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.
when someone else is doing the cooking for you…(Lovely neighbour Travis was the appointed bbq chef for the party so that the birthday boy can enjoy himself.)
when the place is decked out in party mood…(A constant refrain from CS: keep it low-key please…and remember I’m not turning 16! Thus, the under-stated party decoration…if I had my way, the whole place would be filled with balloons!)
when you get to share it with loved ones…(One thing we were glad to see: people we invited interacting freely with each other even though they were from different groups: family, church, neighbours, couple-friends. In fact, some came up to us separately and remarked: you got nice friends. It’s great when your friends can get along.)
when there are presents involved…(Although CS won’t admit it cos he’s too nice a guy, I knew this was his favourite present – a car care kit from Travis!)
when there are tangible reminders of the good times you’ve had…(nothing beats a handwritten card, anytime!)
And so the 40th birthday party was a great success. I read this quote somewhere and felt it really gives a good perspective about birthdays when one’s older:
“Do not regret growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many.”
Today I took the day off to spend time with the hunk because this is, after all, his last day in his thirties. We went shopping for his present but ended up not finding anything suitable. We then headed to V Burger Bar for an early dinner and it was probably the best burger we have ever had! And the chips were so crispy and stayed so even after awhile! We concluded this is a place we would return again.
At the cafe, I couldn’t wait but decided to give CS a little gift I’d made – a handwritten birthday booklet.
Inside the booklet:
8. funny (haha!)
20 Nov 2010
Stay tuned for the birthday party tomorrow!
After much planning, we are finally having CS’ mum come live with us in what we hope will be a permanent arrangement. With his sister and family’s migrating to Canada, it is inevitable that this will happen.
When I looked back to our courtship day where I actually declared to CS that I would ‘never’ live with my in-laws, I now realized how foolish those words were. Thank God he never dumped me over that because his mother has always been really important to him. Perhaps he knew it was only a matter of time that I will come to love his mum the way he did. And I did.
Over time, I got to know my mother-in-law. She is one of the few women I considered godly. Her faithfulness and prayerful-ness were 2 qualities that really stood out for me. She hasn’t always had an easy life yet she is always generous towards people around her. And she would often praise me in front of her friends.
It’s funny how the more you love someone, that love then gradually grows to include others that are important to that someone as well.
So, there will be adjustments as we learn to live together now. There will be times of frustrations, I am sure. Yet, I am quietly confident that love does conquer all.
Two of the goals I set for myself this year was to learn how to bake and make desserts. And the second season of Masterchef has been a catalyst for me in this area. Seeing ordinary folks being so passionate about cooking and serving up the best dish they can has inspired me to do the same in my own kitchen.
So here it is, a pictorial post about my first cake-making culinary adventure. The satisfying part was that everyone in office loves it and couldn’t believe this is the first cake I baked!
Remember the hailstorm that hit Western Australia recently? On March 22, we were holidaying in Phuket when we heard the news on CNN but didn’t really think much of it then. After all, Western Australia is a big state and Perth is just a city within it. The reality only hit us when we were trying to confirm our pick up arrangement with Mish when we fly home from Singapore and received this message from her on Facebook:
“We had a MAJOR hail storm last night. Golf-ball sized hail for 15 minutes. The front windscreen on your car is damaged–not broken–luckily. There are dents on your bonnet and damage to the plastic trimming on the outside of your car.
I will keep you posted. Hope that you’re having a good vacation. Further, at this point, there’s no way that I can pick you up from the airport with your current car. So, you’ll need to get a taxi or have another friend pick you up. I could see if I could borrow someone’s car. Let me know what you’d like me to do.”
Here’s how my car looked like after the hailstorm:
And so we had the windscreen replaced last Saturday. Most car repair companies have a long queue after the storm as there were literally heaps of cars waiting to be fixed in one way or another. Thankfully, I knew a student whose father owned a car repair shop and managed to get a good deal and prompt service.
On a brighter note, here’s CS with his brand new nifty Hyundai Getz he’d bought to embark on his new career as a driving instructor. It’s going to be exciting!
The last couple of weekends were spent with friends who made sure I wasn’t ‘lost’ or ‘bored’ on my own. So there were lots of catching up over breakfasts and coffee. Or they would pop by for meals or even a sleepover.
I must admit that although the last couple of weeks had been tough without CS, it would have been a lot more difficult if not for good friends who took the effort to check in on me; making sure that I was coping all right and hanging out with me. Thank you all; you know who you are…