to apologize for the ‘hiatus’ and how you had to think long and hard as to how to reply us ‘in style’ because you are not that ‘a creative, artistic, scrapbook person’. Any news from you is better than no news. And we really do love the handmade touch in your note.
The title of your note makes us smile – if this ain’t called love (then what is). I don’t think when we first got married we had any idea what love really is (though we probably thought we did!) but after nearly a decade-long marriage, I think we are getting a glimpse of that.
Love is hard work. It means loving when you don’t feel like it. It means your action has to speak louder than your words. It means thrashing out your conflicts even though the last thing you want to do is talk. It means even when things get tough, giving up is not an option. Ever.
Truth be told, I don’t think we had consciously lived out our marriage with the intention to be a ‘testimony’ of His love. I think that good intention can sometimes come with unnecessary pressure and expectation. But what we have tried to do is include God in our relationship; kind of like a pseudo-marriage counsellor! And oh yes, a sense of humour. That’s right; you read it correctly. We try to have as much fun as we can along the way!
I hope, one day, you too, will have this amazing experience of marriage.
It is great to read about what God’s been doing in your life. Really, one of our greatest pride and joy from serving in the young adult ministry is seeing young adults like you stepping up and rising to the call of leadership, in one way or another.
Frankly, it has been challenging for us since we took over the young adult ministry here in Perth; we are still finding our way around to connect with the young adults. It is a struggle sometimes and I guess your note is a timely reminder of the rewards we will reap, one day, if we persevere.
So our prayer for you is that you too, will persevere in the call that God has led you to. Never let the enemy deceive you with: You are not good enough. Not old enough. Not young enough. Not mature enough. Not holy enough. Not loving enough.
Guard your walk with God jealously because without it, everything you do is meaningless. Remember: God doesn’t require sacrifice more than your obedience. Your service for God should be an outflow of your love for Him – everything you do is because you want to, not because you have to.
All right, that’s enough rambling for now. Your note ended with a refrain of ‘remember to not forget me yah’; well, know that you remain close to our heart, and that you are missed as you do us.
CS & E”